Creative Mac


Now THAT's a bag

Now THAT's a bag!





OPINION August 23, 2000
Road Hog: Code Name Phoenix
[page 2 of 2]

Because I was only seeing this story on a handful of sites—none of them Apple's yet, by the way—I did some digging to see if I could see where this story came from. I have to be honest and say that it came from the PowerBook Zone because it did and because I don't believe in stealing the work of creative people. If I did, I'd be a Windows user.

I have some other credit to spread around. First up is Dan Knight and his excellent Web site Low End Mac. I went to his site to doublecheck the specs on my ancient PowerBook 100 (if not the 5300, whose specs are burned on the back of my corneas). It's actually a site I was planning to recommend anyway as the definitive source for information on older models, when he was kind enough to drop me a line last week and say how much he enjoyed the first Road Hog.

We talk a lot about the latest and greatest Macs here, when one of the great things about using Macs at all is that, with a few notable exceptions, they're not disposable pieces of crap like Windows machines. Apple may sell a fraction of the new boxes out there, but I'm willing to place bets on who has more in service after five years, 5300s notwithstanding. If you have older Macs, you need to know Dan's site. You can even find connections to parts for the original 17-pound Apple Portable.

I have to also give credit where credit is due to the 1998 G3 PowerBooks, the WallStreet. This was pointed out to me by Ted Thibodeau Jr., who actually acquired his the FIRST time Apple traded out 5300s for G3s a couple of years ago. He's quite right, of course. I left out a perfectly good model. My point remains: that the first portables Apple got supremely, superlatively right, were the G3s.

Ted, by the way, is a true Road Hog. Here's part of his note to me: "...I am happy to be driving my Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series 14.1TFT/266MHz-1MB/64MB/4GB HD/4MB video/CD/Modem, which currently holds 256 MB RAM, 18GB HD, DVD & decoder card, and also sports (in my Kensington backpack) a Firewire PC Card, USB PC Card, Keyspan Digital Remote, MCE Pocket Drive (the original 4GB internal), SCSI HDI30-DB25 adapter, 14-foot spring-spooled phone cord, 25-foot Ethernet patch cord, 3-foot Ethernet crossover cable, RJ45-RJ45 female-to-female adapter, APC PNOTEPRO Mobile Surge Protector, VST Drive-bay Zip Module, Apple Drive-bay Floppy Module, 2 fully charged spare batteries, Auto/Airline Power Adapter, and even an outboard battery pack (intended and primarily used for my Cambridge Soundworks speaker system, but also capable of delivering several hours of use to my Powebook), and I'm probably forgetting something...."

Here's the amazing thing, that wasn't even the whole sentence. Ted Thibodeau Jr. is my new hero.

Several folks wrote to draw my attention to the Spire MetaPack for PowerBooks, a monster of a thing that miraculously still fits airline carry on requirements. This, friends, is a bag to be afraid of. Here's how cool this bag is: it has a whole page of the Web site devoted to not one but TWO QuickTime VR movies! They're Bandwidth Hogs (a minute or better at 56K), but sweet. Check 'em out for sure. (Chris Barker was first in with this one, but thanks to everyone else who suggested it. Killah.)

Finally, I want to thank everybody who wrote in for whatever reason. There were a ton of letters, and I appreciate every one of them. They helped me make the case to The Man that the Road Hog does not ride alone, and he quickly agreed to a weekly gig. So keep those cards and letters coming, kids. I'll be back next week with a bag full of goodies.

Tim Wilson, Man About Town™, is the Producer of Plug-in Central, one of the Core Connections here at Digital Media Net. Saddle up and write him at [email protected].


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