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View Full Version : Vintage Macintosh of the Week #13 - Macintosh PowerBook 100



Oldmacs
3rd November 2012, 05:19 PM
Hi All,
Starting this again :) Enjoy!

Well here it is- The Macintosh PowerBook 100- The Laptop that defined Laptops.
Released in October of 1991 the 100 was Apple's first successful laptop after the Macintosh Portable. The 100 marked a massive leap in usability. While the PowerBook 100 retained some of the technical aspects and components of the Portable it had a completely new design, one that defined what we now call a laptop. By moving the keyboard up close to the screen and inserting room for a trackball and palm rest the laptop was made far more usable. Manufactured by Sony for Apple by Sony it was the cheapest variant in Apple's initial Lineup of laptops. Featuring a Monochrome 9 Inch display, a 16 MHZ 68000 Processor and came standard with 2 MB of ram. The PowerBook 100 was noted for not having an Internal floppy disk, requiring an external one. In recent years PC World has named it 10th Greatest PC of all time, and Mobile PC awarded it with the title of best gadget ever in 2005.

Here is a Commerical for the 1991 range of PowerBooks :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5HMkCqfhCA&feature=related

http://dpmac.com/apple/macportable/1991-powerbook100.jpg

Full Specs:
Family: PowerBook
Codename: Asahi, Derringer, Rosebud
Gestalt ID: 24
Minimum OS: 7.1
Maximum OS: 7.5.5
Introduced: October 1991
Terminated: August 1992

Processor
CPU: Motorola MC68HC000
CPU Speed: 16 MHz
FPU: none
Bus Speed: 16 MHz
Register Width: 32-bit
Data Bus Width: 16-bit
Address Bus Width: 32-bit
ROM: 256 kB
RAM Type: unique
Minimum RAM Speed: 100 ns
Onboard RAM: 2 MB
RAM slots: 1
Maximum RAM: 8 MB
Expansion Slots: modem

Video
Screen: Passive Matrix
Max Resolution: 1 bit 640x400

Storage
Hard Drive: 20-40 MB
Floppy Drive: external, HDI-20 port

Input/Output
ADB: 1
Serial: 1 Mini DIN-8
SCSI: HDI-30
Audio Out: mono 8 bit mini
Speaker: mono

Miscellaneous
Power: 17 Watts
Dimensions: 1.8" H x 11" W x 8.5" D
Weight: 5.1 lbs.

If anyone had this model, please post your memories and if anyone would like to correct my information, please again do so.

Orestes
3rd November 2012, 08:04 PM
In another life at a now defunct Apple Authorised Reseller and Service Provider Ramifications, I set it's bigger brother up a PowerBook 110 for sale. Almost 14 years ago now, how time flies, one of my first memories of the annoyances of the Apple menu on System 7 where you have to hold the damn mouse button to get anything done.

Nial: Somebodies used to System 8
Me: Shuddup...

neoxide
3rd November 2012, 08:51 PM
THE BEST PORTABLE MAC EVER MADE. EVER. EVER. EVER.

The best desktop machine being the SE/30 (I'd give it to the IIci if they didn't have that annoying power supply issue).

I have two, neither of which work, sadly. I used to bring one to high school to type stuff up. This was about 6 years ago, so it raised a few eyebrows at times. I preferred it for word processing over modern laptops, because I wasn't drifting off to facebook every five minutes and the black and white passive matrix was easier on my eyes.


In another life at a now defunct Apple Authorised Reseller and Service Provider Ramifications, I set it's bigger brother up a PowerBook 110 for sale. Almost 14 years ago now, how time flies, one of my first memories of the annoyances of the Apple menu on System 7 where you have to hold the damn mouse button to get anything done...

Did Apple make a 110, Orestes? Might you be thinking about the 140 or 170?

Sure it didn't have a floppy drive. Sure it had a lead acid battery that outlasted its siblings but would make green-concious recyclers gawk in alarm. Sure the screen was one of the worst Apple ever produced. Apple didn't even design it - Sony did!

But that keyboard, that quiet whir, that perfect balance of design that felt comfortable without tricking you into thinking you were typing on something bigger.

What can I say? What a machine. Apple - start making them again (with an active matrix LCD... ooh. Now THAT would be a PowerBook 110)

Orestes
4th November 2012, 04:41 PM
I thought it was a 110 might have been a 140, it was about 14 or so years ago now the last time I touched one of these.

Velociraptors
26th December 2012, 01:44 PM
If anyone had this model, please post your memories and if anyone would like to correct my information, please again do so.

I have one! It was owned by a school in Adelaide or Melbourne, can't remember which - and came through Brains before it got to me. I gave it a good clean-out and photographed it to stick on wikipedia. It worked for a time, but sadly went quiet sometime in late 2011.

A few years after I photographed it though, Steve Jobs released the iPad at the Jan 27 keynote at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts immediately beforehand he spoke about one of Apple's other big portable firsts, the powerbook 100 - and behind him on that stage, up on that giant display, was my photograph of my powerbook 100. That part of me that's a certifiably-nuts Mac Geek still gets giddy thinking about it.

That little powerbook with the school ID melted into the cover with a soldering iron or dremel, fifteen years of discolouration over the top half and melted plastic from an accident with some kind of volatile glue is still on a shelf just metres from me - I found a set of spare rear feet for it to hold it up at a comfortable typing angle, but I think since it didn't wear them in the photograph up behind Steve, it can stay bare-feet like the hippy it is.

*pats pb100*. That'll do pig, that'll do.

Oldmacs
26th December 2012, 04:06 PM
Wow thats a great story :D

Love the Babe reference

Velociraptors
26th December 2012, 07:01 PM
I love it. It's so small and irrelevant that I forget it - but cool enough that I remember and go "damn!".

Here's the pic with it all in - http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6114/6853556192_2b53e6d85b_o.jpg