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PowerPage for December 1995

Saturday December 30, 1995

I have been getting a lot of questions about batteries lately. There are 2 manufacturers of after market batteries for 5300's that I know of: Battery Technology Inc. (BTI) and Xtend Micro. BTI's battery is $199.95, they claim "25% higher capacity than Apple LiIon battery...45% higher capacity than Apple NiMH battery" Your mileage may vary. MacWarehouse lists the Xtend Micro 5300/190 for $129.95. MacWarehouse lists the Xtend battery as 2800mAh but the battery is actually 1800mAh. The catalog must have a typo. I am interested in feedback from users who are using after market batteries.

Also, there a number of sales on PC Card modems I have seen advertised. Steve D. writes "Computer City is having an end of the year sale on the US Logic 28.8 data/14.4 fax modem for $99.99. The card is actually manufacturered by Megahertz but doesn't have an XJACK connector (it's got a low-profile phone adapter cord). There are no paper docs included (it's got a Windows based electronic reference) but the standard PC Card modem driver recognizes it with no problem." thanks Steve.

Random thoughts:

O'Grady's Powerbook Heat Record:

Thursday December 28, 1995

A few users have mentioned the high amount of heat that the Powerbook 5300 generates. Once my 5300ce get warmed up it frequently runs at about 120F internal and 100F battery, other users have experienced the same temperature levels in the 5300's. This seems warmer than my 540c but hasn't caused any problems that I know of yet. The Powerbook Army Web Site has a Control Strip Module called Duo Temperature Strip that seems to work on the new PowerBooks.

Also, the 45w AC Adapter that ships with the new 5300's has come under a lot of fire lately for sticking out so far. Be careful: it is very easy to break the end that plugs into the back of the PowerBook while it is on your lap. I wish that Apple would make an L-shaped adapter for the new Powerbooks.

Random thoughts:

Wedesday December 27, 1995

Apple has aknowledged a problem with Mac Easy Open and slow dragging on Powerbook 5300's. The Solution is to disable Easy Open. Read about it in the Apple Tech Info Library article First Drag of Icon Slow.

Apple has not publicly announced Systems Update 2.0 yet, but it rumored to be released around January 22. The update code named anvil2 will contain many enhancements for Powerbook 5300 users including an improved emulator and a new finder. In early tests the update seems to be faster and more stable than System 7.5.2.
7.5.3 seeds: send me feedback at seed@ogrady.org

Required updates for power surfers:

Monday December 25, 1995 - Merry Christmas!

Fujitsu is almost ready to ship their 230 meg magneto-optical drive that will fit into the bay of the 5300. Apparently it will be available by mid January, and will run somewhat slower than the desktop model -- 2400 vs. 3600 rpm, 62ms seek time vs. 30ms.

A user informed me that their 5300cs crashes while connected to an Iomega Zip drive with termination active. Iomega tech support says a second terminator is required, which needs to be 25 pin and of the inline type. Has anyone else had problems with a Zip connected to a 5300? or know where to find a 25-pin inline terminator?

Sunday December 24, 1995

Twas the night before Christmas... I have made some changes to make the site a little easier to use for everyone. The buttons at the top of the page are links to other pages:

Archive. This page was getting too long so I moved older news items to an archive page.
Surf. This page has links to numerous sites of interest for 5300 users, including: Apple, 3rd party vendors, and other PowerBook related sites.
Register. Fill in this form if you are interested in joining the 5300 mailing list [coming soon.]
Feedback. If you have a tip, rumor, or experience that could be beneficial to other 5300 users, send it to me! Don't forget to include your complete configuration and a descriptive subject line.

Friday December 22, 1995-Only 3 days until Christmas!

*note* the links from the bottom of this page have moved to my 5300 Required Surfing Page. All the essential PowerBook links are there and many more are being added!

David Van Nuys writes: FAXstf is shipping an updated version of their fax software, version 3.2. They say it will be compatible with the PB5300.

Steve Dagley mentioned an article on a fire at Sony's Lithium Ion battery factory that apperared in the Dec. 4 issue of EE Times. "The Koriyama battery factory had been the major supplier of lithium-ion batteries to the portable-computer market until a Nov. 4 blaze stifled production."

Thursday December 21, 1995

I have setup a registration database because a number of user have expressed interest in a 5300 mailing list. I am collecting registrations to see what the interest level is and to get your feedback on the site.

Global Village PC card update:

the following are known problems with the PowerPort Platinum Pro PC cards with from a conversation with tech support yesterday:
for more information on Platinum Pro issues and concerns check out Global Villages PowerPort Platinum Pro support page, or email them at support@globalvillag.com.

Wednesday December 20, 1995

An update on the Lithium Ion battery situation from Apple's 12/15 VAR Bulletin:

UPDATE: Lithium Ion Batteries

Customers may continue to inquire about the lithium ion battery situation and PowerBook 5300 products. As of this time, Apple DOES NOT expect to have a lithium ion battery available for Macintosh PowerBook 5300 products.
Lithium ion continues to be an important technology for Apple. Apple is aware of the benefits it provides customers and will make every effort to include the best battery technology available in future products.

random notes:

Tuesday December 19, 1995

Today a major snow storm is headed to the Philadelphia area, so I might go snowboarding tomorrow. That said... there has been a huge buzz over the past 2 days over the System 7.5.3 updater (a.k.a. system update 2.0 or Anvil2) There are still a lot of questions about the update, namely, whether or not it really contains the new finder and emulator. I will be posting details on this as I receive feedback from the seeds (hint, hint). Apple has not officially aknowledged the update or issued a release date, please *do not* email me asking for a copy.

must have updates:

required reading:

Sunday December 17, 1995

A number of people has emailed me asking for purchasing advice. If you have been good all year and have decided to get yourself the ultimate notebook computer (or a "6k piece of plastic") the first thing I would recommend is that you check out the Apple's PowerBook Data Sheets from their Web site. They contain all of the specifications and features that you could possibly stomach.

Participate in my Powerbook Benchmark Testing Project:

Friday December 15, 1995

A user who complained of a problem where his 5300 was typing the number "8" constantly across his screen at random intervals has informed me that it was simply a stuck key on the keyboard. The fix was to hit the 8 key slightly harder than normal to release it. I would recommend a replacement keyboard from an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

random thoughts

Thursday December 14, 1995

A couple of users have emailed me echoing the crashing problems that Andy Gore mentioned in his two Mac Week Articles (December 11, 1995 / Volume 9 Number 48) One user mentioned that using a beta of System 7.5.3 and removing SpeedDoubler stopped the crashes and made his 5300c "scream". The 7.5.3 update code-named "Anvil2" has a new finder and emulator but has no official release date. MacWeek calls it "strongly recommended" for users of the new Powerbooks.
More on this one later.

random thoughts

* Observation of the day:

My 5300ce still has problems waking from sleep, even with diver updated using Apple's Drive Setup 1.0.3. I would recommend that you update your drivers if you haven't already. While on the topic of sleep, the 5300ce doesn't seem to like to wake up from sleep if you plug in external video, adb, and the GV Platinum Pro PC card (with clyde, the dongle,) presumably because all of these devices draw heavily on the battery. Has anyone else noticed this? Email me at firebook@iliad.com.

tomorrow: wierd sounds when using external speakers

Wednesday December 13, 1995

* Global Village Communications web site is located at: http://www.globalvillag.com
The Technical Support department is aware of problems with the "broken" PowerPort Platinum Pro PC card. You might want to check Global Village's PowerPort Platinum Pro support page often.

Tuesday December 12, 1995

* Global Village PowerPort Platinum Pro owners beware: a bug in the ethernet portion of this card will cause outgoing mail not to work from Eudora. A beta version of Eudora 2.1.4b10 is available from Qualcomm's ftp site at: ftp://ftp.qualcomm.com/quest/mac/eudora/beta/
after you update to the new version you must configure your special/settings/outgoing mail to enable "kludge for broken 5300 ethernet card"

Monday December 11, 1995

* MacWeek has written a less-than-glowing review of the 5300c, find it in or December 11, 1995 / Volume 9 Number 48 issue or get it from:
To summarize, Andy Gore rated it poorly on performance, innovation and even industrial design. He did like the screen though.

Friday December 8, 1995

* Alessandro Levi Montalcini wrote an excellent utility called PowerPCheck, get it from his ftp site:
From the Read Me file: PowerPCheck is a cool drag & drop utility that looks for native PowerPC code inside applications, control panels, extensions and all other executable files. It can check individual files as well as folders or entire disks; it inspects both the data fork and the resource fork of each file and creates a detailed text report of all the native code it finds. Version 3.0 can also remove the PowerPC or 68K code from the inspected files.

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