the three laptops....

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Cindy, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Cindy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    #1
    I'm curious....What is your intake on the Lombard, Pismo, and Wallstreets?
    What makes each different - better/worse etc...
    Also, how long do most laptops last? My friend who has a PC laptop says hers has only lasted a few years. :eek: Are Macs better at that?
    Cindy
     
  2. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #2
    My intake? I use my mouth mostly.

    Since the Wallstreet PB was introduced in 1998, Lombard in 1999 and Pismo in 2000, I'd say Macs last longer than a few years.

    Try taking a look here:
    http://www.lowendmac.com/pb2/g3-guide.html

    Your friend is right, PC laptops only last a few years. You should find Mac using friends.
     
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #3
    Not tried the Wallstreet or Lombard, but my old Pismo from February 2000 is still going strong, fantastic machine. With 512 MB RAM and a 40 GB HD it's running Tiger quite well and is still a very nice workhorse for my girlfriend who uses it in her everyday work as designer (print and web).

    The battery is shot, and we/she hasn't bothered to replace it (those batteries are VERY expensive, at least here in Norway). But apart from that there's no problem with it.

    We originally had one Pismo each, but when the screen on her Pismo gave in I shuffled some RAM chips and HDs around and gave it to her (and got myself a new iBook ;)). She still has the other Pismo, though, always hooked up to a 19" screen. With 128 MB RAM and one of the original 6 GB HDs it's running Mac OS 9 just fine.
     
  4. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #4
    Funny what catches your eye in a post. :p

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  5. Video_Producer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    my pismo

    My boss used to have a Pismo and it worked great, he had it until his brother sent him a Titanium so I took over his Pismo. In 2002 CompUSA had a clearance sale and I picked up an unsold 500 Mhz Pismo, it was missing the CD drive, bought it for $750.

    I think the best feature of these models is the ease to change hard drives, I have a 6gig, 20gig and 2 40gig drives that I alternate with, flip the keys out and slide the drive in or out, undoing 4 screws. Not what is was designed for but since there's no warranty, I take full advantage of the drive swap.

    The 500 mhz pismo is my daily e-mail / web home computer, I do a lot of graphics work on it, P-shop, Illustrator.

    rich


     
  6. Orlando Furioso macrumors 6502

    Orlando Furioso

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    Apr 12, 2005
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    Bezerkeley
    #6
    Hello Cindy

    I'm still using my Pismo (500MHz) regularly since I got it in 2000. It is sufficient for most tasks (email, web, word (2004), powerpoint, excel, moderate photoshop and illustrator work, flash, warcraft 3 =), etc). It is capable of running Tiger, but I choose to stick with Panther (10.3.9). Occasionally I'll revisit OS 9 (9.2.2) to remind myself how responsive/snappy an OS can be, but i digress.

    I've since purchased a Dual 2.0 for editing video, creating motion graphics, and light dvd authoring work. It is what I use for heavier computing in general. I steer clear from using the Powerbook for any video work after it choked using iMovie for a school project. The 8MB gfx card(?) is it's greatest shortcoming. Otherwise, I enjoy using it for most everything else (listed above).

    I've installed 1GB of ram and swapped the HD (to 60GB; 7200rpm; toshiba?) in the last 5 years. Those upgrades have kept me content till this day. The Pismo is still responsive and runs like it is supposed to. I for one am very satisfied with this rocking Powerbook. Fantastic purchase.
     
  7. SchmoBurger macrumors newbie

    SchmoBurger

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    There are two different variants of the Wallstreet, known as Series 1 and Series 2 (Series 2 is actually known as "PDQ" to Apple, but is generally classed as a Wallstreet.) The Ser. 1 was made in three different speeds: 233mhz, 250mhz and 292mhz. It was also, as previously mentinoed, available with a 12" (only on 233) 13" or 14.2" LCD panel, however it is only the screen size that is different... the chassis is the same footprint on all models. the 233 model has a bus speed of 66mhz, whereas the 250 and 292 models have a faster 83mhz bus. The video chip is an ATI Rage II on the Series 1, and has 2Mb of VRAM.
    THe PDQ Wallstreet is very similar to the original model, however it contains numerous improvements. To simplify the manufacture of the Powerbook, the PDQ had the bus speed standardised at 66mhz throughout the line. the baseline 233mhz speed was retained (although the cacheless 740 processor was dropped), however the midrange and high-end models were bumped to 266 and 300mhz respectively. In addition to these alterations, the PDQ also had an updated RagePro LT video chipset, with 4Mb of VRAM, which significantly improves video performance. The PDQ Wallstreets were only available with the 14.1" TFT screen, which is probably for the better.
    Although these machines have a G3 processor, they retain OldWorld ROM's, so they are only officially capable of supporting up to OS 10.2.8 (unless XPostFacto is used, in which case, 10.3 is also possible).
    Both revisions have ADB, 30-pin SCSI, GeoPort serial, 10-baseT ethernet, and sound input and output ports, as well as an IR window. S-Video out, VGA out and an internal modem are also standard on all models except for the 12" Series 1 233.
    The wallstreet/PDQ series all have two Type II PC-Cardbus slots for expansion. They also have two Expansion/Battery bays, which can each hold a single battery (approx 3 hrs charge each when new), optical drive or floppy drive. Officially, the Wallstreet series only support 192Mb of RAM, however most reports indicate that at least 384Mb or even 512Mb is possible, using either PC-66 or PC-100 SO-DIMM's (PC-100 is required for machines with an 83mhz bus). The machines shipped with either a 2, 4, or 8Gb hard disk, and either a 20x CD-ROM or 2x DVD-ROM module (only available after Oct 98, and requiring a seperate PC-card decoder to play DVD-Video).
    The Wallstreet is a mostly a good, machine, as it is rather solid in construction and quite upgradable... but they have a few issues, The hinges on some are prone to breaking, and the AC/sound board can also cause problems. Also, the 13" model I believe had a problem with the video cable to the LCD becoming pinched and causing display problems. The original baseline Series 1 12" Wallstreet 233 (also known as "Mainstreet") had a rather poor quality passive matrix screen however, and had the PPC 740 instead of the 750, which did not have any L2 cache, meaning performance is hampered, so this model is best avoided.
    The Wallstreet/PDQ series also lacks USB and Firewire, however these can be added via a third party PC-Card. DVD video-decoding is also not supported unless an Apple Powerbook DVD Decoder PC-card is installed. The Wallstreet series are also rather porky as compared to later Powerbook G3's, however this is of little consequence.
    Anther problem worth mentioning is that of heat... the Wallstreet suffered from rather severe heating issues, compared to later Powerbook G3's.

    The Lombard is the third of the Powebook G3 series (or the fourth if the original 3500/Kanga is included, but for my purposes it isn't, as it is entirely different). It fixed most or all of the shortcomings and problems associated with the Wallstreet and PDQ, offered a host of improvements, and was the first Powerbook to use NewWorld ROM's. This means that it officially supprts up to OS 10.3.9 unassisted. The most noticable difference was the 20% reduction in thickness from the earlier model. Despite the thinning of the machine, it maintained the same footprint and stylish curved lines of the previous model. The revised design also included improved cooling, which was a much complained about inadequacy of the Wallstreet/PDQ. The Lombard's hinges are far less prone to failure than the Wallstreet, and the AC board was also revised. Numerous cosmetic alterations are also evident, in particular, the ditching of the colored Apple logo on the front screen bezel for a more modernistic white one, the illuminated top apple logo, and the brown or "Bronze" as it is known keyboard. The Lombard was available in two versions, a baseline 333mhz model, and a high-end 400mhz model both of which use the same high quality 14.1" TFT of the PDQ. The 400mhz model came equipped with either a 6Gb or 10Gb hard disk, a 2x DVD-ROM drive, and had an onboard DVD-decoder built onto the logic board. The 333mhz model was shipped standard with a 4Gb HDD and a 24x CD-ROM drive, however it lacked the DVD decoder chip of the 400mhz model, making it incapable of hardware-based DVD-decoding, unless the Powerbook DVD Decoder PC-card is used. This does not however, affect it's ability to read data-DVD's (if a DVD-ROM drive is installed), and unlike the Wallstreet, the Lombard 333 does have just enough power to allow software decoding of DVD's if a media player with this feature is available (for instance VLC)... however this can be jerky sometimes. Both models retain the 66mhz bus of the previous PDQ model, and a similar RagePro LT graphics controller, however this grahics controller found in the Lombard is an updated version with 8Mb of VRAM.
    The Lombard no longer has ADB, or serial ports, instead the adding 2 USB 1.0 ports for connection of peripheral devices. Other ports include faster 10/100baseT ethernet, sound input and output, VGA and S-Video out, a repositioned 56K modem, and 30-pin SCSI, which was retained due to target-disk mode not being available with the Firewire controllers available at the time. IR is also retained. To accomodate the reduction in thickness of the Lombard's case in comparison to the Wallstreet, only one Cardbus slot is available, this being for Type I or II PC-cards. The Lombard only has one expansion bay, on nthe right-hand side, which is capable of holding either an optical drive, a battery or a third party Zip drive. The left bay, which was formerly capable of handling drives on the Wallstreet series, is a dedicated battery bay on the Lombard. This means the Lombard still retains the ability to simultaneously run two batteries (up to 6 hours each), but can only support one drive at a time. RAM is expandable to a maximum of 512Mb using PC-66 SO-DIMM's (higher speeds will also work).
    The Lombard has no real history of failures, except for the ocassional isolated case of L2 cache failure (however this is not a common occurence by any means). One other annoyance that can arrise is keyboard marks on the screen, due to the incredibly small clearance between the panel and the keycaps. This poblem can, however, be alleviated by loosening the four screws on the rear port panel with the screen open, shifting the screen up, and then retightening. This issue is usually not noticable though anyway, and does not affect the usability of the machine. The Lombard also lacks Firewire, but again, this can easily be added with a 3rd-party Cardbus Firewire card (I'd recommend the one by VST, as it is made specifically with pre-Firewire Powerbook G3's in mind, and as such has OS 8.6/9 drivers. The card is plug and play in OS X... no driver required)

    The Pismo is almost identical in construction and appearance to the Lombard, however it uses a new motherboard with a 100mhz bus and Firewire. It also adds a built in AirPort wireless antenna, for use with the Apple Airport card. The Pismo was available in a 400mhz and 500mhz versions, both of which came with a 6x DVD-ROM as standard, along with the necessary DVD-Video decoding hardware. It shipped with either a 6, 10,12, or 20Gb hard disk. The Pismo officially supports OS 9.0.4 through 10.4.1. The Pismo has a much faster Rage128 Mobility video chipset with 8 Mb of VRAM.
    It retains all the ports of the Lombard, with the exception of the 30-pin SCSI port, which was dropped from the Pismo in favour of dual-Firewire ports. The Pismo allows booting into target disk mode for connection as a Firewire hard drive if necessary. It also has the single Type-II PC Cardbus slot found on the Lombard, however unlike the Lombard, this slot can also be used for an Apple airport card, as the Pismo has an integrated Airport antenna. Expansion/battery bays and battery carriage and life are as per the Lombard. RAM ceiling for the Pismo is 1Gb, using PC-100 SO-DIMM's (PC-133 will also work).
    The Pismo also is a relatively reliable workhorse, and does not suffer any serious faults. The Pismo can, however, be afflicted with the "pink-screen" issue... where the entire display takes on a pinkish or reddish tinge, or in some cases, the corner's or bottom of the screen only may turn pink. I believe this was to do with the video inverter board. The Pismo also suffers from the same issue regarding keyboard marks on the screen... again, this isn't serious, and is alleviated using the same method described for the Lombard.

    An important point worth making in regards to all G3 Powerbooks is that they are incompatible with ATA-6 hard disks, so if an upgrade is in order, ensure that the replacement drive is ATA-5 or lower. The ATA-6 standard started becoming common around about the time of 40 and 60Gb notebook hard disks, but it is still relatively easy to find 40Gb ATA-5 drives. Most drives smaller than 40Gb will be compatible with the Powerbook G3. Also, as a point of order, the Powerbook G3 series will carry both 12" and 9" thickness drives.

    Well, anyway, there is your special long-winded Schmoburger run-down of the Powerbook G3 Series... hope it helps! ;)
     
  8. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    #8
    WOW -- thanks for the great info. Since I have bought a Lombard G3 (haven't received it yet). But I have saved all your info for future use.
     
  9. JonMaker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    here.
    #9
    Pismo > Lombard > Wallstreet

    I dont really know much about the G3 PowerBooks, but I do know that a six year old Lombard belonging to a friend of mine recently survived a nasty fall, and is running well after six years of abuse.

    Objectively, a spec sheet will tell you the differences of these 'Books.

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g3/index.html <-- spec sheets

    Subjectively, I have heard many things said about the look and feel of these venerable machines, but the most common is that they have a more "ergonomic" feel than current 'Books.

    On the subject of PC laptops versus Mac laptops on durability, it depends on the user. I've seen year old laptops trashed, and I've seen seven year old laptops still truckin' after years of use. I use a five year old Dell Latitude on a regular basis.

    FYI, current PowerBooks have an aircraft aluminium shell, and current iBooks have a shell made of what is essentially fiberglass.
     
  10. sacear macrumors 6502

    sacear

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #10
    Hi Cindy,

    The series of PowerBook G3 models were fantastic. I have a Pismo since November 2000. I still use it everyday as my main computer. It is still running very strong. I have Panther running on mine and it runs great. I haven't decided about upgrading to Tiger or not.

    I am among those who think the PowerBook G3 form factor was much more ergonomic than the current line-up. I like the black color and I like the black plastic and rubber case with the rounded sides.

    I treat mine very well, yet it has traveled with me all over the world many times in the past five years, and not even a scratch or any problem at all. My display is still bright, speakers are very loud (comparatively), and the Airport card & antenna are much stronger than what is offered today. My two batteries finally died about ten months ago tho'. :( That was a good four years from those two batteries.

    Doing what this computer does, with its current software, it ought to last forever.
     
  11. SchmoBurger macrumors newbie

    SchmoBurger

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Yeah, I reckon the Lombard and Pismo are the best laptops ever made by Apple. Theirs no need to worry about the paint flaking or having a metal case that dents and warps, just good old tough black plastic... and they have the best speakers in the world, IMHO, far better than the iBooks or G4 Powerbooks. And they are definitely a lot more comfortable comfortable to use than icebooks and AlBooks that I've used in the past.

    And they are very rugged and reliable!
     
  12. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Accoville, WV
    #12
    Do you have a link or something explaining the changing of the HD in full detail? I
    purchased Panther for my Lombard from eBay and I figure I'll swap the HD, eventually. Thanks in advance.
     
  13. Video_Producer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    drive swap

    No link but if you look at the keyboard there are 2 spring loaded tabs, and a little screw. Pull the tabs so they slide down and the keyboard should come off, if not try the screw it may be locking the keyboard down. Once the keyboard is off the drive area is easily recognized, carefully remove the drive and swap away. If I get a chance I'll take some pictures tonight if you need more info.

    Rich
     
  14. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
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    Accoville, WV
    #14
    Thanks for the fast reply!

    I see the tabs you're talking about and I pulled them, but the keyboard wouldn't come off, so I'm guessing that screw is what's holding it down. The question I have, though, is where is the screw?
     
  15. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
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    Accoville, WV
    #15
    EDIT: I found a good website on upgrading ANY model of PowerBook. http://www.pbfixit.com/cart/catalog/

    Thanks again for the info, man!

    EDIT #2: Instead of hitting the "Edit" button, I hit the "Quote" button on accident and quoted myself, but you get the idea. :D
     
  16. Video_Producer macrumors newbie

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    Jan 8, 2004
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    Boston
    #16
    Good Luck

    Cool, I never think of that site, I've used it alot.

    Good Luck
    Rich
     
  17. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

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    Apr 27, 2005
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    Accoville, WV
    #17
    Yeah, it seems to be a really great site and very informative.
     
  18. SchmoBurger macrumors newbie

    SchmoBurger

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #18
    About the screw... there isn't one, just the two tabs. I think Video_Producer may have mistaken the "num lock" light for one... don't worry, easy mistake to make.

    I'd say your keyboard's just a little on the stiff side... the tabs at the front fit pretty snuggly on some Lombards, especially if they haven't been opened many times before. Just lift the keyboard a far a you can and then give it a firm but gentle tug towards the clutch cover... it should pop out.
     
  19. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

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    Apr 27, 2005
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    Accoville, WV
    #19
    According to that website that I posted, there's a "keyboard locking screw" on the back behind the port cover that you have to turn to unlock the keyboard. I think that's what he was referring to.
     
  20. SchmoBurger macrumors newbie

    SchmoBurger

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
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    Australia
    #20
    Hmmm... there is some form of locking screw behind the port cover, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the keyboard though...at least from what I can tell. Although I may be wrong...
     
  21. Video_Producer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    keyboard screw

    It's not a "real" screw, you don't need to take it all the way out, it's like a key, partially turn it and it releases itself and allows the keyboard to be removed.


    Rich
     
  22. SchmoBurger macrumors newbie

    SchmoBurger

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    #22
    Well... you learn something new everday, eh?... Thanks for that bit of info!
     
  23. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    Location:
    japan
    #23
    What's my take you mean? ;)

    I had a Wallstreet a few years ago. It was a solid machine, and had really nice speakers. It will probably be limited these days if you wish to use OS X, otherwise it is a fine machine.

    I just bought a Pismo a few months ago (February or March, maybe?) and I love it. I wanted one when they first came out, but it was my senior year in college and I didn't exactly have $3000 just sitting around to sink into a laptop. If I had had the money though, and knew what I know now, I would have bought one in a heartbeat ... a fraction of a heartbeat even. I use Tiger on mine now, and besides processor-intensive things like Java and no Quartz Extreme (only 8mb VRAM) it runs like a true champ. I put a Samsung 40gig, 5400rpm drive in it and it's running like gang-busters.

    I look forward to many long years with it :cool:

    There were no real lemons in the G3 PowerBook family except one, the 13" Wallstreet. If I remember correctly, the way the video cable way wrapped inside the display it could cause problems on some models. I believe lowendmac.com has more info.
     
  24. pubwvj macrumors 68000

    pubwvj

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Location:
    Mountains of Vermont
    #24
    We have both an early Pismo and an early Lombard.
    Both are workhorses that have been going strong for over five years.
    I take my Pismo with me everywhere so it travels.
    I also use it all around the house and occassionally outdoors in the shade.
    I wish Apple would make another machine this good.
     

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