Any tips for a soon-to-be PowerBook owner?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 20, 2005
Aalborg, Denmark
Hello everyone

As soon as my exams are over I'm taking the plunge and buying my first Mac -- a PowerBook 12". I'm a computer science student so I'll mainly be using it for programming, surfing, etc. I'll still have my trusty P4 desktop system so the PowerBook will probably be used mostly in my sofa and in school. This means that I'm gonna get the 12" because of the portability it offers. At first I found it hard choosing between the 12" and the 15" because of the better screen that the latter has. I came to realize that portablility, battery life, and price are high on my priority list so the 12" seems like a better fit for me. I hope I'm making the right choice.

Anyway, I've got a couple of questions for all you seasoned Mac users:

  1. When I first receive the PowerBook for how long should I charge the battery? I've heard many times that a battery performs better if the first charge is a long one.
  2. I've read on this forum that spots will appear where you rest your plams on a PowerBook. How long does it take for these spots to appear? And how should I clean it? Note that I'm living in Europe so I probably don't have access to all the specialized cleaning products that you can recommend.
  3. Should I get one of those sleeves when I purchase the machine? If yes, which one (remember my low price requirement).
  4. I'd like to be able to hook up the PowerBook to my dvi monitor (I assume that the mini-DVI to DVI adapter is included with the PowerBook). I just don't see how this is possible. First of all I'd need some sort of DVI switch to avoid having to crawl under my desk and yank the cable out of my PC. Second, What about keyboard and mouse? Maybe you should just disregard this question 'cause I don't think it's possible to solve this problem without making compromises that I don't want to make.

I'm sure I have more questions. I just can't think of any right now.


macrumors member
May 9, 2005
regarding #2 I read somewhere on this forum people put pda protecters where you rest your hands so it doesn't wear out the paint.


macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2005
4) I am sure you could find some sort of a KVM switch that includes hookups for monitor, usb keyboard and mouse and speakes too. Just buy keyboard and mouse that work both mac + pc. In terms of the monitor, I amn not too sure about a DVI switch, so you might need to hook it up via DVI-VGA adaptor (I assume there is such a thing).


macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
Denver, CO
congrats on your switch to mac, you will love it!!! as for the 12" PB that is a great purchase for a student, im a student and LOVE mine, the portability is great for taking to class!

1) fully charge the batter until the battery indicator in the menu bar is at 100% (or close to it . . . whenever the light on the power cable turns from orange to green) then unplug and fully discharge the battery, until the computer puts itself to sleep. you will get a couple warning messages before it force sleeps the computer. at this point plug in and charge fully. you will get the best performance out of your battery this way because it re-sets the battery. after that it doesnt matter when you charge/uncharge the battery.

2)wash your hands. do not eat and type at the same time. clean your keyboard and palm rests once a month (or more if you notice dirt build up because you didnt wash your hands) with a damp papertowel.(not too wet) then dry it off with a dry paper towel. has been working well for me! (after a year or so i started to notice shinny spots on the keyboard (like where my fingers hit the keys) but this is due to wear, and not dirt. shinny is OK dark dull spots mean dirt!

3)yes, there are a number of different sleeves. i have one from (which they dont make anymore, but they make new ones that are still of high quality) most brands are good. some are better b/c they will specifically fit the PB. a sleeve is great b/c you can safely toss your PB into any bag once it is comfortable in a sleeve!

4) the PB works very well with an external monitor. and a mini-DVI to DVI connector is provided. as well as a mini-DVI to VGA adaptor. there do exist DVI KVM (keyboard video mouse) switches. they are a bit expensive, $250 - 300 for a 2 computer switch, as compared to a $100 VGA switch. if you go this route with a DVI KVM switch you should be able to use your existing keyboard and mouse, as long as they are USB and the KVM switch can accept USB.


macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2005
Absoultely purchase a sleeve when you buy. I bought my Powerbook first and I had to carry it round in the foamy type wallet it came with, which just made it look rubbish! I prefer sleeves to laptop bags, as they dont advertise you have a laptop, because you can just put it in the bag you carry your books, paper and pens in :)


macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2003
1) i don't see why you couldn't use it while it's taking its first charge, but i would charge it fully just to be on the safe side.

2) i'm trying to remember if that happened w/ my old TiBook. i don't believe so. i haven't had my new PB long enough for that to occur, but i'll keep an eye out for it myself. i know i've seen products for this problem, but this is the only thing i could find offhand.

3) i would absolutely get some sort of protection for the new baby. i put a nasty scratch on mine while installing RAM. didn't even get it turned on before it was blemished! take a look at these. i like those a lot & would certainly consider one if i hadn't purchased a full bag for it.

4) get a bluetooth keyboard & mouse. the only thing you would have to hook up is the monitor cable. i don't know about the 12", but my 15" has DVI built in, so there's no adaptor needed. that would be a clean, easy (maybe not the cheapest, however), route.

have fun!


macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
Denver, CO
martinlk said:
can anyone recommend a sleeve from apples Danish store?

The Tucano Second Skin on this page is cheap.
My first recomendation would be the LArobe Pink for iBook 12" by be.ez even though it says 12" iBook it will work fine with the PB as well. i would reccomend this, especially in Pink because it is very likely NOONE would think about stealing it!!!! lol!

but seriously, ive heard good things about the Crumpler brand cases throughout the forums. the incase sleve looks good, because it has a little more room for storage (like your power adapter or an external mouse) also the Tucano Second Skin looks good if you want to go with minimilist protection. looks like it will protect well from scratches and cramming it into another bag but id be careful about relying on that for your only protection. hope that helps!