PowerBook Duo rescued from attic after 10 years

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by daniel-b, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. daniel-b, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

    daniel-b macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Hi all,

    This little cutie has spent the last 10 years or more in my attic:


    Today I took it down and turned it on, and it still works. It still has all my documents and stuff on it, exactly like it was the last time I used it.

    I bought it second hand some time in the mid 1990s. I replaced its keyboard and used it for quite a short time, after which I bought a blue iBook, which I used until about 2005. This was my last Mac until my current MacMini, which I bought about a month ago.

    For the curious, the Duo is running System 7.6, it has 4MB or RAM and an 80MB hard disk. The screen is not in wonderful condition; it looks like it's divided up into squares. The trackball has completely stopped working, so I had to use an old mouse, which was also in the attic, to get it going. I have a dock (actually I think I originally had two) and an external floppy drive, which I haven't tested.


    [Edit] Would anyone have any idea what the trouble with the trackball could be? As far as I remember, it used to work before I put the computer in the attic.
  2. HBlaine macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2011

    I'm envious. I've picked up several Duos via the eBay way, and every one of them has had the dreaded keyboard problems. I have one 2300 I'd love to get back up and running, but just haven't taken the time. Maybe one of these days... :rolleyes:

    Have you tried removing the trackball and cleaning the contacts? (I know, good technical terms there...) I've had no trouble with any of the trackballs on any of the Duos, or on the couple 180s, I have. But I do remember having to constantly remove the trackballs and clean on some old, generic Windows laptops we were forced to use in an office I worked in ages ago...
  3. 0ranges macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2012
    Try changing the screen to a different color setting. 4 or 2 color usually makes the squares go away I think.. The trackball may be disconnected? You gotta open it up to see..They are "fun" to open the first time.

    Service Manual-

    Also this might be some useful stuff to read about how they have aged-


    Mine is stored upside down for the time being :p
  4. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Hi all,

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    My Duo had an unfortunate accident yesterday - the battery fell out (it was entirely my fault) and dropped all of 6 inches onto the table. The casing is cracked and broken and I'm sticking it back together with contact glue.

    It has become very brittle over the years.

    In any case it doesn't work any more, so it's purely cosmetic.

    Is it OK to use the Duo without the battery, BTW?

    As for the keyboard, I changed it for a new one years ago, and the new one still works, although it feels a bit sticky.

    I have tried removing the track ball, but the problemm is deeper than just dirt, apparently.

    One more thing, the rubber feet have become like little patches of chewing gum and leave sticky marks on the table. I think I'll scrape them off and find something to replace them with.


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