Powerbook G3s

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. bunnspecial, Aug 14, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    I have been working for a while on assembling a collection of Powerbook G3s. My collection is not yet complete, as I still lack the very first "Kanga" G3-a computer that I'm lead to understand as somewhat elusive.

    Leaving that one aside, there are four major revisions of the Powerbook G3, all of which have their design differences and respective quirks. I've managed to get an example of each revision.

    Although this is likely well known to many of you, these four major revisions are commonly known by the following names:

    1. Wallstreet

    2. PDQ, or Wallstreet II

    3. Lombard

    4. Pismo

    (left to right)

    IMG_1812.JPG

    All four have a similarly styled case, however there is a dramatic divide between the PDQ and the Lombard. Specifically, the PDQ is an Old World ROM Mac while the Lombard is a New World ROM Mac. To the end user, the difference is most readily apparent by the types of ports present. Specifically, OWR systems generally have ADB, SCSI, and serial ports while NWR Macs will always have USB and will generally emit at least some(if not all) "legacy" ports.

    IMG_1814.JPG

    All four computers in this series contain two hot-swappable expansion bays under the palm rests. These bays can hold batteries(meaning that every computer in this line can hold two batteries). In the Wallstreet/PDQ, the right bay can hold a CD-ROM drive while the left bay can hold a floppy drive. NWR Macs do not support internal floppy drives, so the left bay of the Lombard and Pismo can only hold a battery. With some exceptions, batteries and other peripherals are interchangeable between the Wallstreet and PDQ, as well as between the Lombard and Pismo. These parts are NOT interchangeable between the two different series, however.

    IMG_1815.JPG

    The switch between the PDQ and the Lombard coincided with a reduction in case depth and weight, although admittedly the Lombard/Pismo are still "chunky" by today's standards. Other the other side of this, however, the internal design is very "modular" and operations like adding RAM or replacing the hard drive can be accomplished with minimal disassembly. While the specifics of each model are different, all are similar in this regard.

    One other major cosmetic difference between the two is in the keyboard. The Wallstreet/PDQ has a black keyboard secured by latches in the battery bays, while the Lombard/Pismo have a bronze colored keyboard secured at the top by two latches.

    IMG_1818.JPG

    All four computers were available with a 14.1" 1024x768 active matrix display. The Wallstreet could also be had with a 13.1" active matrix or 12.1" passive matrix. My Wallstreet has the 12.1", although I could not get it to cooperate and boot for this write-up(I was using it yesterday, so am not sure what happened).

    IMG_1817.JPG

    All computers use fairly standard PC-100 SO-DIMMs. The Wallstreet, PDQ, and Lombard can hold 512mb, while the Pismo can hold 1gb. Interestingly, the Lombard and earlier require 16-chip memory modules to recognize 256mb sticks at their full capacity, while the Pismo does fine with 8-chip 512mb modules.

    My Wallstreet is somewhat interesting in that it has a 233mhz processor that lacks an L2 cache. This makes it quite pokey...this particular model is sometimes called the "Mainstreet" for this reason.

    Being OWR machines, the Wallstreet/PDQ only officially support OS X 10.2.8 at the maximum, although xPostFacto will get them to 10.4.11. Similarly, the Lombard, lacking Firewire, will only support 10.3.9, although again Xpostfacto will get it to 10.4.11(and run it fairly well). The Pismo is the only one of the series that will officially run 10.4.

    Just as a couple of other connectivity notes, the Wallstreet/PDQ have 10baseT ethernet, although 10/100 or WiFi could be added via one of the Cardbus slots. The Lombard has 10/100 ethernet, and again WiFi via Carbus. The Pismo is the only one of the series with support for the Apple Airport card.

    The Pismo was also the first Powerbook with a "breathing" sleep LED. The Lombard and before had a simple blinking light.

    One final thing-the Lombard was the first computer with the infamous illuminated Apple logo, although it would not get "flipped" until the TiBook.

    IMG_1821.JPG
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    You can see the logo is lit ever-so-slightly on the PDQ. I would consider it to be the first.

    Congrats on completing your collection of G3s, minus the Kanga.
     
  3. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #3
    That looks the PDQ I sold just recently, right down to the busted plastic near the IR sensor!
     
  4. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #4
    The Lombard is an odd bird, having New World components and firmware yet behaving much like an OW Powerbook. It lacks the following present in the Pismo:

    - Shutting down the machine by holding down the power button - you have to perform the multifinger salute Mac style
    - Ditto reset/reboot
    - No boot selection screen in OF. You can only select booting from other than HD or CD by a key combination

    However, unlike OW Powerbooks you cannot boot from cardbus. You would have to wait until the Macbook Pro for that feature to return (via 3rd party cards).

    The Kanga is identical to the PB3400 except for the CPU and 16MB more of onboard RAM. The RAM modules are super expensive and hard to find so make sure you find one with the full 160MB installed as buying aftermarket is virtually impossible. MemoryX is the only supplier I could find, if you have $99 to drop for the 128MB module. The RAM modules are compatible between the 3400 and the Kanga and look very similar to the modules from the incompatible 5300 series.
     
  5. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    I just bought it on Ebay and received it earlier this week. I think it came from CA :)

    My Lombard does have a reset button-visible between the VGA port and the phone jack.

    Otherwise, though, I agree that it's definitely an odd bird.
     
  6. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #6
    By reset I meant forced reboot, i.e. A system reset rather than a PRAM reset.
     
  7. jruschme macrumors 6502

    jruschme

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Brick, NJ
    #7
    I always figured the Lombard as being equivalent to a B&W G3 while the Wallstreet is a portable Beige G3 and the Pismo is a Sawtooth G4 minus the G4.
     
  8. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #8
    That was from me then! Good to see it go to another MR member!
     
  9. MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austria
    #9
  10. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #10
    Thanks for that. Interesting to know. My main Kanga is maxed out and I haven't played with the RAM in it. I have another Kanga and a few 3400s that need a bit of tweaking to run and I have one spare 64MB module to try amongst them. The rest of the RAM I have in this factor is 32MB so will work regardless. Something for a rainy day.
     
  11. MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austria
    #11
    Moreover hat incompatibility doesn't make the RAM modules cheaper. :(
     
  12. ThisOldMacHead macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #12
    Ahh... The G3 Series. I firmly believe they are the best Mac portables ever made, as well as the pinnacle of user serviceability. I can still break down and reassemble a Walstreet in under 10 minutes.

    Never had a Lombard or a Kanga since I always felt they were stopgaps (I still have my 3400c, Mainstreet/PDQ hybrid, and Pismo).

    One thing I will add to this... The Main/Wallstreet/PDQ keyboards are still the finest keyboards ever put into a laptop of any kind. Whenever I have to do any lengthy stretch of typing, I still break out my MainPDQ running OS 9. The only thing that comes close in terms of typing comfort is my trusty, old Apple Extended Keyboard II connected to either my SE/30 or Color Classic running Word 5.
     
  13. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #13
    I could have sworn my Wallstreet II/PDQ had a backlit flipped Apple logo...
     
  14. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #14
    The keyboard is nice, something the Wallstreet doesn't get credit for very often. Comparable to the 12" PowerBook G4.
    Backlit very slightly (really only noticeable in a dark setting), but still upside-down when viewed from the back.
     
  15. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #15
    Nice to see the comparison with them together. I think I've seen CPU upgrades for these on fleabay.
     
  16. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #16
    I would agree, although I have a lot of love for the Logitech S530 but a lot of anecdotal evidence points towards the PB1400 as having the best Apple portable keyboard ever.
     

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