The killing & chopping of poor little Duos.

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by RacerX, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    I write a lot about Apple, Apple history, Apple products and third party products for Apple systems. I write a lot, specially for someone who doesn't make any money at writing (which I don't).

    That having been said, if I ever write anything like this please, please point it out to me!

    As many of you know, I happen to love old stuff just as much as new stuff (partially because I'm old enough to remember when all this old stuff was new). So when I happened across an article on the PowerBook Duos, I stopped to read it (even though the odds of it containing any new information for me were pretty slim).

    The author set about doing the usual run down the standard stats of the systems, but then jumped to what seemed like an odd assertion... the Duos largely failed. Really?

    Before going on, lets be sure that you have seen what was said:
    "The Duos were wonderful machines for sub-notebook fans but largely failed to win the support that notebook buyers gave to Apple's standard, fully featured PowerBooks. The 210 and 230 were killed off 12 months after launch with the arrival of the 250, which offered an active-matrix monochrome screen and more hard drive space. The following April, it too was given the chop, replaced by the 280 and 280c, the latter doing for the 270c. The 280 and 280c dropped the old 68030 CPU in favour of the faster 68LC040."

    "In the summer of 1995, Apple introduced the Duo 2300c, the first PowerPC-equipped Duo. It was killed in February 1997. The following May, Apple introduced the PowerBook 2400, a sub-notebook co-designed with IBM."
    The emphases was mine, the original article can be found here.

    Now reading this all I can say is with all that killing and chopping, how did this PowerBook survive... for 53 months!

    Maybe it is just me, but that is a long time for a failure to be on the market.

    Further, most of the killing and chopping was actually system upgrades. The 210 and 230 were replaced by the 250 which had an active matrix screen. The 250 and 270c were replaced by the 280 and 280c which had the 68LC040 processor (which for those who missed the 68k era, was significantly faster than the 68030 even at the same clock speed). And finally the 280/280c was replace with the 2300c which included a larger color display and a PowerPC 603e at 100 MHz.

    So rather than showing that the Duos were a failure, what we see is that they were a mainstay of Apple's PowerBook line. And they didn't suffer during that time, they were given just as much attention as any other PowerBook of that period.

    My point in this is that the author put forward an assertion (that the Duos largely failed), and then worded a standard (if not fruitful) production life with terms like killed and given the chop in order to justify his assertion.

    By the standards of this author, we would have to conclude that a system like the PowerBook G3 Series (Wallstreets) were also largely failures as they were killed off after about 8 months. The PowerBook that replaced it lasted only 9 months before it was given the chop and the one that followed only another 11 months before the form factor was completely discontinued... or killed.

    The black G3-based PowerBooks were on the market about 27 months total, half as long as the Duo series had lasted, and yet the author wants us to believe that the Duos largely failed.

    The Duos were actually very successful, and what finally changed for them was the fact that systems that small no longer needed to give up on ports or drives. As technology moved forward, the minimalist design of the Duos wasn't required anymore to produce a sub-notebook.

    As someone who was an active Mac user during that period, and someone who has owned a number of Duos, I find it amazing to see someone make such an assertion... specially as I'm sure it was not based on either facts or experiences by the author. It sure seems like he decided they were a failure and then threw in the killing and chopping to help his readers reach his same conclusions. :eek:
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Wow, I didn't understand half of that, but very nice job! Propbley belongs in an (How do you spell that word? pronounce "es-ay"?) about Vintage Macs!:D
  3. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    That sounds like plagiarism from a very early version of the Wikipedia entry on PowerBook Duos, which thankfully has evolved far from that into a very respectable article.
  4. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    First one: Probably.
    Second One: Essay.

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