What ever happened to the Macintosh Duo??

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by neocell, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. neocell macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    I'm fairly new to the mac world, switched over with OSX, and I've long wanted the ability to sync my work data with my home computer (as sometimes I'm working at home). This has only become greater now that I have a powerbook along with my home iMac. I've read quite a few threads in this forum of others wanting to sync their systems as well and tonight I stumbled across an old video of an apple duo commercial. Were they two computers that synced up? or did you need to powerbook part to make the desktop part work? Just curious about what ever happened to the duo line. Thought that there'd be some knowledgeable folk in the forums that could give some background to it and why it's no longer.

    Thanks a lot

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  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    That's just a PowerBook Duo with a docking station.
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    It was quite expensive for what it did. I used to have one, but the docking station died after a while and so I could only use the laptop function. The docking station included slots for additional hard drives, but other than that it wasn't really a separate computer -- it was just a convenient way to recharge/connect to an external monitor. Nowadays people generally just plug the laptop into an external monitor and maybe get a bluetooth keyboard and mouse for the same functionality.
  4. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    looked cool though, like a giant piece of Star Trek of tech that Geordi would pull from underneath a console.
  5. neocell thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    Thanks for your replies. I could see how it would die off if it was just a docking station, but when I first saw it and watched the commercial I thought wow, this thing is awesome, 2 computers merging together. I was picturing a second Macintosh HD popping up in finder when you put the powerbook in and then iSync starting up to merge them. Oh well, maybe sometime in the future
  6. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    No time to look it up right now, but I remember seeing instructions on how to turn your laptop HD into a remote drive for a desktop. I thougt this was done through terminal, but I could be wrong.
  7. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2005
    The town without George Bailey
    Just start the laptop in target disk mode, and firewire it to the desktop. Leave it on, and bingo, second hard drive.
  8. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    I use a PowerBook Duo 2300c as my school system and have been using the Duos for years (I've owned the 230, 270c, 280 and 280c in addition to my 2300c).

    As has been pointed out, it was always one computer (the PowerBook) with a docking station.

    As for what the Dock provided, it had built-in video (512k of VRAM), a floppy drive, SCSI (both internal for an extra hard drive on later Docks and external for connecting to peripherals), an FPU (for Duos that didn't have one built into the system) and two Nubus slots (I have a video card and ethernet card in mine).

    The idea was that you could have a Dock and monitor at work (or both work and home) and the PowerBook could be used just about anywhere. It was mobile computing while having a desktop like setup.

    As for what happen to the line, it was replaced with the PowerBook 2400c (which was a PowerBook 3400c in a 4.4 pound form factor), but rather than use a Dock, it was designed as a stand alone PowerBook.

    The real advantage of the Duos was size (they were classified as subnotebooks). At less than 5 pounds, it was the lightest PowerBook you could get. Also the 280 Duos were faster than the top of the line standard PowerBooks of the time, the 540c/540 even though they ran at the same clock speed (68LC040 at 33 MHz).

    The physical specs of the Duos:
    Color Duos: 1.5" x 10.9" x 8.5" at 4.8 pounds
    Grayscale Duos: 1.4" x 10.9" x 8.5" at 4.2 pounds​
    and the system that replaced them:
    PowerBook 2400c: 1.9" x 10.5" x 10.5" at 4.4 pounds​
  9. AoWolf macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
    I would say this is the best way to go, if not just using an external display for your laptop. To do this btw just hold the "t" key while starting up until you see the firewire logo then just plug it in and it will pop up as a second HD. Just make sure you eject it when you are done.

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