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内芝製作所 BookcaSE

sfiera

Well-known member
Up on Yahoo Auctions right now: an Uchishiba Seisakusho BookcaSE.

BookcaSEview.gifbodysize.gif

This is an aftermarket conversion case for a color 5300/190. It’s something I’ve been interested in for a while… in fact, here’s what was already set out on my table at home:

MVIMG_20200814_222304.jpg

The auction starts at ¥240,000 (~$2400). I’m guessing that, whatever it sells for, it will still be a lot more than I’d pay (also, I’d prefer black). But, the photos in the auction are the best I’ve seen yet, so I wanted to archive them here for my future reference, and make some observations about what’s going on.

Other sources of information:




01-assembled.jpg02-back.jpg

So yeah, the front looks SE-ish. The back is new to me: the case has a built-in HDI-30 to DB25 converter, which is a nice touch. Apparently the feet swivel out. I was aware of their existence, but they’re not very long, and most BookcaSE photos are from the front. I like the presence of the handle up top, but not sure what those black circles are.

04-bottom.jpg03-side.jpg

Here we have the bottom and side. There seems to be an indentation to put the Apple logo in, but it’s not Apple-shaped and I don’t think it looks great. Also, what material is it? It looks to me like it’s painted over… metal? plastic? On the side, all the ports. Also, I suppose lower left is power. Are those supposed to be the PCMCIA eject buttons next to it?

It’s chunkier than I expected. I mean, I know the schematic says 7cm, but I didn’t really think about that. The 5300 is pretty chunky, but a desktop case could actually be thinner (no keyboard).

07-interior-back.jpg08-interior-front.jpg

Here’s the interesting stuff. It appears that the logic board is oriented with the original back pointing down. That means that the PCMCIA slots are in the normal position relative to the logic board, but everything else is shuffled around. I think maybe the floppy drive has been shifted underneath the logic board with a ribbon cable.

In order to position the other ports, there are a bunch of extension cables. The ADB and serial make sense, though the line-in/out is left unplugged (also in both Journal du lapin photos). I guess it’s because the computer would detect that as connected headphones. Seems awkward.

I guess there’s no provision for the video-out board in the case.

05-parts.jpg06-manual.jpg

Pages from the manual. The parts list appears to be:

  • Front case


    Speaker

[*]Rear case


  • Stand (feet)
  • SCSI board and mode switch
  • Serial board
  • ADB board
  • Audio in
  • Audio out
  • Power connector
  • Brightness/contrast buttons (maybe these go in the four black holes in the top of the rear case?)
  • PC card eject button
  • Battery [metal holder?]
  • Non-slip pads

[*]Chassis


  • Battery adapter
  • Reset switch

[*]Cables


  • Backlight cable
  • Speaker cable
  • Floppy ribbon cable
  • CPU cooling sheet

[*]Screws


  • Short (14)
  • Long (4)
  • Rubber bands (3)

[*]Torx screwdrivers (3)

[*]Instruction video

[*]Instruction manual







I’ve thought about how I might go about arranging things inside my own version of a BookcaSE, on the assumption that I was never going to see one on auction. Now my assumption is that I’m never going to buy one on auction, and I have more to think about.

08-interior-front.jpg

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
I’ve thought about how I might go about arranging things inside my own version of a BookcaSE, on the assumption that I was never going to see one on auction. Now my assumption is that I’m never going to buy one on auction, and I have more to think about.
That was my very first thought upon seeing the first pic.The second was to wonder about printing bed dimensions. Sanding Prototype smooth and painting it black is a no-brainer. [:)]

Next thought was that a 1400 would make a far better candidate as its plastics are crumbling away at an alarming rate by comparison.

Latest thought was to wonder why they didn't implement stereo speakers? Have you got the other two pics from the auction? For some reason I can't save them from the auction site and saving the page doesn't seem to work?

 

sfiera

Well-known member
Next thought was that a 1400 would make a far better candidate as its plastics are crumbling away at an alarming rate by comparison.
It’s also got a bigger 11.3” screen, which is a plus for usability, but a minus if you’re going for the Compact Mac aesthetic. I think 10.4” is already pushing it.

Given the date of “1 April 1998” on the parts list, I’d guess another reason for the 5300 was that many users would have upgraded before its release, and it was a way to give an old laptop new life. That doesn’t really apply anymore; a 1400 isn’t much less obsolete.

Here’s a thought: is there any way to support screen rotation without extra hardware (à la Radius Pivot)? A portrait Compact Mac would be an interesting sight.

Have you got the other two pics from the auction? For some reason I can't save them from the auction site and saving the page doesn't seem to work?
Sure, here’s the box and the broken cable:

10-box.jpg09-broken.jpg

 

sfiera

Well-known member
Sure. That keyboard is a Macway keyboard, a line that was sold in Japan in the 90s. Layout-wise, it’s similar to early Mac keyboards such as the IIGS and M0116. Control is next to A and Caps (non-locking) is in the corner, but there’s a separate row for Esc and FKeys. Keyswitches are Alps, I believe, but I haven’t popped a keycap to check color. They come in several colors, mainly Platinum White and PowerBook Black, but also clear white, blue, green, and bronze. Later models hew closer to ANSI (swapping ctrl/caps) or JIS (with ISO enter).

If you compare to the BookcaSE photos on this site, for example, it’s very close but I don’t think the markings are exactly the same. I have other, very similar keyboards by Filco and Loas, so I think there must have been some contract manufacturer that made them to order. Maybe Uchishiba contracted for one with their own markings, or used one of the other distributors.

 

Mu0n

Well-known member
Oh, and there’s another black one on Yahoo Auctions now: Macway キーボード TP-999KB 英語版 Ver.2.0 マウス MacALLY 12BMAC-MM01セットで (currently no bids at ¥4,980, which is on the high side)

You’d need to use a proxy such as Buyee to bid on it. I have no experience with proxies, as I’m in Japan and bid directly.
I recently used buyee to get a Roland SC-88ST from Yahoo Auctions. The removal of any communication hassle with the seller is a must if you don't know japanese, all for a small fee of a few hundred yens (worth it).

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Here’s a thought: is there any way to support screen rotation without extra hardware (à la Radius Pivot)? A portrait Compact Mac would be an interesting sight.
There is one, but it only works on built-in video, which happens to be this application. I'm drawing a blank on the name?

I was thinking of the 1400 because it has options for hacking other 'Book's don't have.

__ PCMCIA cage is on a daughtercard, so it could be removed and wired up in any orientation.

__ CD or CD+FDD if you break out the connector - slot loader can be retrofitted

Dunno if true or not, but ISTR the video out card being a bit better on the 1400? Have it drive an 8" Raspberry Pi LCD kit and run the big LCD in portrait on a swing from behind setup?

Maybe just set the whole thing up as a Radius FPD (the 1400 LCD) sitting next to the 8" LCD Compact? Running both in grayscale would be very, very cool. In that setup, the 1400 would be inside the FPD and the Compact to FPD video cable would be running the 8" LCD in reverse. Dunno, too many possibilities. [}:)]

 
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Byrd

Well-known member
I recently used buyee to get a Roland SC-88ST from Yahoo Auctions. The removal of any communication hassle with the seller is a must if you don't know japanese, all for a small fee of a few hundred yens (worth it).
 You must have got someone who had a conscience and didn't keep on bundling incessant fee after fee with no warning - I'll never deal with Buyee again.  This was during their so-called "fees reduced!" promotion.  More like 10000yen extra in my case for two small items.

 

sfiera

Well-known member
One thing that was still kind of a mystery to me was that “floppy ribbon cable”. I thought it would have to be a pretty specialized part to connect to the computer’s expansion port on one end and the drive on the other.

Well, I got a for-parts 5300 today whose floppy drive had cracked plastic, so I decided to open it up. I found inside a small adapter board that breaks out some of the pins from the expansion port to a 20-pin ribbon connector. Is that the cable in question? The auction photos seem to confirm it: part of the installation process must be to detach this board and fix it on the logic board.

MVIMG_20200822_141517.jpg07-interior-back.jpg.d7292e9e14c6fb496091063901b035c9.jpg

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
The auction starts at ¥240,000 (~$2400). I’m guessing that, whatever it sells for, it will still be a lot more than I’d pay
You and probably everyone else. This thing is kind of neat but no way is it $2400 neat. You can get a useful computer for that price and not be stuck with the horror that was the 5300. Maybe you can carve out the display area to fit the 3400's 12" screen and logic board in there instead? But then you'd basically just have an overpriced TAM; for that price you can get a nice boxed TAM with money to spare for a fast G3 upgrade and an SSD. Anyway this thing looks like something that could be done with a good 3D printer. I'm sure if he runs out of projects @maceffects could make an updated and readily-available copy of this (or a couple options to include housing the 1400) for 10~20% of the price. But then I'm sure the community would prefer he (or anyone else up to the challenge) put his efforts into building proper replacement PB plastics instead, should that be something that's in the pipeline. I know which one I'd rather have (definitely the PB plastics).

Latest thought was to wonder why they didn't implement stereo speakers?
The 5300 doesn't provide for internal amplification for two speakers. You'd have to install a custom amp and plug it into the sound out port on the logic board, or instead run two speakers from the combined internal audio. Either way it's more effort and more money for an already overpriced product. Better to just use external speakers.

 

maceffects

Well-known member
@Franklinstein Yeah, it is a very cool plastic housing for sure but at these prices it is a bit steep.  I'd probably be one for $400 or less.  That said, I have some interesting ideas about a completely custom take on an old system that would have a custom designed PCB and modern LCD but that is a bit further down the line.  Plenty of projects to finish first (IIe clear case, IIe keyboard, Xceed Clone, et cetera).  Never enought time or money...

 

KnobsNSwitches

Well-known member
Even something like a commercially produced case that looks like this, but takes, say a 9.7" LCD and raspberry pi would be really slick. That way there doesn't need to be the cannibalization of existing PowerBooks etc

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
A lot of existing PowerBooks are crumbling to ABS dust and rubble around their operative bits. Conserving boards from lost cause 'Book plastics seems a good idea to me. I'm thinking one of my rubbled 1400's might make a nice FauxLisa spinoff?

 

sfiera

Well-known member
Ultimately, this got down to ¥140,000 (~$1400) without any takers, and was then delisted. Oh well.

 

maceffects

Well-known member
Ultimately, this got down to ¥140,000 (~$1400) without any takers, and was then delisted. Oh well.
Sad it didn’t have further price decreases. It’s cool, but not $1400 cool. For that kind of money I could have my one version produced with ABS milling at a factory in China. 

 

sfiera

Well-known member
After relisting and further price decreases, it did eventually sell for ¥108,000 ($1k).
 
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