For some reason I got the vintage computer collecting bug recently and have bought a few different systems in the last several weeks. This is probably the one that I was most excited about, though. I have always loved the design of the early PowerBooks, but didn't actually buy a Mac until 1997 (and didn't buy a PowerBook until 1999 -- a Lombard PowerBook G3). So I'm excited to be able to finally get one. I picked the 180 because I liked the idea of an active matrix B&W screen, but I hadn't heard about the issues (e.g. tunnel vision) that this model can have later in its life, but more on that in a second.
The one I got has 12MB of RAM and a 120MB hard disk, and appears to be working perfectly. The battery is a replacement one that only holds a few seconds' worth of power, but that's not a big deal. Cosmetically it's also very good, with the only real issue being the missing port door in the back. The floppy drive works fine (which is good since it'll probably be my main way of getting data on and off the computer) and the hard disk is surprisingly quiet.
I'm also happy to say that my system doesn't seem to suffer from tunnel vision. I left it running with the screen on for a good 3 hours and it still looked fine. There might have been a very slight darkening of the upper right corner, but I definitely wouldn't have noticed if I wasn't specifically looking for it. I did notice that there were two "warranty if removed" stickers that I took off when cleaning the system -- one on the screen under the PowerBook 180 logo and one on the bottom. So I'm wondering if this might not have had some parts replaced by a third party some time after it was made, which could explain why they haven't deteriorated as badly as some.
I decided to take a few "glamor shots" of the computer, along with a couple of my actual laptop from around that time period, which was a PC that I chose specifically because it had a design similar to the PowerBook (keeping in mind that most PC laptops of the time didn't use the "keyboard up near the screen with palm rests and a pointing device in the middle" design that the PowerBook popularized. Anyway, I'm happy to be here!
This was a fun benchmark to run. All on Quadra motherboard video, with a Thunder/24 acting as the QuickColor accelerator and what I now realize is an incredibly underrated L2 cache card from DiiMO, called the "Quadra Cache" in the silk screen on the PDS card.
@beachycove I have to apologize for my claims. It looks like while I can turn QuickDraw acceleration on when the Thunder isn't driving any video, the performance boost is instead a net loss.
Which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't also reflected in the numbers every time the Quadra L2 cache card was active.
I guess I now have a free Nubus slot.
So, as far as I can tell per schematic, I checked every...single...SCSI chip...trace, and all appear to be intact. I cannot find a breakage anywhere, so I am pretty much back at the start. I am including a photo of the area with the three caps near the molex connector.