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Powerbook 1400 Jackpot

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I'm a big fan of the Powerbook 1400 - I have two of them in my small collection with 4 or 5 parts machines stashed away as well.

 

So, a couple of weeks ago I logged into eBay to look through the Vintage Computing section.  At the top of the list of items recently added was a listing for a Powerbook 1400 with a pile of accessories.  The auction included a working 1400c/133, a VST ZIP drive module, a VST battery charger and auto/air AC adapter, some PCMCIA cards, an HP Deskjet 340 with a Powerprint cable, and some assorted parts and floppies. 

 

At $90 plus shipping, I thought it was at least good enough to keep an eye on, until I spotted two items in particular in the photos.  The first was an antistatic bag that looked just big enough to hold a Powerbook 1400 processor card, and the second was a Sonnet Crescendo floppy disk.  "OK," I thought.  "I'm in."

 

The box showed up at my doorstep about 4 days later, and I whisked it downstairs to the basement to get a look at everything.  Over the next 30 minutes, I quickly realized I had hit the jackpot.  The big box contained several smaller boxes.  Sure, everything in the picture that I've described above was there, in very good condition - obviously well cared for - and that was great news. But then, I powered on the 1400c/133 to discover that original owner was a bigger 1400 nut than me. 

 

This little beauty had not only the 64MB RAM upgrade and working 12X CDROM with the plastic drive door attached, but also a completely unnecessary, but wholly welcome 40GB Toshiba hard drive (containing the entire Adobe creative suite and MS Office).  But the best was yet to come - a little digging revealed that a Sonnet Crescendo 466 Mhz G3 processor upgrade was also installed.  I had to sit down.  When I snapped out of it, I noticed the aforementioned antistatic bag in amongst some items in one of the smaller boxes.  I opened it expecting to find the original Apple 133 Mhz 603 daughtercard.  But oh no, that's not what I found.  Inside the bag, was a NewerTech 250 Mhz G3 processor upgrade.  That's when I knew I had stepped in it on this one.  These processor upgrades are not easy to find anymore and are way too expensive on eBay when they do show up - to get two of the best examples in the same box was more than I ever could have hoped.

 

But that still wasn't the end of it... included in the box were some odds and ends that I determined were for a Powerbook G3 series including a ZIP drive module and a CDR/W module -- stuff that I could resell on eBay and get a portion of my purchase price back.  Bonus!

 

The tricked out 133 is in great condition and works great.  After a little cleaning, another eBay win for a working power supply and a successful search for the original Powerprint drivers, I learned that the HP Deskjet also still works.  The NewerTech upgrade is humming away in one of my other 1400s (named FrankenMac), the G3 parts are already on eBay, and my stock of 1400 parts is that much bigger. 

 

I'm glad I took the chance.

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Congrats on the find!  Always have to be eagle-eyed when it comes to auctions and every once and again you luck out like that.  That's how I got my Color Classic with a Sonnet Presto, I saw the driver disk in one of the photos.

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Congrats on the find!  Always have to be eagle-eyed when it comes to auctions and every once and again you luck out like that.  That's how I got my Color Classic with a Sonnet Presto, I saw the driver disk in one of the photos.

Agreed!  I've had a couple of "Oh, isn't that a nice surprise!" moments with eBay auctions, but never something like this.

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The RAM is around, but the CPU cards not so much. I got a 333MHz Crescendo last year (standalone) and have seen few since.

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