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Trash80toHP_Mini

PowerBook 1400c - ultimate upgrades

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Right now mine's just about maxed out by normal standards:

 

PowerBook 1400c

CrescendoPB G3/466/1MB L2/32K L1 Data

64MB RAM

Orinoco (somethingorother?) WiFi Card (somewhere!)

Customized Bookcover

 

But this is "Beater" my beloved wardriving companion from back in the day and on up until almost eight years ago when I got HP_Mini. As the name implies, the case is in less than pristine condition, but that's the way I like it!

 

1.3GB HDD's not even close to 1/3 full so that's OK for the OS8.1 that's on it, I guess. But memory may be a bit of a problem in the near future. The other HDD I had in there is missing and I much preferred the OS 9.? installation on it. ISTR having some of it set up as VM, far more than the current 4MB set up as is anyway.

 

I'm about to install NewerTech's VIEWpowr 1400/16 Video Card, which is physically incompatible with some multiple third party memory modules.

 

So there's the rub, what would be the fastest, most reliable HDD replacement on its ATA bus, especially for Virtual Memory purposes running a flavor of OS9? Will economical solid state memory options fully saturate the 1400's IDE's bandwidth to give me the most performance I can possibly get out of the interface?

 

 

 

 

Crapdoodle! Wrong forum, my bad, please fix. [:I]]'>

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Moved.

 

As far as I have seen, 64 megabytes of RAM is as much as you'll ever get in a 1400. If you have to take some of that out, I would honestly consider halting your plans to upgrade it to 9, because while 9 will run on like 24, it wants more.

 

I have 64 in my 1400c/166 and I am using 7.6.1 with it.

 

That said, almost literally anything will be faster than the stock 1.8 gig hard disk.

 

If you plan on really pushing virtual memory usage in OS 9, I don't specifically recommend using CF card adapters, purely because CF is poorer at dealing with that kind of heavy usage than m.2 SSDs. Using a SATA or M.2 SSD in an IDE adapter is going to be the "best" solution, and it will totally saturate the 1400's IDE.

 

Good CF card adapters will as well, but I would be hesitant (or run extremely frequent backups) in low-ram situations where you plan on using vm heavily. For newer 'Books, I outright recommend against them in situations where OS X might play in, because OS X will happily constantly use a whole hell of a lot of swap, and it'll be a much better experience to do so on any solid state media, because seeks are faster and the best cf media should easily outpace the bus on the newest of PowerBook G4s. (But as you're getting that new, it makes more and more sense to just spring for the m.2 adapter anyway.)

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THX for the fix, comrade.

 

Yep, know all about the 64MB ceiling: check! Dunno what combination of memory expansion cards I'll actually wind up with in there or at what total. I'm hoping for the full 64MB from the choices I'll have

 

I've got a stack of 1400s over two feet tall to rummage through on the way to building a set of them with intact plastics over the hinge plates, standard VidCards, maxed RAM (at a bit of a premium there) active matrix LCDs, both covers with at least one OEM bookcover each and a dragon's hoard of replacement parts left over to sell off. Top case cover plastics without stress fractures appear to be the limiting factor here, hence the unfortunate parting out of the remainder. Found another (a bit slower) NewerTech G3 upgrade card in putting together the stack as well! [:D]]'>

 

I was figuring SSD would come back as best for Beater, Nice to know that answer also applies to Beaters 2 and 3, (PDQ and Pismo iterations of the series and etxtra nice to know it'll also work for the PowerBook G4 12" Beater4 as well. THX for the info.

 

Am I missing any other ultimate upgrades? Discussing these would be the point of the thread along with model specific info for the gang of paramount importance.

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I'm playing around with a couple of MSATA to IDE 2.5" adapters in my TAM and Pismo at the moment, using a 2 x Samsung 128GB MSATA drives which came cheaply.  For your PB1400, I'd definitely trial a $9 Hong Kong MSATA to IDE adapter and 8-16-30GB MSATA drives (a brand name - Kingston, Samsung, not Kingxxxx brands).

 

So far the performance boost is noticable on my TAM, programs load instantly.  The adapter itself was pretty crappy though, needing some plastic chunks removed to make the IDE cable fit.

 

This is the 2.5" MSATA to IDE adapter I used:

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/44PIN-mSATA-to-2-5-IDE-HDD-SSD-mSATA-to-PATA-Converter-Adapter-Card-with-Case-/262417815982?hash=item3d195219ae:g:WCMAAOSwrXdXKF35

Edited by Byrd

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For the 1400, it sounds like you really are just "storage" away from having the ultimate system, unless there's still a faster CD module for you to get.

 

The newer you go, the fewer upgrades there really are, and from my perspective, the one thing you really can do to, say, a Pismo (the G4 upgrade) is massively unworthwhile. It would probably be cheaper to buy the >1GHz Aluminum PowerBook G4 needed to meaningfully outperform the Pismo anyway.

 

(ooh burn, but also based on real experience.)

 

Otherwise, put "enough" RAM in whatever you're going to do, aim for a micrange or max CPU option, or at least one appropriate to what you'll be doing -- cacheless G3/233 should actually run Word or AW5 fine if you're just looking for a foldable writing computer -- and then upgrade the storage to the best of your ability.

 

When I had my Pismo, I had the /500, although either CPU should be fine under OS 9, and 512M of RAM. I had a third party 30 gig disk, and I carried OS9 and OS X wireless cards with me. The best thing about that system (until one of them died) was the dual third party batteries, which were of particularly high capacity. At the lowest display brightness notch, I was getting about 17 hours of run time from those batteries. More if I took out the wifi card and booted OS 9 from a USB stick of a CF device in the pcmcia slot.

 

Something that's easy to forget (or not know in the first place) is that default storage options, certainly during the G4 era, were anemic and horrible and could be the cause of many PowerBook/iBook performance problems. (I mean, other than issues caused by versions of the G4 that had longer CPU instruction pipelines.)

 

All of this is moot-ish on desktops, which shipped with better disks anyway, and where you can just put in a SATA card and use the first SATA SSD or big fast desktop hard disk you see at the Best Buy.

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Optical expansion slot houses a Zip drive for sneakernet compatibility across all my Classic Mac Systems. I do think I've already got one of the faster CD mechisms in that module already. Dunno what kind of shape all those batteries may still be in, but Beater is the centerpiece of the AppleShelves workstation, so power adapter ops will be the norm.

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ServiceSource - Ports and Pinouts

 

You need a ridiculous short cable to adapt that stup  .  .  .  erm  .  .  .  inelegant proprietary PowerBook Video Port to a standard Mac DA-15 connector over the course of eight inches. Five of those inches would be how far forward your PowerBook's backplane is required to be from any vertical surface for the cable to make a 90 degree bend. ::)

 

$_58.JPG

 

http://www.ebay.com/p/Macintosh-PowerBook-Video-Cable-Model-590-0831/1200053554

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Nice! You've already got the cable and what looks like the full set of Bookcovers?

 

There are a lot of Apple's 8-bit cards around for the 1400, it was a fairly common option IIRC. My 16-bit VIEWpowr card is something a little special, doing 16-bit at 16" resolution and it'll output 21" resolution at 8-bit.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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The thing literally had everything perfectly sealed and unused when I bought it, The sleeve had never even been opened for those covers. 
I'll take a look and see which card it is and report back for you. IF you have any pictures of what I'm looking for I'd appreciate it. 
 
Is it located right next to the CPU? Mine has all kinds of cards and things inside.
 

 

Hg01UFlr.jpg

 

Edited by asaggynoodle

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The 1400 ServiceSource PDF has instructions on how to install the VidCard. IIRC the slot is located on the right side of the CPU card.

 

If you've got a VGA converter and a MultiSync monitor that's the easiest way to find out which card  .  .  .

 

.  .  .  wait! No it's not, try: DeclROM Spelunking

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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You need a ridiculous short cable to adapt that stup  .  .  .  erm  .  .  .  inelegant proprietary PowerBook Video Port to a standard Mac DA-15 connector over the course of eight inches.

My reality has been altered and my existence is questioned to its very core. I had always thought it wasn't until literally 2016 that Apple ever did anything requiring dongles. [;)]]'>

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For Internet connection, I use a 3Com 3C589D based card (EtherLink III) using a modded driver by Cameron Kaiser, haven't had any issues with it so far in my usage (although I had a minor snafu involving dongles, found that there's two different non-interchangeable 3Com dongles)

 

Sadly as there are no 16 bit USB PCMCIA cards, that is not an option for the 1400cs (or 5300/190/etc.)

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I've got dongled PCMCIA NICs for 10bT, but I've never actually used them. They're Farallon Ethernet/MoDem combo cards, so I assume they'll work just fine. I've always used a WiFi card, Beater's a dedicated wardriver after all..

 

Speaking of dongles, Cory, I pulled out a couple mor for comparison:

 

Video Cable adapter baseline was a ludicrous 5" required clearance from a vertical surface.

FDD from my original PowerBook 100 and its connector/cable pushes the 'Book out from the wall by another half inch to 5.5"

SCSI is even worse, between the connector and even thicker cable, it pushes the 'Book a full 6" out from a vertical surface!

 

What was it, most of a decade before Apple finally threw in the towel and adopted HD-15 VGA for the Wallstreet? ::)

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Shortly after that (PowerBooks getting VGA), they adopted HD-15 VGA for their desktops, too. It was smooth sailing until ADC. Then Mini-VGA. Then Mini-DVI. Then Mini DisplayPort, which was at least adopted as part of the DisplayPort standard and used by other vendors. 

 

Keeping machines pretty far away from surfaces behind them isn't too surprising. Back in the day, Apple's cables had perhaps more strain relief and structure on their connectors than was strictly necessary, and many of them had very oddly long connector bits. I'm thinking in particular of video cables which in total had connectors that extended like two or three inches out the back of the machine, plus things like SCSI cables that don't bend particularly easily.

 

My PB180 has a SCSI Ethernet adapter hanging out the back and that's like 3-4 inches long (it's an Asante Micro EN-SC if I remember correctly, the one that hangs directly off the HDI30 connector.)

 

It's pretty different from more modern times where most cables (certainly on laptops) can bend immediately after the connector and it's usually less than an inch of clearance needed and ports are on the sides of machines anyway.

 

 

HAR™ :lol:

 

I appreciate that you appreciated that. Also, HAR™ indeed!

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This talk of dongles reminded me that I snagged one of NewerTech's BookEndz Docking Stations for Beater! [:)]]'>   I'll have to post some pics, it's one of the coolest upgrades in terms of the 1400's usability in the Laptop/Desktop replacement role.

 

It has Apple's (sub-)standard DB-25 SCSI Connector a bit recessed so it's flush with the back. The Serial and ADB "ports" are actually handy extension cables hardwired to the back of the case. A DA-15 video connection is on a short, hardwired pigtail and for installation of a VGA adapter parallel to the back, all but rubbing its side along the backside of the dock! Limiting factor from back of the unit to a vertical surface would be the flexibility of a standard SCSI cable.

 

Snagged one for the Pismo/500 too! [:D]]'>

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I've always been intrigued by the BookEndz, but I never liked the idea of wanted to get one. To me, Apple's stance on the matter by the time they stopped selling the Duo line was that if you wanted to use a PowerBook, use it like a laptop, and if you wanted a desktop, buy a desktop. In the late '90s, this got a lot more affordable to actually do with semi-high-end systems, but the combo would probably have been a midrange to high end Mac desktop, and a low end PowerBook, depending on what you needed, of course.

 

"real docking" was definitely one of the reasons I went to go get a Windows computer. Even since then, docking stations have become a lot simpler and are mostly port replicators now, but with TB3 and USB Type C and things like the Razer Core, we're returning to a situation where there are docking stations available that connect in a new (I'd say, better) way that provides thin and light laptops a one-cable connection to a relatively massive boost in performance/ports/whatever.

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On 12/19/2017 at 5:40 PM, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Wasn't there a MacDraw(?) Bookcover template included with either the 1400 or the cover set? I remember using it to make my custom cover back in the day.

 

BookCover Template PostScript file was part of preloaded Apple Extras.

 

On 12/9/2016 at 12:51 AM, danikayser84 said:

Sadly as there are no 16 bit USB PCMCIA cards, that is not an option for the 1400

 

USB host controller 16-bit PC Cards do exist.

 

I'm liking this site software, less than ever.  I cannot find "plain" editor.

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