The 'legendary' PowerBook Pismo, many consider this to be one of the best laptops Apple ever made. The main new feature is the inclusion of
The Pismo and the previous PowerBook code named Lombard suffered from the loss of the little rubber feet on their bottoms. Sheppard makes stick
on felt pieces that fit the spots perfectly and stay put. Available at Home Depots.
Upgrading to a DVD burner turned out to be pretty straightforward. I installed a brand new Toshiba model SN-S5082 into my Pismo's CD caddy. So far so
good, have test booted with my Tiger DVD no problem, read a few DVD movies, and am writing a dual layer DVD as I type this.
As with most drive swaps the faceplate on the replacement drive is rectangular so there is a very minor gap underneath, this in no way affects to performance
of the drive just isn't quite as tidy as the stock installation. But for $50 who cares, you can now burn dual layer DVD's with Toast Titanium.
The Pismo shipped with a CD rom drive, you can also add a standard PC laptop CD burner such as this Sony which is also a DVD player. You just
have to install it into the original CD caddy. This Sony unit will boot from a CD on my Pismo. One company did make a CD RW drive with a faceplate
that fit the wacky cutout that Apple used. Otherwise most others don't fit perfectly but still work just fine.
VST made this CD/RW expansion bay drive with a custom fit faceplate for the Lombards and Pismos. This would not read a DVD though.
One of the easist PowerBooks to upgrade, just pop the two clips at the top of the keyboard and flip over to expose most of the user replaceable
The Pismo shipped with either a 400 or 500 mhz G3 processor. There are G4 upgrades available but these are becoming quite rare, XLR8 sells a 550 mhz G4
upgrade card that is user installable.
I would not recommend prying off the heat sink as it was very tough to pry off and from the looks of things there is a hard crispy substance bonded to the top.
The speed of the processor and part number are stenciled on top.
The hard drive is mounted in a caddy that is accessible by removing the cpu daughtercard. I currently use a 60 gb Fujitsu but larger capacity drives can
be installed. I've also put the maximum amount of memory inside. Memory is installed on the top and bottom slots of the cpu daughtercard.
The best feature of the Pismo is the internal slot for an airport card, there is also an internal antenna that plugs into the card and helps increase range.
Though the cards are only 802.11b capable I find them plenty fast enough with our cable internet connection.
Is there a downside? Yup, the power connector is the weak link on the Pismo, Lombard, Wallstreet and 5300. What typically happens is the solder joints become loose
over time and eventually let go. This is a fairly easy repair but you do have to strip down the PowerBook in order to get access to the AC sound board. On the Pismo
it is in the right rear and slides down over connecting pins. We've come across many dead G3 laptops lately. Many can be easily repaired, want to know how?
Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.