The Last PowerBook Duo

Many of the inhabitants of the “dark side”, as in Mac-native press of the late ‘ 90s called user Windows, genuinely perplexed: why are these hybrids of laptop and desktop, but still for the money? But they are very well bought…

However, in the situation in which the Apple, the direction had to be closed and the computer, which I am going to tell you all of a sudden turned out to be the last representative of this species. Could be wrong, but nobody and nowhere, it seems, these hybrids are not produced.

Official explanation of the reasons for the closure of this direction there, but the most likely guesses. Crisis situation, attempts to simplify the lineup, the desire to reduce costs…

Another reason you will find yourself, if you read this text until the end.

Gil Amelio, and with him came a team of “rescuers” was more “dark side”, and do not fully understand the specifics of the company and its main platform. And Duo did not convince them. However, I’m not sure that he could convince me, for example.

But the protagonist of our story came to light in the last year of the “old regime”, when the company reigned but did not rule, benign and harmless, Michael Spindler, and deadly disease ready to show their symptoms had remained almost invisible.

In an article of the cycle about the PowerBook, learn about the early history of these hybrids of laptop and desktop computer, and now it’s time to talk about how it ended.

PowerBook Duo 2300c/100

The new Duo was submitted on 28 August 1995, and became the first hybrid computer on PowerPC. To him, for an extra 700-1000 dollars, the usual Duo on the 68LC040 it was possible to upgrade the long-awaited PowerPC, and, in most cases, to assure that much of a difference in performance it brings.

The upgrades saved on the second level cache in a Mac-native system a large part of the software was in the code for 68k, and was used to “translate” these codes into codes PowerPC. And most of the vital programs also worked through the emulator.

From the new items expected to change for the better, but… in 2100c/100 processor frequency was less than upgrades from Newer Technology, 100 MHz, and likewise was the second level cache. And instructions for 680х0 also have not gone away.

However, some changes to the best buyers of the new still waiting.

Let’s start with the prose: the screen with the active matrix of 9.5 inches (24.3 cm), 16-bit colour LCD, with a resolution of 640х400, not bad – but no longer unique.

On the motherboard was soldered 8 MB of RAM, 48 Megs could add the user, bringing the RAM size to 56 Megs. For 1995, this is very, very cool… and expensive. But also not a wow factor.

PowerBook Duo 2100c/100 was offered in two “factory” configurations, with 8 and 20 MB of RAM. The first was installed an IDE drive with a capacity of 750 Megabytes, while the second IDE hard drive 1.1 GB.

The battery was “safe” Duo NiMH Type III, which Apple promised 2-4 hours of battery life. True, judging by the experience of users, whom I knew personally, two hours PowerBook Duo 2100c/100 accurately maintained. And purchase somewhere away from civilization these items Duo NiMH Type III was unreal, but they can be reserved for future use, the dealer, and work outdoors in your pleasure though the whole day.

Cost of modification of the 3500 and 4500 dollars. 1995.

By weight (2.2 kg) PowerBook 2100c/100 was noticeably heavier than modern lightweight laptops, which is understandable: electronics in those days were larger and heavier.

Easy, efficient for most tasks, with a tolerable margin of Autonomous run, it was a good sub-notebook (or “light laptop”, rather similar to the MacBook Air than on the Asus PC Eve), although no striking surprises.

In desktop mode

PowerBook Duo 2100c/100 was compatible with the “original” Duo Dock, and Duo MiniDock 1992. But the first one that without upgrading is not supported chroma, only after the “replacement cover”. It can be replaced at the nearest dealer, or yourself, by purchasing the necessary parts and carefully reading the instructions. Usually, the second option is cheaper.

But the first Duo Dock is not too much helped hybrid device to compete with the usual.

He was working with the Duo Dock II, which came out over a year before he was born, which was the second level cache (32 KB!), support color, decent Ethernet and, among other things, the coprocessor for floating point numbers, which have a 2100c/100 was not necessary. Cost Dock II $ 530. It was already bigger, in desktop mode the laptop has gained speed, however moderate.

Shortly before the release of the latest in the history of the PowerBook Duo, 15 may 1995, Apple’s Duo Dock Plus, which necessarily present a SCSI disk with a capacity of 230 Megabytes in the previous models of Duo Dock offered as an option, it was not unnecessary coprocessor for floating point, and it cost $ 900.

Otherwise, Duo Dock Plus repeated Duo Dock II, one to one.

This desktop computer is more or less suited for office work, work with texts, planetarnogo programming to travel to the global web, for reading books and a lot of other things, but did not Shine. For the same money you could find a much more powerful Mac…

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