February 17, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 3400, a laptop the company claims is the fastest portable computer in the world.
After a rough few years for the PowerBook, this model throws down the gauntlet to rivals, packing a PowerPC 603e processor capable of running at speeds up to 240 MHz, depending on which configuration you buy.
While it is quickly overtaken by speedier Apple laptops, at the time the PowerBook 3400 is able to match the speed of some impressive desktop Macs.
Many of us have old MacBooks and PowerBooks collecting cobwebs and dust bunnies in the back of our closets. It seems an ignominous end to a computer that we not only loved, but probably spent a lot of money on. Did we waste our cash on something little better than a dust collector?
That’s what TNW co-founder Patrick de Laive wanted to know, so he ended up asking himself what would have happened if he’d bought Aple stock back in 2003 instead of spending $3,299 for the 17-inch PowerBook G4 back in April of 2003. The answer is that today, he could buy a starter home with the money he’d have earned on AAPL, while a PowerBook G4 on eBay can be had for under $50. Woof.
When you open up your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, the glowing Apple logo on its hood sits upright so that everyone in Starbucks knows that you’re using a Mac. However, it hasn’t always been that way. There was a time when Apple logos were upside down on the lid of Apple notebooks, until Steve Jobs realized his mistake.
Things got a little heated in a London marketing firm when an Apple laptop (a PowerBook G4?*) started smoking, then burst into flames.
“When I got there, much of the smoke has dissipated and nothing much was happening. I picked up the notebook to investigate, and turned it over. Soon after I put it down again, it basically exploded. Flames were flying six feet high in the air, and sparks,” an unnamed IT manager told the Inquirer.
The fire is thought to have started in the battery, the IT manager said the computer was three-to-four years old.
“We are aware that there was a battery recall several years ago, it is entirely possible that the battery was one of those subject to that recall, but we can’t tell now as the battery is now just slag.”
The pics — melted keyboard, smoke, battery fused like a modern art sculpture — are worth a gander.
(*The story first identified the flaming computer as a MacBook, then Powerbook).
Canadian-born, Hong-Kong based actor and singer Edison Chen is in court against a computer technician after explicit nude photos of him and several starlets were posted on the Internet.
Chen says some 1,300 sex pics, including about a dozen celebrities, were illegally copied from a custom pink PowerBook that he brought in for repairs in 2006.
He’s testifying in a criminal case against Sze Ho-chun, a computer technician charged with obtaining access to Chen’s computer for dishonest gain.
Chen believed he had erased the files by putting them into the trash before the machine was handed over for repairs.
“I did not know about encrypted data or securing the trash. In my opinion, when you deleted a file and put it in the trash bin, it was deleted,” he said, adding that he later found out that files deleted from the trash could be recovered in some cases. Chen went on voluntary hiatus career after the scandal broke in early 2008, media reports that it halted careers of several of the women involved.
No matter if you have nude starlets or bad poetry or bank info on your Mac, this is about as nightmare as it gets.
To clean out an old MacBook to give to a friend recently, I tried out permanent eraser and (until the Internet proves me wrong) it seemed to do the trick…
Aside from remembering to take out the trash after binning it, what’s your preferred method of erasing data?