June 7, 1993: Apple debuts the PowerBook 180c, a solid upgrade that brings a world of dazzling colors to the company’s laptop line.
The 180c’s big improvement over the grayscale PowerBook 180, which launched the previous October, is its active-matrix, 256-color screen. Such a screen is something of a novelty for laptops in the early 1990s.
May 8, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 2400c laptop, a 4.4-pound “subnotebook” that’s the MacBook Air of its day.
The PowerBook 2400c predicts the rise of speedy, lightweight notebooks, while also paying tribute to Apple’s past. Its design echoes the original PowerBook 100. Even years later, it remains a cult favorite among many Mac users.
A couple of news outlets are flipping their lid over the news that Apple has filed a new worldwide trademark for the word “PowerBook,” the name of Apple’s pre-MacBook laptop series, which ran from 1991 until 2006.
The suggestion is that this could mean that Apple’s bringing back its iconic laptop brand name, either as a replacement for, or to run alongside, the MacBook series. We’re not so sure!
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).