Apple PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze Keyboard)
Family number M5343
The PowerBook G3 is a line of laptop Macintosh computers made by Apple Computer between 1997 and 2000. It was the first laptop to use the PowerPC G3 (PPC740/750) series of microprocessors. It was succeeded by the Titanium PowerBook G4 line in 2001, which used the PowerPC G4 (PPC74xx) series of microprocessors.
The third generation of PowerBook G3 (Lombard) was introduced in May 1999. It was much slimmer and lighter than its predecessor and was the first New World ROM PowerBook. It had longer battery life, and the user could double the duration to 10 hours by substituting a second battery for the optical drive in the expansion bay. The keyboard was also improved and now featured translucent bronze-tinted plastics, which is the origin of the "bronze keyboard" nickname. The Lombard was the second PowerBook (the Wallstreet being the first) to use industry-standard ATA optical drives. This change meant that CD and DVD recorders designed for wintel machines could more easily be used in this computer, often at a price far less than those manufactured by Apple. Internal hard drives for the Pismo, Lombard, and Wallstreet II can be used interchangeably. The expansion bay drives (DVD, CD, floppy, battery) are interchangeable on the Pismo and Lombard, but not on the Wallstreet. A DVD drive was optional on the 333MHz model and standard on the 400MHz version. The 400MHz model included a hardware MPEG-2 decoder for DVD playback, while the 333MHz model was left without (except for the PC card one used by Wallstreet). Further DVD playback optimizations enabled both models to play back DVDs without use of hardware assistance. This model introduced USB ports to the PowerBook line while retaining SCSI support and eliminating ADB entirely (although the keyboard and touchpad still used an ADB interface internally). Graphics were provided by a Rage LT Pro chipset on the PCI bus, to drive its 14.1-inch LCD at a maximum resolution of 1024×768.
Mac OS 8.6–10.3.9 are supported by Apple, but 10.4 is not, although there are issues when installing Mac OS X (above 10.0) if both RAM slots are not occupied with identical size RAM (i.e. OS X will not install). The use of XPostFacto 4 allows users to upgrade to Tiger, and it runs quite well for an unsupported machine. More RAM (up to 512 MB), a greater hard drive (up to 128 GB), and CPU upgrades (up to a 433MHz G4) are available for these PowerBooks.
Date: May 1999
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH13922. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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