Testing Apple’s PowerBook G3 Series (Wallstreet) – Krazy Ken’s Tech Misadventures

Testing Apple’s PowerBook G3 Series (Wallstreet) – Krazy Ken’s Tech Misadventures

January 15, 2020 0 By Peter Engel


– I got this the first
time, on the first try. Oh (beep), oh no. So I have sample content that I burned from a 2013 MacBook Pro running Mojave. We’re gonna see if we can use any of it with the programs on this PowerBook. This is gonna be a nightmare. (upbeat music) Hey guys how are you all doing, really? That’s just great. You know I’m doing pretty great today too because, well, there’s just
a PowerBook in the lair here. So I have to thank my buddy
Ian for donating this computer to my awesome lair here. So thank you very much Ian. And just a quick house keeping thing before we dive into the PowerBook, I do have a new lair, the
guards were really nice, they gave me something
new to experiment in so I’m very excited about that. And I have really cool tech
video logs and projects coming soon so stick around for those. Anyway, back to the awesome PowerBook. It’s from the PowerBook G3 series. No USB or FireWire yet, but that stuff come later. One thing I did notice is
that it says VST SuperDisk on the side and when I
looked up this model, it was configurable
with a floppy disk drive or a CD-ROM or DVD drive. VST SuperDisk that might be
an aftermarket kind of thing but we’ll see if we can get that working. The button, also clicks really nice that feels like a nice button. Cosmetically, Ian you
must’ve done a great job keeping this thing clean ’cause it looks really fricken good. But there’s more, I’m going to bust out a CD caddy and a SCSI cable for my old friend, the AppleCD 300. This thing doesn’t have
a CD-ROM drive in it and I don’t have it networked right now. So to transfer some files to it I’m gonna use a CD. I figured if we have some software on here we can tinker with I might as well load some of my own content on
it and see what we can do. So we’ll transfer it with
this awesome CD drive. So the battery, as you can
imagine on a 1998 machine is not doing too well. But we do have the awesome
45 watt Apple power adapter or as we like to call it, the Yo-Yo charger. So let’s plug that in. Well that’s interesting, it just spins up the fans
and spins up the hard drive and then it goes back down. I didn’t even turn it on yet, not sure why it does that. On top we have the brightness controls, the volume, a mute button
and the power button, along with two speakers. And this was an interesting thing, I still kind of chuckle at this, hang on, sorry. The Apple logo it looks
like its right side up when you’re looking at
the machine this way but when you flip the lid up, the logo is upside down. Now that’s not the thing I’m chuckling at because it was like that for many years, but the thing I’m chuckling is when Steve Jobs announced that the logo was actually fixed, the
audience went crazy, that was good moment. – As you can see we turned the logo around so when it opens the
logo is right side up. (audience cheers) – On this side we do have a modem port which has a little door
on it and then the battery is right here and then we
have the PC Card slot here. On the back we do have audio out, audio in and the power and then dun-dun, we have all of the other connections. And later USB and FireWire
were on these models but right now, none of that. We do have Apple Desktop Bus, Serial, ethernet, HDI-30 SCSI, S-video and VGA. And there’s also an infrared receiver, I’m not sure what else it really does, transmitter, receiver, whatever, it’s an infrared thing right there. Texture wise, it does have plastic but it also has kind of a
rubbery feel right here, which makes me think this was maybe one of the
testing grounds, if you will, for rubber finishes and coatings because you saw a lot of that in the iBook when that came out later. Ready to boot her up? Let’s go. (computer chimes) Mmmmm, love that sound. There goes the SuperDisk,
there’s actually a disk in there. So that was left in there
when this was given to me. We’ll see if we can
get that working later. Seems like it’s taking a little while to boot up, hopefully it’s okay. There we go happy Mac. What OS is on here? Place your bets now. Oh, 9.2 too late. Again, I’ve never used one of these before but I know can typically
exchange components in these bays here but I guess this is one of the release
switches for this bay. But I’m not actually sure
how to use it right now. Oh well that was easy for the battery. Holy cow Battery Tech. So that’s is not the original battery. Go ahead and slide that back in there, there you go. That’s pretty easy, a little
bit of modularity right there, that’s cool. Now just how do we remove this guy? Oh there we go. VST Technologies, VST SuperDisk drives. So yep, aftermarket thing,
do not apply pressure to this cover, noted, Fred G. Lee, and please read the man-well. All right, well can get other components and put them in there if we want like the Mac Pro Expansion module, are those compatible? What about an Afterburner card? Can we throw an Afterburner card in here? Oh, ProRes on a G3, hell yeah. Yeah it’s probably not possible. But if anyone knows how to do that, feel free to contact me. Yeah the disk is spinning in there but nothing is showing up on the desktop so I’m not sure if it’s malfunctioning or if there’s a driver issue. Yeah, VST USB floppy
drive, this is interesting, it’s talking about a USB floppy drive, this is not USB though, there’s not even USB on this computer so I’m not sure why this manual is on here but it does talk about
installing a driver. I don’t know maybe there’s just no driver. It does eject though, interesting, frankly, not sure where
to go with that from there but we’ll just you in there
and you can stay cozy. All right, quick glance at the Launcher and then we’ll go to the System Profiler. Looks like we have Adobe Photoshop 5, Apple Works, Inspiration,
Internet Explorer, PowerPoint, Word, PhotoStudio, we’ll dig into more of that later, let’s just check this out first. 168 megabytes of memory, Mac OS 9.2 and System Profiler. Okay 233 megahertz PowerPC G3
from the PowerBook G3 series and the Machine I.D. is 312, which I guess that means
it came out in May 1998 but the weird thing is
those models only lasted for about four months and there
was the September release. Typically Apple goes about nine months or if you’re talking about
a Mac Pro, five years, but they only went four months with this and then they released a September update but the Machine I.D was still 312. The screen 14.1 inches and it’s 1024×768. It actually looks pretty fricken good, it’s get a little heavy
on your lap after while ’cause you’re not used to heavier, thicker computers nowadays but
at least the screen is big, it looks pretty nice. So while I was burning the CD
with the sample content on it I decided to put the
PowerBook into sleep mode and I just want to demonstrate something we take for granted today, how fast our devices can lock, unlock, go to sleep and wake up. So let’s wake it up now. This is actually taking longer
than I thought it would. Oh, we have a lot to be
grateful for now don’t we? Anyway, while that’s loading it would hardly be a Krazy Ken episode without tinkering and experimenting. That’s what we like to do here. So I have sample content that I burned from a 2013 MacBook Pro running Mojave and we’re going to see if
we actually use any of it, I tried to incorporate some
backward compatibility, but we’re going to see
if we can use any of it with the programs on this PowerBook. So now we’re going to hook up the honkin’ AppleCD 300 SCSI external CD-ROM drive and since it is SCSI I’m not
sure about hot plugging it. I’m sure if I hot plugged
it people will yell at me so I’m gonna shutdown the computer and then get it all hooked up. All right let’s turn on the drive and then boot up the computer. We have a caddy here, let’s throw it in. And here’s the fun part, it says CD caddy on the
front flap there right, but when you insert the caddy, it now says caddy loaded, nice little touch. And just like that the
CD loaded just fine. So, whoops, I just did
Control-A, all right. Well somebody’s been using Windows lately. COMMAND-A. All right we’re gonna copy
it to folder on the desktop and then we’ll test some things out. While that’s going, let’s
open up Microsoft Word. Oh, hello, we have an agent popping up. Okay so here’s my sample items, let’s see what we can go with Photoshop. So let’s go to Open,
here’s a picture I shot when I was filming the
Apple prototype episode of Vintage Apple Vault, that looks great, let’s open that up in
Photoshop, see what we can do. Okay so it loaded, that’s good. Let’s see how fast it
redraws, pretty speedy. Let’s do a quick Gaussian blur test. Let’s say 30 pixels, 31 pixels, oh wow, it renders that pretty fricken quick. I guess I’m too used to using Photoshop on 68K systems where it
takes a million years to render stuff. Very nice, let’s put some text in there. Oh and now it was to process it, but at least it previewed really quickly. Yeah ’cause now it has to go
through every single pixel, yeah, that’s where the math
is going to slow you down now. But hey, we’re talking about a 1998 system with a G3, so not too bad, right? Anyway it’s repainting, looking good. Almost. There it goes. Oh, Type Tool, yeah I haven’t
used Photoshop 5 much, but yeah, nowadays we’re so lucky we can just type right on the canvas but we actually have a
separate window for that. Close enough, there we go. Macintosh. That actually drags around
without slowing down too much. Pretty speedy. Okay, not too bad, that test is okay. So let’s come back to
Photoshop a little bit later, let’s just quit this for now and try out some office
productivity applications. So we have Apple Works which
is like Microsoft Office all combined into one app, but we also have the individual Microsoft
Office applications as well so we can do whatever the frick we want. Let’s go to Open and let’s
go to a desktop file, which is absolutely 100% top secret, it’s a Word doc. So if we open up this, let’s see. This was made on my 2013 MacBook Pro but saved with some backward
compatibility features for Word 97 to 2001 or whatever and let’s see if it actually works. (computer beeps) Okay we have a sound, I’m not sure why but it sounded like a happy sound. So yeah, it looks like a
lot of it is preserved, a screenplay, the formatting
and everything looks like it’s all still here. Let’s just see if it wraps. Yeah I was gonna say it doesn’t
look like it’s gonna wrap because the ruler tabs are way over here so it looks like that didn’t get preserved but that’s okay. Hang on a second, did you hear that? (computer bell chimes) (computer bell chimes) (computer clicks) (computer clicks) There’s sound effects for
undoing and everything so I guess yeah, Microsoft
Office had a lot of sounds, cool. Well good job Microsoft, your
compatibility worked fine and I guess gotta complement Apple too because it was converted
using Apple’s Pages program and it looks like it worked. Let’s switch back to the Shotofop and see if we can actually
just do a little compositing. I have a couple layers I
need to put together so. Again, everything had an eyeball on it at one time, everything was eyeballs. Okay so this is a Photoshop file I actually directly transferred I wanna what kind of compatibility is here before we work with the PNG files. So for fun, let’s see what it can do. Years different, this was with the second most
recent version of Photoshop, we’re now opening it up in Photoshop 5 and holy cow dude, even the guides. Yeah, it looks like it’s,
wow, that’s impressive, this was one of our thumbnails. It looks like some of the
layer styles were not preserved particularly with this arrow graphic. And yeah, the Apple logo was white, it’s gray here because the
layer style wasn’t preserved. But yeah, the rest of this
came through just fine and impressive compatibility Adobe. I figured that would
be the case with Adobe, they’re usually, usually,
very good with that. So now let’s try something with 25 layers. Not a super complex
project, nice job Adobe. That’ll do Adobe, that’ll do. Okay actually something is broken here, this is good thing to note, but that’s because I
used the Frame feature, that’s a rather new feature in Photoshop where you just, just like in InDesign, set up guides, like little squares and you can just drop stuff in there. Those did not transfer
because that feature didn’t exist in Photoshop 5
so things are overlapping. It’s a very interesting thing to note. Let’s zoom in here. Yeah, now it’s taking
a little time to redraw but it’s doing a good job
for the circumstances. So now let’s actually
put some stuff together. So I need to open up a background file and composite a PNG with a
alpha channel on top of it. There we go so there’s the background, it is a big ass image and it’s a PNG so it took a little while to load. But now we need to place something in here with transparency. Oh that’s very nice. Uh-huh. Okay, I clearly did that wrong. Let’s see if I can just drag it in here. Yeah I don’t think I can. Okay so we’re gonna try
this a different way. Okay, so if we open this
hopefully it preserves the transparency. Let’s find out, just
kinda tinkering right now. Okay, so now we know the answer to that, all the transparency was not preserved. We can still try to copy
and paste what we can, just for fun, this is
gonna be a nightmare. Oh yeah, haha, not too bad, there we go. Should that be the
thumbnail for this episode? Maybe not. All right so let’s Command-T this boy. Good heavens, I know I’m
killing you right now. Well let’s see if we can fix any of that. Okay so the client was an asshole idiot and sent us a PNG file from the future so how do we fix this? Well maybe we use the Wand and yeah, anti-aliasing tolerance,
32, let’s select the white and then delete it. I probably should’ve ran
a Select Similar command while I was at it. Select Similar so it can
hopefully grab the inside there, it is now taking longer than
if I would’ve done it manually but hey, hey, that’s okay,
there we go it got it and delete. Now the black is going to be trick because my monitor head on my mascot is also very dark colored. So, oh (beep). (laughs) I forgot my face has
white in it, I’m an idiot. So this where we do COMMAND + Z. So as you can see we’re getting closer to what we want. Now the black is gonna
be a tricky, tricky mess. Do I dare try it? Oh yeah, that’s beautiful. So let’s turn down the
tolerance to like eight. Yeah, that’s gonna look like crap but let’s just do it anyway. Actually that looks way
better than I thought it was gonna look, maybe the marching ants were just a little deceiving. Shit, that actually doesn’t look too bad. Well thank you Photoshop for
always being there for us even with compatibility
going into the future I guess you could say. We threw some newer files at you but for the most part
you knew how they worked. Oh, that hard drive is going to town. (computer chimes) Right. That’s because we copied
that Krazy Ken mascot layer to the clipboard and it was just too big so it exploded. And now I’m gonna show you
one of my favorite features of these designs and this
is something that actually lasted for quite a long time on PowerBooks and rolled into the iBooks as well. In addition to the modularity, we actually have kind
of an easy open feature beneath the keyboard here. So if we pull the little tabs here and take the hardware out
of the expansion bays. There’s little tabs hidden underneath here and if we pull these two tabs back we can now, it’s a little unbalanced now, we can now lift the
keyboard off the computer, it kinda rocks when it’s
open, but there you go. Now you have access to the
inside, assembled in Mexico, you don’t see that very
often on a computer. So here we have the heat shield, let’s see if we can take
that off without having to take off these ribbon cables here, it should be pretty easy. And there we go. And there we have the PC Card, the RAM and the hard drive. Thankfully, nothing needs fixing so we can get the heat
shield right back on here. And we’ll put the keyboard back in place. I got this the first
time, on the first try. Oh (beep), oh no. Well that was an easy fix. For those long time viewers you may know that the
whole Krazy Ken persona was actually invented because
of a broken key on a keyboard, that’s how this whole mess started. Anyway, it takes a little finagling, open up the tab, let it slide back in, there we go, battery back in, and VST SuperDisk. There you go, modularity and easy open, pretty awesome features,
makes you miss them. Would you look at that, my
wallpaper looks pretty good on that screen. This was a fun computer to tinker with but I would like to do
more with it in the future. And since we’re talking about the future I just want to mention this briefly. The guards have blessed
me for some reason, with this awesome new lair. And recently I’ve been taking
some time to think about what other stuff I wanna do in these tech video logs. So I wanna take on some more creative and challenging things and I just wanna make some
better stuff for you guys. So I cannot wait to share
what I have coming up, I hope that you stick around because there’s some cool stuff coming, plus don’t forget, I’m
hosting that Windows 7 Installation Commemoration House Party on January 14th. We’re gonna send Windows
7 out with a bang, don’t miss it. Thanks for sticking with me and there’s lots of cool stuff to come. Catch the crazy and pass it on. (upbeat music)