PowerBook 100

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PowerBook 100
PowerBook 100
Developer Apple Computer
Type Laptop
Release date October 21, 19911
Introductory price US$2,3002
Discontinued September 3, 19921
Operating system System 6.0.8L3
7.0.17.5.51
CPU Motorola 68000 16 MHz1
Memory 2 to 8 MB1

The PowerBook 100 is a portable subnotebook personal computer manufactured by Apple Computer and introduced on October 21, 1991, at the COMDEX computer expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.4 Priced at US$2,300, the PowerBook 100 was the low-end model of the first three simultaneously released PowerBooks. Its CPU and overall speed closely resembled those of its predecessor, the Macintosh Portable. It had a Motorola 68000 16-megahertz (MHz) processor, 2-8 megabytes (MB) of memory, a 9-inch (23 cm) monochrome backlit liquid crystal display (LCD) with 640 × 400 pixel resolution, and the System 7.0.1 operating system. It did not have a built-in floppy disk drive and was noted for its unique compact design that placed a trackball pointing device in front of the keyboard for ease of use.

Apple's then-chief executive officer (CEO) John Sculley started the PowerBook project in 1990, allocating $1 million for marketing. Despite the small marketing budget, the new PowerBook line was a success, generating over $1 billion in revenue for Apple in its first year. Sony designed and manufactured the PowerBook 100 in collaboration with the Apple Industrial Design Group, Apple's internal design team. It was discontinued on September 3, 1992, and superseded by the PowerBook 145 and PowerBook Duo series. Since then, it has been praised several times for its design; PC World named the PowerBook 100 the tenth-greatest PC of all time in 2006, and US magazine Mobile PC chose the PowerBook 100 as the greatest gadget of all time in 2005.

History

From 1990, John Sculley, then CEO of Apple, oversaw product development personally to ensure that Apple released new computers to market more quickly. His new strategy was to increase market share by lowering prices and releasing more "hit" products. This strategy contributed to the commercial success of the low-end Macintosh Classic and Macintosh LC, desktop computers released by Apple in 1990. Sculley wanted to replicate the success of these products with Apple's new PowerBook line.5

Sculley began the project in 1990 and wanted the PowerBook to be released within one year. The project had three managers: John Medica, who managed engineering for the new laptop; Randy Battat, who was the vice president for product marketing; and Neil Selvin, who headed the marketing effort.5 In 1991, the two leaders in the laptop computer industry were Toshiba and Compaq, both of which had introduced models weighing less than 8 lb (3.63 kg).5 Medica, Battat, and Selvin deliberately designed the PowerBook to weigh less than its competitors.5

Sculley allocated a $1 million marketing budget to the PowerBook product line, in contrast to the $25 million used to market the Macintosh Classic.5 Medica, Battat, and Selvin used most of the money to produce and air a television commercial that viewers would remember. Advertising agency Chiat/Day filmed retired Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sitting uncomfortably in a small airline coach seat yet comfortably typing on his PowerBook. The ad caption read: "At least his hands are comfortable."5

Apple unveiled the PowerBook 100 on October 21, 1991, at the Comdex computer expo in Las Vegas, with two other models, the PowerBook 140 and PowerBook 170.4 The advertisement and the product were both successful. Apple projected US sales of more than 200,000 PowerBooks in the first year, with peak demand in the first three months of release.6 By January 1992, Apple had sold more than 100,000 PowerBooks, by which time they were in short supply.7 Apple soon solved the supply problems, and the proceeds from PowerBook sales reached $1 billion in the first year after launch. Apple surpassed Toshiba and Compaq as the market leader in worldwide share of portable computer shipments.8 The PowerBook 100, 140, and 170 contributed greatly to Apple's financial success in 1992.9 At the end of the financial year, Apple announced its highest figures yet, $7.1 billion in revenues and an increase in global market share from 8% to 8.5%, the highest it had been in four years.9

However, the initial popularity of the PowerBook 100 did not last. Sales decreased, and by December 1991 the 140 and 170 models had become more popular because customers were willing to pay more for a built-in floppy disk drive and second serial port, which the PowerBook 100 lacked.10 By August 10, 1992, Apple quietly dropped the PowerBook 100 from its price list but continued to sell existing stock through its own dealers and alternative discount consumer-oriented stores such as Price Club. In these stores, a 4MB RAM/40MB hard drive configuration with a floppy drive sold for less than $1,000 (more than $1,500 less than the similar 2MB/20MB configuration's original list price).10

On September 17, 1992, Apple recalled 60,000 PowerBook 100s because of a potential safety problem.11 An electrical short, it was discovered, could melt a small hole in the casing, which occurred in three of the 60,000 notebooks manufactured between October and March 1991.11 On the day of the recall, Apple shares closed at $47, down $1.25, but some analysts discounted the recall's importance.11 In addition, the original power supplies had problems with insulation cracks that could cause a short in a fuse on the motherboard; and the computer was prone to cracks in the power adapter socket on the motherboard, which required a $400 replacement motherboard if the warranty had expired.12

Features

Most of the PowerBook 100's internal components were based on its predecessor, the Macintosh Portable. It included a Motorola 68HC000 16 MHz processor, had 2 MB memory, no floppy disk drive, and cost approximately $2,300.2 An external floppy disk drive was available for $279.4 The dimensions of the PowerBook 100 were an improvement over the Portable. It was 8.5 inches (22 cm) deep, 11 inches (28 cm) wide, and 1.8 inches (4.6 cm) high,1 compared to the Portable, which was 14.83 inches (37.7 cm) deep, 15.25 inches (38.7 cm) wide and 4.05 inches (10.3 cm) high.13 Another significant difference was the less expensive passive matrix display used instead of the sharper active matrix used on the Portable (and the 170).214 The PowerBook 100 included the System 7.0.1 operating system as standard, with support for all versions up to System 7.5.5. Apple, however, released System 6.0.8L, which allowed the PowerBook 100 to run System 6.3 It could also be used with some earlier System 6 versions, although Apple did not officially support this.15

The PowerBook 100 had one external serial port, designed for use with a printer or any compatible RS-422 device. It was the first Macintosh to omit an external modem port,16 instead offering an optional built-in 2400 baud modem for communications. As a result, for the first time a user could not print directly and access AppleTalk or a faster external modem simultaneously,171819 and devices such as advanced MIDI interfaces could not be used because they required the dedicated use of both ports.20 A third-party serial modem port could, however, be installed in the internal modem slot for consumers who needed traditional functions.21

When the computer was not in use, contents of the memory were preserved as long as the main lead-acid battery remained charged.14 The PowerBook 100 Power Manager was an integrated circuit, usually placed on the logic board of a PowerBook,22 and was responsible for the power management of the computer.22 Identical to that of the Macintosh Portable,14 it controlled the display's backlight, hard drive spin-down, sleep and wake, battery charging, trackball control, and input/output (I/O).22 The 100 did add a new feature: 3.5 V batteries backed up permanent and expansion random access memory (RAM) when the PowerBook 100's battery was being replaced or when the 100 was otherwise temporarily removed from all power sources.1423 This made it a perfect candidate for use with Apple's RAM disk to help increase battery life by accessing the hard disk less frequently, since the 100 was the only PowerBook that maintained the contents of RAM on shutdown in order to reduce startup time.24

The PowerBook 100 was the first PowerBook to incorporate SCSI Disk Mode, which allowed it to be used as an external hard disk on a desktop Macintosh. This provided a convenient method for software to be installed onto the PowerBook or transferred to the desktop, without the need for the 100's optional floppy disk drive. A specialized SCSI cable with a unique connector was required, however, to use any SCSI device on the PowerBook series. A second dedicated cable was required for SCSI Disk Mode.14 This feature was unique to the 100 until Apple introduced new PowerBooks more than a year later.25

There are two versions of the PowerBook 100's QWERTY layout keyboard: a domestic US version with 63 keys and an international ISO version with 64 keys.14 The caps lock key on the PowerBook 100 did not have a locking position or a lighted indicator of its status, and to compensate, the System 7 operating system software includes an extension file that causes an icon of the international caps lock symbol (⇪) to appear in the upper right-hand corner of the menu bar14 when Caps Lock is active.

Design

Both the PowerBook 140 and 170 were designed before the 100 by the Apple Industrial Design Group, from March 1990-February 1991.26 The 100's styling was based on those computers and represents the first improvements to the PowerBook line as Apple benefited from the lessons learned in developing the more powerful models' enclosure. The 100 was designed between September and December 1990, and retained the same design elements, which were a variation on the Snow White design language Apple had been using since 1984. Specifically, 2 mm (0.079 in) raised ridges spaced 10 mm (0.39 in) apart intended to tie it into the existing product line.26

Apple approached Sony in late 1989 because it did not have enough engineers to handle the number of new products that were planned for delivery in 1991.27 Using a basic blueprint from Apple, including a list of chips and other components, and the Portable's architecture, the 100 was miniaturized and manufactured by Sony in San Diego, California, and Japan.2829 Sony engineers had little experience building personal computers but nonetheless completed Apple's smallest and lightest machine in under 13 months,27 cancelling other projects and giving the PowerBook 100 top priority. Sony president Norio Ohga gave project manager Kihey Yamamoto permission to recruit engineers from any Sony division.27

Robert Brunner, Apple's head of industrial design at the time, led the design team that developed the laptop, including its trackball and granite color.30 Brunner said he designed the PowerBook "so it would be as easy to use and carry as a regular book".30 The dark granite grey color set it apart from other notebook computers of the time and also from Apple's other products, which traditionally were beige or platinum grey.30 The trackball, another new design element, was placed in the middle of the computer, allowing the PowerBook to be easily operated by both left- and right-handed users. The designers were trying to create a fashion statement with the overall design of the laptop, which they felt made it a more personal accessory, like a wallet or briefcase.30 Brunner said: "It says something about the identity of the person who is carrying it".30

Reception

Crystal Waters of Home Office Computing praised the PowerBook 100's "unique, effective design" but was disappointed because the internal modem did not receive faxes, and the 100 had no monitor port.31 The low-capacity 20 MB hard drive was also criticized. Once a user's core applications had been installed, little room was left for optional programs and documents.31 Waters concluded: "Having used the 100 constantly in the past few weeks, I know I wouldn't feel cheated by buying it - if only it had a 40MB hard-disk drive option."31

PC Week benchmarked the PowerBook 100, measuring it against its predecessor, the Macintosh Portable. The PowerBook 100 took 5.3 seconds to open a Microsoft Word document and 2.5 seconds to save it.32 The Portable took 5.4 and 2.6 seconds respectively.32 PC Week tested the battery life, which delivered 3 hours 47 minutes of use.32 Byte magazine's review concluded, "The PowerBook 100 is recommended for word processing and communications tasks; the higher-end products offer enough power for complex reports, large spreadsheets and professional graphics."33 MacWEEK described it as "ideal for writers and others on a tight budget."34

The PowerBook 100 continues to receive recognition from the press. PC World named the PowerBook 100 the 10th-greatest PC of all time in 2006,35 and in 2005, US magazine Mobile PC chose the PowerBook 100 as the greatest gadget of all time, ahead of the Sony Walkman and Atari 2600.36 The PowerBook 100 received multiple awards for its design, including the 1999 IDSA Silver Design of the Decade Award, Form magazine's 1993 Designer's Design Awards, the 1992 ISDA Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award, the 1992 Appliance Manufacturer Excellence in Design award, and the Industry Forum Design 10 Best - Hannover Fair award.37

Specifications

Component Specification1
Display 9-inch (23 cm) monochrome passive matrix (FSTN)14 LCD (backlit) display, 640 × 400 pixel resolution
Storage 20–40 MB SCSI hard disk drive internal; external 3.5" floppy disk drive (optional)
Processor 16-MHz Motorola 68000
Bus speed 16 MHz
Random access memory MB, expandable to 8 MB using 100 ns SIMMs and optional custom RAM-slot expansion card
Read-only memory 256 KB
Networking AppleTalk, optional modem
Battery 2½–3¾ hour sealed lead acid rechargeable battery32
3.5-volt lithium backup batteries14
Physical dimensions 8.5 in D × 11 in W × 1.8 in H (22 × 28 × 4.6 cm)
5.1 lb (2.31 kg)
Port connections 1 × ADB (keyboard, mouse)
1 × mini-DIN-8 RS-422 serial port (printer/modem, AppleTalk)
1 × HDI-20 (ext. floppy drive)
1 × HDI-30 connector SCSI (ext. hard drive, scanner)
1 × 3.5 mm headphone jack socket
Operating system System 6.0.8L, 7.0.17.5.5
Expansion slots 1 × serial modem
Audio 8-bit mono 22 kHz
Gestalt ID 24
Code name Elwood, Jake, O'Shanter & Bess, Asahi, Classic, Derringer, Rosebud,38 and Sapporo26

Timeline of portable Macintoshes

Mac Pro Power Mac G5 Power Mac G4 Power Macintosh G3 Power Macintosh Compact Macintosh MacBook MacBook MacBook Air iBook G4 iBook G4 iBook (white) iBook (white) iBook PowerBook 2400 PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS iPhone 3G iPhone (original) iPad 2 iPad (original) iPod Touch iPod Touch iPod Touch iPod Touch Apple Newton MacBook Pro MacBook Pro MacBook Pro MacBook Pro MacBook Pro PowerBook G4 PowerBook G4 PowerBook G4 PowerBook G4 PowerBook G3 PowerBook 3400 PowerBook G3 PowerBook 1400 PowerBook 5300 PowerBook 190 PowerBook 500 PowerBook 500 PowerBook 500 PowerBook 150 PowerBook 180c PowerBook 165 PowerBook 145b PowerBook 180 PowerBook 165c PowerBook 160 PowerBook 145 PowerBook 170 PowerBook 140 PowerBook 100 Macintosh Portable

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Joannidi, Christine (March 14, 2002), Macintosh PowerBook 100: Technical Specifications, Apple, Inc., retrieved May 9, 2008 
  2. ^ a b c LePage, Rick (October 22, 1991), PowerBooks: price-competitive and technologically brilliant, MacWEEK, p. 54 
  3. ^ a b System 6.0.8L: ReadMe File (8/95), Apple, Inc., August 17, 1995, retrieved May 3, 2008 
  4. ^ a b c New Macs headline in Vegas, MacWEEK, October 22, 1990, p. 2 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Carlton, Jim (1997), Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders, Random House, pp. 181–190, ISBN 0-8129-2851-2 
  6. ^ Gore, Andrew (September 24, 1991), Fall product line on track, but PowerBooks could be scarce, MacWEEK, p. 2 
  7. ^ Pollack, Andrew (January 17, 1992), "Apple's Net Is Up 10.3% In Quarter", The New York Times, retrieved May 10, 2008 
  8. ^ Carlton, p. 191
  9. ^ a b Macworld 10 (1), January 1993 
  10. ^ a b Said, Carolyn (August 17, 1992), PowerBook 100 slips off U.S. price list. (Apple's Macintosh PowerBook 100 notebook computer), Macworld, retrieved June 4, 2008 
  11. ^ a b c Fisher, Lawrence M. (September 17, 1992), "60,000 Notebook Computers Are Being Recalled by Apple", The New York Times, retrieved May 10, 2008 
  12. ^ Aker, Sharon (1998), The Macintosh Bible 7th Edition, Peachpit Press, p. 835, ISBN 0-201-87483-0 
  13. ^ Joannidi, Christine (March 14, 2002), Macintosh Portable: Technical Specifications, Apple, Inc., retrieved May 11, 2008 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Macintosh PowerBook 100 Developer Note (PDF), Apple, Inc. (Developer Technical Publications), 1991, retrieved May 10, 2008 
  15. ^ PowerBook & Macintosh Classic II: No Support for System 6, Apple, Inc., November 30, 1994, retrieved May 3, 2008 
  16. ^ AppleSpec pre November 1997, Apple, Inc., 2008, retrieved May 17, 2008 
  17. ^ PowerBook: Internal Modem & Serial Printer Configuration, Apple, Inc., November 21, 1997, retrieved May 17, 2008 
  18. ^ PowerBook: Using MacLink Plus With Only One Serial Port (3/95), Apple, Inc., March 31, 1995, retrieved May 17, 2008 
  19. ^ PowerBook: Miscellaneous Frequently Asked Questions, Apple, Inc., November 22, 2002, retrieved May 17, 2008 
  20. ^ Martin Russ (April 1994), APPLE NOTES: Acronyms and MIDI, Sound On Sound, Ltd., Cambridge, retrieved May 17, 2008 
  21. ^ PB Serial Adapter Provides Full Featured Modem Port for Apple PowerBook 150 and PowerBook 100, Sigma Seven Systems Ltd., January 1999, retrieved May 13, 2008 
  22. ^ a b c PowerBook 100 through PowerBook 5300: Resetting Power Management Unit (PMU), Apple, Inc., May 26, 2004, retrieved May 11, 2008 
  23. ^ PowerBook 100: Backup Battery Life, Apple, Inc., May 16, 1994, retrieved May 17, 2008 
  24. ^ PowerBook 100: Creating and Using a RAM Disk(7/93), Apple, Inc., July 7, 1994, retrieved May 17, 2008 
  25. ^ PowerBook: Using SCSI Devices, Apple, Inc., September 17, 2007, retrieved May 13, 2008 
  26. ^ a b c Kunkel, Paul (May 1997), Appledesign: The publisher of the Apple Industrial Design Group, Graphis Inc., New York, p. 30, ISBN 1-888001-25-9 
  27. ^ a b c Schlender, Brenton R. (November 4, 1991), Apple's Japanese ally. (Sony Corp. designs Apple's PowerBook 100), Fortune, p. 151 
  28. ^ Rebello, Kathy (October 28, 1991), Apple gets a little more help from its friends. (possible alliance with Sony), BusinessWeek, p. 132 
  29. ^ Ely, Ed (November 25, 1991), Apple's PowerBook: is it late, or perfectly timed?, The Business Journal Serving Greater Sacramento, p. 19 
  30. ^ a b c d e Lefton, Terry (November 16, 1992), Bob Brunner. (marketing successes) (The Marketers of the Year), Brandweek, p. 28 
  31. ^ a b c Waters, Crystal (February 1992), Pack a traveling Mac: PowerBook 100 - Hardware Review, BNET, retrieved May 11, 2008 
  32. ^ a b c d Bethoney, Herb (October 21, 1991), Lightweight PowerBooks live up to their name, PC Week, p. 12 
  33. ^ Thompson, Tom (March 1992), Apple reinvents the notebook. (Hardware Review) (Apple Macintosh PowerBook 100, 140, 170), Byte, p. 253 
  34. ^ Ford, Ric (January 6, 1992), Talkin' about a Mac revolution: PowerBooks represent a big change for Mac computing, opening new doors as the first truly mobile Macs, MacWEEK, p. 3 
  35. ^ The 25 Greatest PCs of All Time, PC World, August 11, 2006, retrieved August 9, 2008 
  36. ^ Apple laptop is 'greatest gadget', BBC News, February 22, 2005, retrieved May 11, 2008 
  37. ^ Complete Award Listing (1986–2008), Lunar Design, retrieved May 11, 2008 
  38. ^ Linzmayer, Owen W (1999), Apple Confidential (1st Edition), No Starch Press, p. 30, ISBN 1-886411-31-X 

External links

Preceded by
Macintosh Portable
PowerBook 100
October 21, 1991
Succeeded by
PowerBook 145
PowerBook Duo series







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