[futurebasic] Re: [FB] [X-FB] Powerbook a540

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From: Michael Malone <crochety@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 99 19:42:47 -0700
Silvain said:
>I could have a good deal on a Powerbook a540
>(color, PPC 100Mhz, 1GB, 40MB Ram).
>500$ canadian.
>Does anyone knows about this computer ?
>Would it be a good buy or was it a flop like the 5300 ?
>To unsubscribe, send ANY message to <futurebasic-unsubscribe@...>
I've had a gray scale PB 540 (117 MHz PPC) since they came out and, 
though I find it handy, I have to say it is DEATHLY slow by any 
standards.  There is no L2 cache, the bus is apparently narrow (slow) and 
the graphics are slow. You are stuck with 256 colors and 832x624 max. 
resolution on an external monitor (640x480 on the LCD).  It does come 
with Ethernet though, and they were definitely not problem plagued like 
the 5300.

These powerbooks were quite literally slowed down by the PPC upgrade, and 
slowed down further by later OS upgrades.  Open Transport (OS-7.6.1) 
seems to cause 15 second long hangs while web pages load. Something I 
don't remember happening under OS 7.1 and MacPPP.

However, having said all that, I'm quite attached to the little bugger.  
I have been able to develop FBII programs on it, and I drag it around on 
business trips to do remote email etc. It has been knocked around quite a 
bit and still survives.  And at this point in its life I consider it to 
be of more useful value to me than the money I could get for it.

If you can put up with the slowness, the $500 Canadian price seems very 
good for the maxed out memory and huge (ahem!) hard drive.

One other thing... the "smart" batteries can be a real pain. New ones are 
apt to self discharge in a few days or be under capacity. Or they get 
confused as to their state of charge and need frequent attention, memory 
manager resets etc.

Hope I haven't deterred you too much. 

Mike Malone