Was Going Retro Over the MacBook Pro a Good Choice?
Apple Officially Considers PowerBooks (and Other Macs) 'Dead'


by Joe Leo, Columnist January 17, 2007


'THINK DIFFERENT' (a three-part series)
Part Two

COMMENTARY: (1.17.07)-- Owners of PowerBook G3s and G4s might want to start thinking different about their beloved computers. The PowerBook has officially been declared vintage and obsolete. Obsolete? Says who you say. Who has the right to declare this fine line of Mac portable computers dead? Oh, you didn't hear. Dr. Macintosh did, and the surgeon says you've got only 56 days left to live.

Is this another one of those SNL spoofs with cast member Fred Armisen doing Steve Jobs? Remember that one last season, where Armisen impersonates Jobs and guest stars on the "Weekend Update" broadcast, and Jobs announces that the new iPod nano and iPod with video capabilities--after having been on the market for a few days--are now "obsolete?" Introducing the iPod micro... nope, iPod pequeno... nope, iPod invisa.

Nope, sorry to say, this is all true and certainly nothing to laugh at when there are still a lot of power users out there who have no reason to jump overboard and upgrade to a MacBook Pro (or non-pro MacBook) just yet!

It's as if Fred Armisen's doppelganger Jobs was forecasting the future in terms of the Mac. "...ridiculous, old, obsolete!" But has it been that long since the PowerBook G4 rolled off the line, well, last rolled off the line and ushered in the era of the new Intel-powered Mac notebooks? Hardly. PowerBook G3s? Okay, maybe. Pre-G3 laptops, of course. G4 notebooks? Come on!

[At long last is part two of this long delayed three-part series! For part one, see the 9/22 article]

Funny how this feature commentary comes at the heels of two recent news tidbits-- first, the news that Apple has announced that as of March 13th, 2007 (is that going to be a Friday?), specific models of Mac hardware will become classified as either "vintage" or "obsolete," and second, Saturday Night Live (SNL) over the weekend spoofing Steve Jobs once again, poking fun at the release of the new iPhone at Macworld last week.

Then there's the nasty cold weather blanketing various parts of the nation. The pun is only appropriate to the poet, since we'll be quoting him in just a little bit and throughout this article.

On Monday, MacMerc.com reported that certain "...obsolete or 'vintage' machines will cease to be supported by Apple, Inc.," defining vintage machines as older Apple products purchased in the state of California (hooray for us on the West Coast!) that still qualify for service parts since the law requires such. If you're in California.

On the other hand, they define obsolete as products where Apple will no longer and "does not" provide service parts for certain products. What does this mean? Well, they only state Apple as the source, so this means that you probably will still be able to garner luck from other 3rd party service centers, and? Of course, eBay. But no support from the mother ship.

But the bigger picture at hand here is, the two products very central to our hearts here at PBCentral.com. The PowerBook G3 "Wallstreet" and "Lombard" models which have been labeled obsolete, and recently corked at the Napa Valley vineyards, um, recently made vintage are the PowerBook G4 line of laptop/notebook computers.

What? Are you seriously kidding me? Sorry, I read it myself and wept. (Though interesting to note is that, one, the PowerBook Pismo is not listed there--my original and first laptop ever--and second, there doesn't seem to be a distinction on the PowerBook G4s. Is it the Titanium and not the Aluminum line? Certainly they're referring to our old friend Ti and not our new pal Al!).

In Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken"--both appropriately used here because of the weather (frost) and the subject at hand--the piece starts out:


"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and worry I could not travel both... and be one traveler, long I stood... and looked down one as far as I could..."


Sounds just like me. For quite sometime now, I've been searching for the perfect laptop to serve as a pseudo-"replacement" for my dual PowerMac G4 when it is being used for such intensive tasks where I need to leave it be--like rendering effects in Motion or burning an iDVD project--so really, a shoe-in more than a replacement, since I'm not getting rid of the old, shoe.

And like the traveler in Robert Frost's poem, I could not travel both paths, and had to make a choice... though in my case, there were multiple paths on this, road not taken.


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