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From: email@example.com (Darryl Lee) Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.portables Subject: FAQ--PowerBook 500 Series PPC upgrade from IMAX Summary: A FAQ of sorts... Keywords: 500 5xx 520 540 520c 540c Imax PPC PowerPC upgrade PowerBook Hi...well, here's the latest version. HOPEFULLY people will read this instead of posting some of the same old questions. (Like the drive spindown problem! Yeesh!) i'll be adding some stuff about software conflicts soon, but i still think my advice about starting clean is the ideal way to go. [Originally posted 10/29/96. Newer stuff is at the top.] Ok, i'm tired of seeing the same questions and answers. So here's: A rather long-winded FAQ for the Imax PPC upgrade for the PowerBook 500 series *NEW* Q. Hey, i heard that IMAX was sold out of these things! A. Yeah, that's what i heard too. Called them and confirmed it. They sold out last week, Jan 20ish, i guess. Q. Great...so am i SOL? A. Well, there's talk on the newsgroup that "Sonnet (800-786-6260) has the same price listed for the Apple 100 MHz 603e upgrade (page 169 of the MacUser I got yesterday)." Q. $199 or even $269 seems awfully cheap for a PowerPC upgrade. Are these guys at IMAX serious? A. Yes, and apparently they're seriously greedy (or finally smelled the coffee), because it's now listed at $299. Dang. To see what you missed, skip down to the *OLD* section of this FAQ. Q. Yikes, this install sounds scary. Are there instructions anywhere that have diagrams? A. Why yes! There is: http://www.thechipmerchant.com/pb500.htm (This is instructions and a diagram that shows you how to install more RAM into a PB 5xx. You'll be replacing the card that the RAM plugs into, the CPU daughterboard.) Q. Hey, i upgraded, and now my hard drive doesn't spin down when i put the computer to sleep. A. Hey, you know that Disk Tools floppy that came with the kit? Pop it in, run Drive Setup, select your hard drive, and from the Functions menu, choose to upgrade the driver. There, problem solved. Q. Wait...it still doesn't work! What gives? A. Hrm...perhaps you have a non-Apple drive that Drive Setup doesn't recognize? Well... one person mentioned using the upgrade CD to completely replace his (old) Silverlining software with Apple stuff. Not sure if he had to reinitialize his drive to do this or what. Q. Hey, my Global Village PowerPort Fax/Modem software doesn't work anymore. What's the deal? A. You probably need to upgrade. Latest version is 2.5.5. If you have version 2.5, then there is an upgrader to take it to 2.5.5. If you have an earlier version that 2.5, the upgrade to 2.5 is $24.95, and then you have to run their upgrader, i guess. http://www.globalvillage.com/support/swlocator/pplocator.html#PowerPort Q. Does Speed Doubler need to be upgraded too? A. Yeah, probably. Check at http://www.connectix.com/connect/upda.spee.html for information on version 1.3.1 Q. Man, why don't i just do a clean install starting at 7.5.2 (included with the upgrade) and then go out and find all the latest versions of whatever Extensions and Control Panels i used to have and make sure to get the Native versions if they have them and then add them? A. Hey good idea. And you'd be surprised how much cruft you can clear out of your System Folder that way. But be sure to bring it up to System 7.5.5 before doing that. (Which requires that you bring it up to 7.5.3 first.) Oh yeah, and i'd hang on to that old System Folder for a little while, in case you can't remember where you downloaded "Joe's Stupid Little Extension That I Can't Live Without" from. Q. Hey, is this really worth it? Is it faster, better, stronger? A. Yes, and we can rebuild it too! Oh...wait, that was a different tv show. Anyways, uh...well, uh, to tell you the truth, i haven't been pushing my PowerBook to the max, ever since i got a Power Mac 7100 at home. So well, it runs Netscape 3.01 (w/ Java) better (like...it only crashes 5 times a day, instead of 10! Woohoo!); and Eudora 3.0 Pro runs fine, but Eudora was always good. But like a few friends have pointed out... When people start refusing to develop for 680x0 processors, i'll be still able to run their native PowerPC apps. People who haven't upgraded won't. Q. Hey, if i have one of them PC Card Cages (you know, the ones that suck power like Dracula sucks blood?), will it work after i upgrade? A. Uh, yeah, but you'll need to get the Rev. C of the cage. (The model number will end with a /C like M2864 V1/C). This is supposed to be covered under warranty. i got a Rev. B cage (that i bought used, even, with no papers!) exchanged by my friendly neighborhood Apple dealer. (If you're near Santa Barbara, i highly recommend the UCSB Bookstore's Apple service center.) i don't know what to do if your dealer won't do it, except raise hell, i guess. :P *OLD* Q. What is this IMAX PowerPC upgrade i keep hearing about? A. It's just that. IMAX Computer Corporation (apparently a division of InterMac Technologies, Inc.) is selling the authentic Apple branded 603e/100Mhz PowerPC upgrade card w/ 8mb of RAM on-board for $269. If you heard that it was $199, well, it was. They would give you $50 back if you went back your old 040 daughterboard. But not anymore. It's $269, and you get to keep your old 040 board. (Great, just what i needed--another lapel pin.) Sorry. By the way, if you have somebody who can wait for the package, you should do COD, because they give a cash discount. Q. You mean...it's really an Apple card? A. Really. The box has Apple printed on it, and has the following description: Macintosh PowerBook Processor Card Upgrade Kit with PowerPC 603E. Model number M3081LL/A. Q. Ok ok, so how do i get in touch with them? A. IMAX can be reached by voice at 800/914-MACS(6227), as well as 847/696-3434. Fax is 847/518-8856. Their address (for reference) is 8725 Sunset Road, Niles, IL 60714 *NEW* They now have a web page: http://www.imaxcom.com Q. What did you get with the upgrade kit? A. Well, as i said above, IMAX sent me a pre-paid mailer for the old '040 processor, along with some instructions. But other than that, it's all the original stuff. Here's the packing list: 1 Macintosh PowerBook Power PC upgrade card 1 Disk: Macintosh PowerBook Power PC Upgrade For The PowerBook 500 Series Computer (This is a bootable floppy that has Disk Tools like Disk Setup and HD First Aid on it.) 1 CD: Install Me First (This is a bootable System 7.5.2 install disc.) 1 Manual: Macintosh PowerBook Power PC Upgrade For The PowerBook 500 Series Computers (One of the most useless wastes of a tree i have ever seen. Basically it says: "Read the online help in Apple Guide." 1 Power PC label (Which they tell you to install over your "PowerBook 5xx" label, which i find offensive.) 1 Product registration card (i told you it was really an Apple product) Q. Do they tell you how to install it and everything? A. In a word, no. They send the installation kit that goes out to Apple dealers. However, the instructions on how to actually install the hardware is _not_ included. According to the one piece of paper in the kit, "Dealer Upgrade Instructions: Installation instructions are found on the Service Source CD." i presume this is some CD that official Apple service technicians all have. i don't. Q. Great...so have to go pay some shmoe $50/hour to install this? A. Well, sure, if you're a wimp. >:} No, seriously, if you have any reservations whatsoever about opening up your PowerBook--and there _are_ some easily damaged parts in there--then please please do take it to an authorized dealer and stop reading this right now. BUT...if you're a little more adventurous, AND, if you've done a PowerBook memory upgrade before, then no worries, it's just as easy. In fact, i hung on to the little booklet that came with my TechWorks 8mb memory upgrade that i bought waaaay back when (ok, last summer), and it actually takes you through the whole process of opening up your PowerBook and installing more RAM. Installing a new daughterboard is one additional step more than that. <#begin sidenote about RAM and stuff> For some strange reason, the official "TechWorks Memory" that i just bought for cheap from Other World Computing, Inc. (32mb module for $269 + $8 next day shipping!) didn't come with this handy little book. Maybe the $20 more you pay to TechWorks to order from them directly is worth it, just to get the book. (And to have their fine fine technical support staff at your disposal. Those guys are _good_.) Oh, numbers for this RAM stuff? Other World is 800/275-4576, and TechWorks is 800/765-6187. More information on these vendors is available at the otherwise pretty useless RAMWatch page: http://macresource.pair.com/mrp/ramwatch.shtml i say it's otherwise useless because it _used_ to track which vendor actually had the lowest price. But now it just shows the high, low and average price for RAM, and basically serves as an a billboard for memory companies who _pay_ to be on his page. i mean, the contact information is useful, but you still have to call each place up yourself to see which place has the lowest price? That's 1) kinda lame, 2) kinda cheesey, considering these companies are all paying the guy to be listed on his page. <#end sidenote about RAM and stuff> Q: Ok, well, all right, i'm game. How do i do this upgrade myself? A: Well, somebody already posted some instructions on how to do this upgrade to comp.sys.mac.portables. If your news server has already expired it, check out http://www.dejanews.com or http://altavista.digital.com and in Usenet look for "Installing the PB upgrade" It's a little short, but it gets the job done. If you want more information, and even a few diagrams (although i just checked and there aren't any for the 500-series...darn), there's an Adobe Acrobat file that has detailed instructions on taking apart any kind of PowerBook you may have. You should download it and print out the pages need. It used to be at: http://www.wizlink.iserver.com/conner/powerbook/index.html but hrm, that site seems dead now. Hrm, ok, you can download it from _my_ site, http://www.darryl.com/pb_rui_v_30.pdf Q. Ok, so i think i got the thing installed right. Now what? A. You'll need to have access to a CD-ROM player that you can plug into your PowerBook. Why? Oh, because if you're going to do it right, you're gonna want to do a clean install from the CD they shipped with the kit. There's instructions on how to do this on, you guessed it, the CD itself. Yes, i know 7.5.2 was totally buggy. i'm getting to that. AFTER you do a clean install, you should take your trusty System 7.5 Update 2.0 CD (which you got free with your copy of MacWorld back in June or something), and upgrade to 7.5.3. And THEN you should get your System 7.5.5 installer floppies and upgrade to 7.5.5. (Oh yeah, and while you're at it, why not go to Open Transport 1.1.1, since it's now native!) i think that's about the right sequence for upgrading. Q. Dang you're long-winded. Do you have anything else to say? A. Nope. But if i think of anything else, i'll post it at http://www.darryl.com/ppcfaq.html