Silicon Overdrive

When Mood Music
2005-03-06 01:38:00

OK, now I finally have the laptop of my dreams(1) and am sitting in bed irradiating my face, warming my groin and keying my verbal diarrhoea into LiveJournal. However, being an inveterate twitchy-fingered would-be geek who just can’t leave well enough alone, I can’t wait to upgrade, peripheralise and modify it.

Here’s the plan so far.


  • The power cable is very dodgy and needs replaced ASAP.
  • The DVD-ROM drive was DOA. This may have something to do with the Pismo being shipped with a CD in the drive. However, I’ve also been told that Apple used LuckyGoldstar and Matshita drives. LG are allegedly extremely prone to sudden death. So just guess which brand my Pismo has.

You may want to know how I managed to install anything on the Pismo. Well, the vendor installed OS9.2 before shipping so I didn’t need to install an OS. I have a DVD-ROM/CD-ROM in an external USB2 enclosure. This is very flaky but stayed alive long enough for me to install a previously-bought Ratoc PC card which facilitates use of SCSI-1 and SCSI-2 peripherals. Then I installed all my OS9 junk via a Lacie SCSI-1 CD-RW drive. Currently there’s no way of installing OSX. Fortunately there’s currently no actual need for OSX! I do miss Safari and I can’t tell you how tedious not having iJournal is right now.


  • 128MB is OK for OS9 (but makes Photoshop a bit pedestrian) and is not enough for OSX. Eventually I’ll want to max out at 1GB.
  • The stock 6GB HD is nowhere near enough for OSX or my modest iTunes collection. 150GB HDs are available but I’ll probably go for 20 to 40GB and some form of external storage/backup. A large NAS(2) device would be just spiffy for sharing files between the Pismo and my G4/400 desktop.(3) Failing this, I’ll just have to keep my Eudora folder on iDisk!(4)
  • A DVD-RW drive.
  • Wireless. A Buffalo 802.11g card is on the way. (Otherwise I’d be limited to classic Airport: 802.11b)



  • A decent set of headphones!
  • I’ll possibly transfer my Wacom A6 graphics tablet to this machine and get something funkier for the G4. Not really a lot of point in this since my eventual aim is to upgrade this Pismo enough that I can retire the G4.
  • A USB hub (Well how else do I attach my PDA, graphics tablet, external keyboard, printer, scanner, digital camera,….?)
  • Since my aim is to have this machine eventually become my main machine, a 17-inch or bigger flatscreen monitor. I quite fancy Wacom’s graphics tablet -cum-21-inch monitor.
  • Some form of docking station to avoid all the tedious unplugging business.
  • A rest for angling the keyboard and blowing cool air onto the underside.


This where the Pismo (currently a 400MHz G3) will really leapfrog the G4 and become properly suitable for OSX.

  • Apparently I can get a 1GHz G4 chip fitted in the Pismo. So either I’ll have a shit-hot laptop second only to a 17-inch Powerbook G4 or I’ll have the world’s most expensive toaster.
  • Failing this, 500MHz G4offerings from DayStar, FastMac or PowerLogix will still blow the socks off the G4.
  • The Pismo is sleek, black and curvaciously sexy. So please talk me out of colouring the shell dayglo Paisley pattern!


OK, time to post my ramblings and go to sleep , cudding my baby.


  1. OK, the 500MHz model would have been nice but at under £200, even I can’t complain!
  2. Network Attached Storage
  3. I wonder if Firewire drives can be accessed simultanously by two macs?
  4. Apple’s on-line file storage system. You too can rent some space on Steve Jobs’ servers!



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