PowerBook G4

From Academic Kids

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15" Aluminium PowerBook G4

The Apple PowerBook G4 is a notebook computer manufactured by Apple Computer, powered by PowerPC G4 processors initially produced by Motorola, but now produced by IBM.

The first generation of PowerBook G4s were announced at Steve Jobs' keynote at MacWorld Expo in January 2001. They featured a titanium enclosure (later earning them the nickname "TiBook") and a Motorola G4 processor running at either 400 or 500 MHz. They were just 1 inch thick, 0.7 inches thinner than their predecessor, the PowerBook G3. The PowerBook G4 Titanium also featured a front-mounted slot-loading optical drive into which optical discs (initially DVDs or CDs) could be inserted.

The PowerBook Titanium product line was updated several times, with features such as Gigabit Ethernet, DVI connectors, and an optional SuperDrive DVD burner. The last revision was released in November 2002, in 867 and 1000 MHz models.

In January 2003, Apple introduced a new line of PowerBook G4s with 12- and 17-inch screens and aluminium cases. Notably, Yao Ming and Verne Troyer did commercials for the 12- and 17-inch models.

At the Apple Expo in Paris on September 16, 2003, Apple added the 15-inch aluminium PowerBook to the portable computer lineup and introduced minor upgrades to the existing 12- and 17-inch models.

The current generation, released in February 2005, consists of three models: 12-, 15- and 17-inch screen sizes (the 15- and 17-inch screens are widescreen) in an aluminium enclosure. The 17-inch model is also one of the few laptops in production with such a large display. The 17-inch model natively supports Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display and it is an available option for the 15-inch model. The PowerBook specifications range from 1.5 GHz to 1.67 GHz CPUs; 512 MB to 2 GB of RAM; 60 to 100 GB of hard disk space; the nVidia GeForce FX Go5200 and the ATI Technologies Radeon 9700 Mobility GPUs with optional 128 MB of VRAM and Dual-Link DVI, and many other features.

15" Titanium PowerBook G4
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15" Titanium PowerBook G4
The Titanium PowerBook G4s are capable of running Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X operating systems, while the Aluminium PowerBook G4s are incapable of running Mac OS 9 from startup. Both series of machines can run Mac OS 9 in Classic Mode from within Mac OS X.

Current model Powerbooks included an updated trackpad driver that allows vertical scrolling in any window (for example, Safari or the Finder) by using two fingers on the pad instead of the normal single finger. This was an often-requested feature, as shown by the third party trackpad driver Sidetrack (http://www.ragingmenace.com/software/sidetrack) that added a similar ability to standard Powerbooks and iBooks. The Sidetrack driver splits up the trackpad into different zones that do different things; left hand edge activates scrolling, middle for normal mouse action and so on, all customisable in a preference pane.

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