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The Last PowerBook

16.11.2018 - Apple, History, PowerPC
The Last PowerBook

The company made the risky maneuver in its history, all hung in the balance, and the end PowerBook was crumpled by the force majeure. October 19, 2005 in new York city were not those PowerBook G4, which was conceived. Message to the world about the Apple’s decision to switch to Intel (June 2005), when the company was ready not only to produce and sell, but even show their products on Intel (they do not exist even in the project!), it was not a gamble, and suicide.

Common sense beats in hysterics. Who will buy the equipment yesterday? Than Apple will make a living if it all stop? What to do if, at the time, publicly announced in Steve to meet will not succeed due to unexpected problems?

This is the heart transplant the pilot of a supersonic interceptor during the flight, and even maneuvering in the background overloads up to ten G unpredictably change the direction…

How much you have to be confident in the forces (and their company) to do such a thing? And why? All can be done slowly and in advance, and dumped to the stunned from delight the masses in the form of “insanely great” stuff that goes on sale, which can be ordered (to pay) now?

Whether this transition really necessary?

I think it was absolutely unmodern in spirit to the case of nobility. Something like “go on you” the middle ages. Everyone connected with the company, received the opportunity to prepare. We will talk about this event, it deserves separate consideration.

Today we are discussing PowerBook G4 (Late 2005), the latest PowerBook, which became a blurry point in their 14-year history…

Apple Press Event on 19 October 2005

14 Oct 2005 a few thousand (tens of thousands?) people were invited to the Apple Computer at a press conference, which was scheduled for October 19, 2005 in new York city, on the East coast. Invitation (for one) has come to the editor of MacCentral website – which has not missed an opportunity to boast of this event to their colleagues and competitors…

ThinkSecret, MacRumors and the American namesake of our site responded to the news with predictions on “what will be announced on October 19” – I have listed only those, who guessed all three themes of the conference, with incredible accuracy.

About the first (most important) the subject was known the least: software for editing photos. And that’s all. It was about Aperture, which was “the same for photographers than Final Curt Pro was for filmmakers”. And almost all the time of the conference went to the presentation of this program.

The second number began a long-awaited PowerMac G5 dual core PowerPC 970mp. In a press release they were called Quad and Dual, they had 15 minutes… Details about them you can read very, very soon – been working on a story about them.

The third was the most recent PowerBook’in history, which devoted seven minutes, under the whisper of the tired guests discussing Aperture.

The building, which hosted the conference, the commemorative plaque with the inscription “here, on 19 October 2005 was declared as the last PowerBook in history”… no. Of those who were at that conference (I know a couple of people) with a great difficulty I remembered that “sure, there was something about PowerBook and PowerMac Pro”.

Oddities PowerBook G4 (Late 2005)

The Last PowerBook

For the first time in the history of the PowerBook, the new products October 2005 processors with the same clock frequency as that of the “dear” representatives of the previous model series. No increase in performance at all. It was not even a speed-bump, and in a press release Apple incident was called “the announcement of a new PowerBook”, but only “the improvement of the line PowerBook G4”.

The same processor, the same frequency (and processor, and front system bus), almost the same performance. “Improved” 15-inch model was slower than January 1 analogue score according to the Geekbench 2 tests, (843 points instead of 844), and 17-inch faster than his counterpart by 19 points (from 817 to 836 points). And in other tests the results were about the same – feels like new and old models were the same…

But in the “improved” Ah PowerBook’used faster (and more expensive) type of memory. Why?

In June 2005, Freescale has publicly announced the beginning of production of PowerPC 7448, but Apple has spent a month working on new models of PowerBook G4, which had planned to use PowerPC 7448. Prototypes and documentation for the Freescale supplied Apple in April or may 2005.

Requirements PowerPC 7448 to the architecture of the computer was different than the PowerPC 7447a – they needed faster RAM, bus clock rate is 200 MHz, and so much more. The clock frequency of the PowerPC 7448 in the new models would be 1.7 GHz, while that in old it was 1.67 GHz, but Apple’s marketing services“to sell” improved productivity by almost half “easily”.

PowerPC 7448, “Apollo 8”

Motorola (a 20-ies and 30-ies of the last century, the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation) the world’s first created commercially successful car radio (Motorola, from the “Motor” – in those days called the cars and the popular suffix “-ola”), in 1947 he released the most successful sold in the US TV in the late 60s was a key member of the lunar program “Apollo”, then there was the M6800 microprocessors (8-bit, 1974) and M68000 (16/32-bit, in 1979)…

PowerPC 7448 was the second modification of the PowerPC, developed by Freescale. Until 2004, Freescale was called Motorola SPS (Semiconductor Processor Section), smart branch Motorola, since 1974! In 2004, this office had gained independence, and became Freescale.

Code name for PowerPC 7448 – “Apollo 8”. In honor of the second manned mission of the American space program and the first in the history of mankind circling the moon. Motorola had to do with the space program Apollo, hence the code names.

The mission “Apollo 8” was launched on 21 December 1968 and was successfully completed in 7 days. The first time people saw with their own eyes the opposite direction of the satellite, photographed the sunrise Lands. But back on the Ground.

Have PowerPC 7448 was a lot of virtues, but the range of clock frequencies (the most important from the standpoint of the layman criterion computer) not one of them.

At your own computer, if it is not a pity, PPC 7448, it was possible to overclock to 2.4 GHz, people have tried – but for serial computer this is unacceptable.

In June Apple announced the transition to Intel. In mid-August, the project PowerBook’and PPC 7448 was to be completed, but this did not happen. Steve reacted to this calmly and with understanding, giving engineers another month. In mid-September, Steve changed the project settings, allowed to remove from it everything that didn’t work, and ordered to keep within 15 days.

Instead of the PPC 7448 in the new PowerBook G4 PowerPC 7447a returned, and removed all that did not work. Memory type did not change: breaking what worked, did not want, and the time it was gone. Steve breathed a sigh of relief and signed the order for release. And a decent prize to the developers. Miracles?

And now to answer your question (if it was): why are Apple engineers are the best in the industry, working under the guidance of Steve jobs, suddenly are unable to cope with the project?

Why not yet?

When the transition to Intel was announced, Steve felt a serious danger. No, what the market “gives way”, no doubt. The market behaved even better than expected. But something made Steve (apparently, in July, a month after the fateful announcement) to accelerate suddenly, radically and at any cost, development of technology for Intel.

He never said what happened. Something had, he was scared of something, the little green men sent a Fax is unknown.

A month later, on the background of unexpectedly decent sales, all of a sudden…

For this project, unrelated to the main goal, taken from one-half to two-thirds of the personnel to strengthen Intel projects. And the laptop is on Intel was among the top priorities of the priorities, and the group G4 PowerBook only a few people. And even they, from time to time, distracted by more important tasks outside of their project…

It turns out that in such circumstances, even Apple engineers can’t cope…

What is the PowerBook G4 (Late 2005)?

The user, by and large, anyway – has accelerated his computer compared to a predecessor or not. If what there doing and not a poison…

If money grew on trees, the price would be different.

Crumpled model PowerBook G4 with IDs PowerBook5,8 and the PowerBook5,9 were reliable, efficient and with the task coped. Except for a few of their features, they were the same as PowerBook5,6 & PowerBook5,7.

With the exception of a different type of RAM (PC2-4200 DDR SO-DIMM), another type of optical drive (Double Layer SuperDrive, a 2.4-fold CD-RW/DVD±RW/DL DVD+R), and a higher native resolution screens (1440х960 15-inch model and a 1680×1050 17-inch). New screens were brighter 15 – inch by about a third, 17-inch by nearly half.

The amount of video RAM in both models was 128 Megabytes (in January in an expensive variant of the model with 15-inch screen that was an option).

Claims for these models was not (at least not more than others), taking into account the peculiarities of their birth is a very important fact.

And in January 2006…

It was the end of a series about the PowerBook G4, but not the end of the series episodes. To be continued.

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