Feeds

The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

Long before the Air, there was Lord Lard Ass

High performance access to file storage

Easy entrance

The Macintosh Portable was a snap — quite literally — to open for service and upgrading. Nary a screwdriver nor Torx wrench are needed to disassemble the entire machine, except for a small jeweler's screwdriver needed for some poking and prying. All is held in place by plastic or metal clips.

Apple Macintosh Portable

The Portable is easy to service — remember, Steve Jobs wasn't at Apple when it was designed (click to enlarge)

For easy entrace into the user-serviceable part of the Portable, you don't even need the aforementioned jeweler's screwdriver. Push two large buttons on the back of the case, and the rear cover lifts right off, revealing the hard drive, big-ass lead-acid battery, and expansion slots.

Apple Macintosh Portable

Do you want that trackball on the left or right? Your choice (click to enlarge)

Removing the keyboard cover takes a bit of fiddling with that tiny jeweler's screwdriver, but once it's off, you'll discover a leftie-loving nicety: you can swap the placement of the 63-key keyboard and trackball.

What's more, if you'd prefer to use a mouse rather than the trackball — which, we hasten to add, works quite nicely — you can remove the trackball unit and replace it with an optional 18 key numeric keypad.

Which leads to a bit of nostalgic amusement. When the Portable was first introduced, the US edition of MacUser magazine welcomed it with a cover that showed a modestly dressed bathing beauty lounging in a swimming pool with her Portable on the arm of her floatation chair. She was also using a late-80s cellphone. So à la mode.

Unfortunately, the Macintosh Portable pictured on that cover had the keypad installed, and not the trackball — making it useless. A collector's item.

Apple Macintosh Portable

Dremel-tooled into the case mold are the names of the Portable's designers (click to enlarge)

Upon removing the trackball and keyboard, you'll discover another artifact from a bygone age: the signatures of the Portable's design team in bas-relief on the case bottom.

This was the last time that such an element of humanism graced a Mac's case — the previous Macs so internally decorated were the original 128k Macintosh, the 512k upgrade of that original known informally as Fat Mac, and the Mac Plus.

We haven't yet cracked open a MacBook Air yet, but when iFixit did, no such evidence of the design team was found. Personally, we miss this human touch.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.