Feeds

The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

Long before the Air, there was Lord Lard Ass

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Display's the thing

In today's days of millions of colors, enormous resolutions, and high dots-per-inch ratings, it's hard to remember when a 9.8-inch active-matrix LCD display was a big deal. But it was.

An active-matrix display was a noticeable (and expensive) step-up from the lower-quality passive-matrix displays common at the time. Passive-matrix display were muddy, cursors "ghosted" as you moved them across your display, and viewing angles were, well, crap.

The Portable's 640-by-400-pixel black-and-white (not grayscale) active-matrix display was a vast improvement — the biggest knock on it was that it wasn't backlit in the original model. A later upgrade added backlighting, but at the expense of sucking battery power.

Apple Macintosh Portable

As with all of the Portable's parts, getting at the LCD display is a snap (click to enlarge)

If that 640-by-400 pixelage sounds puny by today's standards, remember that Apple's all-in-ones of the day were limited to resolutions of 512-by-342. The Portable's 256,000 pixels were a 46.2 per cent improvement over the all-in-ones' 175,104 little black dots.

And speaking of those dots, each was .28mm in size, with a dot pitch of .33mm, resulting in a 75dpi display — a far cry from the 326 pixels-per-inch of the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch.

Apple Macintosh Portable

If this had been a passive-matrix display, the Portable would have been cheaper — and crappier (click to enlarge)

We wish we could have fired up our Macintosh Portable to show you how crisp the display actually was, but ours has long since given up the ghost. Had we been able to, we could have shown you the glories of Apple's System 6.0.4, which — unlike previous Macs — shipped preinstalled on the Portable's hard drive, if you ordered that option.

By the time Apple upgraded the Portable to a backlit display, it shipped with System 6.0.7. HyperCard was also preinstalled on the hard drive, partially to support some of the Portable's bundled on-disk documentation. Operating-system support topped out at System 7.5.5.

Apple Macintosh Portable

The backside of the display shows a relaxed attitute towards chip density (click to enlarge)

On the reverse side of the Portable's display, eight Toshiba T7778A LCD-driver chips share the board with six T7900s. The T7778A handle the display's columns; the T7900s handle the rows.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Logical logic board

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.