I’ve been thinking about adding memory to the PowerBook for a while now, and for various other reasons we ended up at Fry’s last night. I figured, we’re here anyway, why not at least price the RAM?

Well, here’s a big fragging “Why Not:” I couldn’t remember the exact specs required. There was, however, a chart listing various laptop models, and the employees could look up requirements by model in the computer. The problem there was that I knew it as “the new 12″ PowerBook G4,” not as “Model A1010,” so they ended up (as near as I can tell) pulling up the specs for last year’s PowerBook (the 1 GHz instead of the 1.33 GHz). Naturally, the two models use different kinds of RAM.

When we got home last night, I cracked open the manual to compare the specs. Tonight, I waded through the Fry’s return line, and this time I brought the manual along — as I’d intended to do in the first place.

Everything went smoothly except for one glitch. The memory slot is covered by a panel with four size #0 Phillips head screws. I do have a size #0 screwdriver, and three of the screws came out easily. One of them refused to move, and the head ended up getting stripped somewhat. Eventually I was able to get it.

So, now the laptop has gone from having the smallest amount of memory at 256 MB (barring the ancient Mac clone in the closet) to having the most memory of all our computers at 1.25 GB.

It looks like it wasn’t quite the perfect time I thought to order a PowerBook. I received confirmation today from TerraSoft that the delay is due to the changes in the PowerBook line (which were half the reason I chose now to order it). It seems they’re still waiting for a shipment from Apple!

Presumably they had some in stock when they updated their store, in which case this is probably a good thing: it means not only are the new PowerBooks selling faster than expected, but they’re selling well through a Linux shop!

That said, if I have to wait too long I may just cancel this order and drive down to the Apple store. Of course, then I’d have to deal with repartitioning and trying to set up dual booting myself, and not only is it more complicated than dual-booting a PC*, there’s a lot less information available.

Ah, well.

* In particular, I don’t know of any utilities like Partition Magic or Parted that will allow you to resize an active Mac OS filesystem, so I would have to wipe the disk and reinstall Mac OS along with installing Linux.

Last night’s mutual cyber-binge after only two days away from the keyboard was the kicker: If we’re going anywhere for two weeks, we’ll want to bring a computer along.

And so tonight I finally ordered a dual-boot PowerBook from TerraSoft. We’re splitting the cost as a combined wedding and belated/early birthday present to each other.

Sometime this weekend, we’ll have a new computer in the house!

Sometime early last year I decided I’d like to get a PowerBook. Ideally, one dual-booting Mac OS and Linux. I spent several months saying “I don’t really need a laptop,” but I really started to like the idea after a while, and Katie started to like the idea too, and this January I went so far as to contact TerraSoft Solutions about pricing. TerraSoft maintains their own PPC Linux distribution, Yellow Dog Linux, and their stock in trade is selling Macs preconfigured to dual-boot Mac OS and Linux.

I decided not to buy one then for two reasons: We had the wedding coming up, and I figured Apple was likely to upgrade the line by summer.

Well, the wedding is next weekend, and Apple has just announced upgrades to the PowerBook line.

It may be time to start looking at PowerBooks again.