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  1. #1
    strlen
    Guest
    Pot. buyer questions: RS-232 serial, external display, heat
    Hi,

    I'm just your average UNIX geek, looking to buy an iBook (12" G4) (first post here).

    First,while I've already done a "search on battery life" and found a 5-6 hour average, I'm wondering how the airport extreme would impact that (would be a noticeable difference?). And furthermore, is there a considerable battery life difference between iBoook and PowerBook?

    Second, what sort of solutions are there for getting RS-232 serial? I'm a UNIX admin and I absolutely require the ability to access serial console of our servers and routers. What solutions (USB-> serial adapters?) are there? Would the device be also visible on the UNIX end (so that I could use it with an application like minicom, and generally use it as I would any /dev device)?

    Thirdly, on an external display, can I use a resolution higher than what the internal display supports (higher than 1024x768 basically) -- 1024x768 on a 21" screen would be rather painful.

    Lastly, how much heat does the G4 generate compared to say a Pentium 4 or a lap-burner Pentium 3? I'm curious, as it's virtually impossible to my Pentium 3 laptop on my lap due to the heat generation.

    - strlen

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,744
    Specs:
    12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)
    Quote Originally Posted by strlen
    Hi,

    I'm just your average UNIX geek, looking to buy an iBook (12" G4) (first post here).

    First,while I've already done a "search on battery life" and found a 5-6 hour average, I'm wondering how the airport extreme would impact that (would be a noticeable difference?). And furthermore, is there a considerable battery life difference between iBoook and PowerBook?
    Using the AirPort does decrease battery life, but I don't have any hard figures. I'd guess it would be "noticeable," but not as significant as, say, screen brightness.

    The 12" iBook and 12" PowerBook are mostly the same wrt batteries and power consumption, topping out at about 5 hours. The 14" iBook (larger battery) gives about an hour more; the larger PowerBooks (with their larger screens and thin profiles) won't last as long.

    Second, what sort of solutions are there for getting RS-232 serial? I'm a UNIX admin and I absolutely require the ability to access serial console of our servers and routers. What solutions (USB-> serial adapters?) are there? Would the device be also visible on the UNIX end (so that I could use it with an application like minicom, and generally use it as I would any /dev device)?
    No idea. USB-Serial adapters are available, but I don't know if one would be usable for console access.

    Thirdly, on an external display, can I use a resolution higher than what the internal display supports (higher than 1024x768 basically) -- 1024x768 on a 21" screen would be rather painful.
    The iBook only supports mirroring of the internal display, so you would be limited to 1024x768. PowerBooks support up to 2048 x 1536 on external displays, with an extended desktop across the external and internal.

    Lastly, how much heat does the G4 generate compared to say a Pentium 4 or a lap-burner Pentium 3? I'm curious, as it's virtually impossible to my Pentium 3 laptop on my lap due to the heat generation.

    - strlen
    My first-generation 12" PowerBook dissipates heat through it's aluminum bottom, and it can get uncomfortably hot. The newer ones are supposedly a little better. The polycarbonate iBooks are a little cooler.

  3. #3
    strlen
    Guest
    Thanks a lot! I think I'm more steered towards the G4 PowerBook in lieu of this development (as likely I'll be using the system hooked up to a 21" Sun monitor a great deal of the time), but are there any other solutions available for a larger than normal resolution on the iBook?

    Also, while Apple claims an extra battery life hour on the iBook, your comment and search results from the PowerBook forum are convincing me otherwise, that in practice I likely won't see a difference between the 12" iBook and 12" powerbook in performance.

    I've also been told that it's possible to simply close the laptop and replace the battery, without fully powering down the system? Is this true of both the iBook and the powerbook?

    Again, thanks a lot for the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by technologist
    The iBook only supports mirroring of the internal display, so you would be limited to 1024x768. PowerBooks support up to 2048 x 1536 on external displays, with an extended desktop across the external and internal.

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