Cracking Open the Apple G3 Pismo Firewire

The Beginning

With all of the excitement about the MacBook Air lately (Due largely to their excellent commercials), we thought it might be interesting to compare the cutting edge Apple MacBook Air with its predecessor from back in 2000.

Has notebook technology made a huge leap forward in features and functionality, or has it made a few measured steps targeted mostly at the "cool kids"?

We shall see, as we dissect its ancestor, the Apple G3 Pismo Firewire. Named such because it was the only G3 series notebook to feature Firewire ports which were quite the rage in 2000, but seemed to stall and fall by the wayside somewhere between 2000 and 2008.

We'll start with a few notable comparisons of the two, and while doing so, we find that this also serves as a comparison by proxy to most other notebooks of the time and of today as well.

The dimensions are the most obvious, the Air being .95 inches slimmer than our Pismo, and indeed, most other notebooks. As a point of reference the screen alone on our Pismo is approximately the same thickness as complete AirBook. As Mark Kaelin pointed out, that was accomplished in part by eliminating the cumbersome drive bays.The Screen sizes are similar, 13.3 for the AirBook, and 14.1 for the Pismo.Battery life technology hasn't done much in 8 years, as they both have a 5 hr battery life. You might consider however, that the Air battery is extremely thin and light, and if it were the same size/weight as our Pismo battery, we may well get much more time out of it. According to Mark Kaelin, the battery was modeled after those found in the iPods.

Don't forget that you can click the image to enlarge.

Here we have the front view of our subject. It was really very typical of notebooks at that time, aside from the sexy lines that it exhibited compared to its x86 competitors.