Still, the important news is that Apple has followed up on its iMac success by again becoming a significant innovator in portable computing. At a time when most of the industry is straining to make cookie-cutter commodity hardware as cheaply as possible, it's a pleasure and a relief to see some creativity in consumer computing.

Stephen H.Wildstrom, BusinessWeek.com

Worker bee's betrayal of iBook secrets

Starting in February 2000 websites like appleinsider and ZDnet seemed to be well informed about upcoming Apple products including iBooks, the Power Mac G4 and the Pro Mouse . The specs of the Second Edition Clamshells, which should be introduced in Paris in September 2000 were published in summer.

After some investigation it turned out that a young man who had a temporary job in the Quality Assurance at Apple named Juan Gutierrez was the one who sent emails to journalists signed with the pseudo "Worker bee".

Wayback machine: iBook

The website www.archive.org stores recurring snapshots of websites. Even the launch of the original iBook 1999 on apple.com, and is the presentation of the Second Edition models in autumn 2000. You can follow the links to explore the features of these models, but sometimes you will see missing images. Be warned that the archived pages are loading very, very slow - remember the good old times surfing the web with a 56k modem ?

Unified Motherboard Architecture

The clamshell iBook was the first Mac based on the new Unified Motherboard Architecture (UMA). The logicboard sported new Apple specific ASICs which supported the new standards (USB, FireWire, Ethernet 100mbit, Ultra DMA).

The integration of the controller chips "UniNorth" and "KeyLargo" shows the figure on the Japanese website Medicalmac, the link is a Google translation - or the Apple Developer Notes

The scalability of UMA systems makes it possible that future models can be built on same architecture, reducing development and production costs. For example: the AGP graphics can be accessed with 2x or 4x speed, The bus speed is adjustable from 66MHZ to more than 100MHZ - which is particularly useful for Overclockers.

It is a pity that the Clamshell series ended in 2001, so many possible features were not integrated. The logic board had e.g. still had free space for RAM banks and other interfaces.

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