Next Powerbook/ibook with swappable drives ?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I don't know if this has been discussed before but here is an excerpt from a patent filed by Apple in Feb 2002 and updated in June for a media bay design for portable computers:

A portable computer, comprising: a media bay capable of receiving a media device; and a computer housing for components of said portable computer, said computer housing including at least a media bay opening providing access to said media bay; and a media ejection mechanism, said media ejection mechanism includes at least a push bar, a dampener and an eject lever, said dampener provides a resistance to rapid movement to said push bar and said eject lever.

21. wherein said push bar is spring-biased.

22. A portable computer as recited in claim 20, wherein the eject lever has at least an initial position and an eject position, and wherein a media device can be inserted into said media bay via said media bay opening while the eject lever is in the initial position, and thereafter the media device can be ejected from said media bay via said media bay opening by moving the eject lever from the initial position to the eject position.

23. wherein the eject lever slowly returns from the eject position to the initial position after being released.

24. wherein the spring-biased push bar causes the eject lever to return to the initial position, and the dampener causes the rate of the return to be limited.

25. wherein the push bar has a first toothed section and the dampener has a gear that meshes against the first toothed section.

26. wherein the push bar has a second toothed section and the eject lever has a gear that meshes against the second toothed section.

27. wherein said media ejection mechanism further includes a spring, and wherein said dampener further acoustically dampens spring noise.

Now, what can we hot swap on a powerbook ? Had drives, battery, cd/dvd drives, how about a hot swappable ipod ? <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

Speculate away


They also filed another patent for a removable keyboard for laptops. the details:

The invention generally pertains to a computing device. More particularly, the invention pertains to an improved keyboard arrangement for use in the computing device. One aspect of the invention pertains to a movable keyboard that can be opened or removed to gain easy access to internal components of the computing device. Another aspect of the invention pertains to a magnetic keyboard securing system suitable for holding the movable keyboard relative to the computing device. The invention is particularly useful in computing devices such as portable computers

This would be nice :cool:

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: Jamil ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 9
    Sometimes a patent is just a couple of guys sitting around coming up with ideas, so that they can get the $500 (or whatever) patent reward that companies give.

    The boss is happy because he'll weasel his name there, the company's happy because they can add it to their "wall of patents," the lawyers are happy because they charge a lot to write it up, and even more later to go after companies that use their patents.

    I'm happy because I have enough money to buy a new set of race tires.

    If my patents see the light of day for consumers, it'll be a sad day for engineering in general.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    clonenodeclonenode Posts: 392member
    The current iBooks and TiBooks have the exact type of removeable keyboards this patent describes. As for the media bay patent, older PowerBooks already had this mechanism. Unless Apple has redesigned it in some subtle way, this patent describes the eject mechanism on the old G3 PowerBooks (Lombard, Wallstreet, etc.)

    If they could get this to work on something as thin as the TiBooks, that would be cool. But then again, how many different devices do you need to swap in and out of a TiBook?

    [ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: clonenode ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 9
    protodadaprotodada Posts: 125member

    maybe removeable keyboard with touch sensitive pad? that was sort of given wasn't it.....
  • Reply 4 of 9
    blizaineblizaine Posts: 239member
    You forgot line 28:

    28. wherein said media device further includes a IEEE-1394 port, and wherein said dampener further acoustically plays over 4000 songs.

    Anyone here know how long it takes to get patents? Did the old PowerBooks have hot-swappable bays?

    If so, this could have been filed a long time ago.

    Either way, the description sounds an awful lot like the way my Toshiba laptop's bays work (both DVD and Battery)... I wonder if some companies will have to pay Apple royalties because of this.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    jamiljamil Posts: 210member
    This was filed on Feb 15 2002. So it must be a redesign.

    The removable keyboard was filed July 11th.

    [ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: Jamil ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 9
    jasonppjasonpp Posts: 308member
    Toshiba has a laptop with a removable wireless keyboard and wireless optical mouse..

    I wonder is Apple is going to go after them?
  • Reply 7 of 9
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Apple doesn't go after companies that can bite back. Besides, the media bay is hardly an Apple innovation.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Short term memories I guess as we solved this a couple months ago when it was brought up. This patent is for the last G3 PowerBooks. Notice the "lip" that hangs down that acts as a latch for the lid, the removable drive bays and their release lever design, etc. All identical to the last G3 PowerBooks. It simply has a new filing date because it was finally approved. It takes a long time.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Filing dates are updated upon patent approval.

    This was for the PBG3 Lombard/Pismo.

    Decidedly *not* FH.

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