"Docking" a PowerBook for a desktop replacement: good idea?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I currently have a dual 800 in my office, and I'm considering replacing it with a PowerBook + Apple Display. This is work money, so money isn't really an issue, and this way I could basically get a home computer with work money, because I'd bring it home in the evenings. I'd leave a display, mouse, keyboard, and power cable at work, and then plug in when I come in to work. I'd probably use the laptop at work in closed-lid mode, because screen real estate isn't really an issue for me and desk space kind of is. I'm looking at the 15" 1.5 Ghz PowerBook + DVI-ADC adaptor.



I know the machine can do this, but I'm interested in thoughts, opinions, suggestions, pros, cons, etc. Is this a good idea? What are the downsides that I haven't thought of?



One concern may be the plugging and pulling of cables twice a day. If the USB hub on the monitor would still work, that would mean less cable pulling and plugging, but I don't know if the DVI port on the PowerBook carries USB too - I kind of doubt it.



I also wonder if the Bluetooth mouse/keyboard would be a good solution in this situation. I'd have to attach/remove less cables that way, but I'm not sure if Bluetooth works when the laptop is in clamshell mode.



I also could get a G5, but noise and space are an issue, and I don't particularly need that speed. I do mostly word-processing and that type of stuff at work, with only the occasional need-for-speed work. I'd be interested in a G5 iMac however, and my spidey sense is tingling that those are coming soon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    quagmirequagmire Posts: 558member
    I say its a good idea. I got my powerbook to replace my aging pc desktop. It is working great for me.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    messiahtoshmessiahtosh Posts: 1,754member
    The plugging in and unplugging of cables would be a concern for me too, I dont know if people do that every single day. I'd be interested to hear what people have to say about the durability of those cords and if they do it themselves, such as you described it.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    I also could get a G5, but noise and space are an issue



    have you seen a G5 in person??? there's virtually no noise.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    cosmocosmo Posts: 662member
    If you were to go bluetooth for the mouse and keyboard, the only cables that would be plugged in and out often would the the ADC cable, and eithernet. I doubt the eithernet port would have problems. Not sure about the ADC.



    Why not buy applecare (work's money, right?) and not worry about it. I imagine if this is a work machine, you'll be replacing it in about 3 or 4 years. Applecare would cover most of this time and if something does happen w/ the ports, apple would repair it.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    tacojohntacojohn Posts: 980member
    I had an iBook dual USB for about 2.5 years and everyday I would come home from class/work and plug in an external USB keyboard, mouse, power adapter, & speakers. Yes- almost everyday for 2.5 years and I've never had any problems...



    Now I have a powerbook 15" 1.25 and all I plug in is the power and speakers and my firewire HDD and iSight once in while (most of the time its just power and speakers). I have the bluetooth keyboard and mouse and I love 'em! The battery life is great! I'd like to have the 23" or even the 20" hook up to this while in clam shell mode. It would make a complete desktop replacement.



    I'd say go for it.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    crusadercrusader Posts: 1,129member
    Yes, docking is awesome. May I suggest a Bookendz or some sort of actual dock? I don't know if this would work but it's worth checking out. Also get two firewire HDs and have one at work and home. Keep backups on both just in case your laptop gets hosed/stolen in transit between home and work.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I'd say do it, BRussell...especially since you freely admit you're not really requiring G5-level horsepower. You say it at the start of your post perfectly: a machine you can bring home at the end of the day.



    Why not?



    As long as the company is paying for it, why not upgrade to 128MB graphics and the 5400rpm drive? I would. Make it as kick-butt as possible.



    And the 15" is really nice, straddling that "not too big, not too little" line perfectly: all the goodies the 12" lacks (lighted keyboard, PC card slot, FireWire 800, audio-in, 128MB graphics BTO) but in a slightly tighter, more luggable package than the 17". Besides, as you say, you're going to have the external display anyway.



    You'll TOTALLY dig the lighted keyboard, while writing/e-mailing on the couch in a darkened room. I know I do.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Yes, it's a good idea. I do something similar with my 12" rev. a 'book. Except I have all my crap at home and take only the 'book to work. I'm seriously thinking about one of the bookendz docks for my post-doc so I don't have to plug in all that crap all the time. You'll love having a notebook. I don't think I'll ever go back to a desktop.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Yep, in fact Apple should STOP making desktops period. [ducks and hides from all the tower geeks]
  • Reply 10 of 26
    rampancyrampancy Posts: 363member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pscates

    Yep, in fact Apple should STOP making desktops period. [ducks and hides from all the tower geeks]



    IIRC, isn't that what Jobs envisioned way back in the 80's when he was pushing for a "Mac-in-a-Book by 1986"?
  • Reply 11 of 26
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    Ah, this conjures memories of duo docks long past.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    BookENDZ is your friend



    At work I have a PC laptop with dock hooked up to an LCD. Very efficeint way to work.



    When I have to leave on mission or make a presentation somewhere *pop* it out in 5 seconds and off I go.



    DO NOT compromise with the idea that you can plug/unplug every day... you will want to throw your 'book out the damn window.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    thegeldingthegelding Posts: 3,230member
    only downside is this:



    will your work know you are taking it home each night??



    if yes, no problems



    if no, if it gets stolen from home or your car, or if you get in a car accident with it and it is damaged...you are maybe in trouble...



    g
  • Reply 14 of 26
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MajorMatt

    Ah, this conjures memories of duo docks long past.



    If only Apple would bring back the Duo Dock, even just as a port replicator, but with the VCR-style slot design. Would certainly be easier than trying to build my own. A new Duo Dock would go particularly well with the 12-inch PowerBook!



    Escher
  • Reply 15 of 26
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tacojohn

    I had an iBook dual USB for about 2.5 years and everyday I would come home from class/work and plug in an external USB keyboard, mouse, power adapter, & speakers. Yes- almost everyday for 2.5 years and I've never had any problems...



    Now I have a powerbook 15" 1.25 and all I plug in is the power and speakers and my firewire HDD and iSight once in while (most of the time its just power and speakers). I have the bluetooth keyboard and mouse and I love 'em! The battery life is great! I'd like to have the 23" or even the 20" hook up to this while in clam shell mode. It would make a complete desktop replacement.



    I'd say go for it.




    So the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard work with the lid closed? I suppose it would, because the computer is all on except the monitor, right? Just making sure.



    ZO and Crusader - that's a good idea about the Bookendz, but I've heard mixed reviews about them. The duo dock type that Escher mentions would be great, but unfortunately doesn't exist. That's why I'm considering the Bluetooth mouse/keyboard, because that would just leave me power, ethernet, and ADC to plug/unplug. Still a pain, but not too bad. Current apple displays have a USB hub built in, but I doubt the DVI port on the PowerBook carries USB. Also Crusader, the hard drive is a great idea to back up. I'd hate to have that PowerBook get hosed and lose everything. Wouldn't it be cool to have work money pay for a 40 Gb iPod for "back up." Actually I probably wouldn't do that because 1. I'd want a dedicated drive and 2. 40 G might not be enough.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    formerlurkerformerlurker Posts: 2,686member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    That's why I'm considering the Bluetooth mouse/keyboard, because that would just leave me power, ethernet, and ADC to plug/unplug. Still a pain, but not too bad. Current apple displays have a USB hub built in, but I doubt the DVI port on the PowerBook carries USB. .



    Actually, the ADC-DVI adaptor has a USB you can plug into your PowerBook when you plug into your DVI, and presto, your Apple Display has USB. Not 2.0, though, only 1.1 - more or less obsoleted by Bluetooth.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pscates

    I'd say do it, BRussell...especially since you freely admit you're not really requiring G5-level horsepower. You say it at the start of your post perfectly: a machine you can bring home at the end of the day.



    Why not?



    As long as the company is paying for it, why not upgrade to 128MB graphics and the 5400rpm drive? I would. Make it as kick-butt as possible.



    And the 15" is really nice, straddling that "not too big, not too little" line perfectly: all the goodies the 12" lacks (lighted keyboard, PC card slot, FireWire 800, audio-in, 128MB graphics BTO) but in a slightly tighter, more luggable package than the 17". Besides, as you say, you're going to have the external display anyway.



    You'll TOTALLY dig the lighted keyboard, while writing/e-mailing on the couch in a darkened room. I know I do.




    Yeah I was thinking about upgrading to the 128 so I can play Doom or whatever big new game comes out. I've still also considered the 12" though because I'm afraid it might get annoying to lug this thing back and forth every day. I ride my bike a lot, and every little bit smaller might make that more tolerable.



    And sometimes I think I'm crazy and I should just get a G5. I already have a 800 Mhz TiBook at home that works fine. But this money runs out in August so I gotta decide.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by FormerLurker

    Apple Display has USB. Not 2.0, though, only 1.1 - more or less obsoleted by Bluetooth.



    One caveat: Can you wake your PowerBook with a Bluetooth keyboard? (I don't think you can.) If not, that would favor a wired USB connection.



    Escher
  • Reply 19 of 26
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Escher

    One caveat: Can you wake your PowerBook with a Bluetooth keyboard? (I don't think you can.) If not, that would favor a wired USB connection.



    Escher




    Hmm, that is an interesting problem. If you're right, then a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse clearly wouldn't be the way to go in this situation.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    i'm pretty sure you can't use it w/o an external keyboard/mouse plugged into a USB slot. should say for sure in one of the threads we've had here on the subject.



    i do it every day, just make sure to buy two power adaptors. then you're just unplugging your laptop, don't have to wrap and unwrap everything all the time.
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