I continue to mock Rohit....

CobraBoy (tbyars@earthlink.net)
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 19:41:43 -0800

Rohit remember when you had one of these nice machines to use?

Actually this is a total bit of fluff, but I found it funny. I just sold my
540c, not for any good reason, but I was able to maximize my price delta
with a acceptable offer. (See if you get into retailing you can talk just
like that, and worse of all people will actually understand what the hell
your talking about.)

Well I can go on record to say that I never turned off my 540c and it never
crashed. I used to restart it just because..... actually I do that now with
my Quarda 950 which by the way gets replaced on Monday with a brand new
8500/180/ 96 megs of RAM/2 gig/ 12X CD-ROM. I have used the 950 since it
was brand new in August of 91 (92? I actually don't remember!) It has
become a part of my life, like my first dog, or my car or whatever. It
will be weird not hearing it's boot sound every morning.... It came with a
whopping 8 megs of RAM and a 240 meg Drive. It now becomes a mail server
and stuff. (watch for the T Byars mail list, LAVA (anti - voxers at large)
figure it out...)



This tidbit is from:

<cwcjr@gramercy.ios.com> (William Cox)

I don't like to brag, but my PowerBook 540c has not been rebooted since
before Apple announced the NeXT acquisition.

Ha, you say, you must not be doing anything with it. Well, let's compare,
shall we?

I primarily use this PowerBook for email, telnet, web browsing, and text
editing. Sometimes I do image manipulation and page layout as well, and
have done so during the week in question. I am not always on the network,
and constantly switch between a static IP address, a server-assigned IP
address, and a DHCP IP address, as well as AppleTalk over both Ethernet
and LocalTalk. Needless to say, I'm running Open Transport. My base
system software is 7.5.5, on which I"ve piled a number of third-party
INITs. I have 12MB of real RAM, 12MB of Virtual RAM. The hard disk is
380MB, mostly full. I eat a lot of chocolate, and drop cookie crumbs
everywhere; dog hair is not uncommon. I have not had to reboot since I
gave up Lotus Notes 4.1a in favor of accessing my Notes mail via POP3.

At the moment, I am off the network. I have VersaTerm Pro, <eM@iler>,
BBEdit Lite 4.0, DragThing, Stickies, Netscape Navigator 2.x, and the
OT/PPP control panel open. I could open more applications if I wanted to,
but that's not necessary. I also have a WindowsNT shared resource mounted
using Thursby Systems' DAVE NT client.

I used to carry a Dell Latitude XPi, a Pentium 120d, 16MB RAM, 1GB disk
(mostly full).

Distinction #1: Power Management
Power management on the Dell consisted of writing the contents of memory
to disk, then turning off the power, so a restart from slumber was not
unlike a cold restart. The PB540c wakes up within 30 seconds, ready and
raring to go.

Distinction #2: Clean Network Disconnections When I disconnected from the
network, with live network volumes mapped to local drives, or with other
services in session, Windows95 would crash. I had to disconnect the PB in
a hurry today with a telnet session open; VersaTerm closed it off just

Distinction #3: Multiple Network Addresses Luckily I had two PCMCIA
slots, and so was able to specify the Ethernet card as a static address,
and the modem card as a server-assigned address. (You could do the same
with a dual purpose card.) I was also able to set up multiple PPP
connection documents containing login information for the various
services to which I subscribe. I could even run IP through both ports
simultaneously. But god forbid if I tried to switch the configuration of
either of the NICs: Windows95 needs to reboot to establish the new
address, gateway, DNS, whatever. I've been moving my PowerBook from
subnet to subnet, Ethernet to PPP (various providers), all week with no
problems, and no reboot.

Distinction #4: Resource Usage, or, Stability I did finally find a
Windows text editor I like: TexEdit. So now I could use my primary tools:
email, telnet, web browser, and text editor. I refuse to do image
manipulation with a trackball, so that was out of the question on the
Dell. Notes 4.11a is a approximately similar resource hog to Photoshop,
so I guess that counts as a comparison. If I had Notes open, I could open
Netscape, for a while, but within three hours my system resources would
be approximately 75%, and so a reboot would be imminent. Same thing if I
maintained more than one telnet session with SmartTerm or KEA. Or ran
Eudora Lite to check my POP3 mail accounts. (Apparently IP using Winsock
has a leak, but the fix (a kernel update 'round midsummer?) did not fix
this problem.) While I did not receive any Out of Memory errors, I do
recall a number of GPFs, hung programs, frozen Windows, and suchlike.
Exiting Notes did not always seem to restore the system's state without a
full reboot.

On my PB540c, I've edited 10MB images in Photoshop, downloaded files via
FTP, browsed the web, checked my mail, replied to my mail, checked my
mail again, expanded the downloads, compressed some old files, downloaded
some more, mounted the NT share, mounted a NetWare server over AppleTalk
(not currently present, since AppleTalk noticed the network was missing),
telnetted to various servers, been on the network, off the network, on
the network over PPP, on a different subnet over Ethernet, edited HTML
files, ran a mail server, ran an FTP server, shared files over LocalTalk,
added fonts, removed fonts, installed software, and performed serious
research with You Don't Know Mac. I even managed to successfully crash
our Notes 4.5 test server with a stray piece of SMTP mail (this was
intentional). The only reason I used to reboot before was to clean Notes
out of memory, or because software I installed insisted on it.

I've got more RAM on order, and when that comes I'll be able to
accomodate that porcine beast, Lotus Notes 4.x, and not fall asleep
between screen redraws. We'll see what happens with that in the mix
again. I suspect it will still leak, still misbehave, and still manage to
burp on 2/3rds of its modem transactions. But I also suspect that I won't
have to reboot, unless **I** want to, unless **I** want to clear Notes
out of memory, unless **I** want to edit a 32MB CMYK TIFF image in

So, you ask, why didn't you get a 5300ce? Then you could run fast,
PowerPC-native versions of these programs. I guess I could, but I happen
to like the 540c's keyboard, and, except for Notes, its performance is
quite acceptable. I don't do enough work in Photoshop to have a pressing
need to upgrade--so I haven't ordered Newer Technology's nuPower upgrade

I've said the above, because for some reason Windows has acquired a
reputation for stability and usability that it does not deserve. I
understand that NT has some benefits, but let's not lump NT in with
Win95; they are two different beasts. (The above comparison could not
have been done with NT and the MacOS: Dell has not certified NT for their
laptops yet, and will not for some time. Good luck finding a laptop that
ships with NT installed.) Apple needs to remember that for usability, and
even for stability, their benchmark is not Windows, but their own past


I got two turntables and a microphone...

<> tbyars@earthlink.net <>