Hi everyone! This is a place where I share my experiences with the devices I come across and use. Hopefully, you'll find the info here helpful in your search for geeky stuff...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dead Powerbook: REVIVED!

So, I have this 550MHZ G4 Titanium Powerbook that I have not turned on for 4 years. I dropped it and cracked the case and one of the screen hinges actually broke, exposing some wires. On top of that, the backlight was becoming really unreliable. Sometimes it would be ok, and most times, the screen would be black. The famous "paint peel" syndrome of Titanium Powerbooks was also apparent on mine.

I bought a 17" Powerbook and just shoved this into a drawer, until a few days ago when I came across it again while doing some spring cleaning. I thought to myself if I can hook it up to my 42" plasma in my bedroom, I can permanently leave my 17" Powerbook downstairs in the living room instead of bringing it up all the time. So a plan hatched.

I checked the back of the Tibook and my Panasonic plasma TV and found that the common factor was VGA. Simple enough. I dug out a VGA cable and hooked them up and voila! There was action! The old neglected Tibook still worked!

But wait a minute. How am I supposed to type and move the cursor while lying in bed? Wireless keyboard and mouse of course! Being a pre-bluetooth machine, I can't just go out and buy a set of bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The cheapest solution, I figured, would be a wireless USB RF keyboard/mouse, right?

So, I went out and bought a S$65 Microsoft RF wireless keyboard and mouse.

And what a waste of money it turned out to be! Anything further than 12 inches, they lose connection. My bed and the computer is a good 8 feet apart. So it looks like bluetooth is the only option.

So I went to my favourite electronics place again to buy a USB bluetooth dongle to add bluetooth capability to my aged Tibook. As it turned out, it's not easy as I thought. Nobody can guarantee that their USB dongles would work with OSX. I finally found one that has a picture of the Mac sign on the packaging and bought it. Went to buy a set of Apple wireless keyboard and mouse. They were really expensive but at least they looked good.

I went home, happily set everything up and crap. It didn't work! Bluetooth can detect my phones and can even transfer files, but no matter what I tried, it just couldn't detect my Apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse!

So, what to do but go online and trawl internet forums? After some serious reading, I found that the only USB bluetooth dongle that has been proven to work with OSX is the D-Link DBT-120. I called my local D-Link number only to find that that model has been discontinued!

Sp did I just spend S$65 (Microsoft RF keyboard/mouse) + S$29 (bluetooth dongle that didn't work) + S$225 (Apple bluetooth keyboard/mouse) for NOTHING??

No! I didn't come this far for nothing?!

I called up D-Link again and found out that the DBT-120 has been replaced by a newer model called DBT-122. According to the website, it supports Mac but with zero details. Searched the internet but did not find any conclusion about it being able to work with OSX.

I decided to take a risk and order it. It wasn't in stock and I had to wait 3 days for it.

After 3 days, it finally arrived!

I pluged it in, crossed my fingersm and YES!!! It works! It detected my keyboard and mouse immediately! I can now surf the internet or do anything I want on my computer in bed with a 42" plasma as my monitor!

The view from my bed:

So, for anyone wondering how to get totally functioning bluetooth into your old Titanium Powerbook, the answer is: D-Link DBT-122.


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