Apple Powerbook 3400c

Apple Macintosh Powerbook 3400c

Apple Macintosh Powerbook 3400c

My First Laptop

A laptop is a computer waiting to fall or be stolen. So far this has not happened to my Powerbook 3400c.

I bought this Powerbook 3400 laptop computer from someone off the Low End Mac Buy and Sell Mailing List. It was the first laptop I ever owned until I got a used Macintosh iBook G3 700 .

The Powerbook 3400 was pressed it into service shortly after my last 680×0 Mac, a Centris 650 was decommissioned.

The Powerbook originally came with OS 9.1, which I found to be a little sluggish. I downgraded the OS by totally erasing the hard drive and doing a clean install of OS 8.5. The Powerbook is spunkier with a less demanding operating system which is great for what this laptop was originally used for — internet browsing, email and word processing whenever I was away from home.

It ran Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x, Eudora 5.1, Nifty Telnet and Telefinder 5.7 for a variety of internet tasks. On the word processing side, Clarisworks 4.0, WriteNow 4.0 and Microsoft Word 5.1 are the word processors of choice. For plain text processing this book packs BBEdit Lite 4.1 and Apple’s SimpleText prorgram.

There is a built in 4GB hard drive, which for about 3 years ran well on the Powerbook. In late 2003, the hard drive started to flake out. I bought another internal drive, but after finding out how difficult it was to self install the thing, I lost my desire to use the Powerbook and stored it away in my closet for slightly more than a year. I later bought the iBook and never bothered with this old Mac until I read an article about running a Powerbook off a compact flash memory card. So earlier this year I brought out the Powerbook and got it up and running using a compact flash card as its primary “hard drive”.

Regardless this Powerbook 3400 is maxed out with 144 MB of RAM memory and contains the removable CD ROM, floppy drive and Zip disc modules. I also have 2 PCMIA cards that hold compact flash for using the Powerbook with my dedicated compact flash drive. The second card is used for storage and file transfer. The Powerbook is now running Mac OS 8.6.

Today I still use the Powerbook 3400 for word processing (I love WriteNow 4.0 and this is one of the Macs that can run the program), simple internet tasks and as an MP3 music jukebox. For the MP3s, it uses Sound App which was a free player offered in the late 1990s. As far as I know, this Mac cannot do any version of iTunes with its current OS.

This is a old laptop that is snappy enough for basic, daily use.

Powerbook 3400 Hardware Set-up

Hardware Vendor: Apple Computer, Inc.
Machine Type: PB 3400
Gestalt ID: 306
Physical RAM Size: 144 Meg
CPU Type: PPC603ev (Built-in FPU)
CPU Speed: 180 MHz
Bus Speed: 40 MHz
ROM Version: $077D
ROM Size: 3 Meg
MMU Type: Emulated MMU Type 1

Hard Disk: 4 GB
Flash Memory: 1 GB Compact Flash card (boot drive)

Peripheral Devices

Macintosh Powerbook 6x CD-ROM Module
Macintosh Powerbook Floppy Disk Module
Macintosh 100 MB Zip Drive Module
Macintosh Powerbook AC Adapter
2 Powerbook Batteries
Power Computing ADB Mouse (spare)
External Modem (various)
NEC Silentwriter Printer (networked)
Ethernet DSL modem connection to network


Mac OS 8.5 upgraded to OS 8.6
ClarisWorks 4.0
WriteNow 4.0
Microsoft Word 5.1
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x
iCab 2.9.8 web browser
Nifty Telnet
Telefinder 5.7
JPEG Viewer
SoundApp v. 2.73
and other software

Profile: Low End Mac – Powerbook 3400c


Telefinder BBS software running on my Powerbook 3400c.

My Photo, My Desktop
My Powerbook 3400c desktop showing the Queen Mary 2 coming into Honolulu Harbor. Running Mac OS 8.6.

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1 Response to Apple Powerbook 3400c

  1. Eric Hopkins says:

    Hi. I have a 3400c with no Zip or CD drive and am interested in trying the Compact Flash boot option. Can you list the specific equipment and methods used, or point me to resources that do so?


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