PowerBook 5300 FAQ

AlkSoft / Contents / Software / Utility

1.4) Utility

1.4.1) What disk utility programs can I use on this computer?

Any of them. There is no real limit on which utilities you use except for personal preference. I find DiskWarrior to be among the best out there. Of course, there's the standard Apple Drive Setup and Disk First Aid which allow you to reformat, initialize, and partition hard disks as well as repair some of the more common and simple disk problems. Of course, there's also tools like Norton Utilities/Disk Doctor or System Works. Be careful, though. Whichever utility you choose, make sure it supports the format of your hard disk. Some older versions of Norton Disk Doctor don't deal with HFS Extended hard drives very well, often leaving the disk in worse shape than before running the utility. Of course, the same can be said for any out of date disk utility... There have been a bunch of utilities over the years, so I won't mention them all. Suffice it to say, if Norton, DiskWarrior, and Disk First Aid cannot collectively solve your problem, you probably need professional help or should consider the disk a paperweight.

1.4.2) What troubleshooting/diagnostic/repair software can I use on this computer?

If you can find a version of Mac Test Pro for PowerPC, that's a good place to start. The software checks absolutely every aspect of your hardware for faults. Of course, there's also the always vernerable TechTool Pro. TTP does many of the same things as Mac Test Pro, and it's somewhat more easy to come by. Norton System Works has some other handy utilities as well. LCD Tester might also be useful if you want to check for dead pixels in your LCD.

1.4.3) Can I speed up 68k emulation?

Maybe. It all depends on the version of the OS you are running. If you are running 7.5.2 through 8.1 you can probably get a pretty significant boost by installing Connectix Speed Doubler. SD has a more efficient 68k emulator than the one built into these system versions. Mac OS 8.5, on the other hand, introduced a new emulation engine that largely negates the 68k emulation benefits of Speed Doubler.

1.4.4) Can I use virtual memory?

Yes, but you may wish to think about that decision carefully. VM on the 5300 will be slow at best. It works, certainly, but it's not very quick, especially if you run an OS earlier than 8.6. If you find that you are running VM frequently, you may want to look into maximizing your physical RAM or getting a PowerBook with more RAM capacity.

1.4.5) Can I use RAM Doubler?

Yes, if you have a version that works with your copy of Mac OS. RD 2 works fine for OS 7.6 and System 7.5.x. If you have OS 8 or 8.1, you'll need at least RAM Doubler 8. RD 9 also works well with OS 9 and anything earlier. There are folks who swear by RAM Doubler and swear AT Virtual Memory. I consider myself one of these. If you absolutely have to use one of these, I'd pick RD. There are, of course, some programs which don't cooperate with RD or VM or both, but you'll have to figure that out on a case by case basis.

1.4.6) What battery utilities can I use for this PowerBook?

There are a few utilities that might be useful. The NiMH battery in the 5300 isn't particularly intelligent, but it can tend to develop a good memory. If that happens, you should look into Jeremy Kezer's Battery Amnesia. Battery Amnesia can clock how long your battery lasts and can also help to rejuvinate some batteries by exercising them thoroughly. Also useful is Kezer's MyBattery. MyBattery is a utlity that displays very detailed information about the state of your PowerBook's battery (voltage level, temperature, etc).

1.4.7) Can I find out what the temperature of my PowerBook is?

Yes. Again, your best bet is probably Jeremy Kezer's MyBattery. There are other utilities out there, but many of them require a G3 or G4 to work correctly.

1.4.8) What general utility software can I use on this computer?

Wow. There's a pretty good list of utilities out there. Still, if MyBattery, Mac Test Pro, TechTool Pro, DiskWarrior, Disk First Aid, and Norton Utilities don't cover your needs, then you should probably check out the utlities section of VersionTracker.

1.4.9) What do I need to exchange files with PCs?

Why, PC Exchange, of course! PC Exchange will allow your 5300 to read and format PC floppies. It will also allow you to open certain files from PC users, provided they have a good file extension (like .doc).

If you want to exhange files with PCs via a network connection, consider Thursby Systems DAVE. DAVE allows a Mac to connect to a Windows-based network and log onto shared PCs and PC-based printers.