The Senior Macintosh Center
My Mac Magazine #39, July ’98

Limping to your computer screen with a bad case of writer’s block, I greet all of you and hope that you are well. I’ve got two items of business to attend to. First is a correction from last month’s article… Say it ain’t so! I was wr… wr… wr… misinformed? No, I was wrong! Ouch! Second, I’m gonna let you in on a little how-to secret.

A Macintosh PowerBook 5300 runs best with System 7.6.1. There, I said it. Last month I had one of my many fans ask which OS would be the best for his laptop. Well, just thinking about the specs of the thing, I figured that it could handle OS 8.1 and so I recommended that. Nope! After he did some research, he sent me a note saying that he’d talked with 2 or 3 different help desks and they all said the best OS is 7.6.1.

I’m really not sure what all the particulars are about that but I felt that it was only right to let you know what he found out. I have a bad case of heartburn after eating humble pie. :^)

Okay, campers, now for a little how-to stuff. The first article I ever wrote for My Mac was about the little battery in your computer and all the stuff it maintains and why you need to change it. How would you like for me to tell you how? It’ll save you some money on service labor. Not bad. I just hope no one in the Shenandoah Valley reads this article, ‘cuz then they won’t need me anymore. :^{

There are two types of batteries…round ones and square ones! No, I’m not kidding. Their Apple part numbers are 742-0011 and 922-0750. The round ones are 3.6 volts and the square ones are 4.5 volts. Note: Some of you with computers that are towers like the Quadra 800, Power Mac 8100, etc. really should let your service guys do this one. It’s a pain in the butt to get to and you don’t need the hassle. Trust me on this one. Where were we? Oh yeah, batteries…

The round ones are in LCs (all flavors), and most 68k series computers. The only tool you need is a flat-bladed jeweler’s screwdriver. When you take the cover off you’ll see several different components. Thank goodness this is not like dissecting a frog! The big, green circuit board is your main logic board. BE CAREFUL WITH THIS! Another note: Make sure that you are properly grounded… best way to do this is to have the computer plugged in the wall BUT turned off. DO NOT HAVE YOUR COMPUTER ON WHEN DOING THIS!!

Now that I’ve ranted, let’s continue. On the logic board is a small, black, plastic bracket. Inside there is our little friend, the battery. To get to it, take the screwdriver and easily pry up one side of the bracket about 1/4 inch and then pry up the other side. There are little notches on either end at the top of the bracket. You’ll see what I mean when you look at it. Stick the screwdriver down into the notches and gently pry outward. Take the old battery out. Snap the new one in… Make sure it’s going in the right direction or the text is displayed backwards on your monitor… just kidding! Gently snap the bracket in place and put the cover back on. You’ll need to reset the date, time, mouse speed, Chooser settings, etc. but that’s all there is to that. Simple stuff.

The square battery fits into models like the all-in-one units like Performa 5200’s. This is easy. You need to remove the logic board from the back of the computer. Usually, held in place by two phillips-head screws. Remember, be grounded. As before, the best way to do this is to have the computer plugged in the wall BUT turned off. DO NOT HAVE YOUR COMPUTER ON WHEN DOING THIS!!

Once you’ve removed the logic board, you’ll see the battery in plain view. It’s the little, black, square-looking thing… Simply disconnect it and pull it from the velcro pad that holds it in place and put the new one in. There should be a little red button on the logic board. If not, it’ll be dark gray. Look for it. It is a reset button and Apple recommends that you press and hold it down for about 10 seconds. It’s kinda like zapping the PRAM… only better. After that, put the logic board back into the computer. You will need to set the same stuff like date and time but that’s it. Voila! It’s done and you’re a genius!

I’ve given you a very quick tutorial on this. Take your time and be careful. It’s easy to mess up something… I know… I’ve done it! Logic boards aren’t cheap… you know what I’m saying?

Okay, that’s all for now. Not bad for having writer’s block, eh? If you have any more specific questions about this or any other service-related issues you can email me. Have a happy and safe 4th!

I, as always, am da Mac man!

Catcha L8r

Ed Tobey

Leave a Reply