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Three cheers for the delightfully personal PowerBook 1400

Christopher Phin | Jan. 22, 2015
In its recent ad for the MacBook Air, Apple demonstrated how much people loved it by showing the ways in which people had personalized theirs with stickers. And although my current 2008 MacBook Pro is stickerless, my previous MacBook and iBook were covered in them, so I get it.

You're likely to find other templates for BookCover inserts on popular shareware forums or as supplements to commercial software.

Of course your inserts don't have to come from the template. All sorts of things would look good under the BookCover, including family pictures, the logo of your school of favorite team, a collage of colorful scraps and images, or even business cards.

Peculiarly, there's no suggestion to use your company logo as a BookCover insert, but I think it looks rather smart! Note that I put the Macworld logo the wrong way round according to the fashion of the time — look at the orientation of the Apple logo — but I agree with modern Apple that this is the right way to do it!

You could even buy third-party solar panels that slotted into where the BookCover would go, which is a highly pleasing little hack — even if you'd probably have to sit on the equator of Mercury at noon to get enough light to supply sufficient power.

Oh, and by the way, do you remember when — since their hinges were mounted on the top rather than on the back edge of the laptop — screens could do this?

That hinge design also meant ports were on the back rather than on the sides, which I'd prefer even today; the tentacular splurge of cables coming out of the side of my MacBook Pro as it sits on its TwelveSouth HiRise looks messy. Of course, these old hinges mean that the laptops were thicker too even if everything else had been equal; this one barely fits into my laptop bag!

There's a lot more about the PowerBook 1400 that was remarkable, but that's for another time...

Share your stories of your personalized Macs in the comments, especially if you had any clever ways you used the PowerBook 1400's BookCover inserts!

 

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