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In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, it’s not uncommon for the past to inspire the present. The early 1990s witnessed a revolutionary stride in computing when Apple introduced a compact, portable wonder tailored for on-the-go professionals – the PowerBook Duo.
But it wasn’t just a laptop; it was a symbol of innovation. And at its side stood the unsung hero, the Macintosh Duo Dock Plus, a docking station designed exclusively for the PowerBook Duo series. Let’s dive into this time capsule and explore how this transformative accessory shaped the course of portable computing.
Rewind to May 15, 1995, and the stage was set for the grand entrance of the Macintosh Duo Dock Plus. With a price tag starting at $900, this docking station was more than just an accessory; it was a portal to new possibilities.
For PowerBook Duo users, the Duo Dock Plus wasn’t merely a hub – it was a metamorphosis. With a 230 MB hard drive, 4 MB or 8 MB of RAM, a 1.44 MB floppy drive, and an array of connectivity options including Ethernet, serial ports, ADB ports, and more, the Duo Dock Plus transformed the PowerBook Duo into a desktop powerhouse.
The integration of 3.5-mm input and output jacks, a built-in speaker, and a DA-15 video connection elevated the PowerBook Duo’s capabilities, turning it into a multimedia marvel. Even in an era that predates the digital frenzy we know today, the Duo Dock Plus managed to bring a touch of the future into the present.
The Duo Dock Plus wasn’t just an exterior marvel; its inner workings were equally enchanting. A motorized docking mechanism welcomed the PowerBook Duo into its fold, creating a seamless connection through a custom 152-pin docking connector. This integration transformed the PowerBook Duo into a NuBus device, granting access to all the ports and expansion slots of the dock.
To keep pace with evolving design, the Duo Dock Plus received an upgrade in its top cover, accommodating newer PowerBook Duo models with enhanced color displays. An innovative addition came in the form of the AAUI-15 connector, enabling the attachment of Ethernet dongles and bridging the gap between mobility and connectivity.
Despite its relatively short existence, the Duo Dock Plus secured a permanent place in the hearts of Apple enthusiasts and collectors. Fast forward to the present day, and this 28-year-old masterpiece continues to leave its mark. Its design principles and functionalities have left an indelible impact on contemporary docking stations for laptops and other portable devices.
Yet, like any technological marvel, the Duo Dock Plus is not immune to the ravages of time. The dreaded “Tick of Death,” a result of aging capacitors within the docking mechanism, has become a familiar concern for those who treasure this artifact. But even this glitch is a testament to the Duo Dock Plus’s historical significance.
In a world where innovation is rapid and change is constant, looking back at the Apple PowerBook Duo Dock Plus is a reminder that even seemingly transient creations can cast a long shadow. It’s a tale of a docking station that transformed a portable wonder into a desktop dynamo, a relic that echoes in the design of modern devices, and a chapter in Apple’s history that continues to captivate.
Macintosh Duo Dock Plus Details
|Introduced||May 15, 1995|
|Discontinued||February 1, 1997|
|Dimensions||5.1″ H x 12.3” W x 16.3” D|
12.95 cm H x 31.24 cm W x 41.4 cm D
Duo Dock Plus Station Tech Specs
|Number of Cores||1|
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB floppy|
|Built-in Memory||4 MB of PSRAM|
8 MB of PSRAM
|Maximum Memory||36 MB|
|Memory Slots||1 – PowerBook 53xx|
|Minimum Speed||70 ns|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DA-15|
|Expansion Slots||2 – 15 W |
1 – 25 W NuBus cards
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – DA-15|
|Maximum Continuous Power||75 W|
Further Reading and References
- PowerBook Duo Dock Plus: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- PowerBook Duo – Wikipedia
- PowerBook Duo Dock Service Source (PDF) – Apple Repair Manuals
Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.
Last updated: August 13, 2023