Pythaeus tells us that Apple is preparing to ship its internal 80 MB hard disk drives for the PowerBook series. This should come as welcome news for PowerBook power users who have been feeling scrunched between the small 20 MB and 40 MB standard hard drives that have been shipping in Apple's notebooks.
More interesting, and a bit more surprising, is the rumour that Apple will offer a trade-up deal to owners of the smaller drives. As a result, all those existing PowerBook owners should be able to acquire an 80 MB drive without having to keep the original drive or try to sell it in a market with practically zero potential customers (after all, every PowerBook already has one of the smaller drives in it).
As much as those 80 MB drives will be extremely welcome, we wonder if they will have the same, ahem, feature that some of the current 80 MB drives have (notably the drives in some IIsi's). Apple ships drives pre-formatted, but the standard formatting often doesn't create as large a partition as possible. With some of the 80 MB drives, up to 4 MB of disk space may be wasted in a free space partition. You can recover this space by backing up your entire hard drive (not a bad thing to do while you're thinking about it anyway), running Apple's HD SC Setup program, and increasing the size of the default partition with the Partition button. If you don't know what you're doing, don't mess with this, since you will have to reformat your drive in the process, erasing everything on it. This is one of the advantages of Silverlining - you can resize partitions on the fly without reformatting. It's always a good idea to backup before performing any task of this sort though.
Finally, as of April 15th, Apple will officially remove the 2 MB Classic and 2 MB Classic II from the price lists, thus admitting that 2 MB is really not enough RAM to run System 7. The 4 MB versions of those Macs will stick around, and you can bet that Apple won't introduce any more 2 MB versions of the desktop Macs again.