Pismo Powerbook repair

I just figured this out and wanted to share. I should probably post it to a relevant message board, but this is quicker (note to self: post this to a relevant Mac message board).
One of the IT guys at work came by the other day with a Pismo Powerbook (500mhz, firewire) that wouldn’t boot. It had been sitting in storage for at least a year and a half. We plugged it in and I tried the usual key combinations without success. I tried holding the power button, hitting the reset button on the back and variants of that. I tried inserting a charged battery. I tried unplugging everything. I checked to make sure that the RAM and processor board were seated tightly. None of these worked. One page was suggesting some pretty serious things at this stage.
I decided to dig into it a bit since these laptops tend to be pretty robust and there was no obvious reason for it to not at least power up. I did several Google searches using keywords like: pismo powerbook boot power. After a couple ancillary searches I determined that the problem probably has something to do with the PRAM battery. With the help of this page I figured out where the PRAM battery is located. I went ahead and unplugged it, hit the power button and voila…it booted up!
After booting and then shutting it down again, I plugged the PRAM battery back in…and it still boots. Woo Hoo. This page suggests that you need to replace the PRAM battery, but so far everything seems happy.
I told the IT guy that I had resuscitated the PowerBook and he gave me a couple more that were in the same state. I tried the same trick with the next one an sure enough it worked also.
I hope this helps someone out there with a seemingly dead Pismo. Please leave a comment if this helps you.

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