new ibook

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My iBook’s hard drive was failing all last week. Periodically, there would be a clicking noise from the vicinity of the drive, and while that clicking was going on, anything hitting the disk would block. The left-side hand rest area (which the drive is under) was also getting abnormally warm. The drive was clearly working itself up to failing.

I took it down to the Apple Store last weekend, but it (of course) wouldn’t display the problem in front of the Genius. Since the AppleCare I bought expires next May, I wanted to make sure that the drive would fail while I was covered, rather than after. To “encourage” the failure, I left the iBook running various disk-hitting shell scripts. Periodically, it would lock up, and then I would get it back up on its feet and start the torture again. Finally, by Friday night, I had it to the point where it was constantly failing to work.

I planned to spend Saturday working on stuff for the Bioperl class, and run into the Apple Store early Sunday morning, to avoid the crowds, but I had a really hard time getting into the class prep, so the family headed out Saturday night, to get some food and return the iBook. After a long, long wait for some help, we established that the drive was indeed dead. Then came the happy part: since this was the fourth time the iBook had needed to be serviced, Apple would replace it with a new machine — all I needed was the box that the machine came in. Which was back at the house, 20 minutes away.

We hopped back into the car and sped back home, ordering some take-out along the way. We got home, I fetched the box from the basement (packrattery saves the day!), gobbled down my food, and raced back to the Apple Store, arriving about 15 minutes before closing. I neglected to grab the power adaptor, which almost nixed the deal, but in the end, I walked out of the mall with a new 14 inch 1GHz G4 iBook. Since the old machine was a two year old 14 inch 700 MHz G3 iBook with a scratched screen and history of problems, this was a damn decent free upgrade.

From what I could tell, four was the magic number required to trip the upgrade — something to think about for those iBook owners that have gone several rounds with the video/logic board problems. And now to return to setting up the new goodness in the proper way…

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