December 15, 2003

How long does a Powerbook G4 last?


About 1 year and 6 months.

That's how long my (then brand new) Powerbook G4 lasted. Today its screen went blank as I got home from work. I opened it up, hooked up the power supply, connected the Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse to it and waited for the Apple screen saver to show me the login panel. Nothing appeared for a while, then the Apple logo on the screen started to shake left and right in an abnormal way. Much like a TV when it's losing its synchronization. The display then went grayish, like water spreading on the ground. Then black and nothing else.

I removed the battery and the power plug. I put them back and booted the machine. I could hear the hard-disk spinning, but the screen was still black. I powered it off by holding the power button, and it did so perfectly. I repeated this sequence several times, but the LCD was still black.

Luckily the network was setup from office to use DHCP, instead of wireless. I hooked up an Ethernet cable from my router and booted up the computer. After some time, I tried ssh-ing into the laptop from a Linux desktop at home. This went perfectly! I decided to backup the drive, just in case. So I scp-ed my home directory to the Linux box. At least now I'm safe with the data.

But what a bummer! I have another really old laptop, a Pentium II running Linux that my wife is using just fine for more than 4 years. A cheap laptop too, not on the upscale as my Powerbook.

Tomorrow I'll take it to a local Apple Store to see if they can send it for repairs somewhere. Hopefully I don't need to shell out a lot of money for it, otherwise I will seriously consider switching back :( Oh well...

Posted by ovidiu at December 15, 2003 08:56 PM |
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