Disaster Struck, But All Is Well.

I was at work, minding my own business over by the copy machine when my boss asked me where the checkbook was. (I get to write them, he has to sign them. ) I yelled out that it was behind my desk. He stepped back to retrieve it and accidentally tripped over the power cord of my iBook. I didn’t notice the disaster right away. Well, I knew he had tripped, but I didn’t know the cord had been damaged. It was about an hour later when I noticed the battery life indicator was down, and that it wasn’t charging. This was around two o’clock in the afternoon. I freaked.



I jumped on the phone to MacMall and Tey answered the call. “Do you have an AC power supply in stock for a graphite iBook?”



“Yes we do.” he pleasantly answered.



“Ship it overnight!” and gave him the company credit card number, because after all, it was the boss who tripped over the cord and broke it. I felt fully justified in purchasing it on the company. Shortly after our telephone conversation I received an email confirmation with a tracking number and breathed a sigh of relief.



But then all the sudden I realized that I only had approximately three hours of battery life left, and at least 24 hours to wait for more power. I panicked again. So, I did something that I rarely do. I powered down. I felt as if I were one of the last survivors on the Titanic, waves lapping over the bow, all the lifeboats full, me waving goodbye to my friends, the band playing…



At that point I decided to see if I could play “Miss Fix-It”. It’s one of my favorite games, not that I’m very good at it. But you know me, I love looking at circuit boards. (Occasionally I visit the nekkid motherboard site at Ramjet…geek porn, you know.) I took the dead power supply out into the shop and got out the toolbox. Muhahahahahahaha. I have this philosophy that once something is broken, I can’t hurt it any worse by trying to fix it now, can I?



(Shouldn’t you be working, Beth? Well…yeah, but, but…this is my friggin’ power supply we’re talking about here! My lifeline to the world. My manna from heaven, which provides me sustinance and…well, you get the picture.)



I pulled out the flat head screwdriver and pried apart the case. At that point I was under the mistaken impression that the little silver cord was torn where it feeds into the power supply itself. I thought, “cut, splice, back on the road again.” Had I been at home I would have found an appropriate MacWoman costume to wear, but since I was at work (shouldn’t you be working then, Beth?) I made do with what I had on. That was probably a mistake. Because hey, they don’t make these things to come apart all that easily!



Well, let me tell you, this is a fascinating little unit. The pretty silver disk sets right over the circuit board, but then that is seated again with another metal unit and it took quite a lot of patience to get to the bottom of that. When I finally did, I discovered that the source of the dead power supply was not at this end. Hmmmm….rats. It was snapped at the other end, where the power supply cord plugs into the iBook itself. Naturally I didn’t think to examine it up there. Out comes my trusty razor knife and I peeled back the plastic casing, but it had snapped too close to the plug to have anything to work with. Not that I didn’t try, you understand. But as all you good little geeks know, you can’t make something longer if it’s only so long to begin with. *ahem*



By this time it was time to go home. Another busy workday ended. I packed up the iBook and headed for the truck. I was halfway home when I realized that, for the first time since April I wouldn’t have my baby to keep me company for the evening. “Well,” I thought, “at least I still have Anais, my G3 upgraded 7600.”



Anais sits lonely in the back bedroom of my new house, humming away processing SETI, and I rarely visit her at all anymore. I felt a stab of guilt as I moved the mouse over to Remote Access to initialize the modem. (A mouse? I haven’t done mouse computing since i got the iBook.) It felt clunky and odd. I was able to check my email messages (none) and logged on to Netscape. But it wasn’t the same. I felt like I was in some kind of weird time warp and had been sent back to 1999, when I was delighted to have any computer at all to connect me to the world. The keyboard *gasp* made noise when I typed, and even with G3 power it just wasn’t the iBook. It just wasn’t the same.



So now I’m in a quandry. All those columns I wrote about how great the older Mac’s are, well, I still think that way. Apple makes one hell of a product. And I was truly grateful that Anais still hums reliably away. But man oh man, I missed my iBook that night. The ease and elegance of how it works, how quietly it works, and also all my stuff goes with me wherever I go, my email, my writing, my pictures, my applications, my files, my bookmarks, …I don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied with a desktop again.



Yea, brothers and sisters, I have seen the light, and the light shineth from the iBook screen. All hail the laptop. As God is my witness, I’ll never buy desktops again. (OK, well, maybe an iMac DV, i like the Ruby one. Maybe.)



Well, the power supply arrived the next day, and the only thing Tey did wrong was ship it Airborne Express. He didn’t ask and I didn’t specify, but I would have paid top dollar for FedEx to get it by 10:30. (Well, I would have paid the bosses top dollar hee hee). But as things go, it arrived exactly 24 hours to the minute after the disaster. And none too soon, I was down to one half hour of battery power left. Yes, I couldn’t resist starting up every now and again, to check my mail (none) and to see if the internet was still going on OK without me (it was).



Now listen, geeks and geekettes, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! THE ABOVE COMMENTARY ABOUT TAKING APART THE POWER SUPPLY WAS CONDUCTED BY A PROFESSIONAL ‘MISS FIX-IT’. But if anyone is curious about what it looks like nekkid, send me an email and I’ll send you a picture. That is, if Carnivore doesn’t interfere. *smile*



Until next time. Isn’t the ‘net cool?


Beth Lock

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