Extreme PowerBook: Iced Tea, Anyone?

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Date: Friday, August 6th, 2004, 20:08
Category: Archive

An “Innocent Blunder,” and the Misery Begins…
Thursday evening, just three short days ago, my G3 PowerBook (vintage 2000; a.k.a. “Pismo” and “PowerBook G3 Firewire”) was in bad shape–it wouldn’t even turn on, let alone boot. The battery was fully charged, and the AC adapter/charger was working, was connected to the PowerBook, and was receiving AC power, as evidenced by the green glow of the pilot light on the AC adapter/charger. On the PowerBook itself, though, there was no sound, no disk drive noise or other noise of any kind, nor was there any light on the LCD screen. Nary a photon was emitted from even the green “sleep” light–the light near the display hinge on this model that pulsates when the machine is in sleep mode. Nothing. Nada. Totally dead. Read More…


An “Innocent Blunder,” and the Misery Begins…
Thursday evening, just three short days ago, my G3 PowerBook (vintage 2000; a.k.a. “Pismo” and “PowerBook G3 Firewire”) was in bad shape–it wouldn’t even turn on, let alone boot. The battery was fully charged, and the AC adapter/charger was working, was connected to the PowerBook, and was receiving AC power, as evidenced by the green glow of the pilot light on the AC adapter/charger. On the PowerBook itself, though, there was no sound, no disk drive noise or other noise of any kind, nor was there any light on the LCD screen. Nary a photon was emitted from even the green “sleep” light–the light near the display hinge on this model that pulsates when the machine is in sleep mode. Nothing. Nada. Totally dead.
You see, only minutes earlier, I’d finally succeeded in performing my first-ever serious act of boneheaded PowerBook clumsiness: I somehow managed to spill a goodly amount of a glass of iced tea all over the PowerBook while it was up and running; unfortunately managing to hit portions of the keyboard, the LCD display, and the innards below in the process. I watched with horror and dismay as the screen made sizzling sounds, not to mention showing weird lines and display “glitches.”
I knew from all of my experience with computers and other electronic equipment over the years that the first thing to do in such a situation (assuming no personnel problems) was to get that thing shut down, and shut down quickly–and by whatever means necessary.
I unplugged the AC adapter/charger from the back of the PowerBook, so that it was running (and I’m using the term “running” loosely, considering its condition at that moment) only on its internal rechargeable battery pack. Then I . . .
[snip]
. . . So, as they say in the car insurance biz, accidents can happen to anyone sooner or later, no matter how careful you are (or think you are). And, needless to say, it’s difficult to back up too much of your stuff or to do it too frequently–you never know when you might need those backups. In this case, I was lucky enough to have a full image of the PowerBook’s hard drive that I’d made onto another spare, external hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner less than a week prior to spilling the iced tea. As it turned out this time around, I never needed that backup. But, had I needed to revert to that backup, I still might’ve lost some stuff that I’d done between that last backup and the tea-spilling incident.
Epilog…
In addition, because my PowerBook has never needed service (by anyone other than me) in the four years I’ve had it, and because it survived the tea-spilling incident and is still going strong (even as I type this very chronicle), my PowerBook has now picked up a new nickname in the process: “Old Reliable!”
The full text is available on my personal Web site.

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