iBook Dual USB – An Inside Report

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Date: Thursday, December 27th, 2001, 13:09
Category: Archive

In response to some issues I uncovered in my first look at the iBook Dual USB, namely keyboard bulge and OS X not waking from display sleep, Vic Orly writes about some other issues he has uncovered:


In response to some issues I uncovered in my first look at the iBook Dual USB, namely keyboard bulge and OS X not waking from display sleep, Vic Orly writes about some other issues he has uncovered:

I’ve had my iBook Dual USB since the second week of May, with a DVD-ROM drive. I ordered it from a local small Apple reseller, and was surprised when they called me 2 days after I ordered it and said, “It’s here!”.

About the issues you mentioned, and a few you didn’t:

1. Raising of keyboard after Airport install: That’s caused by the plastic flap on the Airport card interfering with the keyboard positioning. There are two ways to fix that – you can either fight with it, disassembling and re-assembling until it no longer interferes, or you can simply use the keyboard lock between the F5 and F6 keys. I used the key lock, since it does a better job and will prevent the keyboard from snapping off if I ever should drop the iBook (pray it never happens).

[Ed: true enough, locking the keyboard fixes the minor bulge in the center of the top row of function keys]

2. MacOS X 10.0.3 display sleep: The problem is that Classic is doing something to prevent sleep. If you shut down Classic before closing the iBook, it will sleep normally. Apple will most likely fix that soon.

[Ed: agreed, it appears to only occur when Classic is running]

3. Scary hard drive noise: Once in a while the 10 GB hard drive will make a loud CLUNK in the middle of a disk read or write. It doesn’t cause a read lag (I tested for that), so it’s not an error. All Toshiba hard drives do that, it’s simply the head returning to the center track after reading out on the fringes.

4. Static shock: The lexan covering on the iBook generates a LOT of static electricity. If you carry it around in a fabric or cloth bag, you’ll get a nasty shock upon removing it. It’s NOT an electrical shock (though it might seem like one), it’s static electricity.

5. iBook 2.0 sound problem: Alert sounds in MacOS 9.1 is choppy, and occasionally the sound system freaks out totally, distorting all sound or generating white noise. It’s a software problem in MacOS 9.1, as it doesn’t happen in MacOS X. Apple released an iBook Sound Update, but it doesn’t totally solve the choppy system alert sounds.

6. Another MacOS X small bug: Volume buttons just don’t work. Like all Powerbooks, the brightness doesn’t work unless you open Displays first. No solution available yet (except for Volume dockling).

7. Fit and finish: On mine (and a few others, I’ve heard) the display doesn’t sit flush when closed, and the latch is a little stiff. But hey, it’s only a $1500 machine.

8. Fake titanium scratches easily: I’ve noticed, in only a few weeks, that the trackpad button left a permanent impression near the latch slot on the display, and that inserting and removing the iBook from my bag is gradually putting small scratches along the sides.

9. Keys: Keys are full-sized, but very shallow. Fast typers like me tend to graze the bottom of nearby keys, leading to finger scratches (until I learn to be more careful). And contrary to popular belief, there *IS* an Enter key. The second command key didn’t replace it, it just moved to where the second “option” used to be.

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