Mon, 15 Dec 2003


iBook saga continues

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I miss blogging. Of course, lately I have very little to blog about, what with my life completely subsumed with my internal medicine subinternship, and interviews with med/peds residency programs, but, frankly, I'm beginning to feel pretty mentally constipated.

So I have been struggling with my iBook for a month and a half now. After two logic board changes, it still struggles fitfully with Jaguar, and invariably locks up completely with Panther. (I am typing this running Jaguar, over ssh. Although it still locks up even on 10.2, at least I can actually get a message out.)

So it was Saturday, and I was still recovering from my bout of flu, when I decided to go to the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. Of course, it started snowing, and being that it is the peak of Christmas shopping season, I had to park about half a mile away after circling for about 45 minutes. The guy at the Genius Bar was really helpful, running Norton Disk Doctor to make sure my hard drive wasn't screwed up. I'd already gone through the drill of testing my SO-DIMMs and pulling out my Airport card, and doing a clean reinstall of Panther, resetting the PRAM, and all the usual magical incantations that Macheads like to invoke. No dice. He then starts up my system with a Firewire drive, and it runs 10.2.7 without problems for the most part. Then he starts up my system from a Powerbook with Panther on it, and all seems well, as I startup massive, resource-intensive programs like Photoshop, Quark, InDesign, Final Cut Pro, and God knows what else, and, like clockwork, it eventually locks.

He offers to do a third logic board replacement, and I assent, given that I have thrown away countless hours trying to solve this futile puzzle. As long as it's fixed. He consults some coworkers, checks out some info, and comes to the realization that it would probably be more fruitful to simply give me a new iBook. Now, of course, since my model is no longer in production, they might have to give me a new one. And since it was Saturday, there were no higher-ups to approve or disapprove the request. So I wait.

Now, not being able to run Panther isn't the end of the world, I suppose, although these random system lock ups aren't exactly a walk in the park either. All I want is a working iBook, really, and if I have to send this one back to the depot, then so be it.

Still, overall, the experience is still superior to my historic battles with various incarnations of the evil spawn of Redmond, and still better than screwing around with Linux on my ancient i386-based computer. (For the latter, I may very well have either a flaky motherboard, some bad RAM, some other defective component, or some unholy combination thereof. It also doesn't help that it is oh-so-easy to install beta and alpha and just plain broken releases of any piece of software, from mp3 players to crucial things like GNOME and the kernel. I can do that on MacOSX, too, but at least I can't take out the kernel with a foolhardy foray into beta-land. So it works, and can maintain an uptime of several days, but half the time, things won't launch. Mostly because I went crazy with apt-rpm. Ah, the foolish things you can do as root. Oh, and now that Redhat uses the Bluecurve theme, it's actually quite aesthetically pleasing, although I can no longer put the window buttons on the correct side of the window frame.)

(This entry was inspired by Michelle's meditation upon, among other things, the genderization of computer operating systems. Don't ask me how, it just was.)

P.S. I am intending to drive from the frozen wastelands of the Midwest to proverbial sunny Southern California, roughly paralleling old Route 66. I have some trepidation as I know at least two people who have met their demise on the Interstate Highway system, but it is much too, much too late to get a plane ticket for a reasonable fare, plus I don't have anywhere to put my car to keep it from getting buried by snow, and I'd much rather have my own car when I'm back in L.A. So that's my cockamamie plan. I'm hoping that my avoidance of the high passes of Colorado through the Rockies will work in my favor, but, well, like the rest of my life in general, whatever happens is out of my hands. Fight fate, indeed. I hate sounding so ominous, but what can you do?

18:05:28 15 Dec 2003 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 7 comments


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