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TiBook runs only off the battery

Message #1 - Posted 2005/09/16 - nilges

Hey all, I'm having an odd problem with a 667MHz DVI PowerBook. Basically, it runs fine off a battery, and shorts out most AC adapters I attempt to plug into it. The one adapter it hasn't killed (the 45W that it originally included) would cause the machine to shut down whenever I would plug it in and it wouldn't reboot until unplugging and leaving the battery out for a few seconds. This adapter would glow orange while the machine was off sometimes, without charging the battery at all. I had a Mac shop try and replace the DC board, which they claimed didn't help, saying the motherboard needed replacement. I replaced the same part myself for the heck of it and got no results either.

One odd thing: the machine has always run out of juice before it should. It'll be indicating around 50% on-screen and on the battery LEDs and just go to sleep without warning. I'm running off this battery now, which my friend charged on his TiBook with my original adapter (which I gave to him for shorting out his when I tried plugging it into my TiBook). So I guess the next thing to try would be a different battery, though if my friend was able to charge it in his TiBook without incident...

It seems a waste to replace the main board when it seems like it could run happily off battery power forever, but a VST charger is expensive (and possibly unavailable). Any tips on adapting a Pismo charger to G4 batteries or else hooking up an AC-DC adapter to the battery terminals?

Thanks,
Ed

Message #2 - Posted 2005/09/17 - John Johnson

Previously, nilges@gmail.com wrote:

Hey all, I'm having an odd problem with a 667MHz DVI PowerBook. Basically, it runs fine off a battery, and shorts out most AC adapters I attempt to plug into it. The one adapter it hasn't killed (the 45W that it originally included) would cause the machine to shut down whenever I would plug it in and it wouldn't reboot until unplugging and leaving the battery out for a few seconds. This adapter would glow orange while the machine was off sometimes, without charging the battery at all. I had a Mac shop try and replace the DC board, which they claimed didn't help, saying the motherboard needed replacement. I replaced the same part myself for the heck of it and got no results either.

One odd thing: the machine has always run out of juice before it should. It'll be indicating around 50% on-screen and on the battery LEDs and just go to sleep without warning. I'm running off this battery now, which my friend charged on his TiBook with my original adapter (which I gave to him for shorting out his when I tried plugging it into my TiBook). So I guess the next thing to try would be a different battery, though if my friend was able to charge it in his TiBook without incident...

It seems a waste to replace the main board when it seems like it could run happily off battery power forever, but a VST charger is expensive (and possibly unavailable). Any tips on adapting a Pismo charger to G4 batteries or else hooking up an AC-DC adapter to the battery terminals?

Thanks,
Ed

Have you considered buying a new portable and recouping some of the cost by parting out the TiBook? If you're skilled enough mechanically to replace the DC board yourself, disassembly shouldn't pose a problem. The TiBook is new enough that you should be able to get a fair bit of cash for it. It's certainly a more reliable solution (if more expensive) than bodging up an external charger. fwiw,

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

Message #3 - Posted 2005/09/18 - Jack

Previously, nilges@gmail.com wrote:

Basically, it runs fine off a battery, and shorts out most AC adapters

Have you carefully inspected the adapter contection point. If there is a short there, then why doesn't the battery short out, too. When you insert the adapter plug, is it supposed to move some metal clips in some way? If so, could these bend into the machine ground. This just has to be an electrical connection problem. I have heard of cases where too rough plugging and unplugging has broken the center post receptacle base. Have you always been very gentle with the connector.

John Ferman
Minneapolis, MN

Message #4 - Posted 2005/10/13 - spinoza1111

nilges@gmail.com wrote:

I leave it to the other responders to assist you. I'd only comment that I have been thinking of replacing my Sony with a Mac because of related power and motherboard (mamaboard) problems. But comes now this account which indicates that my troubles might not end.

It may be hopeless to expect that a laptop would be designed for general rugged mil-spec use by default, both because of the expense of doing so, and also because of the pressure on both Apple and Sony to market not to those of us who ride to work on bicycles or on a ferry in Asia, but instead to people in business class who (1) are insulated from rainstorms and such and (2) are able to afford upgrades every years.

There is a milspec laptop but as in indication of the priorities of our society, it is of course, milspec, as if only The Troops at the Front were exposed to rugged environments. It is for example not affordable to your typical aid worker at more than 4000 USD.

Planned obsolescence, in other words. Don't sell a man a fishing pole: sell him the need to buy bait from you. Capitalist system. Best system. Still sucks in many ways.

Good hearing from you in this venue. Please stay well.

Hey all, I'm having an odd problem with a 667MHz DVI PowerBook. Basically, it runs fine off a battery, and shorts out most AC adapters I attempt to plug into it. The one adapter it hasn't killed (the 45W that it originally included) would cause the machine to shut down whenever I would plug it in and it wouldn't reboot until unplugging and leaving the battery out for a few seconds. This adapter would glow orange while the machine was off sometimes, without charging the battery at all. I had a Mac shop try and replace the DC board, which they claimed didn't help, saying the motherboard needed replacement. I replaced the same part myself for the heck of it and got no results either.

One odd thing: the machine has always run out of juice before it should. It'll be indicating around 50% on-screen and on the battery LEDs and just go to sleep without warning. I'm running off this battery now, which my friend charged on his TiBook with my original adapter (which I gave to him for shorting out his when I tried plugging it into my TiBook). So I guess the next thing to try would be a different battery, though if my friend was able to charge it in his TiBook without incident...

It seems a waste to replace the main board when it seems like it could run happily off battery power forever, but a VST charger is expensive (and possibly unavailable). Any tips on adapting a Pismo charger to G4 batteries or else hooking up an AC-DC adapter to the battery terminals?

Thanks,
Ed

Message #5 - Posted 2005/10/13 - Matthew Kirkcaldie

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

I leave it to the other responders to assist you. I'd only comment that I have been thinking of replacing my Sony with a Mac because of related power and motherboard (mamaboard) problems. But comes now this account which indicates that my troubles might not end.

The PowerBook in question was current three and a half years ago - the entire enclosure and motherboard have been redesigned and the range has been updated four times since then. So it's not exactly relevant to whether the current model will suit you.

Have a look at www.macfixit.com for reports/discussions on various models.

MK.

Message #6 - Posted 2005/10/14 - spinoza1111

Matthew Kirkcaldie wrote:

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

I leave it to the other responders to assist you. I'd only comment that I have been thinking of replacing my Sony with a Mac because of related power and motherboard (mamaboard) problems. But comes now this account which indicates that my troubles might not end.

The PowerBook in question was current three and a half years ago - the entire enclosure and motherboard have been redesigned and the range has been updated four times since then. So it's not exactly relevant to whether the current model will suit you.

? Sony's track record shows me that I cannot trust them to design a laptop for someone who doesn't plan to upgrade in parallel with Moore's Law. I will add memory but why should I have to buy a new laptop?

If the consumer is so "in control" as per the rhetoric, then the consumer should not be forced to upgrade by unexplained problems, whether in the power supply or anywhere else.

However, because the computer business is overdetermined by investment capital, manufacturers listen less to actual users and more to a renarration of their needs which assures the manufacturer that somebunny who tries to extract, let's say, five years of useful life from a desktop or laptop is less important than the Yuppie who buys a new laptop every year...and throws his old model into the trash, their to enter the ecosystem.

Far more than users will admit, especially "power" users whose sexuality is confused with their computers, desktops and especially laptops under conditions of actual phenomenological use are apt to develop unexplained problems in the same way as automobiles, for in fact both products are designed for obsolescence, with this fact being covered-up in the computer business by Moore's "law", which may be about to be falsified owing to physical limits.

That the electronics business in general is overdetermined by Wall Street is shown by the insane reaction to Apple's sales numbers for the iPod and the iPod Nano. This product was genuinely innovative and useful, but analysts on Wall Street are disappointed in the numbers being somewhat less than the most optimistic projections and are now hounding Apple, investor psychology having been anti-apple now for more than twenty years.

It was so, I think, because the first Mac was designed not for obsolescence but to genuinely exist, with all of its limitations, in the real, phenomenological world of the actual user, who was not blamed as the victim for his deficiencies. Meanwhile, however, the modern PC interface was being designed in such a way (using fixed assignments of ports and memory) that the architecture of the PC is uniquely suited to develop strange problems which become by default the fault of the user, who is blamed as the victim in a culture that blames victims.

My first Mac delivered as per its PRINTED specifications. It died on schedule with the Sad Mac icon just as soon as the temperature in Mountain View hit 105 in my non-air-conditioned apartment (back in the 1980s, before all this global warming, you did not need an air conditioner in Northern California). But other than that, it booted up and worked even though I treated it as a laptop, carrying it with me like a dork to conferences.

However, the rest of the computer business, in violation of the US Uniform Commercial Code, revived barbaric legal principles including *caveat emptor*, and American consumers bought the resulting turkeys, and blamed themselves for the eggs laid.

The original poster deserves to be able to keep his Mac alive and not have to sell its parts to buy another Mac if he doesn't need one. He is having trouble because even at Apple, insufficient thought is given to a ruggedness which allows a laptop to function over time in the real world, because this would not force enough customers to "upgrade".

I recall how one could smoke around early IBM mainframes without harm (to the mainframe). However, today we tiptoe around machines which have become more important than man and whose delicacy we too much respect. A truly humanistic laptop would be one you could throw across the room. You could do this with the Dreyfus 1954 black Bell system phone. Why can't we do this with our computers?

Have a look at www.macfixit.com for reports/discussions on various models.

MK.

Message #7 - Posted 2005/10/14 - spinoza1111

Note: I am distinct from the original poster nilges@gmail.com, although many people know that spinoza1111 == Edward G. Nilges. His goal was to find assistance concerning his Mac. I own a Sony and was thinking of converting to Mac, only to learn here that Mac laptops aren't completely reliable, therefore I am the poster responsible for the more global observations on planned obsolescence.

The original Mac and phenomena including the C programming languages started out as, among another thing, as rebukes to planned obsolescence. In the 1950s and the 1960s, many people were more globally critical than today about the output of our market system including the tendency of the Ford Pinto to catch on fire. The Mac psychology is that this situation changes with the Mac, and that the Mac owner has a more reliable system.

Does he? Although I owned an original Mac that was signed by Jobs and the team, I haven't owned a Mac for ten years. Are Macs more reliable today? Or just more fashionable with Flaming Youth, *flaneurs*, and lounge lizards?

spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

Matthew Kirkcaldie wrote:

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

I leave it to the other responders to assist you. I'd only comment that I have been thinking of replacing my Sony with a Mac because of related power and motherboard (mamaboard) problems. But comes now this account which indicates that my troubles might not end.

The PowerBook in question was current three and a half years ago - the entire enclosure and motherboard have been redesigned and the range has been updated four times since then. So it's not exactly relevant to whether the current model will suit you.

? Sony's track record shows me that I cannot trust them to design a laptop for someone who doesn't plan to upgrade in parallel with Moore's Law. I will add memory but why should I have to buy a new laptop?

If the consumer is so "in control" as per the rhetoric, then the consumer should not be forced to upgrade by unexplained problems, whether in the power supply or anywhere else.

However, because the computer business is overdetermined by investment capital, manufacturers listen less to actual users and more to a renarration of their needs which assures the manufacturer that somebunny who tries to extract, let's say, five years of useful life from a desktop or laptop is less important than the Yuppie who buys a new laptop every year...and throws his old model into the trash, their to enter the ecosystem.

Far more than users will admit, especially "power" users whose sexuality is confused with their computers, desktops and especially laptops under conditions of actual phenomenological use are apt to develop unexplained problems in the same way as automobiles, for in fact both products are designed for obsolescence, with this fact being covered-up in the computer business by Moore's "law", which may be about to be falsified owing to physical limits.

That the electronics business in general is overdetermined by Wall Street is shown by the insane reaction to Apple's sales numbers for the iPod and the iPod Nano. This product was genuinely innovative and useful, but analysts on Wall Street are disappointed in the numbers being somewhat less than the most optimistic projections and are now hounding Apple, investor psychology having been anti-apple now for more than twenty years.

It was so, I think, because the first Mac was designed not for obsolescence but to genuinely exist, with all of its limitations, in the real, phenomenological world of the actual user, who was not blamed as the victim for his deficiencies. Meanwhile, however, the modern PC interface was being designed in such a way (using fixed assignments of ports and memory) that the architecture of the PC is uniquely suited to develop strange problems which become by default the fault of the user, who is blamed as the victim in a culture that blames victims.

My first Mac delivered as per its PRINTED specifications. It died on schedule with the Sad Mac icon just as soon as the temperature in Mountain View hit 105 in my non-air-conditioned apartment (back in the 1980s, before all this global warming, you did not need an air conditioner in Northern California). But other than that, it booted up and worked even though I treated it as a laptop, carrying it with me like a dork to conferences.

However, the rest of the computer business, in violation of the US Uniform Commercial Code, revived barbaric legal principles including *caveat emptor*, and American consumers bought the resulting turkeys, and blamed themselves for the eggs laid.

The original poster deserves to be able to keep his Mac alive and not have to sell its parts to buy another Mac if he doesn't need one. He is having trouble because even at Apple, insufficient thought is given to a ruggedness which allows a laptop to function over time in the real world, because this would not force enough customers to "upgrade".

I recall how one could smoke around early IBM mainframes without harm (to the mainframe). However, today we tiptoe around machines which have become more important than man and whose delicacy we too much respect. A truly humanistic laptop would be one you could throw across the room. You could do this with the Dreyfus 1954 black Bell system phone. Why can't we do this with our computers?

Have a look at www.macfixit.com for reports/discussions on various models.

MK.

Message #8 - Posted 2005/10/14 - John Johnson

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

Matthew Kirkcaldie wrote:

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

I leave it to the other responders to assist you. I'd only comment that I have been thinking of replacing my Sony with a Mac because of related power and motherboard (mamaboard) problems. But comes now this account which indicates that my troubles might not end.

The PowerBook in question was current three and a half years ago - the entire enclosure and motherboard have been redesigned and the range has been updated four times since then. So it's not exactly relevant to whether the current model will suit you.

? Sony's track record shows me that I cannot trust them to design a laptop for someone who doesn't plan to upgrade in parallel with Moore's Law. I will add memory but why should I have to buy a new laptop?

[snip]

Far more than users will admit, especially "power" users whose sexuality is confused with their computers, desktops and especially laptops under conditions of actual phenomenological use are apt to develop unexplained problems in the same way as automobiles, for in fact both products are designed for obsolescence, with this fact being covered-up in the computer business by Moore's "law", which may be about to be falsified owing to physical limits.

You claim that laptops and autos are designed to fail: this strong claim could use some backing evidence.

Now then, if you are simply pointing out that devices used hard wear out faster, then no trouble. One of the features of complicated machinery is that when problems develop, they can be somewhat mysterious. I think that it's fair to call a portable computer a complicated device.

[snip]

as the victim for his deficiencies. Meanwhile, however, the modern PC interface was being designed in such a way (using fixed assignments of ports and memory) that the architecture of the PC is uniquely suited to develop strange problems which become by default the fault of the user, who is blamed as the victim in a culture that blames victims.

My first Mac delivered as per its PRINTED specifications. It died on schedule with the Sad Mac icon just as soon as the temperature in Mountain View hit 105 in my non-air-conditioned apartment (back in the 1980s, before all this global warming, you did not need an air conditioner in Northern California). But other than that, it booted up and worked even though I treated it as a laptop, carrying it with me like a dork to conferences.

My first new mac was a G3 Powerbook. I abused that thing for 4 years, after which the CPU failed. I call that fair. Since I sold the parts for almost as much as a complete, working unit, I'm pretty satisfied with that purchase.

I replaced that machine with a 15" AlBook. I've had that for just over a year, and no trouble yet.

Now then, do my experiences allow me to claim that computers are not designed for obsolescence/failure? I seriously doubt that you'll change you mind about that claim, no matter how many people chime in with "I owned these machines, and they work great!"

The original poster deserves to be able to keep his Mac alive and not have to sell its parts to buy another Mac if he doesn't need one. He is having trouble because even at Apple, insufficient thought is given to a ruggedness which allows a laptop to function over time in the real world, because this would not force enough customers to "upgrade".

Apple, even at that time made a "rugged" portable computer. They called it the iBook. The original iBooks were known for being built like tanks, and barring those logic-board problems, the design is still pretty robust. PowerBooks were known for needing to be treated more carefully. It wasn't too long after the TiBook came out that people realized just how fragile it was. Sure Apple could have built the PowerBooks to be more robust: they would cost more, be heavier, and larger. IIRC, the original G4 Powerbook was sold as much on its size and weight as performance. That doesn't mix well with being rugged.

Now, if you want extra physical ruggedness for your machine, consider investing in a hard-case for it. Compushell makes an Aluminum briefcase for around $300 that provides substantial protection for your machine. You shouldn't have to buy extra protection for the machine you say? Would you pay an extra $300 for your PowerBook? Most PC users freak out about Apple's prices as they are, an extra $300 would not go over well. Don't forget the extra size and weight added by such armour: that makes the PowerBook even less attractive to most users.

On the other hand, the original poster got 3 years use out of their (unusually fragile) TiBook. That's not great, but not bad either. It might be possible to solve his problem, but unless the OP can do all the work himself it simply won't be worthwhile to do so. The OP can probably sell his machine (will get more if he sells parts individually, but again that requires being able to work on the machine) for a reasonable amount of money, and use that to seed an upgrade.

Not only does that upgrade buy improved performance, but it will give the OP a machine whose design is an improvement on that of the TiBook (which would require that those "planned obsolescence" engineers at Apple be _extra_ tricky, since the original flaws were fixed).

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

Message #9 - Posted 2005/10/14 - Christopher C. Stacy

John Johnson <null@invalid.com> writes:

My first new mac was a G3 Powerbook. I abused that thing for 4 years, after which the CPU failed. I call that fair.

How do you abuse a CPU?

Message #10 - Posted 2005/10/15 - John Johnson

Previously, Christopher C. Stacy wrote:

John Johnson <null@invalid.com> writes:

My first new mac was a G3 Powerbook. I abused that thing for 4 years, after which the CPU failed. I call that fair.

How do you abuse a CPU?

a) "that thing" was intended to refer to the PowerBook in general, but... b)You put it in a foam-padded sleeve inside a backpack and manage to wake the sucker up...multiple times.

I believe (without any real evidence) that the cases where the PB was hot, with a dead battery, or hung with a black screen (also hot) when I pulled it out of the pack, contributed to the eventual CPU failure. It only happened when I was still running OS 9 (which is one reason why I tolerated 10.1 as well as I did ;-), and was _quite_ irritating.

Since I replaced many other heat-sensitive components myself over those 4 years (HD, RAM, added AirPort later), failure of those components was not so much an issue.

I used that PB pretty much daily for those four years, carting it from home to school, traveling across the country a couple of times, etc. I wore out one main battery and was one year into the replacement when the machine crapped out. All that time, it lived inside a Spire USA sleeve case, and my backpack.

I certainly wouldn't call that PowerBook "designed for obsolescence." I wouldn't even say that about the Titanium that replaced it. Apple tried something pretty bold there: alight, thin portable machine that could honestly be called a desktop replacement, with a wide screen and a gorgeous case. For all that, it was a flawed design. That happens sometimes.

Anyway, none of this gets to the problem of the OP: his TiBook isn't much use to him just now. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about that. I believe that buying a new PB or iBook is not necessarily a bad move. Whether or not it is a good idea depends far more upon what a person wants out of the machine (performance, durability, etc.), their tolerance for cost, how long they can afford to go without replacement, etc. This is to say, whether or not a new Apple portable is a good buy or not depends on the same factors that affect any other company's portable machines.

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

Message #11 - Posted 2005/10/14 - spinoza1111

John Johnson wrote:

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

Matthew Kirkcaldie wrote:

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

I leave it to the other responders to assist you. I'd only comment that I have been thinking of replacing my Sony with a Mac because of related power and motherboard (mamaboard) problems. But comes now this account which indicates that my troubles might not end.

The PowerBook in question was current three and a half years ago - the entire enclosure and motherboard have been redesigned and the range has been updated four times since then. So it's not exactly relevant to whether the current model will suit you.

? Sony's track record shows me that I cannot trust them to design a laptop for someone who doesn't plan to upgrade in parallel with Moore's Law. I will add memory but why should I have to buy a new laptop?

[snip]

Far more than users will admit, especially "power" users whose sexuality is confused with their computers, desktops and especially laptops under conditions of actual phenomenological use are apt to develop unexplained problems in the same way as automobiles, for in fact both products are designed for obsolescence, with this fact being covered-up in the computer business by Moore's "law", which may be about to be falsified owing to physical limits.

You claim that laptops and autos are designed to fail: this strong claim could use some backing evidence.

The evidence in the auto industry includes Ralph Naders proof of malfeasance in the design of the exploding gas tank, along with standard practices (documented by Edmund Wilson in the 1930s and David Halberstam in the 1980s, in The Reckoning) that ensured that cars would wear out quickly, thereby generating higher short-term profits.

The evidence in the computer industry is part of the public record, and Nader (and his assistant Jamie Love with whom I worked at Princeton) has shown how the computer business resisted standard practices such as are in the US commercial code ghaving to do with "fitness for use".

The ability of computer manufacturers to evade fitness for use has extended to hardware such as the Sony since it is so integrated with the OS,in a way that Nader showed limits are choices (for example, to buy a naked machine and install Linux).

Now then, if you are simply pointing out that devices used hard wear out faster, then no trouble. One of the features of complicated machinery is that when problems develop, they can be somewhat mysterious. I think that it's fair to call a portable computer a complicated device.

Oh magnum mysterium. This view flaccidly naturalizes a bad situation in which Americans are surrounded by piles (and landfills) of junk that does not work and cannot be fixed. What, I'm supposed to spend 1300.00 and only three years later "accept" that any problem is an Eleusinian mystery? Bullshit.

[snip]

as the victim for his deficiencies. Meanwhile, however, the modern PC interface was being designed in such a way (using fixed assignments of ports and memory) that the architecture of the PC is uniquely suited to develop strange problems which become by default the fault of the user, who is blamed as the victim in a culture that blames victims.

My first Mac delivered as per its PRINTED specifications. It died on schedule with the Sad Mac icon just as soon as the temperature in Mountain View hit 105 in my non-air-conditioned apartment (back in the 1980s, before all this global warming, you did not need an air conditioner in Northern California). But other than that, it booted up and worked even though I treated it as a laptop, carrying it with me like a dork to conferences.

My first new mac was a G3 Powerbook. I abused that thing for 4 years, after which the CPU failed. I call that fair. Since I sold the parts for almost as much as a complete, working unit, I'm pretty satisfied with that purchase.

My first machine was a seven year old 1401 and its CPU continued to work for ten years. In fact, the CPU never failed: instead, the 1401 architecture was abandoned by IBM.

A "machine" without moving parts such as a CPU should in itself never fail. Now, its chilling system (whether this consists of blowers as in laptops, cold water as in the old Cray, or sheer hope as in the case of the first Mac) can fail because it has moving parts, but should be replaceable.

But woe to any computer user so foolish as to try to replace a part on his own as opposed to selling it. Overtight "integration" at the point of manufacture results in the need (for example) to buy only a specific model number of recharger which is almost NEVER available in shops when the AC power recharger is broken, or not packed on a business trip.

The rhetoric of "all service to the customer" is for the most part a cover up of a contempt for the customer.

I replaced that machine with a 15" AlBook. I've had that for just over a year, and no trouble yet.

Now then, do my experiences allow me to claim that computers are not designed for obsolescence/failure? I seriously doubt that you'll change you mind about that claim, no matter how many people chime in with "I owned these machines, and they work great!"

I really don't want to hear from "power" users whose only power is a fat wallet and who think dem computerz iz great because whenever dey break dey gets to drive their gas guzzling Hummer to da computer store. It's clowns like this who are the problem in the computer industree, since many of them are themselves "engineers" who have never reflected on the fact that what they call "efficiency" is what leads through over-integration to unreliability.

The original poster deserves to be able to keep his Mac alive and not have to sell its parts to buy another Mac if he doesn't need one. He is having trouble because even at Apple, insufficient thought is given to a ruggedness which allows a laptop to function over time in the real world, because this would not force enough customers to "upgrade".

Apple, even at that time made a "rugged" portable computer. They called it the iBook. The original iBooks were known for being built like tanks, and barring those logic-board problems, the design is still pretty robust. PowerBooks were known for needing to be treated more carefully. It wasn't too long after the TiBook came out that people realized just how fragile it was. Sure Apple could have built the PowerBooks to be more robust: they would cost more, be heavier, and larger. IIRC, the original G4 Powerbook was sold as much on its size and weight as performance. That doesn't mix well with being rugged.

Now, if you want extra physical ruggedness for your machine, consider investing in a hard-case for it. Compushell makes an Aluminum briefcase for around $300 that provides substantial protection for your machine. You shouldn't have to buy extra protection for the machine you say? Would you pay an extra $300 for your PowerBook? Most PC users freak out about Apple's prices as they are, an extra $300 would not go over well. Don't forget the extra size and weight added by such armour: that makes the PowerBook even less attractive to most users.

Good suggestion, let me get back to you. I gotta go to work.

On the other hand, the original poster got 3 years use out of their (unusually fragile) TiBook. That's not great, but not bad either. It might be possible to solve his problem, but unless the OP can do all the work himself it simply won't be worthwhile to do so. The OP can probably sell his machine (will get more if he sells parts individually, but again that requires being able to work on the machine) for a reasonable amount of money, and use that to seed an upgrade.

Not only does that upgrade buy improved performance, but it will give the OP a machine whose design is an improvement on that of the TiBook (which would require that those "planned obsolescence" engineers at Apple be _extra_ tricky, since the original flaws were fixed).

--
Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

Message #12 - Posted 2005/10/15 - spinoza1111

John Johnson wrote:

Previously, Christopher C. Stacy wrote:

John Johnson <null@invalid.com> writes:

My first new mac was a G3 Powerbook. I abused that thing for 4 years, after which the CPU failed. I call that fair.

How do you abuse a CPU?

a) "that thing" was intended to refer to the PowerBook in general, but... b)You put it in a foam-padded sleeve inside a backpack and manage to wake the sucker up...multiple times.

I believe (without any real evidence) that the cases where the PB was hot, with a dead battery, or hung with a black screen (also hot) when I pulled it out of the pack, contributed to the eventual CPU failure. It only happened when I was still running OS 9 (which is one reason why I tolerated 10.1 as well as I did ;-), and was _quite_ irritating.

I had these problems with the Vaio as well. They can damage software as well as hardware on Windows (which we know blows) because they cause chains to be broken, etc., and Microsoft recovery sux.

Since I replaced many other heat-sensitive components myself over those 4 years (HD, RAM, added AirPort later), failure of those components was not so much an issue.

I used that PB pretty much daily for those four years, carting it from home to school, traveling across the country a couple of times, etc. I wore out one main battery and was one year into the replacement when the machine crapped out. All that time, it lived inside a Spire USA sleeve case, and my backpack.

I certainly wouldn't call that PowerBook "designed for obsolescence." I

I would. The advertising constitutes a claim that your use was not excessive because the advertising shows Powerbook users cavorting like fauns in Arcady, in the wilderness, with their Powerbook. This claim is false if you have to treat the thing with kid gloves.

wouldn't even say that about the Titanium that replaced it. Apple tried something pretty bold there: alight, thin portable machine that could honestly be called a desktop replacement, with a wide screen and a gorgeous case. For all that, it was a flawed design. That happens sometimes.

Anyway, none of this gets to the problem of the OP: his TiBook isn't much use to him just now. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about that. I believe that buying a new PB or iBook is not necessarily a bad move. Whether or not it is a good idea depends far more upon what a person wants out of the machine (performance, durability, etc.), their tolerance for cost, how long they can afford to go without replacement, etc. This is to say, whether or not a new Apple portable is a good buy or not depends on the same factors that affect any other company's portable machines.

The fact is that MOST end users cannot sit back as in the mythos, and speculate about costs and benefits and "what they want". I'd suggest that for MOST laptop purchasers, the same factors govern as does our purchase of long-distance air travel.

Most people just consider cost. Sure, if they are transPacific travelers they might choose business class but then will drive down the cost of this class (taking coach regularly is in my experience brutal).

These people DO NOT have the option in the PC marketplace, and as far as I can see in the Mac portable market place, of accentuating performance or ruggedness.

Instead, modern marketing predecides what configuration will be most popular at each price point to the extent that in situations where the engineers COULD provide options at the price point, the marketing people (who if anything have more power at Apple than at Sony) prevent this from happening!

At both Apple and Sony, each "feature" has to be costed out, and thus the marketers decide whether the market, at each price point, wants performance or reliability.

The original vision of Alan Kay et al. at Xerox Parc was far less limited. His 1974 sketch of children playing with a "computing book" was of children using what looks like the Powerbook...on the grass. This would be either actual folly with ANY modern laptop, or an epistemological folly in the sense that the end user is in the dark as to the specific effects of specific actions, only knowing (if that) that the biome (trees and grass and moisture and stuff) seems in a global, holistic sense, to really hate computers (even Macs) and to destroy them (black screen, pfft, bang zoom) just as soon as it can.

I mean, just picture a modern Dad, seeing his kids in the lawn with a modern Powerbook:

"Hi Daddy!"
"Hi yourself! Aargh! You kids bring that computer in this house RIGHT NOW!"
"Ok, Daddy!"
(Dad wipes it off and plugs it in. Zap kanorkle: flames shoot from the power supply.)
"Mom, Daddy broke the computer!"
"I did not! You kids shouldn't play with this thing in the lawn! Now what are we going to do! My credit card is maxed out!"

In writing the above, I realize that a wet computer can be recovered. The problem is psychological and economic and not "technical", for the organization of the computer industry since 1974 has tracked that of the auto industry, where Dad is condemned in the above to visiting "repair" shops that make money exploiting his ignorance, or has to imagine himself (in the common false "male" psychology we are familiar with in the car business) able to "repair" the thing...with software effects of the damage being literally unknowable.

I think in other words that it MIGHT be possible to design a rugged computer, but I think such a truly rugged device would be both Earth friendly (and thus less likely to be the target of systems such as wet grass) and affordable to the very poor. Its affordability would downplay raw "speed" (for most Power users, wrong but attractive answers, real fast) and use a highly factored and modular design in both hardware and software.

It wouldn't play games such as hey, let's put the fan here to "save" pennies and drive me crazy when the fan dies after one year of heavy use (note that most desktop PC users don't even KNOW that removing the case from a desktop PC makes it run hotter and NOT cooler because of something called "convection". They are only told it will void the warranty AS IF a goddamn device was more important than Knowledge).

Of course, by talking in the first place about earth systems warring with the evil PC, I date myself as distinctly prior to the false Star Wars *aufhebung* or reconciliation of technology with that which is warm and fuzzy.

The Road Not Taken, even at Apple, was a humble and even SLOW (eek!) technology that accentuated correctness, reliability and low price. Unfortunately for the USA, Asia's poor are discovering the value of this type of technology, which may ultimately replace that of the US...its arrogant "power" laptops being cannibalized in Shenzen for spare parts.

I do believe in a holistic theory. In 1974, computing took place in a zone separate from the developed economy and for this reason was able to explore communitarian avenues long closed off in the "mature" economy.

Today, in the holistic sense, computing takes place in the "work and spend" economy of limited time, and the result is that many personal computers (including many Powerbooks) expire or are junked before the end of their true useful life which in the literal case of a CPU with no moving parts should be measured in tens of years, not months.

However, this would demand a higher level of GOVERNMENT participation (eek!) in funding technology. This is anathema if anything especially at Apple, whose world-view dates from the Sixties nonsense, in America, that tried, and failed, to reconcile libertarian competition with human needs for community. But I don't live any more in America and I remark abroad that other societies have flourishing markets with GOVERNMENT (ai-ya!) intervention.

Furthermore, in America, when we think of Government we have...oops...George Bush. Oh well, forget about it.

--
Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

Message #13 - Posted 2005/10/15 - John Johnson

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

John Johnson wrote:

Previously, Christopher C. Stacy wrote:

John Johnson <null@invalid.com> writes:

My first new mac was a G3 Powerbook. I abused that thing for 4 years, after which the CPU failed. I call that fair.

How do you abuse a CPU?

a) "that thing" was intended to refer to the PowerBook in general, but... b)You put it in a foam-padded sleeve inside a backpack and manage to wake the sucker up...multiple times.

I believe (without any real evidence) that the cases where the PB was hot, with a dead battery, or hung with a black screen (also hot) when I pulled it out of the pack, contributed to the eventual CPU failure. It only happened when I was still running OS 9 (which is one reason why I tolerated 10.1 as well as I did ;-), and was _quite_ irritating.

I had these problems with the Vaio as well. They can damage software as well as hardware on Windows (which we know blows) because they cause chains to be broken, etc., and Microsoft recovery sux.

Since I replaced many other heat-sensitive components myself over those 4 years (HD, RAM, added AirPort later), failure of those components was not so much an issue.

I used that PB pretty much daily for those four years, carting it from home to school, traveling across the country a couple of times, etc. I wore out one main battery and was one year into the replacement when the machine crapped out. All that time, it lived inside a Spire USA sleeve case, and my backpack.

I certainly wouldn't call that PowerBook "designed for obsolescence." I

I would. The advertising constitutes a claim that your use was not excessive because the advertising shows Powerbook users cavorting like fauns in Arcady, in the wilderness, with their Powerbook. This claim is false if you have to treat the thing with kid gloves.

Nowhere in Apple's advertising do they indicate that leaving their PowerBooks closed, running, and inside an insulated sleeve is "not excessive".

I rather suspect that I also overheated the machine (meaning, exceeded the operating temperature limits of the computer), but cannot confirm that, as I never had a thermometer with me when I opened it up.

wouldn't even say that about the Titanium that replaced it. Apple tried something pretty bold there: alight, thin portable machine that could honestly be called a desktop replacement, with a wide screen and a gorgeous case. For all that, it was a flawed design. That happens sometimes.

Anyway, none of this gets to the problem of the OP: his TiBook isn't much use to him just now. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about that. I believe that buying a new PB or iBook is not necessarily a bad move. Whether or not it is a good idea depends far more upon what a person wants out of the machine (performance, durability, etc.), their tolerance for cost, how long they can afford to go without replacement, etc. This is to say, whether or not a new Apple portable is a good buy or not depends on the same factors that affect any other company's portable machines.

The fact is that MOST end users cannot sit back as in the mythos, and speculate about costs and benefits and "what they want". I'd suggest that for MOST laptop purchasers, the same factors govern as does our purchase of long-distance air travel.

Most people just consider cost.

Unless their software is Mac-only, or it is required for their job, a Windows machine will almost always be cheaper than a new Apple machine of similar specification (for reasonable definitions of "similar"). People whose first consideration is cost are exceedingly unlikely (IME) to even consider a purchase from Apple. But that's just an opinion.

[snip]

The original vision of Alan Kay et al. at Xerox Parc was far less limited. His 1974 sketch of children playing with a "computing book" was of children using what looks like the Powerbook...on the grass. This would be either actual folly with ANY modern laptop, or an epistemological folly in the sense that the end user is in the dark as to the specific effects of specific actions, only knowing (if that) that the biome (trees and grass and moisture and stuff) seems in a global, holistic sense, to really hate computers (even Macs) and to destroy them (black screen, pfft, bang zoom) just as soon as it can.

Er, I used my G3 PowerBook outside all the time, and that didn't break it. I use my AlBook outside sometimes, and no ill effects yet. But anecdotes are pretty meaningless in this sort of argument.

Look, I'm all about the problems of a capitalist economy, and believe me that I understand where you are coming from. However, we've run pretty far off-topic, and I don't think that our own points of disagreement will change as a result of conversation: I don't think that anything short of the production of your ideal computer will count as evidence against the "designed for obsolescence" theory. I'm not convinced about this theory at the moment, though I'll admit to not having looked at the materials cited earlier in the thread.

So, thanks for the interest, I hope the OP didn't mind the digression.

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

Message #14 - Posted 2005/10/16 - spinoza1111

John Johnson wrote:

Previously, spinoza1111@yahoo.com wrote:

John Johnson wrote:

Previously, Christopher C. Stacy wrote:

John Johnson <null@invalid.com> writes:

My first new mac was a G3 Powerbook. I abused that thing for 4 years, after which the CPU failed. I call that fair.

How do you abuse a CPU?

a) "that thing" was intended to refer to the PowerBook in general, but... b)You put it in a foam-padded sleeve inside a backpack and manage to wake the sucker up...multiple times.

I believe (without any real evidence) that the cases where the PB was hot, with a dead battery, or hung with a black screen (also hot) when I pulled it out of the pack, contributed to the eventual CPU failure. It only happened when I was still running OS 9 (which is one reason why I tolerated 10.1 as well as I did ;-), and was _quite_ irritating.

I had these problems with the Vaio as well. They can damage software as well as hardware on Windows (which we know blows) because they cause chains to be broken, etc., and Microsoft recovery sux.

Since I replaced many other heat-sensitive components myself over those 4 years (HD, RAM, added AirPort later), failure of those components was not so much an issue.

I used that PB pretty much daily for those four years, carting it from home to school, traveling across the country a couple of times, etc. I wore out one main battery and was one year into the replacement when the machine crapped out. All that time, it lived inside a Spire USA sleeve case, and my backpack.

I certainly wouldn't call that PowerBook "designed for obsolescence." I

I would. The advertising constitutes a claim that your use was not excessive because the advertising shows Powerbook users cavorting like fauns in Arcady, in the wilderness, with their Powerbook. This claim is false if you have to treat the thing with kid gloves.

Nowhere in Apple's advertising do they indicate that leaving their PowerBooks closed, running, and inside an insulated sleeve is "not excessive".

I rather suspect that I also overheated the machine (meaning, exceeded the operating temperature limits of the computer), but cannot confirm that, as I never had a thermometer with me when I opened it up.

Sounds reasonable in this case; I am concerned with a more general tendency of self-blame. Of course, it would be a simple matter to have the computer shut off within some range of an unacceptable temperature.

Of course, such fail-safe systems are THEMSELVES subject in turn to failure. Just because you have set the Vaio to Hibernate when you shut the lid, does not mean that it will do so because the Hibernation itself is a process on the "same" machine.

It remains the case that simpler laptops which have less pushed "the state of the art" in the direction of a speed and power which most users cannot use and which in the case of bugs only amplifies their effect tend less towards these problems. My old Presario, for example.

wouldn't even say that about the Titanium that replaced it. Apple tried something pretty bold there: alight, thin portable machine that could honestly be called a desktop replacement, with a wide screen and a gorgeous case. For all that, it was a flawed design. That happens sometimes.

Anyway, none of this gets to the problem of the OP: his TiBook isn't much use to him just now. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about that. I believe that buying a new PB or iBook is not necessarily a bad move. Whether or not it is a good idea depends far more upon what a person wants out of the machine (performance, durability, etc.), their tolerance for cost, how long they can afford to go without replacement, etc. This is to say, whether or not a new Apple portable is a good buy or not depends on the same factors that affect any other company's portable machines.

The fact is that MOST end users cannot sit back as in the mythos, and speculate about costs and benefits and "what they want". I'd suggest that for MOST laptop purchasers, the same factors govern as does our purchase of long-distance air travel.

Most people just consider cost.

Unless their software is Mac-only, or it is required for their job, a Windows machine will almost always be cheaper than a new Apple machine of similar specification (for reasonable definitions of "similar"). People whose first consideration is cost are exceedingly unlikely (IME) to even consider a purchase from Apple. But that's just an opinion.

My understanding of the OP's situation is that he is a member of a large group of people who would not bother to own a computer unless they own a Mac. This group includes ideological followers of Apple and any number of graphic artists and software developers. In air travel terms, they want to go to Paris and not Slobbovia.

But after this decision they are I think as graphic artists and *flaneurs* very price sensitive, in the same way people fly coach to Paris.

[snip]

The original vision of Alan Kay et al. at Xerox Parc was far less limited. His 1974 sketch of children playing with a "computing book" was of children using what looks like the Powerbook...on the grass. This would be either actual folly with ANY modern laptop, or an epistemological folly in the sense that the end user is in the dark as to the specific effects of specific actions, only knowing (if that) that the biome (trees and grass and moisture and stuff) seems in a global, holistic sense, to really hate computers (even Macs) and to destroy them (black screen, pfft, bang zoom) just as soon as it can.

Er, I used my G3 PowerBook outside all the time, and that didn't break it. I use my AlBook outside sometimes, and no ill effects yet. But anecdotes are pretty meaningless in this sort of argument.

Look, I'm all about the problems of a capitalist economy, and believe me that I understand where you are coming from. However, we've run pretty far off-topic, and I don't think that our own points of disagreement will change as a result of conversation: I don't think that anything short of the production of your ideal computer will count as evidence against the "designed for obsolescence" theory. I'm not convinced about this theory at the moment, though I'll admit to not having looked at the materials cited earlier in the thread.

So, thanks for the interest, I hope the OP didn't mind the digression.

No problem. Thanks for your reply.

--
Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

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