Sunday, September 12, 2004

iBook died again

A few posts back I talked about my backup systems. They certainly make today a happier day. You see, of all the computer's I have purchased, the iBook I got about two years ago has been the most ... entertaining. As probably everyone knows, there was a period where the design was, er, less than perfect.

I had one of the first of the white, chicklet, style iBooks, the 500 mHz version. In fact, I bought two of them. One for me and one for my daughter Debra. After a relatively short time, the 10 GB hard disk was just too small for what I was doing, and Debra's machine was suffering. All of Debra's computers suffer. She loves them to death. I moved up to the new iBook with 30GB of storage while she used my old one for a few months. Eventually, she graduated to a 12" Powerbook.

And thus began the tradition of having backup hardware.

That iBook-500 has been the refuge when other machines have been making their visits to the repair shop, and when it isn't in someone's hands, it has been the Retrospect Backup Server machine.

I only wish the iBook-800 had been as reliable. I purchased it at the local Fryes store, and when I had to decide between Apple's service and Fryes, I was beguiled by their offer of a replacement machine if necessary.

After a few months, it died. I was on the road, somewhere east of the Mississippi, if I recall. It was only a few hundred miles out of my way, but I swung back through Austin to put it in for repair and get a replacement machine. That replacement machine was hard to get, and it took seven weeks to get my machine back. I was used to Applecare's response time of just a few days.

A few months after that, it died again. It was the same kind of problem. Video, which frequently locked up the machine. I put back into Fryes. I didn't even try to get the replacement machine, since I had the old reliable iBook-500. This time it was two full months to be repaired.

When the one-year factory warrantly was due to expire, I paid the money and bough the Applecare service for an additional two years. A month or so after that, Apple, recognizing that this design was a lemon, authorized free service on it. So I was covered three ways. Fryes warranty, Applecare, and the free bonus coverage.

And now, on close to it's second anniversary, The iBook-800 has died again -- with the same problem. This time I took it to the Apple Store. Right now I am using the iBook500 again, sort of.

Rather than unplug the iBook500 from the DVD burners and shut down the backup software, I borrowed the Sony Vaio my wife bought for some of her Windows-only software. Using VNC, I am running my Mac environment on the Sony environment. The Sony feels like a cast iron battleship, but no one was using it. It's battery life isn't as good as the mac's either, but tethered to its power cord, it does a fair job.

I'll be glad to get my iBook800 back. Soon. Please.

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