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Free Clamshell iBook, or Why I love Silicon Valley

tomlee59

Well-known member
So a friend of a friend hears that I'm wacky for macs, and gives me a dead clamshell ibook that he had gotten from still someone else long ago, thinking he'd get around to fixing it some day. Well, he's getting ready to move, and has decided that he's never going to fix it. "Besides, I'd never be caught dead in public actually carrying one."

Got home, plugged it in. Nothing. Jiggled the power connector, no joy. Checked the adapter; it's dead. Tried new adapter, still no joy. Jiggled the connector; bingo! - got it to behave intermittently.

After tearing into it to fix the standard loose power connector problem (using the "manhandle shortcut" to save time), discovered it had an Airport card (!). After the fix, it's running 10.3 like a champ (well, as much of one that a 300MHz ibook can).

 

MacMan

Well-known member
Nicely done! The power connector fault is one I've seen countless times though it often means there's more free/cheap "broken" machines for those who know how to fix them!

I'm still surprised at how much (working) clamshell iBooks go for on eBay, especially in the UK. I'd like to get one but am not currently prepared to pay £100 or more for a good one.

 

tomlee59

Well-known member
Yes, it's surprising how many 'books (and windows laptops) have been afflicted with this same problem. I can't believe that, with such a long history of failures, laptop manufacturers haven't devised a more robust method of getting power. The clamshell's power connector is especially fragile, with simple surface-mount connections that are pretty much guaranteed to fatigue loose over time.

Then again, it's absolutely brilliant. They're probably diabolically designed to fail somewhat outside of the warranty window, guaranteeing a steady stream of income from repair and/or replacement...

 

MultiFinder

Well-known member
Yes, it's surprising how many 'books (and windows laptops) have been afflicted with this same problem. I can't believe that, with such a long history of failures, laptop manufacturers haven't devised a more robust method of getting power.
'Tis what MagSafe does. It's amazingly awesome :)

 

LCGuy

LC Doctor/Hot Rodder
Until it catches fire...one thing that i'm going to be incredibly paranoid about when i get my MacBook :p (no, i'm not dissing MacBooks...i'm going to OWN one in a month or so!)

 

tomlee59

Well-known member
MagSafe is indeed wonderful. I wish more portable devices had something similar.

That said, the pre-MagSafe connectors still seem underdesigned for no particularly sane reason (other than naked capitalism). For pennies of extra cost, it wouldn't be hard to reduce the incidence of failure by orders of magnitude.

(And thanks, funkytoad!)

 

Pinstripes

Well-known member
... I can't believe that, with such a long history of failures, laptop manufacturers haven't devised a more robust method of getting power. ...
Then again, it's absolutely brilliant. They're probably diabolically designed to fail somewhat outside of the warranty window, guaranteeing a steady stream of income from repair and/or replacement...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence [:(!] !]'> [:(!] !]'>

 

Anonymous Freak

Well-known member
The best one I had was not really the same class (it was my grandmother.) She complained that one day her iBook just stopped running, and nothing she could do could get it running again. I tried walking her through various things, but none of them worked. It appeared that the power system went kaput. (She lives in Arizona, I live in Oregon, so it was all 'over-the-phone')

So she goes out and buys a new iMac (she realized she didn't really need a portable anymore.) My dad went down there to hook the iMac up for her, and it turns out that while the COMPUTER end of the power cord was plugged in, and the WALL end was plugged in, but the wall cord had come loose from the brick! Her old iBook worked just fine, after all. (Our best guess is that she kicked the cord apart under the desk, and when the battery died, the computer died. Since it didn't die the instant she kicked the cord, she didn't notice the cause/effect link.)

 
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