ibneko: (Default)
Ok, I'm now pretty certain that my recent problems (entire screen freezes - mouse no longer reacts, random memory access errors to 0x000000, and kernel panics), have been due to my 1GB RAM chip flaking out.

Sometime at the start of the week, I ran memtest - first with the chip in - that caused a kernel panic halfway through. Then I removed the chip, ran memtest and got through three full tests. Put chip back in... memtest ran successfully.

But this morning, I've had two system freezes, one kernel panic, and half the time, the system wouldn't boot. Arrgh.

I've taken out the 1 GB and the system hasn't died. So that's good. But that leaves me with a measly 256 MB, which is nowhere close to enough.

I could sell the iBook on eBay for about $300-400. A MacBook Pro is $1800+$239 AppleCare. If I can do the shopfreepay deal, I might be able to get a MacBook, which would give me something else to sell for at least $1000. Revision D for the MacBook Pro line was released earlier this month, and... I'd expect most of the problems that plagued the first and second revisions have been taken care of.

That being said, I need to figure out what I can do with this 1 GB stick of RAM. I think it was a Kingston brand, although it says kti...? And I would have sworn I read that there was a lifetime warrantee. Now if that's true, and I can get this one replaced, I could sell it on eBay for $80-100...

Overall cost, if everything goes the way I expect... I should have to pay around $500? Not too bad for an system upgrade... And hopefully less stress from hardware-related problems.

La~ order of how to do things
1. Wince and cry as I spend the $2000. (Hmm, use a 0% balance transfer to pay it off for the time being? Sounds good to me. Stupid Citibank card offers keep coming - might as well use one, ne? 3% balance transfer fee though.... = $60)
2. Transfer data, securewipe iBook. List on eBay. Hope prices go up.
3. Start MacBook deals on shopfreepay.
4. Sell stick of RAM, if replaced? Hope for $100...

[append 1PM]
Oooooh, they've got that iPod rebate thing going. I could buy an iPod and either
a) keep it, paying $50 for a 30GB black'n'shiny iPod.
b) Selling the iPod or iPod nano on eBay... for... only $100? XP Damn, not worth it.

Total, after tax ($114.35!? Frigging hell...) comes to $2,401.35 - $199 iPod rebate = $2,202.35

Alternatively, without the iPod, it's $2,139.90. Tax was $101.90. Blah.

Hm, or if I get it from MacConnection, I could use their $150 rebate. +Free shipping +"No tax - online store" = Grand total of $1,844 + $240 AppleCare purchased separately. Total=$2,084.00. I save $55.

--
Selling the iBook G4 on eBay:
By itself - going price seems to be $300-475. Let's say $400.
I could also sell it in parts, but that seems to be much less...

If I get the MacBook, I should be able to get $800-1400. Let's say $1000.

$684... A little bit over a week's worth of work... XP

Pros: I'll be running Intel so I can try out some of the linux hacking tools I've wanted to try. The MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo was found to be a very reliable machine: http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/macbooks2.html. 3% requiring repair? 3 more years of not-having-to-worry-about a warrantee running out. 2 GB of ram. The ability to run other Windows programs as necessary, without using a desktop.
Cons: Money. Urrrgh.

...yeah, Pros wins. XP
ibneko: (Default)
Dear self,
Looks like your AppleCare coverage ends 2007-07-28, despite the system trade-in from last? last? summer?

Here's to hoping we don't break it somehow and it keeps running for at least a year.

But in case I do:
http://geektechnique.org/projectlab/726/diy-obsolete-ibook-logic-board-repair
with candles and fire.

Heat guns were the other option. With aluminum foil covering the rest of the board.

Love,
Self

---
Hmm, I like the New Broadway Cast copy of Sweeny Todd better than the original. ::nods::

Ben's been doing too many of these open letters. Ben shall stop now.
ibneko: (Default)
Danes 'prove' sudden iBook death syndrome* [ http://www.theregister.com/2007/05/03/danish_consumer_complaints_board_claim_ibook_defect/ ]
Kinda nice to see this confirmation. It's been slashdotted, and from there, there was a link to someone's experience repairing his iBook with fire.

Yes, fire. [ http://geektechnique.org/projectlab/726/diy-obsolete-ibook-logic-board-repair ]

Yes, there are pictures.

XD Here's to hoping I'll never have to try this.........

*Actually, this issue has been confirmed by fans everywhere. It just never really found its way into the news...
ibneko: (Default)
Well, iBook arrived yesterday. Overnight shipping, day after they called. Thank you, Apple, specifically, you guys at the Apple store in Montgomery Mall. There was also a FedEx envelope, asking me to sign the repair receipt (with $0.00 due circled, which was a relief, as there was a regular receipt attached that indicated $280.. I'm assuming that was so they could set up sending through Apple's account or something.)

Granted, still not going to go back there again to get things repaired - still much faster to just call and do all of the sending myself.

But yeah, It was a hard drive death, although I still don't know exactly what happened. So I ended up combining a week-old backup and data recovered off the drive using an external firewire that I had previously loaded the Mac Recovery Drive onto (Oh, Thank Goddess!), and some data recovery tool that was included on it.

The down side is that the week-old backup only covered my personal files. So those are/should be safe and sane. But everything else, like my absurdly large collection of Non-Apple provided applications were recovered and are now in a questionable state. XJournal (my livejournal client for posting) was broken. (The data recovery tool found a LARGE number of orphaned .nib files, which are typically inside the application 'package') As things are right now, I'm downloading and reinstalling as necessary.

Unfortunately, the backup also did not cover recent bittorrent downloads, so several of those were lost, a few corrupted (and are currently being redownloaded), but most were recovered.
ibneko: (Default)
The tub is now sparkling (sparklingly?) clean. Probably the cleanest it's been since we moved in.

--

Apple store contacted me yesterday and asked for my address to ship the iBook to. No questions asked. (Although there was a late call on monday informing me that it was ready for pickup. I semi-ranted on the fact that I tried to pick it up from FedEx, but no one could do anything about it. The guy informed me that he would get back to me "tomorrow"/tuesday, as he was closing up the store.) Here's to hoping they're not shipping by very-slow-ground or something. And that nothing goes wrong. I may call back in a few days to see if there's a tracking number... don't really like calling the Apple store though; I always feel kinda bad bothering them, since there's usually absurdly busy. Business is good there~

--

The four classes I'm taking this semester all seem good.
CS411: Database systems - The professor is awesome. I need to contact him and see if he's got any pointers for someone who's also looking into security. And he's got an accent, possibly british? Class is absurdly crowded though.

ECE410: Digital Signals Processing I - 2 hour long lectures ::wince:: by the professor is very upbeat. And apparently includes plans in his lectures to involve the entire class ("Ok, form small groups and discuss such-and-such"). Which is good. Ah, incentive to NOT fall behind and look stupid. Everything is modular! :)

ECE440: Solid State Electronic Devices - Like diodes, P/n junctions, or something like that. Crowded classroom. First lecture was ok, although there's a possiblity of it being slightly boring. Professor informed us that 440 was probably the only class where we'll have to use everything we learned in the past. Uh oh...

GER250/ENG267/CompLit 250: Grimms' Fairy Tales in their European Context. Ahhahahaha. I'm going to love this class. The professor is an amusingly upbeat psychology professor, so there was some ToKish mentioning of knowing things in the past. Damn crowded class though. At least I can get there's early, but... ugh, it's on the south side of campus, which means a rush northwards to the engineering building (everitt) for ECE440. Oh, and it's a Advanced Comp class, which means essays (good essays) will have to be written. And the professor admits it's going to be hard, since, unlike Shakespeare, fairy tales are rather one-dimentional. Hmmm. Time to test what IB has taught me.

Yes, my semester is light-ish, but with three 400 level classes, I'm unwilling to risk taking more. Shall try to take less and do better. Maybe?

Dear iBook,

Jan. 5th, 2007 10:13 pm
ibneko: (Default)
Why do you insist on dying on me every 3-6 months?

Love,
Ben

--
Apple Hardware Test promptly reports the error "2STF/8/3:ATA-100ata-6" with the mass storage test. Or something like that.

Or, occationally, the computer freezes on the select-boot-device screen. Or while booting.

Thankfully, I was able to boot once using my external firewire drive, run Data Rescue (God bless you guys) which recovered pretty-much everything.

The drive also refuses to format. Disk Utility reports that the SMART status is verified, but the "underlying task" throws errors.

So I'm not sure where the problem lies. Which bothers me. This is different from them annoying logic board failures.

--

"2.) Until that fetus springs forth, screaming, from my loins, its location within my body means that, under the concept of Bodily Domain, I, legally, can choose to remove it. Bodily Domain means that no one can touch my body without my consent, and only in ways that I consent to, because it is my body. I can kill a man who is raping me for ten minutes without my consent because he is violating my Bodily Domain, but I can't kill an non-sentient fetus which is using my uterus for nine MONTHS without my consent because it's doing the same?"
--http://scary-liberal.livejournal.com/
ibneko: (Default)
"Step 2 - Service
On hold - Part on order (24-Oct-2006)"

Damnit, Apple, damnit.

Need to call in and see how long "on order" might mean.

Well, I guess it's a nice change from "Repair in progress (19-Oct-2006)".
ibneko: (Default)
http://www.applefritter.com/node/10193

Hah! So it's really not just me. I'm absurdly tempted to just take it apart and try some of the suggestions (tightening screws, finding the GPU and adding a shim of some sort..). 'cause if that fixes the problem...... Meh. I don't have a week to wait on Apple to repair the machine.

Most interesting was the post by "iantm",
As a service technician who oversees a 2000 unit deployment of 1ghz 12" iBook G4's, the video chipset failing is an unusual failure path (1 every two months). Another factor in logic board failure that I've come across has been heavy use. Units that see a lot of heavy use in settings other than on a desk have a higher failure path than units who only see desk use (while still being transported from place to place.

The primary point of failure I've observed with the iBook G4 logic boards has been where the unit fails POST, won't chime, spins the fan at full speed, and provides no backlight or video. Once at this point, nothing resolves the issue. Resetting the PMU doesn't resolve the matter, the suggestions with the video chip also don't help, which leads me to believe that the point of failure is somewhere else.


Which is almost exactly like my problem, with the exception that I do get backlight, but no video and the fans spin at full speed.

And the iBook does get put through heavy use.

Actually, I do have the Apple Service Manuals... so technically, I do have the instructions to take the damn thing apart, and they shouldn't be able to tell the difference.......... maybe? o.O
ibneko: (Default)
I woke up early (10 AM, for a saturday), and was up wandering around the apartment poking at the fridge when some part of my brain woke up and came to the conclusion that, hey, it might be nice to curl up in my blankets for a bit longer, because my feet were cold. So I did that, and somehow fell back asleep until 2 PM ^^;;;.

And... I've just realized that it's going to be a really inconvenient week to not have a laptop, if I do decide to send in the iBook. Because PuzzleCrack is this week! And as I do rely on perl and such to hack up little scripts... and being able to search on campus for clues while using wireless/meet with others to discuss things... garh.

And I still don't know where the problem is. There's no consistency in the blanking-out/failure to boot problem. I'm hazarding a loose wire somewhere, but shaking/lightly tapping the iBook hasn't caused the problem to surface. I don't think it's bad RAM? I've been running it without my 1GB stick, and thus far it hasn't died yet, which worries me. I _think_ I have a warrentee on that RAM, but... I don't remember anymore. But RAM shouldn't cause the screen to blink a half-second bar of white, then shutdown, should it? And then cause the system not to boot up properly for a while?

Bleh, this sucks. I want a MacBook Pro. Or just any Pro machine, something that doesn't keep dying on me. How much of a hassle is it to sell things on eBay?
ibneko: (Default)
Went on the J-net barcrawl tonight. It was amusing and I guess... I dunno, still not all that fond of bars, but eh, the right ones are ok. Got pictures, and was surprised that the camera battery held out for so long, even with flash enabled. 60-ish pictures, most aren't all that great, since.. bars tend to be dim/badly lit places.

Apparently I smell like smoke. ::sighs:: And I just washed that hoodie recently.

Tired.

Mmm, there's a WootOff in effect. Which means, deals of varying wonderfulness on woot.com.

And my iBook's been experiencing failures to wake up properly after being put to sleep by closing the lid and transporting said iBook from location A to location B. And today it died as I was opening iTunes - the screen went blank. Backlight was still on, caps lock responded as expected. But no video. I should have tested volume to see if I could get beeps, but it didn't cross my mind then. Forced a shutdown, then tried to boot up, and the loud fans (the ones that kick in when the system overheats, or when it's checking hardware on boot) kicked in and remained running. Turned it off, pulled the battery, plugged it into the outlet, did a pram reset and tried booting again. It worked. Until I tried to hand off my iBook to someone else so they could look something up, at which point the screen blanked again, and I sighed.

Anyways. I guess I need to run another round of backups, then get ready to send it in, if the situation gets worse. But once backups are done, I'll be reinstalling MacOS X 10.4 as planned several months ago. It'll be a pain in the ass, but eh, I think something's messed up somewhere.

And now, shower and bed. Bed sounds very nice.
ibneko: (Default)
So my iBook has died. Again.

This time, I'd guess that it's due to something being loose inside... tapping on the area where the hard drive is located will instantly blank the screen - LCD backlight remains on, but the screen's blank. That is, if it even boots successfully. Which only happens once every... 20 minutes or so, giving me about 2 minutes of working time every 20 minutes? If it works at all.

And now that I don't live in the dorms, I don't have access to a computer lab that's open 24/7. Grr.

Yeah, more reason to pick up an ok, but cheap PC. Something as backup. Being without a computer doesn't make me happy.

Hm, this also means xanga crossposting will be on hold for a while ^^;; not like anyone from xanga will actively come here to read and discover that.

ECE385 (the scary 3 hour lab from 3-6 PM?) today wasn't too bad. I randomly found a nice, kind senior and paired up with him. No, doesn't mean I can slack off, of course, but it means that he won't be as ignorant as I am. That, I think, was the only stoke of good luck today.

I've been unable to back up most of the stuff from my iBook. Will continue trying, but I intend to send it off as soon as I get the box. At the moment:
- Downloads (12-16 GB)
- Recent e-mail, be it sent, recieved, whatever. Looks like I should start CCing sent mail to my archive location on gmail.
- AIM Logs
- Calendar. Not really that important here, but it means I'll be a bit blind when it comes to some events. Should have e-mail copies around though . . .
- A few new applications. This is quite minor, though.
- A few stepmania songfiles and stepfiles (Mostly Pump songs) - minor, they were hard to get, but not impossible to retrieve.

Managed to back up class notes, though. Whee. Those would be unrecoverable, and worth the most out of all of the data thus far.

Last sync of my home folder occurred... probably around early August. Not too bad, but not too good either. I really, _really_ should start syncing on a daily basis. I should also clean out my sync location - right now, only new data is written in. Old data is left as is, unless there's a newer version, in which case the old data is overwritten. This means clutter and duplicates will occur... which isn't that bad, since I do have space... but... wasteful.

Must check e-mail, then work on homework. Stuff due tomorrow. 7:30. Yay productivity?

I need an mp3 player. I'm completely without technology right now, minus my watch (you better not die on me. I'm not going to send you in for repairs too, goddamnit.) Oh, and cell phone. Hmm. Yeah, you better not die either.

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