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Thread: My iBook story

  1. #1
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Here's a story about my iBook's life, because I'm bored and nothing is on TV.


    Historically, I've never liked Macs. I always felt that they were slow, lacking commonsense features, and unstable. All that changed with the release of OS X. I had been using two lab Macs (a G3 300 and a G4 400) for video editing for two years on both the horrible OS 9 and the godsend OS X. I also used some lab iBooks on a wireless network which introduced me to the pure bliss of open Wifi (side note: joining a WEP network in Windows bloooooooooows).

    The point came when I needed a laptop for my mobile work. All of the existing PC laptops were either badly built pieces of crap or got bad battery life, so I decided to get an iBook. Being the poor individual I am, I got the lowest-end iBook: a G3-600 12". I didn't mind the small screen; actually I like small screens because they're the same resolution, just in a smaller, more portable enclosure. I got the computer from MacConnection which included a free upgrade to 256 MB of RAM (a necessity for any computer) and some token games that never played.

    Buying the computer from them was great; a low price compared to Apple's store at around $1,200 in August 2002. I had to buy an extra $100 AirPort card, but the benefits of a wireless network far outweighed the cost. Unfortunately the two items were different shipments, so the iBook came a few days before the AirPort card. At the time, though, I only had a wired network at home, so no big deal.

    When I got the iBook, I did my usual routine whenever I get a new computer: go through every preference pane and customize it to death to fit my preferences. I drooled over the OS prettiness and stability. Speed was a different matter, but as this was for mobile work, I didn't care.

    Annoyingly, a month later, Apple released another revision of the iBook with a faster GPU and CPU for the same price. A victim of timing and progress, I was a little peeved, but nothing I could do.

    Over the next few months when I used it heavily for surfing, e-mail, and even Quake 3 which ran reasonably well, I loved it. It lived up to its battery claim of 5 hours if I tried (realistically, about 3.5 because I had the screen brightness all the way up). Wireless worked perfectly and with no effort on my part: turn on the computer, and it joined the network in the background, no questions or dialogs.

    Then things started to get worse. I noticed the CD-ROM drive would not work reliably. For no reason, it would just refuse to read a CD or take nearly an eternity to read one. Then it started to eject them right after insertion.

    I also noticed an annoyance with the AirPort signal: if I opened the screen all of the way, the signal would cut completely out (remember that the iBook's screen doesn't open 180+ but rather about 140). It wasn't a major problem because usually the ideal viewing angle was less, but it was still very frustrating.

    At this point, I called an Apple store. The laptop came with only a one-year warantee, so repairs would be on my money. The rep estimated a cost of $300 to repair the problems. Since I rarely needed the CD-ROM drive and the AirPort wasn't a major problem, I decided against it.

    The last straw, though, was that the screen backlight would cut out just like the AirPort signal. Only 1.5 years after buying it, I decided to eBay the whole package. I was told that there is apparently a design defect in the iBook's design such that the cable harness routing through the screen's hinge would become crimped or frayed over time, so the problems would only get worse.

    So, that's it; I'll never buy a Mac laptop again. Don't get me wrong, though: I have a Mac desktop at work--a G4 933 that was tricked out with the original intention of being a server--and I love it. Stable, hooked up to a very high resolution SGI monitor, speedy, runs servers and games well...just a great machine.

    My next laptop will be a PC laptop this time: a Fujitsu ultraportable that should arrive in a few days. Hopefully I'll have better luck with that.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
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  3. #2
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    BTW, for the lazy:

    Pros:
    • Good battery life
    • Good looks (you would not believe this, but it actually has made girls come up and ask about it, seriously )
    • Beautiful screen
    • Excellent wireless integration and reception

    Cons:
    • Slowly and gracefully fell apart over the course of 1.5 years
    • Slow as all hell after using other computers

    Remember when computers came standard with 3-year warantees? Ah, the memories...
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

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    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    BTW I noticed you got a very good price on ebay, congrats

    I dunno... I've never had enough spending cash to afford macs (or any real new computer for that matter) so I'm always stuck with hand-me downs. Although I usually end up with pretty nice hand-me-downs I have very few complaints about this current laptop... but then again free can't beat much. Mostly just battery life and video (video memory shares main memory decreasing system performance).

    Now if only XP could look as pretty as OSX (or if programs like windowsblinds didn't eat up insane resources) I'd be moderately happy with windows. Right now I'm pretty dissapointed with XP and wouldn't be using it except that a)I'm too lazy to reinstall win2k and b)I'm utterly infactuated with ClearType. The memory handling is absolutely horrendous, using pagefile like it's buttered popcorn. I love OSX... I really do.
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

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    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Originally posted by filburt1
    Good looks (you would not believe this, but it actually has made girls come up and ask about it, seriously )
    Yeah, good looks do that. Not that I'd know, but you know. :-P


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