January 16, 2006


So I remembered to bring my computer today, since I was to be taking minutes at the faculty meeting. I get there at 4(ish), plug in, and when I open the laptop, it appears there are two screens superimposed over each other—as if alternate pixels belonged to two different screenshots. Also, it was completely hung.

After a reboot, all I saw was a lovely plaid. Shutting it down a few minutes and starting it again had no effect (still that crapped-out-LCD plaid pattern). So once again, I found myself taking minutes longhand. Sigh. I really need to learn shorthand.

This especially sucks because I'm in no position to buy a computer just now, and the laptop is it for me for home machines. I was just hoping that, if I was very lucky, the bad part was between the video board and the screen, such that VGA output would bypass the problem and I could hook up my old 15" CRT. I dug out the monitor and cables, hooked everything up, crossed my fingers, and powered up the laptop.

And, of course, it worked perfectly. The laptop screen and monitor both work just fine. The good that comes out of this is that I now have a dual-head system at home, which is pretty nifty. The bad is that I now will not close, sleep, or even really move my laptop at any time until I know I can line up another machine to replace it. (And let me tell you, I'm lusting after one of those 20" LCD iMacs that are going for just $1700 before discount. The fact that I'll have to wait until the first buggy batch is out is probably a good thing.) Maybe I can borrow someone else's laptop to take notes at the next fac meeting....

"Note that these probabilities encode some facts that we think of as strictly syntactic in nature, as well as facts that we think of as more culturally based (like the low probability of anyone asking for advice on finding British food)." --Jurafsky & Martin Ch. 6

Posted by blahedo at 11:52pm on 16 Jan 2006

Man that's rough. I went through 5 motherboard ship-n-swaps with my 12" G3 iBook before Apple finally caved and replaced it with a new 1.5GHz PowerBook (on which I am typing this comment). Of course that's a lot easier to put up with when the cost of all that was covered under Apple's repair program (since it was a manufacturing defect causing the dead-video problems).

I think the next 18 months or so are going to be rough in terms of buying Macs. As Apple switches more of its product lines over to Intel, removing PPC versions as they go, and software developers continue to work on getting universal binaries out, things are going to probably be a little chaotic. Personally, I'll probably try to grab a last-revision G5 tower (whether I can afford it at the time or not) to use as a PPC legacy machine. ...boy, it sure seems sad to think of a dual processor, dual core, 2.5GHz G5 tower as "legacy" hardware.

Posted by Anon. at 9:37am on 17 Jan 2006
You know, you'd be suprised what Knox is willing to buy for its faculty. (Well, maybe not *too* suprised considering what you happen to have under your desk at work.) I don't think that you would have much difficulty applying for and acquiring funding from them to replace the defunct machine. I know for certain it's been done to acquire ipods, powerbooks, dvd burners, and a DV camcorder, all in the name of education. Considering you would actually be using it for work-related things, I don't think it's unreasonable. Posted by Chelsea at 9:56pm on 17 Jan 2006
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