Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's alive!

Remember when my iBook died? Well, the story is very much like that Chilean man: About a year ago it all started with what the apple care guys supposed was a simple cold... she froze every once in a while, then she didn't want to start properly. The wrong diagnosis was to reinstall the operating system. Just for that, I had to take her twice to the apple service centre, which was not cheap... her condition improved a little, but she was still freezing sometimes.

During my trip to Mexico it got worse, to the point when I couldn't use it. So I took her again to the authorized apple service. A couple of weeks later, the nurse called me with the bad news: the logic board has to be replaced and the cost was more than $1,000USD. I had no option but to "pull the plug" and put her to sleep. Just out of emotional grief, I brought her corpse back home just to give it proper burial at the closet.

It was until just a couple of weeks ago when I found out that the logic board problem was a very common problem... there was no recall, but apple had a free repair program until July 17, 2007... that's a bit more that a month later than when I got the final diagnosis that my iBook was brain dead! Why didn't they tell me about the repair program! If they knew... they should have told me! In fact, they should have recognized the symptoms a year before. This differential diagnosis would have been noticed in any House episode ! So, I ran to exhume my laptop to perform an autopsy... and there it was! the serial number is in fact one of those affected by the badly soldered video chip causing that specific component failure on the logic board... indeed, it was not chungopatitis nor Mal Infernal de Howkinson™ !

iBook voodooI was thinking about a voodoo cleansing to bring it back to life... but the idea of a zombie laptop was frightening... I mean, it's no pushing daisies matter: bring her back to life and then not being able to touch her! I have no pyromaniac tendencies, unlike all those people who have actually tried this... despite all warnings: do not try this at home! Well, maybe it's a friend's home, and a not so clever friend: seems that part of this voodoo ritual is to burn it over a kitchen table including the table cloth on it.

I decided to take a DIY allopathic approach (don't confuse that with Don Zoilo's selfmedication) and perform a resuscitation surgery myself. I carefully performed open heart surgery 3 timiBook G3 DIY logic board fix es with help of some on-line medical advise. The first operation... I just placed some EVA foam over the affected organs... and it came back to life briefly! For the second surgery I was prepared with some silicone implants (not for aesthetic purposes) but to increase the pressure on one of the ATI video chips. I was afraid that using a big implant would cause worse damage to the logic board, so I cut the silicone implant. I worked very well, but still I noticed some flickering a couple of times... So I had to open her again. This time I put a full F cup size silicone implant (see the blue arrow on the picture). I tested the laptop for a while with no problems or flickering at all. Now she's on her way of a full recovery (I hope). I am still not certain about going in again, and increase pressure on the other video controller (the one behind that yellow foam), but certainly the extra pressure on the smaller ATI chip delivered good results.

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