Godspeed, old friend

My poor beleagered mistreated Powerbook G4 (aka “TiBook” because it’s made out of titanium) is sick. I came home from work yesterday to find the battery at 6% charge, and no way of charging it up. With either my charger, Vicki’s iBook charger or the car charger, it runs fine but the charged percentage never goes up or down. If I run it off the battery, it dies immediately.

On the advice of friends, I tried the steps to reset the Power Management Unit (PMU) using the reset button hidden on the back. I tried booting into Open Firmware to reset the nvram using “reset-nvram” and ‘reset-all”. I tried resetting the PRAM. I even tried the original battery, which I replaced a few weeks ago. No dice. The original battery is at 96% charged, but as soon as I unplug from the wall I get the 5 minute warning.

I fear that something very bad has happened in the PMU and it won’t deliver power to or from the battery properly. Man, I hope it isn’t the third party battery’s fault.

I took it down to the local Mac depot. As an aside, word to the wise, web developers: If there is ONE page that people are likely to want to print out, it’s going to be the “Directions how to find us” page. Don’t use Javascript to pop up that window without controls, because on a lot of browsers that leaves you with no way to print the damned thing. I’m just saying, ok? (Oh, and I’ve submitted your page to the “Web Pages That Suck” site. Hope you like the publicity.)

He says it will cost at least $75 for him to diagnose it, and then if it’s the PMU, he’ll have to send it to Apple for “Fixed Price Service”, which will cost about $400. Man, that’s a lot of money to spend on a crappy old laptop. That 17″ Powerbook G4 is looking better and better every day.

Oh, but one thing I love about Apples: There was a sign warning that Apple has a bad habit of wiping out hard drives when computers are in for service. They offered to back it up for another $75. Hah! I whipped out my iPod, deleted a few gigs of music off it, and backed up the most important directories and applications by dragging them over. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

I’m going to miss the old guy. I hope he comes back soon, otherwise I’m either going to fall way behind on my email or my tv watching.