A scary morning

Since a few days ago my PowerBook has been behaving strangely, with weird hisses and whistles coming from below the keyboard and an “ozonish” smell that I never noticed before. This morning, my fellow companion started to misbehave: the screen went flickering after a couple of hours spent working and eventually the whole thing froze. Upon successive reboots, things were just getting worse and the lifetime of my computer would decrease from ten to one minute.

This is not exactly what you’d call an ideal situation: first of all I couldn’t figure myself buying a new G4 PowerBook when in a matter of days we should be getting news from Steve about the long-awaited Intel shift. Then, when I started calling Apple shops around here to see if I could get it fixed, maybe getting a spare in the meantime, I noticed that January 2nd isn’t exactly a working day for Christmas-exhausted stores, with no one answering my frantic calls.

I decided to switch to friends, among others managing to bother Pier all the way to Japan (thanks mate! I owe you a Sashimi) and eventually finding a friend of a friend who gave me the right hint (yes Enrico, that’s you: just name the restaurant and be my guest): what seemed to be a quite typical hardware issue turned out – well, hopefully at least – as a software glitch.

Apparently the overheating symptom can be caused by the OS misreading sensors and mismanaging fans: he suggested to start with the Tiger DVD, keep the computer running for 30 minutes or so and, if all was well, proceed with an OS reinstall. Well, it took me the best part of my morning and a good deal of bravery to see the progress bar while fearing everything could break any second now, but in the end all went just fine. My PowerBook is back, even though it’s definitely backup & update time, and I feel much relieved overall: I could imagine a whole sleeve of better ways to start 2006, though.



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