Tuesday, April 17, 2007


As the proud owner of a Apple PowerBook 17 I never expected to run into any problems, especially something as odd as what I am about to tell you. This article is about a strange little issue that sprang up about a year ago with the screws located under the battery.

A Problem Arises
Last year I was doing a lot of design work and everywhere I went, my PowerBook was right beside me. Hey, you never know when you will be inspired or just need to surf the Internet at the local Starbucks. Well one faithful morning while sipping on my Americano, just before a client meeting, I could not get my laptop open. The release switch somehow became jammed, and after repeatedly trying to open it, I resorted to a business card. Like a criminal with a credit card breaking into a locked room, I wedged the business card right above the switch or button that you would normally press to release the screen and moved it from side to side. Luckily this worked and was able to proceed to my meeting without delay. However this did not solve the switch problem.

A New Routine Was Formed.
Now with the dawn of each day I was forced to break out a business card to open my PowerBook. What a disgrace. I tried to fix it a couple of different times over the course of a 6-month period and failed every attempt. I know! I know! "I should have taken it to the Apple Store. They would have known what to do." But the thought of forking out $500 big ones kept me from doing that one. I asked friends, search the Internet and the only thought that seemed to be left was to open it up and look at the locking switch. This however would have been more trouble than it was worth. So I dealt with the problem the best I could. It really wasn't that bad, annoying and somewhat embarrassing, but not bad. The computer worked great and after awhile I became pretty good at opening the computer with out anyone suspecting a thing.

A Moment of Greatness.
Back in early March a colleague of mine dropped his Ti-book and snapped the monitors hinge. What an awful moment, right! He was lucky it wasn’t worse. With the help of the Internet he found a replacement hinge and after about a week of hooking his laptop to a plasma screen he was able to fix it. I was beside myself when I saw the job he did and thought, wow, if my colleague can fix his monitor, I can certainly fix my problem. So that day as he was describing to me how he had to take his computer apart, like separating the titanium alloy frame from the monitor in order to get to the shredded hinge. I began to open my PowerBook up starting with the battery. This is where I noticed 2 very small screws were loose and 2 others were missing where a plate conceals the mouse pad components above from the battery. Dumbfounded I called my colleague over to have a look only to discover one of the screws had lodged itself near a magnet that keeps the latches tight. Talk about a AH-HA moment. My colleague and I were blown away how these screws could have come loose, but on further investigation we found that these screws were thin and must have become out from being moved around so much.

So moral of this story is don't get screwed by your laptop.
Every once in awhile remove your battery and give all the screws a little tighten to be sure they stay in. Consider it a tune up or a rotation of the tires.


Post a Comment

<< Home