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12" PowerBook Wobble?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the minor-design-defects dept.

Portables (Apple) 158

RedWingsSuck asks: "I recently purchased a 12" PowerBook from ADC. I absolutely love it, but I have noticed an interesting little issue. As it warms up, other users have said the case gets as hot as 120 degree F, it develops a wobble on a flat surface, like a table or something. As it gets warmer, the wobble gets worse. When I first noticed it, I thought I had lost a rubber peg from the bottom, but apparently my problem is not that simple. While on spring break, in San Diego, I went to the Apple Store there, and I was told that a few other people have had this problem, and that if I had purchased the PowerBook from there, they would have replaced it with a new one. Then I called Apple Care, and they told me that they were just informed of this problem. Has anybody else had this problem, if so, what did Apple say about it?"

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You need a Cool Pad (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834007)

Cool Pad [] .

Re:You need a Cool Pad (3, Informative)

The Herbaliser (660976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834045)

My dad has one of those for his TiBook. They're pretty good. He was having problems with it shutting down on its own when it got really hot, and he hasn't had any problems since.

Re:You need a Cool Pad (4, Insightful)

siliconwafer (446697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838015)

He shouldn't need anything. He bought a nice laptop and it shouldn't wobble or overheat without having to buy 3rd party stuff.

nasty (4, Interesting)

The Herbaliser (660976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834008)

If the heat is enough to warp the casing, I'd hate to think what it might be doing to some of the other components.

Re:nasty (4, Funny)

Lazyhound (542184) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834058)

Yeah, having your hard disk platters go floppy at 7200 RPM would kinda suck.

Re:nasty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835742)

Think that's bad for you, imagine how your girlfriend would feel.

Re:nasty (1, Informative)

tarzan353 (246515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838825)

Well, it's a good thing laptop hard drives don't go 7200 then.

T-Shirts (-1, Offtopic)

termos (634980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834052)

When will they start to print t-shirts?
Do they have cup holders with vibration? BWAARRRRR

Simple Fix (1, Funny)

one9nine (526521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834061)

You need an adaptor.

Re:Simple Fix (1)

siliconwafer (446697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834986)

... but does it work in Europe?

Re:Simple Fix (0, Offtopic)

mog (22706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836615)

can you hear me now?

Re:Simple Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5836698)

Can I write check?...Yo... Yao... Yo... Can I write check?... Yo... Yo...Yao...Yo...Gi... Yogi...

I've got it, too... (3, Informative)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834077)

I have the 12" PB and it does indeed wobble on flat surfaces, esp. as it heats. Overall, it's a pretty minor thing, but I gave the local Apple Store (Towson, MD) a ring to see what they knew.

They said that they hadn't heard of any problems with it (are all the feet there?) but if I wanted to bring it in, they'd be happy to have a technician look at it.

Really, though, it's a fairly minor annoyance, though it's probably the biggest "problem" I'd say the machine has. I've had it for about a month now.

Re:I've got it, too... (1)

whiteinge (74066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836170)

Same thing happened to me. I ended up returning the 12" for the 15" and I've been pretty happy about it (though I miss the smaller size). My 12" got amazingly hot on top where you place your hands to type. So hot it would make my hands sweat while coding. The wobble absolutely got worse the hotter it got.

Re:I've got it, too... (1)

RedWingsSuck (644332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5837356)

The reason it annoys me, is when I type, it bounces up and down, its easily fixed by putting my screen guard under it, but its annoying. I went into my local Apple Store, and they had 2 12" AiBooks on display, one wobbled, the other didn't, so maybe its just luck of the draw so to speak.

dev program (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834105)

slightly off topic, but 20% off of macs used to develop apple programs sounds like a good deal. I didn't know about it, thanks!

Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834126)

I've had a similar issue. So have many, as the Apple forums indicate. Slowly the rubber feet have been coming off and recently the last one fell off so my powerbook is completely with the rubber feet. It's since stabalized, but now it slides around a little more easily. I called AppleCare and they will replace the rubber feet for a $6 charge when they have the rubber feet marked for the 12" powerbooks which will be soon. They mentioned that the rubber feet are exactly the same as the 15" model, and if you can get hold of those, either by a friend ordering through applecare or a 3rd party vendor, that should work. I've also read about people completely replacing the rubber feet with ones they bought at a hardware store.

Re:Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (0, Troll)

@madeus (24818) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835525)

I am ticked off about Apple's seeming lack of desire to resolve these issues. As a early adopter of the first 15" TiBook model (first month it was released) I am really annoyed they still haven't bothered to fix this simple and glaring issue.

They are glued on with something that has all the bonding power of a Pritt Stick. Also, I found the feet were too tiny to be much use for heat disippation in any case - it makes the Powerbook look thinner, but I added my own reasonably sized feet (with Superglue) and it made the system run *much* cooler.

My PowerBook ultimately developed a number of cracks and fell apart on me (it has now been taken apart and modded to be housed in a rack mountable Cisco 2500 chassis as a result).

One of the cracks the poor design developed put strain on the screen, which now has 3 dead pixels. Oh, and the hard drive went on my system in the first 3 months AND the keyboard was badly designed and fell apart AND the DVD firmware was broken which caused the drive to utterly destroy two of my DVD's (at first I thought it was a random fluke until a patched was released). And let's not talk about the paint (but that didn't bother me too much).

They have fixed a lot of these issues, and I don't mind them as an 'early adopter', and I should also add that Apple support is *very* good, despite this I have decided to abandon Apple as a vendor for the time being. I considered getting a 12" or 17" Powerbook as a replacement, but *knew* there would be a whole glut of new issues. Apple had loads of problems like this with the otherwise wonderful Cube too, and many such issues always seem to drag on and never be fully resolved by Apple...

I wish they would learn. Many of the systems look very pretty, but aren't very durable. :(

As it is, I now have a reasonably loaded dual-cpu Sun Ultra 60 based Sun Ray network at home (just waiting for another Sun Ray to arrive this week as it happens) I'm very happy with Gnome 2 and the Sun Hardware, it may run even less games than Mac OS X, but that's why I have an XBox and GameCube.


I think my next laptop with either be a Sony (despite their truly - notoriously - awful customer support, their portable systems are also attractive yet much more durable - the NR70 being amazing for all the crap I put it through) or - if it is sufficiently supported in Linux - a Compaq Tablet. I'd rather have a Compaq Tablet, but I don't want to go through all the pain of running Microsoft Windows.

I can't see it being an Apple again unless I'm able to trawl the web without being flooded by users with problems:

Compare Google searches for the following terms (remove quotes):
'viao problem' (1,990 hits) (Sony)
'armada problem' (61,200 hits) (Compaq)
'powerbook problem' (110,000 hits) (Apple)
'ibook problem' (70,200 hits) (Apple)

I just tried that just now on a random hunch (never done it before). Scary, and it didn't surprise me :( . Most of the Viao's have been well built and durable (with rare exception, the 505 was quite vunerable as it was so thin), and all the Armada's are built (and look like ;) Russian tanks. I also think there were a more issues with PowerBooks than with iBooks, so this rings true for me.

I'd definitely say buyer beware - and advise people to research problems first online (and maybe wait until the vendor [Apple] gives firm fixes for the most serious issues). I can live with rubbish feet and poor quality glue, bad case design in a several-thousand-dollar-laptop is a lot more serious though.

Re:Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835795)

You could have just got a lemon man

Re:Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (3, Insightful)

Birdhead (459824) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835836)

When you actually spell "Vaio" correctly you will see that Google returns around 70,000 hits. Also, the Powerbook in all it's incarnations has a longer production history. How many of those Powerbook results actually point to a problem with non-G4 models?

Bad argument.

Re:Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (1)

outZider (165286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836697)

It would probably help if you spelled "Vaio" right.

Re:Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (2, Informative)

hugh_mcchain (657427) | more than 11 years ago | (#5837191)

That's very interesting. Try 'sony laptop problem' and you get 90,900. Still not as much as 'apple laptop problem' but Apple's been making laptops for many moons longer. Though sony actually made the the Powerbook 100, if I remember correctly. So it's almost ironic.

Re:Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5836654)

Just wait until someone parks a Tibook on the street in your neighborhood. Put it up on blocks and steal the rubber feet. It beats paying $6.

Re:Just wait until the rubber feet fall off (1)

GreenKiwi (221281) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838326)

Just wish that they would have fixed this problem. I have had two of the G3 models, and both have had their rubber feet fall off. I imagine that it's because they have some adhesive that gets much less adhesive at the temps that the system is running at. It seems like they need to find an adhesive that performs better.

I'm a Sucker (5, Interesting)

tarus (655418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834269)

Okay, this is a real long comment, but since you brought it up, here is my 12" Powerbook story.

I support an open-source network management product, and a friend of mine turned me onto OS X (which is one of the operating systems we run on). I was just about to buy his iBook when the new Powerbooks came out. I fell in love with their styling, and I "switched" big time (loaded Powerbook, iPod, Soundsticks, warranty, etc.)

It took a month to arrive, and everything about the packaging, the look of the machine, etc., was pure Apple. If I were to ever buy a new Mercedes, this is the feeling I would hope to have (only more so).

But the honeymoon didn't last long. While it worked great on my lap, when I put it on the desk it would wobble. Cold or hot (and it does get hot), there was an obvious wobble.

Then I noticed that whenever I pressed down with my right hand, there would be a "click". Closer examinination found that the "palm rest" on the right side of the mouse was actually bent. You could see it and definitely feel it when you ran your finger along the ridge between the mouse and the keyboard. If you close the unit, the little rubber pad on the left side of the screen met nicely with the rest of the laptop, but there was an obvious gap on the right side. Finally, if I put the spare battery in place of the original (which goes in on the right side) it seemed to require a lot more effort than it should to get it in.

Conclusion: Bent laptop.

Having purchased the warranty, I called Apple, and they told me that, yes, they knew about the wobble (they also told me it was worse on 17" Powerbooks) but that they didn't know what they were going to do about it yet. As far as the bent palm rest, they told me to take it to the Apple Store and have them send it in.

At the Apple Store I dealt with some rather nice people, but became very worried when one said "oh, they'll say this is abuse."

Abuse? I hadn't had the thing long, I normally take care of my laptops very well (I travel a whole lot, so they have to work) and I have taken even better care of this unit. Luckily, that never became an issue.

So I sent it off, and they kept it for over a month. I would call in weekly and hear things like they were waiting for parts (one time I heard the word "mainboard") but eventually it arrived back on my doorstep.

It was the same laptop I had sent out, with the same wobble issue, but someone had spent a lot of time getting everything to fit the best they could. The bend is gone, but you can still see that things don't quite fit well on the right side, the screen still has the gap, and if you look under the keys in front of the mouse, there is some sort of plastic film that is buckled - as if it doesn't quite fit.

But these things are too minor to do without my laptop for another month. I took a razor and trimmed one of the rubber feet down to fix the wobble, and I'll just live with the other problems.

The downside for Apple is that I will be hesitant to buy another product from them. For much less than the $3500 I shelled out, I could have gotten a small Linux laptop that would function to meet my needs. The reason I bought an Apple was for the "fit and finish" and quality I used to associate with them, and I am very disappointed. I still like my iPod, though.

My name is Tarus. I'm a consultant. And I'm a sucker.

This story looks bogus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834381)

He talks about getting a 12" laptop, but then says he spent $3500 (which is roughly the price of the 17"). I'm not sure the timeline works, either(it's borderline). Price could be a simple mistake, but my B.S. detector is going off!

Re:This story looks bogus (1)

SoulofNightSun (657315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834468)

I think he ment the $3500 was the total from everything he bought, not just his computer.

Re:This story looks bogus (3, Informative)

tarus (655418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834471)

Flame bait?

Take a loaded 12" Powerbook, 20 GB iPod, keyboard, mouse, USB hub, 3 year warranty, Soundsticks, airplane adapter, spare battery, and spare power supply and it adds up. As I mentioned, I switched hard.

Stupid? Yes. Bogus, no.

Re:This story looks bogus (1)

seann (307009) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834486)


because nobody lives where the standard currency isan't US Dollars.

Re:This story looks bogus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835697)

because nobody lives where the standard currency isan't US Dollars.

Good one. Clever of you to ignore the parts of the story that don't fit. Like for instance the part where he goes to the Apple store.

Get an old ThinkPad (1, Interesting)

Wee (17189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834552)

I've got an "old" 700MHz ThinkPad A20M with Linux on it. I drag it everywhere. It's built like a tank (though not as tough as a ToughBook [] ). You can find them online [] for between $300 and $500. Red Hat 9 will detect every piece of hardware in them save for the WinModem. Suspend works fine (make sure to turn off xscreensaver), but I haven't tried hibernate.

I've been coveting a Powerbook (pretty much every geek friend I've got has drank the Apple KoolAid) but just haven't been able to get past that impending feeling of buyer's remorse. All I really need is a decently fast Unix-ish laptop with 802.11b. And after hearing the friends with TiBooks complain about the finish coming off, heat, the case cracking, etc, I decided that I can handle using a slower x86 laptop. Having to make payments on a computer which has obvious defects is not something I'd take too well. I don't get a "cool" OS, but I've got two grand more cash in the bank than I'd otherwise have.

If I were you, I'd think very seriously about selling your Apple while you can still recover most your losses.


Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

tarus (655418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834649)

Solid advice. Where were you in January? (grin)

My old laptop was an A22m, and before that I used a T20 (which I loved). The A-series is just a little too big and heavy for me (to watch DVDs on planes is kind of a pain in coach).

I have thought about selling the darn thing, but I haven't decided yet. I really like OS X.

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

Wee (17189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835849)

"Really liking OS X" is exactly why I haven't shelled out for an Apple. :-) I know that once I do, I'll have a very hard time trying not to pay the Apple Hardware Tax for a real spiffy OS. If Apple ported OS X to x86, I'd definitely buy it. I'd even pay for software (rather than troll freshmeat for freeware that does what I need doing).

It's very hard to resist going over to the dark side, but my wife's habit of closely following our finances has certainly helped.


Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834706)

There's an old law, and it's still a good one.

"Thou shalt covet no laptop other than an IBM Thinkpad."

I'm on my third Thinkpad, an A21m. I use it everyday for work, no problems whatsoever. I still have my other two thinkpads - a 365cs (486SX/33 with 12 megs RAM) and an i1450 (Pentium 266/ 64 megs RAM), and both still work perfectly.

And trust me, when you unwrap a Thinkpad you get that "I just bought a Mercedes" feeling.

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (4, Interesting)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834985)

I know there are some definately high-end thinkPads, but all the friends I've had with thinkpads had little things flake out or fall off on them. They also were very heavy and very thick. Granted, they were all i-Series, which I understand isn't the top of the line...

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

Wee (17189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835779)

And trust me, when you unwrap a Thinkpad you get that "I just bought a Mercedes" feeling.

I always huff the bag. Always. Nothing beats that new electronics smell to let you know that you're a consumer.


Re:Get an old ThinkPad (4, Interesting)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834924)

If what you need is a "a decently fast Unix-ish laptop with 802.11b," an iBook would more than fit the bill, and not have the heat or wobbly problems of the 12" PB. iBooks are also a helluva lot cheaper than a PowerBook.

For me, I don't really see too much appeal for the price in a PowerBook. I mean, yes, they're incredibly machines, but I am perfectly happy with my 500 MHz 12" iBook. I've had no problems with it for the two years I've owned it, and it was pretty darn cheap to boot. I can safely say that this is the best computer I've ever owned.

And I still end up without much of a dent in the wallet, along with the side effect of getting a very nice, tiny, fast enough machine (naturally, the newer 0.9-1 GHz iBooks are faster) that does everything I need to do well. Having come from Linux/x86 prior to this, I also get a bost in productivity in a number of areas.

Besides, who in their right mind buys computers with a loan? Maybe I'm just safe with my money, but I never buy anything that I can't afford with real money, a house or car excluded. (and I have no car, thank the lawd)

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

randito (159822) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835214)

I agree. I have a 500 Mhz iBook, and I am now upgrading to a 900 Mhz iBook. I just don't see having a G4 over a G3 as being that valuable. Screw the TiBook. The real reason I am upgrading from the 500Mhz iBook is the crappy video card in that machine. The 500 Mhz iBook shipped before Quartz Extreme, and the video card in it can't take advantage of Jaguar's optimation. Who wants to do the genie effect in a 500 Mhz CPU???

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835898)

I'd like to have a nicer video chip and a higher MHz, but I can't rationalize the money spent considering the fact that I don't play games and that the Genie effect works perfectly. I actually usually use Scale, but they both work fine. Hell, they work fine on my girlfriend's Rev B iMac, zooming along at 233 MHz. QE would be fun to have for other stuff, but nothing to rationalize any sort of upgrade for me.

The PBG4 would be great if you needed the screen space of a 17" LCD, but I prefer a smaller 'book to a huge-ass screen myself. :)

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835986)

> And after hearing the friends with TiBooks complain
> about the finish coming off, heat, the case cracking, etc

I've had plenty of PowerBooks over the years. I started with a Duo 230, then a G3 (Wallstreet model), then a G3 (PDQ model), then a G3 (Pismo), then a Titanium G4 (Rev B, I think). I've got a 17" PowerBook now. Crap, I've owned a lot of PowerBooks. Anyway on the whole they've been pretty sturdy.

With my 15" TiBook before this, and I had absolutely no problems with the paint flaking off, case cracking, or anything like that.

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (2, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836833)

All I really need is a decently fast Unix-ish laptop with 802.11b.

How about one of these [] ?

Mine's like a tank. I take it everywhere, use it heavily every day and it still looks and feels as good as the day I bought it.

Bonus feature, the Airport antenna is in the screen, and there are no other bits, doors, levers or switches poking out.

It also doesn't cook my lap, like my friend's 15" powerbook did while I was playing Medal of Honour. heh.

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838784)

All I really need is a decently fast Unix-ish laptop with 802.11b.

How about one of these []?

No, he said "decently fast" not "was too slow when it came out three years ago".

Re:Get an old ThinkPad (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838909)

Current iBook is 900Mhz G3. You can buy "decently fast" PC laptops with 1.2Ghz Celerons (although most are faster now).

I'd say that near-on 1Ghz was fast enough for a laptop, especially since you can get 4 or 5 hours of battery life out of it.

Re:I'm a Sucker (4, Interesting)

Klaruz (734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835232)

You compared an apple product to a car, which is pretty close to the truth. Apple's quality is usually pretty good, but, it's a good idea to wait for the second revision of the product before you buy. If you look back in the history of apple's notebooks you'll see random problems that they've fixed show up (the battery fire one sticks out)

I have a second generation 15" powerbook (known as the DVI) that fixed several of the problems with the first gen. I think some of the major diffs are the paint, less titanium in the hinges (less brittle), and the heat sink and main board designs.

I checked the same things when I got my car (first rev was 99/00, second rev that fixed problems was 01/02, I have an 02). Of course this is no good if you need a computer right away and can't just wait around for apple to fix the known problems with the hardware. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I'm ready to upgrade this one and the only notebook shipping is a brand new model.

Overall though, apple's generally really good about eventually admiting a problem and making it right for the owners. IBM may be the only other OEM that comes close, but they still have problems sometimes. The good thing about apple is they're under a microscope, would you see an article like this about an IBM or a Toshiba on slashdot? Maybe, but I doubt it. At least you know that others have problems and not just you.


Re:I'm a Sucker (2, Interesting)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838947)

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I'm ready to upgrade this one and the only notebook shipping is a brand new model.

Check out They sell new, refurbished, and used macs of all kinds. Many times in the past, they've still had a stock of new previous gen macs while the newest ones are being sold along side them. One company I did contract work for outfitted almost an entire office with previous gen quicksilvers that they purchased from and wouldn't stop recommending them to me. The next time I'm looking to buy myself (or anyone else, really) a Mac, I'll definitely be checking out first.

And no, I don't work for powermax and have no financial interest in them whatsoever. It is nice, however, to come across a Mac reseller that has great customer service AND such a huge selection of models and price ranges.

Re:I'm a Sucker (1)

Klaruz (734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839149)

Yeah, but the prev gen macs aren't as good as the news ones as far as features go... In fall 04 when I'm ready to upgrade the powerbook (I alternate desktop/laptop upgrades every fall, fall 03 is time to upgrade the athlon) and apple just started shipping a new line of ultra cool 64bit 970 laptops, I'm not going to want an 'old' G4, but I don't want the problems associated with a brand new design. Just guessing, I'm thinking I may hit it right. If 64 bit laptops come out this comming winter, a revision should be due out by the next winter.

As far as retailers go, I bought this computer off of mac connection. It was supposed to be a refurb, but they sold it out from under me at the last minute. So I bitched and got a brand new one for $200 more than the refurb, and $300 less than a brand new one costs. Not a bad deal for me, they lost money on it though. (Apple hardware retail margins are VERY slim)

Ah well... (0)

MochaMan (30021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836007)

Alas... mine has the same issue. Your story is exactly what I was afraid of. After waiting over a month for the PowerBook to arrive, when I first ordered it in February, I didn't feel like sending it straight back for another month of service, On mine, the aluminum is also bent beside the latch. This is how it arrived... it's bent even when it's cold.

However, I thought about it and figured that what with me throwing it in my backpack every day, dropping it on the floor, and generally knocking it around, a bit of a bend won't really make much of a difference. It just adds character.

My last PowerBook (a Pismo) made it in a backpack through Mexico, Cuba, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and all the way back up to the US and Canada getting smashed around on chicken buses, pickup trucks, boats, and planes the whole way, but survived intact. If this one is as resistant, then I'm happy, bends and all.

Rather than send it in to Apple, you can sort of fix the wobbliness when needed... Just push it down on your knee and staighten it out. Worked ok for me. In general it's not that big of a problem though. Of course, do it at your own risk and all that...

Re:I'm a Sucker (1)

godawful (84526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836179)

i would just take it in again after a little time passes.
i've had an ibook that kept having a problem with its screen.. took it in about every 2 months, if they say its abuse you just insist it isn't. 6 times of being repaired in the past year and the thing finally works properly, and everything just about has been replaced inside.
and if you've called and they acknowledge the issue at apple HQ then sooner or later to employees at the store will hear about it

Mac OS X vs Linux (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5837786)

The downside for Apple is that I will be hesitant to buy another product from them. For much less than the $3500 I shelled out, I could have gotten a small Linux laptop that would function to meet my needs.

Yup. Growing feeling among folks trying Apple's products...

A note to "Early Adopters" (3, Interesting)

Feral Bueller (615138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838350)

For those of you recently tuning in (I've been on Macs since ~1988) this is more a historical issue with Apple that can be traced to one thing:

Apple is an early adopter:

Cube - lots of complaints about "scratches" and manufacturing issues.

TiBook - manufacturing issues.

AiBook - manufacturing issues.

Consumer computer hardware mass-produced on a pretty quick turnaround to market might impact QC a little. The fact that they have a relatively low market share doesn't help matters.

But that is the Apple way. There are dozens of instances where Apple has looked at the market and said decided that they wanted something cool that wasn't out there. So they build some "new thing" (insert your favorite cool Apple thing here).

We all know what happens next:

1. "mainstream" computer media sniggers, predicts Apple's pending demise (I think Dvorak popped a prolapse when he found out the iMacs were floppy-less).
2. Wintel Intelligencia (oxymoron?) nod their heads in agreement.
3. 18 months later it's a BTO option on the Dell site.
4. Some asshat goes on about this "new thing" being the reason why Wintel is superior to the Macintosh (I actually heard someone say this about QuickTime in a company annual meeting)...
5. Approximately 6 months after that, it's supported in the latest Linux kernel. Sort of. FreeBSD support comes sometime later.

I was an early adopter on the TiBook as well. My rubber feet fell off. Apple put them back on. 3 dead pixels? LCDs have dead pixels on occasion. Sorry, but you won the bad pixel lottery. They happen.

I've had nothing but good service from Apple over the last 15+ years and 5-6 boxes I've purchased ( I've gone through at least 2X as many PeeCees - glad they're so much cheaper...).

Too much of your post sounds like a troll, but I figure I may be wrong and my blood sugar's a bit low, so I bit. HAving said that, I have a real problem believing that you have a warped case and they won't fix it/swap it out/ etc.

I've never had the kind of issues you've had with Apple Support. I *did* have a lemon DP G4 that went back about a half-dozen times: they replaced it and they took really good care of me on the trade up. When I got the feet replaced on my laptop, they took care of a bunch of other minor cosmetic stuff, one of which was replacing the lid on my Tibook. If you're going to buy a laptop from Apple, buy the extended warranty. It's always paid off for me. Whether or not I've had the extended warranty, I've never had the kinds of poor quality problems your talking about, nor have I seen them in the hundreds of Macs I've worked on or around.

It sounds like you'll be a lot happier on a Linux laptop.

Re:I'm a Sucker (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839797)

The downside for Apple is that I will be hesitant to buy another product from them. For much less than the $3500 I shelled out, I could have gotten a small Linux laptop that would function to meet my needs. The reason I bought an Apple was for the "fit and finish" and quality I used to associate with them, and I am very disappointed.

I know this doesn't help you but I have found your situation to be very, very rare with Apple. I have had to get a few things fixed over many years of working with Macs and have never had this type of problems out of the box or with their customer service. I have handled over 100 Macs for family, friends, and at work and I have only needed to send 4 computers and a laser printer back in for service. Two of those were laptops and I simply called Apple, got the problem verified, they sent out a mailer and I shipped it out to them. Three days later (one day out there, one day there, one day back) the laptops were back in my hands, fully fixed and they even had some other minor issues fixed that I didn't send them in for.

For the two desktop units and the laser printer I brought them into a local service center. They took a couple of days to get repaired but they came back in perfect shape with the problems fixed. Throughout the whole process everyone was helpful and easy to deal with.

I'm sure that you had these problems but rest assured that they are fairly unique. From what I've heard from many others, Apple's service is very good and usually goes extremely smoothly. Again, it probably doesn't matter to you now and it doesn't help you much to know this. I would say that you should pass your experience on to someone higher up in the Apple food chain, maybe they can make things right.

early adopters beware (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834288)

that's why I stay away from v1.0 anything. The 12" is a new design(as is the 17"), the rev 2 & 3 machines should fix any issues.

Re:early adopters beware (2, Informative)

bckspc (172870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836341)

Mr. Coward speaks the truth. I had all kinds of trouble with drive corruption on my rev 1 15". It was an utter nightmare. I've been on a rev 2 15" now for a couple of months and have not had any trouble at all. It's a dream.

(Knock on wood.)

See here (5, Informative)

Erect Horsecock (655858) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834317)

They already now about this []

Well to keep it short the reader basically explain how to BEND THE CASE so it no longer wobbles.
Also see this thread [] on Ars Technica that is about the 12" and its wobble issue.

Re:See here (4, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834580)

Man, those Mac users are whiney bitches. "I'm already on my third laptop because the first one had three dead pixels, and the second one didn't latch just right".

No wonder Macs cost twice as much, they have to pay for all the returns from the users who RMA for petty little crap.

Re: Moderation abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835947)

Some moderator abuse going on here (parent).

No moderation done yet ... yet it has been marked as "overrated".

Looks like someone doesn't want to face the penalty of metamoderation by using the other mods.

I'll agree, the parent may have been "flamebait" with the "whiney bitches" comment ... but without any existing moderation it certainly wasn't "overrated".

Re:See here (5, Interesting)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836024)

I don't see the bend the case post, but this person [] appears to have fixed one with the slightly less drastic procedure of replacing the foot on the battery.
Justin...and others: When you get the new feet, check to see if they are the same size as the one in the battery. I was looking at a machine in a local retailer today that exhibited the wobble. I was talking to the salesperson and we decided to do a littel experiment on the display model and found that if you replace the 'foot' on the battery the machine sits nice and level! the foot that came in the battery was simply too short. Reading many of these other posts, it seems this may be a common problem...much better than the 'battery is warped' theory...

Search for: Chen Huang (1)

Erect Horsecock (655858) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836287)

Ok, Here are the instructions for wobble problem.

1) first determine if the wobble is major or minor a) is the wobble really bad? meaning more than 1/4 inch if so, do try to do anything
b) If it is minor. then try this first before calling apple support.

2) determine where the wobble is Such as if it diagonal or left to right If it is diagonal from left to right. or vice versa. then you can try the following...

3) Turn everying off...

4) Open up the screen..

5) Lift up the entire powerbook. ( do not try to push it against the suface of anything )

6) use both your hands on each side where the wobble is occuring. For instance. If it is on top left and bottom right. then have both your palm or fingers on both corners.

7) use your fingers to flex as if it is a piece of cardboard or wood you are bending. ( remember to use you fingers and do not use any tools )

8) do this several times even though you do not feel anything.

9) After doing so. put the powerbook level on a flat surfact where it was wobbling such as table or floor and test it out on different surface.

10) If it is level, please put a post here so others can try it. If not. try again or call Apple to complain.

11) Don't be afraid to apple pressure. Remember, it is aluminum and aluminum can only bend. just test it our after doing this and see if you see any difference.

Anyways. good luck.
I think Apple have a serious Quality control issue they need to address They piced Aluminum as a shell but Aluminum is prone to this type of warping and flex due to heat, and usage. Ok, I hope this info is in more detail.

About 2/3rds of the way down the page

Materials? (4, Interesting)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834369)

I don't own a PowerBook (only a G4 Cube), but from what you describe, it sounds like the different expansion rates of the materials that make up the case are great enough to cause the bends, much like how a bimetallic strip bends at different temperatures. If the laptop were out of warranty, I'd suggest that you loosened the screws that hold its case together, and turn the computer on. If the case stays straight that way after it has warmed up, tighten the case back up immediately, and you should be OK. If it still wobbles, you might have to loosen the PC board inside.

Yes, I definitely have this problem. (3, Informative)

Cecil (37810) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834462)

I've found that propping the left rear corner with a nickel works just about perfectly. Not under the rubber foot, just slid in until it presses against the side of the rubber foot.

I am surprised to find that this is actually a problem with the laptop, I had just assumed that it was my cheapo desk that was warped. Although I hadn't noticed this problem with my last laptop, it had much bigger, more flexible feet that I assumed had compensated for the sucky desk.

While we're on the topic of Powerbook annoyances, I am disappointed that they removed the battery backup capacitor from the 12" Powerbook. My friend has a 15" Powerbook, and he can put his computer to sleep, remove the battery, to put in a fully charged one, and the computer does not have to be shut off. They apparently removed this feature from the 12" Powerbook, what a shame. That was one of those tiny but oh-so-nice features that made me want to buy an Apple rather than a PC.

Re:Yes, I definitely have this problem. (3, Interesting)

skia (100784) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834969)

Hmm. I swap my battery out of mine while in sleep all the time. You might want to have that checked out.

Re:Yes, I definitely have this problem. (1)

rdarden (87568) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838149)

While we're on the topic of Powerbook annoyances, I am disappointed that they removed the battery backup capacitor from the 12" Powerbook. My friend has a 15" Powerbook, and he can put his computer to sleep, remove the battery, to put in a fully charged one, and the computer does not have to be shut off. They apparently removed this feature from the 12" Powerbook, what a shame.

This feature is missing in the 12" iBooks as well (perhaps the 14" models?), and considering that the 12" PB seems to be based heavily on the 12" iBook, I'm not surprised that it's missing.

I'm not complaining though -- this is the first Apple portable for which I haven't owned two batteries. One battery (and a charger for the airplane rides) has done me fine for six months now.

Noisy Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834501)

I have a 15" TiBook, and I notice when it's very quiet in the room, that I can hear the video changes. For example, I hear a slight clicking noise when an ad on a webpage changes or I minimize a window. Has anyone else noticed this?

I'm sorry to be off-topic, but I haven't been able to find information about this elsewhere.

Re:Noisy Video (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834747)

You may have sound sets enabled. In which case it's playing a sound when you click the mouse or some other system event.

Re:Noisy Video (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5840067)

shutup fucking gay fucking loser mac fag fat sexless puke loser.

Re:Noisy Video (5, Funny)

otuz (85014) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834915)

Its because of the lcd.
Liquid crystals are moving inside the display.

Re:Noisy Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5837755)

It's not funny... It's true... 0_o

Re:Noisy Video (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5837823)

See if you have CD audio or any other audio inputs enabled and mute them.

It took me a while to track this same problem down on my Linux desktop. Video cards generate plenty of EM interference.

Out of the Box (2, Informative)

mizidymizark (669232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834839)

I work for a center that has one of the 12" Powerbooks and coming out of the box, the computer wobbled. After giving it a minor twist, it seemed to fix the problem, but it definately comes back after it heats up. Now when it cools down though, the wobble does go away, so it appears a little twist may solve the problem. Although the only reason I did that is because it isn't my computer and it is under warranty.

Don't Pour Beer on the Keyboard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834917)

Solved my "wobble" problems.

Nope, no problem here (3, Informative)

sobiloff (29859) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834923)

I've had my 12" PB for a little over a week now, and it hasn't exhibited this problem at all. The only problem I've had with it was the "B" keytop wouldn't stay attached to the keyboard. I brought it in to my local Apple store and they replaced a broken plastic bit underneath the keytop in about 30 seconds (and for free).

Which hard drive do you have? Its the hard drive that generates the heat folks complain about. I have the 60GB hard drive, and I've measured 110 degrees (F) at the worst. It doesn't really bother me since my hand tends to rest on the outside of my palm, where the case is much cooler, but I can understand it'd be bothersome for others.

The Mystery is Solved!!! (2, Funny)

DoctorScooby (669432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834952)

120 Degrees Fahrenheit? I think I finally figured out how Natalie Portman got hot grits!!!

Yours in Christ,
Doctor Reginald Scooby
Slashdot Trolling Academy

Re:The Mystery is Solved!!! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836886)

All your jokes are belong to us, along with any spalling mistakes.


the slashdot management.

Another story... (2, Interesting)

flamingweasel (191775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834959)

I don't have the wobble, but a related problem: my battery isn't flush with the rest of the chassis. It was flush when I pulled it out of the box, but the after the first time I pulled the battery off, it never reseated properly afterwards. Two trips to Apple haven't resolved the problem, so I've learned to accept the millimeter edge around the battery.

That said, I still love this thing. It's my first Mac since the Classic II, and it's an amazing little box. It gets warm, but certainly never 120 degrees F. Also, Apple was amazing getting it back to me both times I sent it in. They not only got it back to me in less than 72 hours (that is, I gave it to Airborne on Monday at 3 pm and got it back Wednesday at 11 am), but fixed several things I didn't complain about (a scratched lcd housing which was my own fault and the latching mechanism which came from the factory withh a little play in it). I'd still spend the $1900 on it without a second thought.

share and enjoy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835145)

I'm pretty sure it's the rest of the universe that is warped. Just stick a towel under one corner. If you don't understand, then go shove a fish in your ear.

Maybe they ought to stick with plastic (2, Interesting)

ahector (656079) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835164)

I've always wanted a powerbook (the first one I really lusted after was the 3400), and ever since they introduced the tiBooks (now aluminum books, I hear) I've wanted one even more. I like the design, I like the weight and thin profile, etc. I won't be getting one anytime soon though. I have heard lots of stories of the case chipping, wobbling, warping, etc. And those things get hot! I have known a few people with tiBooks before and I noticed that using it on your lap can get pretty toasty. Normally Apple makes really great quality hardware (albeit too slow, but that's another topic :-) but I'd be too scared to purchase a metal PowerBook for fear of some of the problems I've heard about. Maybe they ought to switch back to some form of plastic (i.e. pre-tiBook)? I just couldn't spend almost 2k or more with the risk of winding up with a laptop that gets too hot and starts to warp its case.

Re:Maybe they ought to stick with plastic (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835257)

This problem isn't inherent with the metal casings- the 15" PBG4 doesn't have this problem. Why not? Because they've had a few revisions of that design and have worked out the kinks, whereas the 12" and 17" versions are brand spankin new. It will be fixed with the next revision I'd be willing to bet.

Re:Maybe they ought to stick with plastic (1)

ahector (656079) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838132)

Good point, I think you're right--

Too bad I can't get an Apple laptop right when it comes out and expect really great quality because they still have kinks to work out, though.

Re:Maybe they ought to stick with plastic (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5840184)

Yeah, a lot of people would like Apple to be infallible, myself included. And a lot of non-Mac folk like to pretend that anyone who uses a Mac thinks that they are- but anyone in their right mind knows that no one or no company is. Everyone fucks up, especially in 1.0s.

Re:Maybe they ought to stick with plastic (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836922)

The reason they can use metal is the G4 isn't a space heater, unlike another anonymous cpu family that might have an 86 in the name, and possibly an x....

Hot laps with an Apple, but no burnt penii as far as I know.

Grab the handle... (2, Informative)

nettdata (88196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835246)

I'm not sure if they've made them for the non-15" PB's yet, but I _HIGHLY_ recommend grabbing yourself one of those aftermarket Ti Handles (as seen here [] ).

My whole development team has 15" PB's and they "suffer" from heat issues (no wobbly stuff reported) but that has all but disappeared since using the handles. (It gets the laptop up off table allowing for a bit more cooling).

Now the fan only kicks in when doing a monster Fink compile for an hour or three.

PowerBook experience (2, Informative)

elliotj (519297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835379)

While we're all trading experiences, I'll share my thoughts on my TiBook 800Mhz.

Executive summary: I love it. It is the best machine I have ever owned.

Caveat: You need to add a few things to it for it to become truly great.

Heat was/is an issue with this laptop as with all powerbooks. Fortunately, the TiBook doesn't have the drop back screen so you can add a tote 'n tilt handle to give the undercarriage lots of room to breathe. Believe it or not, but this handle means that my system fan now only ever comes on if I play a 3D game or DVD. Otherwise, I run cool and silent. Say that about your 12" AlBook if you can!

Airport could be better. If this becomes an issue, you can get a PCMCIA wifi card to boost signal. No worries there anymore.

Other than that, I tweak this heck out of OS X using themes, CodeTek Virtual Desktop, Fruit Menu, ASM and other great haxies.

In all cases, I believe (as one tends to) that my additions ought to be part of the base system. But that's ok. At least I can add them. So far I haven't seen a viable, portable solution to the heat, wobble problems on 12" 'books and that's a shame b/c they look so cool, and I honestly believe the Apple Powerbook line is the very best laptop line on the market. Certainly the TiBook is.

No wobble here (2, Informative)

bpb213 (561569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835671)

My powerbook is only about a week old. (12").

I havent noticed any wobble when using it, but i also havent really encountered any "scorching" tempuratures yet. (ie, yes, it gets really hot, but i can still hold my hand on it)

I have noticed that the plastic lining around some of the edges doesnt quite meet the metal shell, but thats a small issue.

But as it stands, I havent seen or felt any real distortion in the case.

I've not had it... (4, Informative)

paploo (238300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835853)

Just to help keep reports balanced, neither of the 12" PowerBooks I've owned have had the wobble problem. They get pretty hotsometimes (although resettin the PMU seems to help with that sometimes), but mine always sits flat.

Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5836000)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Dear Father Randy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5836034)

Dear Father O'Day:

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!


Harry Rodman
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

How strange (4, Interesting)

ilsie (227381) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836307)

My friend has the exact same problem in reverse. His 12" TiBook wobbles like crazy when it's cold, but once it heats up, it gets level.

I guess there is something to be said for the plastic casing on my iBook. Totally unrelated, I heard that the iBook casing is bulletproof. Is that true?

Re:How strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5836862)

It may be able to take a 9mm, but something like an old soviet ak47 would definitly shatter through.

Re:How strange (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839400)

Not even 9mm. An Ak-47 uses 7.62x39mm ammo, which would tear through the iBook like tissue paper. Let's just say that an iBook could withstand some serious abuse. The most ballistic protection it can afford is from a bb gun that has only been pumped five times.

Re:How strange (2, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5837015)

Not exactly true, no, although that would be cool!

The iBook's plastic case is polycarbonate, which is the same material used to make bullet proof glass. You have to make it in a certain way (resins and laminate layers) for it to be bullet proof though.

The iBook case is a single layer, solid piece of polycarbonate, painted white on the inside. It is more brittle than ABS (the cheap plastic used in most plastic things like PC laptops, cellphones etc), but it is tougher. It's slightly less elastic too, and will tend to fracture if it is stressed too much (ABS will deform plastically first, then crack).

Re:How strange (1)

portscan (140282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839615)

i'm not sure what you mean when you say "It is more brittle than ABS...but it tougher." This seems to be a contradictory statement. Could you please elaborate?

Re:How strange (2, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5840049)

Toughness and brittleness are two different properties of a material, at least in an engineering perspective.

It's possible to have a very tough material that is very brittle - like ice for example, or high carbon steel.

It's also possible to have a brittle matierial that isn't all that tough, like glass.

On the other hand, you can have tough steels that are not very brittle - like plain carbon steel. The trade off for losing that brittleness is a reduction in hardness in this case. Cobalt chrome is like this too - almost impossible to work, very tough, very hard, and not brittle.

There are lots of material properties to consider when selecting something for a job - toughness, brittleness, hardness, young's modulus (elasticity), density, cost etc.

Best computer I've ever owned (0)

penguin341 (577884) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836644)

Through all the Powerbook bashing, I had to chime in. I've had my 12" powerbook for about 2 weeks now and it is absolutely perfect. Sure, it wobbled a little in the beginning but that has since stopped. It is a very well designed machine, and I'd recommend it to anyone. If your the kind of person that would let a tiny wobble bother you a lot, I can't see how you would be satisfied with any computer.

not to worry! (4, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836860)

That's just where the Reality Distortion Field(tm) meets Euclidian space. Think of it as a karmic wave front. :)

Powerbook Wobble Update (2, Informative)

RedWingsSuck (644332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5837250)

I originally posted this about a month ago, but nothing has really changed. I called Apple Care, and they said that they were still looking into it. Hopefully, something will happen soon. As far as the heating goes, my AiBook doesn't really get overly hot, I have just read reports of them getting up to 120 F. I love this little PB, even with the wobble, currently I just stuff my screen protector under it, but I don't think that I should have to. I have read the suggestions to "bend" it back into shape, but I'm not brave enough to try that.

our group has been talking about this for months (2, Informative)

Photo_Designer (473497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838623)

I set up a yahoo group for i2 inch powerbooks a few days after I ordered mine in Feb. We have been talking about this issue off and on for months now. Some have taken theirs back and gotten new ones, one person had an apple store employee actually "bend" it back into shape, others talk about the battery being the issue. I am on the phone now trying to get a missing rubber foot replaced through Apple Care. I must say, like many others have, this is the only issue I have had. I love my PB12. The yahoo grou is here, please join if you own one.

12inchPowerBooks []


Substance of lawsuit against Apple (2, Informative)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839407)

While on spring break, in San Diego, I went to the Apple Store there, and I was told that a few other people have had this problem, and that if I had purchased the PowerBook from there, they would have replaced it with a new one.
Let's not jump to any conclusions. However, what you describe above is, in fact, close to the substance of the allegations in one of the three pending lawsuits brought against Apple this year by authorized dealers (i.e., resellers, not Apple Stores). One of the claims holds that Apple treated dealers with prejudice when it came time to handling customer problems under warranty. Surely, if the product is under warranty and was purchased from an authorized dealer, and if Apple Stores are replacing defective units, then you ought to investigate a possible exchange, too.

IANAL. I am -- knock on wood -- a happy iBook owner, and I make no claim either way about the veracity of these suits. I'm merely noting a point of similarity; draw your own conclusions:

This is an aluminum issue. (3, Interesting)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839440)

I think I heard somewhere that 120 degrees is the point where aluminum gets pliable, and after a while, picking it up after running it for a while can cause some slight bends. I haven't heard about the 17 incher having problems, but that is probably due to the huge amount of surface area on it. Summary:The 12in is so small and powerful, that this pushes the aluminum to the edge. If anyone has any metallurgy experience, please shed some light on this.

Apple Laptop Keyboards Unsuitable for Unix Users (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5839786)

Apple laptops are effectively unusable for unix users.

I am a long-time Unix user. That means I need to have the Ctrl key to the left of the A key. This is a genuine need, not merely a want; it is based upon ergonomics. The Ctrl key is heavily used in unix, and it must be easily accessable. It cannot be off in the lower left corner of the keyboard where it is difficult to get at, and where it distorts the position of your left hand such that you can't easily type other keys while holding the Ctrl key down.

Apple desktop keyboards are now all USB. They are all OK. The CapsLock key can be re-mapped into a Ctrl key.

Unfortunately, even in this modern age, all Apple laptops have built-in ADB keyboards. The ADB keyboard is broken-by-design [] . It is, in general, not possible to remap the CapsLock key into a Ctrl key.

There are some exceptions, but they are horrible kludges. They are horrible kludges because the original design of the ADB keyboard was a horrible kludge. The correct solution would be for Apple to re-design their laptop motherboards to use built-in USB keyboards. This hasn't happened yet. If you run Linux, use Debian's solution. [] For Mac OS X users, uControl [] works. There are no solutions (that I know of) for either NetBSD or OpenBSD. Please note once again that the "solutions" above are in fact kludges, because of the original bad design [] of the ADB keyboard.

Apple provides a technical note [] on how to remap the keyboard, but provides no solution to the hardware problems caused by the design of the ADB keyboard. This tech note helps foreign language users, but does nothing for the CapsLock/Ctrl problem.

Apple is (currently) ignoring Unix users! This is not merely speculation on my part. In an on-going email exchange I am having with an Apple employee (whom I won't name) in their marketing department, the Apple marketing person directly stated to me that Apple was catering to their historic Mac customers, and is purposely ignoring the Unix market. He also claimed that Apple would soon start paying more attention to the Unix market. I won't hold my breath. Apple has been ignoring Unix users for more than 12 years [] . I expect that trend to continue.

Apple has now lost two opportunities to sell me hardware. I really wanted an Apple laptop for their superior battery life, and for the PowerPC with Altivec CPU. (The Altivec is vastly superior to the x86 line for DSP.) Because I can't live with the broken-by-design built-in ADB keyboard in all Apple laptops, Sony and IBM sold me laptops instead. If Apple fixes this problem, they will sell me a PowerBook next year; if they don't, I'll still be running OpenBSD on x86 hardware, and wishing I could use a Mac.

My 12" PowerBook is nearly perfect (2, Interesting)

nicholas. (98928) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839866)

i just wanted to chime in and let people know that i love my 12" g4. i actually sold my 15" 1ghz powerbook on ebay because it was too noisy. i then picked up this little beauty and a samsung 17" lcd. couldn't be happier.

initially i was worried about the heat the palm rest was generating while it was recharging, but the 10.2.5 update took care of the excessive heat. and it now gets warm when plugged in and just slightly tepid while on battery. certainly tolerable.

i also had a problem with my airport card dropping reception. but i reseated the card and reset my basestation. one or the combo of both fixed my problems.

i keep looking for a wobble or warping or feet coming off or uneven track pads buttons or faulty displays or some other problems that i've read about. but nothing has shown up in two months of constant use.

i don't know if i'm the exception or that only people with bad exeriences post. the latter seems more likely. obviously people that are having problems are going to complain while those of us who are happy are just gonna keep using their machines.

the moral is, if you are considering a 12" powerbook but are discouraged by all the bad reports consider that some people (the majority?) are perfectly happy with their 12" g4s.
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