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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Gone dark

My iBook has given me 3-½ years of trouble-free service, travelling pretty much everywhere, substituting as my work system for a couple of weeks when the old box died, taking pretty much anything I threw at it.

Until tonight.

I flipped it open, and the screen stayed dark. I fiddled with the keys for a while, trying to get a response out of it, but nothing happened. I gave it a few minutes to wake up, then tried the three-finger salute (which I’ve had to do only two or three times). I heard the startup chimes, heard the disk chattering, but the screen stayed dark. I hit F2 (increase brightness) to no avail.

Thinking — hoping — the cable through the hinge had broken (a common problem), I hooked it up to a monitor through the VGA port. Nothing on either screen.

This. Sucks. I was hoping to replace it earlier, but that didn’t happen.

Fortunately, my ancient beige G3 is still working. I’ll have to get my photos and music off the iBook somehow… I should be able to access it through the network. Maybe I’ll borrow my work laptop for a while, even though it doesn’t work with the VPN.

So do I want an iMac or another laptop? Decisions, decisions. Our stock is up at the moment; maybe I should just cash some in and go shopping.


  1. Yikes! That happened to my first LT ... when the screen stayed dark, my stomach dropped. I was working on my MSc thesis at the time ... I was able to hook it up to an external monitor to retrieve the files. It was still under warranty and the replaced the whole LT rather than change the screen. This makes me think I better back-up my files ... tonight!

  2. Hi FARfetched.

    Sorry to hear about the iBook. My desktop crashed last year and I pretty much lost everything. Hope you get your stuff back.

    You were saying on your last post that to go to save and you can save monthly. I couldn't find save. I wish I knew of someway to save everything to a disk or something.

    Good luck on the hunt for a new computer.

  3. Hey guys... things might not be so bleak. The problem might be repairable with the right equipment. I located the rework person at work today & she said she'll give it a shot — so I need to bring it in next week.

    Some of the repair techniques that have worked are seriously low-tech, but I figure someone who knows what she's doing will give me the best chance of success.

  4. Oh rats, more to say but I pushed the wrong button.

    Olivia, good thing your laptop was under warranty. The warranty on mine conked out on March 1. Did they give you your old disk back, or at least copy your stuff over?

    FM, I'm not worried about losing anything; worst case I can pull the drive & use it as an external.

    To save a page, go up to the File menu on your browser — if you're using Firefox on a PC, the entry you want says "Save Page As." This pops up a Save As dialog, where you can specify a name & location (you'll probably want to create a separate directory for your backups). At the bottom, where it says "Save as type," choose "Web Page, complete" if it isn't that already. Hit Save. This gives you an "xyz.htm" file containing the main text, and a "xyz_files" folder with all the pictures & style sheets. For cheap offsite backup, zip those up and email it to a Gmail or Yahoo account. ;-)

  5. Thanks for the info FAR. I kept looking on blogger to find a save function and didn't even think of Firefox for doing it.

    I really liked that low tech page. Just goes to show there's always alternatives. :)

  6. Hi FAR -- yes, I was able to get all my files and wipe out the hard drive.

    That's a good tip for backing up the blog.

    Hope your tech guru can fix it for ya!


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