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ATPM 15.11
November 2009


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PowerBook G4 Titanium

Greetings—writing this on an old G4 Titanium 1 GHz I picked up on eBay. It came to me a basket case but still working. I have replaced the DVD drive and the right hinge, which was broken. The case has been broken in several places, but a tube of epoxy and a few hours of putting it back together have left me with a great old machine that still performs its functions without a hitch. Guess it goes to show that not all old Ti’s are junk. I do love the old machine, and as an amateur short story writer I find it a pleasure to write with. I used to use an old Compaq V2000, which is faster but not so comfortable, but now I have put away the Compaq and use this Titanium almost exclusively.

—Jerry Ericsson

Of Loud Fans and Broken Drives

Good commentary! It’s nice to read about successful repairs. I’ve had nothing but good treatment from Apple over the years, including several things out of warranty that were taken care of for free.


• • •

I have taken my MacBook Pro to the Apple Store two times, plus my iPod nano (4th gen), also having Apple Care. Always timely, courteous service; excellent support. Best of any company I have encountered (and I am into my seventh decade).


Macless Abroad

In my opinion, carrying around the small, thin, light, and even stylish Apple Bluetooth keyboard is by no means comparable to carrying around a laptop.

First of all, it’s way smaller and lighter than a laptop, and also less prone to damage—so it’s easier to transport; then it’s inexpensive (if stolen, broken, or lost, it’s a minor loss). Also, if stolen, it doesn’t carry with it any valuable data or whatever—it’s a dumb keyboard.

An iPhone plus a Bluetooth keyboard means you type efficiently, almost like having a laptop. A typical situation is that you leave the keyboard at the hotel, walking around with your iPhone only, and then, when you are back in your hotel room, you comfortably type your article or perform any task you need a keyboard for. By the way, personally it would be kind of a reminiscence of the “dock experience” I had with my Duo: travel light, but work comfortably when back at your base.

—Roberto Giannotta

You’re completely correct. If someone were going to carry either, the lighter keyboard would certainly seem to make sense. There may be a question of which is more prone to damage if you’re talking about sliding it into a backpack. Seems to me that Apple’s very slender keyboard would be more more likely to flex to the point of breaking than a laptop. Maybe not. I dunno.

But that wasn’t really my point. What I was saying was, given my traveling circumstances, I didn’t exactly have any extra room for either a laptop or a keyboard of any size, unless it was one of those fold-up styles. My ZÜCA bag was absolutely stuffed to the gills, and the backpack I purchased had two main compartments, one for the DSLR and one for cables. Neither compartment was large enough for even Apple’s small wireless keyboard. Obviously mileage may vary depending on who you talk to, but for my travels, if I am carrying a bag large enough for a keyboard, I’d just as soon carry my Slappa backpack and simply take my regular laptop gear.

If Apple supported it, I believe I would indeed be interested in pairing a wireless keyboard with my iPhone. In terms of this particular U.K. trip, however, it wouldn’t have come along because I absolutely did not have space for it. I’m sort of kicking myself for not taking a photo of how crammed my Zuca bag was, but here’s a photo of how small the backpack I purchased was. Given the size of the Nikon D90 in the lower half, you can see that Apple’s wireless keyboard would not have fit in the upper portion.

—Lee Bennett

Harman Kardon Soundsticks II

A very funny, well-written piece. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

I came across this while trying to find suggestions on how repair my 2001 Soundsticks. Like Lance, I dropped one while re-organizing my edit suite a couple of days ago. Exactly the same damage, which I didn’t see at first. But I certainly knew about it the first time I got a Mac donk or hit some loud parts of the soundtrack. Unlike the Genesis 1.1s, my broken Soundstick sounded absolutely square-edged on anything approaching loud.

Although unable to find a solution to “How to repair your Soundsticks” on the World Wise Web thingy I have developed one that works perfectly: the knife from Heinz Baby Basics.

Yes, folks, baby’s first knife. It’s got a long, straight flat edged blade the same thickness as the groove joining back to front, and mine has a nice pink handle. Insert the blade flat edge to flat side of the Soundstick and then twist the handle. The long contact surface spreads the force, your Soundsticks pop open, and you can hot glue the back magnet into place. A couple of discreet dots of glue will keep it closed again.

If you have trouble making this work, try a hair dryer for a few minutes—I did at first and although I don’t think it did anything perhaps it weakened the original glue a little.

—Philip Taylor

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