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In the mean time, I've booted a loaner iBook off my old hard drive in an external firewire case. It feels very Frankensteinian, but it ought to get me through my two talks this week.
Figure that laptops just suck, hardware wise.
I also realize that this can be explained further as:
When a mac you have used for 2-4 years gives up the ghost, it's remarkable because it is so long in the tooth. When a mac you have used for 0-2 years gets hardware problems, it's remarkable because they have a reputation for lasting so very long.
I got a second hand iBook a couple of months ago. It's "only" 600mhz, but that's plenty fast for me -- I work in a tcsh shell most of the time anyway, and it's plenty reponsive for me. The person I bought it from got it in Spain, so it's got a weird keyboard, but once I got used to that I started to see that as a feature, not a bug -- having to type by memory rather than being able to look at the keycaps is great for your touch typing abilities :)
But then the hard drive started getting noisy. Ve
-- DO NOT LEAVE IT IS NOT REAL.
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