My iBook is broken. I had thought that I was safe, but the dreaded logic board problem raised its ugly head at last.
Unfortunately, a large number of iBooks were badly constructed at the factory such that the graphics chip isn’t adequately soldered onto the logic board. Eventually, the connections get loose enough that the graphics subsystem stops working. The computer still works; you just can’t see what is going on, be it on the internal screen or on an external monitor, which makes it rather useless.
The problem first manifested itself when I was in Korea: periodically, horizontal lines would appear on the screen and the machine would crash. Thereafter, the machine would start up again, but without any graphics. Percussive maintenance (powering down the computer and tapping the case) could bring it back to life for a while. However, the time between failures has been getting shorter and shorter, until it failed completely a few days ago.
The good news is that Apple have admitted/been shamed into admitting the problem, and will repair it for free. So I phoned Apple Belgium. They will send my a special packing box. I put my computer in the box and give it back to the courier company to be delivered to Apple’s European maintenance centre (in the Netherlands as I understand it—at least it’s not too far from here). The plan then is that Apple repair it and send it back to me.
At the moment, I’m waiting for the box.
The worst thing about it all is that I only have one machine running OS X. So even with good backups, which I have, I simply can’t use some of the data and programs until I get my computer back again. Very annoying.