Saturday, 24 November 2012

Gassy Breaky Mac

Cold emoticonHave you noticed how some people especially those who are not too keen on taking vitamin supplements are quick to succumb to viruses and seem to be perpetually nursing a runny nose?

While there are others who are apparently fit as fiddles and never seem to get sick no matter what they do or do not eat, yet once injured or aged they easily get achey or itchy here and there, and sometimes gassy too.

Machines are the same.

When I had a Dell laptop which was operating on Windows, all kinds of viruses played havoc on its internals when I had let the anti-virus lapse.

Tired of being victimised by the anti-virus conspiracy and the BillGates haters I chose an entry-level Macbook as my next vehicle into cyber-adventure when the old Dell passed on.

Yes, entry-level just like my terra-firma vehicle as I am not one to afford the airs of a pro.

And since a Mac is purported to be the ultimate upgrade from the lowly PC, I didn't even consider buying the extended warranty.

As is bound to... nope, make that PROGRAMMED to happen very soon after the expiry of every manufactured product's  limited warranty, including an Apple product, some part or other will get weary or worned out or simply die. It's another conspiracy I tell you.

The only appliance that has lasted as long as my 30 plus (can't recall off-hand how many) years of marriage is my Made-in-Malaysia National rice-cooker. Alas they don't make things to last like that anymore.

Yeah... so after being left unused for a whole week the Mac's battery stopped charging, which was OK by me since like the Dell I use it plugged into the wall socket  practically most of the time (which now I know with Macs I shouldn't have had).

And then the  trackpad got moody and wouldn't click which made me resort to using a mouse - no problemo.

Sometime later though the trackpad lifted up off one side of the Mac's top casing, and soon after the other side, ending up it looking like an gaping vent window with a chipped frame

Inside I could see something in three sections wrapped in thick black plastic.  (Sorry, picture is rather unclear).

So what gives, Apple?

Only after some googling did I realise that beneath the trackpad sits the Mac's lithum-ion rechargeable battery pack. In other laptop PCs the battery usually lies towards the back and you can lift it out easily after unlatching the lid in the bottom casing. However in the Mac it is sealed within the inside and though you can see it, it is not possible to get it out from under the trackpad.

What then had caused the trackpad to lift itself revealing its hidden treasure?

Haha...  just like a pregnant woman's cervix dilates during labour, this trackpad got itself opened up by a heavily pregnant Li-ion battery. And this is something I totally did not expect:  that for Macs and apparently Macs alone, its battery pack can get heavily bloated due to gases emitted by the chemicals in the battery cells themselves.

Now this is a worser case than mine

Almost like a worn-out  person huh?

So off I went to the Apple service center at Mid-Valley and had them removed the battery. Buying a new one to replace would have set me back RM500, and with a new trackpad and casing. everything would have cost a total of RM1,500! For that money I could easily get a brand new entry-level Windows laptop with some handy bells and whistles to boot.

OK, had I bought the extended warranty at RM800 thereabouts, I would probably have gotten the fixes for free, but most likely not since I read that they do not recognise the bloating as manufacturing defect anyway.

So would I consider purchasing a Made-in-China Macbook ever again?

That's a question that needs no answer.

However a Made-in-China Sony Duo Hybrid running the latest Windows 8  looks deliciously tempting. Played a bit with it the other day at Harvey Norman's and was quite taken by it's high resolution touchscreen, built-in front and rear camera, no touchpad, slimmer and lighter than the Macbook and thus better portability for granny.

VAIO Duo 11

But at RM4,000 plus an additional RM300 for a three-year extended warranty....  hmmm, out you go to the back burner, baby. Achey, itchy and gassy granny will make do with her plugged in mouse-navigated Macbook for the time being.


Pak Idrus said...

Its old age lah. Sakit tua.

Go and get yourself a new 15" one of any brand for just RM1500 with Window 8 and forget about repairing.

Take care.

Al-Manar said...

Lady, you are making your irregular periodic appearance again!

What if I say that pregnant woman's analogy is not very clear to me?

Because of problems and fear of something going wrong I now have three laptops, Compaq,HP and ACER. One of them has just developed a dsease. It starts off asking me for a password which I do not have. It never asked me this before. So it in cold storage until I find a doctor. One of them has become very slow - must be ageing like its owner!

Zendra-Maria said...

Thanks for the advice Pak Idrus. I keep forgetting that it's the era of "pakai-buang" now. Must be my age.

Zendra-Maria said...

Well Pakcik Hassan, at least I'm regular at being irregular!

Regarding the analogy of a woman in labour, perhaps Kak Salmah can be so kind as to throw some light on the matter for me?

It is interesting that thus far only 2 souls, who are themselves way past the age of consent, have graced my comment box, and I appreciate that very dearly.

Whatever others may think about ageing gadgets or people, I usually feel quite sentimental about their quirks and oddities.

But then I too am destined for storage on the top shelf.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zendra, regret to read of your headache re your computer.
Ya la, these computers ada angin.
I used to have Windows, and sampai fed up every other day had to patch sini sana because of viruses and Microsoft's bandaids.
I put up you name it security measures, but nope, ta'jalan. Kena spam like nobody's business!

So few years back when Apple first came out with their Imac, I checked it out, studied, compared against Windows...
Today I have owned this Apple Imac24, 4 years and no headaches, worries of being molested, attacked, whatever. No need simpan bandages.
Buka, jalan, itu la dia.

Suggest you do some research, studies before deciding on a new one.
Have a great week, and keep a song in your heart.
Best regards.

Pak Idrus said...

Zendy, I bought an Acer Netbook with window 7 for just RM1149 as my on the go use. I have use the iPad for more than a year and found it is useless for serious work and that including blogging thus I bought that Net Book.

Yesterday one of our grand kid was given a new Laptop by her parent and it just cost RM1500+ with Window 8 at KLCC.

Forget about Apple, it is overpriced and for Uncle Lee information is not popular outside the US. Not worth paying for more than RM1500 for computer that would be out of date in just two years. So do not look at brand, Acer, Dell or Asus etc is as good for our kind of using.

I have thrown away or give away all the old one. My Toshiba 15" is more than 5 years and dah buat perangai so eventually had to look for a new one. This time with Window 8.

Like Pokcik Hassan said we do need a backup in case one refused to work. BTW I backup all the photo and important document on a external Hard disk.

Well, apalagi belilah yang baru.

Take care.

Zendra-Maria said...

Lee, I have no qualms about Mac as yet. By being a proprietary OS, not so readily plug and play, it's protected from the ills of the Windows world. My disappointment with Apple is in it's flimsy hardware and design even though the price I paid was double that of Acers, Dells etc. I mean even gases was able to crack/chip it's casing and lift up the trackpad, so they shouldn't have placed the battery where they did if there's a danger of it damaging another part, which reflects on the quality of the battery itself. So now I'm using it as a desktop plugged into mains via the power adaptor. It's ok for now for surfing and blogging purposes.

Hey thanks for your dua-sen Lee, I always appreciate the thoughts of experience.

Zendra-Maria said...

Pak Idrus, the appearance of Windows 8 is timely to keep up with what smart devices have to offer to the hungry generation. I think I'll wait for it to stabilise itself, let it be attacked left right and centre by the viruses and then consider buying it's upgraded version. After all it is mostly at home late at night that I blog so portability is not a critical must-have at the moment, so long as I can still enjoy music on youtube, I'm OK

Ini saja nak pujuk diri.

Thanks for your valuable inputs Pak Idrus. Have a great day :)