Tuesday 11 February 2003

HindenBook revisited?

Uh, oh! This is not a good omen for someone about to dip his toes back into the River Macintosh. Eric Snowdeal’s iBook is chronically unreliable:

the ibook is back in the shop. again.

congratulations, apple. you now have the dubious distinction of producing the most unreliable piece of hardware i’ve ever owned. ever. you should be proud. this is not meant to be an unfounded flame. it’s an objective fact.

i’ve owned loads and loads of hardware and yours is the worst. and i will note for the record that two friends have also returned and replaced their ibooks due to a variety of problems, so it’s not like i’m a freakish anomaly.

Eric’s iBook reminds me of the PowerBook 5300 (the HindenBook) that has the dubious distinction of being the most unreliable piece of hardware I’ve ever tried to use. Luckily I didn’t own it—within a three month period the LCD screen, motherboard, keyboard, and a serial port all had to be replaced (though, to be fair, my battery didn’t burst into flames).

Suddenly the Fujitsu LifeBook that Dan Lyke recommended is starting to look attractive again.

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Comments

Three of my clients have bought iBooks in the past six months, and I'd dare you to try and take them away ? even for a look.

I've personally bought Apple gear because of its basic reliability, and in nearly two decades and many, many combinations, I've only had one dud product ? a 17" screen [which suddenly died after 23 months].

However, things happen. I guess you just have to bite the bullet Jonathon.

I personally feel this is all part of plot to blow my bet on your buying one by the end of March. ;-)

Posted by: Allan Moult on 11 February 2003 at 08:30 PM

The Lifebooks are really nice pieces of hardware. I have an s6010 which is pretty feature complete while maintaing a low profile and weight (less than 2kg). Where (at least) the s6010 loses points are with the battery life (roughly an hour, using Visual Studio alone), the speakers, and they also tend to get quite warm as well.

I initially set out for the P series but they were just too small.

Jonathon, if you head out to town one day check out CX computers on York Street (next to Kinkos) were they have quite a few on display.

Posted by: Serdar Kilic on 11 February 2003 at 09:09 PM

Look, Jonathon, buy whatever CPU you want—but do iy based not on somebody’s complaint that he and two friends have had a lot of problems, but on the basis of a wider sample of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. My son, my foster-daughter, and several of my students have iBooks with which they’re delighted. Does that mean you should buy an iBook? No, it means that I happen to live in a pocket of happy Mac users, just as your other correspondent lives in a pocket of angry Mac users.

Since mathematics is in the air, what do you suppose that probability suggests concerning *any* consumer item, there must be some group fo three people who are intensely dissatisfied by it?

Posted by: AKMAdamtheSudsyChaplainoftheUniversityofBlogaria on 11 February 2003 at 11:21 PM

Your bet's blown, Allan. There's no way I'll be buying any new notebook computer before April.

Thanks for the tip, Serdar. I'll be in the city later in the week and I'll check out the LifeBooks.

AKMA, my main fear is that "Macintosh satisfaction" follows a Power Law Distribution, with the unhappy users firmly camped at the fat end.

Posted by: Jonathon on 11 February 2003 at 11:32 PM

I own an iBook. Two of my friends own iBooks. All the three iBooks are working more than reliably, creating no problems whatsoever so far (knock on wood). One of the two friends used to call me about once every two weeks about some problem on his old PowerMac 4400. Ever since he bought the iBook last summer, I have not received a computer-related phone call from him.

Eric must either have bought a veritable lemon, or he has bad computer karma, like this other friend of mine, whose Windows notebooks (from different vendors) keep dying on her after 6-8 months. So did her Performa 5200 and 5500, by the way. These things do happen, but my own general experiences with iBooks would indicate that they are extremely reliable products.

Posted by: Horst on 11 February 2003 at 11:40 PM

Ah, the PB 5300. I have one.

A dead one.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo on 11 February 2003 at 11:57 PM

My iBook is holding up well after 16 months, despite being dropped from 4 feet onto concrete while getting on the bus (chipped the coating on the corner) and being pulled off the desk by the power cable tangled around my foot about 6 times (the charging socket can be a little intermittent now).

Posted by: Kevin on 12 February 2003 at 04:41 AM

bad computer karma! tell that to my trusty 350 MHz linux box that has run sans complaints for nearly half a decade. :-)

for the record, i did try to not make brash generalizations about all mac hardware, although i suppose the "not a freakish anomaly" is open to interpretation. sheepishly, i'll admit that i did leave out one important point - my friends and i all purchased our ibooks from the same mac store in chicago at roughly the same time and all had sleep-of-death/logic board problems. the friends promptly stomped into the mac store and received new ibooks. for reasons i can only guess at, i didn't stomp and shout and am now dealing with "issues". my friends, however, are loving their reliable ibooks.

i think they were some of the first 700MHz machines, so who knows. maybe they were still working out production issues.

Posted by: eric snowdeal on 12 February 2003 at 12:01 PM

Eric, I think that's the best way to look at it. I usually make it a practice not to buy any "just-released" device -- computer, camera, car, appliance -- preferring to wait until later in the production run when the flaws have been revealed and (hopefully) fixed. I think I'll hold off on the notebook purchase until early May.

Posted by: Jonathon on 12 February 2003 at 12:23 PM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour