If you’ve read my blog over the course of its lifetime, you’ll know I’m a Mac enthusiast. I love the elegance of the operating system, the beauty of the product design… except for the power input on the PowerBooks. It’s RCA plug style seemed quite efficient at first – snuggly fitting into the body of the laptop. The glow feature of the plug – green for charged, yellow for charging – was very cool.
The problem occurs when you trip over the power cord. The snug fit ensures the power stays attached – further ensuring the laptop’s removal from whatever surface it’s on to whatever surface is below. This has happened to me three times on my PB15- once the fault of others, twice via my own clumsiness. (it’s also happened on the PB Ti that Imbi uses numerous times.) Yesterday, the pin inside the power connector on the laptop decided it had had enough…it broke off inside the case. When I called the local Boise Mac retailer, they knew the problem immediately. “The replacement part is $54 and labour is 1.5 hours – it’ll cost you just over $200. We’ll have to order the part in.” I’m not in town long enough to wait, so I’ll have to get it fixed in Toronto. I’m already experiencing withdrawal.
I’m typing this with the remaining charge on the battery – fortunately the hard drive wasn’t damaged in the fall. I’m busy transferring files to a removable drive and a new friend here in Boise has loaned me his two charged batteries so that I won’t be completely stranded.
Apple is well aware of the problem, as the new MacBook Pro’s features a MagSafe power connector, designed to let go when the inevitable trip-over-the-power-cord happens. I look forward to this feature on my soon to be ordered MBP.
EMERGENT UPDATE: As an aside, anecdotally, ‘twould seem the Mac is the computer of choice for Emergents. More than half the computers @ the Allelon Conference were various shades of PowerBooks, iBooks and MacBook Pros. More than one attendee commiserated with me – telling me their own power connector stories.