Return of the iBook

About four months ago, my faithful iBook began having problems. When I’d lift the laptop’s screen, it would fade to black, and would stay that way unless I kept it at exactly the right angle. A few weeks after the problem began, the right angle disappeared, and the screen stayed dark.

A search at quickly turned up a possible culprit: the connection between the laptop and the screen was probably frayed, a condition that other iBook users had reported happening as their machines aged. I was going to have to get it repaired … and I wasn’t going to be able to use it until I did.

It took me three months to save up enough freelance cash to pay the $300 repair bill, and during that time I used my work laptop instead, a bulky Compaq that’s much bigger than the iBook (but also more powerful). I accumulated my paychecks, and finally, last week, brought the iBook in for repair. I got it back Wednesday.

I didn’t know how much I’d missed it until I was standing in the Apple Store, and watched the familiar OS X screen boot-up. I was smiling like a fool by the time my old familiar desktop appeared

It’s a little strange really, to have this degree of affection for a computer. But then again, maybe its not. As a writer and a Web designer, I spend a ridiculous amount of time working on computers, and this computer in particular. I can’t tell you how many reviews I’ve scribed on this computer, or how many programs I’ve written, but I can tell you its quite a lot. Throw in the amount of time I spend writing and then GMing scenarios for D&D, Delta Green and Spycraft as well as the number of digital photos I snap, and it might be easier to count the number of hours I was off the machine than I was on.

Of course, the iBook is starting to get a little long in the tooth — it’s nowhere near as fast as my PowerMac, but while it might not be as spry as its siblings, its still more than dexterous enough to run Word, Excel, Safari (a Mac web browser), Crystal ball and the handful of other applications I use every day. Plus, while my P4 laptop is faster, its also hotter and heavier than the iBook. This little machine’s slender profile and low weight makes it ideal for carrying up in one arm while I’m holding Jordan in the other.

Someday I’ll inevitably have to replace it – maybe with a nice 12″ G5 PowerBook (same great profile with far more impressive processing power — but to tell the truth, I’m glad that day is still far in the future. This ol’boy’s still got quite a few miles left to run.