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October 2003
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Panther Disaster / Zeus is Dying

So OK, after getting Panther at the Apple Store along with a new remote for my iPod, I started driving to Latrobe to visit my friend Ron for the weekend.

First sign of trouble, I got out the new remote, and discovered I had bought one that works with the new iPods, but NOT the old iPods like mine. Drat!

Then hours later, around 8 UTC, I get to Ron’s place. I try to check my mail, but for whatever reason the mail server at Chris’s place isn’t responding. Oh well then, enough of that. Time to install Jaguar!!!

I put the CD in the slot. It starts to suck it in.

Then there is a horrible grinding noise and the CD stops moving. The CD is stuck in there, and from the sound of it, was not doing too well. With a little proding, I manage to get the CD out. Sure enough, a couple of big scratches on it. Drat, I think, I really hope this scratch isn’t so bad it won’t work. It would really suck to have to go buy Panther AGAIN.

The CD on this machine has occationally had trouble pulling CDs in. It always worked on a second try, or perhaps with the help of a little push. No biggie. So I tried again. Or tried to try again. The CD slot was completely blocked. I hit the eject button. Some whirring noises, then some grinding, then nothing.

Uh oh.

I was subsequently unable to get any response from the CD drive. It would not open the slot. It would not suck in a CD. Nothing. Nothing at all.

I went and grabbed a screwdriver from my car and actually opened up the laptop to examine the CD drive to see if I could see anything obviously stuck. I did not see anything specifically obvious, but the mechanism was clearly jammed, and would not move. Not having the proper expertese to really diagnose, or do much about it even if I did, I put everything back together. I figure I should have at least been able to move the mechanism with my hands, but it felt like it was locked solid. I dunno. Anyway, it is busted.

I am not happy.

So, plan is to get up a little earlier than I had planned in the morning. One of the things Ron wants is to go out and get more memory for his computer. While we are out I’ll buy an cheap external CD-ROM drive. That will at least give me a CD again. (Although I only tend to use it once every few months… this was the first time in ages). Then I will try the Jaguar Disk. Hopefully it is still readable and workable. (I think the installer checksums everything at the beginning, so if there is an issue it will be found and it won’t install garbage.) If it it not readable, I’ll have to make a second trip out to a CompUSA or something (no Apple Store in Western PA) to get another copy of Jaguar.

This is really annoying.

I hope I can get something up and running. If not I will be pretty upset.

Of course, this is also a sign that this almost 3 year old originial Titanium Powerbook I call Zeus is on its last legs. I beat the hell out of this machine, taking it with me everywhere, using it constantly, dropping it more than a handful of times. For the most part it has managed to keep going, although there have been a few issues over the years. I am due to buy myself a new one in Q1 next year. This one needs to last me at LEAST until January, but possibly longer depending on how my finances are going by then.

An external CD I can deal with. Even buying a second Jaguar CD if I have to. I was planning on buying another for my mom anyway. Just as long as the CPU and screen hold up… Hold together Zeus! Hold together! You’re a good computer! You can do it!

Anyway, I’d better catch at least an hour or two of sleep now.

Sigh.

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