Journal: News & Comment

Monday, April 12, 2004
# 10:24:00 AM:

End of the line

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Perhaps Easter weekend is a bad time to try fixing up a Mac.

For some months now, my Power Mac G3 (vintage 1997) has been intermittently cranky about running Mac OS X.

In the past few weeks, it has been regularly crashing or locking up when I tried to do something relatively complex—resizing large images, converting big batches of files from one type to another, or running a lot of programs at once. And it was becoming more and more sensitive over time, until it crashed more than my Mac OS 9 PowerBook and Windows 98 desktop machine combined.

This led me to reason that I might have some bad RAM or a USB incompatibility. To be safe, I pulled out all my expansion cards and swapped the RAM for other memory chips I had kicking around.

No improvement. In fact, as of this morning, while the Power Mac will boot into Mac OS 9, my Mac OS X partition is non-functional, and trying to reinstall the operating system leads to further kernel panics and lockups. In other words, this computer is on its last legs.

I suspect the old motherboard is just dying. Maybe it's the processor, maybe some supporting chips. Who knows. But it's just not doing the job any longer.

I haven't lost any data. The hard drive is still pretty much fine. My files are all on there, and the important ones are backed up anyway. I can even work with them by starting the machine in Mac OS 9. But right now I have no other computer than can run Mac OS X, which means that my long-term e-mail archive is inaccessible (Microsoft's Entourage X files aren't readable by the earlier version I have on my laptop, although there may be alternatives), as are a number of other sorts of documents. But I can limp along in my work and online play for the moment.

Maybe it's not so bad that I have all these old computers kicking around. There's always something available.


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