I have either used or owned a laptop since around 1995 as my primary computer. I began using an Apple laptop in 2001. With the advent of OS X, the decision to move to a Mac platform has been almost regret-free. I don’t think anyone can dispute that Apple laptops are the most innovative and attractive machines available today.
In light of that, I find it comical that the primary problem I have had with both of my PowerBooks is a problem I never had with a PC laptop. I have had the rubber feet pop off of both my Titanium PowerBook G4 and my 17″ PowerBook G4. I had never seen someone lose one of the rubber feet off the bottom of their laptop until I had these machines.
It amazes me. I think about it at night in bed sometimes. Before transitioning into IT full-time, I spent just shy of a decade as a systems integrator for manufacturing plants. One of my employer’s specialties was industrial adhesives. Yep, it was all about making things stick. It’s a pretty low-tech field, and things are rather straightforward; certain adhesives work with certain materials and they have certain tempearture tolerance ranges.
With all the wondrous achievements embodied in my 17″ PowerBook, I have to take it gingerly from its case every time, checking the back to see if any feet fell off. That’s right, they don’t come off as I clumsily slide my laptop around on a flat surface. I know better than that. No, as best as I can tell, the feet have come off as a result of light friction with the wall of the custom backpack that I have for it. That’s right, this 1″ thick 1GHz PowerPC magnum with its eye-popping screen and its 1GB of RAM, this Herculean feat of engineering, has its feet pop off from being in a bag custom-designed for this very model of laptop.
I actually went to the Apple Store to find out what I should do about this. Depending on where you live, that can elicit anything from “oh, good, here is where he gets it taken care of” to “huh, here’s where the profanity will kick in.” What was their solution? Superglue. Well, krazy glue, to be exact. Yeah, krazy glue. Elegant, huh?
So, Apple has its issues. There are several that bug me far more than the feet popping off, but they are political in nature. The nVidia card and the Broadcom chipset for the 802.11g wireless card for which neither Linux drivers nor the source code to build drivers are being provided, the use of an internal USB modem – these things are real hold-ups for me. But the feet, man, the feet…what is the deal with the feet?
Given the alternatives, I still see the PowerBook as the solution most amenable to my needs. Things would have to be quite oppressive to get me to go back to Windows, or a 10-pound Dell laptop with that inane mini-PCI Winmodem, for that matter.