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RAM and Hardware Failures

6th February, 2006

In an attempt to prolong the life of my aging iBook G4, I bought 1GB of RAM bringing me up to a total of 1.12GB from 640MB. The speed increase is massive and swap-hell has been avoided completely since then (with 640MB real ram, my swap files were frequently in the GB area). I am never going below 1GB again!

Unfortunately my iBook has exhibited questionably behaviour on at least three occasions. The first two times were unprovoked resets where the machine would just turn off without warning. The only mention that something went wrong is this line in the system.log:


Yes, the PMU has failed on me several times in the past with different portables. On both occasions I was able to boot the machine afterwards. Today, however, after a similar crash, the iBook wouldn't even start. Removing the battery and re-plugging the power brick yielded a lit display with a random pattern. While slowly panicking, I figured it must be a capacitor somewhere keeping parts of the hardware alive. I waited about half an hour, during which I searched my mind for solutions to my sudden life-with-no-computer. Then I returned, plugged in power and battery and everything worked again. Phew!

As I write this I am feverishly backing up my harddrive (remember mail and purchased music!). I am also seriously considering buying one of the new MacBook Pros. I don't think I can wait much longer.

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