We had a power-cut last night. Pretty much the only electronic thing that worked in the flat was my iBook G3, a 2001-era 600Mhz model with a DVD-reader and no disc writing ability. After sending a few emails I closed the lid, putting it to sleep.

Ironically, this morning it was pretty much the only gadget in my flat that wasn’t working. I opened the lid and found the Spinning Beach-ball of Death. Perhaps because of its age this is not unusual. What was unusual was that after a few seconds it stopped spinning. On restarting rather than a nice, grey Apple logo I found a Finder icon and a question mark flashing on the screen. Not good.

While attempting some of the steps in that Apple Knowledge Base it finally booted up. It wasn’t actually any of the steps that coaxed it to life, so while “RIP” might now be a little premature I still think it’s not much longer for this world.

In many ways this is the end of an era. I think it’s fair to say that I was one of the first of the new wave of “switchers.” I was drawn to MacOS X because of the beautiful, functional GUI, the availably of software such as Photoshop and Office and the underlying Unixy goodness. The fact that I wouldn’t have to continually have to reboot between Linux and Windows to get the best of both worlds was a winning combination from my perspective. Sure, I was believing the marketing to some extent and it could have been a very expensive mistake but I’m happy with the way it worked out.

And it all began on this iBook.

We’ve been through a lot together. I carted it back and forth to Norway for seven months. It was my DVD player and Age of Empires box. It’s been up and down the East Coast main line to my parents. It’s been to Malta. To Canada. The United States. And to work. It’s been dropped and battered and abused. Even after buying an iMac G5 I’ve been keeping using it as my occasional email, web and instant messaging console.

This machine has been special in a way no machine since my BBC Model B. I’ve had PCs, but they’ve all just been boring beige boxes; they feel like they’ve been assembled rather than designed. The iBook has been fun to use.

And now it’s no more. May your bytes rest peacefully in Silicon Heaven.


One response to “RIP”

  1. Well, since I got back from New York it’s been working fine! I will probably be quite tempted by the new MacBooks when they’re (eventually) released but it looks like my excuse has gone for the moment.