Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   fifty screws
Monday, January 3 2005
Today I took delivery of a 60 GB laptop hard drive, which I immediately installed in the ailing iBook given to me by one of my readers. Getting the damn thing apart was a major undertaking, as this site makes clear. For me, the most difficult step in the process was the unclipping of the bottom half of the case from the aluminum chassis and top half of the case, as there seems to be very little difference between the force necessary to undo the little clips and the force sufficient to crack the plastic.
You'd think the Apple engineers would have made the hard drive a relatively easy thing to replace since, as a mechanical device, it inevitably fails. But no, the iBook is clearly designed to be thrown away when the hard drive fails. Nothing feels quite as flimsy and ephemeral as an iBook with all the casing and shielding removed. In this state its engineering seems makeshift. Parts of it are held together by tape, for example, and that tape ends up mangled no matter how gingerly you handle things once it is exposed. Then at one point I had a little screw trapped almost irretrievably down in the case and I found myself cursing the damn computer, taunting it with sarcastic cries of, "Oh, now this is great engineering, you little fucker!"
Getting to the point where I could remove the old hard drive required the extraction of about fifty of those screws, and keeping them all straight in terms of what holes they'd come from proved impossible, even using multiple tiny dishes to hold the screws removed in different stages of the process. In the end I had a hole too deep for the single short screw I had remaining, so I was forced to use a screw from another laptop. (I had to customize this screw by cutting off an eighth of an inch from its tip.)
The process was complicated by the fact that the web instructions I followed were for a slightly different iBook design. Also, since this site, the only one providing detailed instructions, lives on a Geocities server, there was a period of time when I wasn't allowed to view any more pages because this site had apparently exceeded its bandwidth limitations for that particular hour.
The installation took a little longer than the website had predicted it would, maybe two and half or three hours, though I was eating pasta for part of that time. Surprisingly, given how fragile it had seemed, the iBook came up just fine once I had it back together. Then the OSX installation CD refused to install on the hard drive immediately after I'd formatted it, claiming that it "couldn't be booted." At no point in the process was I told that you must reboot after freshly formatting a Mac hard drive, but that's what you have to do. This was, however, a relatively minor bump on the road to having a fully functional and relatively modern Macintosh laptop at my disposal.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next