Mar 12 2008

MagSafe, MagFoolish?

Published by at 6:33 pm under Tech

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magsafesmall.jpgEveryone who knows me knows I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy. There are six Macs in the household at the moment. My favourite is the MacBook Pro, on which I’m currently writing this post.

But increasingly I find myself remaining such an Apple fan despite some of the more quirky design features, rather than because of them.

The picture is of the MagSafe power connector for my MacBook Pro. There’s an irony here because the MBP was purchased (by my insurance company) to replace the 17″ G4 Powerbook, which fell off a table because I tripped over the power cord. The G4, despite its bent casing and non-functioning keyboard, now sits in the corner running EarthDesk, so it still looks cool. It’s our printer server, too.

Anyway. See the picture – look closely (click for bigger), and you’ll see that the insulation has started to melt through. The connector seems to get incredibly hot these days, and just yesterday refused to work at all without careful waggling. I fear its days are numbered. And I’m not the only one with a similar problem.

Point is, it’s only a year and a half old. And if I want a new one, I can only buy it from Apple because they refuse to license the design. Our G3 ‘Pismo’ Powerbook, on the other hand, is still on its original power supply at nearly nine years. The G4 is on its second power supply, but it’s an aftermarket replacement which cost far less than it would have done from Apple.

So now I have to fork out a ridiculous sum of Roubles to replace a badly-designed product, and I have to buy it from Apple because of their restrictive patent practices.

Not happy.

At this point, if I could reliably run OS X on a Vaio – or even a Dell – I would.

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