Wow, it’s been a few weeks AGAIN since I last posted…blame it this time on Apple!

Since Labor Day weekend, every time I want to use my Mac, I’ve had to sit down on the floor, open it up, and aim a HAIR DRYER at its guts for five to seven minutes just to get it to boot up. Initially that would last me a few hours (I could not shut it down or even let it go to “sleep” or else it wouldn’t “wake up”). Since last weekend (until this morning, thankfully), it’s only lasted for half an hour at the most; many times only a couple MINUTES or so…Several times it froze WHILE IT WAS BOOTING UP.

Does that sound frustrating? Imagine Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, or flying his kite into the Kite-Eating Tree. Now times it by a hundred.

(For anyone curious, the issue is the soldering on the memory part of the logic boards. Over time it apparently shrinks and/or loses some of its connectivity, so by heating it up, it expands enough to work. But you cannot turn off the machine. And the only way to fix it is to resolder the board–not something the average Mike can do–so you’re basically screwed and have to buy a new machine.)

So the only way to even check email was to use my brother’s borrowed ancient Toshiba laptop (Windows, of course), with a DIAL-UP MODEM. Do you remember those? They were popular back in the days when people used VHS tapes and cell phones as big as your arm. Using a dial-up connection with today’s web sites is like running a race ankle-deep in peanut butter.

What fun!

At least I’m learning patience. And some new swear words. And how to check my blood pressure often.

Anyway, I finally ordered the new Mac (was planning on it later this month anyway after I sold something to pay for it, but a couple weeks early isn’t bad).

But the more I thought about this situation the more it bugged me.

Okay, granted, my G5 is five, maybe even six years old. Prehistoric in terms of computers.

BUT, that level of prehistory is usually applied to speed of processors, amount of memory and capabilities of software, NOT durability. I mean let’s face it, even the lousiest American cars manufactured since 1990 have come with five- to seven-year warranties and have been on the road as long or longer without an engine rebuild. Heck, my brother even has a 1980 Pontiac with over 500,000 miles on the original, unrebuilt motor! What gives with computers? When I found the issue with mine on the Apple support boards, I noticed several others with similar issues–so my problem is not too rare.

I had an old G3 that was pretty sturdy (dropped it on the floor and all that didn’t work was the sound card), but it still had developed weird problems that meant its days were numbered after five or so years. And when I bought a refurbished iPod, it lasted a grand total of two or three WEEKS before conking out. Ugh.

Can Apple–or anyone else for that matter–make a machine that stays strong for more than a few years now? Is it, as MAD magazine used to wonderfully satirize, “planned obsolescence”, or just manufacturing incompetence and low-quality parts?

Neither one is good.

Well, the on the bright side, the new machine has arrived, just in time. Big job due late next week so I’ll have to bid adieu till near the end of the month. Got some neat ideas for future blogs, lots of stuff to scan.

Meanwhile, my latest hair dryer-induced resurrection has held up an unprecedented five hours so far. Figures–just as the new replacement looms. Maybe these machines get jealous of each other?


Take care,



P.S.: Speaking of jealousy, make your friends Hulk green with envy by getting a cool commission from me–I promise not to smash. (But I’ll do a smashing job for ya!) Just ask Craig here. Thanks and have a great weekend!

Published by Mike Pascale

Mike is a freelance storyboardist, artist, writer, comic book/web comic creator, graphic designer, award-winning senior art director/copywriter, Kubert School alumnus, Spectrum Fantasy Art award-winner, guitarist/songwriter, future novelist and full-time, life-long comics fan, pop culture collector, and book hoarder. His creations include Bru-Hed™ (America’s favorite Blockhead™), The Game Buzz!™ weekly webcomic, Nasti: Monster Hunter™, Mikey Moo-Moo™ and more “™s” waiting to be unleashed from his crazy cranium.

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  1. Forgot to point out that auto engines have dozens more moving parts than computers! Makes it even more amazing they can go for decades without a major problem.

    Update: New (refurbished) iMac is cool; great speakers, nice features, not too much confusions/annoyances. Working well; so far so good.

    But ask me again in five years!


  2. Mac is great with packaging and peripherals but when it comes to actual computers they aren’t all that. You never hear of that happening with a PC. I’m sure if I dug out my old 1086 and acoustical coupler (look it up) it would still work. Even my Commodor 64 from the 80s or TRS80 would still work. That’s Apple for you, style over substance.

  3. Hey Mike,

    I’m awfully sorry to hear about your computer woes, but do you think you can share some of the new swear words? I’m always in the market for better words to use against balky technology and bad drivers~:c)


  4. Thanks, Ruben–I think it’s to make up for the virus/OS thing. Kind of like choosing a place to live…none are perfect, you just choose the one that best fits your needs. Praise the positive and curse the negative.

    Which takes me to Rob…I think Craig prefers this to be a PG-13 site at most, so the best suggestion I can offer is to rent THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN on DVD and watch the outtakes for the chest-waxing scene…Lotsa good stuff there!

    Thanks guys,

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