No computer for a month

I have a PowerBook G4 and its lower DIMM slot went out. This is a known problem so I was not freaking out or anything over this happening. But running OS X on 512 MB of RAM instead of 1 GB is not fun. And it doesn't help when you work on that machine.

So I took my laptop in to be repaired. I figured I would get my DIMM slot fixed (knowing it would require a new mainboard), have them check out the funky noise my laptop made when I picked it up (it was fine when it was sitting down), and perhaps the very intermittent loss of Bluetooth could be looked at. In other words, a Spring cleaning for the machine while it is still under AppleCare.

I took it to my local Apple shop (I think there is one Apple Store in all of Canada and it is in Calgary; I live in Vancouver) to get its repairs. They told me that a mainboard takes 3-5 business days assuming no delays. That's fine, I can go two weeks without the machine. I timed the drop-off so that I would be without my laptop while I visited my mother in California for American Thanksgiving, thus minimizing the impact on my Python security work. They called while I was gone and said that yes, I was right about the mainboard, the cooling system was going and needed to be replaced, and that the new mainboard should fix the Bluetooth issue.

Having dropped the laptop off back on the 21st, I figured I would call today to see how much longer. They told me that the mainboard shipped and is on its way in. But then they told me when the estimated ship date from Apple for the replacement fan and heatsink: December 20th. Yes everyone, I might not have a computer at home until 2007.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my PowerBook and I still plan to stay an Apple user. But damn, this is one of those situations where being your own sysadmin and having your own home-built machine becomes handy. I could have easily replacement the mainboard, fan, and heatsink by now if I was working on my own desktop PC.

My schoolwork (which is my security work) can be salvaged as I can hopefully get a Linux PC set up soon or at worst SSH into a machine that I do a svn checkout in or work on a Windows box (I prefer the Linux PC so that I can use my ergo keyboard). But obviously it is never the same as working on your own system that you have set up so that you can work the way you like.

The real issue is what the hell to do with myself at home. My laptop was my DVD player and I don't watch television. I can obviously read (and I do), but I can only read so much in a day personally, plus reading computer books always are a draw to me and that would just be frustrating in this situation. The Nintendo Wii is sold out everywhere so getting one to entertain myself is out of the picture.

It's just one of those situations where you don't really realize how ingrained something is in your life until it gets taken away from you. Here is to hoping I don't get insane between now and whenever I get my machine back.