Apple Hardware Impresses Me Again

Yesterday I spilled a lot of water right on top of my PowerBook. Not a shot-glass worth – about half a cup. It pretty much flowed all over the keyboard, while the machine was running, compiling a copy of Firefox. I quickly flipped it over on the desk so the water would drain out, and turn it off by holding down the power button while upside down. I took out the battery and held it upside down for a while so the water drained out, then went to see Batman Begins while it dried. Alex Polvi (fellow skateboarder interning at MF) kept reassuring me on the way to the movie that it would work just fine, but I had little faith due to the amount of water that went onto the keyboard. After the movie we went back and it booted fine, no problems whatsoever, and I’m using it now to type this. Amazing. I keep hearing people say they have problems with Apple hardware, but I’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences. Note: The PowerBook that got soaked is an aluminum PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz.

We’ll see how impressive the Intel Macs I’m getting tomorrow are. Unfortunately, I can’t blog about my experience with those…

11 thoughts on “Apple Hardware Impresses Me Again

  1. I once spilled a good amount of water into my TiBook. I held it upside-down, shaking out the water when it turned itself off. At that point I got that sinking feeling that I’d just screwed up something really, really badly. I let it dry for a day, and then tried turning it on. It worked perfectly.

  2. You’re lucky. I spilled coffee on my iBook and it had killed it within about 10 minutes. Talking to the Apple techs, it seems to be more about what you spill on the laptop rather than how much. I’m glad its working again as you don’t have to go through my experience.

  3. I had a similar experience with my Dell Inspiron 8200, a family member spilled a whole glass of water over my running laptop, which then hung so I couldn’t shut it down normally or using the power button.

    Like you I turned it upside down to drain, and then immediately unplugged it from the mains, took the batteries out and removed the hard drive.

    It didn’t boot up for a good 12 hours or so after the fact, fans would spin, but nothing else. After that I went to bed and left it overnight to dry out some more. In the morning (to my great and pleasant surprise) everything worked fine.

    A year and a half later, it’s still chugging along without problems.

  4. When I was working in French Polynesia the humidity managed to kill every single PC laptop that the other researchers brought to the island. While some worked fine again after returning to the mainland some months later, it was the Macs that everyone depended on while on the island because not a single one failed (ibooks, g3 powerbooks, and g4 powerbooks).

  5. Someone spilled wine on my Ti 450 a few years ago… dead šŸ˜¦ i salvaged off the parts though and made half the value back

  6. I too have numerous water stories to the most recent being during the latest storms here in Sydney, Australia. Stupidly I placed my 12″ Aluminium on the top of an open gym bag and as I ran outside to save getting wet, the laptop when the other direction. After bouncing on all four corners and ending up in a half-inch puddle of muddy water, I salvaged it, throw it in a towel and wiped it down. During this time it was in sleep mode, but after a nervous half hour drive across the city, I opened the lid and the thing came to life. Outside of some cosmetic damage, it’s none the wiser.

  7. The basic rule with water and electronics is to just leave them to dry out, normally the worst thing you can do it to immediately turn them back on to see if they still work as something will short, patience is a virtue :-). So get the power off immediately, find a dry warm spot to dry it out and go sit on your hands for a few hours.

    Things like coffee and fizzy drinks are a lot worse due to the sugar and additives, water should just react with current whereas the others will affect all sort of components.

  8. Like what everyone else said, water shouldn’t do much, especially when confined to the keyboard. If you get it on the logic board while it is running then you risk shorting something, but it you remove power quickly enough there shouldn’t be a problem.

    Luckily I’ve never spilled anything on my laptop, but a friend of mine had a G3 PowerBook (Pismo) collecting dust under her bed due to a tomato juice spill. Years later I took the laptop, opened it up, and checked out the damage. The acid in the juice actually wore away some of the circuits (or something). The computer wouldn’t power on because there was no way for power to get to the computer or to the batteries. I replaced the logic board and it worked perfectly after that. Of course I had to replace the keyboard and some other minor parts as well, but the logic board was the big issue.

  9. My boyfriend spilled black coffee on my dell inspiron 2200 laptop this morning. It all was on the key board. i removed the edge keys and soaked up all the coffee then tilted it upside down for a while. It is working fine and I am writing this with it, but it smells like coffee a whole lot. What else can i do?

  10. My neighborhood’s cat urinated onto my Powerbook G3 keyboard. I’ve sent it to Steve Jobs who drunk the cat’s liquid.

  11. About two days ago my powerbook fell out of my backpack into a deep puddle. I cleaned all the water out with towels and a hair dryer. The 1.33 Powerbook is dead after 5 days of use, anyone want to buy parts let me know. The logic board is dead.

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