Horrors of Children

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iantm's picture
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Horrors of Children

The Henrico county topic got me thinking on some of the weirdness I see on a daily basis. I work as the on site technician at one of the one to one initiative schools in Pennsylvania. If you can imagine it happening to an iBook, chances are good I've seen it. Though, the worst iBook incident I've ever seen was while I was still working at Ray's Connecting Point in Clearwater, Florida. It was an iBook that took a fall into the Gulf of Mexico. You'd be surprised what salt water will do to a computer.

Usually, it's just machines that take falls. The token cracked lcd with a broken hinge/brace assembly, frame damage. The iBooks are rugged machines, but a fall down three flights of stairs is bound to cause problems. There was the student that walked up to me with a half of the iBook in each hand. I knew something was up. The computer took a hit from a passenger side airbag. Not much left.

There's also the submersibles and mystery goo machines. They come in with no signs of functionality, and when you crack them open, you discover a foreign substance you can't identify. Sometimes it's a good day and it's only water or pepsi. Sometimes, not so lucky, and it's oil that has seeped into the magnesium frame, creating a fire hazard. iBooks are fun fun fun.

- iantm

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Ah, Over the summer for a few

Ah, Over the summer for a few summers i worked in the local school district's mac tech thing. Most common was seeing that the students had found it fun to see how many keys they could take off the keyboard and stuff in the cd tray. Also, the occasional paper/food replacing the airport cards. Another great one was a teacher complaining that the trackpad wouldn't work on his ibook, when we opened it up we found solidified coffee coating the insides.

iantm's picture
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craziness

We also have iMac G5's set up as lab and library computers, so far they've been solid and take a lot to knock over. However, leave it to a middle school student to knock one off of the desk it was on. Amazingly enough, the lcd and casing survived the fall. The 160gb hard drive, however, did not.

Had a machine come in with motor oil that seeped into the frame and made contact with the dc-in board and logic board. Unfortunately it ignited when the machine was powered on. The slot loading drives seem to be piggy banks and paperclip holders. I swear that when I think i've seen it all, a student comes in to show me that I am wrong and that I haven't seen it all.

- iantm

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grownups are a horror too... sometimes

we have got a couple of powerbooks, one of the first ti series with 400MHz, in a near school. they are mainly used by pupils age 18 and up (it's an evening business school). of 20 powerbooks we delivered, only 5 had come back so far. 3 of them had hardware errors that had no artificial cause (like coffee or other liquids and solid materials stuck into the openings of the book).

one has fallen off the desk, both hinges broken and the display cables strained. the lcd had a crack from bottom left to top right. so the display was totally useless, didn't work anymore. however, the rest of the powerbook survived bravely...

another one has been in for repair because of startup problems. it didn't wake up from sleep and sometimes didn't start up at all. first i thought of a normal problem, but on opening it i realized that some sticky liquid has damaged the logic board, the backup battery was totally fried (due to a short). beneath the keyboard i found some test papers from the last years owner of the book, was quite interesting to read too Wink

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It really isn't just kids

It's amazing how badly people of all ages treat laptop computers that *don't* belong to them. You know if they'd paid the $2000 for the thing they'd exercise a little more restraint.

A woman at a company I used to work for had this bizzare relationship with her company-issued laptop. We used to issue two kinds of laptops: Chunky, ugly (but powerful) Dell Inspirons to engineers, and IBM Thinkpads to managers, salespeople, and executives. This lady, who happened to be a manager who worked near the engineers, was really proud of her Thinkpad, as it had such lovely "fit and finish" compared to the Dell machines, and it at least *felt* indestructable with its black Magnesium case. So proud, in fact, that she was possessed with this strange urge to regularly demonstrate to people how tough her Thinkpad was by picking it up about a foot off her desk and dropping it, while it was running.

I'll give IBM some credit, anyway. Thinkpads take that abuse pretty well. Their hard disks don't, unfortunately.

An interesting souveneer I have from that company is a Lucent Wavelan PCMCIA card that works but is encrusted with rock-hard custard doughnut filling. (I call it a "Spoogelan Card".) That was from an engineer, of course, as their specialty was encounters with food items. Ugh.

The lesson her, of course, is never buy an ex-corporate or institutional laptop unless you get it *real* cheap.

--Peace

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There's a whole site

...dedicated to these amusing and frightening anecdotes.
http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/

Most of my salvage has, fortunately, been well-maintained by corporate IT staff. The only unusual find I can recall was dumpster diving a nice cd-rom drive, thrown out presumably because it wouldn't play the Pinnochio DVD that was still inside it.

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I know those Henreico iBooks

About 4 or 5 (or 6? time flies) years ago, I was working at a place called CapitalMac in Richmond (since Apple stores arrived, went out of business). They received a contract to fix all the broken iBooks from the area school district. I didn't understand... the iBooks were nearly new... but there were something like 2000 iBooks that needed repaired! The problem was none of the students could figure out how to open the cd-roms, so they forced them open, breaking them... unbelievable that all those kids all made the same mistake with the same results. I worked for the Advanced Technology Group there, but helped out the tech guys... I only personally replaced about 20 drives... but they got the whole order done in less than a week.

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I have found a mumified banna

I have found a mumified bannana inside a compouter with a bag of cookies... and gummie bears stuffed under the trackball...

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