How to repair broken $1600 hinges on your

Powerbook G4 Titanium for ONLY $10!

  • 2001-03-21 I bougth a new Titanium 500MHz from the dealer in Iceland for about $4000.
  • 2001-08-29 one of the hinges broke.
  • I went to the dealer here in Iceland with the broken computer and asked the price for the repair.
  • They told me that they could not fix it here in Iceland.
  • They had to send it to the Netherlands by DHL (5 - 7 working days).
  • The repair man got a repair quote from the Netherland about 800 Euro.
  • By the way, same price a customer had to pay for a new motherboard a week before. A Titanium driven over by car!
  • I thougt it very expensive but still accepted.
  • 2001-09-11, 2 weeks later, I got an e-mail from the repair man here in Iceland.
  • The repair man told me the price was now 1700 Euro ($1600)!
  • I was so angry that the next day I went to the dealer and asked him to return the computer to me in the same condition.
  • I searched on the internet for some soulution to my problem.
  • On PowerBook Source I found the following article about the Apple service in Europe.
  • 2001-09-21, almost a month later, after many phone calls and a lot of excuses, I finally received my still broken computer.
  • Since I had to fix the hinges and was not prepared to pay 1700 Euro for it, I decided to fix it myself.
  • This Figure which I borrowed shows is an X-ray picture showing how the hinges are fixed with two screws to the computer basement
  • This part should have broken when the computer fell.
  • In a better design this part would have broken.
  • Instead, the titaninum frame around the computer screen was broken.
  • I went to a printing shop and got a free sheet of extra thin aluminium plate.
  • I formed the hinges from paper (see Figure).
  • Then I prepared a hinge from the aluminium with ordinary scissors.
  • I cut two pieces of plate with the scissors where one was a mirror image of the other.
  • The inner side of the plates, the one which was to be glued to the computer, was filed with fine sandpaper.
  • The next two figures show how the soft aluminiummetal was bent around the hinges, which are made of one of the strongest metal there is, Titanium .
  • To obtain the same look on both sides, I built both hinges at the same time by joining them together with tape.
  • I formed them by winding them around an axle and using a very sharp knive.
  • I used a two-component epoxy glue, few clips, a few clothespins and a few rubber bands.
  • Conclusion
  • Apple should redesign these very expensive hinges.
  • Apple should stick to their given quotations.
  • Apple should fix the rubbers, underneath the basement; better, they disappered in the first weeks. The rubbers should prevent the computer from slipping and also from scratching my new desk. Make them bigger.
  • Apple should have a closer look at the drop test program for the Titanium.
  • Apple should lower their repair prices. It is disconcerting to pay almost the same amount for one simple repair as you can pay for a refurbish Titanium 400MHz with a 1-year guaranty!
  • Apple should lend a spare computer to the customer, at least if they are going to run an expensive remote service from only one source in Europe.
  • Apple should offer a replacing program.
  • For many small companies it can be difficult to be without the only computer for a many weeks.
  • Apple should take better care of their best market in the world, the Icelandic market with most sold machines pr. individual.
Kjartan P. Sigurdsson • • The Web was made on a repaired PowerBook Titanium G4 500MHz 2001-10-08.

P.S. I like my 1.5 year old G3/500MHz better, i.e. it does not have scratces all over and look like 3-4 year old.

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