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“I noticed the problem there first, when I got a distinct zap from picking the adapter up. I looked closely at the last section of the round cable, the part between the fuse and the plug at the computer end, and discovered that the insulation is frayed at both ends.”

 

 


Podium CoolPad

CoolPad also offers hope of improved ergonomy. Impress your friends with big words. Relieve your neck of big pain. For very small coin.

OPINION September 6 , 2000
Road Hog: FireWire and Fiery Wires

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The sleep issue was also addressed in OS 9.0.4, which came out about 6 weeks ago, although I just learned about the FireWire/sleep issue that it resolves. Apple's solution, by the way, was to remove the "Preserve memory contents" option. It's still there for older Macs but grayed out on your Road Hog. All the more reason to use Sleeper, which I mentioned in last week's Road Hog.

Fiery wires
You'd think by now that Apple would be sensitive to the issue of fire hazards related to their portable products. And you'd be wrong.

Or so it appears. As part of outfitting my Road Hog, I bought a spare AC adapter from MCE PowerBook Products and keep it always in my bag of tricks and one in the office, where none of my plugs are especially easy to reach. This way I leave it plugged in and ready for me all the time.

Ironically enough, I noticed the problem there first, when I got a distinct zap from picking the adapter up. I looked closely at the last section of the round cable, the part between the fuse and the plug at the computer end, and discovered that the insulation is frayed at both ends. It's hard for me to believe that this is wear and tear because this adapter literally never goes anywhere.

Far worse is the one that I DO travel with, where the insulation is almost completely gone! I was shocked! Literally, as a matter of fact. Equally shocking to me is that Apple is calling this "normal wear and tear" and that it's not covered by warranty, despite the fact that the one adapter never moves, and the other is only a few weeks old. They gave me a case number (7608094) and then told me to hit the bricks.

(My attorney is delighted to have this information, by the way, and I have to tell you that the only thing that creeps me out more than an angry lawyer is a happy one.)

iBook users and others with clear AC adapter cables should also pay close attention. Although those cables are less likely to fray, problems are easy to spot through the insulation. Look carefully at the computer end of the clear cable, and you'll likely find evidence of burning. It'll look scorched because it is.

Un-freakin-believable. I'll stay on top of this, and if any of you have any news along these lines, I'd appreciate you sharing it with the class.

Speaking of hot...
The Road Hog does run hot, does it not? That's true even when fraying cords aren't trying to set you on fire. I've just discovered something cool from RoadTools.com called the Podium CoolPad.

The heart of it is pretty simple: Small Lexan risers stack at the back of the platform to raise it in half-inch increments. The platform sits on a swiveling base, so that you can pivot it 360 degrees, for collaborative work or presentations. In addition to offering easier access to your peripheral connections, the CoolPad also allows "natural convection" cooling, which is to say air moving underneath your PowerBook.

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