Random Acts of Shut Down

It’s been two months since I proudly carried my new MacBook home. I love this machine. It’s crazy fast, it’s light-weight, the keyboard rocks, and the glossy screen is much better than I could ever have hoped. I’m rocking it with 2gbs of RAM (is there any other way?) and a 100gb 7200rpm disk. Boot-up takes just around a half minute with ALL the background apps running – compared to my old G4 PowerBook, that’s really fast! Everytime it boots up I’m tickled by how quick it is.

What I’m not thrilled about is that I get to appreciate this boot-up speed ALL THE TIME. The Mac savvy reading this probably know already, that you don’t boot a Mac all that often. Generally a software update is the main reason, so uptime on these lovely machines is /weeks/months at a time. It just so happens that the “Random Shut Down” problem is one that now plagues my dear MacBook.

If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon, here’s sort of how it goes:
While typing away on my MacBook, downloading photos from my camera, surfing the internet, or any other number of things, the Macbook just shuts down. Like, it’s on it’s on it’s on, and BOOM! Off. Look away a moment and you’re staring back at a black screen.

There seems to be no correllation between random shut down events. Plugged-in. Running on AC power. Minutes after boot-up, while still cool as a cucumber. After hours of hot and heavy use. Like I said, random.

In reading the discussion boards, and talking to a couple local friends with MacBooks, the symptoms all seem very similar.
– It happened once or twice a week or two ago, but seemed more like a strange one time deal.
– Then in the past few days to a week, it’s happened more and more frequently.
The fact that everywhere I’ve read, and those I’ve talked to, put these events in the same timeframe leads me to believe it’s from some software push – how do several different hardware units all go bad around the same point in time??

Yet when I dropped it off at the local Apple Store to be shipped out to AppleCare (Saves you a couple days waiting for packaging to be shipped out) today, it’s predictably going for a new Main Logic Board. I sincerely hope this takes care of my MacBook’s problem. However, I am doubtful. I can only wait and see for now.

What other problems have I had? Well, I had an Invisible Shield for my MacBook before I even owned it. Before starting it up, I applied the Invisible Shield in hopes of avoiding any yellowing of the palm rests. Yet the right side and the trackpad button show faint yellowish areas. It wasn’t enough on its own that I was going to send it off for repair, but it’ll get a new shell on this trip too.

It runs hot. Pretty darn hot. I use Photoshop a lot, and it seems when Rosetta kicks in, so do the afterburners, but this is to be expected with emulation processes. Plus, you cram that kind of speedy processor into a small package, and what do you expect? I keep the MacBook away from my precious bits and I’m a happy guy.

I suppose it all comes down to, “Don’t ever buy Revision A products.” Words of wisdom. And if you’re the type who makes snap judgements, probably words to live by. Yes, I’m dismayed at having to send my notebook in. The problem was jarring, and quite frankly a huge hassle. But at the end of the day, I’m not about to make a rash decision and work off of my Dell fulltime – the idea makes me queasy. Live without my OS X, Quicksilver, or the portable speed that I’m now accustomed to? Not on your life.

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