About a month ago, my PowerBook G4 suffered a slow, painful death. In a desperate attempt to save her, I installed Leopard, and thankfully backed up all my data before doing so. It turned out that Leopard was the kiss of death — once the install finished, she never booted again. I never even got to say goodbye.

The PowerBook fails upon booting

The PowerBook fails upon booting

I took my baby in to the Apple Store in Menlo Park, just to see if they could diagnose her. I had a feeling it was the logic board, because I’ve had problems with that thing before in this very same computer. In fact, they replaced my logic board just 6 months ago. I went in there ready for a fight — those parts cost over $400 and I couldn’t afford to pay that twice in one year. (Of course, I’m ignoring the fact that last time, they did the repair for only $150, the cost of labor.)

But when we figured out that it was the logic board, my resident genius James walked to the back of the store for a moment. He came out and told me, “I just talked to the manager, and we’re going to cover the whole thing for free.” I was blown away. This, I told everyone, was why I bought a Mac. The employees understood my struggle, and went out of their way to help me out.

I walked out of the store singing Apple’s praises. I’d have my computer back in a week, completely repaired at no cost. Well a week went by, and I got no call from the store. After 10 days, I called the number they wrote on my receipt. “The logic board we put into your machine was also faulty, so we’re waiting for a new one to arrive from California,” the man on the other end told me.

When we hit the two week mark, I visited the store in person. James, my genius, saw me walk in and left his post behind the bar to chat with me. He said he had been fighting with my computer every single day. The latest failure was the hard drive. That meant we had to wait for a new hard drive and a new logic board. He assured me, though, that everything was still covered. I missed my computer a lot. Two weeks without a machine to call my own was a long, long time.

The wait continued for another two weeks. That’s four excruciating weeks sharing the family PC, which runs (gasp) Vista. I chose to spend most of my time in my home instead of my apartment, because I needed that sweet sweet data coming into my brain. And then, when a month had passed, I got the final call.

“This is James, from the Apple Store,” the man said. “I’m calling about your PowerBook.” This was it. I was hungry for an update, and ready to fight to get my old hunk of junk back.

James continued, “We apologize for the wait, but this computer has really been a headache.”

“We are going to replace it with a brand new MacBook Pro for no cost.”

I almost dropped my phone to the ground, but I kept cool for a few seconds while I gave him a reserved thank you. Then, I hung up the phone and proceeded to completely lose my mind.

That was yesterday. Today, I’m typing this on my brand new MacBook Pro. It’s shiny and fast and sexy and new. And although I miss my old girl, sometimes change is good.

Apple gave me a brand-spanking-new $2000 computer for free because my old one died after four years. All real Mac nerds can tell you the moment they became lifers. I think I have mine now.

I kiss my new computer

I kiss my new computer