07/07/2006: "one way or another, a $500 lesson"
I whisked my ailing Pismo in to the local Apple Authorized technician today. Really, there was no good news, just relative shades of bad news.
One way or another, I've at least learned something - NEVER, EVER buy a used computer without having a technician looking at it first. In other words, no more eBay computers for me.
On to what I learned.
The Apple tech did some quick diagnostics while I stood there. They were unable to get anything out of my computer beyond what I managed to get, which was pretty much nothing. When he opened the keyboard up (that's how you access the guts of some Apple laptops), it was apparent that I had purchased someone else's mistake.
The crack on my upper case that I've mentioned before was simply the exterior damage. Today, I got to see the inside damage. This computer had been dropped, no two ways about it. Not only is the case cracked, but the DC-DC board has damage (that's in the middle of the computer) and the hard drive frame was bent. Yes, bent. And that's on the OPPOSITE side of where it was apparently dropped.
So, one of two things are happening. One, the hard drive could be pooched, and the computer can work despite the internal damage. What's more likely, however, is that the damage has been slowly degrading part of the logic board, and the hard drive is just fine. In that case, I will walk away with my AC adapter, my hard drive, and a brick. At least I'll be able to throw the hard drive into an external case and access it on Jannette's computer. That will be nice.
Otherwise, I'm hoping they'll be able to tell me what's broken. Apple officially no longer supports my computer, meaning that they won't supply any new parts for it. However, I can still source parts myself from other sources. And as the computer's already broken, there's no reason I shouldn't try to fix it myself. That will be a lot cheaper than buying a new computer.
Failing all that, I'll be able to part out the Pismo. The keyboard's in excellent shape, as is the screen. I'm sure there are other parts I could sell off.
Sigh. Lesson learned. At least it wasn't too expensive. Please learn from my mistake.