Over the holidays , I had a chance to visit with my 12- year-old niece, Tara, who owns an Apple iBook. She had not been using it lately, and her mother thought it would be a good idea to put the notebook in the kitchen for e-mail, Internet access and such. But Tara said she didn't know where it was. Upon further questioning from her dad, Tara told us that she had tossed it in her closet. It was broken, she said.
When I offered to look at the computer, Tara got offended and reiterated that it was broken. After some coaxing, she finally agreed to retrieve the iBook so that I could take a look at it. When I turned it on, the disk drive whirred and the display showed the little smiling Apple Macintosh icon. Everything looked okay to me.
But 10 minutes later, the computer had still not finished the boot up process for OS 9.2. And when it finally did, an error message appeared regarding a problem with virtual memory. Tara said, "See, it doesn't work." A further problem occurred when I tried to boot up in OS X. The computer just hung and never finished the boot process.
I wasted a few hours trying to find a solution, driven by the fact that the hardware seemed to be in perfect shape. Finally, I did a complete restoration of this iBook's original OS, which was OS 9.1, and turned off the virtual memory option. That worked.
I don't know how the iBook got to be in the state that it was, nor why the other OS's wouldn't work properly. But in the course of making the tedious change back to OS 9.1, Tara informed me that she hates computers. I can understand why.
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