Recycled Computing

When Bad Things Happen to Overly Impulsive People

- 2011.02.23

It all started with my old iSub speaker. I bought one to use with myG3 computer back in the day. Part sculpture, part subwoofer, it proudlyboosted my low end until I rebuilt a 12" PowerBook G4 laptop.


Progress has its pitfalls, as I soon discovered. The iSub would notappear in the Sound pane of the G4's Leopard install.

Of course, someone had a hackonline that restored the iSub to Leopard's operating system. I openedup Terminal, ran the hack, and that's when the problems started.

I shoulda known better.

I had to plug the iSub in before I turned on the PowerBook, andwhile the audio was fine sometimes, it started to break up at randomintervals. I'm going to blame my general foolishness for not figuringout what was up.

iSubI first thought that I might have abad sound card in the PowerBook. Then I thought that perhaps the stereomini plug out was shorting out.

Then I found a Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N550 on sale. It's just what it soundslike - sort of like a cooling stand with built-in stereo speakers. Italso has a stereo audio connection through USB.

Still thinking that perhaps my audio difficulties were due to ashort in the analog audio output, I reasoned that maybe this wouldclear up the problem.

Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N550After I unwrapped the Lapdesk, I discovered that I had anotherproblem. My PowerBook would not recognize it in the Sounds preferencepane. Strangely it did appear (and work) for my Pismo G3 and my son's MacBook.

After some heavy thinking on my part, I reasoned that it was due tothe hack I did to get the iSub working.

How to fix this problem? Well, if I actually knew what I was doing,I could delete the hack through the Terminal window. Since I don't, Ireinstalled Leopard.

"It's good to reinstall your operating system every once andawhile," I kept saying.

The reinstall went fine, and I was able to use my Time Machineexternal disk to bring all my extra applications and data up to wherethey were before I did the reinstall.

Here's where things slowed down. I had to do a whole bunch ofsoftware updates, I had to do a whole new Time Machine backup, and DiskUtility took forever to run. But at the end of a couple days, myPowerBook G4 can use the Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N550 - and the iSubis going home to be reunited with an iMac G3.

From now on, I'm going to be awful careful about what I do inTerminal. LEM

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