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Diatribe
Jun 3, 2005, 08:21 AM
I don't know what to say, I thought I didn't have this problem, as it hadn't started but now that just about a year has passed since I bought my Powerbook it is starting to develop black dots.
The aluminum on the palm rests is corroding, also called pitting. It is a reaction of the body chemicals with the aluminum and can get pretty bad.

I've attached a picture so people can see what I am talking about.

Although mine isn't as bad as the picture, it is getting there and Apple will do nothing about it since it is purely cosmetical. I guess I'm just pissed right now, I know I can use clear PDA screen protectors and the such and I do right now, but I cannot say which one are uglier the dots or the screen protector thingies. I'm thinking about taking them off again, I don't know. Fixing this, what I'd need to do when it becomes really bad, would cost about $200.

I don't know what to say, I guess it is just a computer but it still is bugging the hell outta me. :(



WinterMute
Jun 3, 2005, 08:34 AM
You mean something like this?

This is a 2 year old 17" powerBook, the pitting has started to affect the trackpad key as well.

The cause is pretty clear, acid sweat.

Sorry about the quality, cameraphone.

Applespider
Jun 3, 2005, 08:37 AM
I have this problem - started just before the 12 months but Apple said it was cosmetic although they appear to have fixed it for others which is annoying. Be consistent in what's covered! It also only happens in the area just above the CD drive on the right hand side - it's really frustrating; it's the only visible sign of wear on my machine (no scratches/dents anywhere else). I can't understand if it's 'chemical' why it isn't on both palm rests, or why it's spread beyond the area where the heel of my hand rests. And I don't recall my hands getting sweaty/clammy...which is another reason it bugs me.

It gets worse quickly; mine started as only visible in very good light but although not as bad as image, it did deteriorate quickly. I have the screen protectors to stop it getting too bad. Although they're ugly, I figure that having the dots make the entire wrist area black would be worse.

Diatribe
Jun 3, 2005, 08:38 AM
Yep, exactly what I am talking about. How do you deal with it? Have you gotten over it, and if, how?
Did it get worse quickly after the first dots appeared or was it a gradual process?
Geez, if it would be a wintel laptop I wouldn't give damn but this just annoys me.

brap
Jun 3, 2005, 08:43 AM
I too have (albeit less severe) corrosion on the left side of my trackpad button, and the left side of the screen release latch! :eek:

It's just force of habit, where you leave your hands when you work/read/type/game. *Shrug* even with pits, it still looks better than any Wintel laptop you can shake a stick at.

Darwin
Jun 3, 2005, 09:30 AM
Count me into the club

On the left side of trackpad where hand usually is rested, only noticed it a few months ago and I'm sure it wasn't there before when my dad handed it down to me, its only slightly worse then Diatribe's picture though

killuminati
Jun 3, 2005, 09:45 AM
I have it too. It started a couple months ago and is rapidly getting worse. It is now slightly worse as Diatribe's pic. It's only in one small circular area on my palm rest though. It's all clumped together.

California
Jun 3, 2005, 01:33 PM
"Purely cosmetic" is a misnomer on Powerbooks. The palmrest is an integral, functional part of the design of the machine and if one must resort to babying it or worrying about it or having to wear gloves or put iskins on it, there is a problem with the whole machine because it affects your use, or the functionality of the machine.

Powerbooks are all style -- function plus form equals style in the PBs.

I'd scream BLOODY murder if I had a Alpb that started corroding.

ckelley
Jun 3, 2005, 01:39 PM
Yep, I had this problem too... it sucks because I used my PowerBook to present work to clients, and that was always something that I wish I could have covered up.

Doesn't matter, I still got the clients! They liked the crisp 15" screen and overall looks of the machine too. ;-)

Sold it for a Dual G5 a few weeks ago though, kinda sad to see my laptop go. I was so used to being able to kick back anywhere in my house, now I'm back to the desk.

njmac
Jun 3, 2005, 01:39 PM
I have a little next to the trackpad. My PB has taken a little bit of a beating though so I thought it as just me.

Darwin
Jun 3, 2005, 01:42 PM
Reminds me of the problems that affected the Titanium PowerBooks when the paint came off, the design process, solving one problem to create great new ones :p

killuminati
Jun 3, 2005, 04:38 PM
I doubt there is a way to reverse it but do you guys know of anyway to prevent it from getting worse? Will just washing your hands before using be enough?

WinterMute
Jun 3, 2005, 04:42 PM
I doubt there is a way to reverse it but do you guys know of anyway to prevent it from getting worse? Will just washing your hands before using be enough?
Not really, as the Powerbook tends to be warm (!) in use, so your hands will sweat after a while anyway.

I've seen people using their screen protectors to cover the area, seems like too much trouble to me, it's a tool, it's going to get knocked around.

superbovine
Jun 3, 2005, 04:44 PM
I doubt there is a way to reverse it but do you guys know of anyway to prevent it from getting worse? Will just washing your hands before using be enough?

i use these. you have to carry them around is the only problem. i don't think they make them anymore.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00009L7M1/qid=1117835006/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl23/002-9523922-0460867?v=glance&s=electronics&n=507846

Diatribe
Jun 4, 2005, 08:11 AM
Wow, I didn't think it was affecting that many people. I guess the only way to be safe is not using your keyboard :rolleyes:
I'm all for carbon fiber for the next Powerbook. That'd be really light, look awesome and be safe to use. I wonder whether they stay with this material once they redesign the entire thing...

WinterMute
Jun 4, 2005, 08:16 AM
Wow, I didn't think it was affecting that many people. I guess the only way to be safe is not using your keyboard :rolleyes:
I'm all for carbon fiber for the next Powerbook. That'd be really light, look awesome and be safe to use. I wonder whether they stay with this material once they redesign the entire thing...

It's better for insulating heat as well, a double hulled construction would effectively remove that toasty thigh feeling you get after an hour or so.

I used to love the look of my Pismo G3 powerBook, any self-respecting geek is a sucker for black... ;) :D

I'm going to bring this issue up with my Apple contacts, Applecare won't touch it, but if it's a widespread problem, Apple should do something about it.

Diatribe
Jun 4, 2005, 08:39 AM
It's better for insulating heat as well, a double hulled construction would effectively remove that toasty thigh feeling you get after an hour or so.

I used to love the look of my Pismo G3 powerBook, any self-respecting geek is a sucker for black... ;) :D

I'm going to bring this issue up with my Apple contacts, Applecare won't touch it, but if it's a widespread problem, Apple should do something about it.

Yeah, black would look nice. The only problem I see is that aluminum has now become the standard for the pro line. Changing the Powerbooks' design would be a pretty big step.

Apple contacts, huh? :D I'd like a replacement top case but can you imagine how that'd cost Apple. Though I definitely think they should do it, because this is not only a cosmetic defect it's corrosion. How can corrosion possibly be just a cosmetic defect? If the aluminum in the Audis would corrode, I bet Audi would be in a lotta trouble. Apple is being a bit nonchalant about their design failures.

superbovine
Jun 4, 2005, 03:45 PM
It's better for insulating heat as well, a double hulled construction would effectively remove that toasty thigh feeling you get after an hour or so.

I used to love the look of my Pismo G3 powerBook, any self-respecting geek is a sucker for black... ;) :D

I'm going to bring this issue up with my Apple contacts, Applecare won't touch it, but if it's a widespread problem, Apple should do something about it.

the problem with insulating heat is that it has to vented some place else. it would make the design of the PB a lot of more interesting.

YS2003
Jun 4, 2005, 10:14 PM
I use Palm screen protector film on the palm rest areas on my PBs. It does not have glue (if it is safe on the touch screen such as Palm, it should no harm to aluminum). I put it on my PBs as a precation as other forum members experienced rust or stain problems around the palm rest aresa on the PBs. Washing hands will help I think (which I do, a litte short to OCD level). I also use the external Kebybords at home so that most of the heavy typing will be on that external KBs.

Diatribe
Jun 5, 2005, 05:20 AM
I use Palm screen protector film on the palm rest areas on my PBs. It does not have glue (if it is safe on the touch screen such as Palm, it should no harm to aluminum). I put it on my PBs as a precation as other forum members experienced rust or stain problems around the palm rest aresa on the PBs. Washing hands will help I think (which I do, a litte short to OCD level). I also use the external Kebybords at home so that most of the heavy typing will be on that external KBs.

You know, it is pretty sad that we have to go through this kind of trouble...

Apple!Freak
Jun 5, 2005, 05:34 AM
Applecare doesn't cover this?

fistful
Jun 5, 2005, 05:48 AM
you know I never realized until just now I too have some of this pitting, it's minor but it's there.

Ah well, adds character... goes nicely with the dent my powerbook recieved a few days ago. :o

killuminati
Jun 5, 2005, 12:26 PM
Another thing I just noticed is that the dark grey plastic that goes around the edge of the powerbook is starting to separate from the metal near the palm rests. Also the metal all along the edge is very corroded. This problem is way worse then I initially though. Eventually this whole thing will fall apart.

ITASOR
Jun 5, 2005, 01:16 PM
Looks to me like you all need to get iBooks! :p

skubish
Jun 5, 2005, 07:42 PM
I don't know what to say, I thought I didn't have this problem, as it hadn't started but now that just about a year has passed since I bought my Powerbook it is starting to develop black dots.
The aluminum on the palm rests is corroding, also called pitting. It is a reaction of the body chemicals with the aluminum and can get pretty bad.

I've attached a picture so people can see what I am talking about.

Although mine isn't as bad as the picture, it is getting there and Apple will do nothing about it since it is purely cosmetical. I guess I'm just pissed right now, I know I can use clear PDA screen protectors and the such and I do right now, but I cannot say which one are uglier the dots or the screen protector thingies. I'm thinking about taking them off again, I don't know. Fixing this, what I'd need to do when it becomes really bad, would cost about $200.

I don't know what to say, I guess it is just a computer but it still is bugging the hell outta me. :(

I am not sure what that is but it is not corrosion. Aluminum corrodes to alumina Al2O3 which is white. It looks like paint coming off. Are you sure that piece isn't painted plastic? I know parts of the PB are metal but maybe the piece around the touchpad is plastic.

Rod Rod
Jun 5, 2005, 08:15 PM
If the aluminum in the Audis would corrode, I bet Audi would be in a lotta trouble. Apple is being a bit nonchalant about their design failures.
Corrosion protection is a separate warranty from the rest of the car, and tires have their own warranty too.

Hands don't need to be sweaty to cause pitting. Any oils could do it too. Washing hands every 30 minutes or so can help. My 13-month-old Aluminum PowerBook has no pitting at all and I use it all the time. I wash my hands all the time, and anyone else who touches it has to wash their hands too.
I am not sure what that is but it is not corrosion. Aluminum corrodes to alumina Al2O3 which is white. It looks like paint coming off. Are you sure that piece isn't painted plastic? I know parts of the PB are metal but maybe the piece around the touchpad is plastic.
It's anodized aluminum alloy. The "corrosion" is most likely oxidation.

Apple!Freak
Jun 5, 2005, 08:24 PM
Is this "corrosion" not covered by Applecare?

skubish
Jun 5, 2005, 08:30 PM
Corrosion protection is a separate warranty from the rest of the car, and tires have their own warranty too.

Hands don't need to be sweaty to cause pitting. Any oils could do it too. Washing hands every 30 minutes or so can help. My 13-month-old Aluminum PowerBook has no pitting at all and I use it all the time. I wash my hands all the time, and anyone else who touches it has to wash their hands too.

It's anodized aluminum alloy. The "corrosion" is most likely oxidation.

when we are talking metals
oxidation=corrosion, one in the same

Anodizing is just a process to infuse dye into the surface of aluminum. The corrosion/oxidation would still not be black. My friend has a PB. I will have to take a closer look it could be aluminum with metallic paint + black primer.

Gizmotoy
Jun 5, 2005, 09:41 PM
Anodizing is just a process to infuse dye into the surface of aluminum. The corrosion/oxidation would still not be black. My friend has a PB. I will have to take a closer look it could be aluminum with metallic paint + black primer.

Yea... that's not right. Anodizing is a electolytic process by which an a layer of oxide is formed along the outer surface of the aluminum. The aluminum is used as an anode during the process, and and negatively charged oxide ions pass through an electrolyte solution and oxidize on the surface. Dyes can be added using special treatments that make the aluminum porous, but that is not the primary reason for anodization. The anodizing process makes the alumimum much more durable and resistant to scratches, etc.

Anyway, the Al PowerBooks are not painted. That ended with the TiBooks. What everyone, including me, is experiencing is the slightly acidic nature of your sweat eating through the anodization layer of the aluminum. Depending on the actual aluminum stock used to make the casings, the blackish color could either be the aluminum's natural post-anodization color (anodizing makes it darker), or dirt that has settled into the tiny pits in the metal. Apply likely uses a light silver dye (if you look close, you can see the aluminum is porous), and when the anodization is stripped, the bare aluminum is all that remains. In either case, the phenomenon in unreversable, unless you want to send your wrist-gaurds in to be stripped and re-anodized
:(

Demon Hunter
Jun 6, 2005, 01:29 AM
Well, if it's the only major problem with the AlBooks, I guess it's not so bad...

iKlear has become my best friend. I'm banking on that protective finish it says it gives. I believe it too, it's great stuff. Just a squirt a day.

I also wash my hands a lot though. It's a good excuse for breaks when I'm working. Can't take any risks!! :D

Diatribe
Jun 6, 2005, 02:18 AM
Is this "corrosion" not covered by Applecare?

No, it is not.

Applespider
Jun 6, 2005, 03:08 AM
Hands don't need to be sweaty to cause pitting. Any oils could do it too. Washing hands every 30 minutes or so can help.

I wash my hands too - probably 10+ times a day. But having to wash your hands every 30 minutes to stop your laptop pitting really isn't a good reflection on the Al book's design!

Apple!Freak
Jun 6, 2005, 04:58 AM
I wash my hands too - probably 10+ times a day. But having to wash your hands every 30 minutes to stop your laptop pitting really isn't a good reflection on the Al book's design!

I wash my hands each and everytime I get on my Mac's. My PC is a different story :p. I end up washing my hands about 15 times per day, so hopefully I will be corrosion free on my new PB. :)

orijinal
Jun 18, 2005, 01:55 AM
why not just put a little packing tape on where you put your palms, etc?

superbovine
Jun 18, 2005, 02:09 AM
why not just put a little packing tape on where you put your palms, etc?


heat + glue

Sedulous
Jun 18, 2005, 04:13 AM
I would second the theory that the black/staining is dirt and other organic matter seeping into the anodized layer.

grapes911
Mar 4, 2006, 09:29 PM
Well, you can add me to the list. It started happening to my 11 month old 1.67 15-inch DDR PB. I went to the Apple store and they said they wouldn't touch it because it was only cosmetic. I said I don't care if it is cosmetic or not, I paid over $2000 for a laptop, I expect it to be able to handle my hands. They said that apple considers this my fault because I sweat. I'm really pissed. This is the first issue I've had, but it still annoys me.

Has anyone had any luck complaining to Apple? I'm just wondering if it is worth my time to call them.

plinkoman
Mar 4, 2006, 09:43 PM
i don't have this problem yet (well, my pb is only 4 months old), but i probably wont because 95% of the time i am using it at my desk with my apple keyboard + mighty mouse, and a radtech screen saver thing over the powerbooks keys.

i did however come across a solution for this problem. check here:
http://www.marware.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Marware.woa/5/wa/selectedCategory?catalogCatID=181&wosid=QM74xtR2Rq3gTetbonIwPg
it has pads that go over the palm rests, and look alot better then a pda screen protector imo.

Halsey12
Mar 4, 2006, 10:18 PM
I am not sure what that is but it is not corrosion. Aluminum corrodes to alumina Al2O3 which is white. It looks like paint coming off. Are you sure that piece isn't painted plastic? I know parts of the PB are metal but maybe the piece around the touchpad is plastic.

It is aluminum for sure, and on my corroded area, the specks are deep. DEEP. Lots of little specks and few big spots, and the big ones are holes that are almost 1mm deep and 1/16th of an inch in diameter. You can feel them obviously when you run your finger over them. So if corrosion isn't the correct term, what is aluminum getting holes worn into it called?

I eventually put a sticker over mine.

matticus008
Mar 4, 2006, 11:45 PM
AppleCare doesn't cover this and it shouldn't. It's highly unlikely that the computer would develop a serious enough level of corrosion to affect the function or structural integrity within the machine's usable lifetime.

It's a simple case of upkeep. Instead of washing your hands 30 times a day, just cleaning the PowerBook every few days (or even weekly) would effectively stop this deterioration. Of course I'm not advocating for people to stop washing their hands completely--it's just that even clean hands sweat, and the damage is caused by prolonged exposure. It would have been helpful if Apple mentioned regular cleaning in the manual (who knows, maybe they did).

It's like expensive cookware--poor maintenance will let cast iron rust, and lots of people don't know not to make acidic sauces, marinades, etc. with metal bowls or spoons.

grapes911
Mar 4, 2006, 11:51 PM
just cleaning the PowerBook every few days (or even weekly) would effectively stop this deterioration.
I clean it twice a week. The finish still comes off. This has nothing to do with poor maintenance. IMO, Apple didn't take into consideration that some people sweat more than others, especially when touching a hot powerbook.

matticus008
Mar 5, 2006, 12:05 AM
I clean it twice a week. The finish still comes off. This has nothing to do with poor maintenance. IMO, Apple didn't take into consideration that some people sweat more than others, especially when touching a hot powerbook.
What do you use to clean it? I think it's likely that Apple conducted no research on things like sweating, instead relying on other research or market experience (there are tons of aluminum products used on a daily basis). They chose an aluminum enclosure and this is just a consequence of the material--there's no finish, per se, at all.

You can see this in lots of other products. The Logitech MX mouse line's silver paint wears down over time (sweat and/or moisture and the physical motions of use), and you can see the fine textured surface of keyboards from almost every manufacturer become smooth and glossy on the space bar in normal usage. Etching effects from the dishwasher dull glasses and plates. I've seen lots of Dells with shiny, discolored patches on the palmrests. What I mean is that there's only so much you can do to out-design physical wear.

grapes911
Mar 5, 2006, 12:10 AM
What do you use to clean it?
Sometimes I use water, sometimes I used alcohol-free LCD wipes.

I think it's likely that Apple conducted no research on things like sweating, I believe that.

What I mean is that there's only so much you can do to out-design physical wear.I agree. But knowing that, I consider this wear and tear. Wear and tear should be covered by AppleCare and not considered my fault.

matticus008
Mar 5, 2006, 12:24 AM
Sometimes I use water, sometimes I used alcohol-free LCD wipes.

I agree. But knowing that, I consider this wear and tear. Wear and tear should be covered by AppleCare and not considered my fault.

Well I can't disagree that I'd love AppleCare to cover wear and tear :) but it would just raise the fee by way too much to be practical.

You can use a diluted vinegar solution or something like 409 or an aluminum-safe Lysol to remove oils and chemicals (don't spray directly onto the computer). Water won't really clean the surface and doesn't do anything to help with the pitting problem.

jihad the movie
Mar 5, 2006, 12:43 AM
I got sick and tired of everybody having 12" PBs on my campus so I just put two vinyl stickers over the palm rest to make mine stand out. Yeah yeah yeah, it's an Apple and a work of art, but they're tasteful, I like them, and they protect my machine from corrosion.

tjwett
Mar 5, 2006, 12:53 AM
i just ordered up that protector from marware. well worth it for me. i have really sweaty hands most of the time (yeah i know, gross) and my palm rests have started pitting after just a few months. same happened to my Rev A 12" PB. this time around i'd like to stop it before it gets bad as it will make a huge difference when i want to sell this thing eventually.

plinkoman
Mar 5, 2006, 12:56 AM
i just ordered up that protector from marware. well worth it for me. i have really sweaty hands most of the time (yeah i know, gross) and my palm rests have started pitting after just a few months. same happened to my Rev A 12" PB. this time around i'd like to stop it before it gets bad as it will make a huge difference when i want to sell this thing eventually.

post a review once you get it, i am interested to hear how nice looks and feels. http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emthup.gif

tjwett
Mar 5, 2006, 01:01 AM
post a review once you get it, i am interested to hear how nice looks and feels. http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emthup.gif

will do. in the past i was turned off by these kinds of accessories as i tried some of those leather keyboard covers on my old TiBook and it wound up doing more harm than good. but with my cycle of selling machines after 1 year of use it would be best to keep them in good shape. i probably won't use the keyboard cover as it's not really needed in the AlBooks and i don't trust anything in that tight spot. but the palm rests need some protection for sure. an alternative that a friend of mine uses is the screen protector stickers for a PDA. slaps one on each side. they peel off without doing any damage or leaving glue.

5300cs
Sep 18, 2006, 09:00 PM
I have a rev A 17" that I just got back from repair. I use it everyday at work, and I just a few minutes ago noticed tiny black dots on the palm rest.

Yipee, it seems my PB has this problem, too. :rolleyes: As if the TiBook paint fiasco wasn't enough, now this happens.

Guess it's off to the Apple Store today to see if they have any palm rest covers ... :mad:

saveone
Oct 21, 2006, 10:35 PM
So... I'm just thinking out loud here. No one else seems to be curious about this, so I'll just ask. If aluminum is being rubbed off of our laptops because it's heating our hands, just where is that aluminum going?

I think that Alzheimer's disease is linked to aluminum deposits in a person's blood. I'm not a doctor, but am I the only who's even just a bit worried?

P.S. The spot on my keyboard is about the size of a golf-ball.

:confused: