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Old Jun 3, 2005, 08:21 AM   #1
Diatribe
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Powerbook Corrosion

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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 08:34 AM   #2
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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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 08:37 AM   #3
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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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 08:38 AM   #4
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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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 08:43 AM   #5
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I too have (albeit less severe) corrosion on the left side of my trackpad button, and the left side of the screen release latch!

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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 09:30 AM   #6
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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

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Old Jun 3, 2005, 09:45 AM   #7
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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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 01:33 PM   #8
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"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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 01:39 PM   #9
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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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 01:39 PM   #10
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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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 01:42 PM   #11
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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
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 04:38 PM   #12
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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?
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 04:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killuminati
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.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 04:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killuminati
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...onics&n=507846
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 08:11 AM   #15
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Wow, I didn't think it was affecting that many people. I guess the only way to be safe is not using your keyboard
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...
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 08:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diatribe
Wow, I didn't think it was affecting that many people. I guess the only way to be safe is not using your keyboard
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...

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.
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 08:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinterMute
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...

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? 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.
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 03:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinterMute
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...

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.
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 10:14 PM   #19
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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.
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 05:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YS2003
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...
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 05:34 AM   #21
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Applecare doesn't cover this?
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 05:48 AM   #22
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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.
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 12:26 PM   #23
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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.
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 01:16 PM   #24
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Looks to me like you all need to get iBooks!
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 07:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diatribe
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.
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