iBook in Haiti

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by lanray, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. lanray macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2005
    I just got back from an 11 week trip in Haiti. I'm a 4th year medical student, and I worked at a birthing center for much of the time. One of my jobs was to write the protocol for HIV and TB testing and treatment. All of my work was done on my iBook, and that thing is a champ! Despite heat, humidity (rain on one occasion), dirty electricity (the power fluctuates and blacks out often), hard use by many users, I had no problems. And, the thing just took a beating. The roads are awful, and I'd just put my 'book in my backpack and tool around on a motorbike, bouncing like on a trampoline. People where I stayed used it to surf the web, and no viruses (viri?) and no pop-ups even though they weren't very responsible about website choices. I was just waiting to open it one day and get a blank screen, but this was not to happen. The keyboard is really dirty under the keys, but that's about it.


    Anyone else have a similar story?
  2. mcadam macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2004
    Wow - sounds like a very exiting trip. Haiti seems to be a quite rough place these days (years). Glad to hear that your iBook and you have been doing some meaningfull work to make things just a little better.

    I've generally not been very good at taking care of my computers, though I've been trying to improve since I dropped my iBook on the floor. I basically carry my PB with me in my backpack all the time. From home to school and all the places I go in between, every day. It's also been on quite a few trips (though none like yours) ... it makes my stomach hurt to think how many times it's been kicked by accident in my bag under a café table or how often I've dumped my bag on the floor in a careless way. Since I study architecture it spend most of it's time on my desk at school, which I also use for plaster casting, soldering models, painting and varnishing, cutting cardboard, etc... Especially plaster dust is supposed to be quite bad for computers. But so far it's working happily on... hope it will continue like that... and that, some day, I'll learn to treat it better.

  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    My iBook survived well through 1.5 years in Siberia, but that's much less daunting a task for a computer than I imagine Haiti to be. There was similarly dirty electricity, but a distinct lack of heat and humidity. Quite to opposite. It had to endure frequent transportation in extreme cold (down to -40) on suspensionless, sometimes unheated busses, but most of the time it was perfectly comfortable in a warm-enough, dry apartment.
  4. bellis1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2003

    Mine survived 2 years East Africa in a backpack (no sleeve). I'm one of those people who think scars are cool, so does my ibook. Would you really buy a computer for looks? lol.
  5. lanray thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2005
    Cool Stuff

    Thanks for your accounts of Macs in the wild. You know, I did have one problem: while I was in Haiti the "plug" part of my power adapter started to short. So, every time I plugged it in, there was this sound of things shorting. It got so the computer would only work in 2 plugs in the entire place I was staying. Still worked, though. When I got back to Miami (don't live here, just visiting), I went to the Mac Store and they said it's one of 2 things NOT covered by AppleCare. The plug and the battery. Ug! So, I plopped down $10.04 for a new one. Small price to pay, I guess. I can't wait to upgrade to a PowerBook (used - I can't afford a new one, even though they're amazing machines), but I'll miss this old machine when it's gone.
  6. bellis1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2003

    I had a similar problem with my plug. Ended up having to buy another. It must have to do with the unreliable power sources. I was daring (or stupid) and never used a surge protector despite the frequent power outages. Next time I go somewhere remote for any extended period of time I will probably bring an extra plug. Maybe one of those available that you can connect to the airplane or car lighter would make a nice backup.
  7. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    Great story, send it to sjobs@apple.com, I believe that is his email. Might see you up on the switches website at some point, maybe a commercial about this trip.
  8. bellis1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2003
    too make it even more exotic...

    I'd like to hear more about people, their macs, and their exotic stories. I read at least one interesting story about a journalist/photographer and their mac on the apple site. I've known other people who worked in Haiti and know they have some wild and humanitarian stories. In my case, I used my computer for endless data entry in relation to emerging infectious diseases. I was investigating the natural ecology of Dengue and Yellow Fever virus which involved sampling a lot of monkeys and mosquitoes. But, the actual highlight of using my computer was to show some local kids a movie called Rabbit Proof Fence. Music and iTunes always went over very well too. Oh, and pictures with a digital camera. People were amazed to see themselves and their friends on the computer. Apple remains a wonderment to many of us in the states but I think I often forget how much of a wonderment it really is. Someone in Kenya once asked me how much ink it took. People were always more interested in my computer then with my work. But I don't know what I was expecting; I'll go out on a limb and admit that monkey blood, mosquitoes, and viruses are probably not as interesting to most people as they are too me. :)
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Anytime you have a point of wear, try to isolate it with a replaceable part. Such as a small cheap extension cord you leave plugged into the adaptor, and do all your "in and outing" with the extension cord end. It fries, you can replace it.

    Same thing with USB and Firewire. If you are going to have a whole lot of plugging going on, get an extension cable or hub to take the abuse instead of the very-expensive-to-repair motherboard based port.
  10. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I have a friend who had a fire in her apartment. She lost absolutely everything-except her iBook. It was in the worst part of the fire and continued to serve her well for another 10 months until it finally died last week. She had our IT guy open it and much of the inside had melted due to the fire. He couldn't believe it worked for that long afterward. iBooks rock. She was able to get all her data off it before it finally died. She's going to buy another. :)

Share This Page