So after an early morning wakeup -- they were shutting power down for maintenance for a few hours, so I had to shower early -- and waiting for them to open I went to the AppleCentre in Funan the IT Mall. They looked it over and agreed the laptop was broken, and advised me to go to the Service Centre, in Ang Mo Kio (roughly directly north halfway across the island, but nearby by MRT and a very short cab ride). The Service Centre had its entrance tucked away from the main roads, so my cab had to orbit it before finding one. (The taxi driver didn't charge the 50 cents for that last loop, showing the kind of folks you get around here.)
Incidentally the taxi trunk had to be opened and inspected; the cab had automatic doors and trunk so the driver just pushed buttons. That's still creepy. They didn't search my bag, though, and while there was a security guard at the entrance he just asked if I was there for servicing and tapped the button to unlock the doors, no sign-in needed.
Here we come into a problem that's characteristically me. When I got the iBook in March 2002 I got -- at the insistence of Skyler of spindizzy_muck I note -- an AppleCare Protection Plan, an extended warranty good for three years. While I filled in the warranty and registration stuff, though, it never occured to me there was more to do for the AppleCare like, oh, breaking open the plastic and filling in the form inside. But I had the package, and the person at the Service Centre agreed it was contemporary to the iBook -- Apple changed the typefaces used on their packaging, mistakenly doing away with that darling Garamond -- but, well, did I have the receipt? Or some proof of just when I bought it? This is potentially important because the iBook's serial number indicates it was made in October 2001, so from their point of view they don't know if it's out of the extended care or not. She didn't find my computer in their database.
But if it turns out the problem is the logic board broke, well, then it doesn't matter because the serial number is well within those with the documented logic board defect and therefore it'd be fixed or replaced gratis.
To sum up: if it's the logic board everything's covered. If it's not the logic board then it's covered if I can prove the purchase (or if I can argue loudly enough that I am not trying to cheat them with a computer three weeks past its expiration date; I think I have a fair shot at that too) was in March 2002 -- or at any date past November 2001, at that.
And meanwhile I sit here with that horrible feeling of loneliness, that my poor computer which has logged nearly as many miles as I have, and which has served well through the end of my graduate student life and into my adult (such as it is) life, may be gone forever. Alas.
I was able to get copies of the raw LaTeX files of my book, and of the pictures I wasn't certain I had backups of on an external hard drive or a CD-ROM, though, so while I'm certainly unable to make the book deadline for this week I'm not hopelessly lost. Obviously though I've lost some new material; letters to family, friends, that I can almost certainly ask to re-send. Boy, I hate this.
Trivia: Gemini IV was the first manned space launch broadcast live via satellite to another continent. Source: On The Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, Barton C Hacker and James M Grimwood, NASA SP-4203.
Currently Reading: Skyscraper: The Search for an American Style, 1891-1941, Roger Shepherd.