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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Roommates spilled beer on iBook, and won't confess...

Roommates spilled beer on iBook, and won't confess...
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Apr 11, 2005, 05:45 PM
 
This past Sunday, I woke up to find my G3 900 Mhz iBook drenched with beer. :-( I have two roommates, and I think they must've been goofing around, and the spill happened. To make things worse, they have tried to develop this elaborate set-up/plan/story to make it look like they aren't the guilty party. Neither one has confessed, and as anyone that has been through college knows April is not the time to be without your computer.

I would think my roommates would be better friends than this, and confess to the accident. I've called Apple, and I'm at least sending my baby off to see what can be done. From previous searches on spills, I know it won't be cheap to replace, and I don't have AppleCare (I purchased the laptop off of Ebay). I purchased the computer in August '03 for $950, and if the repairs are over...say, $500, would it even be worth it? I'm hoping my roommates will confess to this soon, but I don't have any certainty that they will.

So I guess if anyone has any advice, that would be great. I know I'm basically throwing a pity party for myself, but if anyone has any advice, ideas, etc., please share them. I'd hate to openly accuse my roommates of this before they'd confess, but I'm afraid that's what's going to have to be done...

-Shoe
iBook 900/40/384/Combo/12.1 (Damaged and inoperable)
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 07:09 PM
 
thats a bummer man. maybe you can split the cost with them. at least offer that idea. half is better then nothing.
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Apr 11, 2005, 08:19 PM
 
buy a big gun / knife and sit around polishing it while thumbing through an apple magazine looking at the ads for new ibooks and glaring at your roommates. they'll get the picture.

failing that, say that you know they did it, they know they did it, and suggest they at least chip in for repairs, split the cost, or whatever. if they don't go with that, revert to plan a (see above).

sminch
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:29 PM
 
How elaborate is their story?

Needless to say, even if a friend of theirs did it, they are still responsible. I don't see how they could turn this around to not being their fault.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:05 PM
 
I'd ruin their lives. Just like I did to my old roommate that pulled that kind of crap on me.

Except he had no idea I was mad at him. So he never had any idea I kept breaking all his stuff and throwing away things. He couldn't figure out why things kept falling apart (missing screws i.e. laptop screws) and why he kept losing all his stuff. He got really depressed. Good I hated him.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:09 PM
 
Get a 12 pack and return the favor.

Aloha.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 11:12 PM
 
get a 12 guage and return the favour.

sminch (who is a pacifist, really)
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 10:42 AM
 
Originally posted by Hi I'm Ben:
I'd ruin their lives. Just like I did to my old roommate that pulled that kind of crap on me.

Except he had no idea I was mad at him. So he never had any idea I kept breaking all his stuff and throwing away things. He couldn't figure out why things kept falling apart (missing screws i.e. laptop screws) and why he kept losing all his stuff. He got really depressed. Good I hated him.
That's just evil.
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 01:56 PM
 
Maybe some sort of insurance will cover it. failing that make them confess but don't pressure them too hard if you have no evidence.
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 09:34 PM
 
Well, it was a G3 900. If the repairs come to around $500 I've seen refurbed/used G4 800/1Ghz ibooks going for like $600. I'm sure with some shopping around you could find a newer, better ibook for a similar price.

I'd still make them pay out the ass for ruining your computer. My roommate almost got me arrested the other day because he's a paranoid schizoid moron and called the cops completely out of nowhere and told them I did something that I wasn't even involved in...I can't imagine how mad I'd be if he ruined my ibook.
     
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Apr 13, 2005, 03:46 PM
 
An update on my iBook situation...

I spoke to an AppleCare representative this afternoon, and he said this qualifies as a "Tier 3, out of warranty" repair. The repair cost would be $709, plus tax. He told me that if I opted for repairs, that every piece of hardware in the computer would be tested, and returned with a clean bill of health.

Neither of the roommates have broke down and confessed. I know I can prove that one of the two made the spill, but I'm hoping they would be a good friend and roommate first, rather than me having a standoff with them.

I'd like to either repair the computer, or as suggested, buy a refurbished/used laptop. The plan when my parents and I bought this computer was to hand it down to my sister, who will be entering college this fall. I then would buy a new PowerBook after I graduated and got a job. The iBook ran well before the spill, and would've lasted for at least three more semesters.

Either way, I need to get my roommates to confess first, because no money, no repairs or new computer.
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Apr 13, 2005, 04:09 PM
 
Very frustrating story. But I would just spend the money on a new G4 iBook. For around $1k you can get a brand new one under warranty, and for a little more you can stick in another 512MB of RAM.

I wouldn't stick $750 into that machine.

Chris
     
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Apr 13, 2005, 06:47 PM
 
This is just typical irresponsible behavior by college students. If they won't accept responsibility then I see no good way to resolve the situation (and Hi I'm Ben's method is just plain creepy, if not downright sociopathic.)

As I see it, you can do four things:

1. Get a new Mac.

2. Get new roommates.

3. Take better care of your valuables. In a college living situation bikes, stereos, computers, musical instruments etc. are at risk. Many students are essentially children with access to alcohol, which is not a very good combination...

4. Live and Learn. There are good people out there; learn to tell the difference between them and poeple like your roommates and your life will be a whole lot better.
     
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Apr 13, 2005, 08:05 PM
 
I hate to bring the cold hard truth, but those are roommates for ya. Consider getting a single room next time. Leaving your computer or other valuables out in the public areas of your apartment is just asking for it.
     
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Apr 13, 2005, 08:53 PM
 
Originally posted by alphasubzero949:
I hate to bring the cold hard truth, but those are roommates for ya. Consider getting a single room next time. Leaving your computer or other valuables out in the public areas of your apartment is just asking for it.
exactly. live and learn my friend.

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Apr 14, 2005, 10:01 AM
 
I wouldn't say that. It all depends on the living situation. When I was a fresh. there were things I simply couldn't put away.

I also was smart enough to put anything of value away when beer was involved.
     
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Apr 14, 2005, 10:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mojo
Many students are essentially children with access to alcohol, which is not a very good combination...
Did you know me in college???
     
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Apr 14, 2005, 11:31 AM
 
Did you know me in college???
Maybe...were you at UC Santa Cruz 30 years ago? If not, then I just knew students like you...
     
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Apr 14, 2005, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mojo
Maybe...were you at UC Santa Cruz 30 years ago? If not, then I just knew students like you...
I wasn't as bad as many, but I wasn't good either
     
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Apr 15, 2005, 09:22 AM
 
If you can prove one of them did it, then they can't get out of paying for a replacement laptop, good luck. Otherwise, too bad, I would move out and get new roommates if I could. Otherwise, it's just a few more months that you have to live with them and I suggest you lock away your valuables for that remaining time.

As for the computer, I agree it isn't worth $750 to repair the laptop. It's better to buy a new one or even a discontinued model with full warranty.
     
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Apr 15, 2005, 11:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh
...there were things I simply couldn't put away.

I also was smart enough to put anything of value away when beer was involved.
so you can't put an ibook away? an ibook is not valuable?

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Apr 15, 2005, 12:16 PM
 
I got my 1GHZ G4 iBook for $650 through a special offer at a university bookstore; some stores had the same model for $600. Good deals can be found, particularly after a hardware upgrade... $750 for the repair is not a good deal.
     
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Apr 15, 2005, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by alphasubzero949
I hate to bring the cold hard truth, but those are roommates for ya. Consider getting a single room next time. Leaving your computer or other valuables out in the public areas of your apartment is just asking for it.
that's what I did... single room. I don't trust college students... drunkies. and my RA is the worst one on this floor!
     
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Apr 15, 2005, 05:30 PM
 
Did you have your work backed up? Will you be able to retrieve it? I feel for you. Not only are you out one good computer, you also live with people you can't trust. I hope things change for the better soon.
     
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Apr 15, 2005, 06:54 PM
 
I think the best option is to see if they will offer to go in on repairs. That assumes the are taking responsibility of course. If that doesn't work why not sue their asses in small claims court? The facts seem to be very much in your favor. good luck.
     
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Apr 15, 2005, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by teknopimp
so you can't put an ibook away? an ibook is not valuable?
No, I was saying there were some things I couldn't put away (TV, desktop computer, some lab projects), but I could put away watches, phones, music, etc. etc.
     
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Apr 15, 2005, 09:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh
No, I was saying there were some things I couldn't put away (TV, desktop computer, some lab projects), but I could put away watches, phones, music, etc. etc.
well, shoe *could* put his ibook away couldn't he?

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ShoeDg1  (op)
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Apr 16, 2005, 05:07 PM
 
Another update on my ruined iBook situation...

First off, thanks for all the replies. It's been a frustrating week, and it is nice to see so many replies. Thanks.

Second, it's almost a week later and I'm not anywhere further than I was the last time. My father thinks if they haven't confessed by now, they may not. Which means I'll just have to confront them about it and say, "Hey, I know you guys did this, and I know I can prove it." I just hate to do this, because we've been great friends for two years before this has happened, and now the entire atmosphere in the apartment has changed. I'm done after this semester (Just 4 weeks away, I think.), but I'd hate to leave things sour with my roommates.

Then again, it's sad to see my friends acting like this. If it was me, I'd immidieately tell one of them what happened. I guess that's the difference between people, sometimes.

You guys are right, I probably could've put the computer away after a certain time. I was trusting the fact that my roommates knew that NO ONE touched the Apple, mainly because they had no experience using a Mac. But then again, you know how certain rules tend to be bent and broken when alcohol gets involved.

If anything new happens, I'll be sure to let everyone know. But thanks for the advice, support, etc.

-Shoe
iBook 900/40/384/Combo/12.1 (Damaged and inoperable)
     
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Apr 16, 2005, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hi I'm Ben
I'd ruin their lives. Just like I did to my old roommate that pulled that kind of crap on me.

Except he had no idea I was mad at him. So he never had any idea I kept breaking all his stuff and throwing away things. He couldn't figure out why things kept falling apart (missing screws i.e. laptop screws) and why he kept losing all his stuff. He got really depressed. Good I hated him.
Passive-aggressive much?

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Apr 17, 2005, 10:20 AM
 
i spilled beer on my ibook once, but just on the hand/wrist rest so it was no big deal. sorry to hear about your ibook. good luck getting a new one (get a powerbook)

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Apr 17, 2005, 11:56 AM
 
It seems that you are having trouble deciding if you should make them pay for the repair. maybe it would help if you look at it this way, lets say you get into a car accident, but its a hit and run. You can prove who did it but they don't come forward. Do you prove they did it?
     
ShoeDg1  (op)
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Apr 17, 2005, 02:24 PM
 
It's not that I don't want them to pay for the repairs/new computer. I'd just rather have them be a good friend/roommate and tell me that they spilled something on my computer, rather than having to come out and say, "Okay guys, one of you did this, and if you don't tell me, I can prove I didn't do it and that one of you did."
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Apr 18, 2005, 11:19 AM
 
I don't understand why people act this way. It's a lack of moral fortitude. We all make honest mistakes, but what we do after-- admit it, try to correct it, or deny it and get defensive about it-- says a lot about what kind of people we are and what we really value.

I had an experience were one of my (supposedly) best friends cost me $300 in damages, which he did so intentionally and under the cover of night. When I finally got enough proof that he was responsible and I confronted him (in a calm, civilized manner, mind you), he plainly denied it, even though I told him all I wanted was the truth. From that day forward, he just stopped calling me and we've never spoken again, even though that day we had parted with a handshake. People like that aren't worth one's friendship.

Now, in your situation, you've given them time enough. Confront them, tell them that you've valued their friendship, but what they did was wrong, will cost you money which they need to help you out with, and you can prove they did it. If they persist, simply go ahead and prove it. Talk to their parents if need to.
     
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Apr 19, 2005, 06:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShoeDg1
This past Sunday, I woke up to find my G3 900 Mhz iBook drenched with beer. :-( I have two roommates, and I think they must've been goofing around, and the spill happened. To make things worse, they have tried to develop this elaborate set-up/plan/story to make it look like they aren't the guilty party. Neither one has confessed,
-Shoe
I haven't read anyone else say what i'm thinking, and I hope I'm not crucified...but the fact remains you don't know with ABSOLUTE certainty that either or both of your rommies was directly responsible for the beer soaking.

What does run through my mind is that ultimately, it's YOUR responsibility to take proper care of your valuables. (perhaps putting your laptop in a sleeve/case would have helped)

I feel for your situation, but blaming two people for something you don't have hard evidence of them doing, in my opinion, isn't the best long term solution to your problem. I'd definitely look into getting new roomies next semester, and chalking this up to a pricey lesson.
     
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Apr 19, 2005, 09:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by MoreMojo
I haven't read anyone else say what i'm thinking, and I hope I'm not crucified...but the fact remains you don't know with ABSOLUTE certainty that either or both of your rommies was directly responsible for the beer soaking.
He said he had proof. You could argue that unless he literally witnessed the event personally, he will never have absolute certainty. And even then there exists a level of uncertainty sometimes. However, one can discern the truth without personally witnessing an event, otherwise detectives and scientists would be out of a job.


Originally Posted by MoreMojo
What does run through my mind is that ultimately, it's YOUR responsibility to take proper care of your valuables. (perhaps putting your laptop in a sleeve/case would have helped)
How do you reason that he is responsible for someone else spilling beer on his iBook while he was not present? It is understood that people who share the same living space have to respect and be mindful of each other and each other's property. There should also exist a level of trust between room mates. How can you room with people you don't trust?

If his room mate was having some beer, he should have done so away from the iBook, or placed the iBook elsewhere. But, in the end, the room mate did accidentally spill some beer on the iBook, it would be his responsibility to pay to repair or replace the iBook. It's rather elementary.

Originally Posted by MoreMojo
I feel for your situation, but blaming two people for something you don't have hard evidence of them doing, in my opinion, isn't the best long term solution to your problem. I'd definitely look into getting new roomies next semester, and chalking this up to a pricey lesson.
Actually, we still do not know what evidence he has. How can you judge whether it is "hard" evidence or not? And, obviously, he isn't primarily concerned with blaming his room mates, he's concerned about getting his iBook fixed or replaced, and about how they're acting in this situation.

And, yes, perhaps there's a lesson about being more careful with one's things around others here, but nevertheless, one cannot be held responsible or at fault for something someone else did to one's property while one was absent, specially considering that they were trusted people.
     
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Apr 19, 2005, 10:02 PM
 
Buy a second hand iBook ... i'm sure you can find a cheap one on the fourms for around 600-700 (cheaper than the repairs)
See if you can pull out the old hard drive out of your old iBook and transfer data onto it..
Sell off all the parts on the iBook possible... whatever that still works.. or even as a paperweight.,.
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Apr 20, 2005, 01:35 AM
 
sell all the parts the after all the working parts are sold sell the ibook as is listing what parts are missing.
     
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Apr 20, 2005, 11:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by Gabriel Morales
However, one can discern the truth without personally witnessing an event, otherwise detectives and scientists would be out of a job.
No kidding Sherlock.
The fact remains his roommates might have had friends over that evening, or maybe it was ONE roommate, and not the other. My whole point being that careful thought needs to be made , as Shoe understands perfectly, before you run out in a huff and start accusing people, which most seem quick to do.




How do you reason that he is responsible for someone else spilling beer on his iBook while he was not present? It is understood that people who share the same living space have to respect and be mindful of each other and each other's property. There should also exist a level of trust between room mates. How can you room with people you don't trust?
Why so defensive? Do you believe only YOUR opinion can be correct? I've obviously struck a chord. I noted in my post that this would have all been prevented if proper care would have been taken in caring for his laptop. While I totally sympathize with his situation, a simple sleeve would have negated this problem.
     
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Apr 20, 2005, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by MoreMojo
The fact remains his roommates might have had friends over that evening, or maybe it was ONE roommate, and not the other. My whole point being that careful thought needs to be made , as Shoe understands perfectly, before you run out in a huff and start accusing people, which most seem quick to do.
And as you've said, Shoe seems to understand this. He's come to the MacNN forums to tell his story and ask for advise. I see no conflict here.

However, unless someone broke in to the dorm, at least one of his room mate is partially responsible, even if it was a friend of one of the room mates.

Originally Posted by MoreMojo
Why so defensive? Do you believe only YOUR opinion can be correct? I've obviously struck a chord. I noted in my post that this would have all been prevented if proper care would have been taken in caring for his laptop. While I totally sympathize with his situation, a simple sleeve would have negated this problem.
I am merely expressing my view on this matter. As well, I agree with you that he should be more cautious with leaving his things unprotected in the future. But, to put the blame, or responsibility, on him for this incident is not reasonable or fair. That is all I am claiming.
     
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Apr 20, 2005, 08:44 PM
 
Some clarification on some evidence/other issues, hopefully to answer questions, etc.,...

The iBook was being used to play music that evening, and iTunes had been set to shuffle. I stayed awake until roughly 3:30 a.m. My two roommates and I were the only people there. No one else had been in the apartment that evening. If I had any thought or reason to think that I might've done this, I wouldn't even think to accuse my roommates. I know that if I would've done this, I would've immidieately started to dry the computer, rather than letting it sit in a puddle for approximately 4 hours.

I do accept the fact that maybe I should've put the computer away later in the evening, when we started to get a little more inebriated. And if it came down to where we all chipped in for repairs, I would be fine with that. But I truly do not believe that I committed this spill, and if it wasn't me, then it had to be one of my roommates.
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Apr 21, 2005, 12:09 AM
 
so, you were awake but so drunk that you couldn't remember it? Dude, how on earth can you prove that.
     
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Apr 21, 2005, 10:26 AM
 
So tell us their side of the story. We need to hear both sides equally to make any kind of judgment of what you should do. If it were me, and I was sure they did it, I would confront them and tell them they need to take responsibility for their actions. If they don't understand the consequences for messing up, then they shouldn't be your friends. I think part of the problem is that you're a nice guy and you just get along with too many people. Forget emotions, if they don't confess and you can prove it, I would sit them down and explain to them why they should confess and how you don't want your friendship to end over a beer accident. Tell them you're not mad about the computer, you're mad because they're not being loyal friends. Tell them that if they don't tell the truth, it tells you what kind of a person they are and they don't deserve your friendship. In other words, make them feel stupid. If they're going to act like children, treat them like children.

Or you could try this:
You could take a more passive measure and not say another word about it. When you get a replacement, get a kensington lock and a keyboard cover for it, and if it were me, I'd put it in a clear plastic box with an external keyboard and mouse. Beer is no match for this. Keep a chain lock on your room door and isolate all your belongings from them. Hopefully they'll feel a guilt trip and confess. If not, once again, they don't deserve to be your friends so then I would get more actively aggressive.
     
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Apr 21, 2005, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by nredman
good luck getting a new one (get a powerbook)
Not a good plan. Durability is obviously an issue. Stick with the iBook line.
     
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Apr 21, 2005, 03:36 PM
 
Good news! The roommates have confessed to spilling a beer on my computer!
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Apr 21, 2005, 05:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShoeDg1
Good news! The roommates have confessed to spilling a beer on my computer!
Tell us more!
     
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Apr 22, 2005, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShoeDg1
Good news! The roommates have confessed to spilling a beer on my computer!
Cmon...tell us...the drama is building........
     
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Apr 23, 2005, 12:43 AM
 
Which approach did you use?
     
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Apr 23, 2005, 09:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch
Not a good plan. Durability is obviously an issue. Stick with the iBook line.
says who?

"I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniel's."
     
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Apr 23, 2005, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShoeDg1
...we started to get a little more inebriated...But I truly do not believe that I committed this spill, and if it wasn't me, then it had to be one of my roommates.
I knew a guy who got drunk in college, got up in the middle of the night to urinate, lifted his laptop up as if it were a toilet seat, "went," and let the laptop back down into the puddle. The first time it was fine, the second time it happened -- it was fried. After getting a new computer, whenever he drank, he'd hide his laptop high up in his closet before going to bed.

The moral is: you can never trust yourself too much when you're drunk. Luckily, it looks like you're not to blame, though.
"You rise," he said, "like Aurora."
     
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Apr 28, 2005, 12:42 PM
 
Sorry I wasn't around sooner. Class has been pretty stressful, and my internet time has been severely cut down without a computer at my leisure. Anyways, here is the end of the story.

I approached one of my roommates alone, and asked him if he knew anything about what happened to my computer. When he said he didn't know anything, I sighed and said, "Look, I really, really don't think I did this. And if I didn't, I hate to say it but that only leaves you two guys left. If one of you did it and don't want to confess to it, I guess that's your decision. But you know damn good and well I would've fessed up to it were me, and I guess I thought maybe you'd be a better friend and roommate and do the same."

I walked back to my bedroom to get ready for class when he came back and admitted that he and my other roommate were throwing couch cushions at each other, and that one of the cushions knocked over an almost full beer mug that landed on the iBook, which explains water marks that were dried on the screen. (I'm kind of a neat freak about my laptop, so I clean the screen quite often.)

We talked about what to do, and the roommates are going to pay $350 each. Things have gotten back to normal at the apartment, but I'm just glad it's over with. So I am going to wait until Tiger is released and see if there are any new hardware updates before deciding what computer to buy.

Last, thanks to everyone that listened to my sob story over the past couple of weeks. It's nice to have somewhere to come and whine when something like this happens. Thanks a million.

-Shoe
iBook 900/40/384/Combo/12.1 (Damaged and inoperable)
     
 
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