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In yesterday’s post I wrote that my MacBook Pro had suddenly stopped working properly. Specifically, the track pad started acting as if it had a mind of its own, moving the cursor about the screen erratically. This behavior occurs so much that the computer is essentially unusable. Given that this laptop is not even a year and a half old, and has just undergone extensive repairs, I am pretty pissed. I guess I’ll just have to use Rebecca’s computer again though, right, as I did the last time my computer was broken? Wrong.

Perhaps I’m bad luck but during the process of doing something or other yesterday, that computer stopped working too. Yes, seriously! The computer locked up and when rebooted, it displayed the flashing question mark, the equivalent, I believe, to the Windows blue screen of death.” Does this make Mike happy? Not so much.

Sitting on the table in front of me are, not one, not two, but, three non-functioning Apple laptops. To be fair, one of the three has not been used in over a year. It was the computer that my new MacBook Pro replaced. Also, Rebecca’s Macbook is old too. In fact, it is a hand-me-down even older than the first one I described. All that said, three broken laptops is not cool! Those computers are used for work, entertainment and are our backup navigation instruments. In other words, we rely upon them!

This post is being written on the little HP Netbook that we purchased back in Puerto Rico. We pretty much never use this computer except in cases like this. While trying to work on it, I honestly feel as if I’m trying to wrestle some of my Black Belt friends with my arms tied behind my back. It is so frustrating. I have used nothing but Apple computers for the last 25 years! I even had to download and install new software this morning simply to re-size a stupid photograph! In spite of this difficulty, there’s really nothing we can do at this point. We have committed ourselves to sailing to Trinidad and hope that we’ll be able to resolve something once there. At least I hope we will. If anyone has any friends at Apple, please forward them this post and have them contact me. Some goodwill from Apple would be appreciated!


  1. May Steve Jobs is calling from the other side to say, forget computers, forget technology, forget blogging, sart sailing…

  2. That’s a big pile of clutter. I thought you just fixed your clutter problem. Sorry, just had to!

    I am totally confident that with the amount of network connections you have accumulated through this blog and spending two full seasons in the the same cruising community you will resolve this cluster of electronic clutter. You just may have to be patient. I know, easy for me to say. Good luck, and I mean that!

  3. Bummer. I have always wanted a MacBook but never liked the pricetag. BTW, you can resize photos using the paint program in windows. Good luck in getting your issues resolved.

  4. I know how frustrating computer problems can be, especially when you can’t search on the internet…


    Some people say that pressing on the trackpad helps. This probably puts pressure on the battery behind…

    Look at your battery and see if it is clean and “normal” looking (not swollen).

    When I started having this problem a few years ago, I raised by MacBook off the table by placing two 1×1 under it. This seemed to do the trick. It probably also helps with airflow, too, which isn’t a bad thing.

    I just got a replacement topcase for my MacBook but I don’t know if this fixed the issue… haven’t tried. But, if you have a MacBook and the inner casing around the keyboard is cracked, Apple has a replacement program good through May 2013 for a free replacement of the top case and monitor bezel.

    So it goes…

    • Thanks Sheila. I was able to search the net yesterday and have tried all the voodoo suggestions, shy of removing the battery. The airflow thing is probably good but I’m not sure it’ll fix the issue at this point. The case and the battery itself LOOK fine to me. I just paid for the extended warranty so would rather not screw that up.

  5. I seem to recall reading somewhere about Macs and moist air and especially salt, which I believe you have an abundance of in the Caribbean. I don’t know but once you get them fixed, perhaps trying to keep them in an airtight environment while stored to prolong their lifespan… Hope you get it sorted in a hurry, ’cause I thoroughly enjoy All your posts and pics!
    Good Luck and stay safe on your passage

  6. Send Apple the pic of the HP on top of the 3 broken Apples – might get some response.

  7. Hi Mike

    This website has helped us a lot when it comes to fixing our Macs:

    You have to search for the manuals specific to your Mac model.

  8. You’ve been paying a premium for sub par performance. Not good!

    I run super cheap computers and also load Linux on them. Works for me, but my electronic budget is a tight one.

    Apple products are nice to use -when they run right. All the Apple users I know have had expensive problems and multiple repair issues.

    Hope you get it sort out as I’d miss reading your blog.

    • People always say that Macs are expensive and at one point in time that may have been true. These days I don’t think they are hugely expensive when compared to a comparatively tricked out windows machine. Perhaps I’m wrong. Do you have any numbers to support this?

      As for issues, Apple does not own the market on computer woes. I have many PC-using friends who have had similar dilemmas.

  9. GO HP!!! I work for HP. 😉 You could post by emailing from your smart phone? I have tried that and it works pretty good.

    • PS. What about just plugging in a USB mouse for the time being?

      • I JUST returned from the computer store where I purchased the cheapest microsoft mouse that they had. It was very tricky getting the system set to ignore the trackpad with a trackpad that wasn’t working! I did manage to do it though and guess what, the mouse is working. Woo hoo! Only 45 EC too. Of course, this is simply a workaround, not a fix. There is still a problem which needs to be resolved. One step at a time, and one computer at a time. 🙂

  10. Mike – have you tried a USB mouse, and then disable your trackpad?

  11. This is only to state what to you is surely ‘the obvious’, but maybe a temporary solution would be to use a mouse. I personally have never been happy with the control I get with a trackpad and always much prefer a wireless mouse.

    • Yes, it did work. I had to go to the store to purchase one to test that theory but it did work, even though I had my doubts. Now I just need to stop trying to use the trackpad. 🙂

  12. Hi Mike.
    After using Windows computers on Amarula for years (Sonys, Samsungs, Toshibas, Dells, etc) and generally having to replace them every year, I bought a Macbook in 2008 & was delighted with it until late last year when it played up. I made sure it was backed up and it came good, so I didn’t think more about it until it crashed on me completely on our Atlantic crossing, just as we arrived in St. Helena in February, with no fore warning!
    I also reverted to a little Eee Asus netbook, which drove me mad, so I finally got a new hard drive for my Macbook at the computer shop in Grand Anse, then had to also buy a new battery , but meanwhile in UK I bought a Macbook Air, which I have to say is nowhere near as user friendly as my old Mac.
    I guess some people just have bad luck with computers, as I have many friends who are still using cheap, OLD laptops which they upgrade from time to time & they just seem to keep on going….
    Good luck!

    • Hi Lynn

      Seriously, using a PC is TORTURE for me. I am so comfortable with a Mac and know all the tricks whereas I am lost with a windows machine. Fortunately I am back to using my MacBook Pro right now, having found a workaround for at least one issue.

  13. trackpad problem… first thing I’d do is reinstall the OS (providing he’s backed up previously like he should have), We call that a “nuke & pave”… that also fixes funky I/O ports etc. They need to start up from another source disk and see if the problem persists… try starting up using another user on the machine if they’ve got one… 3rd, if you get a “flashing question mark” that simply means that the hard drive bus isn’t “seeing” the hard drive connected… could mean that the hard drive is toast.. in this case, remove the hard drive and try “mounting it” on another laptop .. if it refuses to mount, or is sporadic , the drive is toast. If it mounts fine on another laptop, boot the drive from an external enclosure, download “applejack” and run it via included directions. thinking here…

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