Suicidal Apple almost ruins AusCERT

Within hours of arriving at the AusCERT conference in the Gold Coast on Monday, my PowerBook decided it would rather commit suicide than listen to Microsoft's top security executives answer questions about Vista.I had lost my mobile phone on Saturday night in a less-than-upmarket Oxford Street bar and my voice recorder had started playing up, so I decided to use a software-based voice recorder on my -- until now -- ultimately reliable Powerbook to tape the Microsoft Q&A session.

Within hours of arriving at the AusCERT conference in the Gold Coast on Monday, my PowerBook decided it would rather commit suicide than listen to Microsoft's top security executives answer questions about Vista.

I had lost my mobile phone on Saturday night in a less-than-upmarket Oxford Street bar and my voice recorder had started playing up, so I decided to use a software-based voice recorder on my -- until now -- ultimately reliable Powerbook to tape the Microsoft Q&A session.

As the briefing came to a close, my laptop began acting in a very unusual manner. The little colourful spirally thing wouldn't disappear and, for the first time since I moved to OS X, all my applications froze.

The only solution was to hit the power button. And it has not booted up since. All I get is a strange clicking sound emanating from the hard drive while the screen displays a small folder-like icon.

The Apple grey screen of doom as I now refer to it.

Had I been recording anyone else in the world except the likes of George Stathakopoulos, Jesper Johansson, Mark Estberg and Peter Watson, then I would put the hard drive crash down to bad luck.

But I just can't help but think there is more to it than that.

Any suggestions?


P.S. Luckily, HP had set up a massive Internet Café at the conference, which allowed me to send back stories and keep in contact with the ZDNet Australia HQ in Sydney.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the lovely people on the Unipax and Sophos stands that tried so hard to resuscitate my PowerBook. Unfortunately, the hard drive is dead and the machine is due to undergo surgery later today.

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