Suicidal Apple almost ruins AusCERT

Suicidal Apple almost ruins AusCERT

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Apple, Government, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, AUSCERT, Windows

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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6 comments
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  • Should've bought a...

    You should've bought a Mac. Oh wait, you did. Nevermind.
    anonymous
  • reinstall Mac OS X

    sounds like ur operating system is corrupted. could also be a buggered hard drive. try reinstall the OS, if that fails the HD may need replacing
    anonymous
  • clicking hard drive

    with most machines a clicking hard drive indicates hard drive issues/failure. It is possible to recover data from a damaged drive at some repair shops, if it is that important.
    anonymous
  • Click of DEATH !

    I and many others in pseudo geeky circles have affectionately come to refer to this problem as the IBM Click of DEATH. Your hard drive has most likely gone. In older mac
    anonymous
  • dead hard drives RULE

    don't worry. my pbg3 did the same thing, which became my excuse to put a seagate momentus 120 gig drive in it.
    anonymous
  • Mac Laptop Trick

    Here's a great Mac-Only tip: Carry an Extra HD.
    Buy one of those small FireWire/USB hard drives, and use Disk Utility to make a backup every so often.

    If your main HD dies, you can boot up off of the FireWire drive, and continue working.

    If you do this, I'd recommend FileVault, or some other encryption technology for your user files.
    anonymous