The $1799 Glass Of Water

Last Sunday, March 6, was my first anniversary with my lovely wife, Steffanie. We had just gotten back from sending a relaxing weekend at the 1804 Inn at Barboursville Vineyards just outside of Charlottesville VA. Steffanie was suffering from one of her headaches (which will hopefully be gone soon) and I was crawling around on the living room floor assembling a new coffee table that we had purchased from IKEA on the way back from our trip. Steffanie was lying on the couch napping with a fresh glass of ice water resting on a coaster on the old coffee table. The lights were off in the room, with only the shades open (the lighting was dim) because it was raining outside. While I was putting together this piece of furniture, I was simultaneously installing Snow Leopard on the media center Mac Mini (I had installed thew OS X Lion Developer Preview on it to test it out, but due to it breaking a few important 3rd party apps, I needed to reinstall 10.6). While going through the Snow Leopard install screen, I did something very stupid. I attempted to sit on the edge of the old coffee table while holding my combo Apple bluetooth wireless keyboard & Magic trackpad (with Twelve South's Magic Wand to attach them). When I did this, I leaned back slightly and tipped this glass of ice water over causing its cold, and very wet, contents to spill across the coffee table. The water spread fast, sloshing up against the closed lid of Steff's MacBook Pro and a bit went into the rear exhaust vent. At the time, I had no idea that water had gotten inside the case, which I will figure out later on - after it was too late. Panicking, I leapt to my seat, setting aside the keyboard/trackpad combo and grabbing the MacBook Pro. I immediately turned it so that the side facing the water was towards the ground and rushed to grab paper towels to absorb any water. The first thing I did was to check any cracks or crevices for water, running the thin edge of a paper towel in all I could find. After searching and drying, for several minutes, I thought I had gotten it all. Me, being an idiot, neglected to unscrew the bottom cover and check the inside for water before attempting to turn it on. Instead, I decided to put it on the kitchen counter and turn it on. Bad move. The screen flickered to life and the Mac began to try to wake from sleep. About half-way into lighting up, the screen flickered and the computer powered down. Uh oh. Pressing the power button again...nothing happened. At this point I flipped it over and grabbed my Torx multi-screwdriver made specifically for servicing Macs. After removing the bottom cover, I found a few small flecks of water here and there around the case. I carefully dried all of these off, and fetched a can of air, to blow air in every crack or crevice I could towards the exhaust vent. After several more minutes of thorough checking, I was sure I had gotten any remaining water out. I quickly put the case-cover back on, flipped the machine over, and tried to turn it on once more. Nothing. I then plugged in the MacBook Pro into the Magsafe and, to my surprise, it booted just fine. Once in OS X, a cursory check of the Battery menubar UI showed that OS X reported the batter as "Not Charging" (later reboots would have it also randomly display "No Battery). To skip several more paragraphs of detailed trial and error, I can say that at this point the MacBook Pro only works when plugged in. If you unplug it, it will die. No battery capability what-so-ever. If you put it to sleep, unplug it, move it to another location, and then plug it back in, it will boot up as if it was completely off. Needless to say, Steffanie was not happy with me at this point. I made a Genius Bar appointment at our closest Apple Store for the next day after work. The Genius was very nice, helpful and sympathetic. He attempted to switch out the battery, but no luck. Apple's estimated cost to service/replace the logic board (the next most likely culprit of the problem) comes in at around $1250.00. Well, there went my plans to have acquired an iPad 2 on launch day. I feel incredibly guilty for what I did to my wife's one and only Mac. She uses this computer for everything - it's her main workstation. I can't just go out and buy myself a new iPad 2 given that I currently have a 27" iMac, iPhone 4, iPad 1, and Mac Mini, while she is stuck with, what I now jokingly call, a DeskBook Pro. Also to further pour salt in the wound (as if the $1799 replacement cost for a new MBP wasn't enough), by my having missed the launch day, it will now likely be 3-4 weeks before I can now even buy an iPad 2 due to stock shortages. As some of you may have previously seen from my tweets or her blog post, she is set to have brain surgery in 9 days. I was looking forward to being able to use the iPad 2 to take my mind off of worrying as I undoubtedly will be spending a lot of time in waiting rooms, hospital rooms, or at her bed side while she is recovering. I do have an idea though. One that she doesn't get to know about. And yes, honey, I know you'll read this so don't bother asking me.