So the Saga of the Coffee + Laptop continued today.

Upon the Computer gaining its heartbeat back, I quickly realized that there were sections of my Hard Drive that had mysteriously disappeared!

So here are the bits of intelligence that I can share with the world.

Long ago, when I first bought my 15″ Powerbook, the Logic Unit failed, not once, but twice.  That machine was taken back from Apple, thanks to my purchase of the 3 year Apple Care Protection plan.  As this occured right during the transition from PowerPC to Intel based computers, I was offered a brand new MacBook Pro.  This was the first release of the machines, in fact they were so new they weren’t even in the store yet.   I would have had to wait for 2 weeks, and as many of you freelance web developers know, that is just not possible.

So I opted for the 17″ PowerBook pimped out to the max.

The problem here, is that I was given an Apple Care Tech Tools Deluxe cd based on my first computer, and was not given a new cd when I received the 17″ machine.  Why does this matter?  Because when you try to boot your 17″ PowerBook with a 15″ Tech Tool cd, you get a Kernel Panics.

Use this link, to get a disk image (DVD/CD) of the new version of the software.
Back to the present.

Apple’s built in Disk Utility did not repair my corrupted hard drive.

Apple’s Tech Tool Deluxe Volume Repair tool did not fix my corrupted hard drive.

What did the trick?

DiskWarrior 4 from Alsoft.


At $99 this is not necessarily cheap, but it did the trick right away.

I recommend.

If you spend as much time on your computer as I do, you start to take concern for its well being. Most of the time this involves doing regular backups (Not the best at that), running software updates to protect your sweet lappy, and just being generally careful around your expensive equipment. Last night, for a brief moment in time I thought, “hey my lappy is running kind of slow, maybe it needs a pick me up, the kind of pick me up that only a Kayak’s Skim Latte can provide !!!”. It was then that the entire contents of this latte was spillled through the rear heat exhaust openings of my 17″ powerbook, you know cause that looked like what might have been a human mouth.

Quickly, expletives were shouted, at my realization that I had not helped my sweet lappy, but rather wounded it deeply, as my speakers crackled, and desktop froze to a grinding halt.

I thought to myself, “Quick turn it on its side to allow coffee to drain out !!” What foolishness we do when our young ones are threatened.

So next step, I dash out of the coffee shop holding laptop flat so as to halt the spread of the evil beverage throughout the chassis. I get home, tear around the house looking for the correct screwdriver to undo the chassis to get a look at the damage. I got open a few, but then was thwarted because of not having a small enough screwdriver to open up the case.

I then thought to myself, who could I call to help with through this difficult time? Who could empathize with my situation, as well as help me out of the mess I was in.

I think it is important to note at this point, that I am a web developer, and spend nearly 70 percent of my life on this laptop. I had work for a client that had parts that had not been checked into the subversion repository at work, and would be lost if I could not get the system back up and running.

Gabriel Serafini to the rescue! He had the tools, the empathy, and the know-how to get my sweet lappy back into good health.

Lets take a look!

Lappy with Case Opened Up.


More Lappy with Case Opened Up.

More Lappy with Case Opened Up. (Keyboard section upside down)

Happy Lappy!!!!!!!


Thanks Gabriel!

Now my sweet lappy is running great, the speakers no longer crackle, and I was able to get a lot of the little orange balls in my laptop case cleaned out.

Anyone else found little orange balls that look like Fish Rouge (found often on sushi) in their laptop case?

The most current theory is that this is actually adhesive that has formed into pellets from the hear emitted from my laptop.

If the title of this blog post doesn’t explain it enough here it is.

This evening, well early morning, I was trying to get XML_RPC to install as the native extension.  I had previously install PHP 5.1.6 with the mbstring extension enabled to make a pesky phpMyAdmin error about it go away.

Well this time it caught up with me.  I tries to compile PHP with the same previous settings, now adding XML_RPC.  Well thank heavens for the bug tracking system at PHP, I found out why I failed.

Here is the link to why it failed.

Hope this can help someone out there! Until next time, happy coding, and remember, always practice safe hex.

I posted earlier on how to Get Rich with PHP5.

In that article Rasmus Lerdorf writes about how to use a certain set of debugging tools as well as PECL packages and database modifications to really tweak some serious speed out of your PHP web application.

I use a powerbook G4 for my PHP hackery, so some of the tools he mentioned are not available with a deault OSX 10.4 installation.  So I thought, hey lets write a how to install to make this work!!

First lets get a little tool called http_load. Get it here.

Untar the file.

tar zxvf http_load-12mar2006.tar.gz

run make

I recommend copying http_load to a directory like /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin … basically somewhere in your path 🙂

Now lets install kcachegrind.  For that, follow this link over to the stray notes blog.

Stray Notes » Blog Archive » Running Kcachegrind on Mac OSX 10.4
Running Kcachegrind on Mac OSX 10.4

Now with both of those installed, you should be ready to go!

Debug your hearts out people!