This is not supposed to happen! Macs aren't supposed to do stuff like this! I mean, what's the point of having a Titanium (coloured, anyway) case if the thing is going to break?!
Here's what it's doing... or not doing. When I press the power button, the power light on the front comes on, kind of dull like, but nothing else happens. There's the faintest of flashes of light on the screen as the power button is pressed, but the screen remains dark, and the usual "whirring and clicking" sounds don't happen. Silence and darkness. Once in a while, after repeated starting attempts, there will be a "spinning" kind of noise.
A while back I was talking about backing up the hard drive, but of course I hadn't gotten around to doing that when, without warning, the thing wouldn't start last night. I guess I got lucky. I dug out my 200-gig external hard drive, wiped off the incredible quantity of dust under which it was covered (practically fossilized, you could accurately say), and fired it up. It still worked. This morning I tried the PowerBook again, and it started. I plugged in the external drive and dragged everything over. Everything that would copy, anyway. I suppose there are more elegant ways to back up data and software, but I don't know how how to do it, and I was sort of in a hurry. It took about 3 hours for the stuff to copy, but the computer held out until it was done.
I turned it off after that. A few hours later when I tried it again, it's back to not starting.
Just for the record, it is impossible to contact The Apple Store by telephone. My question is, if your computer is broken, how do they expect you to set up a repair appointment via the internet? I'm already calling into question the "genius-ness" of the Genius Bar.
It feels so demeaning to go online on a PC to schedule a repair appointment for a Mac. Oh well, it must be done. I'll be dragging my wheezing self and my wheezing machine down to the Ala Moana Apple Store tomorrow.
At least I was able to find my AppleCare documentation and receipts. According to my records, the extended warranty is still valid. I do hope the Geniuses can repair my machine promptly, without data loss... and without "hidden" or otherwise not-covered charges.
I'm finding myself rather distraught over this. I've become extensively addicted to my primary internet portal.