A Bit About Why I Do What I Do

I had a new client contact me within the first few months of getting Mad Macs started.  A guy called who had gone to a local Mac technician to have the superdrive replaced in his laptop (PowerBook G4 12”). When he called to pick it up, after weeks of waiting, he was told that the system had died.  The person he took to said that it no longer worked and he was not sure why. The client decided that he was not ready to part with his laptop so he took it to a different shop to have them take a look.  After a costly diagnostic fee the tech informed him that the logic board was bad and he could replace it, or better yet just get a new system.  The cost of the replacement was more than the system was worth.

Defeated, he found my name on Craigslist and decided to part out the computer for a little extra cash towards the purchase of his new one. When he brought it to me and told me everything that had happened, and all the money he had already spent to repair it, he was adamant that he was not spending any more money he just wanted to sell it for parts.  I informed him that I could do that, but why not let me take a look at it.  I said I wouldn’t charge him anything if I couldn’t get it running. I knew I’d enjoy the challenge.

I love to take things apart and fix things; I always have. I’ve spent my working life fixing things.  I like to know how and why things work, or in this case, don’t work.  So I did what comes naturally to me.  I turned on the system and nothing happened. So I took the entire laptop apart one piece at a time, testing along the way.  I know that one bad component can cause system-wide problems, so I was being methodical in my efforts. It was not complicated work, just tedious.

In under an hour I found the problem with his machine and had everything put back together. I called to inform him that his system was up, running, and ready to be picked up.

Imagine his surprise when I handed him a small bag with the lone screw that the original mac specialist had accidentally trapped between the case and the logic board.  With that screw in there and everything tightened down, the screw was coming into contact with the logic board and causing a short. With this short it couldn’t power up. 

He was truly grateful that day when he left. He had his PowerBook back and fully functional. The replacement superdrive was working fine and he was happy to pay me for an hour’s labor ($60), which was less than the diagnostic fee at the second shop he’d been to.

This event really made me think.  There are people out there claiming knowledge and abilities that they obviously lack. There are also users who truly love their Macs but, in today’s economy, do not have the finances to replace machines that apple deems too old to support. 

This is where I come in. 

    I have the knowledge to get the job done, and I know how to find the answers to the new problems.

    If I can not find the problem I do not charge for the work.


    The contacts I have developed over the years offer me the ability to get used parts, in excellent condition, at very reasonable costs, which helps my customers maintain their systems longer.


    I also have the ability, through my contacts, to recover computers that businesses in the portland area have recycled keeping them out of land fills and introducing the “Mac Experience” to a wider audience.