Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


I haven’t posted anything on the blog for a while since I have been having problems with the macbook. Turns out it was an easier fix than I thought.

Here’s the story…

Towards the end of Peru, from the vibration on the bike, one of my regular RAM slots broke and the computer kept freezing up all the time even if I would move it even 1mm. Something fractured in the slot. I found out about a month later that it was the actual memory slot that was bad after Sebastien lent me a small screw driver and I took the whole laptop apart in Assumcion Paraguay. For over a month I kept doing hard resets from the power button, sometimes 3-5 times an hour. Then, from all the hard booting, I guess the PRAM got corrupted but I was sure it was an OS problem because of the symptoms. The laptop would take about 10 minutes to turn on and it was practically impossible to do any hard tasks such as editing pictures. It took me about 2-3 months to find a copy of the Snow Leopard OS from a guy that had it on an external HDD. Then I had to find some dual layer DVDs which took another 2 weeks or so to get my hands on in Chile. Then I didn’t have electricity for about 10 days as I camped on beaches and sides of the road. By the time I got here, Bariloche, southern part of Argentina, the 2 blank DVDs were already scratched from the vibration but I was able to write the OS on one of them. Took for ever to even reinstall the OS as it kept freezing. I’ve been here for 2 days now and since it’s cold and raining I decided to try and fix the computer and finally got it running after resetting the PRam after trying everything else. I’m still only running 1GB of ram instead of 2GB since one of the slots is fractured, but I should be able to edit pictures in Aperture slowly and get this blog back up and running. In Buenos Aires I might try and find a 2GB chip but for this old thing it might be hard. If any of you have a 2GB DDR2 SDram chip that you don’t need, I take donations! ūüėÄ

So if anyone else is having similar problems where the computer takes for ever to boot up and seems to just stall for no reason, here is the PRAM procedure described on APPLE’s website.

A small amount of your computer‚Äôs memory, called ‚Äúparameter random-access memory‚ÄĚ or PRAM, stores certain settings in a location that Mac OS X can access quickly. The particular settings that are stored depend on your type of Mac and the types of devices connected to it. The settings include your designated startup disk, display resolution, speaker volume, and other information.

To reset your computer’s PRAM:
Shut down the computer.

Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.

Turn on the computer.

Immediately press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.

Continue holding the keys down until the computer restarts, and you hear the startup sound for the second time.

Release the keys.

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