It this geek to you?
Mon Sep 4 01:51:04 2006
panic(cpu 0 caller 0x0085CC9C): Apparent UniNorth Hang: AGP STATUS = 0x00000004
Latest stack backtrace for cpu 0:
0x00095718 0x00095C30 0x0002683C 0x0085CC9C 0x0085D3BC 0x008462EC 0x002E8BA0 0x002EAA6C
0x0008C4B0 0x000291C0 0x000233AC 0x000AC0AC 0x00000000
Kernel loadable modules in backtrace (with dependencies):
Proceeding back via exception chain:
Exception state (sv=0x2B599000)
PC=0x9000B268; MSR=0x0200F030; DAR=0x0284B000; DSISR=0x42000000; LR=0x9000B1BC; R1=0xBFFFE900; XCP=0x00000030 (0xC00 – System call)
Darwin Kernel Version 8.7.0: Fri May 26 15:20:53 PDT 2006; root:xnu-792.6.76.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC
It’s bad news. My iMac G4 (from April 2002) started acting up back in June and the only way to get a reasonably stable performance has been to reboot (that’s geekspeak for restart) the machine in “Safe Mode”. If I didn’t do that, the result would be immediate kernel panics – the mac equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death. “Safe Mode” unfortunately disables the sound card and a lot of other practical functions.
Yesterday I did a minor search on “Apparent UniNorth Hang: AGP STATUS = 0x00000004” which returned the suggestion that I am dealing with a nasty hardware problem. That GeForce and Graphics are mentioned are also bad signs: That has to do with the graphics card and now we are talking about a motherboard that is on its way to the electronic churchyard. (My hope was that some application extension was causing conflicts or perhaps that the RAM module was faulty).
Well, then. Since 1991 I’ve had four new macs and one that I bought used. The first, a Macintosh Classic, was my primary computer from 1991 to 1999. It worked like a charm – and still does, actually.
The second new mac was a PowerBook 165c which died in the Autumn of 1998 after four years of use. And yes: That cost me a new motherboard to give the machine two more years of use. Strangely, the floppy drive was destroyed in the process. Too bad, because it was a nice machine.
Enter, in 2000, the used mac: A 1994 PowerMac 6100 which sounded like a sawmill but was otherwise very stable. That was in daily use until the Spring of 2002 when it was replaced by the said iMac G4.
Last year I leased a 1,67MHz PowerBook G4 and the idea was to use it as a supplementary computer for travels, presentations and so on, while keeping the iMac for three more years. But it seems that the iMac is in terminal decline and right now I’m not too keen to throw a lot of money after it for something like 18 months’ use. We shall see.
What I would like to note, though, is that on my – admittedly – small sample of five macs, two – or 40% – have encountered serious hardware failure after four years. And the PowerBook has a faulty battery.