On Saturday I went looking, with Isaac, for yet another replacement power adapter for the otherwise-functional PowerBook G4. It is an original 400 MHz machine from 2000, but still works, and I find I can't bear to throw out working machines. Except that it has had endless problems with power adapters.
I went to CompUSA, where I have seem them for sale before. I was a bit shocked to find that CompUSA was having a going-out-of-business sale; most of the aisles were closed off, with only a handful of fairly useless discounted items. The Apple Store-within-a-store was completely gone. So, no power adapters for a PowerBook.
I went over to Best Buy. They no longer have any Apple machines for sale at all. Not too long ago they carried some iBooks and Mac Mini units. They seem to have an on-again, off-again relationship with Apple.
Does this really mean that there are no local resources for Apple owners at all in the Ann Arbor area?
There's an Apple Store in Troy. The last time I was there, they had nothing that would work in stock. They only carry new and very recent machines, I guess. They suggested I take a look at the Apple Store online.
They have an adapter that will allegedly work, for $79, but its customer rating is one and a half (out of five) stars "based on 1744 reviews." Wow, that's a lot of pissed-off folks. Given that I've gone through two "yo-yo" adapters for the G4 PowerBook and the adapter for Grace's iBook also fell apart, I'm not inclined to buy another Apple adapter. But I'm not too keen on third-party adapters either; the $45 replacement unit I bought for Grace's iBook is kind of cheesy. The adapter-to-iBook plug won't stay firmly in place. The wall-to-adapter plug won't either. Bump it just a little and one of the two, or both, will become disconnected.
I finally settled for ordering two MacAlly adapters, old/new stock from a seller on eBay. They were only $25 each, but he's charging me over $20 shipping. That seems excessive, but my hope is that this will keep both laptops alive until we can well and truly replace them.