The unbearable wait

For some time now my Mac has had a problem starting up in the morning.  It’s complaining like a grumpy teenager, and refusing to get out of bed.  It started out as an occasional problem whereby I would flick the power button, the fans would whir into life, but nothing else would happen until I hit the reboot button on the front of the case.  Not a huge problem, and one I could easily live with.  Then it got to the stage where it would insist on having a 10 minute lie-in before doing anything – I would turn it on, the fans and suchlike would spin up, but it wouldn’t boot or show anything on the screen or even give that cheery Mac startup sound for a good 10 minutes.  This week it’s got even more lazy, and this morning it took well over an hour before it decided it was time to get up.

I’ve narrowed it down to the PRAM battery that might have got too old.  For those unfamiliar with Macs, the PRAM is the Mac version of a PC’s BIOS.  It holds all that really essential information about the construction of the computer, such as what the hard disks are, what the date and time is, that sort of thing.  Fairly basic stuff.  The battery is there to make sure the computer remembers all of that after the power is switched off.  It’s a rechargeable battery too, so that the charge can be kept up for longer.  I reckon the problem with my Mac is that the PRAM battery has lost its ability to keep its charge, and so it takes a while for the motherboard to charge the battery enough for the PRAM to work so that the computer can start.

So I’ve been looking for somewhere that sells a half-AA battery.  These are not very easy to come by, but I’ve discovered that Rapid Electronics actually has their base in Colchester, so I’m planning on going and picking something up straight from their collections counter so that I can get my Mac back to proper working order.  The only problem I’ve come across so far is that when ordering online for collection Rapid insists on a minimum parts cost of £5, and the battery is just under that, so I would need to buy something else as well!  Grrr.  Then again, they appear to have some microphones that might come in useful, though not as high quality as the Shure SM58 I have been using previously.  I’ll do some more research and see what happens, but hopefully later today I’ll be able to go and pick up a battery and… something else.  Whatever that something else turns out to be.

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