Published on January 31, 2007 By averjoe In Personal Computing
I recently had the pleasure of troubleshooting an Apple computer Powerbook G4 (laptop computer). It had the Mac OS X operating system installed, running with a 1.33 Ghz CPU with 512 mb of DDR memory. The Powerbook was a twelve-inch screen machine with a DVD burner and GeForce FX video adapter.

I had to crack an administrator account password, delete the account and charge the battery. The owner was having trouble re-charging the battery and deleting the account.

While doing the assigned task I discovered a problem that was more serious. A hard drive monitoring tool (s.m.a.r.t.) indicated that the hard drive was failing and to back up all data.

I informed the owner that this was a very serious problem and probably does indicate that the hard drive will fail. However, I added, that at that moment I could detect no problem with the hard drive. The powerbook operated very smoothly with no crashes, freezes or noise that usually indicates a hard drive is on its way out.

I was really impressed with the speed of this machine with its 1.33 Ghz chip which seemed quicker than a PC with the same chip speed and running Windows. I was also impressed with the OS X operating system. It is built on top of Unix (similar to Linux) and I was right at home using the terminal on this machine.

The average user never has to look at Darwin (the name of the Unix underpinnings of OS X). The familiar Mac interface is all they’ll have to see, but for those that like using command-line and doing more complex task that the bash shell is capable of doing, Unix is there.

Cracking the password was pretty easy. I didn’t even have to use any special software. People are pretty lazy when it comes to creating passwords and will do only that what is easiest for them (this includes me on my home computer). The password and user name usually will have similar things in them if they are not out right the same.

The password usually ends up being a user’s name, the name of a family member or pet.

Deleting the administrator’s account and creating another one and charging the battery were not difficult. There were no defects with the battery as was originally suspected by the owner.

I appreciated the exposure to the Powerbook G4 since I had not used an Apple computer in over a year or so.

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