Late last night, after I got home, as I was plugging in my trusty 3+ year old G3 iBook, I noticed a strange thing. It wasn’t charging up. Normally, when it’s plugged in, there’s a light on the plug that lights up orange when it’s charging, and green when it’s fully charged. The light wasn’t coming on at all. I knew it had been working earlier that day, since I had left the house with a full charge. Sometime during the day, it had stopped working.

I wasn’t sure, however, if it was the adapter, or the iBook itself. The power plug was a little loose, and the thing was 3 years old, after all. It might have finally given up the ghost. Perhaps tearing it apart a couple of weeks ago had loosened something..? I didn’t know. I just put it to sleep and figured I’d worry about it in the morning.

In the morning, I verified that it still wasn’t charging (I had gone to bed still feeling the effects of two vodka martinis, after all) and that it wasn’t something silly like plugging it in to a dead power strip. It wasn’t. So, it was off to the Apple Store in Pioneer Place.

To the surprise of no one, I’m becoming a regular there, and the technician (oops, sorry, “Mac Genius”) who had helped me before, Brett, was there today, too. He plugged my iBook into the store’s charger, and the little orange light came on. He tried it on my charger, and, like before, nothin’. Reset the power manager after a reboot, same thing. All of this took less than 5 minutes, but covered the basics, and confirmed that it was, indeed, the power adapter, not the iBook.

“Is this still under warranty?” Brett asked.

“No.” I said.

Brett immediately replied with “I have no problem giving you a new power supply.”

I thought he meant that they had one in stock and that he could sell it to me. I was prepared to pay for a new adapter – after all, I had had to pay only $56 over the course of 3 years for repairs on the thing, and that (the keyboard) was damage I had done and out of warranty, too. I did have to send it back once for a video issue, but Apple covered the cost of that repair and had my iBook back in my hands within 3 days. So I was perfectly willing to buy the part to fix this problem, even though I suspected it was going to be around $100. Still worth it. “How much is that?” I asked.

Silly me. “Nothing,” Brett explained as if to a child. “It’s free.”

Oh! That’s so cool! “You guys rock!” I said.

“We do what we can,” he said, falsely modest.

Sadly, there went my excuse for replacing my ancient iBook with a new sexy PowerBook