I love my new 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4 (1.25 GHz, backlit keyboard, SuperDrive) very much (many thanks to my facilitator at Apple who helped make it a reality). It’s mechanically much more sturdy than was my TiPB, the fan runs almost never, and the backlight works (which is why I replaced my otherwise fine TiPB). I also think Panther (10.3.1, build 7C107) is a huge improvement over Jaguar.
However, I’m starting to have serious problems, and I don’t know how much of it to blame on Panther and how much to blame on the new hardware.
It started yesterday or the day before, when I restarted (I can’t remember why) and all of sudden my separate keyboard and mouse stopped working (I typically connect the PowerBook to my 22" Cinema Display which has a black/clear Apple keyboard and mouse connected to it). I have an Apple ADC adapter which is normally plugged into the DVI port and the USB port on the right side of the PB.
The USB devices had no effect on the UI, and the mouse light was dark. After a bit of unplugging and re-plugging, I discovered that if I plugged the mouse directly into the port on the left, everything came back, and I could plug the mouse back into the Cinema Display.
BTW—I’ve noticed that unplugging or plugging in a USB device causes a sleeping PowerBook to wake. I understand this to be a problem other PowerBook/Panther users are experiencing, and not just on AlPBs.
I came into work this afternoon, plugged everything in and opened the lid on the PowerBook. Everything came up fine. I read through the day’s mail (Mail), checked to see who was online (Adium), listed my bugs (IE; normally I use Safari, but Bugzilla doesn’t work quite right with it), and then headed for lunch with the group. When I came back, both screens were dark, and hitting keys on either keyboard failed to wake the machine (this is the kind of problem I’d been having on my TiPB prior to Panther).
So, I held the power button until the PB shut off, pressed it to start it up, and ran into the same USB problems described above, but slightly different. Before, the mouse’s light would not come. This time, the light was on, but the mouse had no effect. I unplugged it and plugged it back in to the Cinema Display, but now the light was off for good. I finally discovered that I had to plug the ADC adapter into the left-hand USB port to get those devices to work at all, but they still had no effect on the UI (although the mouse’s light would at least come on).
Apple System Profiler shows two USB roots. Nothing under the first, a hub under the second, a hub under that, and an Apple Optical Mouse under that.
Now, here’s where it gets much worse: the PowerBook thinks there’s no BlueTooth and no AirPort! They’re not off, they’re simply not installed!
So I restarted a couple of times throughout all of this, trying various things (e.g., I removed the Cinema Display from the mix altogether). The PB now recognizes that there is BlueTooth hardware, but refuses to see the AirPort card. And no amount of restarting or USB device permutations seems to make USB work. I just tried plugging the mouse directly into the left port, and the light comes on feebly (just sort of flickers, and not in the way it does when you move the mouse and it gets brighter), but the cursor won’t move.
At this point, I’m at a loss. I’m writing this entry using the PB’s own keyboard and mouse, and hopefully that will hold out so I can get some work done today.
Oh, one more issue: I got into a situation a couple nights ago where the keyboard backlight refused to come on (or be adjusted). The room I was in was very dark. I had to restart to get it straightened out.