We had been a proud, satisfied owner of an Apple PowerBook for a little over two years (and a blue-and-white G3 for five years before that) when it all went quickly downhill last November. Our computer started making these frightening, crackling, static, grinding noises, accompanied by nonsensical beeps, and then it crashed hard. We did an "erase and reinstall," which bought us about two weeks. Then, we had to pay our first somewhat quick and painless visit to our local Genius Bar, where it was determined we needed a new hard drive. Little did we know, that initial visit was the first of about five or six such increasingly mind-numbing visits in the coming year.

Every couple of months, the same issues kept sprouting up, although the static noise wasn't as bad after they replaced the old cabling. The first couple of times, we thought we just had ridiculously bad luck and had received a defective hard drive. Twice. Then, the second two times we realized that maybe that stupid cell phone holder with the super strong magnetic clip was the problem. Oops, we thought, the second time around, while sitting at an airport bar in tears over our martini, feeling like a total airhead, after we had placed the aforementioned cell phone holder directly onto our hard drive, which actually vibrated from the force. So, we quickly chucked the cell phone holder into the trash and got yet another new hard drive.

By this point, we had become experts at backing up our information and had reinstalled our software about ten times. We had met pretty much every Genius at the Stockton Street Apple store, and a few at the Indianapolis one, after the airport incident. (Any Geniuses out there who can tell us whether you go around telling people you work as a "Genius" for a living?)

Well, the final crash ocurred last week, just nine days before our three-year extended warranty expired. Very timely, we must say. We had done nothing wrong this time around, and we were not about to step foot into that Genius Bar again. Plus, that Einstein quote kept ringing in our head, "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Find out what happens after the jump!