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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cleaning Onomatopoeia

iMac G5, Onomatopoeia
After owning Onomatopoeia for a year and a half, I finally got down to cleaning it. So for an hour, I sat on the floor, facing my iMac's exposed back. Since this is a rare occasion, I realised on hindsight that I should've taken some pics for the heck of it.

One common trait about Apple's designs is the way everything fits just right in the chassis. That is a boon and a bane. Boon because there is no wasted material. Bane because it's so darn difficult to disassemble, then reassemble!

Case-in-point: the lower fan. (There are three fans, one at the bottom, two at the top.) It's about the size of those rubber stamps with the plastic housing. And it fits snugly into its assigned space.

As with anything, it was relatively easy to remove. The fan popped out of the casing and I cleaned the dust inside. Surprisingly, there wasn't as much dust as I had expected. Then I proceeded to replace it in the chassis.

It took me half an hour and countless tries to finally get it in! It's not that I forgot how to do so. Because everything is a tight fit, there was little to no margin for fiddling and readjustment. It either fit or it didn't. And the little wire to the motherboard (from which the fan draws power) also had to fit just right in a little notch.

But the most terrifying part for me was to ensure that, as I pushed and prodded at the fan, I didn't end up breaking it! Given how fragile electronics are these days, I didn't want to be saddled with a spoilt computer just because I broke the fan. So it was a mix of impatience and caution throughout the entire time.

In the end, it got into its position and everything was well again. I next unscrewed the top two fans, but they were surprisingly very clean! I just had to wipe a thin layer of dust in an empty cavity.

It turns out that the dustiest parts are the lower fan and the portion of the grille that the fan blows air from. Cleaning the grille was as easy as wiping my finger over it.

Maybe my room isn't as dirty as I thought it to be!

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