Nearly-Invincible Powerbook

Matt Johnston sent around this jaw-dropping picture of a Powerbook. There's no way to describe the scene in words so you just have to look at the photo.

The accompanying comment:

"It boots......Airport works....".

Design Element
Nearly-Invincible Powerbook
Posted Apr 4, 2006 — 89 comments below


Sacrilicious — Apr 04, 06 1003

Would make a great home server!

Kool — Apr 04, 06 1004

What did he do? Drove over it with a tank?!

Ben — Apr 04, 06 1005

I really like what Apple are doing these days. I different side of Mr Ive that we've not seen perhaps?

Aaron Tait — Apr 04, 06 1006

It looks photoshoped to me!
This is a great site by the way! It is in my Safari RSS Feeds.

FeederBoy — Apr 04, 06 1007

I too believeth that it is shopped!

Anders — Apr 04, 06 1008

looks manipulated...

Volker — Apr 04, 06 1009


mine was driven over by a car, looked much less damaged, tft only 1/4 working and dvd slot dent.... it is still working on a friends desktop as a desktop computer. The car was a ford station wagon.....


tiffany — Apr 04, 06 1010

I completely believe it. I happen to know that a clamshell iBook can survive being thrown from the roof of a Toyota Corolla. Not that I would ever leave my laptop on top of my car and then drive halfway to Alabama before saying, "Where's my computer?" but um... this happened to like, this really stupid girl I knew.

It looked AWFUL, but you know the dang thing booted, and actually functioned moderately well (except for the CD-rom drive, which fell out on impact) for almost two years before we had to replace it because... wait for it... power supply issues. The same reason I've had to replace every Mac laptop I've ever owned.

Eric — Apr 04, 06 1011

That person who thougt it looked like photoshop is wong. I know this guy and he drove over it with his hummer H2.

Eric — Apr 04, 06 1012

And I did the same thing to my MacBook pro only it was an Astonmartin Vanquish

Mark Grimes — Apr 04, 06 1013

I don't think "acts of hummer h2" is covered under his AppleCare agreement. That's one way to say good riddance to PPC.

Ben — Apr 04, 06 1015

Hey COOL! You can drive over them with a TANK but you can't hold them in a certain way or the motherboard CRACKS!

Oh, you can't plug them in, either, or the powersupplies BURT INTO FLAMES

Benita — Apr 04, 06 1016

Wow: two erics both with aston martins, both ran over their macbooks, and both think 'aston martin' is a single word. What are the odds!

Wyatt — Apr 04, 06 1017

Looks like a broken screen wallpaper, and a little work by the smudge tool to warp the dvd drive. notice the blur.

Silver — Apr 04, 06 1018

Ah, one more reason to hate Hummers (sorry, HUMMERS). As if we needed another...

zach — Apr 04, 06 1019

it was not photoshopped. how could you photoshop the thing coming apart in the left corner, and the overlapping of the cd drive slot. and if you look closely you can see that its not a screen saver but that some of the screen is actually splintered.

MJ — Apr 04, 06 1020

Why on EARTH would I 'shop this?'s the original shots.

Busted Powerbook

Honestly, some people. (And Scott, I use a 't' in my surname)

AB — Apr 04, 06 1021

Ummmm... You forgot to not do that ;)

Ben — Apr 04, 06 1022


I ran over my AlBook in a Jeep Wrangler in a very bizarre tadpole/rescue/newborn baby incident (don't ask).

Luckily it was in a laptop case.... I have a few strange dark spots on my screen, but other than that, its just fine...... I hammered the case backinto shape (it buckled by the power cupply connector) and its been fine since...

Apple's Rock.

Anon — Apr 04, 06 1023

It actually might not be photoshopped. The back section under the computer (under the keyboard area) is where the logic board is actually located, and that's relatively flat. The board might still be intact, and I can vouch that's what a f****ed up LCD looks like...

Abhi Beckert — Apr 04, 06 1024

I'd pull the guts out and make a real desktop out of it, like an ultra thin Xserve or something.

Dan Grady — Apr 04, 06 1025

i have no idea why some of you cant believe it, i very much so believe it and could see it happening.
how can u tell of its photoshoped? thank god it still works

Scott Stevenson — Apr 04, 06 1026 Scotty the Leopard

All the pictures of Mars were photoshopped too.

Joe Ragheb — Apr 04, 06 1027

I had mine dropped twice. The frame was bend and I could not close it. I used a pair of pliars and heavy duty glue. It works , but I have to use two hands , one to press the unlock button and the other to lift the lid. It still works as good as new.
It is the best computer I ever had. It takes a licking ( some glue) and keeps ticking.
Thanks Ben ( my son) for advicing me to buy MAC.

anon — Apr 04, 06 1029

Those of you who think it's photoshopped because of blur and artifacts need to learn about jpg files that aren't displayed at their original sizes. Google jpg compression artifact; you might learn something... :-)

Ray — Apr 04, 06 1030

I work at an Apple Specialist and I have seen Powerbooks damaged almost as bad. Some were shot, of course, but some would boot right up and could be used with an external monitor. The main internal components are connected with thin flexible cables, that have enough play to still operate under the conditions I see in this picture. Don't try this at home kids.

Eric C — Apr 04, 06 1031

oh course no one is asking this cool cat who ran over his powerbook: why? why in god's name would you run over your powerbook? you really ran over it with an H2, huh?

Matt L. — Apr 05, 06 1032

Sadly, my 12" iBook met with a similar fate at the hands of a Honda Accord. Post drive-over, it started up, Although I could not see anything on the screen and I was not able to run in from an external monitor, I was able to transfer all of the data off, and I didn't lose a thing. Well, except for my working iBook.

someone — Apr 05, 06 1034

I think he was at the mall and some fat @$$ sat on it =P

sqk — Apr 05, 06 1035

Given the owner of the PowerBook ran over it with an Hummer 2, this is the least such an arrogant loser deserves. Such wasteful consumers deserve to be run over themselves.

aude — Apr 05, 06 1036

Happy to see I am not the only one..
Run over mine with my Toyota.. ( cover's hinge had to be fixed) .
Sent it flying 5 feet away on concrete..because the bag was open when I pull it out of the car. Corner was crunched but it still worked.
I really love Mac..

John Doe — Apr 05, 06 1037

My old 800MHz iBook G4 died a horrible death.

It had insurrance on it and I terribly wanted a new, faster one. I loved that machine and had a really hard time killing it off as needed to get myself another. I went to seethe friend of mine who had first suggested the scheme and told him I wanted it done quickly.. He proposed we took a closer look at his basement floor out of concrete and so we did.. I knew there'd be no turning back after giving it the first punch and took my time starting the procedure. Finally I grabbed the beautiful white machine, raised it over my head and slammed it as hard as possible into the hard grey floor. Nothing seemed to happen.. I repeated this about ten times before taking a look at it again. This was when I found the screen had cracked, but was still working. Everything else seemed intact. Didn't test the optical, but it didn't look to have any damage. By now I was pretty frustrated. I grabbed the iBook again and gave it 10-20 more throws. By now the screen was totalled and the optical seemed to be in about the same state. I pushed the power button and heard a familiar sound. It was still alive! Finally I jumped on it until theres was just about no more iBook left.

All of this was one of the worst experiences ever. I wasn't impressed with my own morals, but at least I had learned a thing or two about the iBook and it's roughness. These days I live with a new model and try not to think about my first love, but every now and then I wake up at night with a heavy sweat screaming out "iBoooook!!!"

Kool — Apr 05, 06 1038

Can someone enlighten me as to how one could actually get to drive over a laptop with a car? I am even more amazed as there is apparently more than one person who did such a thing! Could those who drove over their iBooks and PowerBooks tell us as to how and why this happened?

Oh, and John Doe, that is just plain stupid what you did! You deserve those nightmares! ;-)

Tom — Apr 05, 06 1039

I want you Aston Martin Vanquish. You only use it to drive over beautiful machines. I have a much better use for it :-)

Oh and sorry to hear about the M- and P-Books lads.

Ianus Keller — Apr 05, 06 1040

I used a similar broken powerbook as a basis for my research prototype

Tom — Apr 05, 06 1041

you = your

Volker — Apr 05, 06 1042

2 Kool :-)

Mine was for less than a minute waiting for me in front of my parents car park... and even so I told my daddy to take care driving the car out, he did not. Not take care instead of not drive out.


Svenjick — Apr 05, 06 1044

"raised it over my head and slammed it as hard as possible into the hard grey floor. Nothing seemed to happen"

That's boll..s! Mine fell, whilst in a bag, from shoulder hight to a staircase, and the case is "bent" in two places. But it works fine, and has done so for the last year.

About the "hummered" on, the blur on the photo seems coherent as the table has the same blur, so not a fake I would say.

Dennis Howlett — Apr 05, 06 1045

There's a really simple solution to all this. Get Amanda Congdon to tap up her friends at Apple to pitch up a PowerBook (maybe 2 Mac OSX and Intel Mac to do a comparative test). Find someone in Oracle's parking lot with a Hummer (gotta be a few of those there) and have Amanda film it.

Works for me. Real destruction testing.

Ed — Apr 05, 06 1046

you should enter it into a modern art exhibition...
Call it "Death of digital"
Just shave your head, wear tight black clothes, thick rimmed glasses, stand next to the wreck looking ill and don't say a word.
All you need to really pull it off is an agent, but that's where my help ends...

Morgan Aldridge — Apr 05, 06 1047

I'm not entirely surprised that it still works. Impressed, but not surprised.

I have witnessed PowerBooks that had fates ranging from failing logic boards from being twisted just slightly to those that have met with accidents like these. Some fare extremely well, others don't.

Unfortunately, I feel little pity for those that drive H2's. One could buy either a much faster car, or a much more utilitarian car for less... or {gasp} a real Humvee (and a new PowerBook)!

PeeGee — Apr 05, 06 1048

What I am mostly shocked about is that the guy is apperently still using a hockey puck for a mouse...

Zed — Apr 05, 06 1049

I used to work as a Mac Genius, and I still work as a Mac tech. I've seen worse that were also functional, and better that were not. It depends on where the damage is.

If you look at the photo above, most of the bending is in the front portion, where the drives are. There's a certain amount of empty space there that acts as a buffer during impacts, like a car fender. There's also a little empty space above and below the logic board, for heat dissipation.

Based on my 10+ years experience fixing Macs at one job or another, I see no reason to doubt that we are looking at an unaltered photo .

iBooks in particular survive fairly well, I've seen one that was thrown from the top of a moving car going at highway speeds that still worked. There was a Powerbook G3 that went through a house fire, right next to the couch that was burning, and survived because the dock it was plugged into protected the ports from the flame.

Titaniums, on the other hand, tend to shatter, but unless the board gets cracked, they also can often be used. I've seen a Titanium that was also run over by a SUV (don't know the make). It had been in a backpack leaning against the front wheel when the driver decided to back out, pulling the bag under the wheel. That one did not survive, it actually looked like an exploded view diagram.

So to those who think the image above has been Photoshopped - try working as a repair tech sometime and watch what comes into your queue.

drew — Apr 06, 06 1050

Saw someone else this happened to the other day:

Bryan Mason, ran over it with his wife's car, a little 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (granted it's not as heavy as a Hummer, but still - impressive).


juan — Apr 06, 06 1051

People who have no idea of Photoshopping always claims that pics are photoshopped. Why? Because they have been fooled way to many times bye photoshopped pics and haven't learnd yet what to look for.


Tappah — Apr 06, 06 1052

I too, ran over my black powerbook G3 with an Astro minivan. It's easy to do when you have kids. I rested it (in the case) on the back wheel well as I secured my children into their carseats. After doing the usual hugs and kisses, I slid the door closed and walked around the front of the vehicle. Rolled over the computer with the front tire. I had no idea what it was until I was out of the driveway. Good news is it still worked. I had to replace the screen, but used it until I purchased an iBook in September. I love Apple.

Tuin — Apr 06, 06 1053


SammyJ — Apr 06, 06 1054

Nothing a little TLC couldn't fix...

Jussi — Apr 06, 06 1055

More pictures of the same powerbook. I guess you photoshop-fanboys could now just shut up :)

Richard — Apr 07, 06 1056

The people saying this was photoshopped must be high. It doesn't look photoshopped at all. If I am wrong (which I doubt), it is the absolute best photoshop manipulation I have ever seen.

Richard — Apr 07, 06 1057

The people saying this was photoshopped must be high. It doesn't look photoshopped at all. If I am wrong (which I doubt), it is the absolute best photoshop manipulation I have ever seen.

Mike Knell — Apr 07, 06 1058

Given that that's a UK-model PB (check the shape of the Enter key) and the owner appears to be in the UK, I'm sceptical that it was run over with a Hummer - there just aren't many of them in this country as we have to pay, like, actual money for fuel here and most people drive something a little more practical. Either that or we have more taste. Maybe run over with something, but probably not a Hummer. I think the poster waaaay up there may have been pulling your legs.

Jesus Christ — Apr 07, 06 1059

YOU GUYS (and can't forget about) GALS ARE ALL WRONG. THIS IS THE NEW MODEL THAT APPLE IS SHIPPING TO BRITTAN. because, I hate my IT guy who is from the mother country. He is a sneak, pervert, and loves to peek what we are doin on our computers from his desk in the corner dungeon office.

multiio — Apr 07, 06 1060

Looks like a new iDented.

Austin — Apr 07, 06 1061

Call me a pecimist but do you have any pics that arent digital. Maybe you could fly to AZ and show me the actual laptop since it would take me putting my finger through the actual wound to believe.

Austin — Apr 07, 06 1062

Oh, and i am just being sarcastic.

there is nothing worse than breaking a laptop, especially when its unrepairable. Now people who drive HUMMERS know how the earth feels.

That is also a joke.

Vlad Sorkin — Apr 07, 06 1064

Thats just what an Apple computer deserves.
Go AMD64!!!

Edward — Apr 07, 06 1067

That'll buff right out.....

Brian — Apr 07, 06 1069

all that and it still works? i'm not totally surprised, as my TiBook has taken a lot of abuse and still works hard for me, but i wouldn't have bet money on this one after looking at it.

sounds like you were lucky! find a cool way to show it off. i like the art exhibit idea. maybe apple would make an ad about you...

AlexP — Apr 07, 06 1070

uh... how did it happen, its not a windows boot thing like engadget reported, but they're jokesters anyway. I say this because it is not a Mac Book Pro...

Paulo — Apr 07, 06 1071

I thought I had it bad when my hinge broke on my old TiBook. Too bad the screeen is shot because I turned my TiBook into a picture frame that still runs on my wall. Maybe find a way to install it somewhere in your car?

Dan — Apr 07, 06 1072

That sucks.

<a href="" target="_blank">Try this when you get a new one</a>

The home automation thing seems really cool. Especially with a laptop, you could go wireless.

Dan another — Apr 07, 06 1076

Next time, empty your back pocket before sitting!

sgolbotohp — Apr 08, 06 1077

Don't know about the MacBook Pro but the G4 iBooks are definitely sturdy. Mine was yanked out of the bed a couple of times, was dropped off a table a couple of time (damn those cables!), fell out of my backpack on an escalator and once went flying down a flight of stairs on a tiled floor. Still works with only minor scratches. Well, the hard disk is making funny noises. I probably should backup more often.

Jauhari — Apr 08, 06 1079

This amazing. I love apple

blank — Apr 08, 06 1080

How have so many people "run over" their laptop? I didn't think people that have enough ability to get a laptop would lack the intelligence to know not to set their computers on top of or underneath a car.

I have been using some form of notebook computer for the last 6 years, and have yet to do such a ridiculous thing.

BliQu — Apr 08, 06 1082

it seems futile to go photoshopping that image, when it would be considerably easier to simply have the monitor plugged into a functioning unit behind the desk, dont you think?
im not saying thats whats goin on, but it would be a more logical approach to such a deception, no?

MacBook Pro Wrecker — Apr 08, 06 1083

Well while in a carpark at college two weeks ago, I quickly went to check an e-mail on my MacBook Pro and got distracted by a friend in the car next to me. While leaving I completely forgot about my MBP on the roof of my car and it went flying. To make matters worse, it landed in the middle of the carpark and my friends car ran over it.... I just took off in my car and left it there!!

MacBook Pro Wrecker — Apr 08, 06 1084

btw, my car wasn't a Hummer or a car is a CLK55 AMG and my friend has a BMW M3

another story — Apr 08, 06 1085

ur lucky ur powerbook is still working...

i havent wrecked my own powerbook, but while in the car with a few friends one of them took out their powerbook to show us some photos. while i was looking at it, we had to swerve around this other car and i let go of the laptop and it flew out my open window!!!! it hit the road and the car we had just overtaken ran over it with a crunch...

Virtual — Apr 09, 06 1086

I repair those, and I am VERY impressed that the computer still works. There is so little space inside that any deformation of the outer case means stuff inside is getting mauled. I'd expect the logic board to have cracked in several places, rendering it dead. Looks like it got ran over on the right bottom. Guessing the ports on right side are all toast.

Virtual — Apr 09, 06 1087

Check out - note the monitor still has the desktop image on it. Note the laptop is now sitting on its left side, the side where the DVI cable should be plugged into, but isn't. (or at least I don't see it, it appears to be leading around behind the macbook but not plugged into it)

Though I do see the battery indicator on the monitor in the other shots, which works toward the confirmation. Other way though, the desktop is the default desktop, and I find it hard to believe that a laptop that is getting used has nothing on the desktop.

Michael Martz — Apr 09, 06 1088

Unfortunately this seems to be removed from the internet now, but I remember this story a couple of years back about a woman who brought in a powerbook to a repair shop and told the techs that the computer had been baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Russ — Apr 09, 06 1089

My powerbook has survived better than other laptops that I have had
the case is now fractured,screen bent,hinge broken,case dented but it still works fine- It has fallen on concrete,tiles & mud (I,m a building contractor) I have replaced the HD & the DVD (the usual thing that suffers) I never use my Aston Martin to crush computers-but my girlfriend caused the most damage by jumping on it during one of our 'conversations'!

Scott Stevenson — Apr 09, 06 1090 Scotty the Leopard

Note the laptop is now sitting on its left side, the side where the DVI cable should be plugged into, but isn't

The DVI plug is on the right on a Powerbook.

Jeremy — Apr 10, 06 1095

I took the liberty of making this into a desktop set. Now we can all enjoy the look of abused liquid crystals without the costly investment of a Hummer! (1680x1050) (1280x1024)

Joseph — Apr 15, 06 1104

Are you going to keep this powerbook or are you repurposing/selling it?

J. Scott Anderson — Apr 23, 06 1125

I think that the scariest thing here, is that there is a hockey puck mouse being used. I have gotten to expect that the Macs would survive some pretty amazing stuff.

For example, I know of PowerMac G4's that have survived partial dunking in Katrina's storm surge salt water and are still running just fine. I thought that the salt water would have killed them, for sure.

jox — Apr 28, 06 1147

Hey, I was wondering if its possible to get a clean jpg of the broken LCD. It looks so cool, I want to put it as the background for my laptop. Would be great to see peoples' faces when I open up the lappy.

Scott Stevenson — Apr 28, 06 1148 Scotty the Leopard

Hey, I was wondering if its possible to get a clean jpg of the broken LCD

A few comments before yours had the link:

Me — Jul 06, 06 1434

as for the powerbook g4 I have and have seen others, the screen has a design fault and opens and closes and after uses breaks and flips back and forth without standing, destroying the fine little wires cionnecting it all and then soon screen does not work.. i have connected to a design monitor but only get my screensaver and no icons, any ideas?

Dan — Jul 31, 06 1488

This is definately not photoshoped. I just ran over mine with my car twice. luckily only half the screen is destroyed but that is practically the exact screen pattern that mine has. I can't believe I can actually still use it, let alone ALL the functions. This thing is built like a tank.

Ken Murley — Sep 21, 06 1838

I have a G4. One morning I opened the lid to switch it on and the screen cracked from the point a point iin the centre at the top where my thumb pressure was appplied to open it. I have never dropped it or mishandled it. Apple refuse to fix it under warranty because they claim the screen would only break if I dropped it. Does anybody know of any other instances where a screen has cracked in similar circumstances?

Mikesh — Nov 14, 06 2406

What the hell is that! :D ROFL. Damn Apple is cool :D !!!

Stephan — Dec 02, 06 2524


my powerbook fell from by backpack and still works. However the power supply seems flaky. It does not recharge the battery prperly. The powerbook fell on the corner where the power inlet is. Has anybody experienced this ? Is it worth trying to open it myself ?


Scott Stevenson — Dec 02, 06 2525 Scotty the Leopard

The powerbook fell on the corner where the power inlet is. Has anybody experienced this ? Is it worth trying to open it myself ?

I think you should definitely have Apple repair it.

francesco — Jul 08, 07 4505

If someone have more photos of this broken mac please contact me. Thanx.....grazie

francesco — Jul 08, 07 4506

If someone have more photos of this broken mac please contact me. Thanx.....grazie

Chris Connolly — Jul 27, 07 4548

Maybe not photoshopped, but theres no proof that the screen is been driven by *that* powerbook. Nonetheless thanks for the photo.


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