The (Rolling Thunder) Computer Table
What a mess. All three
bookshelves (at the left of the picture) fell forward, onto the computer
table, dumping books everwhere. It took me several minutes to clear enough
books away to open the door, and several more minutes to stand the bookshelves
back up again so that I could assess the damage to the computer system.
Surprise! The only damage was a crushed dash key mechanism on the keyboard.
Although you can't really see it, the table is actually a large sheet of
plywood sitting on top of two unattached box structures made of vinyl coated
steel pipe. Both boxes are mounted on wheels. Because everything was unattached,
the pieces were free to slide with the motion of the quake, undoubtedly
saving the cumputer system from being thrown to the floor as were the
The shelf structures above the table held the two scanners, a second printer
and the two powerbooks. The piping was not glued down yet (I had just recently
built them and was still adjusting the shelf heights, etc.). The shelves
collapsed onto the monitors, printer and CPU below in such a way that the
shelves protected the system from the falling bookshelves and books.
It took me a full day to dig out my eyeglasses, keys and wallet, all of
which had been sitting on the shelf above the computer, but ended up UNDER
the table, buried by books. The eyeglasses were unbroken, but from that
time on, without fail, I place them in a hard case (and attach my keys to
my wallet) before going to bed.
After the earthquake, Apple Japan offered to repair all earthquake-related
damage to Macs for half the normal repair charge. I submitted the Extended
keyboard II with the crushed dash key and they returned an estimate of 14,800
yen (about $150) to repair it. No, they couldn't sell me just a new key
mechanism and key cap. I checked around...a new Extended keyboard II listed
for 28,000 yen, 20,000 yen on discount; a used keyboard cost 14,000 yen,
the same price as Apple Japan's half-price repair job. I decided to live
without the dash key for awhile. When I went back to the states in September,
I brought the keyboard with me and took it to Microage at Tacoma Mall. They
looked at the keyboard, walked into the back room, came out a minute later
with a new key mechanism and key cap, dropped them in and charged me $5.
Thank you MicroAge! And no, thank you, Apple Japan.
Nengaletter / Dishes