Hmmm..Perhaps I should clarify. By 'dead' I mean it would not turn on (no screen activity at all), though the battery indicator seemed to be working normally (as I recall, at least--I could probably plug it in and give it another go). I took it to the Apple store twice (I couldn't quite believe it the first time they told me it was dead, so I went back to get a second opinion), but they said there was nothing they could do, that this just happened sometimes for no apparent reason. Months later I called the Apple line and spoke to someone about "known issues." The spokesdude claimed that there were no known issues that he could see (I'm guessing he was looking to see if my serial number corresponded to other serial numbers of computers with defects). He said that his records indicated that the cause of death was environmental---which blew me away, considering I had not spilled anything on it or exposed it to any liquids. Does death by CD-burning count as an environmental factor?
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