Saturday, June 27, 2009

Macbook away

So I have a rare grumble about Apple which should make all you Mac haters out there happy. Something has gone wrong with my Macbook Pro. And as the thing is barely 18 months old, that's a touch disappointing. Calling Apple support didn't help much either as they essentially ran through a list of things I already tried from their website. So it was agreed that it needed to be sent off for servicing to figure out what's wrong. They don't think it's the hard drive, so I'm hopeful it's all right.

Here's where it gets extra special disappointing, though. I figured I was just sending the computer off to Happy, Magical Mac Land, where the computer would be looked at by Mac Gurus at Mac Central. But there is no centralized magical land in Canada. Unlike the US, where you can take your computer, put it in the mail and have it arrive at some kind of centralized Mac repair place, you have to find the closest Apple certified dealer to where you live, call them, say you're sending the computer and deal with an individual business. And yes, they're Apple certified, but it's not like Apple owns these businesses. If you have problems, you're on your own.

I was originally going to mail the computer to Ottawa, but this was going to cause all kinds of headaches. There was no way the computer was going to get back to me before we went away. That meant it would either sit in a repair shop for a few weeks, or sit at the local post office for a few weeks. Neither option thrilled me.

Fortunately Cathy suggested sending it to St. John's. Cathy's parents can take it into the local repair place, get it fixed, pick it up and then send it back to me a week or so before we arrive back in Iqaluit. Of course, the challenge then was finding a place in town that fixes Macs on warranty. There are a whopping two. One is MUN, which only handles student and faculty repairs. The other is PC Medic. So the computer is off in the mail and hopefully whatever gremlin is taken care of. And about five seconds after I turn on the computer once I get it back it's being plugged into the back-up hard drive.

So yeah, this will be a nuisance for the next couple of weeks. Also, don't expect to see the header on the blog change the next couple of months. I feel more comfortable doing that on my computer as opposed to Cathy's.

Other than that, not much to report. We went and hit some of the garage sales this morning. Cathy is happy in that she managed to buy two more tupperware storage units. And, in her deal of the year, found a pair of Baffin winter boots in her size for $5. They normally go for $100 or more. So that's a steal. I managed to find a Guy Fawkes Hallowe'en costume in my size, and snapped that up.

This evening one of Cathy's co-workers invited us up for a barbecue, which we jumped at. We can't really do that in our apartment, so we had our first BBQ in a good long time. And all was right in the world.

When we were leaving her apartment, which is up off the Road to Nowhere, we had a good look at the bay. We got fooled a bit yesterday because the wind was blowing the ice away from the shore. So at high tide there was plenty of water in the inner bay and you could hear the few pieces of ice drifting around in there crackling and melting. And you could easily be fooled into thinking that perhaps the ice was finally giving up the ghost.

But today the wind shifted and all the ice crashed back onshore. And looking over the scope of Frobisher Bay, you couldn't see any patches of open water. I'm sure the ice isn't that thick anymore. And no one has been heading out on their ski-doos for some time now.

Still, it's June 27 and as far as the eye could see - ice.

Kind of depressing, really. Then again, two weeks from today we're leaving on a jet plane and on our way to Australia. We'll tough out the ice.

Last Five
1. I will follow you into the dark - Death Cab For Cutie
2. You are allowed 20 birthdays (comedy) - Patton Oswalt
3. Bullet the blue sky (live) - U2
4. Someone saved my life tonight - Elton John*
5. A day in the life - The Beatles


Peter L. Whittle said...


Mac's are not supposed to break. I share your frustration. I am assuming you do not have an apple plan.

Terry said...

Hi Townie,

I too have made the leap to the world of Mac. Last summer with the new iMac and more recently with the Mac Book (too poor to go Pro).
The hardware is almost secondary cost for me, as I needed to buy full editions of Photoshop, Lightroom and Office.
After three months of re-training myself to the Mac format, the hard drive fried on my iMac.
I had to repackage the beast and send it to Edmonton, where I bought it -- at my own cost of $200 round-trip.
After much debate (read screaming) the help desk people said "Apple will pay a maximum of $100 shipping on warranty repairs."
They asked for copies faxed to their office, which I did.
I forgot about this, until I was going through my receipts for income tax months later. I came across the shipping invoice and my letter to Mac and realized I'd STILL not been reimbursed for shipping.
I got back on the line to Apple and was put on hold and bounced around until I reached a friendly fellow in Texas.
He was empathetic and asked if there was something from the Mac Store that I needed or wanted.
I suggested that I needed a backup drive, but that the cost was far more than the $100 they promised.
He said, "No problem. Lets go online and find you one."
Within minutes, I'd selected a 500 GB Time Capsule, which was promptly shipped.
Despite the runaround, I'm still a convert. Mac is a far better platform for photography and graphic design. I throw some grueling tasks at these machines and they sometimes sputter, but they never choke. Plus they look so damned good!
Much as we'd like to think these things are all created perfect, they have flaws.
Best of luck to you and yours.

towniebastard said...

No, I have a Mac warranty, so the cost of fixing the computer will be covered. It's just the shipping and the inconvenience.

And really, I've used Macs for nearly 10 years. This is the first problem I've had. I imagine there are few computer users who can say that.

Jackie S. Quire said...

See, while I believe this is what you had to do 100%, I find it bizarre that they will send me a box fedex'd with return shipping label FOR FREE when my iPod touch had a glitch, but they won't do the same for a MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE laptop.