Think you own your Apple computer? Think again…

Last week I brought my dead MacBook Air laptop into an “authorized Apple dealer” for repair. Before I get too far into today’s rambling, let me say that Ultimac Technologies in Duncan are nice guys. They are caught in the middle here…

They called me back in a day to inform me that my hard drive was dead. They could only get a new one directly from Apple, due to some proprietary connector that only Apple has. Of course( hear the sarcasm…). Damn you Apple.

Anyhow, a new hard drive was almost $250 with tax. That’s for a puny 80Gb. Double damn you Apple! I envision Steve Jobs rubbing his hands together laughing like Dr. Evil every time I come into contact with his products. Mwehahahahaha. One Meeeellion Dollars…

I authorized the repair (as I was well past the warranty period) and waited for the call back from the repair guy to let me know when it was ready.

Conveniently my fiancee ( who is the user of said MacBook Air) was in town and could pick it up. So I called Ultimac to see if it was ready. The repair guy said he was just trying to transfer the data from the old drive to the new one,  then “would be sending the dead hard drive back to Apple”…

Hold on. What did you say? Send my hard drive back to Apple? Why?

I was then told that Apple makes their authorized dealers return all the parts back to them when they complete a repair. I asked if they were sending it back to get repaired? No. They didn’t know what Apple did with the hard drive, or any other part they send back for that matter. This didn’t sit well with me…

I thought it was an Authorized Apple Dealer? Why can’t Apple trust that the dealer is buying the wholesale part without the need to present the old broken part? Does Apple not trust it’s authorized dealers?

Back to my beef. Let me set the record straight. Apple doesn’t own my computer! Or the parts inside the computer! I do. I bought the thing. Didn’t I?

I could tell the conversation was a bit uncomfortable for the staff member when I told him he was not authorized to give away one of my belongings. I got the repair ticket number and called Apple.

Even though the post is a rant at Apple, I will give them credit on their repair phone line. I only waited a few minutes to get a real live person. Once I determined that they couldn’t help me, I was offered a senior advisor to discuss this with. “Chris” listened as I discussed my concern with Apple asking for what I rightfully owned. He was friendly about it. He did say that Apple does in some cases authorize hard drives to be given back to clients because they may contain personal information. He authorized for me to keep my hard drive, which was fine and dandy. I wasn’t going to lose it on friendly employees over the phone. They truly helped me out.

They just didn’t address my real concern here, which is that I don’t own my Macbook Air. I lease the components. If I ever need to replace those pieces, all (except the hard drive when requested), are sent back to Apple. I am not suggesting that everyone be forced to keep their junkie computer parts. I am just suggesting that as a consumer, I should be given the choice whether I want to keep the part, or if the authorized repair shop send it back to Apple for R&D.

 

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Are Computer repairs just as bad as car repairs?

Today my trusty old 1st generation Macbook Air died. At least I think it died. I don’t know for sure…

Because…

I’m not a computer repair guy…

Every time one of my computers dies, I get a feeling like I do when I go to take my broken down car in for repair. How much will it cost? What is wrong with it? Will the mechanic know what the hell they are doing, or are they just guessing like me? Did I mention, how much will it cost? And can I afford a new Mac? Um, no. Continue reading “Are Computer repairs just as bad as car repairs?”

Apple has turned into their own 1984 commercial.

Steve Jobs
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Apple makes me angry. For all the work they have done to differentiate themselves from Microsoft, they are slowly turning evil in my eyes. I have wrote extensively about my experience around moving to Linux for my OS, and my concerns around the locked down nature of Apple software.

It is becoming more obvious to me that they are doing the same with their hardware. My advice used to be that Apple makes superior hardware and the integration with their software made for a beautiful union. Now, I see it as a prison sentence. I used to also tell people to go and buy a Mac. Continue reading “Apple has turned into their own 1984 commercial.”

Here is why you need to Jailbreak your iPhone…

greenpois0n  release date is out

Yesterday I posted about the revelation that Apple was secretly storing your location data in an unencrypted file when it does backups. There is a whole lot of stink about it, including getting US Senators to directly question Apple about this practice. Continue reading “Here is why you need to Jailbreak your iPhone…”

Ever Wonder How WordPress.com is made? (via WordPress.com News)

Screenshot of the blogging system WordPress.
Image via Wikipedia

I got into blogging a few years ago. Probably late in the game, but before Twitter became all the rage. I didn’t really understand much about blogs. My introduction to them was through Apple at the time with their .mac offering called iWeb. It worked OK, but everything uploaded SO slowly that at one point, I was so frustrated that I was going to give up on blogging all together.
But much like most of my technology adventures, I started Googling for other blogging options, and luckily came across WordPress.org. I started hosting my blog over at GoDaddy and apparently thought I was going to be the biggest thing since sliced bread. I realized that GoDaddy was draining me of lots of money for services that I would never use.
Being so familiar with WordPress already, I converted my site over to WordPress.com and that’s pretty much where my story ends.
However, that’s not the whole story…Here is the story of WordPress.com. I enjoyed it, and thought I would share it with you.

How is WordPress.com made? One of my favorite shows is How It’s Made. I love seeing how things I use every day are actually created. In that spirit, here at Automattic we’ve thought about sharing more about how we work and think. For starters, here’s a recap on a few things. Where are we? Everywhere. People are surprised to learn we are a distributed company. Most of our employees live in different cities and countries around the world. We have a headquarters in San Franci … Read More

via WordPress.com News

Why the Mac App Store Sucks[Lifehacker]

App Store
Image via Wikipedia

Last October I wrote an article about why I was abandoning OSX on my Mac(Recommended Mac Applications and their slow death), and looking for a Linux OS as a replacement. The whole thing started with Steve Jobs announcing that the next version of OSX code named Lion, would have the exciting new Mac App Store. It was going to be much like the iOS App Store on the iPhone. I hated the idea…Hence, now I am writing this blog from my PinguyOS Linux install…Bye Bye Steve…

The new app store launched yesterday and there are many people upset about it. If you like to run beta software, do a 30 day trial of some software, looking to get a discount to upgrade an exciting app…well, you are shit out of luck…Apple wants their 30% of the developer’s sales, so you the consumer will pay…And the apps on the Mac aren’t the cute little $0.99 apps…

Today I read a great article and summary on why the new app store sucks over at Lifehacker. Check it out. It is well worth the read if you are a Mac user…

Why the Mac App Store Sucks.

Which huge un-reachable corporation should I blame?

 

iPhone, iPhone 3G and 3GS
Image via Wikipedia

 

This evening I noticed a friend of mine calling me on my iPhone. Something was amiss though. His name didn’t show along with the phone number. I though it was weird, but we talked about beer, mountain biking, and his great sex life so I forgot about it. Later my son called from his mom’s number. The same thing happened. I looked in my contact list on the phone that syncs with Google Apps, and noticed all my contacts gone! WTF? Do you get that paniced feeling when 400 carefully detailed contacts just goes missing? Ya, me too…

So, now I had a technology problem to fix…Something, that truthfully I enjoy doing most of the time. I tried to check my gmail(google apps) e-mail on my iPhone to see if it was still working. No luck. It was kicking up for an incorrect password. So, I restarted my account, then I tried removing it, then tried to do the hard reboot, and then the thought crossed my mind that maybe I was drunk or something and I had forgotten my most important password that I must have entered 10,000 times! I desperately logged into Lastpass and made sure…Fuck. I hadn’t forgotten it. Good news, as I worry that Alzheimer’s will hit me suddenly one day and maybe today was the day… I was stuck.

I got home and had a few chores to attend to, but was itching to get to fixing this problem. I re-synced the phone with iTunes, checked that my contacts were safe online, etc…All was safe. I breathed a sign of relief.

Then, I went to The Google. No luck. No one posting the same problem in the last hour somewhere in the world?

I am screwed right now not being able to sync my account with my iPhone. What is the big deal? Well, let me tell you, my friend.

I DON’T KNOW WHO TO GET MAD AT! Is it Apple for all of a sudden not working as I expect from them? Isn’t their motto, that it ‘just works’? Well, fuck you, it is not working. Is it Google? Did they do some stupid server upgrade and nuke my account on my iPhone? Seems fine on my laptop, but my phone…not so much. Is it Microsoft? It is all supposed to work because of Mr. Gates Microsoft Exchange Server. I already hate Microsoft, so it is super easy to blame them. Is it Bell, who I pay through the nose for this shiny device that I rely on like toilet paper when I’m in the bathroom? I am looking for someone to blame but have no one…

This got me thinking. I can’t contact any of them. Have you or anyone ever contacted one of these enormous companies to get help when the device relies on such a complex interaction between all these global corporations? Seriously? I realize that I and many of you rely on people complaining online about their problem to other equally desperate people and seeing if their solution works for me.Forums, blogs, google searches, porn sites. Ok, maybe not porn sites…

Are we in an age where we rely on these huge companies to help us keep track of our lives, but have no means of actually owning or controlling that information? I have been guilty of laughing when I see someone grabbing a small address book with handwritten phone numbers on them from their bag. Same goes for the seniors with their cheque registers. Who writes down how much money they have? Not anyone I know. But are they the smart ones?

Are we a society now that pays and relies on some trustworthy company(or companies) to keep track of it all for us, and have a false sense of security that when push comes to shove, we get all our lost ‘stuff’ back with a simple e-mail or phone call? I think we know the answer to that question….yes.

Do we blame the companies for our junk not working? We can try, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.