I have finally realized that God and all his bible buddies hate me, they really really hate me. I’m cruising around on a Monday afternoon in the pouring Vancouver rain, (Vancouver weather has only 2 phases, rain and MEGARAIN) minding my own business when my wiper blades stop waving at me. I had to drive at a slow 30k/hr clip all the way from Marine Dr back to my place in the West End. The trip gave me a headache, I haven’t had a headache in probably a decade, angry I am…..very angry.
So it’s barely been 4 days since my last dealership visit and I just had to make another appointment. The POS windshield wiper motor has burned out!!!!!!! Unreal…
I called the flagship Vancouver Apple store and naturally the service department has no screws, called the other Simply Computing location, no screws and just about a minute ago I called Mac Station and had the most bizarre of conversations. The tech told me that end users should never open up their Macbooks (understandably) and unlike a PC where there are only 2 crew sizes, the Mac (think different) uses dozens of shapes/sizes/threads. He also noted that they don’t “keep screws in stock” and I would have to check online. I didn’t want to confuse the guy about asking for my little broken screen clips.
The Apple saga continues.
PS. Looks like a set of screws costs $55us online, no wonder why most Apple users look homeless. I’m really having a good time with this, so much fucking comedy, I need to find a way to record my phone conversations and post them here!!
Better Apple new this time. Picked up Leopard for a very reasonable $129 and some RAM to max out this thing at 2GB (yes that’s all in can take it seems). Since there was no data to be saved I thought the install would go smoothly. It did, so smoothly that I thought I was doing something wrong. I honestly think that opening up the cellophane packaging was the biggest challenge. I simply put the DVD in the drive and clicked on “Install”. The installer completely overwrote Tiger and installed 10.5.6 in one swift operation. I love how Apple made the installation so buttery smooth, very little user input, simple questions right at the start and no bullshitting around going back every minute to click next or accept or OK. In barely 20 minutes and one reboot it was all over. Going from Tiger to Leopard is an epic leap, I was comparing the old OS to Windows 95, this new thing is actually pretty cool. I fiddled around it for a bit, I can’t believe the networking setup. The machine picked up NAS box, my media server and the 3 other laptops that are littering my place without me touching anything, all my network shares are there with all the permissions. The only thing I changed/added was the name of my workgroup, very impressive. What completely blew me away was how incredibly simple it was to setup my Brother multifunction machine. It’s an old wheezy color laser that’s been by my side for well over two years. It’s got a print server and the Mac picked it up in less than a second, I literally clicked ONE button and the thing was installed with a complete driver set (including all duplexing/scanning options), where the hell did it get the printer driver from?? WTF?? Nice!!
I still find the software installation/image mounting/deleting hoopla quite a bit less friendly than using a wizard on a Windows machine but I’m getting the hang of it. I installed Live and it seems fast, actually the startup takes 1/3 of the time as it does on my laptop (I have a PC laptop here with similar specs). So far so good.
I went to the Apple store yesterday to ask a few questions and hopefully get a couple of screws that I am still missing. These Apple fan stores are quite different from what I’m used to, they are filled with long haired hippies and weird looking girls with purple hair and ugly lip and nose rings. Whatever. I brought the machine into the back, the service department. Asked the girl if she could help me with the missing screws and my screen bezel which continually snaps off. She grabbed my machine and went to the back without saying a word. It was more than 20 minutes before she came back with the terrible news, they have no spare screws (WTF??) and the reason the bezel keeps on flopping off is because of a few broken clips (my fault I admit, whoever designed these things should be kicked in the balls). I asked about ordering a handful of these clips and screws and she directed me to Apple and their toll free number. Why is that???
I will call Apple today and see how that goes!!!
PS. I checked The Google and found more than a 100 links with people lamenting about broken screen clips, I don’t feel so bad anymore.
This is both sad and bad news, I was actually hoping for Apple to be full steam ahead, even in this economy. But as Ballmer just said ” Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware and paying $500 more to get a logo on it?” has quite a bit of truth to it. I’ve been playing a little bit with this Macbook I have here, trying to dig really deep into the operating system and trying to learn it. Honestly though I have no idea what all the hoopla is all about. I disassembled the thing to the last screw just to see what makes it tick, it doesn’t seem any better built than a $500 Acer, the components seem pretty much the same as well. Low end webcam, cheap Crucial RAM, slow/cheap-ass Toshiba 80GB hard drive (yes 80GB in a computer that’s barely a year old..crazy). It does feel more solid from the outside mainly due to the fact that Apple uses slightly thicker plastic housing, I don’t think there are any components in this Apple that are actually made by Apple, it’s just a simple China assembled PC laptop full of regular Chinese made parts you would find in any PC.
Granted it’s not one of the fancy new aluminum machines that everyone seems to have these days (this is an old 2Ghz, 1GB RAM white plastic model) but still.
The OS (it’s running Tiger) has crashed on me a handful of times now, even Firefox hung which is something I have never seen before on any platform. I find the OS illogical, network setup is a total pain in the ass, the one button thing is annoying as hell, it seems like the operating system is controlling you and not the other way around….hard to describe. Simple feature such as changing your mouse cursor to something larger are simply non existent.
Gonna go pick up Leopard this weekend, max out the RAM and stick a 320GB 7200RPM Seagate drive… hopefully it will speed things up a bit.
The Apple store people are so fucking polite and happy (and very helpful), almost in a creepy way!!!!!
….to be continued.
PS. I love the screensavers, even the stock ones look freakkin’ cool!!
Destination Jeep in North Vancouver.
So the lowdown is: both outter tie rods replaced, new pitman arm, center drag link, complete tire balance and toe adjust. When they plugged in the car’s computer the check engine light indicated a faulty EGR valve.
EGR valve explanation from Wiki:
“EGR works by recirculating a portion of an engine’s exhaust gas back to the engine cylinders. Intermixing the incoming air with recirculated exhaust gas dilutes the mix with inert gas, lowering the adiabatic flame temperature and (in diesel engines) reducing the amount of excess oxygen. The exhaust gas also increases the specific heat capacity of the mix, lowering the peak combustion temperature. Because NOx formation progresses much faster at high temperatures, EGR serves to limit the generation of NOx. NOx is primarily formed when a mix of nitrogen and oxygen is subjected to high temperatures.”
Just some bullshit emission control thing, apparently you lose quite a bit of gas mileage when this thing is fucked, glad it’s been replaced. There is still a faint noise coming from the transfer case or the rear diff, it happens very rarely but I know it’s there, they couldn’t find any fault. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like owning this vehicle out of warranty, I might have to get an evening job. Jeep has ranked year after year as the LEAST reliable brand in North America. I still like this car, it’s big, fun to drive and it allows me to drive over anything and anyone. Can’t wait for some warmer weather and top down cruising.
My experience at this dealership has been very good once again, everyone is very helpful, expertly and most of all pleasant. Everything was covered by warranty and my car was cleaned from top to bottom. No money spent.
I can’t believe how incredibly efficient and awesome the transit system here is. I walked down to the closest bus stop I could find, opened up the Translink app on my iPhone. The GPS picked up my location and the stop I was at, I clicked where I wanted to go and boom….a cool little screen appears with a map and my bus’s ETA. I am not joking, the bus was less than 30 seconds behind schedule. I told the super nice driver that I was going to the North Van Jeep dealership, he knew exactly where and dropped me off right in front. Simply fantastic!!