TWITTER: @sirbacon123

13 June 2010

One Bad Apple

I'm really not sure what caused Mick Jagger's 19th Nervous Breakdown, but I have a candidate for his 20th.
Take away his personal computer.
That little event has definitely done it to me.
Around this time last week, my incredibly awesome amazing fantastically wonderful less than one-year old iMac home computer took a major turn for the worse.
The biggest issue was it taking nearly ten minutes to turn on.
Clearly it's not a male computer.
In addition to their products, one of the great things about the Apple company is their customer service.
Those people truly love life and LOVE their job.  At least when they are on the clock.
If you ever feel like doing bodily harm to yourself, stop by the Apple store.
One of my goals and greatest accomplishments during my 18 months of unemployment was to learn how to edit home videos.
After taking several classes at the Apple store, that mission was accomplished.
In the last year I have successfully edited a photo montage set to commercial music for each of my three children on their birthday.
Hopefully I will be able to do a new one every year, but if not, the kids will always be able to look back at their special birthday video and remember:
  • "ah, that was the year that my dad had way too much time on his hands as a stay-at-home unemployed father.   I miss those days."
During my time in TV, I spent A LOT of hours in the edit room, but thankfully there were always professionals pushing the right buttons so that I didn't have to.
But I must say, I have truly enjoyed learning the other side of the edit process.
And it has really paid off.
One of my new jobs is editing videos for a company's website.   I download the video at home, edit it at home and upload it back to them.
From home.
I think I'm starting to figure out why so many staff jobs have been eliminated.
Well, all was very well with me and my Apple until last week, when my computer started crashing.
The good news is that I was able to take it into the Apple store, still under warranty, and all the work would be done for free.
After three days in the shop, we had a new hard drive.
I brought the computer home, turned it on and ...
ten minutes later, it worked.   Sorta.
So with my wife, the school teacher, out of school for the summer, she was able to take it back to the Apple store right away to clear up the problem.
I told her to see one of the geniuses.   That's what they call themselves.
So, she took the computer back, they checked it out, gave her some instructions and she brought it home.
When I got home from my day at the office -- I love saying that -- I hooked up my four gigabyte baby, ready for a big night in the homemade edit suite.
(At least) ten minutes later, the computer came on.
Are you kidding me?   Smile, you must be on Candid Camera.
So enough of the Apple store, this morning, I went straight to the 24-hour Apple Care Hot Line.   
Them is the real geniuses.
At 7:00am, I made the first call.
45 minutes later we were on our way.
90 minutes later, it was still taking ten minutes to log on.
Call #2.
I spoke with the Senior Advisor, who is located one cubicle above the Advisor.
At least 45 more minutes later -- do this, do that, MAC OS this and System Preferences that... Yada, yada, yada...
He gave me some download link that was going to clean up something or other and this and that.
Bottom line, it was four hours after 7:00am and I was freaking out.
Remember now, this was like day six or seven without a home computer.
I literally had to walk away for a couple of hours to give some new software time to download and to give my own personal hard drive time to cool down.
By the time I got back, the download was done, my pulse had slowed down and I was ready for business.
Only problem was my computer was not.
Back to the Senior Advisor.  
Of course, the guy who helped me earlier was gone for the day -- and today was his Friday, so he was gone for two more -- so I got a new guy.
He told me to do this and that.
After some new 45 minute download, the error sign came up.
The last time an error hurt me this much, I was playing third base on my high school baseball team.
Time for Senior Advisor #3.
I made the mistake of beginning our relationship with an F-bomb.
He wasn't the target, but the shrapnel must've struck him.
Note to kids:  don't ever drop an F-bomb when somebody is trying to help you.
Fortunately he had my file right in front of him, with all of the gory details, and I think he genuinely felt bad for me.   
After a couple of apologies, we were able to move past my vocabulary faux pas and get down to business.
Unfortunately by this time, I was out of time.   We actually had places to go and people to see and there was no time left to deal with this problem today.
It was 5:30pm, ten-and-a-half hours after my first call.   Six or seven days PLUS ten-and-a-half hours after the problem first came up and Cupertino, we still have a problem.
I requested that the first Senior Advisor who reports to work tomorrow morning calls me at home to take another shot at this.
An Apple a day?
Not what this doctor ordered.

3 comments: / Blogs Google said...

Why don't you just reboot the computer with a new set of operational system (Leopard or Tiger) and reprogram all your stuff (IPhoto, Aperture, IMovie,etc).
It is the only way to start correctly when a computer is bugged or is crashed, either in Apple or PC Microsoft. The technicians should have told you that at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, I agree with the previous post. How old is your Mac? Does it have more than a gigabyte of RAM? If not, that might be the problem. Just reinstall Leopard and everything will be fine.

1- Make a backup to an external hard drive using Time Machine

2- Pop the Leopard intallation CD in your Mac and follow the easy steps

3- Put your stuff back in its place from the Time Machine backup.

4- Tadaaaa! A new Mac!

Hope this helps.

Sir Bacon said...

Thank you for your help.

After another eight hours on the phone with the Apple folks today, the problem has been solved.

At some point recently, possibly during a bad storm (or power outage), our printer attempted to shut down.

The problem is it never made it there and was in a permanent "shutting down" position, causing the log in process to slow down.

It wasn't detected as the problem until late in the day today.

Fortunately, I have time machine and the install disks, as you suggested, and other than taking a while to move it back, we have a happy ending.

Thankfully that crisis is over.

On to the next one.