Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Thought Macs Were Supposed to be Cool

I really love my Macs.  They're so cool.  I have spent many, many more hours debugging and fixing IBM Compatibles (affectionately called "PCs" today) than I have with Macs.  Macs are just built better.  I mean - I'm still waiting for my first virus!  They boot up faster (more of a software thing - I know), and they're easier to use.

But let me tell you, when a Mac goes bad - they GO BAD.  Apple is very good at what they do: pushing innovative products; changing the world; creating things that really work.  But they are also very bad at what they don't want to do: admitting mistakes; fixing mistakes; warranting their products for free for more than a year.

For example, look back to the iPhone 4 screwup.  Having an antenna that goes around the phone is a neat idea.  But if you touch that one spot, your call gets dropped.  This was an anomaly that anyone anywhere could reproduce (especially Consumer Reports).  Yet, what did Apple do?  First, they blamed it on AT&T and their weak coverage (throw your partners under the bus - I guess).  Then they blamed a software glitch - some formula that showed the incorrect number of reception bars.  When they fixed that glitch, the calls kept dropping.  Then Apple released the statement suggesting that owners avoid gripping the phone in that spot.  (Did they really say that?  Now it's our fault?!)

Apple finally apologized, but even in the apology, they stated that competitor phones have similar issues.  (Yeah - right.)  They did make the right decision to offer free "Bumpers".  Everyone just rolled their eyes, took their Bumpers, and no more dropped calls - well almost (there is still that AT&T reception thing).

So why am I upset?  I don't own an iPhone, but I have been experiencing random crashes on my iMac the past couple of days.  I've also been noticing strange horizontal graphical anomalies that pop up every now and then.  I did a little research, and lo-and-behold!  There's a "known issue" in 2006 manufactured iMacs.  The graphics card can crash if the computer gets too hot.  When I say "known issue," I mean everyone else but Apple acknowledges the issue.  The official fix is to get a new graphics card (expensive to fix on an iMac - you basically have to switch out the whole motherboard), but Apple is yet to foot the bill for any of these fixes.  There are even reports that these complaints are suspiciously disappearing and/or being edited on Apple message boards.  (I don't know how true that is, but I couldn't help noticing a few posts that said, "This reply was removed.")

This is very bad news for me.  It's like learning that a good friend has a genetic terminal disease.  I can't download a piece of nifty software to fix the issue.  (Though I can download a fan control program that can cool down the computer and prolong her life.)  There's nothing I can really do except wait for my iMac to become unworkable and then get a new one when I can't afford it.

I'm just one of the unlucky ones who happened to buy a 2006 iMac.  Who would have ever guessed they would have defects?  No wonder Apple is not willing to warrant for more than a year!

Well - maybe I'll get a tower next time so that repairs won't be so expensive.

Isn't a computer supposed to last more than a few years?  I mean - that's what really cool things do.

Go figure.  I thought Macs were supposed to be cool.  What a paradigm shift!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Just have to note, you called the computer a girl. heehee