More Apple goodness


When the iphone was first announced, I oohed and aahed, and thought it was the prettiest thing ever, and boy did I want one.


I, and everyone I know, is on Verizon.  My best friend from high school actually said she wouldn’t answer her phone when I called because she uses up all of her non-"in" network minutes for work, so she relies on her verizon-verizon free minutes to speak to everyone else (she was mostly joking, but still…)

My contract didn’t end until March.

When I first moved to NY, I had AT&T, and dropped them almost immediately because of their suckage.  And they were a total pain in the ass about moving from Philadelphia to NY and then cancelling my service.

Then I was thinking, wouldn’t it be cool to have the ipod aspects of the iphone without the phone?  And lo and behold, the ipod touch.  So now I really need one of these.  But I’m also, of course, thinking about how the "next" version will have more memory….

Such problems.

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computer envy


Do you know what I hate?  when I actually have to start wishing for bad things to happen to my computer so that I have an excuse to buy a new one.

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I think I’m in love.


Talk about delayed gratification though…


Too bad that it’s only available on Cingular and my Verizon contract doesn’t even run out for at least another year after I get back to NY.

There’s almost nothing that would tempt me to switch providers – Verizon uses antiquated CDMA (which is the primary reason why nobody makes cool phones for them), but it’s the most extensive network in the US. I have a separate prepaid GSM phone that I can use in Europe, so that’s not an issue either. The big thing for me though, is that almost everyone I know (from my dad to most of my friends) uses Verizon, and with their “in” plan, that means that we never run out of minutes talking to one another. Not to mention the fact that my phone docking system in my apartment is tied to the use of a Motorola handset.

But this is sooooo pretty. I seriously want to go out right now and buy one, even though they won’t even be available until June. And then there’s that pesky contract.

Maybe this is a good thing. In the year and a half until my contract runs out, I’m thinking that all of the kinks will get worked out, they’ll figure out a way to upgrade the hard drive size (seriously? 8 gigs is the largest? that’ll barely hold my photo library, much less my music and TV collection), improve battery life some more, perhaps open up to other carriers, and on and on. Until then, this is going to have to be the proverbial puppy in the pet shop window for me.

In the meantime, I know what I want for my birthday…


And just in time for me to get back to NY in March!

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Like this comes as a surprise to any of you…


Actual conversation (with a co-worker/friend) at work today:

co-worker: You’re going to hate me. After all of that talk about getting a mac, I bought an HP.
Me: I don’t hate you. I love my mac, but I get that they’re not for everyone (particularly someone who works on a windows computer all day).
co-worker: So, are you ready to go to Italy?
me: Just about. I haven’t started packing yet, but I have lists, I’ve ordered boxes, and I took a trip to the apple store on 5th avenue last night and picked up a few things.
co-worker: Like what?
me: oh, just some power adaptors, a travel backup drive for my laptop, and a set of speakers for my iPod. Oh, and a wireless mighty mouse. All stuff I sorta needed for six months away. I needed more power adaptors so that I can plug my airport in full time.
co-worker: you have wifi at home?
me: of course. Besides my two computers, I’ve also set up a wireless receiver on my TiVo so that I don’t need a phone line for it to update. Oh, and this way I can stream all of my music from my computer to my stereo system.
co-worker: …….wow. you really are a dork.
me: (laughing) yeah. you should have seen me in high school.

(Conversation then devolves into just how much of a dork I was in high school, with the academic league, math league, new jersey science competition (where we, yes, spent our saturdays travelling around the region in order to take competitive tests. Voluntarily).

Of course, the conversation made me think about this little essay by Sars the other day.

This is what happens when I’m not busy at work. Funny how they stop giving you new deals to work on when you’re a week away from leaving the country for six months!!

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This sucks.


I don’t know whether this is a Microsoft problem or an Apple problem, but this sucks. You all know how I got my new G5 this summer to replace the utterly, completely, totally dead and buried G4. Well, on that G4 I happened to have Microsoft Virtual PC. I don’t often have a need for Windows, but since my office runs on it, Virtual PC can sometimes be a useful add on when I need to spend a lot of time networked into my job. With the renovating and moving and spending most of the fall in Europe, I never got around to reinstalling VPC on my new machine…until tonight.

But…then there’s this…

Virtual PC for Mac Is Not Compatible with the Apple Power Mac G5 Processor

When you try to run Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version 6.1 on an Apple Power Mac G5 you will receive an error message that informs you that Virtual PC does not support the CPU in your Macintosh computer.

Virtual PC for Mac Version 6.1 and earlier use a feature that is present in the PowerPC G3 and the PowerPC G4 named "pseudo little-endian mode". Virtual PC for Mac uses pseudo little-endian mode for increased performance when it emulates a Pentium processor. Virtual PC for Mac 6.1 must use pseudo little-endian mode to function.

The new Power Mac G5 processor does not support pseudo little-endian mode. Therefore, the current versions of the Virtual PC for Mac program do not run on the Power Mac G5.

MORE INFORMATION The following versions of Virtual PC for Mac do not run on an Apple Power Mac G5 computer:

  • Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version 6.1
  • Connectix Virtual PC for Mac Version 6.0.x
  • Connectix Virtual PC for Mac Version 5.0.x
  • Connectix Virtual PC for Mac Version 4.x.x
  • Because the Macintosh G5 processor does not support pseudo little-endian mode, Microsoft is rewriting and carefully testing portions of Virtual PC for Mac. Microsoft expects to deliver G5 compatibility in the next full version of Virtual PC for Mac. Microsoft will announce the timing of that release later. For more information about Virtual PC for Mac 6.1 system requirements, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

So this sucks. It’s one thing to upgrade an operating system and discover that certain software isn’t forward-compatible. but it’s the same damn OS. Now I have to go out and spend money on software that I already own.

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Sledgehammer time.


So…after a week and a half of working OK, I went to check my e-mail this morning and discovered that my hard drive (yes, the new hard drive they put in the computer two weeks ago), was failing (as in, not booting, not being findable, and making weird "chirping" noises). So I got dressed, packed up the computer in a trash bag, and went to stand in the rain in front of TekServe until they opened at 9am. Where I proceeded to kind of lose my shit. The intake guy was kind of a jerk to begin with – when I pointed out that maybe, just maybe, they installed the drive incorrectly (because, really, it’s kind of impossible that this many parts can fail quite this much), he gave me this completely condescending tone and look and said that it was impossible that they installed it wrong. Impossible. So I refused to speak to anyone but the manager at that point. Where I relayed my entire travail.

And told them that I wanted a new computer at this point. That I wasn’t putting up with this anymore. Manager told me that they weren’t authorized to do something like that, but I was welcome to call Apple directly and talk to them.

So I left the computer and went to work (after, yes, getting on the subway in the wrong direction, because I was just that discombobulated). Got two phone calls from the store, one from manager guy to just give me an update, and one from the new tech, who actually left me a voicemail that said "we’ll try to get a new cs number from Apple, otherwise I’ll let you know how much this is going to cost". So I promptly called back and left him a voicemail that strenuously pointed out that under no circumstances was I paying for anything relating to a week-old defective hard drive that they installed.

When I got home tonight, I decided it was time to call Apple. And after pleading my case (twice, because I actually got disconnected while getting transferred during the first call forcing me to call back and wait on hold for another 20 minutes), I got through to the customer relations department. Where they agreed to send me one of these. I actually opted to pay an extra $200 to upgrade to the dvd-burner, and this replacement requires me to send back my G4 before it’ll ship (which means going tomorrow morning and getting it back from the store). But I’m in a much better mood now. Given my upcoming move, it’s getting shipped to my office, where I’ll probably just drag it to the new place when possible…

How about that. All it takes to get a free shiny new computer is three months of aggravation, frustration, lost files, and $1000 in warranty-covered replacement parts.

Oh, and the previous three entries in the blog weren’t backed up, so I had to manually recopy them to my laptop – if you linked to any of them, you’ll need to update the links.

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So far, so good(?)


I was actually debating whether to post this, because I didn’t want to jinx myself again. Got the iMac back last night, and spent many many hours restoring software and files (again!). There are still a few programs that I need to reinstall, but I figure I’ll do that when I need them.

I’m giving it a few days before I relax completely, but at this point, I essentially have a new computer. A new computer with three-year old specifications, but new nonetheless. My fingers are crossed.

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Curse of the technologically proficient


I recognize that I’m a particularly heavy and aggressive computer user, and that as a consequence, I’m likely to experience more than my fair share of technology-related problems (hey, if you only turn on your computer once a month, it’s that much less likely that it’s going to crash, right?). But lately, it’s like I’m cursed.

I didn’t write about this on Saturday, when I was in a much rantier mood, but the cable company managed to screw up my service appointment. The one that the technician made the week before. As I mentioned earlier, he had managed to fix my immediate problem by replacing my modem and reconfiguring the wiring, but there was a "signal bleed" problem in the trunk line to my apartment. So he called it in so that it could get replaced because he couldn’t take down the molding by himself, and let me know that a "team" would be showing up on Saturday to fix it.

So Saturday rolls around, and guess what? One guy shows up. And as he’s walking to the door, he’s already telling me that the job got misclassified as a regular service call. And it wouldn’t be getting fixed today. Now note, I, personally, don’t have any service problems at this point. The sole reason that I sat around all day on Saturday was so that they could access the end of the trunk line that enters my apartment. I was essentially doing them a really big favor. So, of course, I feel I deserve some sort of compensation from the cable company for my time, inconvenience, aggravation, etc.

I get on the phone with customer service guy, who proceeds to explain to me that they *never* give billing credit to customers unless the service person fails to show up. And since the service person showed up (albeit a completely useless person), I have no claim. Oh, and it’s somehow my fault that they misclassified the call because I was apparently not specific enough. Mind you, I never spoke to them. I just stood next to the technician as he made the appointment. And he was very specific (I mean, if it was handle-able by an individual technician, he would have just done it himself).

So I get the supervisor. Who, after I posit my argument that technically I was entitled to a month free under their policy because they failed to send a technician who was actually qualified to fix my problem, that I wouldn’t be receiving the correct service within the four hour window, eventually agreed and I’m getting a $145 credit (and yes, that is what my monthly digital cable/dvr/road runner package costs).

Oh, and when I finally get the call to reschedule, again, they claim they don’t need access to my apartment. which is funny, because the line actually runs through a hole in the wall from the hallway above my front door, and then gets connected to my "internal" line – I can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

On the iMac front – I spoke to the tech today, and they’ve now also replaced the entire hard drive, as well as the cable that connects the hard drive to the logic board (they couldn’t figure out which was causing the latest problem). I’m guessing that they just had a loose connection after installing the new logic board, but I’m not going to argue with a new hard drive. At this point, the tech pointed out to me, the only parts they haven’t replaced are the screen and the power source. It was actually all fixed last week, but they hadn’t called me because they decided to just run the computer continuously for a few days to avoid the whole problem of my bringing the computer home only to have it fail the next day. I’ll hopefully be able to pick it up tomorrow. I still think giving me a new G5 iMac would have been cheaper, but since I didn’t pay for any of this, I don’t really have grounds to argue.

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imac update of the hour


So, i left work early today to take the iMac into tekserve (again). Normal wait, I was somewhat amused by the guy who kept interrupting the service people wondering why he had to wait so long (I guess he didn’t understand the whole "take a number" system. or the fact that the more he bugged the people, the longer it was going to take for his number to be called). Around 6:30, one of the guys starting pre-screening those of us who were left. He gets to me, and I go through the whole spiel, and the girl sitting next to me just looks at me and says "oh my god. now even I feel bad making you wait". So my number finally gets called, and the helper guy gets to see my blank screen. which isn’t even blank – instead of a grey apple, it has a grey symbol that looks like a no smoking sign without the cigarette. And that’s all it’ll do.

So he goes into the back to talk to the tech guys about the work they had previously done. About 10 minutes later he comes back and just gives me this look, and says "one of the guys looked like he was about to cry when he found out this machine was back". Apparently, in their attempts to fix it the first time, they had actually installed three separate optical drives before it started working again (at which point, I mention that maybe that was a sign that it actually wasn’t the optical drive), and with this new problem, it was now officially the worst system failure that they had ever seen.

I guess I should be impressed that I’m not mediocre, at least.

I again (half jokingly) suggested that I deserved a new computer at this point. Service guy didn’t laugh – he just gave me a sympathetic look that seemed to say that he pretty much agreed with me. I mean, given that it’s already gotten $800 worth of new parts, and is looking at a possible hard drive replacement (and who knows what else), in the end it may actually be cheaper to just hand me a new G5 iMac. Cheaper for Apple, I mean, since I’m not paying a dime for any of this.

I do have the powerbook, so it’s not like I’m computer-less, but it’s not the same. Heck, the powerbook is actually faster, because it’s 2 years newer than the iMac. But the tiny 12-inch screen is doing nothing for my nearsightedness, and I find myself propping it up on boxes on my desk to get it anywhere near an ergonomic viewing level. I really only bought it for travel and whatnot, but it was never intended to be my main computer.

And this’ll be yet another entry that none of you actually get to read for a day and a half, since the time warner guy isn’t coming until between 2 and 6 tomorrow. There’s a waste of a perfectly beautiful day (after our recent heat wave, it’s actually going to be 77 and no rain all weekend).

In other news, I’m already a fifth of the way through the current book that I’m reading. So that’s something.

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This has got to be a practical joke.


My iMac? Is dead again. I’d like to point out that I got it back from the shop, after over $800 in repairs, only four days ago. I’m back on the powerbook just to post this (and hoping that my internet connection doesn’t go out again, because it’s been ridiculously spotty this week – the cable guy is actually coming between 2 and 6 on Saturday to check it out).

The story – got the mac back on Saturday, spent the day restoring files, re-downloading necessary software, etc. On Sunday, my internet connection started going out regularly (it’ll work for about an hour and then go out again for another 5-6), so I don’t spend as much time as usual on the machine (kind of hard to keep up the morning routine of reading newsfeeds when there’s nothing to feed). This morning, the internet seemed to be up, so I got on the computer. Everything seemed to be fine, until I started getting ready for work – came out of the shower, to discover my (new!) disk drive malfunctioning. The tray kept popping in and out, like someone was repeatedly hitting the eject button on the keyboard. The only way to get it to stop was to power down. So I did, and then I went to work.

Got home today and turned the computer back on. And it won’t boot up. At all. I just get a little folder with a "?" in the middle. I even try to option-start (which is a way of starting up your computer from a diagnostic screen), and there’s no hard drive/operating system indicated. Basically, my computer can no longer even find the hard drive. Which, by the way, is the one component they didn’t replace (even though when I first brought it in a month ago they said they might have to do that).

So I figure it’s one of three options. (a) they fucked up when installing the new optical drive and logic board; (b) they installed defective part(s); or (c) in the three weeks that they held on to my computer (which was two weeks longer than originally promised), they somehow failed to diagnose what was actually wrong with my computer, and installed hundreds of dollars of unnecessary replacement parts instead of a new hard drive.

After a month and a half of this, including defective disks and hours of phone calls to Apple, not to mention spending hours of weekend time waiting for my number to be called at TekServe, all I can think is that they’re playing some sort of huge practical joke on me. That I’m going to walk in there on Saturday and it’s going to turn out that I’m, like, their millionth customer and they’re going to give me a new 20" G5 iMac for all of my trouble.

Because I’m about three seconds away from walking in there on Saturday morning with my 10 pound imac shaped paperweight and a sledgehammer.

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