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Good news

Wireless is working again on my Macbook. It was a disconnected antenna. Took 20 minutes at the Salem Apple Store to fix it.

Let’s hope this is the last issue I have with this computer.

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I am absolutely furious right now

Back in May, I bought a brand new Macbook. I absolutely love this laptop. It does everything I want in a computer, plus more. I do not plan on leaving OS X anytime soon.
However, I am absolutely fed up with quality control at Apple, at least on the original Macbook’s.

This is a list of repairs I have had done on my Macbook:

  • Repair #1 (July) – Superdrive had issues reading some CD’s and DVD’s (computer will literally freeze when reading a disk that has the slightest hint of a scratch). Superdrive replaced.
  • Repair #2 (September) – Superdrive stopped recognizing blank DVD’s (would just spit them out). Superdrive replaced.
  • Repair #3 (November 11th) – Called Apple because the Superdrive again stopped recognizing blank DVD’s. They sent me a box and I shipped back the laptop. They replace the Superdrive and the logic board.
  • Repair #4 (November 17th) – Receive laptop back and a very nice surprise (outside that the Superdrive finally works): despite having a Black 2.0GHz Core Duo Macbook, I get my Black Macbook back with a white 1.8 GHz Core Duo logic board. You could even see the white ports on the left side of the Black Macbook. Called Apple, they vowed to launch an internal investigation (I got repeated “I’m so sorry” comments from the Apple rep I talked to), arranged me going down to the Salem store for an overnight replacement of the motherboard. I dropped off the laptop yesterday (the 21st) after the parts arrived.

So today (November 22nd) I picked up my laptop from the Salem store, making it my 3rd trip to the Salem store since Saturday (30-40 minute drive each way). Boot it up at the store, I see it has a 2.0 GHz processor again and no white ports where showing on the left side. Success right?

Wrong.

I get to my parents house and boot it up for real use. It can’t see the wireless access point, which is strange. I get my parent’s white Macbook and it has full signal strength along with several other networks in range. Yet my Macbook doesn’t show any wireless networks in range.

I go upstairs and sit right next to the wireless router. One bar barely shows up on the signal strength meter for the wireless.

I am almost certain there is either a defective Airport Card on this laptop or the card is disconnected.
Repair #5 on the horizon?

I am going to call Apple tomorrow on Thanksgiving (of all days) and calmly (at first) describe the newest issue and see what they have for ideas.

I am then going to demand a replacement laptop. I am absolutely fed up with the issues my Macbook has had.  No laptop should be on its fourth Superdrive in six months, had two motherboard replacements (although that was just due to sheer stupidity on the repair depot’s part), and now have wireless issues. The quality control has been horrendous, although every Apple support rep I have talked to has been extremely kind and obviously on their end trying their best. Yet the actual people who work on my laptop continue to screw up.

Wish me luck. I don’t even care if I get a new Core 2 Duo Macbook or just a Core Duo Macbook. I just want a completely different machine. No person should go through this much to enjoy their computer.

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Why the Zune 1st Generation will fail

Fellow geeks today probably know that Microsoft has released the long awaited “iPod-killer”, aka the Zune.

Already there is two big issues Microsoft has to overcome in my above statement:

  • Geeks know about the Zune, but not the average music listener. I just asked my fiancee if she knows what a Zune is. She gave me one of the weirdest looks I have seen.
  • The fact that people want to label the Zune as an iPod killer.

A huge reason why Apple scored it big with the iPod is marketing and the fact that it really backed up what its marketing says the iPod can do. There is no better device that integrates every part of the process from buying music (iTunes Music Store), to listening to and ripping music on your computer (iTunes), to the syncing part. It is so easy that anyone can walk into a store, find an iPod, and set it up in minutes. A minute of experimenting with the iPod and the scroll wheel really makes the buyer have a lot of fun.

The word-of-mouth from all of this integration instantly gives Apple a ton of free press. Combined with stellar marketing and that is why the iPod is successful.

Compare this with the Zune: It isn’t cheaper then an iPod, it doesn’t play previously purchased music from iTunes. It isn’t compatible with other Windows-based stores like Napster and Rhapsody. It is thicker, heavier, requires you to purchase points, cripples the wireless features to the point where it is annoying to use, has more barriers of entry, and doesn’t even use the one piece of software that Microsoft already has marketed as its music jukebox (Windows Media Player).

I don’t see how that will kill the iPod. It won’t, I guarantee it. The iPod has so few barriers to entry that it really makes people want to buy an iPod and they enjoy every second of the exprience.

I can just picture people being frustrated during the long/buggy install of the software, learning a whole new piece of software, wondering why they have to purchase points when it is just $0.99 to buy a song on iTunes, struggle to find someone to try the wireless features with, curse at why their iTunes Store music doesn’t work on it, curse as to why Naspter/Rhapsody music doesn’t play on it, and so on.

Microsoft whiffed on Zune 1.0. I give it a D-, with it missing a failing grade because of its slightly larger screen compared to an iPod and a wireless feature that has potential if they ever make it usable.

Again, the barriers of entry have to be non-existent or Microsoft will not make even a minor dent into iPod sales. Microsoft has to make people say that not only does the Zune have more and better implementations of features, but that the Zune is simpler to setup, simpler to use, just as fun to talk about, and just as fun to use.

Basically, the Zune has to stand on its own without being compared to an iPod. Instead, it has to make people want to compare iPod’s to IT!

Else, it will be an expensive failure. At least the first XBOX actually offered something against the PS2.

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November 11th and it is 67 degrees

Go figure. Not that I am complaining one bit!

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Yesterday is Tomorrow

We have finally woken up.

With the election yesterday bringing an overwealming victory by the Democrats. I couldn’t be happier. Because for the first time in six years, we will again have our checks and balances working again.

As some of you know, I am an independent when it comes to politics, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I detest corruption. I hate deficits. I cannot stand my rights being taken away.

I couldn’t care less which party controls what…as long as if each branch is controlled by a different party. Then I know my interests as an independent are served and that most of what makes it through the system is balanced/fair for the broadest amount of people possible. When governments are separated like this, they tend to moderate their laws to gain support. Everyone wins and that is how things should be.

Finally Bush will be held in check. I cannot stand the guy, but I am confident that if he somehow agrees with what the new Congress passes and signs on the dotted line, then I know it is for the good of the nation. Unlike the past six years, when he took whatever power possible and then some.

Both parties have a lot to work on now. Corruption has to be stamped out. Both parties if they are smart (which lets face it, they have to earn that distinction first) should work together to pass legislation that will benefit us all and that is popular. The two parties have to win back the voters for 2008.

I feel like I finally have a voice again. Democracy isn’t perfect, but it is the best thing we have. This time it worked. I think that the next two years will not be two years of nothing…if the politicians get the hint and actually work.

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A nice Saturday

Yesterday my brothers, Katie, and I went up to Sunapee and surprised my mother for her birthday. She was very happy to see us. We took her out to eat and had a good ole time.

However, we did see our first snowflakes of the year. Not happy about that part. Weird how when I was in school, I couldn’t wait for snow. Now that I have to drive every day to work, it isn’t so fun anymore.