It’s Just Not My Day

Went to CompUSA tonight and bought another gig of RAM for the MacBook, intending to upgrade it to a max of 2G (I currently have 1.5G in it).

Got home, installed the RAM, powered up the system – OSX sees all 2G. Great! Then I powered down, put the memory slot cover back on, put the battery back in, and fired everything back up.

BONGNGNGNG

*clunk*
*clunk*
*clunk*

The 60G drive crashed, hard. I needed to take the system in for AppleCare service to get the discolored top plastics replaced, but I wanted to be able to do it on MY schedule and not because other parts of the system had failed as well.

The MacBook has worked fine as my main system for the past week, I wish it hadn’t chosen tonight to kill itself.

update: Instead of dealing with the Galleria Apple Store again, I just called AppleCare and they’re going to send me a postage-paid box to send the system in to them via DHL for repairs. I should have the box tomorrow, and the system will hopefully be back within a week with new top plastics and a new hard drive.

Thoughts on my hospital stay

In short: A sinus infection went bad and triggered some of the worst asthma attacks I’ve ever had. I went from “sniffles” to “barely able to move and hooked up to an EKG” in about 12 hours. I was in the ICU from Sunday the 13th until Wednesday the 17th, and then was in a regular room until they discharged me on Friday the 19th. I’ve been recuperating from home since then.

Everyone that I encountered at St. Luke’s hospital here in Houston was absolutely amazing. The staff there is just wonderful.

What I liked best about my stay: the hospital food. Some people might knock it, but it was consistently good, I’d even say its better than what they serve in the cafeteria at the office where I work. Eating three solid proper meals a day was a new thing for me; I don’t normally eat a full breakfast.

What I liked least about my stay: The Foley catheter they put in while I was in the ICU. It was necessary because they had me on nothing but IV fluids for three days.

I’m glad to be home, and glad to be slowly getting my energy back. If my upward trend continues, I’ll be going back to work on Monday.

Having to do a twice-a-day breathing treatment and being on two different asthma medications sucks, but it beats being dead.

i’m alive

just a quick note – i just got home yesterday from a week in the hospital including four days in ICU. I’m alive, but am on bed rest and oxygen for the next week on doctors orders. Will post more updates later. thanks everyone for all your emails and well wishes.

Happy Ending to my AppleCare experience

Someone from the Apple Store called this afternoon and said that my iMac was repaired and ready for pickup.
Both the 20″ LCD panel and the SuperDrive were replaced (under warranty).

Thanks to Aaron and the other hardware techs at the Houston Galleria Apple Store (just no thanks to the particular Genius I dealt with on Sunday afternoon when I dropped the machine off).

Interesting fact: LG makes the LCDs for the 20″ Core Duo iMac systems.

My AppleCare experience is slowly improving

I called the Galleria Apple Store today and spoke to the head of the tech department (who will be doing the actual work on my machine) and described the bad experience I had yesterday.

He apologized for the behavior of the Apple Genius (who had diagnosed all of the machine’s problems as being due to cigarette smoke before he even unpacked it out of the box) and said “Hey, you’re under warranty, plus you have AppleCare, don’t worry we’ll take care of you.”

It seems that I just had the bad luck yesterday of encountering a rabid anti-smoker.

Anyway, I’m expecting a call later today from the actual tech to tell me the status of my machine. After speaking with him, I feel better about any future dealings with that particular Apple Store; it was nice to be able to talk to someone who didn’t act like a condescending know-it-all.

Bad Experience with AppleCare

UPDATE: Things are improving.

Since the day I bought it, I’ve had a slight problem with the backlight on the left-hand side of my 20″ iMac Core Duo being uneven. Lately, it’s gotten worse to the point where I notice it if I have a solid color background, so I decided to take the machine back to the Apple Store (Houston Galleria) where I purchased it to have it looked at. The machine is still under its original one-year warranty (purchased on January 19th, 2006) and I also purchased the AppleCare extended warranty.

I hauled the machine in its original box through the mall, arrived shortly before my 1:15pm appointment, and waited for my name to be called. When I was called up to the “Genius Bar”, I explained that there was a problem with either the backlight or the LCD (a “bright spot” – click the link for pictures – on the left-hand side), and that the SuperDrive would only accept around one out of four DVD-R blanks I put in it. Pre-burned discs and DVD+R blanks read fine, but it was picky about what DVD-Rs I use.

Before the “Genius” even UNPACKED THE MACHINE and powered it up to look at it, he said “oh if the display or any of the problems are caused by an external substance like tar, that’s not covered under warranty” (my wife smokes, but I do not and she does not use the machine). He had apparently made up his mind before even taking the machine out of the box or looking at the display problem.

After powering up the machine, he said “yeah thats probably tar I can see where its come in from the sides here”. I told him that I owned an iMac G5 for 2+ years and never had this problem, and none of my other LCDs in the house (including the one that my wife the smoker sits directly in front of) had this problem. His response was “different machines ventilate in different ways”.

I left the machine at the store; a tech is supposed to look at it tomorrow and call me with the diagnosis. However, from the way the work order is written up the tech (who I won’t name here just yet) had made up his mind before he even removed the machine from its box and the protective styrofoam “bag” from the display.

If I get told tomorrow that my warranty and AppleCare is worthless, I will not be happy at all. This is my fifth Macintosh system purchased in the past six years, and I don’t want to lose the faith I’ve had in the (up to this point, excellent) Apple support.

P.S. – when I had to have my iMac G5 serviced, no words were ever said about “foreign substance” buildup or anything of the sort.

P.P.S. – While I was busy trying to not visibly fume with anger at the Apple Store, my lovely wife was making snarky comments to herself about how “my Windows box never has this problem” and “Wow, such DELICATE pieces of machinery”.