August 27, 2006

Not so happy MacBook User

I’m a switcher who at the beginning of the year decide it was time to take the plunge into the new Apple Intel macs with the introduction of the iMac.  I got one decked out with all the extras and I loved it so much so when Apple introduced the MacBook I thought it would be the perfect companion.  It was for almost 3 months before something weird happened. (Dude I shoulda been getting a Dell)

A couple of weeks ago I turned my MacBook on to try and look up some information on how to fix a clogged bathtub drain.  I turned the machine on it went to the desktop as normal so I click on firefox and poof, the screen went blank and the power was now off.  Perplexed I started the machine again, frustratingly I was unable to get the machine to stay on for more than about 10-20 seconds after the desktop showed up.  So now I have a clogged drain and a broken macbook.

I have spent time with the laptop trouble shooting it and trying to figure out what went wrong.  In the end it seems there is a major problem with these units and as much as I hate to say it if your considering a MacBook purchase for school save yourself some heartache and get something else instead.

There is no reason you should spend your hard earned money just to have a product fail just after passing Apples "Free Phone Support" period and have Apple try and charge you for a support call that is obviously not  you having trouble sending your pictures to your grandma over the internet.  The frustrations I have faced with this issue have been overwhelming.  I know I paid a premium for the Apple name but I assumed I was getting Apple quality.

For now the solution to my woes is to reset the power management unit on my macbook every time I have a random reboot.  This will lock my machine down to 1Ghz and let me hobble along until Apple gets their stuff together on this issue and tells us what to do with these machines.  I’m hopping that Apple issues an official statement soon about these machines.  It is tough to sit back and think how often I told others how much I loved my macbook and convinced others of how good a decision the buy was just to have the thing turn into something less than what I purchased.  The whole issue reminds me of the Broadvoice Problem I had where in the end I was forced to boycott the purchase of any services from broadvoice as well as recommend others avoid the potential pitfalls of the voip provider.  After 2 months of hearing nothing from Apple I’m getting the same sinking feeling I had before I decided to drop Broadvoice.

I also have included a link to a video I made of the random reboots just so you can see how frustratingly random the are.

Well today was the last straw.  The macbook is headed back to wherever they send these things to be fixed.  Probably some sweat shop in Indonesia where I will receive it back 3 weeks later with a note of the repairs made only to boot the machine up and have it shut back down on me.  It is sad to think that after so much of my own spare time trying to figure the problem out that Apple still hasn’t made an official comment about it.  With the time between which things become obsolete these days becoming narrower its hard to imagine paying for the latest and greatest not to be able to use it until the next best thing it available.

I hope my Problems will be fixed but given the responses from people who have sent theirs off for repairs I’m not going to hold my breath.  I’ll simply make arrangements to have it sent back when the time comes.

A little response today with some news old and not so old.  Apples official response to the RSD problem.

Great been like two weeks time for some clarification on the issue.

Looks like some sites have picked up and ran with the idea that overloading the processor by forcing the load on the cpu to 100% for each core is a way to test for the RSD problem.  It amazes me how stupid some people are.  "Every time I overheat the machine it shutsdown it shouldn’t do that it should just meltdown in my lap catch fire and turn into a puddle of goo." Oiy!!!!  As you can see I’m getting frustrated with Apple and the morons who instead of looking at what others have done and building on it continue to seek help troubleshooting issues that have already been visited and found to be avenues of false hope.

Well I’m now sitting with my MacBook back in my hands as of yesterday.  I’m so peeved I can’t even think about it right now.  But to add some closure to this ordeal with Apple’s lack of support.  After being without my machine for almost 3 weeks I finally got it back.   I only got it back because someone  on the apple forums showed my how to track the shipment of your product and I saw the unit has been delivered to the store that morning and no one had bothered to e-mail or call me.  Besides that when I received the unit I discovered they had formated the mac partition.  Which i had been warned about, but I was not warned they would format the Windows partition as well.  Not only did the incompetent tech format the drive but he adjusted the drive to be split in two using a non guid base partitioning scheme.  This left me unable to format the drive for use in boot camp or return the drive to a single partition with any of the Apple tools available.  This meant I had to do yet another format to get the drive back to a useable state.   And to the tech who repaired my laptop I would like to throw in a happy thanks ass-hat for fucking it up, you should go back to pc repair if you don’t know what your doing.

So what was repaired?  I got to keep my iSight, Battery, Hard Drive, Optical Drive,  Bottom Case, and LCD Screen.  Everything else got swapped out.  I’m assuming one at a time as this pimply faced ass-hat went from his finger in his nose to the manual he had been given, occasionally looking at the hammer on the side of his workbench.  As you can tell I’m more than a little mad at this inconvenience, I’m about one issue away from putting this piece of crap on e-bay and calling it quits with the MacBook getting a dell hitting up the osx86 project and getting back to work knowing I won’t have to deal with a busted ass pos laptop or the knuckle draggers at Flextronics again.

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