Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Apple: It Just Works...Except When It Doesn't

For those who follow this blog, you know that I sometimes digress from Oracle subjects. This is one of those digressions. You also know that I've been fiddling over the past year with Apple products…that's what this post is about.

I recently ordered a MacBook. It showed up via FedEx today. Happy day…or so I thought. See, I've got this great iMac sitting on my desk in my home office. Gosh, setting up this MacBook will be a snap…I'll just migrate my iMac setups to my MacBook using the highly-touted Migration Assistant.

So I tried the Migration Assistant. Tried it over wireless. MacBook locked up…reboot. Tried again…failed to make a connection…MacBook locked up…reboot. Hmm…maybe I'll try it over an Ethernet cable…failed to make a connection…failed to make a connection…MacBook locked up…reboot. Maybe it's my preferences settings on the iMac or something. I'll call Apple Support…but it turns out that nobody ever has problems with Apple after 6 p.m, so they've all gone home. OK, so Google is my friend…research…internet sharing settings look good…research…double-check settings…try again…failed to make a connection…MacBook locked up…reboot.

For those of you counting, you now realize that I've had to reboot my MacBook four times even before completing the initial install. So I completed the initial install without moving my iMac info over. After the install, I tried the Migration Assistant again. Wanna guess what happened? Yup…failed to make a connection…MacBook locked up…reboot.

So now I'm more than a little perturbed…I can get this same user experience by installing Linux on my old HP laptop and save a ton of money doing it. So I call the Apple 24 Hour Customer Service Hotline to work out a return (keep that 24 Hour label close at hand - it's important for what comes next). I'm informed by a 24 hour automated attendant that everyone on the 24 hour customer service staff has gone home…please call back tomorrow…click…buzz.

Now, let's be straight here: I buy Apple products because they just work. And I pay a premium over a Windows or Linux system specifically because the Apple products work great out of the box. But I guess the motto now is that they just work…except when they don't. And I'm thinking about my experience with this MacBook as I hear the software gremlins laughing hysterically in the background…and the AntennaGate Scandal with the iPhone 4…and how the new iOS is bricking the iPhone 3G…and WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON UP IN CUPERTINO??? I'm suddenly feeling the urge to log onto Metalink, just for the relatively higher personal touch.

Wow…just wow. Maybe I'll keep this MacBook if I can get it to work over the next few days (I've got 14 days to return it) just for the fun of working through the problem on my own or maybe I won't. But I do know that, after tonight's experience, the Steve Jobs distortion reality bubble in my house has popped.


Michael said...

Sounds like you've had a duff device. Just go to an Apple Store or return it by post within 14 days to Apple. Get a replacement or a refund.

This sort of thing happens to Apple products, too. Mac fanboys just don't talk about it.

Oh, and if you really believe "everything works" on a Mac then you're certainly a victim of the reality distorion field ;-)

Hope you get yourself sorted.


Jake said...

Did you email Steve Jobs?

fteter said...

@Michael: It's really more the Migration Assistant than the MacBook itself. And replacing it won't fix the lousy customer service.

I'm now out of the reality distortion fields and have things sorted - doing what I need manually.

@Jake: Why would I email him when he obviously doesn't give a rat's a$$ what I think?

John Stouffer said...

Testy aren't we? :-)

Starting to sound like me, Floyd...

Too bad about the iMac - I've had pretty good luck with the MacBook Pro other than Visio and Projects and that darn Fusion (Mac) software...I just have an issue with Fusion apparently!

Hope it gets better. I would like to see a note between you and Jobs - that would be interesting..:-)


Bob Rhubart said...

My only Apple experience is with my iPhone 3g and my iPad. I used to love my iPhone -- until the OS "upgrade."

The way Apple handled the antenna issue turned me off even more.

More and more I'm wondering if buying Apple products is such a great idea.

I do love my iPad, however.