Armchair CEO: Apple
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"So before the beginning of our new quarter I was excited to learn we were getting 3 shiny new G5 towers. Well, we're six weeks into the new quarter, and guess how many G5's we're using? NONE. Not because we didn't receive them. Because all three are dead. In fact, they were all broken on arrival. How nice for us.

But why are we still suffering the great aluminum paperweights? Because Apple, despite our corporate mothership purchasing AppleCare, is fiddling with contract stuff. I have, for several weeks now, attempted to "agree with Apple's terms and conditions" so we can get at least ONE new machine in here. So far, no luck. Every time I try to agree I get back a message saying I still haven't done it right. Finally, they sent me a form to fax. No fax number was provided, but its a start.

Rewind a few weeks ago. When we setup the first machine, it seemed fine. I went on vacation, and came back to begin installing Tiger on all the machines. The 1st one suddenly started locking up. One by one, they were all locking up. When I first called Apple, that very first machine had completely given up. I would try to boot as a single user (CLI only), and it would first kernel panic, then hang.

The other two are still sort of functional, but if you leave them on too long one of 2 things will happen: the machine will "wake up" but not activate the screen (resulting in a reboot), or the machine will "wake up" and you'll see the screen, or saver, or whatever was there, for a minute, and then all but the cursor will totally freeze up. Usually the cursor freezes up too, now that I think about it. Either way, it's reboot time. I haven't gotten a full day's use out of ANY of the three we purchased.

Of course, I've jumped through the hoops. Reinstalled using every possible config (archive, and then just wiped the drive). Still happens. Now we can't even return the other 2, because they are beyond the 30 day-swap out cutoff. Now I have to just take them to a service center and let them put Frankenstein back together somehow. Fun.

What really irks me is that Apple just doesn't seem to give a damn. This is an opportunity to show our company how good macs are, useful, reliable, etc. Instead, I get hassled by some stupid contract negotiation I'm not even a part of, and we have 3 POS machines wasting space in my lab.

Get it together Apple. WAKE UP AND SMELL YOUR MISTAKES! Just send us 3 new G5's, shut the hell up and leave us alone. I promise, we will not darken your doorstep for another decade. Not after this nonsense.

UPDATE: When I got back to my work email I found a response from the rep I'd been dealing with. She said to forget the fax, she'd kicked up my comments to a higher-up manager, and he said to just send us a NEW machine. In fact, it's an upgrade to a dualie. That's pretty nice. Too bad I had to waste hours of my time to accomplish this. There is still a net loss of productivity and time on my part. Also, the other 2 machines (which are broken, but obviously not as badly as the 1st) will still be "serviced" locally, and will probably require all sort of Frankenstien work. My first blue & white G3 mac still freezes (OS 9, OS X, and Linux), and I suspect it's a hardware issue. Of course, by the time Apple quit blaming everyone else the thing was out of warranty and now it's a big boat anchor. Bottom line: they don't want to fix anything. They'd rather you buy a new machine and just "suck it up soldier." That's a very unfortunate stance, and in a couple of years it will begin to hurt them..."

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