22 August 2008

How I beat a Mac Genius

I'm not good with electronics. I drop things. I don't understand computer-speak. I touch my computer keyboard without washing my hands. I know just enough to get me through what I'm trying to do but often need someone else's help if a problem comes up. Really, I'm a computer engineer's worst nightmare.

Regardless, I haven't had the most luck with electronics. Once, a friend (Justin) had told me of a teacher he had in high school who thought she had a forcefield that made electronic devices not work. I'm not convinced that I don't have the same problem. My first computer was an HP and purchased from Best Buy. I would not recommend either of those choices for anyone else in the future. Almost immediately, I began having problems. The thing was heavy. It was later affectionately (cruelly) name "Doorstop." The fans ran constantly and it was all I could do to keep that stupid thing from crashing. I now know that the blue screen of death isn't a once-in-a-lifetime type thing. Oh, no. That screen will not be limited to showing itself only once in a user's lifetime. I digress. Best Buy sells warranties. What they neglect to tells those purchasing such warranties is that they only cover hardware. If you drop your computer down a flight of stairs and the screen cracks? Covered. If your computer melts because it overheats? Covered. If your computer continues to crash for reasons unbeknownst to you? Not covered because they "don't cover software." This computer was the source of a lot of heartache in my first three years at school.

Best Buy has made me cautious and weary of computer retailers. Thus, I bought a Mac a little less than two years ago. I bought a MacBook and was very pleased. It was relatively new on the market at the time and thus, had its own quirks. Anyway, due to what I can only assume were overheating issues, my hard drive crashed. I took it to Western's computer help desk because it crashed mid-semester and there was no way I could get to Grand Rapids and back within the school week. I'm not surprised in the least that there were residual problems because the girl who checked in my computer didn't know what I was talking about and the guy who was working on my computer didn't believe me. I was promised a memory extraction. They later said it was impossible. I have a feeling they just didn't want to try. My problem was not with the computer itself (though, I was less than pleased with the fact that it crashed). I was again made weary by the people who were supposed to be helping me.

That's why, on Tuesday when my computer started acting up again, I stayed calm and collected and decided to take my computer to an Apple store when I came home to visit and leave it in the hands of someone capable. Not that I wasn't going to bring it with me anyway. My computer is, unfortunately, a part of me. Anyway, I dropped it off, told the guy the problems I was having and he told me it would be a couple days. I'm assuming this is because of back-to-school. I received a call less than two hours later. They had run the diagnostic and found the problems I had mentioned. However, he didn't think it was an overheating problem but a battery problem. For a moment, I was going to accept his explanation if only for the fact that the Mac geniuses are just a better breed of people than the Geek Squad. (I'm still shaking my fist at Best Buy.) However, I pushed on. Though I believe that my battery is worn down, I also believe that there were problems the less than helpful people at Western might have overlooked. Right then, the guy agreed to run an overheating diagnostic, as per my request. I didn't have to pay extra and he just conceded and tried it! Well, said he would. This same technician also told me to just flash my student ID were I to purchase anything else from the store. I swear, he told me to. Anyway, with a promise that they would look at it soon but that there was a long wait, I wasn't holding my breath.

This is how I beat a Mac Genius:

I received a phone call at nine this morning from the Mac concierge. Apparently, they had run the diagnostic that night. They found that there were overheating problems. Lots of things were going wrong because of it. And thus, I am awesome. They also fixed the iSight problem I had been having for over a year now. (It turns on when I start my computer.) The guy over the phone last night told me I could solve the problem by turning my computer off, taking out the battery and waiting a minute. This, I knew. I let him know that I thought it was a problem that it was turning on in the first place. So, they looked into that too. And replaced a part! The computer gods are smiling on me. I was right and guy on the phone was wrong. I work at the tech desk at the library and finally feel qualified to do so. Because I beat a Mac genius. Suckers.

As for the theory about the forcefield... Electronic devices I have owned in my life that haven't worked properly:

My HP (though I believe no one has had one to work properly.)
My first, second and third cellphones (no signal, POS, just plain sucks, respectively)
A CD changer I had in high school (it would often not play the CDs)
My first car (Chevy Cobalt. There was later a recall on the electronic systems)
My MacBook (see above)

On the other hand, printers have mostly taken to obeying my commands.

This victory has come from my lack of trust of computer technicians. But Mac loves me and had my heart before this moment. I now know of their eternal true love for me. They believed me! And, they aren't charging me extra for surprise things that my warranty doesn't cover. Because it covers everything but water damage. I don't shower enough for that to be a problem, really.


No comments: