Dave LeCompte (really) (tsmaster) wrote,
Dave LeCompte (really)

User Experience, my Aunt Fanny

Or similar mild oath that signifies disgust without triggering obscenity filters.

So, a while ago, I bought a pretty beefy Macintosh G5 Tower Pro machine. The idea was that somebody needed to write Power PC games for the starved Mac audience. And then Apple announced the Intel Mac line. There goes the starved Mac audience - or at least the odd cross section that wants to play games on their Mac, and are willing to upgrade to a new machine to do so.

Along the way, I bought and installed several pieces of software. Some of the software I bought on disk, some I bought through electronic distribution, what with not living in the stone age and all. The stuff I downloaded ranged from games to applications to music. You know, the fun stuff that Macs are all about.

And then came the time when the motherboard fried itself. I got it replaced right away, perhaps out of an inclination towards self-torture. Remember the chapter in the microeconomics textbook that talks about how monopolists get to charge whatever they want? Turns out, Mac G5 Pro motherboards are not priced competitively with Intel PC motherboards. Imagine that.

But I got the machine back, and it was working fine.

Until last week, when I started hearing beeps and clicks coming out of the hard drive.

I took it back to the Apple Store to get them to diagnose the problem and recover the data if they could. I got a phone call on Sunday (not even a full business day later) saying they had replaced the hard drive. Er, OK, I had authorized that, but really I wanted my data back, if possible. "Yeah, we put it on a test rack and it just beeped and clicked for a long time." Ok, fine.

So I picked up my machine, and I asked to get my dead drive back. "Um, we can't do that. It's a weird policy, but we have to return the drive." What? The drive that I came in here with, that you couldn't diagnose any better than I could, now you can't give back to me? If I wanted to send my drive to a data recovery service, you're saying I can't? That's sweet.

"Ok, how about my iTunes downloads - is there any way I can recover those?" "Yeah, click on 'report a problem' inside the iTunes store, and someone will reset your downloads so you can download them again." Again, this is a weird policy. I'm certain that it's a byzantine gerrymandered compromise between Apple and the RIAA, but I can't imagine it's accomplishing the intended goals.

And, really, let's think about the other software I purchased. I'm able to go back to everybody else's website and re-download the applications and games and the audiobooks without any hassle, it's just my music that's a needless difficulty.

So, at this point, I've clicked on "report a problem" a couple dozen times, to no avail. Sometimes I get a dialog box telling me that an error has occurred and to try again later. I've also submitted a problem report via Apple's website, which they said would be acknowledged right away via email, but I have yet to see an automatic acknowledgment email, much less a human response.

My current inclination is to reinstall as little as possible on that machine, as it's proven to be unreliable and ill-supported.

And why are there fewer games for the Mac again?

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