May 14, 2005
Sick Computer – the conclusion?
Well, I screwed up the modem on AEJ’s laptop (I think I need to reinstall the OS when I get home), so I’m left with no Internets unless I swing by Victrola, the coffee shop I (more than) frequent here in Seattle. Unfortunately, though, they’ve turned off the WiFi this weekend, they claim, to “encourage conversation.” Okay, let’s all sit around with complete strangers and converse about why they turned off the friggin’ Internets.
So I find myself at the “Online Cafe,” which is just what you’d think it is: a coffee shop with, yes, computers and WiFi. You can use a computer for free for 30 minutes with a coffee purchase, or, if you have a laptop with WiFi (as I do), you can sit around in the comfy sofas for as long as you wish, sipping iced chai. It’s a nice, fairly cozy place, but it’s a little further of a walk than Victrola, and this laptop gets heavy. (Sounds like I may have taken an extra PissyPill this morning. Sheesh. Whine, whine, whine.)
Speaking of computers — care to hear the continuation of my Computer/Monitor Saga? To catch you up, I bought a beautiful, enormous 30″ Apple Cinema Display about a month ago. After a few days, I started seeing tiny flickering bright green pixels, which would multiply over time. Apple exchanged that first monitor with no questions asked. I hooked up the new monitor and within a half-hour, the problem appeared on the new monitor.
So, Apple suggested that I replace the video card. So, I did. Put in the new card, and 10 minutes later, the problem was back. I took the computer itself down to the Apple Store in New York and dropped it off. It stayed there about week, and they told me that the problem was somehow still the video card — which I’d already replaced — and they told me to pick up the machine. I went and got it, exchanged the video card for yet another card — this time a completely different brand and model — and, you guessed it, the problem was still there.
So, now I had to take the computer BACK to the Apple Store, and this time, bring my monitor, too, because there was a chance that the problem was coming from my monitor (even though I’d exchanged it once before). Fortunately, I’ve been in Seattle for over a week, so I haven’t missed my tower machine while they worked on it.
Extremely long story only somewhat shorter, the techs worked on the machine for a week, determined they couldn’t fix it, contacted the engineers at Apple, and the engineers “captured” my machine. Yes, like a wild animal. What this means is that the engineers in Cupertino want to figure out what the hell is wrong with my system, and they want the whole thing in their hands. So, Apple is replacing everything. On the positive side, my G5 is no longer available, so they’re giving me a faster (dual 2.3 GHz) machine. They’re cloning my old hard drive over to the new machine, giving me back my RAM, giving me a new video card, a new Airport card, and a (third) brand new Cinema Display. So, this whole thing is costing Apple about $9,000 by the time it’s done.
I’m cautiously optimistic that the new system will “work.” I hope there’s not just a flaw in the whole line of 30″ displays. I also hope that at least the majority of my software still works. Because it’ll be running on a new system, I’ll have to re-register Finale, etc., and have my old machine de-authorized from the iTunes Music Store and transfer the authorization over. In other words, it’s a big ol’ pain, but if it all miraculously works, I suppose it’ll somehow be worth it.