iBook adventures 2

So, I called Apple on a Monday and they were perplexed that a box had not arrived for me to send my iBook to them in. They overnight me a box. I get home the next day and I find a box that is full of water and soaked. Good job, DHL and Apple! I dry the box out and it’s workable. I pack up the iBook and drop it off at a DHL place to go to Apple.

A day passes and I get a nice e-mail telling me the iBook is at Apple’s service center and being worked on. Another day or so passes and I’m sent another e-mail letting me know it’s been repaired and is on it’s way back. Now I am starting to think that maybe Apple is really on the ball and things are working smoothly.

The last e-mail told me to wait two business days for delivery of my iBook by DHL. It’s a Friday so I figure it’ll show up on Monday. Monday comes and goes, nothing. Tuesday, same thing. I call Apple and they give me a tracking number and direct me to DHL’s “missed delivery” number. It’s a little depressing to think they have a single number for this one type of problem. I give it a call and they tell me that someone has tried to deliver it twice now. I let them know that if they did try, they didn’t leave anything to let me know. That’s pathetic. So I have to schedule to pick it up at the local dispatch center, which is luckily near where I work.

What a let-down. Apple might have had a good support system but their dependence on DHL makes it unreliable and frustrating. Many people have said that it’s DHL’s fault and not Apple’s. But Apple continue to uses a poor carrier. Overall, it makes Apple’s support feel only average between their great coverage with Applecare and their horrible support in action.

iBook adventures

A little over a year ago I purchased an iBook on eBay. I got a decent deal and with the new OS X operating system, it gave me a UNIX based laptop with a nice desktop interface. It didn’t take long for me to pretty much abandon my Windows XP system for the iBook for everything I do except playing games.

That is until my iBook ceased to function. So, I head over to the Apple website to check on the Applecare I received with the iBook to see if this disfunction is covered. Nope. The site says my Applecare is expired. A friend at work mentioned that some iBooks had defective main boards and I should see if the extended recall on them applied to my system. The page on the website didn’t clearly explain if the repair extension still applied to my iBook so I called Apple to find out. Turns out my Applecare coverage won’t expire for another six or seven months and I can get it repaired. Now I’m waiting for them to send me a box to send my iBook in for repairs.

I saw that the status of my repair was “Dispatch Sent”. I hit google to see if I could find out exactly what that meant since the Apple site didn’t have a definition. Of course, the first thing I find are pages about how poor Apple’s service is. How the website never shows the right data, it takes forever to get anyone to tell you what’s going on, etc. This was all kind of a let-down for me. I’ve been pretty content with the iBook and OS X. I can’t say Apple support has really sucked, but repairs without coverage are very pricey and so far the website has not been very helpful. I can’t even say that the support person I spoke to was very good.

I’ll just have to see how things go.

Change of pace

I have rarely, if ever, mentioned where I work on this page. I just quit my job, so I might as well. I have been a contractor at IBM for over nine years now. Nine years on a year to year contract. And in that time I have been a team lead, an AIX deskside support technician, a sysadmin, an NLS expert, and Thinkpad support technician. That’s crazy. IBM should have hired me, or dropped my contract a long time ago.

Leaving a work environment like IBM is not easy. IBM makes even the most stable and business worthy companies out there seem like fly-by-night ventures that could go away anytime. IBM is dying from the inside, very slowly. Slow is the key word when I talk about anything IBM does. Slow to innovate and slow to die. That’s not the rule everywhere inside IBM, but in general, that’s all I saw. I worked in a place where managing two hundred users on a print server was prefered to setting up a Windows domain. If it involved something new, it meant having to hire (or keep on) skilled people who could understand the technology. I am really glad to leave that kind of mentality behind. Many times I was denied the option to set up more complicated solutions because no one else where I work could even understand it, much less every fix or maintain it if I were to leave.

New Hardware

I replaced Yes’ hardware. New case, motherboard, RAM, etc. Seems to be working out well. Time to look into upgrading the operating system next.

A server called “Yes”

Typically, my Linux servers will just die. Memory, hard drive, motherboard, etc. Something just stops working. Then I rush out, buy a new something and fix it. But my current server has been slowly dying. One ethernet adapter requires me to rebind it to the switch after the driver loads. No idea why. The power supply fan won’t spin up on its own. I have to start it going so the system won’t get too hot and die. And the network adapters cause the machine to hard lock when I transfer files to or from the machine with Samba. That’s not even rational!

So, I think I’m going to have to pull the plug soon and build a new system. Even before this one is totally dead. The little issues are starting to add up.

The Spam Problem

Well, I am trying a new method to prevent automated spam postings on my web page. If you want to post a comment, you’ll have to identify a random series of characters from a gif file. Hopefully this will put an end to the google ranking spam.

When it rains, it pours

  1. My main system motherboard died. Luckily a friend was able to provide a replacement free of charge. That helped a whole lot.
  2. My server, known as Yes, developed a weird problem where transferring files via samba over the local network caused it to reset itself. I still havn’t figured that one out. Probably motherboard related.
  3. Listener’s desktop had bad memory. Luckily memtest86 found the problem quickly and I think that was a problem that had been causing her trouble for a long time.
  4. The forums machine I run for Guardians of Valor started flooding the network like crazy. New network card and that seems to be fixed.
  5. My monitor died.

None of those are horrible disasters, but they came right after each other. And all of that outside of work. What a week for computer problems.

Death of a motherboard

My main gaming system stopped working tonight. I was playing WoW and the screen went black and dead. No errors, nothing. This was an Epox EP-8RDA+ and had been an awesome motherboard for over a year. So, I need to find a new one as soon as possible.

A change

I’ve archived my old site. To be honest, all it did was exactly what this does now. And this is a little easier for me to deal with for the time being. It’s also not as dark and it is better looking.

Once I have the old site archived properly, I’ll post a link for it on this setup.

Should I run with it?

I could go through the effort of coding my own front page software. But why re-invent the wheel? Always a serious consideration. Coding today is less and less about writing things from scratch and more about building solutions from existing products. It’s the connections between things that are the meat of the final product it seems.