Saturday, March 24, 2012
My wife's Macbook is definitely showing its age. Purchased back in 2008, it has gone through hell and back in her dear sweet hands. It's survived drops and soy milk spills and trips around the state on various vacations. We tried to protect its white plastic exterior with an electric pink shell, but it's been broken so many times it's held on with duct tape.
The Mac's latest problem seems to be a consistent WiFi failure. Just about every morning Airport is disabled, and you can't enable it. The only way to get it working is to reboot the Macbook, then enter in the house SSID and password to get back on the network. My wife was getting Real Tired of all that, and I can certainly understand that part of it. So she called and scheduled an appointment with the Geniuses over at the Mall of Millenia's Apple Store.
When we arrived at the store it was before 10am, the regular opening time. Our appointment was scheduled for 9:30am. We got to the front door a stylishly late 10 minutes. By the time the front door bouncer let us in we were a stylishly late 15 going on 20 minutes.
We were met at the Genius Bar by Chad, who informed us that they only kept the appointment open for 15 minutes. After that it had expired. However Chad was kind enough to immediately re-schedule the appointment, and so we were going to wait for someone to help us around 10am. While my wife and I waited for our next turn in the queue, I went around and looked at an Apple store before opening.
When there aren't very many customers around the store the crew seems to meet in the center for a scrum session. I wasn't paying much attention to what was being said, but the scraps of conversation I did hear were all over the map as far as content was concerned. Since I've never worked at an Apple store I have no idea if this is the norm for Apple in general or just this store.
I noticed quite a few blue shirts and a few black shirts sprinkled about. Fortunately there were no red shirts. I saw this security guy, what with cargo-like pants and some commo gear, but nothing scary like he was packing heat. He just seemed laid back, checking out some of the gear before the store opened, probably just keeping track of everybody (like me) out of the corner of his eye.
We didn't wait long before Chad decided to help us directly. He hooked up my wife's Mac and started to run a few diagnostics to make sure the hardware was basically OK. It was. Then he went into the system and essentially deleted the instance of Airport as well as deleting three of its basic configuration files. He told us we'd have to re-login once we got home. He was able to connect to the Apple store's Wifi just fine. In fact, just to prove how perverse Murphy is, her Mac worked just fine at the Apple store.
While we were waiting for all the various diagnostics to finish, I happened to turn around and find this customer being helped by a blue shirt. There was a lot of help and hand-holding going on at the Apple store. That's one aspect of what makes the Apple store so successful and reinforces the success of Apple products in general. You can go to an Apple store and get some fairly serious help with your Apple gear, help you'd be hard pressed to find in a general big-box store selling Apple (I'm looking at you, Walmart).
On the way out of the mall my wife dragged me into an Urban Outfitters, on some mission to find something, I don't know what. While I was in there I happened upon this display with products aimed at the "young woman" that Urban outfitters attempts to cater to. I guess I'm too liberal, or maybe too conservative (who knows), but finding a table full of books devoted to the purely personal side of fashion, personal beauty, and great sex seems, well, odd. Although, when I think back to the days of my youth I don't think I was thinking of much more, with a greater emphasis on sex due to testosterone poisoning and less on the cut of my jeans and the car I was driving. So I guess I shouldn't say too much.
Later That Day
Back at the house the Mac's Airport seemed to come up and work out of sleep mode. Sure enough I had to re-enter the home WiFi SSID and password. Unfortunately, later on in the afternoon we ran into the same problem with the Airport just not working. Couldn't re-start it. When I rebooted the Mac it did come back up and re-connect to the home WiFi without having to re-enter anything, so I could say it's gotten somewhat better. I guess I'm going to have to wait and see if it comes out of sleep mode in the morning and the network starts working automatically.
If it doesn't then it's either back to the Apple store for them to dig deeper, or else I break down and buy my wife a new Mac. I'd like to avoid buying a new Mac right now if I could. I want to wait a few months and see if the rumors are true and Apple releases new Macs with Retina displays. Then I'd get her a new Mac, hopefully to last a little better than her current Mac.
Everything taken with the E-P2, most of the images with the black 17mm, the last with the Panasonic 14mm. Post in Lightroom 4. I'm paying more attention to color balance and overall exposure. These are lighter than most I've put up on the web, and a bit less contrasty as well. My tastes are shifting again.
Update 25 March
For the first time in some time I wasn't awakened this morning by the sweet melodious voice of my wife proclaiming "the internet's not working!" Yes, it appears that her Mac came out of sleep mode and found the home WiFi. The corrective measures applied, deleting the instance of Airport and its associated configuration files so that they can be regenerated the next time it starts reminds me of Linux.