February 19th, 2006


Broken iPod, Keyboard, Hard Drive

Sigh. Making an appointment at the Genius Bar must be goddamn near impossible if you actually want to establish any kin of reasonable timeframe for getting out of here. Every time I come in, no matter how well planned I am, I always have to wait hours for anything to happen with regards to my problems.

I've got an iPod with a broken Hard Drive. Copying files to it gives me an error that coyping to the hard drive failed.

I've got a computer with a failing keyboard. Several keycaps have simply stopped working, and the D key is completely destroyed in a way that makes it practically unusable. (Removing the keycap, and the nipple, and pressing directly on the pad does 'work', in a way.

Then there's the issue with the Powerbook hard drive: when there's less than about 5GB of space filled, I get kernel errors when trying to read from the files (randomly). The hardware there is probably horked, but of course, proving that it's not my fault (since this machine has been beat up pretty badly) is hard.


iPod probably not broken: hard drive problems in powerbook probably causing errors. Good.

Powerbook state such that no repairs will be performed by Apple without a Tier 4 Support Charge. $1400. Bad.

Did get ahold of a local Apple-retailer that will repair the keyboard: $40 for parts, $45 for labor. Cheapest keyboards on eBay approaching $60. Good deal. I'll be taking it.

Resolution of Apple Issues

So, the AppleCare I purchased is completely useless. Due to the significant physical damage to the machine (before the 1 year mark), no service will be performed by Apple without paying a full Tier 4 support charge: $1400.

However! There are still a few local Apple Resellers who are authorized outlets to perform warranty repairs. I got a list from the person at the Genius Bar, which was really nice of her (and I now feel bad for being such a jerk when I was) and called the first person on the list and asked about the keyboard, as I posted about.

So, we went over there. Found the place (after navigating to Roxbury, no small task). See the shop (next to the Squealing Pig), with, thankfully, a large-sized parking space in front of it which I was able to get into. Walked in, talked to the guy for a bit about the poor state of the keyboard (and the highway roberry that Apple was interested in). Then I mentioned that the hard drive was in pretty poor shape -- basically, kernel errors on reading certain blocks. He kind of shook his head at the problem, and asked me if I wanted the hard drive with more oomph (5400RPM 40GB with an 8MB cache) or a bigger slower one (4600RPM 60GB with 2MB cache). I picked the 60GB one, and asked him if he could mirror the old drive. Sure, he said, no biggy.

He looked at it, said he'd bang out the dents, replace all the missing screws, replace and mirror the hard drive, replace the keyboard... for $350. That's a pretty damn good deal. No biggy, I said. When'll it be ready? Wednesday? Sooner the better for me, etc.

Nah, he said. Tomorrow.

We chatted for awhile more about random stuff -- the MacBook, first Gen stuff, how they may be killing the 12" line for the MacBook (Replacing it with a 12" Intel iBook at some point), etc.

This guy seemed really knowledable. Great little shop, 2 dozen computers lying around in various states of (dis)repair. No heat, living light in a warehouse-like space, with an old black and white mac at the entrance showing a screensaver. The atmosphere was great. I think that I could see myself doing the exact same kind of thing in another lifetime.

Organize-It is the name of the shop. Although I haven't gotten the thing back yet, it's still the place where I would send people if they needed non-AppleStore repairs done on their Mac.