The reason I am an Apple fanboy.

Apple Laptops

Last Friday morning at around 7:00AM before I left for work I was checking email on my Macbook Pro. I shut the lid but then realized I forgot to check the weather so I quickly lifted the screen open again. The screen didn’t come back on which does happen sometimes if you open and close the thing too quickly. This time however I realized how late it was getting so instead of closing the lid, waiting for the computer to properly go to sleep and open it again I just shut it again and ran out. About nine hours later I came home and opened the computer. The screen was still black and the computer was very hot. I held the power button down for a few seconds to force the machine off. I waited a bit and turned it back on. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it wake up. I tried a few different things as recommended at Apple.com/support but nothing worked. Since I own an iPhone I didn’t really freak out too much because I knew I could check email if I had to leave my computer for a few days for repair. I went to the local Apple store and met with someone at the Genius Bar. In fact, because this specific Apple store (Palisades, NY) was about to be renovated they would ship my computer to Apple and then have Apple ship it direct to me when it’s repaired. I have AppleCare so hey all in all not a big deal.

Well… Monday rolls around and I’m at work at my partner Charlie O’ Donnell asks me if I am still making music in my free time. I tell him of course and then something horrible dawned on me. I’m booked to playing two shows in Europe this coming weekend and I have no computer! I know Apple is pretty quick with repairs but I started to sweat. As soon as I got home I checked the online repair status and it didn’t even show up in their system. I called Apple and they told me they just received the computer and the system would update itself shortly.

Montagood Festival

I decided I needed a backup plan just in case my computer doesn’t arrive in time. Luckily I have a friend Leslie who doesn’t need her computer as much as a supergeek like yours truly. She lent me her white Macbook which has a Firewire port (phew!) ready for my M-Audio Firewire 410. I created a user account for myself and plugged in my Time Machine backup drive. I didn’t know what to expect because I never had to go to this drive before. I was very happily surprised to see that you can simply click and open folders on the drive just as if it were a clone of my machine. I grabbed my Ableton live show files (and videos), downloaded M-Audio drivers and Ableton Live 8. Everything loaded up without a glitch! Win one for Apple.

So without any disaster looming I decided to call Apple and just see if there was any chance my own computer would arrive on time. I didn’t have to wait at all when calling the support line and spoke to a very friendly employee. He told me the computer was still in the process of being repaired. I told him I had a flight to Europe and it would be great if I had my own computer with me. I blabbed a bit about how I’d be onstage in Amsterdam and Barcelona and I really didn’t want to scratch up Leslie’s nice new Macbook. He put me on hold for a minute and told me he expedited the process and asked me to look at the online repair status. To my happy shock it said the computer would arrive by FedEx before 10:30AM this morning. I know it would have been a better scenario if my computer didn’t break in the first place but Apple deserves a pat on the back for making it so easy to grab files from a Time Machine backup drive and for superb service.

Catch me live this weekend at Defqon 2009 in Amsterdam and the Montagood Festival, Spain.

photo credit: wZa HK

6 Comments

  1. Good luck at Defqon….
    Dont be afraid of the magic dragon!

    And try to be a little bit carefull for all the kids at Defqon
    :)

    Reply

  2. Yep, Time Machine is great! It’s saved me before. You might want to have a look at SuperDuper, it’s also helped me out of some dodgy situations and it might be especially useful you too.

    http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

    Reply

  3. I recently had both my laptops stolen (2006 Macbook Pro, 2003 G4 Powerbook). I was 10.4, so no Time Machine, but I do keep backup disc images around. When the insurance delivered some shiny new kit, I was incredibly impressed with the way Migration Assistant cheerfully picked up everything from the disc image, copied my home files, created my user accounts, copied software across etc.

    The only fly in the ointment was a broken install of NTFS-3G that I use on our big media disc.

    Reply

  4. SuperDuper + Time Machine = doubleplusgood.

    But it’s times like these you realise why challenge/response authentication copy protection is a PITA, especially if implemented the Adobe way (if you’re machine fries, you have to wait for a call centre to accuse you of piracy to restore an authentication slot).

    Native Instruments does this well because you can disable an authentication via the website, although it’s one of the situations where iLok is more convenient. Serial number authentication beats either, however.

    Reply

  5. First off, a disclaimer, I am an Apple hater.

    Whilst your experience is good, it just shows that if you pay for extra support, you get good customer support. I own a Dell XPS and since it is an XPS (their slightly more upmarker version of laptop) I get free access (for the first year) to XPS support – meaning I get expediated customer care, including follow-up calls during and after any support request to make sure all is well.

    Your story merely shows that you pay for the service you get….(and it kinda brushes over the fact that if you close and open the lid on your Apple too quickly, it completely borks your shiny piece of aluminium ;))

    I also wonder if you are just an average run-of-the-mill Apple user who doesn’t DJ and write a blog (and thus doesn’t have the ability to publish his Apple experiences as easily) do you get the same kinda customer service?

    Reply

    1. Actually I think computers are just tools and I have nothing against Dells, etc… For the most part the machines are similar. So often I get lousy customer care that I thought I should give credit when I received the opposite. It would nice to think AppleCare figured I had some clout and that got me my machine earlier but hmm probably not.

      Reply

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