Book 1, Email 0

Well, I finally get the book completed, uploaded… ready to print and start to send messages to folks letting them know about it. And my e-mail host decides to throw a rod.

I don’t know what’s going on right now… but if you are trying to send me e-mail and you get a delay, please send it to jigordon at gmail dot com. I’ll respond as soon as I can.

[OK… everything’s better now. Sorry for the inconvenience!]

In any event, however, go check out the book! 😉

While I love Apple…

… I’m really kinda’ sad about a recent experience I had with getting a repair on my PowerBook.

I own a Titanium G4 PowerBook – initially released in 2000/2001 and I purchased it brand new, directly from Apple.

I’ve used it every day since then and have had virtually no problems with it. In fact, I like to boast that I’ve very rarely even had to reboot the machine (which is a credit to the stability of the operating system) except when new software so demanded. I even frequently don’t even close the lid, preferring to just leave it open overnight so that e-mail is waiting for me when I get up in the morning.

But just the other day, I needed to close the lid. And as I did, using an even amount of pressure (not forcing anything or feeling any feedback that anything wasn’t 100% “right”), the right-side hinge simply snapped. It looked like this:

Holy crap! I almost started crying. Tina just looked at me and started to comfort me. But then I got pissed. Why did the hinge snap? How did this happen? Why didn’t I feel any feedback or resistance? The portion of the hinge that was still attached to the base was frozen in place. It’s like the hinge seized up mid-close, and I simply pulled it beyond it’s means.

OK. I took a deep breath. The machine still worked… the screen still worked… it was just a broken hinge. Apple, I was SURE, would cover this even though the machine was out of warranty. You could tell, just by looking at the machine, that it was in pristine condition – well maintained by someone who took VERY good care of their equipment. I knew, based on past history with AppleCare that I would need to send the laptop into their facility for support. I figured, however, that I could start at our local Apple Retail Store to see if they could at least handle many of the details.

I scheduled time at the store using the online scheduler – really slick, actually. And after only waiting for a few minutes after I got there, a Mac Genius was ready to listen to my problem. It didn’t take much listening, however, for him to understand the problem. But after a conference or two outside of my earshot, he “regrets to inform me that there was nothing that Apple could do as this was out of warranty.”

WHAT? I’ve got a GREAT machine… in almost PERFECT condition. It wasn’t dropped, hit, mistreated or otherwise abused to cause the hinge to snap. For what other reason than a manufacturing or design defect could this have happened? The Mac Genius wasn’t sure about that, only that he couldn’t actually help me.

What he offered to do was to type my problem into their system so that when/if I called AppleCare’s 800#, they would have a case number and would be able to read about the problem from someone who actually saw the machine firsthand. He was actually kind enough to include a comment that the machine WAS in perfect condition. But again, there was nothing they could do because there was no longer a valid warranty.

OK. I figured I could call the 800# and get to someone who had the power to make an exception. I called. No luck. I called again and asked for someone a bit higher. Still no luck. In fact, they told me that they had NO RECORD of these types of problems with this model PowerBook but that the repair would run me about $700!

At this point, I went online. It didn’t take me long to find And in about 30 seconds, my eyes settled on the link that led me here. (Yes, that’s where I got the picture used above.)

I couldn’t believe it! Not only was this a KNOWN problem, Apple would also have to know about it because they, at some point, MAKE THE FRIGGIN’ HINGE used by powerbookresq to fix other Powerbooks! Not to mention the fact that PBresQ fixes this problem for $269, including shipping. WAY less than what Apple would charge to fix a problem that should NEVER have happened!

Now, I need to fully disclose that I absolutely love the company and love the products. This experience, while frustrating and possibly not very cool, won’t change any of that. And I’m guessing that Apple knows this, too, if by no other means than my purchase history. But I would have hoped that this would increase the probability of a little rule bending to fix a problem with a product that they made and wasn’t caused by me.

About two weeks ago, I found this little blog, After Apple. As you can see from this article, Adam clearly details Apple’s intimate knowledge of the problem I had: “The PowerBook Titanium was the king of the road, until you opened it the 333rd time and the hinge decided it was time to move on in life.”

So now I am doubly sad… first that my PB sputtered and second that its creator knew it would and didn’t care.


But I forked over the money to PBResQ. They fixed my baby up and I was back using it in no time. According to them, the glue used by Apple during the manufacturing process isn’t that great. So they use an epoxy that should outlast the rest of machine. So far, so good. Thanks, PowerbookResQ!


In general I love a good box. Well constructed, made of a sturdy material, designed to hold my crap. Simple. Elegant. Cardboard, plastic, metal. Big, small, other. Doesn’t really matter. Add a cool lid (like the ones that have the interlocking tops to make them stackable) and it’s even better.

Maybe I just love the organization factor. It’s my anal-retentive nature, I suppose.

But then there are other boxes. Like Pandora’s.

And as a place to store your “music preferences” is about as cool as it gets. Now, I’m not one to just link to tell you where to visit (especially since I have a readership of like, um, nothing). But this is WAY too cool!

Put in your favorite artist… hear a song by them to start… then move onto simliar things recommended by the music genome project. I could be here for days.

I probably will.

Tracking me…

More and more people are worried that governments and private corporations will soon have the ability to electronically track you for every moment you’re breathing. Satellites already have the ability to read newspapers from space… all it takes now is the ability to quickly locate a specific person.

Are you going to knowingly agree, then, to have something on you that will make that location possible?


Are you sure?

Well… let’s check, shall we?

Do you have credit cards? Do you use them? I’m guessing that folks do so at least once per day on average. That card can give an exact street address the moment you use it. (Whether you’re talking about a generic Visa or MC, or whether you are using store-specific cards like a JCPenny card or a Sears card, it’s all the same.)

No credit cards you say? OK, how about an ATM card? Same situation there.

OK, so somehow you live “off the grid” (as was most recently stated on the TV show “Committed”) and pay for everything in cash? You think you’re clean then?

Hmmm… what about loyalty cards? You know what I’m talking about. The Kroger Plus Card, the Food Lion MVP card, the Suncoast Replay card, the Eddie Bauer “explorer” card… again, every time you use it, someone, somewhere, knows where you are and what you’re up to.

Alright… so let’s just assume you don’t have any credit cards or loyalty cards at all…

Do you have a car? Have you taken it for service recently? Did you notice that JiffyLube knows your car and you… and the last time you came around for an oil change?

You didn’t? OK, what about calling for pizza? Didn’t Dominos or Pizza Hut call you by name when you spoke with them? Didn’t they already know where you lived?

No? Really? Wow… I’m impressed.

Alrighty. What about a phone? Do you have a cell phone? You DO? Game over. And here we reach what I really wanted to talk about… my new PHONE! 🙂

Yeah, I finally got the v710. It’s cooler than I thought. But it has a pretty scary feature. It allows you to enable its own internal GPS system. If it’s so enabled, and you call 911, they can remotely flip on the system and instantly know where you are (even if they didn’t have the time to triangulate your signal – which is already a possibility for non GPS phones).

But hey… I already have credit cards, loyalty cards, my car, and I order enough pizza to support a small country. So this feature shouldn’t scare me too much.

Promises, Promises isn’t just the name of a Naked Eyes tune

Man I really hate when someone tells me that they’re going to do something and then fails to live up to their promise. I hate it even more when it’s something that’s created excitement and a bit of longing.

Ok, so I was at the mall on Saturday. I talked with this manager of a cellphone store who told me that he could get me a new cell phone that I wanted… but that he had to work his connections with the distributor to get it. I was supposed to call him on Monday to make it happen.

I called on Monday… and he told me that the phone would be there on Wednesday. I am now excited and I work on convincing Tina that I really need the phone (not that there was much convincing to do as my current phone has been on a Peruvian Death March for several months now). But all in all, I’m excited that I’m going to get this new phone.

So I call on Wednesday. Phone’s not there (I had asked for 2 of them so that Tina could get one, too, so when the distributor told the manager that he only had one, the manager didn’t get the one). But the manager tells me that he’ll get in touch with the distributor and call me back in an hour.

Three hours later, no calls. I call the store. Manager’s gone home for the day. Store personnel have no clue what I’m talking about, but they give me the manager’s cell number. I call it. He’s not there and I leave a message.

But by this point, it’s now 3.5 hours after I was supposed to get a call back, I’m probably not going to get the phone today… and since I’m going out of town for the weekend, I won’t see it until Monday.


But I really hate it when people lie to me.

Convincing someone that I’m going to write…

So I told you that I was going to write. But I didn’t. If you know me, you can harp at me.

But such is life.

My life is consumed with work… and TiVo. Someone should’ve invented this YEARS ago. I’ve wasted a lot of time over the years trying to record shows that were of interest. Now, I just say whether I like certain types of shows and BAM, it automatically records them.

OK, so anyone remember that “as seen on TV” remote control with the dials that would supposedly work with any VCR? You just dialed in the time to turn on and off the recorder and wow… no more manuals and blinking 12’s. Sayonara, suckers!

Hehe… god, I love this device. You can ignore all of the crap you never wanted to watch anyways and simply focus on the stuff you did. And my god, if you need to walk the dog, tinkle, or even get some work done in the middle of your show, all ya’ gotta’ do is hit the big yellow pause button.

But hey, if that wasn’t good enough, now there’s TiVoToGo. Simply transfer what you’ve recorded on your TiVo to your computer and play it whenever. The only limitation is the size of the harddrive on your laptop.

Now all we need to do is wait another few months until someone develops an iPod-based media player. Then you can transfer your shows to your iPod and watch them there. If I could develop software, I’d be rich. 🙂