The Mac is gone as of yesterday. DHL came by and picked it up. It was kinda scarry. I had no receipt from the guy that he took it. He was even scarrier. His uniform looked like it had been through a wet, muddy jungle. However, I was able to login to the DHL web site today and see that it was on its way overnight first class. The site allows you to sign up for confirmation of deivery. I was pretty happy with that and expected an update later today. However, I just got this:
The repair of your POWERBOOK G4 (17-INCH 1.67GHZ), Repair ID D8285XXX, is currently on hold, pending receipt of a needed part. We will notify you by email when the repair is complete.
The box for the shipment to Apple Care has arrived. At this point, I’m getting some warm and fuzzies. The packing is very professional and includes all the necessary items: the box (huh?), the properly sized pads for above+below+sides of the laptop, a wrapper for the laptop itself, and even tape to seal the box with. The shipping label it arrived with is two layer. For the return, all I have to do is peel the top layer off and the bottom layer gets the box back to Apple. I will perform the final backup of my data on Sunday and ship it out on Monday. Oh god.
The other day, with no warning, I was dumped into a nightmare. My PowerBook‘s screen develop a nasty, pixel wide, always on purple line. A call to Apple Care confirmed it – laptop needs repair (no duh). They suggested that they send me a box to pack my laptop into and then ship it back to them and then 5-10 business days they would have it back to me. The kicker – they recommend that I back it up before I send it because “sometimes the depot finds that the hard drive is bad and they will replace it out of courtesy.” Crap. Next step – go visit the closest Apple store. Seems to me that they would be able to figure this out, order me a new display, let me go home with computer, call me when the display comes in, another quick dash, slap the new display in, run back home in joy. Nope. Apparently fixing computers requires centralization (one of Houston or Memphis). Apparently, screwdrivers and Apple stores are not allowed to co-exist in the same spatial coordinates.
So, I am not faced with a dilemma: what do I do for 5-10 business days without my laptop? Fortunately, I have a work laptop I can use. However, I refuse, refuse I tell you, to use Windows as the primary OS. So, looking around, it seemed to easy to use Fedora. I have three other machines at home running it now. Looking around I have a zillion choices of Linux and BSD distros to use. Without much scientific effort (read: a complete rectal extraction), I chose SuSE 10.1 (new shinny) to use as the base. The installation was awesomely easy. Linux has truly come a long way. The only thing not detected was my wireless. That I’m working on. Next was to try to use Evolution to connect to corporate email. Quickly, I got stymied – no CISCO VPN client available (at least to me). So, install VMWare – install winblows + sp2 + all the other crap + office + cisco vpn for windows. That gives me working access to the work stuff I need to do to pay for this computer habit of mine.
The box from Apple Care is on it’s way. The SuSE box is ready with VMWare giving me a back line to the office. With this comes my great experiment: How do you survive Post Windows, Post Mac, into Linux in the corporate world?
As computers are wont to do, my PB 17″ has developed a glitch – a single pixel wide, consistently on column about .5 inches from the left of the screen. Unfortunately, this one means that I have to send it back to apple to fix. That means 5-10 business days without my main access to work, entertainment, and creative outlet. Crap. So, first step is to backup the computer, right? Well, being a UNIX geek, my first thought was “I’ll just rsync the whole thing and be done with it.” Then I started to look at / and realized that this is not so easy a thing. Sure I could do the whole computer, but then what? How do I get it back if/when I have to recover from it. Single files would be good, even directories would be good, but what about the whole thing? I mean the entire drive? How do I make a bootable copy? Well – superduper! is the answer. Not only does this tool do a superb job of copying everything, it knows how to do it without breaking the mac interface. It makes even old UNIX storage guys like me smile. Can’t recommend this highly enough.
I ranted and raved before on Dvorak’s prediction. One of his big arguments was that Microsoft agreed to “only” a five year office extension. Well, I found this:
Listen to the RDF on this one. Not so much distortion.
One of the most interesting things about this is how Steve acted like a patient parent explaining to children (the audience) that we need to coexist in order to survive. I wonder how much of that feeling is still there. I’d imagine it’s quite a bit.
Extremetech just published this article on why Vista won’t suck. It’s a good read because:
It looks like it might actually be kinda cool.
It’s cool to see the Redmond marketing machine giving technology sites data to include in their “unbiased” reviews (Read all of the Why’s It’s Important entries – only the best marketing could have written that).
The new software features are basically a description of iLife + Aqua in almost a feature for feature basis
And, not to mention that all of these cool things won’t be available for all of the Vista users. There’s going to be SIX different flavors: extreme rookie, rookie, usable, cool, over priced, and why-not-just-this-version-at-a-reasonable-price. All of these features make this article all the more relevant. Why would Apple drop an ahead-of-the-curve OS for something that is very obviously playing catch up? Call me a fanboy, but I’m in for OSX for a while to come.