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Best Photo from Chicago Trip! by YFA

Apple Store @ Chicago

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You did what with your 24-105 now? by YFA

24-105 cup

Available here: http://www.nypcshop.com/goods.php?id=1427

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Prius: Hovering Sound by teewee

Since I purchased the Prius, many have found it fascinating that it makes no sound on start-up nor when idling.. It is a feature that I love about the car, the fact that its just quiet in general (minus a few rattling/vibrating noises that I have to get looked at by the d/s).. however, there are some who have complained about the silentness being a hazard for those walking in parking lots and not knowing there is a car behind… I for one, enjoy seeing the surprised look on people’s faces when they turn around to see a car so close to them..well no more! hit the link and watch the video…its quite hilarious.. (seems no link to embed the video..)



Genius Bar Review by YFA

Genius Bar Logo
Never thought I’d use the Apple Genius Bar since I’m quite the genius myself (har har ;)), and since I don’t expect you guys to either 😛 I’d describe my story with the Genius Bar.

So the story begins with a regular browsing of SD (the American RFD) and I noticed a thread along the lines of “Apple recalls HDs for Macbooks from mid 2006 to 2007”. Since I bought my macbook in June 07 (wow it’s almost 3 years!) and my hard drive has died (twice), I went to read the thread… basically Apple is doing a recall on dead HDs for that generation of macbooks. Wee! Basically I have to bring my macbook into the Genius Bar for a repair, and it’ll be completely free of charge. Alternatively, the program does mention reimbursing any “out of warranty” repair costs. Since I didn’t repair my HD with Apple but ended up fixing it myself by purchasing a new HD, I was wondering if Apple would reimburse the cost of that HD instead… so I called CustomerCare, who told me to talk to the Genius technician… who knew nothing about the reimbursement part, but it seems like the “out of warranty” repair must be done with Apple if I were to get reimbursed, so I went ahead with just a simple HD replacement.

So on a Friday evening, I went to my local Apple store at Bellevue Square (good thing it is close… not like Yorkdale far). I went to the Genius bar and one of the staff roaming around the store checked me in. I arrived at 8:15pm and I had made an appointment for 8:30pm (the place was surprisingly busy, considering the store closes at 9:30pm), and I was half expecting them to be able to help me earlier since I was there with my laptop, but alas, apparently the floor sales aren’t all geniuses 😛 and there’s actually a very small number of geniuses at the store. So I told them instead of waiting for my appointment, I’d come back at 8:30pm.

After shopping for 15 minutes, I came back and waited…and waited… and no “genius” was able to assist me until almost 8:45pm. (Again, very surprised at how busy they are). Also apparently there are two queues at the Genius Bar – one for iPhone/iPods, the other for macs. And good thing I made an appointment, because their display was saying “No more new appointments for the day”, despite having a whole hour remaining before the store closes. Finally a genius came to the bar to help me, and I pulled out the printout of the recall details from the Apple website, and then pulled out my macbook. (At this point, I had re-inserted my original, busted HD into the macbook, and kept the HD that I bought at home) So the genius said he has to run some tests to verify the problem and then determine if I’m eligible for the recall. He plugged in some external USB HD thing and attempted to boot externally, but to no success – at which point I told him it is obvious my HD is dead since you can actually hear the clicking sound of the HD upon bootup, and he said then the boot sequence won’t work and it won’t be able to boot from the external HD (not sure why, but I’m not questioning his judgment as long as he is putting me through the recall program). So he took down my mac’s serial number and such, and he also noticed the infamous chassis crack, and he said that can be replaced for free as well! sweet! :D. He checked his computer and found that they don’t have any replacement HDs in stock (my original HD is 80GB, which they don’t make anymore, so he’s forced to “upgrade” my HD to a 160GB… though in reality the HD I bought for myself is 320GB). He asked if I want to leave the macbook with them and he’ll give me a call next week when the part is in and they’ve finished the repair… at which point I surprised him by saying “No, can I come back and drop off my macbook when you’ve the part in?” He must have thought I’m really dumb or something to want to keep a non-functional macbook, but in reality I do have a working HD at home and I do need the macbook on Monday night for worship practice. So he took down my contact info and said he’ll call me when the part is in.

Come Monday afternoon, I was hoping the Apple Store would call me to tell me I can bring my macbook in, as I was planning on dropping it off after worship practice at 9pm (store closes at 9:30pm), since I was in the area. Since they haven’t called, I decided to call them instead at 5pm, at which point I was able to confirm the HD is in and I can bring my macbook in for fixing. So after worship practice that evening, I swapped out my HD again and rushed to the Apple Store to drop off my macbook. I got there around 9:15pm and the staff was already cleaning up (apparently they clean all their monitors and screens of all their device before store closing). No genius was around to help me (again) so I ended up dropping off my laptop with the store manager. He looked at the work order and marked “no KBB” on it – signaling that when they replace my cracked chassis, don’t replace the keyboard. 🙁 He said the store will call in a few days when the repair is complete. As I was leaving the store… it felt a little strange since I didn’t get any receipt that I dropped off the laptop or anything, so what if they misplaced my laptop or something? But Apple won’t screw me over right… and so I left.

Tuesday at work, I received a call saying my laptop repair is done and ready for pickup, so I decided to swing by after work to get it (which makes the 3rd time I’m dropping by the Apple Store in 5 days, good thing I live close to it!) I went around 6:30pm, and it is super busy inside as usual. One of the floor sales asked if he could help me, and I told him I’m only here to pick up my laptop after a repair, at which point he pulled me aside to one of the iMacs, logged in as himself to some store management website, and entered an order for some 1 year AppleCare plan, and then he asked me what my laptop was as he was filling out the form. I got a little suspicious and reiterated to him I’m here to pickup my laptop… not to buy AppleCare… but he said that was the system they use to get the repair guys at the back to bring out the laptop :|. So after that is done, he just asked me to wait… and so I entertained myself with the iPod Touches playing Flight Control for a whole… 20 minutes 😐 After that super long wait, they brought my laptop out and called my name, checked my ID and got me to sign papers etc etc. and gave me back my macbook.

Getting home, I checked my repaired macbook – the chassis is fixed, and the keyboard AND trackpad is both replaced! 🙂 The hard drive is fresh as well, and apparently they put snow leopard on it as well, so now I somehow have a free copy of snow leopard. Did a quick check on system info to make sure they didn’t switch my laptop with someone else’s (since I upgraded the RAM in it myself), but all is in order. Looking at the bill, the total cost of all the repairs came to somewhere around $360, all of which I got for free :). Definitely no complaints about the repair itself (not that it was anything challenging) but the store definitely could use more “geniuses” and have better ways to streamline their workflow, imo.


iTunes Movie Rentals by teewee

I am running out of iTunes monies!!!

After being infused with a fresh $20 giftcard about a month ago, I am almost down to nothing due to renting movies, $4.99 a pop! While the price feels steep in relation to buying single songs, it is:
a. in line with renting from blockbuster and
b. super convenient,
You’re able to start the movie about one-minute after you rent because it downloads in the BG, which makes it really convenient (and good for someone such as myself–re: instant gratification). My one gripe is that once you start the movie, you have 48-hours to complete it. I think originally, the time limit was 24-hours, but its been extended to 48-hours, which, still, IMO is a bit short, it’s not like they really need the file back to rent to others, so I’m not sure what the rationale is there.

Well, this was originally supposed to just be a comment in response to yfa’s SOTD post but it became too off topic and long to be a comment..


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