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Taking the Plunge

June 10th, 2005

So I just got off the phone with the Apple Store, having ordered the new Mac. Should arrive in about a week and a half. Got the 15″ PowerBook G4 SuperDrive model running at 1.67 GHz, with optional U.S. keyboard (which causes the delivery delay).

Now to order an extra Gig of RAM.

I’m probably also going to order a Bluetooth mouse, though I don’t see many out there that look too attractive. But MacAlly has a new model, called the BT-Mouse, which sells for $50 and looks like it’s well-put-together. It’s full size (most BT mice are minis, which I don’t like at all), and has the third button just below the scroll wheel, also where I prefer it.

The mouse won’t be available for a few more weeks, but I should be able to get the RAM at about the same time as the computer arrives, which will be nice.

Anyone want to buy a used 800 MHz DVI TiBook?

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  1. June 11th, 2005 at 04:20 | #1

    I was just in the local Apple store looking at the PBG4 last week. Gorgeous little machine, nice choice. I was taken aback by the backlit keyboard and with how light the unit felt compared to how heavy I thought it would be.

    I’d ask what you want for the old one but shipping alone would kill me 😉

  2. Brad
    June 13th, 2005 at 14:54 | #2

    Luis, I’m feeling pretty peeved with Apple just now, so I thought I’d whinge in your most recently horribly-Apple-biased blog entry :-(

    I’m a computer nerd type and I’m happy to use open source software (Linux) and cheap ‘IBM compatible’ hardware. Been doing that for more than 2 decades. Works for me, but I understand that there’s a place for the Apples and Microsofts when it comes to non-computer-type laymen.

    Anyway … I’ve always been a bit … bemused … by the trend the kiddies exhibit when they snap up various contemporary gadgets due to their ‘coolness’ factor. Like Ipods. I didn’t have a clue what an Ipod was, but I gathered from various web comments here and there that they were MP3 players but priced higher than the el cheapo players because of the little Apple logo.

    (I seem to recall a blog entry of yours about a MP3/music thingie you bought some weeks/months ago, that you and your students were most impressed with. Don’t remember if that was an Apple product or not)

    Anyway, I actually bought an Ipod Shuffle myself 5 weeks ago. Not ‘deliberately’ … I’d bought a cheaper MP3 player with much more functionality, but had to return it, and in a moment of weakness paid an extra $20 to upgrade to the Shuffle rather than fighting for a full refund. This is why I normally never buy anything on impulse; I should have resisted the sales pitch this time.

    The Shuffle is defective … played beautifully on my morning jogs (after finding ‘GnuPod’ free software so I could load my MP3s from Linux) but when it came time to recharge it – dead. Can’t recharge from any USB port, even a Mac.

    So I take it back to the shop from whence I purchased the bloody thing, only to be told that I have to take it back to an ‘Authorised Apple Service Centre’. Which peeves me off because said centre is closed on shopping nights, and it would cost me $20 in parking and other costs to visit them when they decide to be open at their convenience.

    I finally found another Apple Service Centre only to then be told – after travelling an hour’s round trip – that they thought I was talking about some other sort of ‘Ipod’ (I gather there are bigger ones with hard disks) and the Shuffles aren’t handled by them, I have to fill out a web form, send it off to Apple, etc.

    The heart of my whinge – sorry I’m taking so long – if I buy a toaster from KMart and it’s bung I take it back to KMart to get replaced or for a refund. If I buy a T-Shirt from WalMart I take it back there if it’s no good. Usually, if one buys product X from store Y then, if the product is defective, I can take it back to Y.

    So I’m really really peeved at my shop just shrugging their shoulders and refusing to help me, saying that they’ve got an agreement with Apple, such that I have to do all the running around to suit said agreement. For more expensive equipment, I have to go out of my way to find an ‘Authorised Service Centre’. For the Shuffle I have to ship it off to Apple.

    If retailers have fancy-dandy agreements with Apple to do things like that, fine. But they should bloody well INFORM THE CUSTOMER prior to said customer buying something from Apple, don’t you think? After all this is finished with I’m certainly going to do everything I can to complain about not being told/informed about this unorthodox service procedure when I bought the stupid thing.

    My first, and last, Apple purchase.

    Being the Apple aficionado that you are, what’s your opinion?

    A. Is this the way Apple does things?
    B. Are Apple customers happy with this?
    C. Do most/some Apple retailers inform Apple-ignorant
    customers that this is the arrangement for service?
    D. Has there been problems with Apple manufacturing
    Shuffles that won’t recharge on the first bloody go?
    E. Is there a big ‘gulf’ between normal manufacturers and
    Apple in how things are done?

    I knew there was a reason I’ve never liked buying things for the ‘coolness’ factor and logo – clothing, shoes, MP3 players, etc.

    Half gripe, half wondering what you think of it/me from your Apple-experienced eyes.


  3. Luis
    June 13th, 2005 at 18:13 | #3

    Anyway, I actually bought an Ipod Shuffle myself 5 weeks ago.To be honest, the iPod Shuffle is the least appealing Apple product to me. My father offered it to me as a gift, and I turned it down, opting for the same amount towards purchasing software (specifically, iWork, which I mostly like). But the Shuffle seemed to me to be too un-featured.So I take it back to the shop from whence I purchased the bloody thing, only to be told that I have to take it back to an ‘Authorised Apple Service Centre’. Then your peeve is with the general business model: most electronic goods have this kind of system of doing things (in my experience, at least), and I have bought many items, mostly non-Apple stuff, with the stores telling me exactly the same thing. As for Apple’s service centers not being open at the best times, I can’t speak for that. But then I’ve always lived in urban centers, so an Apple store or representative center has always been within easy reach.

    But again, this is not an Apple thing, this is something you’ll find to be true with a wide range of products from many if not most manufacturers of electronic goods.But they should bloody well INFORM THE CUSTOMER prior to said customer buying something from Apple, don’t you think?I agree–but again, it’s not just Apple. In fact, it is primarily the policy of the store that sells it; they are responsible for informing you.A. Is this the way Apple does things?See answer above. Try it out: go to the same electronics store and ask them if this policy if for Apple products only, or if it applies to other items priced more than $50 or so as well, and how often that policy applies.B. Are Apple customers happy with this?I don’t think anyone would be happy with this, but I think that it’s just the way things are usually done.D. Has there been problems with Apple manufacturing Shuffles that won’t recharge on the first bloody go?As with any product, there is the possibility of things not working right. Apple’s customer service is very good about this kind of thing, and will likely ship you a new unit immediately. I have not heard of any specific problems with the Shuffle, but then again I have not looked for any.E. Is there a big ‘gulf’ between normal manufacturers and Apple in how things are done?On what do you base your opinion that most other businesses are different? In my experience, most purchases more than just a few dozen dollars (or possibly any item of an electronic nature) are of this nature unless the retailers themselves offer something like a 30-day-MBG.

    In short, I think your gripe is more with the retailer than with Apple–they’re the one with the no-direct-returns policy. I would not expect that Apple tells retailers to not refund or to deny return of merchandise. Possible, I admit, but I would think that would be more up to the retailer. As I suggested, you might want to check it out.

    Did you try calling Apple’s customer support? They are very highly rated and could’ve saved you a bit of trouble. Better yet, if there’s an Apple Store nearby, go there. But if not, try phoning customer support first. they should take care of you well.

  4. Brad
    June 13th, 2005 at 19:26 | #4


    OK, I guess I’m mainly showing my ignorance of ‘electrical retailership’, from what you’ve said. I don’t have much experience of taking-back-faulty-electrical-appliances – when under warranty – so fair enough, if Apple are only doing what most other manufacturers do. However, that really didn’t seem to be the case from this particular music shop; “Oh, it’s Apple, our agreement with them stops us from sending it back for you, you have to …” etcetera.

    As to the Shuffle, I thought there was a chance that battery-recharging-failure right off the shelf might have been a well-known flaw of a batch of them in Apple land.

    Anyway, I gather I’m now supposed to be a good little boy and visit their web site, enter details, they send me a box, I send it back, I wait 2 weeks, then they send it back … *sigh*.


  5. Luis
    June 13th, 2005 at 19:36 | #5


    Which country are you in? Your vocabulary sounds a bit British… If so, the UK Apple suport line is 0870-876-0753. Their Solution Expert Finder page is at:


    Otherwise, let me know where you’re located and I’ll see if I can find the info.

    I would truly be interested to find out if this store tells you this only in regards to Apple equipment… I just know that in Japan, whenever I buy electronic equipment, it’s always contact-the-manufacturer. I could be wrong, especially in your part of the world.

  6. Luis
    June 13th, 2005 at 19:38 | #6

    In any case, I’ve always found calling over the phone preferable–let them do the traveling, I say.

    The Apple support line should be free to anyone who made a purchase of Apple equipment over the past 90 days.

    Hope this all helps.

  7. June 15th, 2005 at 14:44 | #7

    Just a warning. These powerbooks get HOT.

  8. Luis
    June 15th, 2005 at 14:46 | #8


    Yes, I know.

  9. Order-taking
    October 3rd, 2006 at 00:28 | #9

    I prefer the compaq hp. For the simple reason that its got a bigger screen. can enjoy what i see in there.

  10. J-nine
    April 28th, 2007 at 23:35 | #10

    So this is a few years later, but I received an iPod Shuffle as a gift and from the get-go have had trouble recharging the darned thing. I couldn’t get it to charge from my iMac at work (I even had the IT department try — nice guys because no, it’s not work-related) but it seemed okay on my PC at home. For a while. Sometimes it recharges on the first attempt; sometimes it takes a couple of tries. Right now when I desperately need to hit the gym and lift my mood, it’s annoying me somewhat because I’ve been trying to recharge it since yesterday afternoon and it hasn’t recharged one iota.

    Anyway, I know you’re not a fan of this thing — neither am I. It’s buggy.

    If only my old Clio fit into my armband.


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