by Megan M. on February 25, 2007 (Blog) |

Okay. I guess I haven’t explained my interesting computer situation.

Now that I’m on the couch and comfortable, maybe I can go through all of this without getting pissed off. I’m feeling pretty good and mellow (also, more than a little hungry).

The Macbook Pro was purchased a few months ago; no problems at all. Ran hot, blah blah blah. While in Ohio, something happened that I thought was only due to the heat issues—it kernel panicked. And then it kernel panicked again. And then it kernel panicked again. And then I left it alone for awhile, freaked out.

I thought it was just because it had been running hot—that I needed to keep it cooler. So I proceeded to be very careful about how hot it got. Occasionally if I wasn’t paying enough attention it would kernel panic again; if I didn’t leave off, it would do that several times. I bought external fans. I used SMC Fan Control to up the minimum fan speed, and that seemed to work for awhile. Of course, awhile later, the left fan stopped turning. Ever.

That freaked me out, and I knew I’d have to get someone to fix it. But after the left fan stopped spinning, I started really noticing the noise… the right fan was trying to make up for the damage, the dust, whatever—and my GOD, the NOISE! I called Apple, they opened a ticket, I brought it to Computize in Austin.

Computize had to order a part.

I waited a week or two.

I brought it back. I picked it up.

They hadn’t fixed the problem I’d brought it in for. He said it was a logic board problem. Okay, that’s fine. I’ll even cede that there was probably a logic board problem in addition to the fan problem—that explains the constant kernel panicking. But when I got it back, the fans weren’t fixed. And the guy told me that the left side fan wasn’t SUPPOSED to spin until the machine got really hot.

That didn’t sound right. Can anyone corroborate this? Both fans had been spinning from boot up as long as I had owned the computer. It was only after obvious problems occurred that the left fan stopped. Am I crazy?

So, they hadn’t fixed the problem, and I was out FAR too many work hours. I was seriously pissed off—because on top of the ORIGINAL PROBLEM not having been fixed, and you would think someone would check it, to make sure it was okay, right? But no one did. And on top of that, on top of that, the airport card was unrecognizable. Dude, I could take either of these alone. But both together meant I couldn’t use the computer at all. More work hours down the drain.

I had a few brief conversations with Computize, but the dude who had fixed it was gone for the afternoon, and he was the only one who could do that job. I even talked to the manager… no one cared very much. I had SUCH a bad feeling. And as a result, I behaved badly. I was REALLY angry.

I tried to take it to the Austin Apple store; apparently they just send laptops to the company to be fixed because there are just too many machines out there to be serviced by the one store. I ordered a box from Apple. They said it would arrive that day, or the next day, by courier. That was Wednesday. It didn’t come. (I didn’t expect it to, the same day.) Thursday, it didn’t come. Friday, they tried to deliver it… but the dude from Apple hadn’t added my apartment number. (I did, in fact, give him my apartment number.)

DHL isn’t allowed to change addresses or allow pickup for Apple. So they had to get authorization to add my apartment number and deliver, or let me pick it up. Guy swore up and down and PROMISED he would get back to me Friday or Saturday, since he was working Saturday too.

Didn’t. Hear. A PEEP.

So now it’s Sunday and I’m HOPING someone will deliver the damn box tomorrow. I need to call DHL in the morning to get someone’s attention on it. The longer this takes, the longer before I get my laptop back, and I need the laptop—Marty uses the old Powerbook, and to be absolutely fair… the iMac isn’t up to the things I need to do. Not anymore. Here begins the rest of the story.

I started using the iMac for work everyday. It was… a mess. I started fresh with a new user account and brought in ONLY the stuff I needed—even split some work off into a SECOND new user account to try and keep the resources needed at a minimum. Regardless of the time I spent doing this, trying to work on the iMac all day was incredibly difficult; as I mentioned in a previous post, there’s a 3-8 second stall everytime I do… anything. If I’m working primarily in Finder and one other app, I generally do okay. With the huge set of applications I need open to do my work well and fast, it was taking me FOREVER.

But I toughed it out.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday my patience wore out. Fucking beachball! I lost my shit, and ordered a stick of 1 gig RAM to replace one of the iMac’s 512 with. Cost me $120 with swift shipping; it should be here on Tuesday and I’ll find out what kind of difference 150% of RAM makes. I don’t know if it will work, but I couldn’t afford one stick of 2 gig memory… so we’ll have to see.

Today I couldn’t bear the idea of spending much time at the desk with the beachball. I futzed around all morning. Marty and I watched an episode of Angel before he left for D&D. And when he left, that was enough for me. I wasn’t going to put myself through that pain all day… again. I took the old Powerbook, hooked up ethernet, transferred over my most important Library files, made a couple of new user accounts… and here I am.

No beachballs in sight.

I don’t know what it is about that iMac. I do remember having similar problems before the Macbook Pro got to me, but it was never this bad. It has to do with something I’m running, maybe. I am running newer and more complex apps than I did before, that’s a given. I have an awful, AWFUL feeling that this whole miserable situation is good for me, because it’s forced me to get a little more organized with my workflow. But it’s also going to be 2+ weeks before I get my baby back, and I work so well on that beautiful little machine, heat or no heat. I want it back.

But this will do for now. And I can use the Powerbook while Marty’s gone 4-5 days a week, and struggle through using the iMac when he’s home in the evenings and on his days off. It will be fine. I can get through two weeks of this. And if I have to, we will figure out how I can have a computer with me at SXSWi. It will be okay. It will be a fucking challenge. You know? No problem.

Whew! So now you know what’s been going on in the electronic life of Megan for the last few weeks. Fun stuff, huh!?

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