Thursday, 8 October 2009

Technological solutions

After an extraordinarily long period of time and huge amounts of consideration, I finally bought a new computer yesterday.

I have ranted and raved, cried (in John Lewis' customer services department which was excruciatingly embaressing), whinged, prevaricated, almost fluffed the decision several times and finally settled on a new Mac.

In order to reach my decision, I had to get past the fact that these days (I sound like my Mum) it doesn't matter how much you spend on an item, you are stuffed for after-sales care. It may not sound like much to lots of people, but I consider 800 pounds a lot of money. I spent this amount on a new macbook two years ago. I still remember the frisson of excitement as I removed said lap top from its sleek Californian box; I was so pleased with it, and excited to be moving into a land of virus- and glitch-free computing.

But within 11 months the hard drive died on me (in the middle of a week when I was packing up my house in Korea to move to Kazakhstan and halfway through editing the last edition of the magazine that I worked on). It was still just within its first year's warranty. So although it rather threw the whole system that the machine had been purchased in the UK, was living in Korea but moving to Kaz, I was able to have it repaired free of charge.

Apple will fix things for you if they break soon after purchase, but then on the replacement parts that they put in, they will only guarantee them for 90 days. If you want a longer guarantee, you have to pay for it (about 200 quid for two years) And for a component as important as the hard drive, I think they should be surer about the quality of their bits than they are.

Eleven months after the first failure, the dreaded white screen of death appeared again. Apparently, my techno mate told me, the plasticky macbooks are prone to overheating because of their plastic covering which does not allow the hard drive to sufficiently cool. This may or may not be true, I don't know. But another friend who has a macbook (and a lot more patience than me) is on his third hard drive in three years. I figured after two hard drives in two years it would be better to to cut and run. I did try to seek help from Apple and also from John Lewis where I bought it, but no luck.

I was out of guarantee. I was out of Apple Care, I was out of John Lewis' store guarantee. It was just tough luck.

I tried to buy a PC but just couldn't bring myself to get such a clunky, niggly machine when the sleek lines, lovely keyboard and smooth operating system of the mac system was glowing at me from the mac section of the shop.

So I am typing this on a new 15" MacBook Pro, 1299 pounds poorer but able to play around in the dark because the keyboard lights up at night! Fancy pants!


  1. Congratulations! Big acquisition.

  2. Great to see you. Did Ann's baby arrive? London and Prague were great. How are things progressing??