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#24Days: Toffee Apples….

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 | No Comments

For my sins I got a call earlier today to ask if I wouldn’t mind taking a look at an Apple MacBook to see if I could fix an issue with it, as it wouldn’t boot up.  Not having the first idea about Apple software, I figured that the hardware couldn’t be all that different and I wasn’t prepared to be beaten by a bunch of 1’s and 0’s.


So off I went to take a look. 


And it was at that moment I suddenly realised why I’ve never owned a Apple computer.  I used a Mac at school – it was the machine I learned to type upon – and yes they were rather old, they were also very basic, which makes me wonder why they actually cost so damn much to begin with?


With a bit of indication from the owner, we managed to navigate towards the diagnosis of the machine – it turned out that the hard disk was failing.  A quick Bing search revealed that the issue is fairly common and that the machine should be taken to an “Apple Genius” for repair.  I’ll type that again – take the machine to an Apple Genius for repair!  I didn’t want to take the machine to anyone linked to Apple, its a hard disk failure, on an out of warranty machine, I just wanted the machine to work and for it to be fixed.


Normally on a Windows based machine, you can switch off the S.M.A.R.T. hard disk detection – not on an Apple machine. So, regardless of the fact the hard disk was actually working and would allow the re-installation of Mac OS something or other, but after that point, wouldn’t boot into the operating system at all, because the disk has been detected as a near potential failure.  Thank you Apple!


It was clear what had to be done – I’m not giving in to any Apple “Genius”, so the screwdrivers came out.  After unscrewing what seemed like a million screws from the base of the machine, it was then impossible to remove the base of the machine to take a look at the insides.  Reminiscing of the time I opened up my Apple iPod just after the warrant expired to replace the battery, I remembered how much they like to make it impossible to tinker with the innards of anything donning the Apple logo, despite the fact that the laptop had been bought and paid for!


Finally located a “L” shaped bracket, we yanked the hard disk from the machine and were able to order another.  I only hope that Apple haven’t implanted some chip into their disk that only allows an Apple approved hard disk to be used in the machine – I wouldn’t put it past them.


Yesterday I read an article on TechCrunch by Sarah Lacy speculating that the era of the Apple Fan Boy was over or certainly waning, over the companies closed off attitudes and power plays with the market, likening their actions to those of Microsoft at the peak of their dominance in all sectors. 


Personally, I’m glad consumers are finally waking up to Apple – I abandoned them after issues with my iPod, swearing never to own another Apple product again.  After my encounter today with a MacBook, I feel all the more grateful that my trusty HP laptop is mine, easy to maintain and in the event of a failure, I can take to it with a screwdriver and easily replace those parts; no closed hardware, no closed software.


And if you’re wondering how I managed to have a MacBook in one hand and a screwdriver in the other and I never did any damage….one word: willpower!

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