Just two weeks ago, I documented the untimely demise of my Xbox 360, and here I am again blogging about another moribund piece of cherished consumer electronics.
When I tried to wake my MacBook Pro from sleep this morning, the screen remained black. The harddrive spun up, the fans kicked in, and the backlit keyboard responded as it should, but the screen showed nothing.
I ran through the usual steps I go through when something goes amiss, but to no avail. I went poking through some forums, and after a joyless half hour of troubleshooting, I came to the conclusion that the graphics card had gone tits up.
Apple customer care were fantastic, and told me to bring it to my local reseller for a free replacement of the defective parts, and [after assuring me that I'd be looked after if the local repair guys royally cocked up this job the same way they did the last] I brought the computer in for a test. Sure enough, it failed, and I was told they'd have the computer back to me in full working order by Wednesday at the latest.
I bought my computer in January 2008, and paid just under €2,000 for it. A non-Apple notebook with the same specs would have cost €500 less. Since getting the computer, I've had issues with dead pixels on the display (graciously fixed by Apple even though my computer was one month out of warranty), intermittent difficulties with the LCD backlight not wanting to turn on, and a kernel panic caused by something as banal as installing outdated printer drivers on the (self-proclaimed) "world's best operating system". No more than 18 months after first getting the computer, I noticed that the body of the machine seemed to be expanding in the heat, resulting in a number of unsightly bulges and protrusions around the seams, and when I lay my palms down to use the keyboard, I hear the housing click underneath my hand.
At times I wondered how Apple could justify the premium they charge for their computers, but really, my MacBook Pro is the best computer I've ever owned, and likely the best money I've ever spent. It's amazing to think that all my grievances about a computer that's 30 months old can be cataloged in a single blog entry. I have a far less sophisticated understanding of the Mac's operating system than I did any of my Windows-based PCs, but I feel as though I don't need to really understand it in order to get the performance I expect. I can recall the handful of times my Mac crashed, and I can remember specifically what caused these issues, which I consider 'progress' for operating system stability.
I love my MacBook, but I'm not an Apple fan. I'm going to try and get another 30 months of use out of this computer (5 years is a lofty goal for any piece of tech), and once it's time for a new computer, I'm going to buy whatever offers the least hassle for the user.
In other news, it's my birthday tomorrow, so I'm taking the recent self-destruction of my prized possessions a little more personally than usual.
I'm not sure what this means...
10 hours ago