Another trip to the genius bar at the Apple store

Last Thursday I opened my macbook at work and noticed that part of the top case was splintering off , parallel to the front just above IR sensor. I was heading up to Vermont that afternoon, so decided I could just secure it with some tape, and get it fixed on Monday.

I made an appointment at 5:40 at the Apple store midway on my walk between work and my apartment in Cambridge, and arrived at 5:35 as requested. As is normally the case, they were running 20-30 minute behind, but provided a vibrating pager so I could wander around the mall. Conveniently, the pager plays music when it’s out of range, but I’ve never heard that: seriously, who would need to leave the Apple store?

It was finally my turn, and Russ-the-Genius took one look at the crack and said “we can replace that – can you wait 30 minutes?” 🙂 I then mentioned my irreproducibly dodgy AC adapter: sometimes when green light would be on, but the macbook would claim to be on battery power, other times it would be plugged in and there’d be no light on the plug. Of course, it worked for Russ, but he muttered something about not wrapping the cord so tightly around the brick, and said they could replace that as well.

I purchased AppleCare (extended warranty) when I got the macbook last May, and I’m glad I did, since the macbook is not out if its included warranty, and I overheard someone else asking about a topcase replacement: $240 for parts and labor.

Off I went to wander, just after posting to my tumblr, and being engaged in conversation by an older fellow complimenting me on my typing skills who really just wanted someone to talk to, I think. So, we chatted for a bit, before my rumbling stomach suggested I find food.

Back after a thoroughly dull meal (hey, it’s mall food), I hung out at the genius bar listening to other people’s problems and making small talk with geniuses who gave the impression that that they somewhat remembered me (including the one who had replaced my hard drive some hours after my return from Norway).

• Short, young, slightly plump, slightly underdressed young lady batting her eyelashes at a genius, “can you help with me this?” She pulled out an AC adapter from a tiny pink shopping bag, and handed it to him, mumbling some problem. He patiently explained that if she’d brought her computer with her, they could replace the cord for free. No amount of eyelash-batting could sway him, it seemed, so she wandered out.

• Young dude with too much blond hair covering his eyes wondering about problems with Flash installations. “We’re limited with what we can do with 3rd party apps,” explained the genius, “but make an appointment, bring in the laptop, and we can probably fix it.”

• Baseball-wearing middle aged fellow holding what looked like a 3G iPod. “Can you help me? It doesn’t work.” Genius asked for a name, asked if there’s an appointment (“er, a what?”), noted that there are no iPod slots left that evening, then asked for the iPod to take a look at it. He plugged it in, took a listen, and then proclaimed the drive to be dead. Suggestions in hand, (new one, or ipod rescue), the fellow wandered off.

“Let me see if Russ has that fixed for you” said the genius immediately next to me. Just as he was turning to head to the back room, Russ wandered out, my macbook in hand. 10 minutes of paperwork for that, another 10 minutes to get a new ac adapter and paperwork for that … and I was ready to go.

I had one other problem – iTunes refused to add an album of purchased music. Russ wasn’t the iTunes guy, so he pointed out a manager I could ask; she found an iTunes dude to help. We tried various way of importing all of which failed. We (re) authorized the computer. We did not reinstall OS X. He found another iTunes dude who noticed — as I’d failed to do for some time — that while the files all looked OK, they were zero bytes in length, so of course they couldn’t be added. We chuckled… and they tried to assure me that Apple would maybe perhaps “do something” if I couldn’t find the original files. What fun.

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3 Responses to Another trip to the genius bar at the Apple store

  1. James Murdoch says:

    the adventures of mike in the apple store! how fun, i think the most important question to ask is, what album was it that you bought? 🙂 were the non existent files the ones you downloaded or copies?

  2. Mike Franklin says:

    hehe thanks, james. I’d purchased Transatlanticism (death cab for cutie) from the iTunes store and moved it around on several computers and drives … not sure when it was last “whole”

  3. henrik says:

    I really enjoy these stories! Especially the people descriptions! LOL!

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