Well, as I round out the old year and welcome in the new, I do it on a Compaq Armada built during the Great Depression. An historical note: the buttons on this keyboard are actually buttons. From coats. The mouse is made from a used bean-can, apparently. Ba-Klinka! I have to stop writing soon because as the house fills with diesel fumes, I get less cogerent. Slong tory shtort. The Apple maptop that I usually stare at all day is now doing its computing and data storage somewhere in hell. It was a good system and I was able to backup all my crap. But the TRUE crux of the story is... F the Apple Store, or as people now call it, the iPod store. Or as I now call it, the Apple Puts People Last Ever Since the Underrated Computer King Started Selling Ipod Toys store.
I am an AppleCare member. And Apple no longer sells AppleCare, it now be called ProCare. Am I ProCare? Who the fuck knows. I know that since I'm not "officially" a ProCare member (reserved only for Apple newbies), I'm not allowed the courtesy of a human being answering a phone when I call the APPLESUCKSSIT store. Their AppleCare phone lady (I refuse to refer to her as "support") gave me the phone number of the Syracuse store, a phone number which stonewalled me and and referred me to a web-site. A web-site I can easily access from a computer. A broken-ass, fried hard-drive, question-mark-flashing computer. I know this logic stinks like a hog-fart to the ordinary joe off the street, but we're talking about a corporation that has finally begun its race to the bottom. Due, miserably, to the goddamned iPod.
Don't get me wrong, the goddamned iPod has it's uses. The one I bought for Nicole for Xmas (holy damn, that "X" saves time!), was actually quite useful since I was able to back up all my music, art, sketches, ideas and writing on it quickly, a mere 12 hours before the death of the thing. But still -- should I be pleased to have to go to a mall where the dopey store is crammed with sweaty iPod nonafforders? Remember computing? It was what Apple did before they started making what is basically an accessory for the mullets with $329 Dells.
I'm less than pleased that the AppleCare phone number got me through to a woman who had no idea what my computer was outfitted with, even with my serial number (shouldn't that be a simple matter of inventory?), and had no idea what to say without relaying my questions senile-style to some other Genius*...
Me: The computer is flashing a question-mark now.
Her: OK, please hold. [phone is clumsily muffled] He says it's flashing a question-mark.
Unidentified Tech Support Superior: Mee-froo-freefoo moo-moo. Me-me.
Her: OK, shut it down by holding the startup button.
Me: God, you're a stupid dumb ass.
Her: OK, please hold. [phone is clumsily muffled] He says I'm a stupid dumb ass.
Unidentified Tech Support Superior: MEE-MEE! MOO MOO!
Her: OK, I think your computer is dead, I sentence you to the Mall. Shoulda been nicer, dick.
*Genius- (jeen-yus), corporate proper noun. The new name of the Apple support people. In order to compete with equally-insipid corporate dipshit outfits such as Geek Squad, Apple has renamed their formerly-competent tech support team. This name is vigorously arrogant and will soon backfire into a joke among others in the trade.
Also, once you have an appointment at the APPLESUCKSSIT store, you don't check in, or have your name called. You wait until your name comes up on a small screen above the counter. The screen runs demos for the new version of OSX while you stare at it, pathetically waiting for your name to come up on it. When my 15 minutes of fame finally came I was out on a bench in the mall, sick of being sardined by giant-assed, lollipop-mouthed shoppers intent on greasing up the on-display iPods. Those earpieces get very full of ear-dandruff.
A Genius (man, that name sounds sarcastic and insulting, even when used kindly), named Simon who helped me out was fast and helpful, and I have only kind words for him, but man, Apple corporate is really doing its best to ruin a good thing.
End of rant, but only because I only got enough coal at christmas to keep this grinding, beeping monstrosity going for a few more minutes. So, to sum up:
Dear Mr. Jobs,
You're fucking this up.