Ramblings

Slightly annoyed with Apple.

I'm miffed.

I've been using Macs since the late 1980s and, in general, all the systems I've used have been solid systems with very little trouble.

That was until 2010.

I purchased a new 2010 8-Core MacPro from Apple in October of 2010. It was one of the new models. The machine arrived in late October and, after a week of preparation, I finally had it installed and was using it daily. It seems like a great system. However, I started noticing that under a load of about 80% or higher there would be a hard system freeze. I watched temperatures and fan speeds with iStatMenus (great little app) and noticed that even as temperatures rose the fan speeds never changed. So... I tested. I manually ramped up fan speeds and put the system under load - no freeze. In mid-November of 2010 I put a call in to Apple and after running a SHARK report at their request, Apple asked for a system exchange. Repair wasn't even offered. They wanted the system back. So I obliged and packed up the new system and sent it back. After 3 days I received a replacement 2010 8-Core MacPro.

The replacement MacPro arrived near the end of November and set up was easier and it was in service within a day. I used it daily for many hours all through the remaining portion of November and December. Tested it under heavy load, no problems. It all ran great.

I've had absolutely no issues and haven't felt the need for anything more regarding the system. Well... other than Apple working out the sleep/wake issues with OS10.6, the new hardware and the ATI cards if you have multiple displays attached. Although the sleep/wake issues aren't really a hinderance, they are merely an annoyance when one sits down to work (must reset display preferences 80% of the time.)

Well my joy ended today in a pop and an odor.

I sat down to work.... completed a few things, checked email, verified the nightly backup, etc. then moved on to a project I needed to work on. Opened it in Indesign, made a few changes, then CLICK - darkness... nothing... no monitors... no sounds... nothing. I looked down.. no power light on the MacPro. I leaned down to look.. smelled something burning.

My initial reaction was, as you can probably imagine, a very large uppercase 4-letter word.

I pressed the power button once or twice, no response. So I pulled the tower out from under the desk. Unplugged it, put it up on a table, opened it, and just took a look around. I can see no direct damage anywhere.

Naturally I called Apple immediately. So... good news is obviously it's under a year old and will be repaired at no cost. Even more will be repaired on site at no cost so I don't have to lug in into a repair center. Bad news.... I have to wait for Apple to ship the parts (power supply and logic board "just in case") to the local repair center, then wait for the repair center to contact me so they can come out and repair the system. Chances are, it being Friday, the part won't ship until Monday so the repair center won't have it until Tuesday and I won't get a call until Wednesday at the earliest. What a pain in the neck.

I've since connected my 2008 MacBookPro to my 30" Monitor and my external drives, scanner, tablet, keyboard, etc and am using that as a substitute. But, honestly, it's like going from a Mazaratti to a Ford Escort - sure they will both get you from point A to B but they do it in incredibly different ways.

So that was my Friday.. what fun! I certainly hope yours was better.

Update

I had an on-site repair on Jan 11, 2011 which replaced the power supply and logic board.

The repair tech finishes everything. We plug it in. Hit the power button and *click* nothing.

So I spoke to Apple again. This time I requested a new machine. If the current MacPro had a short so deep in the system that replacing both the Power Supply and the Logic Board didn't cure the issue, I don't want that system.

Apple agreed to send me a new system. So I packed up the non-functional MacPro and shipped it back.... now I'm waiting for a replacement to be built (It was a CTO machine) and then shipped. Why the order wasn't expedited is beyond me. You would think, for the sake of their reputation, Apple would put an all-out rush on any replacement system.

This is a nightmare I'd never have expected from Apple. It's been 4 months since my purchase and today I do not have a working MacPro. For anyone keeping track this will equal one purchase and three, yes 3, machines to try and fill that purchase.

I think the mass production at Chinese plants is starting to show. This never would have happened 5 years ago.

Oh, I also learned that there is a difference between the standard one year warranty with a new machine and having AppleCare. I always thought they were the same, other than the phone support (which I've never needed). Apparently with AppleCare they can issue on-site repairs. That won't happen if you don't buy AppleCare. And boy.... do they push AppleCare when you've got an issue, even if you haven't had a working system for more than 50 days at a time.

I'm disgusted, annoyed, and angry. I simply want what I paid for back in October of last year.

Update #2

I finally received a new machine in early Feb 2011. I've been using the system for a few months now with no issues. I even dropped in an SSD for the boot volume. This third system seems to be solid. However, I did for the first time ever, purchase Applecare for it. Maybe that was the ploy all along.

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