youtube channel for steve oakley
Facebook logo for steve oakley

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Apple Finally Makes It Right

I am working on a huge large AE project right now that is very CPU intense. After some research, I decided on a i7 iMac. The price was right, 16gb of ram was cheap, it was fast, and the 27" 2556X1440 screen is amazing. I could render on one machine while working on the other. This machine is slightly faster then my 8 core tower, the extra large screen made AE faster and easier to use so I was happy.

Two days after I got it, it started just shutting down. No warning, just shut off like the power plug had been pulled. I went through running the diagnostics for several hours, shaking the machine a bit, wiggling the power cable around, swapping the power cable, different outlet on different UPS and the problem persisted. I called apple and took it to a local apple authorized repair center.

I got "yessed" to death by the counter person. She totally did NOT get it that I was using these machines to make money, get work done, not surf p0rn on the net. Completely clueless that some people do mission critical work on deadlines. I told them what was wrong with the machine, what needed to be replaced - the motherboard and power supply. I kept getting a "We can't order any parts until it fails or we'll be charged for the parts" routine. I again explained I could not let the machine sit there for a week, can you give me a loaner ( no ), what part don't you get I can't be without this thing for a week.  YES ! No not really, you are not really listening to a word I'm saying, your just saying yes.

I told her there might be left over bits of some confidential material ( project ) on the machine which I had removed. If they saw some odd leftover bit left behind in the process of servicing the machine they could not talk about it. She half laughed in my face "Oh my that sounds so serious!". Yes it is that serious!  You really don't want to meet the legal team of a big huge corp on the wrong end of a paper serving. Idiot. I  left the machine there against better judgment.  

It sat there running the same diagnostics I had run, all day. No failure, just like I said would happen. I had let the machine crank through 9 hour AE renders with all cores at the max without a problem. This wasn't the way to cause the failure, if it could even be caused at all. 

I got apple on the phone during the day , got my case escalated to a senior customer service rep. They person needed more info from the machine. I went and got my machine back after driving in a snow storm. When I went to get my machine the bobble heads just smiled as I took the machine back, telling me that almost no one ever gets apple to authorize parts for a repair in advance until it fails. I should just wait a week or two for it to fail ( maybe ) and then they can do something. They don't know me do they ? :)

The person I worked with at apple gave me their email address and direct phone extension so I had one point of contact through resolving this. I will say I was treated with respect and courtesy by the apple person and they understood my level of knowledge when it comes to computers. They also understood my situation.

They wanted some info from the machine. I had  to run a data gathering utility to see what the system logs had to say.

I ran a small apple data capturing app that was emailed to me from apple. I got the logs they wanted, sent them back. Several days went by, over the weekend and into the next week. The guy I was working with had tues and weds off :(. Thurs, I get a call.

Sure enough, the logs show that 12V power was being lost in the machine. Its a hardware problem. Would you like to repair it or replace it as its under their 30 day from delivery DOA policy. Replace it please ! I don't want to replace the power supply,and then find out its actually logic board causing the problem. I don't want to do a piecemeal repair until its figured out. ok, no problem !

I'm waiting for a call to do the swap out, but its good they came around to do the right thing without a problem once it was clear the hardware was bad. I had been saying that from the very beginning.

As for the YESing local repair place,  I told you so.