My laptop computer died again last weekend. At this point, one would think that I might be giving up on the Macintosh experiment in favor of trying out a PC. Which points out the glaring fact that there aren't many alternatives in the way of computing out there. You can get a PC or a Mac. You can get a PC and put Linux on there, or some other operating system, but it's still a PC. The fact that there are dozens of PC makers out there doesn't count. It's still a PC. And based on the fact that you can't get Final Cut Pro on a PC, I will be buying Apple computers until the next great edit system comes along on a different platform.
Anyway, back to my busted laptop. As was the case last time this happened (about 4 months ago), the computer was doing nothing. It became slower and slower until I decided that it would be a good idea to try to back the thing up, and then the backup took about 2 hours. I tried to erase the drive, and no luck. Ruh roh.
I got online and put my name in line for the Genius Bar at the Apple Store downtown. It was about 10 am (which is when they open), so I was first in line. I rushed down there on Muni (which isn't really rushing at all based on the schedule of trains - future rant coming) and arrived about 10:30. My name was first in line, but on the monitors, it said "next Genius available at 11:55 am". Nice. A pair of Euro glam women were tired of waiting for the next Genius, so one of them raised a stink about how she didn't want to wait and she just wanted to drop off her computer for repairs (which is what I wanted to do), and the Genius who was moderating the line fell for her accent and glam look and let her go to the front of the line. Unfortunately I'm neither a woman or have a Euro accent or glam, so I continued to wait.
(The ironic part is that I finished my Genius session before the Euro ladies did.)
Finally my name came up and a guy named David was assigned my Genius. He immediately asked if the laptop was under warranty. Nope. Apple Care? Nope. He attached his Genius toolkit to the computer and came up with the fact that the drive was fried. I told him my story of how the last Genius I spoke with in February (when my laptop was still under warranty) diagnosed that the drive wasn't in danger of frying (not exactly what the Apple Hardware test CD diagnosed) and that I should just write zeroes to the disk and re-install and it would be just fine and dandy. David said he totally disagreed with the other Genius, and asked for his name, which I couldn't remember. In any case, David said they would repair my laptop FREE OF CHARGE. For all my griping about bad customer service at places like Travelocity - which I continue to advise against ever using, ever - this was a glimmer of hope that some people on the other end of the counter actually remember what it's like to be a customer. Thank God for Geniuses. The good ones anyway.