Sunday, July 8, 2007

How MacBook Broke My Heart

A letter:

Dear Macbook,

On my 22nd birthday you gleamed white and sexy. I was drawn to your sheen, your sparkle. You wanted me to touch your hotkeys. (God, yes.)

Other men took passes at you, flirted with your screen. But what they really wanted was the iPod. Me? I wanted you. (Lord, have mercy.)

I took you home that day. My HPs and Gateways had fallen apart, but I knew you were a cut above: quick-witted, gorgeous, perfect. You'd be there for me when I'd graduate college, when I'd enter the first stage of my adult life. I knew I could depend on you.

The first time you got sick, I thought it was a fluke. "You need to restart your computer," you told me, "Hold the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button." That's weird, I thought, but I followed your directions and didn't think much of it.

Why would I? You were strong and healthy. I loved how you so smoothly sorted my videos in iDVD; I loved how your widescreen made my pictures pop with life, with energy. When I showed my friends the wonder that was your remote control, they turned green with envy. So what if you crashed one time. That's not enough for me to worry.

But then it happened again.

And again.

Suddenly I wasn't quite so comfortable with your hotkeys. I started to use you more carefully. Had I done something wrong? Why was this happening to us?

I didn't want another man to touch you, but what choice did I have? I took you to the Mac Store, where you were groped and prodded by a goateed guy in black-rimmed glasses and a red t-shirt. He was known as a "Genius." "It's a software problem," he said. "Re-install Mac OS, that'll fix it." I wasn't quite sure if I believed him, but he seemed far too bored and matter-of-fact in his diagnosis to be lying. And who was I to question a "Genius?"

The remedy didn't work; you were still sick. The "Genius" was an idiot. I turned to the Mac phone hotline for help, and there they gave me a series of try-this try-that solutions in which to heal you.

But nothing worked. The sickness began to define you. You lost your sleekness, your sparkle, your sexy. Who had you become? Were you really the one I took home, back when I was bright-eyed and hopeful, on my 22nd birthday?

I went to a different Mac Store. "Sometimes the RAM gets dirty, so we cleaned the fluff off it," Genius #2 said. "It should work now."

When Genius #2 was wrong, that's when I turned against you. Before I had blamed the Mac Store and the phone hotline, and I still blamed them, but weren't you the real problem? You weren’t hot. You weren’t perfect. You were just a microchipped lemon, and you took me for a sucker. (Girl, you breakin’ my heart.)

The next time I went to the Mac Store, Genius #3 told me he'd re-install your motherboard, your "brains." Intensive surgery. I signed some papers and said goodbye. Genius #2 watched the scene from afar and gave me a thumbs-up.

A few days later I got the call. Surgery had gone well. You had performed admirably in a four-hour series of tests. No crashes. You were ready to come back to me.

I signed more papers. You did look better, your screen shinier, your keyboard brighter. Days passed and you kept humming. I loved your new brains. (Baby, yes.) I was almost ready to forgive you. Almost. But then -

You're dead to me.



YiQi C. said...

That was hilarious.

(this is stina by the way; yiqi is my chinese name).

Michael said...

Anonymous said...

I want more!!
Love the writing!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for you to get the new iPhone. Now that will be a great blog subject for you!

Love your humor, Alex. Keep 'em coming!


David Ogles said...

Haha amazing ending dude. I'm adding you to my blogroll and my google reader feed so I get the funny fresh.

David Ogles said...

Oh yeah, and I have a macbook in a country with no mac stores so I'm officially terrified.

Joseph said...

Even I don't know what the problem is with your MacBook. Some Macs were just born to be bad apples, I guess (pun intended). There's an (unwritten, I think) policy that Apple will replace your computer if it breaks three times. I know some people who have used that service.

Hopefully my upcoming BlackBook purchase will go smoother...

Mic-B said...

my god, man! what are you running on that poor thing?

Anonymous said...

Kernel panics -- what you've experienced -- are almost always caused by a hardware problem, and most often that problem is bad/defective memory. This will usually reveal itself if you run the "Extended" test from the hardware diagnostic CD that was shipped with your computer. Run it, verify the failure of the memory, and have Apple replace it.

And I'm sure I don't need to tell you that defective memory is hardly unique to an Apple product. As the saying goes, "Shit happens."

PS: Nobody behind the counter at the Genius Bar pulls down more than ~$35k/year, and most of them are college students who have little or no Mac background beyond Apple's own training. Apple has offered me Genius Bar positions four times in the past three years but they're unwilling to pay people what they're worth.

Larry Sidney said...

Funny story! Well, it would be even funnier, except the EXACT same thing happened to me with my new Macbook Pro. After too many hours of wasted time trying to fix it, they finally swapped me a new one.

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