June Newsletter
   May 31, 2012         |    Santa Barbara, California             

Cracked Screen

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Greetings, most appreciated Clients and Friends,

I often get asked whether or not I’m going to write a funny book or comedic screenplay about life in the Apple support business.  People seem to think our day is full of Bill Cosby narrated, uproariously funny, non-stop zany, outrageous, loss of bladder control moments about the darndest things that people say. What they might not imagine is it could be akin to watching a German sitcom without subtitles or Deutsch to fall back on.  Not to ding Germany’s national humor pride, but on the outside chance the book was funny, I’m pretty sure it would only be so to other computer support technicians.  The vast majority of the things we find humorous are techy inside jokes.

First of all, here are a few really basic facts, that most people don’t get no matter how often we share them.

1) Hard drives are for data storage, RAM (or Memory) makes your computer run faster.  They are 2 totally different things like the interior space in your car -vs- the engine.

2) Hard drives die suddenly and often catastrophically regardless of their age or how well they were “cared” for or prayed over.

3) There is virtually no relationship to what you were doing when something on your computer died unless it was dropping said computer or pouring liquid into it.

That being what it is, here's often what happens.

A very nice, but stressed and depressed woman (we’ll call her “Sara”) comes to us after dropping her laptop and finding it did not appreciate that.

“Hey Sara.  How’s it going?”

“Uh good, I mean, not-so-good.  I dropped my laptop off the sofa and now it won’t start up.”

“Yeah, they don’t tend to like that.  Let’s get it checked in and we’ll have a look and see what we can do.”

“The thing is it only dropped about 3 feet.”

“I’m guessing that’s the height of your sofa.”

“Exactly!  Does that mean anything?”

“You have a tall sofa?”

“No, I mean does it tell you anything?  It landed on the carpet and only on this side of the computer.”

“It just means you dropped your laptop and now we will try to fix it.”

“Is it covered under the warranty?"

“No, the warranty doesn’t cover dropping more than 2 feet.”

“Actually, come to think of it, it could have been less than 2 feet.”

“You know I’m joking, right?  Um, sorry. Bad timing."  Long pause while she stared at me blankly.  "The warranty would not cover anything other than normal use failure issues.”

“I’ve dropped it before and nothing happened.”

“So dropping your laptop onto the floor is considered ‘normal use’ for you?”

“Well, yes.”

“Hmm, well that’s interesting.  You might have a point there.”


“No.  Still not covered.”

“Are you sure?”

“Sara, laptops are not designed to survive being dropped or having liquids poured into them.  You’ve been lucky so far.” 

“I spilled a glass of wine on this too and it was fine.  Little soap and water and I went back to email.”

“I think you may have an abusive relationship with your laptop.  She may leave you one day you know?”

“Well, it’s never failed to boot up before in the past 4 years.  In fact, I used to have a [insert any other brand name here] and it never failed.  In fact, it’s about 20 years old and I gave it to my niece who is still using it today.”

“I’m certain she’s as amazed about that as I am.  Are you sure it’s not a typewriter?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  I’m not technical, you know.”

“Understood.  Well, we’ll do our best to diagnose and repair this laptop.”

See?  It’s probably all inside jokes...

Either way, we’re here to assist you on the journey. 

Remember, you only have 30 days to save your Mobile Me data and transition to Lion and the iCloud.  Call or email if we can help.  It’s not as smooth as Apple would like us to believe.

Warm Regards,