Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ask, Help, Thanks - While Getting My Mac Fixed

I picked up my computer from the MacHaus about 9am yesterday.  He reset something and there was a $60+ charge.  But it worked.  Once I was home and on it for a short while, it suddenly shut down again.  And it was hot.  It restarted and I put an ice pack under it and it stayed on a while, but this wasn't going to work.

My Macbook is getting old for a Macbook - I bought it four years ago.  (OK, I think four years is a really short time for a good quality item to go bad, in general.  The computer people claim that in four years it will be out of date.  Generally it works fine, but I do need a lot more memory and speed with all the photos and videos I have.  But when I talk to the computer folks they act as if my Mac is well beyond the average life span.  But that's another post or five.)  I'm looking for a new one, but this shutting down is brand new and only began a few hours after I got it back with a new fan.  (The old one worked, but was getting really noisy.)

So I tried to call Ben, who sold it to me originally to get his thoughts.  He wasn't at work (at Best Buy, not the MacHaus - but Best Buy doesn't do actual repairs in town) but another Mac guy said that they shut down if they overheat.  Could they check if the new fan is working? (Remember, I'd already taken it in to MacHause twice.)  So that's why I was in the car and not on the bike.  Getting out to Dimond and then maybe to the MacHaus and then to the redistricting board meeting downtown wasn't going to happen if I was on the bike.

It turned out Best Buy's geek squad would have to charge $70 to open the computer and check the fan, so I went back to the MacHaus.  That's when I passed these guys with their cardboard signs.
If you click and enlarge you can read the sign - Ask, Help, Thanks
For folks outside of Anchorage, this may or may not be a familiar sight.  It has been in Anchorage.  But recently, our mayor has had this thing about the homeless and got the Assembly to pass a law that makes it  illegal to give beggars money in the street from your car and there's up to a $300 fine.  Are these real beggars or is this a police sting operation?  Just joking, but it did seem kind of in your face given the new law.  I didn't have time to stop to ask if business was down.  (Can you imagine a tourist in a rental car getting fined for giving $5 to a street beggar?  That will be interesting.  Let's hope the police just give a warning.)

I got to the MacHaus and while they acted like I was the problem, they did check out the fan.  Lo and behold, "it's seizing."  They ordered a new fan and it should be here today or tomorrow.  The tech guy was much nicer to me afterward and even agreed that I shouldn't have had to pay yesterday morning when I first got it back.  He did say what he did was for a different problem (the computer wasn't starting - just got to the white screen and the little icon twirling around), and I pointed out that had never happened until they 'fixed' the fan and the computer started heating up and shutting down.  Which also had never happened before.

With a new Apple store due to open in the Fifth Avenue Mall this summer, I expect there will be a shakedown of the other stores that sell and service Apple products.

I'm still on J's computer and I have a ton of things to post, and I'll try to get some up.  I also need to decide on a new computer.  Even fixed, I know it isn't going to be dependable for much longer.

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