On Apple Fanboi-hood

I am a Mac guy. I got my first Mac Plus when I was in high school, and I've used it, a IIsi, a Power Computing PowerBase, a 12" iBook, a 17" Powerbook G4, and now an iMac G5. That doesn't count the 16 15" "iLamp" iMacs I inherited from the PSU labs when they upgraded. Really, I try to be neutral when the topic of Apple vs. Windoze comes up (I'm no Miraculous Mike), but I do tell people to go with whatever computer gets the job done best for them, and in my case that is absolutely a Mac. I do not pretend that I think that any Windoze machine could ever be considered the best tool for the job, but if someone claims that is true for them, I don't protest too much. Humorously enough, some of the guys that gave me absolutely the most grief about being an Apple fanboi (*cough* Siegel *cough* Ostheimer) went on to get Powerbooks. I claim about 5 switchers to my credit, but I have been feeling somewhat guilty about this lately.

Unfortunately, I have had a spate of hardware problems. My iBook had the infamous "squeaky hinge". Mine was extra stiff, and I always thought that one day the thing was going to crack (it never did). I don't remember why I never got Apple to deal with it, but I was pointed to (by a member of my super awesome User's Group email list) a link to a website telling you how to fix this yourself. The fix made my problem better, but it didn't go away completely. Still, whenever I think about the (now retired) iBook, I always remember that stupid hinge. Next -- the Powerbook G4. It was purchased right when they came out. I *know* I should never buy first gen hardware, but it was for work, I had the funds, needed a computer, and that was what I could get for the money I had to use. Within a short time, the computer died. I got it fixed under AppleCare and returned. Then, it died again. Once again, send it to Apple, it gets fixed, returned. My G4 was purchased alongside a second one for a colleague of mine, and she has also had two catastrophic failures. During this same time period, my sister's hard drive died in her iBook, and Siegel's Powerbook had a power supply failure.

I've been feeling very wary of Apple hardware lately, and I'm sorry to say that another problem has hit me -- my home iMac G5 has been crashing (with a kernel panic) *every* time it tries to wake from sleep. I found an old email in the user's group archive about a known iMac hardware problem that includes my symptoms and is known to affect machines with a range of serial numbers that includes mine, and it looks like my iMac will be covered by this extended AppleCare program. Still, though, of the last 3 Macs I've owned, I'm 3 for 3 with hardware problems. Friends who have bought Macs based on my suggestions have had hardware failures, too.

I'm trying not to be negative, because the flip side of this coin is that in every single case of mine, Apple has gone above and beyond to get things fixed (this includes sending me a box for the powerbook on Dec 29 and fixing it and returning it to me on Dec 31). I'll see what happens with the iMac tomorrow, but early indications are that this can be fixed easily. However, I think I have to start passing along the caveat to all friends, family, and random potential switchers -- be prepared for your hardware to have a problem at some point during the machine's lifetime, and don't be afraid to be a little pushy with Apple to try to get it fixed, even if you are out of warranty.


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