Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A quick rant about Macs, the Apple store, and the zombie fan boys

I don't really think of myself as particularly dedicated to any one tool, tactic, technique, or gizmo.  If something works, I'll grab it.  Sometimes I'm an early adopter, sometimes I'm a late adopter.  It took me years to get an iPod.  I thought they were overpriced and overblown, and it seemed that an easy way for a manufacturer to make 25%-50% more on an item by labeling it "iCrap".
Then my sister got me an iPod Nano.  I was amazed at the awesome sound coming from such a small, light package.
The Nano failed at an inopportune time when the sync cable interface cracked.  I found an iPod Touch and grabbed it, impressed with the excellent user interface.

However, I'm still a Windows guy.  I do a tremendous amount with my computer that I simply can't do with a Mac.  Case in point, I just finished turning old PC parts (and a drive) into a Blu-Ray Disc player and Recorder.  As of this morning, it's questionable whether Apple will ever support Blu-Ray.  Keep stifiling those options....

So, back to the iPod.  I switched laptops recently, and had to move my collection of music from one computer to another.  I won't get in to DRM and the MPAA/RIAA, that's a rant for later.  What I will get into is the error that happened a couple of days later.

Suddenly, iTunes is refusing to load.  I get an "Unknown Error: 13026".  I'm lucky that I live in an area where we have a couple of Apple Stores, as nothing in the iTunes knowledge base pointed to this problem.  So I made an appointment, and went to see them.

My first clue that I was going to have a problem was when I see a girl, near tears, at the "Genius Bar", hearing that she needs to spend $350 on a half-terabyte backup drive.  Why does this iCrap cost so much?  
One gigabyte (twice the storage) for half the price.

I didn't say anything.  My dumb-ass.  At the time, I thought (and still think) it would be rude to walk into a shop (anyone's shop) and offer contrary advice.

So I get up, and present my problem.  The first thing out of the guy's mouth "Well, the big problem is that you're using Vista.  You should get a Mac".
OK big guy, I just bought a laptop for less than a grand that lets me do the photoediting I need.  To get something even close to this, you're suggesting I spend over $2,300, not including the $1,000-$2,000 software suite to go with it.  Thanks, "Genius".

So, the error says it's from iTunes.  This guy tells me it's a Vista problem.  I just want to make sure that I've got the rundown on this:
iTunes is available for Windows XP, Vista, or even Vista 64-Bit.
Apple makes a fantastic amount of money from Windows users who purchase music over iTunes
I purchased an iPod Touch for use with my Windows system.  Which is supported (at least according to the box).

All of this would leave me to believe that I could expect some modicum of tech support.  The "Genius'" suggestion?  Wipe the hard drive, start from scratch.  Buy a Mac.
It was at this point that I did launch into him, listing the reasons why I wouldn't buy a Mac (though I would probably get one for my Mom, who is a little behind the times when it comes to computers.  Let's face it, Mac's are pretty durable in the hands of people who don't understand computers).  I finally got a little peace from the idiots behind the Genius Bar, who told me to wipe the drive (and the music, coincidentally.  That part didn't get mentioned.  They didn't offer me a $350 backup drive either).

I went home, and did what I should have done in the first place:  I researched the problem, found the solution, and implemented it.  In 20 minutes or less.
Incidentally, the problem (13026) is caused by a bad file, Genius.itdb (the irony of this is kind of funny).  Simply erasing the file will cause iTunes to generate a new one, but one that should be competent.

So, I'm kind of curious, why does iCrap cost so much?

1 comment:

Mike said...

Oh, sweet sweet irony. That is delicious.