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?