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The Apple Experience

By on Aug 15, 2010 | 6 comments

I have been a Mac user for years now. When I first “switched” things could not have been better. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Apple is far from what it used to be. Many people will argue that they are more popular than ever, which might be true from a sales standpoint, but in terms of quality and reliability Apple products are a far cry from what they were even 5 years ago. Around February of 2005 I bought a G4 iBook. I loved it, and still do except for the screen resolution. It has always worked very well. I could easily take it to class and use it all day on a single battery charge. It is quiet and never overheats. As far as I’m concerned it has worked flawlessly, and I’d like to point out, it still does. The battery still keeps a great charge. The screen has zero dead pixels. It has held up perfectly. As I stated before it’s main downfall for “modern” times is the low screen resolution of 1024768. It has a 1.33ghz G4 Processor, 1.25gb of RAM and runs the Leopard operating system. It isn’t fast compared to new laptops, but it is great for general internet usage, even still today. In May of 2008 I purchased a 24″ iMac. At that point I became a full time Mac user at home. I loved it. And for $1800 I hoped it would last a long time. Fast forward to 2010 and now I know I was totally mistaken. The iMac, along with every other piece of Apple hardware over the last couple of years, has various flaws that Apple refuses to do anything about and they just don’t last as long as they should. For one, they overheat. Apple seems to think that the more silent a computer is the better… No, that’s not the case. If I let the fans on my iMac run at stock speed, not only does the whole computer get ridiculously hot, but even the LCD screen burns in. In order to make my screen viewable after a few hours I finally figured out that I needed to remove the glass covering on my screen (it’s simply held in place with a few magnets) and use a program to control my fan speeds. Without the glass my iMac looks fairly bad, but if it helps the issue it is the only option I have. There have been various topics on the Apple forums regarding this issue and absolutely no solutions have been posted. Why? Because there are none. It’s a major design flaw. Nothing can be done to fix it other than what I have done, if you even consider that a fix. On a side note, other things have failed on my iMac also, including the Super Drive and the line-in jack. Another problem is their operating system support. Snow Leopard is great, don’t get me wrong. But I am unable to upgrade past 10.6.2 on my iMac. Well, that’s not entirely true. I can if I want to have a completely unstable and unusable computer. Starting with 10.6.3 and even in the current build 10.6.4, there is a major issue that causes the entire computer to lock up. The screen either gets lines all over it, or goes completely black, and the computer is unresponsive to all input. The only possible thing to do is to press the power button on the back of the iMac until you can restart it. This issue started all the way back in April of this year. It is now mid August. Once again, there is no response from Apple about the issue and they have no idea what to do. They released a so called “fix” for something but it had no effect on my computer. I am not the only one with this problem either. There are plenty of threads on the Apple forums regarding the same issue. I was forced to reinstall Snow Leopard and only upgrade back up to 10.6.2 to have a working computer. Because I initially liked my iMac so much, I bought a first gen iPod Touch for a whopping $379. I absolutely loved it. It basically convinced me to cancel my Verizon contract and switch to AT&T to buy an iPhone 3g. My phone has always worked fairly well. As a matter of fact, I still use the iPhone 3g. I have it jailbroken of course. But once again, Apple released their next great thing iOS 4. iOS 4 is totally useless on the iPhone 3g. My phone is already nearly 2 years old so the battery doesn’t hold a charge nearly as well as it did early on. iOS 4 absolutely destroys it, not to mention the fact that the useful features such as “background” apps aren’t officially supported on it. Needless to say, I am using the 3.1.3 OS, and I will never upgrade any higher. They don’t even support a wallpaper on the iPhone 3g. Amazingly, I have no issues with full themes while it is jailbroken. I’m sure you can imagine where I am heading now with this, the iPhone 4 “antennagate” issue… I would love to buy a new phone. AT&T was even nice enough to allow me to do so early if I wanted to upgrade. Why would anyone even consider doing this? Yeah I know,...

Where Did The Old Apple Go?

By on May 11, 2010 | 1 comment

For years I have yearned to own an Apple computer, and ever since I made my first purchase it appears that Apple is no longer the Apple they once had been. I’ve made it no secret on how much I love my Mac, and I do think the build and quality of OS X is fantastic.  If this qualifies me as being a Apple Fanboy, then so be it. But lately, with the launch of the iPad, and announcement of the iPhone 4.0 OS, it seems like Apple is starting to leave behind the part of the business that started the company, “the Mac.”  On top of this, the company’s behavior seemed to have changed as it now is in two legal issues that I am aware of, the huge debate with Flash and fighting with Adobe, and its recent controversy on how applications must be written and approved in the new development agreement.  As ironic as it sounds, it no longer feels that Apple is the “cool / hip” Apple as they once had been, but more like Microsoft. I can understand to a point Apple’s stand on their new application clause.  To guarantee that all of the applications are written the same, and to ensure their performance of the apps run at their peak, I think having all future apps written in object C makes sense. In regards to the Flash debate, this needs to end.  Think about 4-5 years ago, you could not even get the rich content on your mobile phone that you can now.  There have been times where I’ve hit a site on my iPhone that has Flash content that I cannot play, and it was annoying but not the end of the world. Most people don’t tend to notice, but Flash is a CPU and Memory hog.  The next time you play something Flash intense on your PC or Mac check out your CPU monitor.  On top of all of this, Flash ads / and applications had been written for keyboard and mouse interaction, thus requires a rewrite to take advantage of the touch interface.  With that being said, why not use HTML5 as the standard? Next month is Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and I’m hoping that some attention will be given back to the Mac and to OS X.  I understand if Apple has shifted focus on to the iPhone, iPad, and iPods however it seems like Apple is starting to forget their roots.  I hope that the company’s behavior is just a “phase”, and they will turn return to the Apple we all knew and...

24″ iMac? Do Not Update to 10.6.3

By on Apr 12, 2010 | 7 comments

For some reason I held off installing to 10.6.3 when it was first released, and I’m glad I did. This weekend I installed the 10.6.3 Snow Leopard update on my 24″ Aluminum iMac. BAD idea… I should have checked online before installing the update, because soon after I started having problems I did a simple search and found that I was not the only one. Basically, there is something wrong with the 10.6.3 update that causes the computer to become completely unresponsive. The screen goes completely blank then fills with vertical lines. When this happens, the computer as I said before, is completely unresponsive to mouse and keyboard input. The only thing to do is turn off the computer with the power button. I found this topic on the Apple Forum which shows that this is happening to many others also. As of writing this blog post, the forum topic has been open for 2 weeks with no response from Apple. This is a MAJOR problem. The 10.6.3 update makes the iMac totally unusable. Like always, I didn’t want to sit around and wait for a solution. I was going to get my computer working again, hopefully in fairly quick way. That is when a day long fight with my computer started… First off, I knew I couldn’t just roll back to 10.6.2. So I was trying to think of a simple way to “make” the computer let me. I thought to myself, what if I just change the version number in the .plist file? That seemed like a great idea… I changed the OS X version back to 10.6.1 so then I could reinstall the 10.6.2 update and hope for the best. Well, hoping wasn’t good enough in this instance. I installed 10.6.2 with no problem, until my iMac had to restart. Upon restart it instantly got a kernel panic. A never ending reboot loop… At this point, I sat for a few minutes and thought logically about what to do. Upon each restart, button commands on the keyboard weren’t even working to be able to boot from the Snow Leopard disk. I decided to turn it off for good and unplug the power, hoping to clear out the ram. Once I did that, the computer would then allow me to hold down the “option” key to bring up the boot menu. I was then able to boot from the Snow Leopard disk. Once  the Snow Leopard installation began, I let it run through the whole install. It never gave any options as to what type of install I wanted. I just selected the drive that I already had Snow Leopard on and away it went. About 45 minutes later it was done. My iMac was back down to 10.6. All of my data was still there, and it seemed to be working alright. At that point I realized my Bluetooth Apple Wireless Keyboard was being recognized as generic, so none of the special keys were working such as volume and screen brightness. I didn’t think that was a huge problem so I decided to install the 10.6.1 update. Upon installing the 10.6.1 update, my iMac no longer recognized that it had bluetooth at all. Yes, bluetooth was completely gone from my system. At this point I thought I would install 10.6.2 and once again hope for the best, but I wasn’t able to type my password to start the install. So then I figured I would just restart the computer and hope that bluetooth decided to show up again. To my surprise, it was back. I now installed the 10.6.2 update. On the initial restart, all functions seemed to be back to normal. Bluetooth was working, and my keyboard was now recognized as an Apple Wireless Keyboard. I did a Time Machine backup right away and ran no other updates. My computer surprisingly seems to be running faster after doing the reinstall and updates. I will not be updating my version of OS X any time soon. I can’t believe Apple would put out an OS update that would make one of their own products completely unstable. With such limited hardware configurations, I can’t believe the update wasn’t tested enough before the release to ensure something like this wouldn’t happen. Every day I am more and more disapointed with Apple products. They really are in it just for the money now. Gone are the days of better hardware and a nicer user experience. I really don’t know if I will purchase another Apple computer again, or even another iPhone. Especially after the latest 4.0 Firmware announcement, which states that the most requested feature of the update won’t even work on my 3g version of the phone. (Which I would like to point out is now jailbroken from the second they made the...

Apple Reportedly Offering 15% Refunds to Purchasers of Troubled 27-Inch iMacs

By on Feb 5, 2010 | 0 comments

Apple has been struggling with the flickering issue on the 27” iMac displays, it appears that Apple is apparently offering 15% refunds to users who have exchanged their iMacs multiple times in seeking to have the issues addressed. On a $2,000 iMac 15% is about a $300 apology from Apple’s customer support.  Digging around online, it sounds like you need to be a repeat iMac returner who’s dealt with multiple 27-inch iMacs. Despite the apparent refund program in effect and Apple’s efforts at addressing the flickering issues, the company has yet to publicly acknowledge the yellowing issue generating significant numbers of complaints from customers.

Got my new external drive

By on May 14, 2008 | 0 comments

The Iomega Ultramax HDD that I mentioned in my last blog post came today. Even though it was already in the HFS+ filesystem, as soon as I plugged it in I used the Disk Utility and reformated/partitioned it. I have read about people having problems with Time Machine doing the initial backup (over 10gb) on a hdd that doesn’t use the GUID partition scheme. Rather than worrying about it I figured it was easier just to make sure it was right before I enabled Time Machine. Anyways this drive isn’t performing bad at all. I have been actively using the computer and it has transfered 12gb in 30 minutes. My initial backup is 88.5gb, so it shouldn’t take too long. edit: 35gb transfered after 1 hour. so it’s actually speeding up… edit: 72gb in 1 1/2 hours. edit: Finished! 88.53gb backed up in 1 hour 42 minutes. I will write a review up about the hard drive in at least a couple days to a week. I want to have some time using it so that I can make it as informational as possible. Here’s a pic of the box just taken quickly with my...

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