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Disconnected, Part II

When last we left our story, we were at something of an impasse. I couldn’t connect my trusty iMac to the internet. Cox said it was Apple’s problem. Apple said it was a conflict with Cox’s modem.

At Todd Kleinke’s excellent recommendation, I took my poor little iMac to the University Saturday morning and plugged it into the local network. Nothing. Damn. Not even a dynamically assigned IP, which I’d at least been getting at home.

Next stop: The Computer Shoppe.

As a rule I avoid Veteran’s Boulevard in Metairie, but this is the only Apple shop in the region. They plugged the iMac into their local network. Again nothing.

The verdict was clear. This iMac was afflicted with a bad ethernet port. Fixing this requires replacing the entire motherboard, which would have been expensive, so I opted instead to have them install an AirPort card ($100). We were on their localnetwork in minutes. I bought an AirPort Express base station ($139), and drove home with high expectations.

And — big surprise — it worked! My iMac is on the internet for the first time in thirteen months. Hooray. Moreover, we’re able to connect Xy’s laptop at the same time, and stream music from iTunes to the stereo and supposedly even print wirelessly, though I haven’t worked that out yet.

So let’s review. In the smackdown between Cox and Apple, though it galls me to say it, Cox was clearly correct. During my two hours on the phone with Apple’s tech support, no one ever suggested the problem might be a bad ethernet port. No one, not once, not even the exalted Tier Two guy. In retrospect it’s pretty frickin’ obvious. And remember they charged me $49 for the privilege of speaking to them. I have an image in my head of the smarmy stubbly guy from the Get a Mac television commercials. I’d really like to give him a kick in the crotch.

Not that I hold Cox blameless, because (as mentioned previously) the installation was a nightmare.

No, the only real hero here is the guy at the Computer Shoppe. Better customer service, way better. That’s what you get at a mom’n’pop shop. More power to ’em.

But Apple really ticked me off. I figured I’d get on my newly connected iMac and pound out a scornful rant on my blog.

And that’s when I got my next unpleasant surprise.

Stay tuned for Disconnected, Part III: Attack of the Spambots.

Published inGeeky


  1. Laureen Laureen

    I have been on the air card since coming over to your neck of the woods and I really like having an internet connection everywhere I go. Interestingly, in late summer, my neighbor across the street got fed up and paid about $400 for a satellite internet hookup and since then, I also have a very reliable linksys connection available. So not far from you, our whole block is a hot spot oasis.

    However, we do have a new pile of tires in the street from the man who tore down the house across the street without a permit , and the broken telephone pole . . . both of which I am too tired to call about.

    Have a great Christmas, B. !

  2. Ray Ray

    Apple sucks. I can’t wait to get my two years worth out of this piece of shit powerbook so I can get out of this fucking Cult of Brand Personality and back onto a computer where the keyboard works right, the screen doesn’t start dying after a year, I have two mouse buttons, I can page up and down with one hand instead of two, the USB ports actually power USB hard drives, it doesn’t make me reconfigure my wireless router security, it plays all formats of multimedia without making me download a bunch of 3rd party shit, and the battery works for more than 15 minutes.

    Apple’s products look cool. That’s about it.

  3. Ahem… Your story reinforces my belief in using IBM products.

    Some years ago my desktop was going batty and I performed the required onsite tests. 45 minutes after the call a new system board was delivered via FedEx, and the next day a cute tech showed up to rebuild the machine and extend my warranty.

    If you need a reliable machine, talk to my Betty.

  4. Actually, I think y’all are missing my point. I’m not complaining about Apple’s hardware — this iMac has been chugging along for four years and is still doing pretty well, with only this one glitch. I think that’s pretty good. My beef is not with the hardware, but the clueless technical support.

    My next machine will probably be another iMac.

  5. I paid the long dollars for the extended warranty on my powerbook. I’ve found that Apple’s support people are polite helpful and creative, but sometimes you’ve got to talk to 5 or 6 of them before you get the one who knows how to help. On the plus side, I once spent hours on the phone with Apple support trying to figure out why my speakers weren’t working with my airport connection. (I believe they call the feature AirTunes) Finally, one clever fellow suggested that I check that everything was plugged in. I SWEAR that I checked that before I called Apple, but there it was, the cord from the airport to the speakers, unplugged and sitting on the floor. The Apple support guy didn’t call me a “Fuckin’ idiot”, which is what I was thinking about myself, instead he laughed and suggested that I have a talk with my cat.

  6. Welcome back B.

    Gentillygirl, IBM was great unfortunately they have sold the PC business to Lenovo, a Chinese company I wonder how long the IBM service will last.

  7. Cade Roux Cade Roux

    Get your $49 back from Apple. We’ve done that before on pay support incidents with Microsoft and Citrix. If the problem turns out to be their fault, we get credited back.

  8. Mominem,

    My honey works for a company that sells IBM and does refurbs. I know that if there is a prob, either IBM or American Micro will fix it.


    I have many websites and have never seen anything like your prob with your ISP. I’m glad you have had some help in getting everything back up and running again.

  9. Lee Lee

    Due to your situation, cable internet is probably a good idea. The problem with installation, is the tech’s who do this are not permitted to do what you wanted to do (in most cases). I had the same situation when I had cable installed at my house. I was told if I wanted that done, I would have to call a “private contractor” they use for $139 an hour!

    I understand the problems working with the manufacturer in cases of tech support. No matter who it is, they all suck.

    Your iMAC has been good to you, stick with it B………….

  10. Just a thought about how to get that $49 back:

    Don’t know if it’s too late for this, but twice in the last year when I’ve had to purchase per-incident support (once from Dell and once from Sony), my problem could not be solved by tech support. This seems also to have been the case with you and Apple. In both cases, I requested my money back and in both cases I was refunded, even though their techs had spent a good while on the phone with me trying (before failing) to solve my problems.

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