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Tuesday, 14 January 2003

They make it so hard

Where "they" is Apple, "it" is reserving a small amount of fury for them for doing stupid things and "hard" because of the following example:

My shiny TiBook emerged not so much blinking into the world as in a blaze of widescreen glory early February last year. I was much impressed by its practically stupendous battery life, whereby I could use the shiny thing for the best part of an afternoon--around four to five hours--with judicious use of turning down screen brightness and around three hours if I made everything bright and everything shiny.

Sadly, we all know how this story ends: batteries die. They may try as hard as they can, but a daily charge/discharge cycle, sometimes a full, sometimes shallow, pretty much breaks them. Which is why by December of last year, I'd take my laptop into university and find with complete and utter dismay that the battery would last around an hour and a half on a full charge with everything maxed out. Not Good.

I had the chance to go into an Apple Store over Christmas and steeled myself against having to buy a new battery (they're not priced for impulse buyers), but before I decided to subject my credit card to any unnecessary damage, I thought I'd check out the Genuis Bar.

Genius Bar guy, Brian, was terribly helpful. He pointed out that I might want to check my energy saver settings (I had), told me how to do a complete system reset, because that might fix my power management (I did), and then asked if I was still under warranty or Apple Care (I was). He looked me up on the customer database, expressed confusion because it was the first time he'd looked someone up who didn't have a zipcode and then announced he was going to replace my battery. For free.

See, this isn't supposed to happen. Everyone knows batteries die. I never expected that I might get a freebie replacement. As it happens, though, dead batteries get replaced and I have two more years of Apple Care.

I wonder if Sony would've replaced my battery if I'd bought a Vaio.

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