Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Apple Promotions As part selling new Macintoshs Apple has a new promotion. If one has bought a new Power Macintosh since September 10, and they mail in the UPC and a copy of their Invoice, they get a free copy of Adobe's InDesign. Sofar, so good. Now the gotcha's. Apple has apparently been scammed before and has draconian measures in place to make sure only legimate requests get filled. You must have the Original UPC and all layers of cardboard its attached to. Makes for fun if you also bought an Apple Monitor and want the $200 rebate on that and have to mail one UPC to two places. My dealer sent me a packing slip, not an Invoice, and I needed an Invoice with the Serial Number on it for the terms of the promotion. I called up, and they said "All our computers come with Invoices" - "Mine Didn't" I replied, "Sure we'll send out an invoice" they agreed. Over a week later no Invoice. "We have no record of such a request, we'll send it out". Finally I agree to let them FAX me an Invoice, and sure enough they get the serial number wrong. One more nastygram email, and finally a proper Invoice. Now, we'll see how long six to eight weeks takes. I never did figure out why such promotions took 8 weeks.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Apple Store in Houston Galleria Apple Computer opened a store in the Houston Galleria at 10 AM today. Promo said next to Saks 5th Avenue. NOT. Around the corner in a low traffic area, actually. By getting there at 6:20 AM I was first online. I wouldn't do that again. They had zero opening day specials. You'd think maybe free ingraving with iPod purchase. Maybe instant rebates for monitor and computer purchase. NOPE: none of that. T-Shirts for first 1000 customers, with about 150 online when store opened. What did I get for being first? I got to shake the store manager's hand, the same store manager that later wouldn't come to telephone. I got to high-five all the employees as store opened. Was anybody in a position to sell anything? NOPE. Did the Genius come to talk to me as I sat down first on the middle chair? NOPE. I wanted to ask why DVD's burned on a SuperDrive can't be read on DVD drive in my Pismo. I gave up inside 10 minutes and left the store. No one asked to help me, no one asked if I wanted to buy anything, just one lady to give me my T-Shirt as I left. 20 + employees, zero salespeople. I had gone planning to buy an iPod, but I didn't. I did get to surf the Internet while waiting inline, as they had a basestation with Public name of "AppleStore" live at 6:20 AM. Very secure that. Also a printer online with the name of "Genius Bar". Sure saves energy, to leave a printer on all night. NOT.
All-In-All very underwhelming. Reminded me too much of a 1983 IBM store.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

OS X 10.2.1 I just upgraded to this puppy yesterday. No problems or other observations yet. I did Install Netscape 7 for OS X, and had a minor problem, it was default configured to go through an AOL proxy server (perhaps because it saw AOL installed on my Mac). I connect to the Internet through a Netgear Router that connects to an Earthlink dsl modem, so after I deleted the proxy setting, all was well. I downloaded and installed iCal, and it asked to be registered as if I had bought it. No problem, I did that. Apple sends me an email thanking me, and giving me a link to a free 1 year subscription to MacWorld; which I quickly signed up for. Strange they don't offer this anymore for when you spend thousands on a new Macintosh, but do for a free download.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Microsoft Hardware - So I hit my local CompUSA last night and buy a Microsoft Optical Mouse and a Microsoft Business Keyboard for my new Macintosh, already added to with extra memory, hard drive, TV Card and SCSI card, and connected to a Dell P991 monitor. I ask CompUSA what their reaction is to Apple opening a store in Houston (literally across the street) and they profess no concern. "We have our great technicians here". I comment in passing: "They have more turnover than a mixmaster".

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

New Mac for the TeraBlogger Knowing that Apple will configure new Macintoshs to not be able to boot into OS9 starting January 1, 2003; I figured I better bite the bullet and buy one of these new mirrored door Macintoshs. I couldn't buy the 1.25 Gig Hz model, they're still vaporware, so I bought a dual 1 Ghz model. With ATA 100 support, it does feel faster. I bought it over the Internet from ClubMac to save sales tax. Then I bought a 120 Gig HD for $150 at MicroCenter to drop into it; and an extra 256 Meg of DDR PC2700 SDRAM from DataMem.
So far its woking like a dream, until the cooling fan kicks in. NOISY !!

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Whither Sprint Vision A USA Today review of Sprint Vision,
basically pans it; as I have done.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

PowerMacs still vaporware A call to various authorized Macintosh dealers indicates they don't expect to have any dual 1.25 GHz Power Macintosh computers available for at least another month yet. Even the Apple Store optimistically says 3 to 4 weeks.

Monday, September 09, 2002

TSA Charade I got to fly across the country and back this past week, and got to see the Transportation Safety Administration rookies in action. Randomly choosing folks to hand search carry ons and take off shoes and socks. You know how they chose someone? A first boarding frequent flyer gets grabbed first, usually; some 70 year old man. The next one is just who is presenting their ticket 7 minutes later when TSA agent finishes the first poor flyer. A 27 year old 8 month pregnant 200 pound lady in a couple of cases, another a clean cut 120 pound high school senior. Such a total waste of time and money.
The right way to do it. The way it was done at Heathrow in 1989 a year after Lockerbie made more sense. All folks transfering planes had to pick up their luggage on the tarmac and recheck it. One carry on bag strictly enforced. Every carry on bag hand searched. Either you check all, or you don't play games grabbing random folks on the line at the wrong time. FAA stopped asking if you packed your bag. El Al still asks it. In 1985 Switzerland was already checking every Passport of every entering person against a computer database. It took the United States 14 more years to catch up. INS still hasn't.
All in all a charade to make it look like something is being done when nothing is being done. Last week folks from the New York Daily News got contraband past screeners and onto flights 14 out of 14 tries.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

An RMA for my Treo 300. I just got tired of having to push the reset button many times a day in order to make this thing decide to try to connect to Sprint. Makes me feel like an Alpha tester. I got a chargeback from my credit card and an RMA from Handspring. Then the battery won't last two full days, and is sealed internally so you cant carry a spare. The screen is illegible outdoors in daylight. All in All, a great idea, but not ready for Prime Time.