July 12, 2007
Dear Apple repair technicians:
In order to help clarify and explain the problems I am having with my PowerBook, I have written this detailed synopsis of what is occurring, including a brief bit of history.
This is the third time in the last six weeks that I’ve had to bring in this computer for repair. On June 5, I brought it in with a long list of problems (which is on my Desktop for your reference as Computer problems June 2007.doc). On June 13, the computer was returned to me with, among other things, a wiped hard drive and freshly installed operating system. An apparent catastrophic hardware failure later that day resulted in an almost immediate repeat repair, so I did not get the computer back “for good” until June 20. (The hardware failure somehow “fixed itself” en route to the repair center, and has not recurred.)
Unfortunately, as soon I got the computer back on June 20, a
number of problems began to frequently occur—some of them similar or identical
to problems I’d experienced prior to June 5, some of them new and different,
but all very disconcerting, given that this was a brand-new OS and thus
presumably shouldn’t be experiencing these sorts of issues. The problems are detailed in the pages
Although the problems appear software-related, I believe they are caused by some physical defect of the computer, not the operating system or software, and I do NOT believe they can be solved by simply erasing the hard drive, reinstalling the OS, and/or otherwise tinkering with software settings. I say this for a couple of reasons. First and most obviously, the problems picked up right where they left off after the hard drive was erased and the OS reinstalled last month. Given how stable Mac OS X normally is, it seems highly unlikely that a freshly installed copy of the OS would develop such severe problems so quickly. Nor did I install any unusual applications that would be likely to “poison” the OS in some way. Secondly, during the times when my computer was in repair, I used a bootable clone of my hard drive to run my system on another computer (my wife’s old iBook), and although it was slow (it’s a G3 with 500 MHz), none of these problems occurred when I was using the same OS, and the same set of programs, on a different physical machine. So I think something is wrong with the machine itself, and unless we can pinpoint what’s wrong and fix it, I think the time has come—this being the fourth repair in 12 months, and the third in less than six weeks—to consider replacing the unit.
In any event, I’ve been keeping a detailed log of the problems that have occurred since I got the computer back on June 20. Here is a summary:
In addition, the catastrophic system failure that occurred on June 20, then “fixed itself” en route to the repair center, remains entirely unexplained, and I am not convinced it won’t happen again in the future. In my experience, computers that “fix themselves” with no explanation also tend to “break themselves” with no explanation later on.
My goal here is to really come up with a lasting solution to these problems, including replacement of the unit if necessary. I don’t meant to be picky or rude, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a professional computer of the PowerBook’s caliber, with a world-class operating system like OS X, to perform without these sorts of frequent, Windows-like glitches. I bought the AppleCare warranty so that I could depend on the functionality of this computer for at least three years, and yet here I am, halfway through the life of the warranty, bringing it in for the fourth time—and several of the very same problems remain unresolved from the first of those four repairs, back when the computer was barely six months old. (And in several cases, the problems actually started when it was only two or three months old, in March or April 2006.)
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me or e-mail me directly. I don’t know whether this is allowed under company policy, but for what it’s worth, you have my explicit permission to contact me in this manner—indeed, I would vastly prefer it. During the last repair, several days were wasted due to inefficient “conversation” between myself and the repair technicians, with the AppleCare Support line serving as an intermediary. The result was an unfortunate game of “telephone” that made it very difficult to communicate effectively. It would work much better if you’d just call or e-mail me. My phone number is [redacted] and my e-mail address is [redacted].
Thank you very much.