Thursday Jul 26, 2007

And then I dropped it...

Apparently I'm having IT sagas. My MacBook Pro is now fixed and happy. And then two days ago, I dropped my iPhone. At first, all apeared well. I was on the phone at the time, and nothing happend, I talked away, and was relieved. Later that evening, I noticied that I had dented the case, making it impossible to press the power button. No biggie, it still worked just fine.

Yesterday morning, I went to unplug the phone, and saw my little phone stuck in an infinite reboot state. Apparently the pushed power button was making it unhappy:

With a dead iPhone, I promptly made an appointment at the Apple Store for that evening. In the meantime, I had a totally unusable phone. So I started to have fun. When I would see people I knew, I would throw the phone up in the air and let it crash down (clearly, I was already thinking I needed to buy a new phone). The look in people's face was PRICELESS. This could be great street art - stand on University Ave in Palo Alto, and have someone film passer-by's expressions as I "drop" the iphone very very hard. Amazingly, one of the drops fixed the button, though then the screen wouldn't work anymore.

That evening, I went into the Apple Store and got a new iPhone. And the fun started... Took it home, and activation wouldn't work. All i got was:

Called up AT&T, waited on hold for 15 min, was told to go to the AT&T store and get a new SIM. Raced over with 5 min to go before they closed, and then proceed to wait 30 min for the SLOW SLOW people in front of me. Get home, pop SIM in, same error. Call again, debacle insues with me hanging up by mistake when I meant to press speaker after waiting for 30 min. AMAZINGLY, AT&T rep I'm speaking with calls me back 15 min later on my wife's phone (part of my family plan) to tell me the progress he's made! Even though I hung up on him, he kept working the problem. THANK YOU AMAZING ATU&T rep. Too bad they couldn't fix it.

Finally get escalated again, to a guy who writes down word for word the error message, and tells me that iPhone activations are all wonkey, everyone is having issues, and they'll call me. I point out calling me will be hard without a phone, but give them my work number anyway. They can always leave VM.

It's now been about 18 hours since I first tried to activate my second iPhone, but I continue to have the same error. If I don't hear from AT&T tonight, I guess I'll have to play the phone tree game again...

Friday Jul 13, 2007

Just a tiny vent

Me and IT haven't gotten along so well this week. On Tuesday, as I was busy working away on my Macbook Pro, the HD starting making a "loud nasty sound" (as per the apple repair order). Suffice to say, the HD is dead, my data is gone, and Apple has my computer. Issues:
  1. Went online to reserve some time to get the computer fixed. >24 hours to the next appointment!
  2. Called apple support. Waited 10 min on hold, to find my options include:
    1. Reserve time at a genius bar
    2. Have apple ship me a box, then ship back my computer, wait > 1 week
    3. Go to a local authorized repair center - the closest of which is Micro Center
      1. Call micro center
      2. Have the phone ring in circles for ~ 5 min straight
      3. Give up on that choice
  3. Walked into Palo Alto Apple Store hoping
    1. Find they did actually have a reservation that day
    2. Grab it!
    3. Wait 30 min, don't buy anything!
    4. Give my computer to the awesome (seriously, she was great) "genius" (I hate that name, it's really arrogant - leave it to Steve) who turns it on and notes that it's making a "loud nasty sound".
    5. They don't have the HD in stock (160GB 5400RPM) and sadly though they're ordering me a new one, they can't repalce it with a 7200. Understandable, but a bummer.
    6. Genius calls around to all the local stores, where EVERY one of them makes her wait ~ 5 min to see if they have a HD in stock
    7. Stanford does!
    8. But it's on hold for someone else...
    9. Give up, have her take my machine, prepare my self for a 1 week wait without a laptop
  4. Check my backup, which I kind of knew had failed last time I ran it, but was out of time so was just going to run it again this week...

And then, on top of that, as I'm using my SunRay, I get a notice that I need to change my password. Seems that Sun has a 6 month password policy. So despite the fact that my password is 8 letters randomly generated (D1n%F,6P - and no, I don't have the same password at multiple sites, so typing this won't do you any good) that I have NEVER typed in the clear, that I have NEVER written down, I now need to change it. So I do. And the systems now have me locked out. Call the resolution center, who informs me it takes 24 hours EXACTLY to change passwords. So I can't find out if I'm an idiot and misremembered my password (which is likely frankly) for 5 more hours. In the meantime, I have NO computer (I'm at home still), no email, no backup, no files, so basically, no work. Sigh. Thank god my email (when I get access to it) is IMAP, and all 10,000 messages are on the server.

So the point, besides ranting? IT is HARD. Business expectations in IT are WAY harder than consumer. Even a insanely great company doesn't have it nailed (1 week for a HD replacement!?) Little things add up to huge costs. There's a need for the basics in systems management in all our lives. Tools still aren't perfect.




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