If you read my last post about water damage to my Mac, you’ll know that I’m now working from a brand new MacBook Pro.
Buying it was something I really could have done without. I haven’t yet had time to see whether I can get my previous keyboard fixed under warranty, but time and work pressures meant I had to quickly get something new. As such, I am down on a significant sum of money.
So, as you can imagine, I am very keen to keep my NEW MacBook Pro in totally pristine condition. This means that if I’m using it in bed at night, I now walk through and place it carefully on the desk or dining table before I go to sleep. I’m also keen to avoid the day-to-day dinks and scratches that afflicted my old one and allow drinks nowhere near it!
I chose a clear one because, let’s face it, it’s daft to spend thousands on a Mac and not be able to show it off a little bit! I’m pleased to say the case is perfect, adding mere millimeters to the shell of my laptop but also the peace of mind of knowing that all the little dinks and scratches will affect the shell and not the pricey Apple kit.
The case is designed in such a way as to leave all the external interfaces fully accessible including the tiny button which displays available battery life (something I always use in the morning to tell me if I can immediately start work or if I have to remember where I left my power adaptor). The only thing the cover doesn’t do is protect my keyboard if I spill liquid on it – so my own precautions must remain in place!
Delivery service from Gearzap was great, with the cover arriving very quickly by courier at my home in Portugal – something that, for some reason, many companies find near impossible to achieve.
So, top marks for my new cover, and the same for Gearzap!
In the interests of full disclosure, this review was prompted by the company’s offer of a review unit, but I have made no concessions in my honesty – I was truly impressed by both cover and service, and I have received no payment for this review.
I’ve now (sadly) had two direct experiences of Mac water damage.
My first ever Apple Macbook (one of the white ones) died after I spliied a mere three drips of liquid onto it.
Now, I have had to replace my Macbook Pro as the keyboard decided to short out, causing certain keys to fail or produce incorrect characters. This is typical behaviour after liquid damage. In this case, I don’t even remember a spillage, but one must have occurred.
There’s a long and frustrating story attached to why this meant I had to buy a new Mac almost immediately. Basically I had to get work finished before a holiday and was left with no option.
Now I’m back, I can see about having my old MacBook Pro keyboard replaced, or perhaps replacing it myself.
There’s a valuable lesson here, however: Mac water damage happens VERY easily. I have seen Windows laptops go through countless far more severe spillages and live to tell the tale, but I have now lost two Mac laptops to mere drips of liquid. Do yourself a favour – never drink anything anwhere NEAR your Mac!
Have you damaged a Mac with liquid? Share your experiences in the comments section.
Today I am going to tell you about my Mac problems. As this site is here to give a full and true account of my computing life after
switching from Windows to Mac, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I weren’t as honest about the bad as I am about the good.
So, on that basis, here is a short list of my current Mac problems. Some are quirks, some are really rather annoying.
1. Flaky Hibernation
While my Mac is charged it performs wonderfully, and I love how quickly I can just open the lid and start working. If I let it run out of juice and then plug it in, there’s no telling what will happen. It may eventually resume to its previous state. It may start to resume and then hang before bleeping nastily at me, or it may look like it’s going to restart but then produce a kernel panic message and force me to restart.
This is probably the most annoying of my Mac problems.
2. My Dodgy MagSafe Adaptor
I can’t get too hung about the faulty MagSafe adaptor that I wrote about in this past post, as Apple quickly replaced it. But it should still be on a list of my Mac problems, or I am not giving you the full picture.
3. Disappearing Internet
This is new and so far only occasional. My Wi-Fi stays live, but the Internet connection goes away. Turning Wi-Fi off and on does not restore it, only rebooting does. Irritating.
4. OS X Cursor Jump
Sometimes when using my track pad the cursor jumps – always downwards towards the dock and always when I am clicking something. The usual outcome is that I end up clicking on an application that I don’t actually want to open.
This doesn’t happen more than a few times a week and isn’t the most annoying of my Mac problems, but it still exists. I have now moved slow-to-open programs such as iPhoto off my dock so they don’t slow me down when they accidentally open.
Now, listed together, these four Mac problems are probably enough to make committed Windows users shake their heads knowingly as if they prove all of their prejudices about Macs are true. So let me put this in perspective:
None of these things would even tempt me to go back to Windows.
It’s quite hard to quantify why. I probably now put up with more day-to-day Mac problems than I did day-to-day Windows problems (using Windows 7 on a well specified machine). However, things like wonderful battery life and hardware that is a joy to use outweigh them. And when I say “joy to use,” I mean this on a scale that I have never experienced with ANY PC laptop hardware (and as a long term IT worker, I have used plenty of all makes and prices).
I should also point out that I am using an “in-place” upgraded operating system on my Mac (Snow Leopard to Lion). Every in-place Windows upgrade I have witnessed has turned the computer in question into a slow, flaky mess, so to come out the other end with only manageable quirks could actually be considered progress!
I do always have the option of doing a clean install of Lion, which I am sure to do eventually (if Apple don’t tempt me with a new, updated MacBook Pro first!)
Before anyone calls “Apple fanboy,” I would hope that you can recognise me as quite the opposite. I have gone from Windows to Mac before and went quickly back to Windows. But now, having taken the time to thoroughly learn the OS and build up a set of applications and tools that suit my workflow perfectly, I genuinely feel I have a computer that works alongside me better than any I have had before. I’m being honest about my Mac problems, but I’m being honest about that too.
As you can read here, my current MacBook Pro doesn’t represent my first attempt at switching from Windows to Mac.
My first attempt was some years ago with one of the very first white MacBooks.
It didn’t go well.
My battery failed just months in, and then I had a Magsafe problem – basically the cable on my snazzy Magsafe charger melted – something that judging by the forums at the time seemed extremely common.
I am therefore rather disappointed to report that, just eight months into the life of my new MacBook Pro, I have had to call Apple for a new charger.
To start with I thought the connector wasn’t sitting well in the socket – a quick nudge always got the laptop charging – but the situation has now deteriorated to the point that I have to sit and play with the lead for five minutes at a time to get the laptop to charge.
I can no longer work while the laptop is charging, as the slightest movement results in the charge cycle stopping. So I am having to time my breaks around charging my Mac.
Now, let’s keep in mind that I love my Mac, but it is certainly a blow to have similar charger problems on this Mac as well. And before anyone asks – no, I don’t treat the charger roughly – in fact my Mac rarely leaves the house.
This takes me on to why I ended up annoyed with Apple last time around, and why I am similarly irritated this time. A call to Apple quickly resulted in the dispatch of a new power supply – but with a key caveat. (What was less simple was getting one dispatched to my home when I live in Portugal but only speak good English – hence my wife collecting the PSU from London today – but that’s a whole other story).
Apple has a policy of taking credit card details and putting a hold on the replacement cost of the part in question. They then charge this to your card if you fail to return the faulty part within ten working days.
This bothers me. I have purchased a product and it has gone wrong within warranty. I have already been inconvenienced by being unable to use my expensive computer in the way it was intended, and by taking time out of my day to phone Apple. WHY should any of that result in my having to hand over my credit card details?
I know that Apple are basically protecting themselves from people blagging free parts, but they are the only company I have come across who do this. Certainly, in my dealings with HP and Dell, they are happy to send parts out on trust – and that is as it should be. After all, I trusted in Apple when I handed over the four-figure sum for my MacBook Pro.
Let’s be clear once again. I adore my Mac – using it pleases me every day…but this heavy handed warranty procedure marked the first stage in my falling out of love with the last one. I hope it doesn’t happen again – I really want this to be my last Magsafe problem.
PS. When I searched for an image for this article, guess what I found? Hundreds of photos of melted Magsafe adaptors….