Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger: MacBook and iPod Edition

Thursday, 2006-05-18; 00:56:00

Tip of the Hat: Apple, for releasing new MacBooks, with a completely magnetic latch (no moving parts), a user-upgradeable hard drive, and all the standard goodies of Intel-based Mac laptops (Front Row, built-in iSight, MagSafe power adaptor). And also for providing this awesome comparison chart between all of Apple's laptops. Whereas before there was a clear split between consumer and pro Mac laptops, the MacBook line is much more cohesive. Yes, there are clear consumer and pro versions, but there's also a clear progression from least capable to most capable. (And to boot, all MacBooks natively support screen spanning whereas previous iBooks didn't.)

I went down to the Apple Store to replace my iPod (more about that below) and got to look at the new MacBooks up close. They look nice, and the keyboard looks really weird but feels really good. But about that glossy screen...

Wag of the Finger: Apple, for making MacBooks available only with glossy screens. Ew. Glossy screens suck -- way too much glare; I'd hate to use one of those in the sun. (They're also available as an option on MacBook Pros, which is how it should be.) Oh, and also for using Intel integrated graphics in the new MacBooks, as well as practically charging $200 for a black finish (the only other thing you get for the $1499 MacBook is 20 GB more in hard drive space). Oh, and also for eliminating the colloquialism "MacBooks" when referring to MacBook Pros.

Tip of the Hat: Apple, for replacing my iPod yet again, no questions asked. My iPod is still under the 2-year warranty (iPod protection plan), but according to the sales rep, for me it actually lasts until January 2007 -- I bought mine in July 2004, so it should only last 'til July 2006. (I suspect this is because I did not buy the iPod protection plan with my original iPod, and by the time I did buy it, I had already replaced the iPod. Since it's effective from the date of the original purchase, the rep who activated my iPod protection plan probably accidentally activated it from the replacement date, not the original purchase date. Yay for an extra half-year of warranty!)

Wag of the Finger: Apple, for creating a product that really sucks when put up to constant use. Note the lack of the phrase "use and abuse". My iPod goes wherever I go, which means it's almost always in my pocket, which may explain why I'm now on my seventh iPod (three 1st gens, four 4th gens), but it's not like I actively throw it on the ground or anything. In case you were wondering, my iPod had started freezing (and then refusing to play protected songs on reset), and then it started showing the sad iPod screen after a freeze and reset. It's also annoying how the Mac Genius at the Apple Store never really tells you what's wrong with your iPod -- the most he said was that the sad iPod screen indicates a "hardware failure". I like to know what goes wrong with my stuff so I can know what to worry about with my replacement. (I admit that I didn't try to put my iPod in diagnostic mode, but I'm not sure if that's applicable to 4th gen iPods.) Also, because I decided to do an insta-swap at the brick-and-mortar Apple Store, I no longer have an engraving on the back of my iPod.

Wag of the Finger: Creative. Lawyer's mantra: if you can't beat 'em, sue 'em. Awww, has oo got de snifoos, Creative, from all the red shed in your most recent quarter? I feel so sorry for you.

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