My MacBook Pro's keyboard just gave up the ghost recently. The QAZ keys as well as ESC, TAB, etc. would no longer function.
It was tolerable just using my bluetooth keyboard, so I just put up with it. Since Apple is the only source for parts, I had to take my MBP in to have it serviced, which is a little bit of an inconvenience. Having done my homework, the repair charge was $200, including the replacement keyboard. I had asked if I could buy the keyboard and replace it myself (after all, I'd removed the keyboard to install a 7200 RPM hard drive in this puppy, so I knew how to do it). Apple said "sorry, can't sell you parts". A little bit of a problem, but for $200, including the hardware, plus I wouldn't have to take apart 42 little screws using 2-3 different screwdrivers? That's actually not a bad deal...
So I had Thursday off, and I began to call around to the various Apple stores to ask a few questions... a) Do you have the replacement keyboard in stock? b) Do you have an Apple Genius slot open early in the day so I can get it repaired same day?
The Southcenter store is the closest, but their earliest slot was 5pm. University Village had a 2:30pm, so off I went to Seattle. The store was hopping-- as in "what recession?" hopping. People buying iPhones, checking out MacBooks, iMacs, iPods, and tons of people seeing Geniuses or getting tutoring.
I drop off my MacBook, and the guy in store informs me that I have two options: 7 day guaranteed repair turnaround, ship it out of state repair, or 2 business day turnaround in-store repair, but sometimes it needs to be shipped out of state, meaning 2-9 days.
I tell him it's just the keyboard, they have it in stock, and gee, is it possible to pick it up same day?
The Genius says "one sec" while he checks with the technician. A short while later, he reappears and says "yes, we can do it same day". I ask "I live in Renton, do you think it might be quick-- should I stay in town?" and his answer is, expectedly, "It's hard to say. It might be 40 minutes, it might be 4 hours".
So, thinking it won't be that quick, I head home (only to receive a call 40 minutes later that it's done).
On the return trip as I walk in the store (around 8:20pm, 40 minutes till closing) the din has died down, only about 20 people in the store now (instead of 50-60). The greeter says, "Can I help you find something?"
I respond with "Nope, just here to pick up my laptop."
I proceed to the back of the store, some 20 yards away, and another Apple employee walks up to me and says "I understand you're here to pick up your laptop?"
I notice he's got an earpiece, and I'm thinking "oh, way cool!!!".
After I give him my last name, he goes to retrieve my laptop and I'm out of there lickety-split.
I've been a big Mac fan for over a decade now (thanks to Richard and Gavin who turned me, with of all things, a PowerMac 7200) but this was perhaps my best repair experience to date. It isn't rocket science technology they're using to relay customer info to the back of the store, but it is slick!
I've been watching the situation in Iran with interest.
As someone who opposed the Iraq war, simply because I don't think you can "bring Democracy to the Middle East" like you can bring cake to a party, I thought it was interesting that the people in Iran seemingly took up this protest on their own.
So here are a few cobbled ideas that have been bouncing in my mind about Iran in recent weeks, sadly not cohesive or in any particular narrative.
- "Dear autocratic dictators and autocratic regimes: When you sign the deal to bring cell phone towers and cellular switches and SMS and the like that promote free and full communication, don't be surprised if these are used to communicate about your repressive acts."
- Along these lines, it's only a matter of time once you embrace this element of the West to become more like the West in information flow and expectations of your citizens. Ahmedinejad got a lot of votes, but a lot of Ahmedinejad supporters got pissed off at you when you turned off their cell phones too!
- To all the green-icon sporting tweeters out there... I stand for democracy and counting every vote too, but how much exactly do you know of this Mousavi guy? I mean my enemy's enemy might be my enemy too... And in fact, as one of the guys who ran the country right after the Iranian revolution invaded US soil (our embassy) and held our citizens hostage, are we really sure you want to throw your hat in his corner?
- In this regard, remember that the Islamic Revolution wasn't devoid of bloodshed and of exiles all around the world... Yes, the US sowed many seeds of discontent that we then later reaped-- that's not my point-- my point is that true democratic leaders may be few and far between inside the borders of Iran... Some might be born or bred in the current fighting, but let's not put all our chips on Mousavi until he demonstrates some human rights and democratic ideals beyond his own self interest.
- (hey, a little skepticism would have helped us with Saddam, Noriega, etc.)
- Another thought: Did Khamenei come out in favor of Ahmedinejad because he and his Iranian Republican Guard Core (IRGC) and Basiji thugs pressured/overthrew/performed a coup against Khamenei?
- What's odd is that several of the clerics from the Islamic council either came out in favor of Mousavi directly or at least a recount... Could Ahmedinejad be twisting Khamenei's arm behind the scenes?
- The Iranian Revolution took a full year to pull off. Revolutions around the sun take a year. Don't be surprised if the Iranian revolution takes at least as long.
- In any case, the US should stay well the hell out of this. Change is gonna come, it's just a matter of when, and if we play a heavy-handed role, the change we want to see is only going to be protracted that far out and with that much more bloodshed and pain. The seeds of discontent have been sown, and the martyrs, heroes, and critics of this day and age will gain fame, fortune and followers for the next big event. Mustafa Kemal was a general in the Sultan's army before he led Turkey to modernization, westernization and democratic reform as Ataturk.