Sunday, June 24, 2007

Extremely Short Lifespans of Electronic Devices (or, Apple Sucks)

For a while I’ve been utterly convinced that I have an electromagnetic field which fucks with electronics that come into my possession. Since 1995 I’ve been through at least 7 computers (that might have something to do with the second-hand nature of every machine I’ve owned until this one), and they always died at quite inopportune times. All things electronic that I expect to last at least some modicum of time would die when you least expected them to – watches, phones, CD players, TVs, DVD players, air conditioners, whateves. This does not extend to power tools and cars. Oh wait, two out of the three cars I’ve owned died too. Nevermind.

But for the last couple of years I thought the curse has been lifted. Nothing of note has died. True, I had to get a new phone, but that’s because the faceplate on the old one was crap – the phone still works. But the curse is back, and it’s back with a vengeance. My fucking i-pod died last week. It’s the special edition U2 pod, the red-and-black kind, and it’s supposed to be “special”. (seen here with its awesome packaging…fuck Apple for constantly evolving the coolness factor of their gadgets.)

I’ve been through a lot with this piece of plastic and metal goodness made in China, and even though it’s vastly inferior to the i-pods currently available, I love it. What makes this all the more frustrating is that this is my *second* i-pod to die in the last three years. No, I don’t flush them down the toilet, or step on them, or leave them all over the theatre for other people to find (as one of my coworkers constantly does.) The first one went on a plane to CA and came back with a cracked screen, with liquid crystal leaking all over the place. The Apple Genius (seriously? WTF? Sometimes I feel to be more of a genius then the people behind the counter) offered to replace the screen for $300 or so, couldn’t really pinpoint the price, and they all presumed it was my fault, that I broke it and was now expecting it to be fixed for free – no, REALLY, I did not touch the bloody thing, it did that ALL ON ITS OWN.

So the U2 i-pod was the replacement. And I’ve come to depend on it without a second thought. I need background noise all the time, so I listen to music from 1 to 10 hours a day, and I ALWAYS listen to my ipod in the car or on the train. Oh, and at the gym. And at work. AND I COMMUTE EVERY DAY! So this time the Apple Genius offered to replace the hard drive for “$200-$300” – do you see a pattern here? When I asked if it was normal for a hard drive to fail after functioning for less than 3 years, he sneered and said “Well, yes, it’s a very complex piece of electronics…and it’s a very common problem” – No shit, really? It’s complex to make a music player the size of a pack of cigarettes with a storage capacity 20 times that of my first computer? And I thought there were little fairies inside, making the music appear magically. So for close to $300 I could just get a 20G harddrive for an old piece of plastic (even one that has sentimental value for me) or I could buy a 30G video i-pod that is – you got it – a special edition U2 i-pod. Because in the mad effort to market the infinitely cool black-and-red design three years ago, Apple forgot to mention they will KEEP MAKING THEM for all infinity, thus negating all “specialness” the gadget might have had.

So now I am using lk’s shuffle. Because I can’t afford another i-pod right now. It’s rather hard, having to limit my music choices to 200 songs, because I memorize music easily, and thus get bored with it. But Apple won’t get any of my money at least until Christmas, because I am pissed. Of course, I might feel differently when I am tired of reloading different 200 songs on the shuffle a couple of times a week, but for now it works.


Crystal said...

This post called out to me; The story of my life could told through tales of electronic failures/disasters.

I had the U2 iPod when it first came out, I paid an extra $100 bucks or something for this 'special edition'. Not that I'm a huge U2 fan, I just liked the colours better. I lost it before I even had a chance to upload music on it.

In LA last month, I bought another iPod, then I went to put music on it and realised that I had left every CD I owned on the aeroplane. So I gave the iPod away, again un-used. I just don't think I'm meant to have one.

I'm now on my fifth laptop this year [first one was dropped, second was stolen, third got coffee thrown on it, and the fourth was stolen].
So, I bought a Mac Book Pro thingy this weekend - paid $500 for the warranty alone, which is highway robbery, right?

Anyways, good luck with the shuffle.

ANI said...

Crystal: i AM a huge U2 fan, which is why the pod was sentimental. i am with you on the Mac Book Pro, and will post a triumphant blog when it finally arrives (they haven't shipped mine out because they were waiting for the new models release or some such nonsense.) the shuffle is sucking though. my car has a tape deck, and i dug out some ancient tapes i've been lax to throw out, so now i am constantly in 1995...