Monday, August 24, 2009

I. Hate. Apple.

iPod, originally uploaded by Dave Gorman.

Okay... so first things first... I'm very happy with how things went in Andover. It was a lovely, friendly venue, the shows went well... and I feel like we've timed things just right with enough previews to tighten all the screws on the material before starting the tour proper on Sunday. Gulp. Sunday. Yikes.

Of course I have to be in Lizard on Sunday morning so I'm actually leaving London on Friday which means I have just four days to make final arrangements, see the important people and do the boring paperwork that will enable my accountant to do the even-more boring paperwork required to keep the business of a self-employed comedian ticking over.

There's a lot to do. And most of the information I need to do the lot that there is to do is on my computer. And last night my computer - aged 4 and a bit - died. It's the logic board. It can be replaced. But not today. I could get it done in 4 or 5 days. Which wouldn't give me time to actually do any of the doing that I need to do.

The only answer has been to go into town and give Apple even more money to buy a new computer. Which is painful because I kind of hate them because of the way in which the last one just died. If it had died a month ago I could have had it fixed and carried on. It's almost like it waited to die when it did knowing that I would have to give its Mum and Dad even more money that way. I hate them.

I have a time capsule - which is basically a big external drive that is meant to automatically back up copies of what's on your computer. Hopefully all the information that was on my old dead computer will soon be on my new computer and I will have three and a half days left to do the things that were going to be a squeeze in only four days. I hate them.

I'm looking forward to Sunday. On Sunday, no matter what is happening here I will have no choice but to forget about it. Whatever problems I can't solve before then will have to wait til October. I will have the internet occasionally when I'm on tour. But I'm not going to check my e-mail... I reckon that'll be more trouble than it's worth.

Bring on the saddle, the stage and bed.


John Molloy said...


Contact Apple and ask for their help. They will sort it I am sure.

_cb said...

I'm sure you don't hate Apple as much as I do!

I bought two iPods and both died on me after reaching their 12 month warranty! I've switched to a Sony Walkman since and its been an absolute diamond of a device.


Tina Mammoser said...

oh dear. :( They let the ball drop a few times for me this past year too. (but love is blind) Have you tried sweet-talking your way into a Genius Bar appt if the logic board is something they can replace in-house? I did that when they told me my harddrive was fine and it failed (again, like I said it would) once I got home.

I just called the store number and pleaded - they let me come in right when the shop opened next day to squeeze me in.

Of course now you've already lost one day.

Stu said...

I understand your pain a bit, my ibook G4 is about that old and is starting to get very cranky. I don't have any money with which to upgrade right now, so really hoping it sticks it out for a while. This may be the apple fanboy in me speaking, but Apple didn't conspire against you to make it crash today of all days. They didn't control it and neither did you, I find it useless to get angry at things I or no one else has control over. Instead I get very angry at the things I can control. I hope this doesn't seem patronising.


drewsonix said...

Sorry to hear it.

No wonder Apple feels like a cult. They control what you can download to the iPhone, what developers can release to be used on it, how you use music downloaded on iTunes, who you can turn to for repairs & upgrades.

They call their assistants geniuses, sneer at the quality of repairs PC users get and compare themselves to BUPA.

Then they deny service for machines where the owner has had to pull a hard disc out of a broken machine on location to retrieve valuable data and be able to continue their projects.

As we know, what immediately strikes us as stunningly beautiful is not necessarily where we'll find intelligence and reasoned thinking!

Ben said...

That's a real pain in the arse, but I'm afraid it is just sod's law.
You could say exactly the same about if you had a car that you would be needing, which broke.

Or if you had a laptop made by Sony or Dell, which died - you'd still have the same issue - you'd still have to send it away and/or buy another, unless you had some kind of instant-replacement warranty.
Sometimes these things are intermittent and annoying.

I'm not going to say Apple hardware never dies, but I've had Sony and Archos audio players that have died in considerably less time than I've owned my iPhone.
And cars that have conked out in the middle of roundabouts.

akhen3sir said...

Bad show, sir! Blame the hecticity of your life, blame the universe, blame global warming - but don't blame the company that (a) can fix it and (b) has provided the tech that allows you to restore to an hour before the failure occurred (#fanboi) ;-)

And in future remember the adage "Never let anything electromechanical know you're in a hurry".

Be nice to your technology, what have you done for it recently?

JezM said...

Think you're being a bit irrational Dave. You can't *hate* Apple for a 4.5 year old machine failing. Right or wrong, this sort of stuff just happens. I say be grateful for the Time Capsule and the fact you've only lost a bit of time and a bit of hardware! And celebrate the fact you had the foresight to back up - many people don't... Enjoy the new machine... it will be a lot better than the old one. PS - I told you weeks ago it would be the logic board and it was time to get a new machine... ;-)

Nath said...

I wouldn't worry too much Dave - 4 years is pretty good going for a laptop anyway.
And when you get the new one you have the added bonus of it being about 10x as fast and you'll soon forget about the grand or so you spent on it.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, as long as people keep going back to them, and paying them money over and over and over, why would they change anything?

You have your opinion with your money, and if it keeps going to Apple you're telling them this is all well and good, keep on going.

There are alternatives. There are always other options.

Mat Morrison said...


First of all -- thank you for your kind comments about Andover. It's not often that people are nice about Andover. It will do wonders for our confidence.

Secondly -- how can we tell that you're not secretly using your blog, Twitter, and celebrity status to jump the queue?

Let's say someone at Apple reads this post, and thinks -- that Dave Gorman, he may be no Stephen Fry, but he speaks to a good bit of our demographic, and they seem to like him.

Also -- they might think -- he's younger than Stephen Fry, which means it's probably worth cultivating a relationship with him for that sad day in the distant future when it's time to put the national treasure back in the vault.

And so they decide to courier you a laptop so that you stop saying mildly upsetting things like "I hate Apple."

What would you do then? And what would WE (as your audience) think about that?

It's worth noting that while the life-expectancy of a laptop is most accurately measured in lengths of string, most people seem to agree that even if you treat it really well and never take it anywhere, you'll still have to replace it in year 4.

Oh - and I've got a Mac Book Air going spare at the moment, so if you want it for cheap, ping me on @mediaczar

RS said...

If you angrily state that you hate a company, and then proceed to empty a few thousand pounds into their bank account as a response, what does that say about you?

Sue Portman said...

Ah Dave - it's a computer. *Of course* it's crashed just as you really, really need it not to...

Mac or PC, they all have inbuilt foresight. Do you remember the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, second radio series? The lifts in the Guide offices were given the ability to see slightly into the future so that they could arrive on the floor the prospective passenger was on before they even called for it.

Somehow, the makers of computers (of all types) have managed to incorporate this ability into their evil creations - except they use it to screw us over by identifying the most crucial/ embarrassing/ inconvenient moment for them to *FAIL* big time.

Client visits, urgent deadlines, impending trips. All points at which their perverse electronic sense of humour comes into play.

Hope it gets sorted asap - have you not tried "don't you know who I am" to get them to queue-jump you?? ;-)

I'd lend you one of mine if you were near Portsmouth - or get my miracle techie guy Tim to help - nothing ever defeats him.

I feel your rage and hope it gets sorted pronto so you can get back to the warm fuzziness of Mac ownership.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the trouble Mr. G; but it sounds a bit of stress, sour grapes, and Sod's law. I've had several computers (going back to Windows 95) that have crapped out on me at the lousiest possible moment; including my original charger for my Macbook.

My advice? Take a breath, relax, thank your stars you have everything backed up on Time Capsule, charm your way onto a Genius bar to see if it'll get fixed, if not see if they'll rent you one for a week until your logic drive gets fixed, failing that - get a new one using your old one as a trade in for a 10% discount (they'll recycle it so your green credentials are cool.)

Personally, I like Apple and its products despite the drawbacks and flaws with it, and if you get back over to North America - purchase any Apple stuff there.

dougalan said...

For all those cursing their electronic equipment failing after the manufacturer's 1 year guarentee has expired might want to look here.

Turns out there's a little known Euro law giving a statutory guarantee of 2 years on electronic equipment.


scottishwildcat said...

Apple's hardware is no more or less reliable than anyone else's, but their customer support is usually second to none.

Probably not too much can be done with a logic board failure/replacement (mine took 10 days to repair), but normally, if you don't get the service you think you're entitled to from a Genius/customer support rep, politely but firmly escalating to their supervisor will often get good results.

Robert said...

I feel your pain, My 4 year old iMac died a week ago with the same problem (plus it already had a slightly dodgy Superdrive) luckily I managed to back everything up and also have a MacBook pro so it wasn't a total disaster but whilst they work better when they work Macs seem to be as prone to malfunction as any other computer. The problem is now that we expect the same performance from our computers that we get from our TVs or Radios and the technology simply hasn't caught up with our expectation.

Phil said...

Hi Dave, sorry to hear about your computer problems. Andover show was great.

Just to let you know, I was the idiot who got his car locked in a car park on Saturday night. Thanks for your sympathy and understanding. We did get a hotel in the end, the theatre manager was very helpful. Best of luck for the tour.

Anonymous said...

Your data should still be there if it is a logic board problem.

Get someone to take the hard disk out and put it in a portable enclosure. Attach that to a new laptop and you should be able to get all the info off of it.

Dave Gorman said...

@everyone: I know that it's sods law, bad luck and blah blah blah. Of course I know that my computer didn't wait for the worst possible moment before dying on purpose... I'm ranting about it because that's what the internet is for.

@Mat Morrison: you know I'm not trying to jump the queue because I write this after already being in the queue and buying a new desktop.

@whoever-it-was: timing is the important thing. If I can't answer the questions my accountant is asking me in the next 4 days I might end up paying more than I should to the taxman. I *like* paying tax - I *like* contributing to society but I naturally want to make sure my contribution is fairly made. To do so I need the information that my dead computer contains *and* I need the time to sift it and find accurate answers. In essence, because it died when it did, a £600 part has already cost me much more than it should because I've had to shell out considerably more for a timely solution and - if I can't get the work done in the now 3.5 days remaining - it could cost me a lot more yet.

I know that alternatives to Apple are available. But not when your information is trapped in an Apple, is (thankfully) held on a time machine and is needed as soon as possible, preferably 5 hours ago thanks. Hence anger towards Apple... because, the failure of one of their components has - through the peculiarity of the timing - cost me at least 3 times its value and quite possibly far more while also further ensnaring me in their web...

Anonymous said...

You have a right to be angry at Apple!

How terrible of them to build a computer that doesn't last forever!

Shame on them!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Dave. Why are companies like Apple making products that don't last? They are all the same and expect us to keep replacing their product that doesn't work anymore at an inflated price.
Consider using an online and free place to keep documents like googledocs. That way you can access your files as long as you have an internet connection from anywhere.
Enjoy the tour

scottishwildcat said...

Trusting Google to look after your documents is probably about as safe and secure as using a laptop without doing regular backups. Plus, Apple don't harvest all your personal data.

(Yes, I know Dave *does* have backups!)

Anonymous said...

I have a love/hate relationship with Apple - I love their stuff, I hate that it breaks and is so hard to operate most of the time.

Why is iTunes so difficult? Why didn't you make enough iPhones? Why???????

Jeff Kirk said...

Holy crow. Laptops age a lot faster than desktops, you know; it doesn't matter who makes them. I doubt you'll find many 4.5 year old PC laptops that have a greater survivability rate. Don't blame Apple, this is a universal phenomenon.

That being said, if you get one of the aluminum unibody MacBooks to replace your old one, it should last for a pretty long time. They're built like tanks. It still won't help if you drop it or shake the stuffing out of it. That's just the nature of computer technology today. Maybe in ten years laptops will be completely solid state and last forever, but that day is not today.

Anonymous said...

Dave, you are being a dick by troll baiting about Apple.

Apple kit dies no more or less than any other tech. Personally I think 4 years for a laptop is pretty good going for an active traveller such as yourself.

All technology fails, it is just a matter of when - something you must realise because you purchased a time capsule to backup with.

Buy yourself another Mac, feel good about your purchase and enjoy another few years of Appley goodness.

Dave Gorman said...

@Anonymous: I'm not "troll baiting" anything and if you think I am then perhaps it's you taking a blip of a rant too seriously rather than the rant itself.

I'm just ranting because *today* the failure of an Apple component has cost me dearly. In terms of £ as well as time. I don't have time to do everything I have to do... and instead of having 4 days to do it in, I now have 3.5.

And because in these particular circumstances, where time was of such value and importance, it has cost me far more in £s than it should have done.

Where I think it is reasonable to feel ire towards Apple is in relation to their closed shop. If it was any other kind of electrical appliance that had failed I could probably have found someone to repair or replace the part this morning. It is Apple's exclusivity that meant that the only timely solution was the most expensive one. I think the world would be a happier one if I had been able to have someone change the logic board for me this morning. That this wasn't possible has forced me into the extravagance of a new computer... which is faintly ridiculous and ire-worthy.

Anonymous said...

It's highly unlikely you'd have been able to find anyone to replace the logic board in any kind of laptop there-and-then.

However, as others have said, any competent repair shop should have been able to remove the hard drive from the Mac, whence you could have attached it via a hard drive enclosure to any other Mac you could beg, steal or borrow while yours was fixed.

Stu said...

I think I among others may have responded unfavourably to Dave's post. He was upset about his computer, and merely wanted someone to talk to, someone who would listen. It is not unreasonable for him to have posted on a site where generally his fans go, they should be a comforting ear. Dave I'm terribly sorry about your Mac, times like these suck, it's horrible when you feel something catastrophic has happened and you can't see the way out. You're a strong person though and I think you can come through it. Try to relax at some point today, have a drink, call a friend.


Unknown said...

Dave, you did a good thing with the Time Capsule. Imagine if you didn't have that? No one ever thinks backup is worthwhile until too late.

Regarding Apple, you can pay for a support contract from some third parties. I know you can get business contracts that cover laptops anywhere in the UK with an 8 hour response time. It also covers returning the laptop to its previous state (i.e. data restore etc.) I'm presuming Dave Gorman is a business as well as a person.... (refrains from making a joke about you being limited! Oops, too late)

kiteless said...

To be fair, try getting a replacement logic/main/mother-board for anyone else's 4.5 year old computer. There's a couple of family computers that have been written off (and been dismantled to recycle the parts) because it was impossible to find a new board anywhere, at any price. And they certainly didn't have a posh London store where I could drop it off at, I'd have had to sit around waiting for a courier to pick it up.

Horrible when it happens, especially at inopportune times, but thankfully you won't have lost (much) data and now you have a shiny new computer. :)

Sophia said...

You think you hate Apple, try living with a Dell laptop that by the way you've only owned for a year but still for some reason refuses to stay on for more than half an hour at a time, either due to overheating or due to Vista hating you so much that it decides to suffer an unspecified fatal error and sit for hours going to blue screen for NO GOOD GODDAMN REASON. And it works perfectly when you wipe the hardrive and 'restore to factory condition'. But only for a week. And it is so generally bollocks that you take a perverse sort of delight in watching it bounce when you accidentally drop it down the stairs because it doesn't make it any worse and damned if the thing don't deserve it. *deep calming breaths*

(I want a Macbook, can you tell? I'm jealous even of your crappy old computer.)

Emma said...

Ooo, that really, really sucks.

At least it looked pretty when it died though...

I know fancy types have PAs to sort out mini-crises, but it'd be nice if us ordinary folk could just call someone up when things get a bit complicated. They come around, sort out a problem, and leave with everything in its place.

Unexpected guest coming around in an hour? No worries! Emergency PA will tidy the flat and sort out appropriate drinks and nibbles.

Nik said...

Hi Dave,

Have you tried this:

It worked for me, and apple wanted to replace my logic board... (ibook g4 2005)

Anonymous said...

If you want us to take a look at your old Mac, we'll be at your gig in Cumnock in a few weeks. Drop us an email.

ale said...

Think we need more "zen" practices.
We spend more time with computers than cars.
When you drive a car and it broken on your trip, you'll want to die.
Even with computers the angry goes to higher levels too.
Apple computers are the best of the planet but eventually the service centers don't make the thing as we expect like car sellers.
I suggest to buy on other city or country whatever.

Anonymous said...

I've lost a few apples of various guises after less than 24 months and with their customer service being no help at all unless i was prepared to make a 3hr journey to one of their stores, i've just stopped buying them.

I doubt me avoiding them will help, but hey.... a matter of principle!

Unknown said...


It's not like your data is permanently gone. It's still on your hard drive, just like the last time your machine booted. Go buy a SATA to USB adapter from Fry's or online. It will cost you all of $15 or $20 bucks. Then remove your laptop hard drive, plug it into the adapter, and you can use it on any other computer just as if it was an external drive. I've used this technique 3 times in the past year, as two of my wife's PC laptops (a Dell and a Compaq) both died within 2.5 years of purchase. (The Compaq actually died outside of a year, and we didn't find out about the Class Action Lawsuit until a it was too late.) Then a friend's 2.5 year old HP died last month, and he was able to recover his data with it as well. 4.5 years isn't great for a Mac, but compared with the shit laptops everybody else is making these days, it's hard to complain.

I've got a Macbook going on 3 years and a Powerbook that is going on SEVEN years. (Original PB G4, although none of the batteries work any more and it has sustained severe frame damage from multiple drops, it mostly sits on a desk these days.) I'm just now porting some of my software development work from the old beast since Mac OS X 10.1 isn't really a minimum requirement for anything these days.

Anonymous said...

I will give you the very thing that you are looking for - my reaction. Ooh, you hate Apple. I hate peanut butter. It is so banal to stumble on this kind of crap. You should thank Apple for giving you something to bitch about and actually have people give a shit. If you had the same experience with Lenovo, nobody would even read your blog. PR whore.

And yes, I am too lazy to put in my credentials, so I am going anonymous. Want to email me for comment, here it is:


Anonymous said...

Quote: "Where I think it is reasonable to feel ire towards Apple is in relation to their closed shop. If it was any other kind of electrical appliance that had failed I could probably have found someone to repair or replace the part this morning."

What utter bollocks. You clearly know nothing of the proprietary nature of non-Apple laptops if you think you can just walk in somewhere with a 4 year non-Apple laptop and get something like a motherboard changed there and then.

If you had bothered to think for a minute, renting an Apple laptop would have been far quicker and far cheaper than buying another one whilst waiting for your laptop to be fixed (in what is a reasonable turnaround time compared to some HP and Toshiba repairs I have managed).

You have no sympathy from me with this "diva" rant of yours.

Richard said...

Hi Dave

Thanks again for coming to Andover, i thought you show was really really good. I have'nt laughed as much as that for ages. You really did'nt have to be so nice to Andover it really is not as good as that!

Good luck with the actual tour!

Anonymous said...

Dave, Dave, you like me are self employed so it's a business expense (let accountant it sort out) — nothing lost OK. Get Apple Care after 1st year or is that two (see dougalan) just in case. When next bus load of Wonga arrives from Tour / Voiceovers / Endorsements (I'm thinking Iceland here) get your parents something from Refurb store in time for Christmas. Again accountant can sort you out.

But as already suggested, shouting "Don't you know who I am!" i the middle of Regent Street store may work, and I don't think all those YouTube vids of you being ejected from the Apple store would harm your career. Quite the opposite in fact!

Dave Gorman said...

Oh dear Anonymous, you really are worked up about the fact that someone who'd just spent more money than he wanted to on a solution that was required quickly had a little moan on the internet about it. Let it go. I have.

You say: If you had bothered to think for a minute, renting an Apple laptop would have been far quicker and far cheaper than buying another one whilst waiting for your laptop to be fixed

Actually it wouldn't. Because by the time my computer (it's a desktop) would have been fixed I would have been hundreds of miles from home and unable to collect it or take delivery of it. But it's really by-the-by... it was a rant borne out of frustration because of my particular circumstances - a severe lack of time and a computer that decided to fail at the exact worst time. Writing it is no different to screaming a scream of anguish by the side of the road because your car's just broken down and you're now going to be late for something important.

(Especially if being late for that something was going to cost you dearly and especially if your cars manufacturer had a policy that only allowed their garages to fix things for you and at a slower pace than a regular garage might fix a similar fault on another car... but I digress)

Surely being angry at inanimate objects that frustrate us is - while deeply irrational - normal behaviour. I wouldn't trust someone who's never cursed at something for "letting him down."

I'm sure my rant will do Apple no harm and I'm sure that if anyone from the company were to stumble across this entry they would see it as nothing more than someone letting off steam because of the cursed timing of a component's failure.

But having people leap to their defence as though every word ever typed on the internet has to carry the same weight of importance as every other word ever typed is, well, faintly ridiculous. A diva-ish rant? Perhaps. But that's more prejudice about my job than anything else because I suspect a plumber feeling similarly let down would have a similar rant and not be accused of being divaish.

I'm just letting off steam. You can do the same somewhere. Go on... I think you probably need it. Just don't make it too divaish. D x

akhen3sir said...

Dave, if you think you got it in the neck check this out

Unknown said...

Well said Dave. I'm a fellow Mac user (and have been for over 18 years). I really appreciate my Mac user experience and find the experience a lot calmer than using a PC. However I also struggle with the "Thou shalt not utter blasphemy against the all powerful Mac" attitude of some users.

At the end of the day it's just a computer... and yes they always go wrong just at the wrong moment.

Now if somebody can just tell me how to sync my Mac and Blackberry properly I'll be even happier. I had one of those "screaming at the side of the road" moments yesterday when I lost all my contacts off the Blackberry.

SteveJobs said...

Thank you Apple fan boys for your dogged support. Dog biscuits available to all the faithful at the Apple store for only $999. All biscuits are distributed under licence and remain property of Apple corp. Spares and support available exclusively from Apple corp. Warranties may be invalidated if your biscuit is used for any purpose beyond those specified by Apple corp in your user agreement.

Anonymous said...

I can't beleive that guy doesn't like peanut butter.
What a meany. I love peanut butter and think everybody else should too.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Dougalan who said "...Turns out there's a little known Euro law giving a statutory guarantee of 2 years on electronic equipment."

Its actually a misunderstanding of the EUs use of the word guarantee. In the first place this law doesn't apply in the UK as we have the Sale of Goods Act which overrides this and has a 6 year time limit.

This (and the EU law) means that you can claim a replacement/refund/repair within 6 years of you purchasing it IF you can prove the item went wrong in the first year. However after "reasonable" return time you may only be entitled to a reduction in the price of goods reflecting the use had up til that point.

More information can be found here :

No more Daily Mail YOU HAVE RIGHTS misinformation please.

Anonymous said...

I've never bought an Apple product and never will. I promise.

I will never let Apple Computer dictate to me what I can or can't do with my own data or electronic devices. My data is my own.

Maybe you could have a look at GNU Emacs?

scottishwildcat said...

"I will never let Apple Computer dictate to me what I can or can't do with my own data or electronic devices. My data is my own."

Good for you -- as a happy Apple user, that goes for me too. And they've certainly never told me what to do with my data or devices.