* Posts by sioc

1 post • joined 27 Jul 2007

Burned by a MacBook


Fanboy wars aside

There seem to be three primary issues being addressed here.

First, the author claims to have had crap customer service from Apple. That's a legitimate concern, and should be dealt with as such. Whether we've seen worse, personally, or prefer $PLATFORM, shoddy customer service is just that: Shoddy.

Second, there is the question of how much the author contributed to her own problems with the machine, and with customer service. Leaving a notebook to charge, unattended, in a poorly ventilated area (in this case atop carpet and under a sofa) is likely to cause problems for the machine at best, a house fire at worst. Claiming that she does so as an argument to the manufacturer that their products are dodgy strikes me as appallingly ignorant. This is not blaming the victim for manufacturers' defects. It's acknowledgment that all machines, computers included, can be dangerous if not operated in an intelligent manner.

Along with that, it would appear that the author hasn't done much planning for contingencies such as equipment failure and disaster recovery. This, also, is not the manufacturer's fault. Having made my living as a free-lance writer and consultant, I would never run my business as a single-threaded environment - depending upon one computer which, regardless of platform, would be likely to fail at a potentially critical moment. The idea of turning away days' worth of work because of a laptop failure strikes me as amateurish and stupid. (FWIW, I used two computers for work - a Windows notebook and a Linux desktop, with the bulk of work being done on the Linux box. Each had its strengths and its drawbacks.)

Third and finally, there's the issue of professionalism. The parent article is obviously an opinion piece, and is presented as one. However, even op-ed pieces, when written by journalists, are commonly expected to adhere to minimal standards of professionalism. The idea that the parent article somehow establishes, or presents an informed opinion that one cannot run a business using a MacBook is ludicrous. Op-ed piece or not, anyone who presents herself as a journalist should, at a minimum, demonstrate enough objectivity to separate their own errors and culpability from that of the company they're harranguing. In this case, her article read like something written by a child at school rather than by a professional journalist.

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