Preface: I am not into professional sports. At all. This statement will make sense in a moment.
Today I was at the International Plaza Genius Bar getting an estimate to repair an eMac I own whose analog board is giving up the ghost.
There’s about 10 people listed in the queue, and there’s one Genius helping people one at a time. About fifteen minutes into my wait time, a second Apple Genius comes striding out of the back room and walks toward the front of the store. He then comes back with a large, fit gentleman and a couple of friends.
I wonder why these folks are getting special treatment, as they weren’t called from the queue, and they got their own Genius that nobody else had access to. I chalk it up to the new ProCare service that Apple is hawking for $99/year.
My name finally gets called, and I wheel the eMac up and state my issues with it (dim screen, sometimes no screen). The Genius does some diagnostics to be sure it’s not a faulty motherboard, and then gives me the estimate for an analog board replacement. At over $500, I might as well buy a new machine. The eMac is a neat machine, but Apple screwed the pooch when designing this all-in-one. Unlike the CRT iMacs of yore, the eMacs have one power supply which furnishes all of the voltages for not only the motherboard but the CRT as well. Furthermore, this power supply is melded to the “analog board” which is responsible for the video circuitry. Stupid, stupid design, which basically means that if your flyback transformer starts to get weak and you want Apple to repair it, you’ll be replacing the Whole. Freaking. Thing.
After telling the Genius that I’ll just throw it out later, I bring up my second issue – a broken iPod Shuffle. This service goes a bit better – he sees the battery-low indicator and then hooks it up to a machine to see if it is still seen by a computer. Verdict? Dead battery. Charge? None. Replacement? Unavailable at this time, let’s fill out some forms and you’ll get a call when it comes in.
During all of this, I’m eavesdropping on the conversation next to me. The folks which were bee-lined to the personal Genius are discussing the relative merits of the new iPods, and the video content available for them. I notice that the big guy has a huge diamond in his ear – at least five carats. Their Genius comes back and he tells the larger guy that the hard drive has likely gone bad in his Aluminum 15″ Powerbook. He seems to take it in stride and the Genius hands over the paperwork for him to fill out. After he’s got it mostly filled out, I glance over and notice that I’m sitting next to Simeon Rice.
Here’s where it’s pertinent that I know nothing about sports.
I really wanted to talk to the guy about his Mac experience. I wanted to be able to blog about it, or perhaps interview him for a future re-launch of a certain Mac website, but I wanted to respect his space. Moreover, I don’t know anything about his career, so I can’t talk to him as a fan. So what did I try to do? Call one of my sports-crazed buddies, Walter, to see if he can either clue me in, or we can try to schedule an interview for him. Sadly, the phone number I had for Walter was his cellphone from before his move to the Florida Panhandle. I would have tried Allen too, but I knew the contact information I had for him was stale.
But, now I know that at least one professional baller uses the Mac. That alone made me respect the guy.