Podcast updates and Apple’s helpful support (not).

On Tuesday arvo I added the David Suzuki interview to our podcast feed. I checked the iTunes store and it hadn’t appeared. I waited until the next morning and it still hadn’t appeared. So I rang Apple’s tech support. Mistake…

After an hour on the phone they pointed me to the forums for iTunes Store. Those who are familiar with my griping in the past about Apple’s lack of support will remember that those forums are not monitored or contributed to by Apple support personnel. It’s a “fend for yourselves” type of vibe.

Needless to say it wasn’t a particularly helpful or useful response. I suggested to the support person that this was an admission that Apple did not support the iTunes Store – and amazingly they agreed! I’m sure it was a slip up – but it’s a little close to the truth.

Despite pleading with the support rep to provide me with an email address to talk to a real person within Apple that might be able to help, they were unable to assist me.

So I posted to the message board. What else to do?

FTR – I didn’t receive a response on the message board. But this morning – about 36 hours later – the feed has been updated in the iTunes Store. So if you want to be notified of updates to podcasts, don’t rely on the iTunes Store to do it promptly – better to subscribe directly to the source feed.

My concern is that we submit our feeds to the iTunes Store to make it easier for people to find, subscribe and be updated easily in iTunes. And yet when there’s an issue with the feed, Apple’s support is nowhere to be found. In this case it was simply a delay of a day and a half. But what if it was a more serious issue? What then?

Just another in a long list of failures of Apple to support this customer…

Mac OS X 10.4.7

I eventually had to re-install 10.4.7 on the latest iMac (which works, finally) and had the same issues with Photoshop CS and the Microsoft Office suite that I mentioned previously.

I did a little digging, and this is only an issue for Intel-based machines. I also read on a forum somewhere that Apple had posted a patched version of the install. I went to the Apple website and downloaded this 10.4.7 update and reinstalled it over the previous 10.4.7 version.

Apart from a weird glitch late yesterday arvo, this seems to have fixed the problem. Just thought I’d share the solution in case someone else comes across this issue.

Another day waiting for the iMac replacement

Sad Macintosh

So after two stuff-ups with couriers (one organised without notice to me, the second not organised after agreeing a day and time), I’m informed today that the reseller has sold all of their iMac stock, so my replacement will be delayed yet another day (it’s been out of action for two and a half days as I write this).

So hopefully tomorrow will see the delivery of a replacement. And hopefully the replacement won’t exhibit the same fault the last two Intel iMacs we’ve received have…

Mac woes continue

So – I took delivery of an iMac Intel 20″ for work, only to discover a display issue when the machine woke from sleep.

I took the machine in to be replaced and the fault magically disappeared – so I spent the next few days determining the steps to reproduce, when eventually, after a day without a machine, I received a replacement.

I think you can guess what happened next…

After a day the same fault appeared in this machine. After hours on the phone to Apple tech support, spending 2 hours re-installing the operating system, they finally threw their hands in the air and called it a hardware fault.

When I first called I sent them the discussion thread above, which was not added to their job system, so I’ve had to explain the fault about 3 or 4 times since.

This is the second machine with this fault, and yet Apple Australia can’t guarantee that they can replace the machine, or fix, without standard service center delays (which can be up to two weeks). This is because Apple’s structure in Australia means the retailers are separate companies and Apple can’t force them to replace a faulty machine or escalate support.

I’m now wasting another 30 minutes to an hour explaining things to the reseller (this is about the 6th time I’ve had to explain the fault and the steps that have been taken), then lose the machine for half a day or more while they confirm the fault again (because they have to prove the fault, even though Apple have already determined this), and then get a new one and hope that it doesn’t express the same issue…

Apple seem to think that this is acceptable from a customer service perspective. I’ve long said that Macs are great, when they work. But this is the BS that you have to jump through when something goes wrong. I estimate that I’ve lost about 3-4 days worth of productive time as a result of this.=, and every step I’ve had to fight to get a reasonable result (which usually means a day or two without a machine).

It’s absolutely ridiculous – and given I’m still having issues with .Mac synchronisation I feel like just giving up and buying a PC…

Nice to have working wifi again…

Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and updated my wireless router. Intermittent drop-outs, and a theory that my iMac wifi woes were partly related to my three year old Netgear router got the better of me.

I decided that I’d also try to get an all in one router/wifi/modem to remove the bunch of spaghetti in the lounge room where my ADSL connection is. I eventually settled on the Netcomm NB9W on the recommendation of my good friends John and Kris.

I’ve not been disappointed. Set-up was as easy as it gets. Having done a few of these kind of things before I didn’t need any assistance. If you’ve not installed and ADSL modem/router etc. you may need to check the manual first.

Once I got Ang’s iBook working on the wifi connection, I then set up my iMac. And I am happy to say that it seems that it’s all working perfectly (touch wood!).

Large downloads have been fine, and I’ve had no drop-outs or interference issues. Connecting from the iBook to the iMac for file sharing has shown no issues at all.

So, although the other macs I’ve been using have had no issues with my old router, it seems to be the culprit with the iMac. I’m just happy that I can browse again without the worry of timeouts and crashes, and that Ang and I can share files without having to connect via firewire.

Now, if only I could resolve those .Mac issues…