Tag Archives: laptop

My iMac and The Blue Screen of Death

I’m sat here writing this post on an old, dodgy and excruciatingly slow old Windows 7 laptop. Why? Because my iMac (see iMac Part 1 & iMac Part 2) has shown me: a black unresponsive screen, several not-booting-up grey screens and the infamous blue screen of death.

I won’t bore you with the tedious details of how this occurred; but when the Recovery software wouldn’t work I knew I needed a genius appointment.

apple-mountain-lion-hard-drive-icon Steve & I booked an appointment with an Apple Genius in our local Apple Store and went along. The genius did some testing and discovered that the hard drive had failed. I’ve never been so thankful to be in the European Union (EU).

I’ve had my iMac about a year and a half. EU law means Apple have a two year warranty rather than their standard one year warranty (without Apple Protection). The genius arranged for the repair, told us they’d pay the cost and that it would take about a week.

For the next week I have no access to photos, music, TV, films (both downloaded and DVD’s) and a limited ability to browse the internet. These are things I can easily live without for a week. But there’s never a convenient time for a computer to break and the timing is particularly bad.

This week I have some important documents to write and need to reference some other documents in my Documents folder. This will create some hassle and difficulty.

Luckily, I learned the important lesson about backing up files some years ago. I use Time Machine which saves a backup volume to a separate hard drive and then copies new or changed files once an hour. I can’t use Time Machine’s backups or access the folders/files until I get my iMac back.

That’s where my manual backup on another separate drive comes in. I backup important files (Documents, Pictures, Music & Movies Folders) whenever I make significant changes to them. So at least I’ll be able to access the reference documents I need while the iMac is away for repair.

I bought an iMac because I heard loads of people say: “It just works.” I’ve told many of my family & friend’s how great the iMac is for that very reason. I was disappointed to learn that Apple use Seagate hard drives, which are notorious for problems. If you don’t believe me just do a Google search. With the price of the iMac you’d expect good quality. But after learning about the use of Seagate hard drives I’m starting to worry about what other low quality parts are in my iMac.

I’ve become a bit disillusioned with Apple not standing by the iMac for more than their standard one year warranty (outside the EU). Do Apple really expect customers to buy such an expensive device for it only to last a year? Probably not. But the fear of problems with such an costly device and a short warranty is most likely a deliberate act to sell it’s Apple Protection to customers.

When I bought the iMac I was an Apple enthusiast; but not so much so any more. I just want a reliable hardware with software that “just works.” If Apple can’t provide this, then perhaps I’d be better back on Windows? At least with Windows I know where I stand.

I’ll give you an update on the iMac when I get it back. In the meantime I’m using the free time enforced upon me to catch up on some reading.

Hopefully write soon,

Antony

Yuletide Preparations

With Yuletide (or Christmas) on it’s way, I had a week off this week to prepare. Monday I bought a real Christmas tree, named Trevor:


(Click on image for full size image, Trevor was decorated by me at some point in the week!)

I manged to spend time with my Grandma on Wednesday, leaving time for mum on Thursday evening and Saturday. I caught up with my good friend Simon on Thursday as well. In between times, I crammed in my assignment for my Leadership module (see A general update). Finally finishing it yesterday (Friday). So now I can relax, well apart from the last minute Christmas shopping.

My poor laptop is starting to die though, so I had to buy a new one online. Hopefully once it arrives and is up and running I will get back to normal blogging and facebook habits.

Take care all,

Antony

Technology Review: My Book Home Network Storage

Like most homes today mine has more than one computer. I have infact two, a laptop for surfing the net and a desktop in the office / guest room. But I was becoming increasingly fustrated with having my music, pictures and documents split across the two. I’d log on to my desktop to find a document or file and then realise that it’s on the laptop. So I decided to buy My Book World Edition 1TB Home Network Storage.

What I love about it:

  • Having all my files in one place and being able to access them on any computer
  • Storage Size – A massive 1TB
  • Easy to Install – Maps the drive for you and even creates a desktop
  • Fast transfer time – Didn’t to take that long to transfer my data, considering the size
  • Security – It has good security features to protect my data including different users with levels of privilages and work groups
  • System Status – gives you information on space used and how the box is functioning.
  • What I struggled with:

  • Limited information on security – I had to fiddle with the security settings in order to work out how it works, at one point I was sharing my music and pictures with everyone. Granted I did put them in the public folder, but I thought it was just public for registered users. There was also limited information on the web when I was looking for support with it. Worked it out in the end though.
  • What I’ve not used (and therefore can’t review):

  • Backup software – It comes with 5 free licences but I will be backing up the Network Storage box on a seperate box and haven’t used their software. I’m going to use my own.
  • Accessing your files from the web – I’ve disabled this feature for added security, plus I have no need to access my files over the internet
  • Hope my review was useful. Blog technological soon,

    Antony