When last we left our story, we were at something of an impasse. I couldn’t connect my trusty iMac to the internet. Cox said it was Apple’s problem. Apple said it was a conflict with Cox’s modem.
At Todd Kleinke’s excellent recommendation, I took my poor little iMac to the University Saturday morning and plugged it into the local network. Nothing. Damn. Not even a dynamically assigned IP, which I’d at least been getting at home.
Next stop: The Computer Shoppe.
As a rule I avoid Veteran’s Boulevard in Metairie, but this is the only Apple shop in the region. They plugged the iMac into their local network. Again nothing.
The verdict was clear. This iMac was afflicted with a bad ethernet port. Fixing this requires replacing the entire motherboard, which would have been expensive, so I opted instead to have them install an AirPort card ($100). We were on their localnetwork in minutes. I bought an AirPort Express base station ($139), and drove home with high expectations.
And — big surprise — it worked! My iMac is on the internet for the first time in thirteen months. Hooray. Moreover, we’re able to connect Xy’s laptop at the same time, and stream music from iTunes to the stereo and supposedly even print wirelessly, though I haven’t worked that out yet.
So let’s review. In the smackdown between Cox and Apple, though it galls me to say it, Cox was clearly correct. During my two hours on the phone with Apple’s tech support, no one ever suggested the problem might be a bad ethernet port. No one, not once, not even the exalted Tier Two guy. In retrospect it’s pretty frickin’ obvious. And remember they charged me $49 for the privilege of speaking to them. I have an image in my head of the smarmy stubbly guy from the Get a Mac television commercials. I’d really like to give him a kick in the crotch.
Not that I hold Cox blameless, because (as mentioned previously) the installation was a nightmare.
No, the only real hero here is the guy at the Computer Shoppe. Better customer service, way better. That’s what you get at a mom’n’pop shop. More power to ’em.
But Apple really ticked me off. I figured I’d get on my newly connected iMac and pound out a scornful rant on my blog.
And that’s when I got my next unpleasant surprise.
Stay tuned for Disconnected, Part III: Attack of the Spambots.