Locked Out
September 25, 2003

11:30 AM

This has been a week of highs and lows. I can't talk about the highs yet because I don't want to jinx it, but the lows all center around me sitting outside my apartment door, listening to the phone ring, listening to my television, having to pee, and being locked out.

It all goes back to the day my iBook developed acute narcolepsy and would fall asleep even if I didn't close it up. This was a problem related to a similar issue that occurred three months ago. But that issue was fixed. Supposedly.

Mathra took my iBook to the Palo Alto store, they looked it over and, in turn, sent it to the Apple Care Center in Memphis. This is where things started to go very, very wrong. The iBook was fixed fairly quickly and sent on its merry way...to Boston. Where I'm not. Not to San Francisco. Where I am. I discovered this glitch when I tracked the package and saw that Airborne Express had attempted to deliver it to my old address in Cambridge. I double-checked the work order filled out at the Palo Alto store and confirmed they had written our San Francisco address. Livid, I called Airborne Express, explained the situation, and asked them to redeliver. Across the country. TO THE OTHER BAY! For security reasons, which I totally respect and appreciate, they could not release my iBook just on my say-so. The company sending it, Apple, had to get involved. It was the weekend, so naturally the Apple Care Center was not open for business or screaming. I called the Palo Alto store, which was open, and in a voice quavering with suppressed anger, explained the situation. They were thoroughly apologetic and confused. They promised to call Airborne Express that evening and get the thing released. That was six days ago. Due to more security issues, codes, passwords and the NSA getting involved (Hold on, I'm just kidding! They really had nothing to do with it so please don't send any men in black after me), other people had to get be called in to cut through the lengths of red tape that were wrapped around my laptop in Boston. After learning yesterday that my laptop was STILL in Boston after five days of no movement whatsoever, I called the amazingly helpful and funny Greg Wassmann in Palo Alto, left a message, and went off to have the best day of my life in San Francisco but which I can't talk about yet. I got home from the best day of my life in San Francisco but which I can't talk about yet and listened to a message from Greg: "You better have it tomorrow, that's all I can say. That's. All. I. Can. Say."

It's today. The phone rang. Just one ring, so it didn't register on caller ID, but there was no one on the other end. Panicked that the Airborne Express guy could be right outside the front door with my laptop but due to a well-timed glitch in the callbox system unable to get in, I darted out of my apartment and banged the door closed behind me. But there was no Airborne Express guy bearing my travel-weary iBook. And now I realized my situation. See, we have one of those locks in the doorknob which allows you to turn the knob from the inside and not suspect that the lock is engaged until you're on the other side of the door and the knob gets rigor mortis in your hand.

Our building manager lives in the apartment next to us, but he has other jobs and he wasn't in when I rang his buzzer and banged on the door. Then I saw the Airborne Express guy outside the entrance. I watched him dial up on the box and I ran over to my door to listen. Sure enough, my phone rang. I jumped down the two flights and let him in, signed for my iBook. He said he wished all his customers responded so quickly and told him I was locked out. "Well, now at least you have something to do," he said as he handed over my iBook. Yeah. Sort of. All I can do is write this. And keep my legs crossed.

Due to some technical issue that I've never fully been tutored on, I can't connect to the internet with our wireless network, so I can't email Mathra (who has already left two messages on our machine for me) to tell him of my predicament. Not that he could do anything, mind you. Since he punctured a bike tire yesterday, he's now two hours' travel time away. Besides, it would be such a waste of his day to have to come all the way back up here when he only just got down there. The other options are to bug neighbors I haven't met who might grind me up for sausage if I cross their threshold or risk a bladder infection.

I'm off to find somewhere to pee that won't lock me in the bowels of our building parking garage. I'm not sure if such a place exists.

2:30 PM

The good: I found a place to pee and called my building manager.

The bad: My building manager informed me that I just spent the last three hours with the building psychos.

September 30

UPDATE: Guess what? After using my iBook 800 for THREE WHOLE DAYS it's having the same problem again. Namely, the logic board needs to be replaced. This will be my FOURTH LOGIC BOARD AND I JUST GOT THIS COMPUTER IN JANUARY! The web is buzzing with the fact that the iBook 800 has this very specific problem and Apple isn't willing to address it. Greeeeaaaat. I've got an expert on the case.

I used to be such a Mac-defender but guess what? I'm switching parties -- give me a PC any day. As a friend just said to me, "To right-click is divine." So is having a computer that actually works.

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