This summer, I blogged about my experiences with my (then) new MacBook and the tech support debacle that ensued when its wireless capabilities went kaplooey.
After hours upon hours of tech support with router manufactures and Apple, itself, eventually the Apple "Geniuses" installed a new wireless card that didn't change the situation at all. Ultimately, through my own research, I learned the problem was in the operating system, itself: OS X 10.4.10.
Two months later, I patiently waited for the much-heralded release of Apple's newest operating system, OS X 10.5 Leopard. And as soon as I installed it, the problem returned. Inconsistent wireless Internet, random drop outs ... the exact same problems I was having before. An otherwise beautiful and elegant interface is utterly useless to me if I can't get online.
And once again, I'm not alone. As of this morning, Googling "leopard airport problem macbook" brought up tons of results, including a discussion on Apple's own tech support forum with 107 posts (and counting). Lots and lots of people are encountering this, but Apple hasn't acknowledged the problem or offered a fix.
Saturday night, I threw in the towel and downgraded back to OS X 10.4.9, which alleviated the problem, but added more hours on to this saga. This morning, I sat on hold with Apple tech support for one hour and 11 minutes, and I finally hung up without speaking to a wireless specialist (note to Apple: please feel free to call me back, and I'd like a replacement laptop this time).
Personally and professionally, I've spent many thousands of dollars with Apple over the years. This purchase alone was alongside two other MacBooks and one Mac Mini for OnMilwaukee.com. I buy Apple because their products are "just supposed to work."
But they don't. A laptop that can't get wireless Internet to work is just a heavy paperweight, and Apple knows it.
Apple owes its loyal customers more.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.