MacBook Air – Dead On Arrival

Dead MacBook AirThe doorbell rang around 11:00am yesterday and I immediately thought, ‘Could it be?’ As I answered, the red and orange clad DHL driver held a rectangular package that a MacBook Air would fit in nicely and as I clumsily scrawled my signature, which turned to unintelligible scribbles on the driver’s touch pad, I could feel the anticipation rising.

It had finally arrived. The MacBook Air won in the Webmaster-Talk.com contest was now just two packing boxes away from actually resting in my hands. The dull kitchen knife cut through the plastic shipping tape and revealed the inner box that contained the prize. Even the packaging on a MacBook Air is a thing of beauty. It’s hard to believe there could really be a full size laptop computer, with all the accessories, in this box not much larger than a dictionary.

I removed the cellophane wrap from around the sleek black box with the familiar logo and fixed my eyes upon the prize. My initial reaction was almost of unbelief that such a nice prize, when I had not previously won anything of such value, was sitting before me. The MacBook Air’s amazing thinness also caused me to pick it up and turn it in every direction, viewing it from all angles to verify it was actually as thin as it looked.

The next step was to turn it on, run through a normal set up procedure and connect to the web through our wireless home network. Rather than hastily fumbling through hooking up what appeared to be the the power cord and turning on the new laptop only to come across something I didn’t understand (I’m not a Mac person), I sat down and meticulously read through the documentation so no one could throw the RTFM acronym at me.

Done. Read. Time to boot this puppy up and get down to business. Power cords in place, open up the Mac Air, press the start button and wait…and wait…and finally I see a flashing file folder icon with a question mark on a white background and…nothing. Hmm, ‘I’ll just reboot and all will be well.’ Waiting…waiting…same icon with the flashing question mark, indicating all is not well. Read and attempted the troubleshooting procedures to return the computer to factory settings…nothing. Additional troubleshooting procedures only tended to confirm the obvious, my new MacBook Air, that I had waited 6 weeks for, was dead!

Even spending an hour on the phone with a more than helpful AppleCare Support rep and trying additional tricks not in the manual were not enough to bring the Mac Air back from a computer afterlife. Only a hard drive transplant and complete system software reinstall would bring a full recovery.

The only solution was to place my sleek and beautifully brand new MacBook Air, which I had just peeled the protective plastic off of, into the hands of a computer tech who had been working on boxes all day. In his examination of my baby, he immediately smudged it with computer grime from systems that lay in heaps in the back room, filled with cold test equipment and probably colder coffee.

I left the black product box with the tech so as to give my first Mac computer at least some sense of comfort while away from home for a few days.

The anticipation continues…

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