Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Heroes at Tekserve

I'm having some rotten luck with my computer gizmos lately. First, there was the iPod coma to deal with, and then I spent all day yesterday trying to get my laptop to regurgitate the DVD it was choking on. I'm waiting for the next disaster, like my monitor falls off the keyboard, or the mouse explodes, or a deranged help desk guy gets his brain encoded in my local area network during a freak lightning storm and goes on a mad killing spree through America Online. I'm pretty sure the limited warranty doesn't cover that.

The DVD was a rental so I was more than a little desperate to extract it from my computer. I turns out that the list of things you can shove into one of these slot-loading DVD drives is pretty short. Pliers won't even get near the slot, and tweezers — which I'm sure are great for the health of the DVD — only pulled out some of the white fuzz protecting the opening from, well, jerks sticking things that aren't DVD's into the DVD player. I settled on credit cards, which you can apparently use to keep the DVD from spinning, however that's supposed to help. Worked for plenty of other people, but not me, and after a few hours, I was all set to unscrew the whole laptop and perform a discectomy, and my computer would be in a hundred little pieces right now except I couldn't find a T4 screwdriver, whatever that is.

I had to take the computer in for repairs, again. I was incredibly not thrilled about going back to the Apple Store, where they'd make me wait a couple of hours for my Genius Bar appointment before telling me that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act prevented them from removing the DVD from the drive, but would I like to buy a whole new computer? Thank God I live near New York and I work near Tekserve, which is the world's friendliest Apple geek haven ever. It's almost like the distinction between the people who buy Apple products because they're stylish and trendy and the computer geeks who buy Apple because their 32-bit MIPS dual-core processor outstrips the Pentium variable word-length processors. Some people just know what they're talking about.

Tekserve is ridiculously efficient. Granted, I went pretty early in the morning, but I had to wait less than a minute to see a specialist. Less than five minutes for her to squeeze the disc out of the computer, test several more discs to make sure the drive is working, and recommend that I not buy a new drive unless this one starts failing consistently. Total cost: nothing. Awesome. Well, now when the DVD drive does fall apart, I know where I'm going to get a new one.