Quiet News Day

As photogs both amateur and pro await the start of the Photoshop Conference out in Las Vegas, (the “pre-conference” starts tomorrow, the rest of the photo world plugs along. Not much really “news-worthy” or personally revealing today, so here’s just a recap of some of the top stories I happened to catch in my blog feeder.

Olympus announced it’s latest Pro series camera, the successor to the E-1, to be unveiled Oct. 17th. While the announcement may seem kind of a yawner (reviewed at dpreview here: Olympus Review), the fact that it only took them 4 years, 4 months to announce a new body was of comical note to Michael over at TOP.

Scott Kelby does his daily post on the Photoshop World conference, and gives a few props to other photogs and their sites around the net. Always worth at least a glance. You know it’s quiet though when Scott doesn’t have much to post other than a few helpful link referrals pimping sites of his friends (just kidding Scott)….

The Strobist is always a great place to stop in for a detailed read if you’re in the need of knowledge (remember, I like alliteration).

Adobe finished the rollout of its own software in house.

Not much else other than the usual spate of forum posts that struck a chord for me. I’d share them here, but in most cases you need to register to view, so not worth the time since most won’t click thru.

I did notice a significant drop-off in readership, and still not many participating in polls. I’d really like to get at least 20 people to participate, so if you’ve read the blog at all and not voted on the content you like, please do so at your leisure (over here on the right—–>) .

In the meantime, with photos being the dominant choice, I will leave today with a random shot from my own library, a recent effort at a stock shot (sorry if the IQ is a little low-res, but always gotta be taking efforts to reduce piracy)…

phone1.jpg

It’s all about family…

This past weekend I spent the entire time away from the computer, camera in hand.  On a trip to Dayton, OH for a family get-together where my Aunt and Uncle (in-law) were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!  On returning, I realized I had left the blog on a decidedly negative note.  So, in the interests of sharing some positive experiences, the trip was just a resounding reminder of what it’s really all about.  It’s not about the latest gear, it’s not about corporate greed, and it most certainly is not about “getting what you deserve…”

The ultimate “high” is enjoying quality time with family.  What a great weekend it was.  Re-kindling connections with people I’ve not seen in a long time reminded me that life is about spending your quality time where it most counts – with loved ones.  In doing so, I also had a realization about my thoughts on Apple as a company.  Need I judge them so harshly on the basis of one mis-step?  I certainly do not judge my family and loved ones so harshly, so Apple deserves another chance too.

I have since rescinded the canceled Macbook Pro order, and am working on getting the iPod fixed (I think I got it after a rather interesting combination of restoring/power cycles.  The only Windows equivalent I can think of would be flashing the BIOS.  It seems to be working now, albeit a little more slowly than I would have thought…but that could be the putting USB connection since the iPod is used to Firewire!

In any case, technology tantrums aside, I hope all had an enjoyable holiday weekend with their family and loved ones, and another post tomorrow will hopefully have a few photos to share! 🙂

Apple pulls a Dell?!?!?!

I was shocked! After much hemming and hawing over which way to go for future purchases, I convinced my wife we should get a Mac – the Mac is the only platform I don’t really “know” – we need a laptop, and the budget is there. She always came up with excuses but finally, she agreed, and we ordered a Macbook Pro – C2D, and she got the iPod Nano using her school discount. $2500 into debt, we are actually excited…she has been wanting an iPod for a long time and I’ve been begging for a laptop.

To make a long story short, the iPod shipped first and we received it today. After about an hour of trying to connect it and make it sync myself I had performed countless softwre uninstalls/reinstalls, and 1418 errors, I googled results and reinstalled USB drivers, then tried restoring the device, all to no avail. Being in IT, I do not like giving up, but I am new to this – let’s see that stellar name of Apple deliver.

So I call Customer Service. Another 4 hours of dropped phone calls, (no callbacks) and one agonizingly long final call with a qualified tech, his supervisor and billing, here’s what happened: We performed troubleshooting on multiple USB ports, at least 5 installs and reconnects (on multiple computers), and no resolution or restore works. The Apple tech declares it DOA and says he’s going to ship me a box to return the iPod. Great, I say, so when the replacement and return box should get here when? He says, “No, just a box…after we get it back, and verify it doesn’t work, we’ll send a replacement out. So, 5 hours of troubleshooting, 4 disconnected calls, and now I have to wait another two weeks to get a measly $200 piece of peripheral? Um, no…

I ask for the supervisor who confirms. Apparently Apple RMA’s don’t send you replacements on a verified bad system (even though they already have your money). This is very much unlike the rest of the industry, everyone I have ever dealt with from Dell to IBM, to HP, to Sony, CDW, Newegg, Crucial, and all others in between, replacements are sent with instructions to return the bad one in the packaging with their apologies. Not Apple…they want to delay things a little longer…just to be sure.

Yeah Apple, that’s my scam. I sit on the phone for 5 hours trying to get a $200 DOA iPod to work in hopes you’ll just let me keep it and send a replacement. In 5 hours I could have done my blog posts, checked my web maintenance, hit my photo sites, spent some family time with my wife, played with my dog, watched some evening television and be in bed now. There is a reason I am leaving Dell – crappy customer service.

Apple has long been lauded as having superior equipment, superior service, and superiority complexes. Having thought I’d “seen the light” on why they feel superior, I convinced myself and my wife to buy into it. Now, all that’s left is a series of rude, untrained, half-literate telephone calls, missed family time, and an entire evening lost due to the “It just works” company showing its true colors as just another multi-million dollar business with no interest beyond taking your money.

The iPod is being returned and the MBP has been canceled. At least with Dell I know where I stand…