Ashes To Ashes

Midsummer 2011, I purchased a base model 11″ MacBook Air; 1.6 Intel Core i5. 4GB ram. 128GB SSD.

This past week I went to turn it on. It gave me this:

bork bork bork

I held down the power button until it turned off. Hit the power button again and…

… nothing.

So this was it. It didn’t go put with a whimper. It just decided to pack it in.

For ten and a half years, this little MacBook Air:

    • Was my portable recording unit across two bands; countless demos and jams were recorded using GarageBand and Reaper.
    • Powered MainStage at home, rehearsals, and on stage.
    • Was my backup when my work computer freaked out (and, at one point, used for a full year because a company I worked for didn’t provide computers).
    • I’ve written who knows how many blog posts on it.
    • Was my teleprompter when recording video.
    • Was very decent at photo/image editing thanks to Pixelmator.
    • Has traveled with me to many countries. It was so small I just tossed it in the front pocket of my carry-on; I didn’t need an extra laptop bag.

In all those years the MacBook didn’t have a single issue. I did replace the battery in 2019; it wasn’t dead, it just wasn’t holding a charge for any more than an hour and and that just comes with age and heavy useage.

That’s value.

RIP little MacBook. You more than earned it.

Deep Breath

It’s been over a week since I got the Dell back. It’s still going strong except for the issue where the touchpad stops working when the laptop is plugged in.

Told Dell Support I’d live with it after they offered yet another motherboard replacement. I just can’t right now with that. The XPS has decent battery life so I’m pretty ok with using the touchpad when the laptop is not plugged in and a mouse when it is.

I then started thinking about my wanting one of the new MacBook Pros and cooled my jets a little. As mentioned previously, the XPS is a very decent laptop when it’s working. Also, the new MacBook Pros are very expensive and it’s money I can’t justify spending right now.

In the end I opted for a minor (and much cheaper) compromise: I ordered two 32 GB sticks of G.SKILL DDR4 which will max out the RAM on the XPS. I have a year left on the Dell ProSupport Plus so I’m going to tough it out and if the issues get any worse than the current touchpad shenanigans, then I’m going to milk every last second of their time and resources.

I really believe that Support is the Achilles Heel for any company not named Apple.  I’m sorry, but the having Apple Stores puts them in a class by themselves.

Computer Update.

Got the XPS back from Dell on January 7. It works!

… except when I plug in the power adapter, then the touch pad stops working.

Logged a ticket on January 8.

January 10 I get a reply asking if I want to ship it to the Advanced Resolution Center. “It should only take 3-5 days.”

I let them know I just got this thing back from the Advanced Resolution Center and asked what other options there are.

In between all this, the touch pad starts randomly working while plugged in; maybe two out of every five attempts.

January 12 I get a reply asking if I want to have someone come to the house and replace the motherboard.

I take a deep breath and reply telling them the motherboard has been replaced twice now and that another motherboard seems like overkill. I tell them I’ll deal with it for now and open a new issue if it becomes completely unusable.

This is unfortunate because when it’s working, this XPS is a great machine. I just can’t get past the issues I’ve had in the past five months.

As with everything from Dell, it’s all turning into ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


The Saga Continues

I Hate Dell

I’m worried this page is going to become nothing but an anti-Dell site.

Current XPS status: The tech showed up. The computer worked fine for him so he didn’t replace the motherboard. He updated the BIOS. We turned it on and off again more than a dozen times. It worked. I thanked him and he left. I worked on it for the rest of the afternoon. Turned the computer off. Later that evening I opened the lid…

It wouldn’t boot up. Same shit as before.

Called Dell. The guy on the phone was apologetic. I roasted his company a little.

Me: “You realize I am now doing my work on a ten year old Mac Mini?”

Him: “Wow, that must be slow.”

Me: “Sure, but it still turns on.”

On Christmas Eve, Dell shipped me a box. I packed up the XPS and dropped it off at Purolator.

Current Status: “A tech is fixing your computer. One or more parts are Delayed.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If I get this thing back and it acts up again, I’m going to take it outside and back over it with my car. More than once.

Moving Over

I’m typing this post on a second, maybe third hand ThinkPad, testing out IA Writer 1 on Windows to see if the experience mirrors that of macOS and so far so good. Reaper and Mixbus are doing their things as the licenses work for both platforms. Hell, pretty much all of the apps I use these days have Windows versions and they all run pretty damn good.

The dark horse is MainStage which I use quite a bit and is an absolute steal if you’re on the Mac platform. It’s thirty bucks and comes with untold gigs of samples and is, quite simply, one of the most powerful, easiest to use  music performance apps out there. Moving to Windows is going to be super hard without MainStage.

… Wait, what?

Continue reading “Moving Over”