Good news, bad news, silly news

Apple sent me email last night at 6pm saying that my quad-core G5 was fixed and ready for pickup at their nearby store. Today at 1:30pm, I discovered that their system sends out email when the tech logs the work as complete, before the machine is burned-in. In other words, “come back in a few hours when we call you.”

At 4pm, they called, and I walked back to the store, Kart-A-Bag Tri-Kart 800 in tow. Got it back to the office, hooked it up, turned it on, and not only did the fans kick into high gear and stay there, neither the keyboard nor the mouse worked.

Power down, unplug, reseat, plug, power up, everything’s fine. I think I’ll do my own burn-in at the office for a few days, though, just to make sure…

Amusing note: the purchase price for the complete system was $3,278 after my 10% developer discount. The alleged Parts and Services cost for the repair (fully covered by warranty, of course) was $4,830.13. This included a new logic board, new quad-core CPU unit, and four new DIMMs, plus $135 in service.

Today’s lesson is “buy the AppleCare policy, or throw it away if it breaks after the standard warranty runs out.”

Update: after about 18 hours of burn-in at my office, it was looking good. Then I went to lunch. When I got back, the fans were running at full speed and the screen wouldn’t wake up. Power-cycling brought up the dark-gray-screen-of-death. Second try worked. I’m going to reset the PRAM and try again, and if it doesn’t make it to the end of the week without a problem, it goes back to the shop.

By the way, the service tech did something that walks that fine line between amusing and disturbing. I took the machine in on December 27th; World of Warcraft patch 1.9 was released on January 3rd. When I got the machine back yesterday, it had already been patched.