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Journal SJS's Journal: Upgrade Hell (with a Biscuit)

I wanted to run some OSes in a virtual machine on my laptop, but my venerable Titanium Powerbook just wasn't up to the task. It's short on disk, short on power, and starting to fall apart. So in the middle of January, I go and buy a MacBook.

(I looked at a variety of machines, but the constraints were simple: it had to ship with some variant of *nix, support wireless out of the box, and have a keyboard I could enjoy, or at least not loathe, typing on. The last is often the killer... I could've gotten a macbook pro, but the keyboards suck, for me.)

Since I'll be using this laptop for presentations, I ask the guy in the store: "This WILL run all of my existing PPC software, right?" "Yes, unless it's Classic. If it's OS X native PPC software, this macbook will run it out of the box."

Cool. That's what I need to know. Transaction ensues. New laptop is brought home.

I dig out the box for Keynote. I install Keynote. It crashes on startup.

Crap. Okay, let's poke around the Apple site.... good, here's the upgrade to 1.1.1 -- and it says this makes Keynote work for all versions of OS X 10.2.8 and later.

Download. Install.

Crashes on startup (got a little farther, but not much) again.

Damn, damn, damn.

Okay, time to use that AppleCare support I bought. My new laptop won't run software that it ought to run. I call... and end up on hold.

Eventually, I get thru to a nice support lady, and we fix the permissions, verify the partition, reinstall, and do the fix-permissions dance again.

No joy.

It _ought_ to work, but it doesn't. So... she bumps me up. Back on hold.

Eventually, I get a guy, who listens to the problem, listens to what we've done so far, agrees that it ought to work, and then explains that he'd have to spend some time researching this to find out what's wrong, and it would be faster to get bumped over to iApps Support.

Okay, fine. Back on hold.

Ten minutes in, a voice tells me I'll be with a representative inside of 15 minutes. An hour and twenty minutes later, I finally talk to someone.

He stalls on the fact that I'm having a problem with Keynote. He corrects me: "iWork".

We go around and around; he all but calls me a liar, not until he takes my CD's version number and goes away for another quarter-hour does he come back and acknowledge that, indeed, I do have Keynote, not iWork. (No apology, either.)

He then asks how I can expect such old software to work anymore. I point him at the Apple Website, and point out the bit where it says "10.2.8 or later", and get him to grudgingly agree that 10.5.1 is, indeed, "later".

"But that's an old website!" he cries. "How can you expect it to apply?"

The fact that it's an Apple website makes no difference to this drone. In fact, the suggested solution is that I go out and purchase iWork 08.

No admission that perhaps the website is misleading.

No pointer to an announcement that Keynote 1.1.1 wouldn't be supported on OS X 10.5.

No promise to fix the misleading website.

I should just go out and drop close to $90 on a new copy of iWork. (Well, he said $79, but then there's at least $8 in taxes on top of that.)

Now, I'm not against paying money for value received. Fair is fair.

But to break working software, and then to suggest that the solution is to buy more than what I want (I don't need the rest of the crap in iWork) to "upgrade" what was broken, well, I've seen that attitude before, and I want nothing to do with it.

But I've been on the phone for four hours by this point. I'm tired, hungry, cranky, and am being given crap by some jerk on the phone who is trying to tell me that I just need to spend MORE money because the promises made by Apple employees don't mean anything.

In short, I'm pissed.

No way in hell am I going to go buy iWorks anything. This is a good way to lose a customer, Apple. Shoot, this is exactly how Microsoft lost me as a customer; I used to grudgingly accept their dominance, at least at work, until I got exactly this sort of treatment,and decided that I, as a customer, could not in good conscience give my money to a vendor who treated me like that.

So... a biscuit to the Apple hardware folks.

No biscuit to the Apple iApp folks.

It's not that it would have been hard to treat me as customer.

I didn't expect to be _given_ a copy of iWork 08 (although, that would have been nice). A discount for upgrading iWork would have been plenty of motivation; AT LEAST stating that the Apple Store employee was wrong in his assertion that OS X PPC software would run on the new laptops, that the website was wrong to say "or later" instead of giving an explicit version range, and promising to fix the website RSN, would have begun smoothing ruffled feathers.

If they can't be bothered to treat me like a customer, I can't be bothered to give them money, or talk nice about 'em.

So, time to look at the competition.

I still don't look at Microsoft. Sooner or later, they'll screw you.

NeoOffice still wants a package installer. No go.

OpenOffice, however, lets me drag-and-drop from the DMG file.



However, OOo falls down after a bit, it seems. Some sort of X11 error.

However, the OOo Aqua alpha version runs, and seems pretty stable for alpha software. It's ugly as sin at the moment, but it'll play a presentation on the new laptop. I tried using it to create my presentation, but it's still a bit rough, but I can still use the old machine to create a Keynote 1.1.1 presentation, and then export it so the OOoAqua can play it.

I have great hopes for OOo Aqua.

Still... has changed for the better.

That's progress.

Have a second biscuit.

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Upgrade Hell (with a Biscuit)

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Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.