Friday, 27 February 2015

A very large bucket of stuff for Apple Inc

And you'd better believe the stuff I have in mind is not sweet smelling!

It is traditional to dump on Microsoft for being totally uncaring about customers wishes and needs but forcing people to do things the way Microsoft (or least some recessive geek or nerd employed by them) feels they would like to do it.  I do not step away from that, but merely use this post to say that Apple are no better.

This is merely a further proof that competence is inversely related to the size of an enterprise.  I had originally formed this view when working with some very big companies to assist them to provide information to the Government.  The bureaucratic processes of obfuscation, jobsworthiness and sycophancy inside those companies were exactly the same as in the Public Service.

Part 1

To the case in point.  I got Frances an iPod for Christmas so that she could listen to nice music when working in the garden.  It semed that it was a tad more complicated to set the device up than we had thought, and we have been a bit busy recently so hadn't got around to doing it until today.

Here is what the screen looked like when it first came out of the box.
They said to check the battery was fully charged so I checked the battery icon
...  and it looked good to go.  However nothing seemed to change when I turned the device on or off, which I thought a tad strange.  Eventually I noticed a small tab on the device ...
.. and being of a curious nature flicked it.

Stone the copulating corvids the whole shebang was a sticker which peeled off revealing the actual screen!!!  Rather than being fully charged the battery was about 10% charged!!

NOWHERE in the instructions do they say "Peel off the sticker to reveal the screen.  NOWHERE!!!!!

How could these absolute pelicans fail to do that!!!

To make matters worse, when the basic screen is revealed after the device is fully charges it looks exactly the &**^*&^%$%$ same!  NEEEAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!

I reckon everyone involved in the design or marketing of IT kit should have their full name, street address, email address and the details of the bank account to which their inflated salary is paid on a public register so that we can pay them what they deserve in person.

If that was introduced I reckon dairy farmers, who live near an Apple establishment would soon be making more money selling buckets of what the cows leave behind than they ever get from the milk!

Part 2

Having overcome this and downloaded iTunes, loaded a CD to that program and managed to sync it on to the iPod (and that is covering quite a lot of frustration in a few words) I then put in the ear phones and tried to listen to some music.  Silence.  Apart from a lot of swearing I then
  • turned the ipod off and on again;
  • Found another pair of apparently consistent headphones and tried that;
  • reset the ipod;
  • turned the ipod off and on again; and
  • listened to the tunes on iTunes to check it wasn't an iTunes problem.
None of these solved the problem.  So I packed up all my kit and took myself off to the Apple Store in Canberra where one of the many staff who lurk in the place offered to take a look at the problem.  He whipped out a set of phones from his pocket pressed play and said "That seems all right."  Which it was.  Here is the problem in a picture:
To appreciate the problem look at this second image showing the solution as developed by the Apple person.
There are two key lessons from this:
  • The third rule of Bloke Theory had the solution: if it doesn't work push harder.  (The first rule is "Hit it with a hammer" which might have worked if the blow had been accurate enough.  The second rule is "Stop everything and have a beer (or two)." That was employed but  strangely didn't work in this case: it is thereby downgraded to being merely a guideline.)  
  • Dudes (and Dudesses) in big companies who have to front the public are generally helpful and competent because otherwise their lives will be hell - and the words "How do you remove cow crap?" would be a large part of their conversation.
It should also be noted that I did a lot of reading of manuals and help pages and none of them were any help whatsoever.  They didn't include any photos like the 2 above nor words saying" this is a very tight fit, make sure the jack is thoroughly pushed home".  So we are back to where I  ended in part 1.

Part 3

Having got all that out of the way;
  • I copied another 5 CDs to iTunes, and then synched them to the ipod, in about 30 minutes; and
  • was then told that the sound quality was excellent.
So the end of the story is that everyone lived happily ever after,  Even though some of the Apple Geeks and Nerds shouldn't be happy.

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