Meeting Notes: MacResQ 10.05
Dave Greenbaum convened our October meeting with the usual housekeeping duties. Index cards were passed around so that people could sign up for the door prize and newsletter. Dave explained the problem we had with this month’s meeting announcement email via Yahoo. We will make a better effort, in the future, to see that the meeting announcements go out as planned. He also reiterated our continuing call for input from the group for meeting ideas and articles for the newsletter. If you a review an item (hardware or software) for our newsletter, you can usually get the item for free.
Our next order of business was for those around the room to make their introductions. This month’s attendees were asked to relate their worst Mac repair experiences. The next item on the agenda was Apple product news. Some people have been experiencing defects with the screens on the new iPod Nano. Apple is replacing the units that are effected. Backup 3.0 came out for .mac users and the available disk space has been increased to 1GB. Mac Minis have been silently upgraded. Some people are getting more powerful computers than thee labeling indicates. A Mighty Mouse (the new 4-button roller mouse) was passed around the room. The pending change of Apple computers to using Intel processors was discussed. The general opinion was that now is as good a time as any to purchase a new Mac. Some reasons given were: avoiding the initial transition period and supporting the current product line.
Dave introduced Ryan Arter from MacResQ http://www.macresq.com/ which is located in Olathe, KS. MacResQ and has been in business since 1994. The company was started in California and moved to Kansas after a merger. MacResQ offers “24-hour” mail-order repair service. When a customer contacts the company, they are sent an overnight box that includes instructions, packing and return labels. Once the service center receives the item, they call the customer within 24 hours with an estimate. After the repair is completed, the item is overnighted back to the customer.
Ryan remarked that the advantage of being located in the Midwest is the reduced cost and time of shipping items to and from the shop. The company is planning to restructure the front of their building to accommodate an increasing amount of walk-in business. MacResQ is a third party, independent repair center and thus does not provide warranty repair service. Warranty service requests are usually referred to Best Macs in Lawrence. Ryan shared with the group some unusual and humorous repair work orders that they’ve recently handled (My iPod spent
about an hour under water…). A commotion occurred in the room when Ryan announced the evening’s door prize, a new iPod Nano, and more index cards were passed around. MacResQ publishes a weekly email newsletter that announces specials including coupons for parts and service. You can sign up for the newsletter on their Web site. The shop repairs a hundred iPods and 15-20 Powerbooks a day and employs 15 people. Most of their business is iPods and Powerbooks because of the practicality of shipping those items. MacResQ also sells upgrades for iPods such as high-capacity batteries and larger hard drives. Powerbook upgrades (hard drives, optical drives and batteries) are also available.
Ryan shared several tips for prolonging the life of your iPods and Powerbooks. Be careful not to jar your iPod. Hard drives are easily damaged by mechanical shocks. Dropping it from a distance can either immediately kill or shorten the life of a unit. Don’t leave an iPod in extreme heat or cold such as on the dashboard or outside during the winter months. The Shuffle is the most durable of the iPod line because it doesn’t have a screen or hard drive. There has been a misconception that the Nano was virtually indestructible (Steve Jobs pulled
one out of his pocket during a demonstration) but the screen can be damaged by any bending or crushing. Powerbooks are also susceptible to extreme heat. Leaving a laptop on while inside a bag or in a hot car can melt the plastic parts, etc…. Shut off a Powerbook before stowing it in your carrying case. Again, dropping a laptop can shorten the life of its components. A Powerbook is not greatly effected by freezing. However, allow it to warm up to room temperature before starting it up again. “Heat is the number one killer of all electronics — anything electronic.” If you spill something on your laptop, the best thing to do is to shut it off immediately and send it in for cleaning and diagnosis. Don’t try to use it after getting it wet even if it continues to function. A question was asked about cat hair in a computer. Generally hair will not cause damage to a Powerbook. Lastly, iPods are not waterproof! A little humidity is fine but do not immerse them. The winner of the drawing for the new iPod Nano was Jane Hazard.