I haven’t had the best of luck with Apple hardware.
My first Apple computer was a 900 MHz G3 iBook. Like many of its cohort, it suffered a component failure on the logic board, and was repaired for free under a global repair programme.
They sent it back with the wrong logic board—an 800 MHz version—so I sent it back again. This time, it came back with the right processor, but was so badly put back together that the entire case was bent.
Just a one-off failure, right? I sold that iBook via eBay for a surprisingly good return and upgraded to its successor, an iBook G4.
To be fair, the G4 iBook is still running fine, although I did send its in-danger-of-exploding battery back for a free replacement. Twice.
After starting a new job, I decided to celebrate by upgrading to a PowerBook. I bought it principally for its high-resolution display. When I discovered just how badly the display performed (each alternating line was a different colour), I took it back and got a full refund.
Sometime after the MacBook was released, I bought one of those. After a couple of months, it began shutting down at random. I took it back and demanded—and received—a replacement.
The backlight of the second MacBook occasionally flickers, but it’s only intermittent. However, it’s now been joined by two more serious issues. First, the computer fails to detect when the battery level is low, so that it suddenly dies without warning when not attached to the wall. Second, the trackpad button doesn’t click correctly. Sometimes it doesn’t register a click at all; other times, a single press elicits a double- or even triple-click. Selecting text and dragging files have become impossible tasks.
The only good point in all this is that when they gave me a replacement MacBook in September last year, it came with a fresh one-year warranty. Sale of Goods Act notwithstanding, having an actual warranty makes it a lot easier to get stuff fixed.
As a result, my MacBook is now at the Apple Store in Regent Street, where they’ve promised to fit a new top panel (which includes a new keyboard and trackpad), run diagnostics on the backlight inverter (and replace it if necessary), and replace whichever of the battery or connector is preventing the computer from reading the voltage level.
It’ll take a week or so, but I’m hoping that my computer will come back in fully working condition.
In the meantime, I’m not completely lost. I had upgraded the original 60 GB hard disk to one twice the size. Before taking it in, I swapped the stock disk back in and installed a fresh copy of OS X. With an external enclosure and a few symlinks, I’m now using my normal home directory on the iBook G4 I mentioned earlier.
Although Apple have treated me pretty well with all this defective hardware, it’s happened too often. I’d have to be stupid to buy another Apple, wouldn’t I? But don’t worry: no matter what I get next time, I shan’t be going back to Windows. Ever.