My 10-day-old PowerMac has a Philips CDR drive and it just died this morning. OS X can’t mount any drive and the drive refuses to read any CD, CDR or DVD and keeps ejecting them. Called Apple Care’s tech support and they can’t fix the problem. Now I need to take it into a local service center. This is frustrating enough, but the other day my iBook’s screen started turning off when I adjust its position. All the way back it goes out, slightly forward and it comes back on, forward more and it goes out and then still forward more it comes back on. And bumping it makes the screen flicker off and on. Obviously a loose connection in the hinge. Apparently, this is somewhat common on the iBook and sounds like a design flaw in the hinge. Moral: don’t push the display back too far on your iBook.

Is Apple hardware always this flakey? Feels like I got a Dell.

Update: Talked to two local Apple-certified specialists. I have to take it in, drop it off, they’ll “verify” that it’s broken within 3-5 business days and, if they “verify” that it doesn’t work (cuz I’m such an idiot I can’t tell myself that it doesn’t work, some guy with 6 months computer experience under his belt with an Apple-logo’d business card is better qualified), they’ll order a new drive from Apple, wait for it to be delivered, install it and then I can pick it up. All in all, expect to be without your computer for 2-3 weeks. 2-3 weeks! If my car was totalled I could have it repaired in that time. But a $200 CD drive requires as long because I was stupid enough to buy a computer that has just one vendor. If I had a Dell, I’d go to CompUSA, plunk down $50 and have a new drive working this afternoon. You’d think they could immediately replace the drive and if the new one works, let me take it and leave. Nope. They have to go by Apple’s rules.

Update 2: I called Apple and (calmly) explained the problem to a very nice Canadian woman. I explained how it is a bit crazy that Apple is forcing me to be without my Mac for 2-3 weeks just because my rarely-used CD drive is malfunctioning. I asked if they could just send me a replacement drive and I’d send the old one back and that they could charge me if I was an idiot and the drive worked. She was skeptical that she could do that, but she put me on hold for a few seconds, then came back and said she could do it! So in a week or so, I should have a replacement Combo Drive. Way to go Apple!