Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Secrets of the Genius Bar

Apple may be one of the world’s most innovative companies, but they’ve been known to make the odd mistake. Strangely, whilst most moaning about the company tends to focus on trivial issues, like which apps make their way onto the App store, more fundamental problems frequently go unnoticed.

To redress these omissions, MacPredictions introduces a new occasional feature: “Secrets of the Genius Bar” where we shall explore those issues that are (probably) keeping Apple Store staff awake at night. Here are three to get us started. Know any more? Let me know.

1. Nike+iPod reset bug on 4G iPod nano
The beautifully multicolored new nano’s are afflicted with a major software flaw for users of Nike+. The unit intermittently resets upon completing a workout, losing all workout data in the process. Some think it’s associated with the congratulation message you receive on achieving a personal best, but others have experienced it without getting a congratulation message. Since capturing your workout data is the whole point of the product, this is a serious issue.

2. Time Capsule stalls on “Preparing Backup”
If you interrupt a backup to Time Capsule - for example, by putting your MacBook to sleep whilst a backup is in progress - the next time you attempt a backup, it will likely fail. Typically, it will hang on the “Preparing Backup” stage. Waiting for anything up to 60 hours may coax it into completing that backup, but the problem tends to reoccur - Time Capsule then becomes incapable of performing incremental backups - and will instead attempt full backups every time.

3. Macbook Air screen bezel becomes damaged through regular use
The Air is so delicate that pressure arising from carrying it around in a normal laptop bag may result in the top of the screen’s bezel from becoming shiny and worn as it rubs against the trackpad button when the unit is closed.

Update: The latest software update for the 4G iPod nano claims to fix the Nike+iPod reset bug - time will tell if this is truly the case - in the meantime, most uses are unlikely to risk allowing Tiger Woods to finish his congratulatory message.

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