iPhone

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蘋果 iPhone 保養的問題

Filed in Current Affairs, General, Technology, 中文文章Tags: , , ,

由83年的 Apple IIe 到現在擁有的 iPhone 4S,我用蘋果的產品已30年了。我喜歡他的完美主義,不會為了省一點錢而把產品的質素降低。好看亦好用。

提到 iPhone 的保養,除了國家規定消費品保養期最少為兩年之外(例,法國)蘋果的保養在全世界(包括香港)都只是一年。iPhone 的確是非常好的電話卻實在不便宜。我把它扔壞或弄濕而蘋果不保是合理的(我曾經駕車的時候意外地把我的蘋果 iPhone 3GS 放了在一杯港式奶茶裡邊!笨!)不過如果機內的東西壞了,那就不同,尤其電池。所以在 iPhone 方面,我也覺得保養期為兩年比較合理和公平。

我也有興趣知道。在中國,別的聰明手提電話的公司提供的保養都為期兩年嗎?是的話就真好的。

An eye for an eye. An iPhone for a cup of tea.

Filed in General, LifeTags: , ,

Our car, like most cars, has a cup holder. It's just next to the gear stick. I don't use it all that often, but when I do bring something with me to drink in the car, it's a life saver. When I don't have a beverage with me, I usually place my iPhone in the cup holder instead.

The other night, like most nights, I drove to my wife's office to pick her up from work. I had a few minutes to spare, so I bought a cup of 'Chinese café' tea 茶餐廳奶茶. When my wife came out of the office, I placed the tea into the cup holder and we began our drive home.

Clouds in my iPhone

After 'repairing' my iPhone, the LCD unfortunately looked like this. The anomalies do however appear to be fading away. With any luck, the screen will be nearly as good as new in a few days time.

Almost home, I handed my iPhone to my wife to show her something. When she handed it back to me, I absentmindedly placed the iPhone back into the cup holder. It was almost a full minute later before I realised that I had in fact placed the iPhone into half a cup of tea. I quickly pulled it out and my wife wiped it off, but...

Back home, I wiped the phone again and sprayed it with vinegar (what was I thinking!!!) hoping to drain the tea out of the iPhone. It didn't work, and later that night, the iPhone began showing the first signs of infection. It repeatedly thought that an unrecognised accessory was connected to the dock connector, and it was no longer possible to synchronise the iPhone with my Mac. The Home button also failed to respond to my repeated presses.

The next day, I took the iPhone in to the local Three repair centre. They noted that the connector had changed colour indicating that water was involved, and took the iPhone to their technician to quote the repair. The quote? HK$5,400!!! Why? Because Three are not authorised to repair the iPhones, only to replace them under warranty. If you damage your iPhone (here in Hong Kong at least), you have little choice but to buy a new one.

In my case, I found it extremely unreasonable that I would have to buy a new iPhone because the old one had sustained a little water (tea) damage, and I cannot afford to buy another one at $5,400. So I went online and searched for other similar stories. What I found were a couple of instruction videos on YouTube showing how to disassemble the iPhone. Since Three were not going to fix my iPhone, my only choice was to attempt the repair myself, hoping that it was a case of shorting wet contacts within the iPhone.

A few hours later, after 3 or 4 attempts, I had finally cleaned and wiped the inside of the iPhone, and found the source of the connector problem; tea had gathered around the the ribbon connection for the connector assembly. Using an electric toothbrush, I carefully cleaned both sides of the connection (twice because the first try wasn't successful) and put everything back together. My iPhone is now working.

Unfortunately, because I'm not a professional, I made mistakes while 'repairing' the iPhone. My biggest mistake was introducing alcohol (95%) to the LCD screen while cleaning the Home button. The LCD now has a permanent background resembling a cumulus nimbus cloud formation. Nothing I can do about it at this point. At least the iPhone works, and is almost perfect again. The next time I visit the States, I might send the iPhone in to one of the online third-party repair centres to have the LCD replaced; a cost of approx USD$50 to $80, much much less than the cost of a new iPhone!

The lesson to be learned from this story? Be very very careful with your iPhone. If you damage it in any way, no matter how minor, you might find yourself paying full price to 'fix' it.

Zagg. It could have been better.

Filed in GeneralTags: , , ,

When I discovered invisibleSHIELD on the 'net, I immediately knew it would be the best protection available for our soon-to-be-purchased iPhone 3G's, so I went on line and ordered two of the iPhone shields to be sent to our Hong Kong address. The shields were not going to ship until after the iPhone 3G's had begun shipping, and actual shipping of the shields to us here in Hong Kong would take 3 weeks to get here but that was acceptable.

That order was made in the middle of June.

When I arrived in L.A. in late June, I immediately ordered shields for my MacBook Pro and the screen on my Canon camera (impossible to do online because there were bugs in their web ordering system). Because I was living in L.A., I specified my L.A. address when I ordered the items over the phone, and the items arrived before I returned to Hong Kong. I had time to apply the camera shield but not the MacBook Pro shield because it involved many more pieces of plastic; some of them very large. To be extra careful, I viewed the demo video on zagg's web site before applying the camera shield.

Back in Hong Kong, I set about applying the shield to the MacBook Pro. I was dismayed to find that the kit for the MacBook Pro contained only the same amount of special fluid as was included in the kit for the camera shield even though the surface area of the MacBook Pro shield would be at least ten times larger than that of the camera shield. I proceeded to apply the shield regardless.

Everything went pretty well although it was impossible to get every bubble out from under the plastic. Unfortunately, when I got to the last piece of shielding which also happened to be the largest, there was insufficient fluid remaining with which to wet my hands and both sides of the shielding (as instructed in the video). I had to chance it. Worse though was that it was almost impossible to handle such a large piece of sticky plastic, especially without enough fluid, the result being that one corner of the plastic folded on itself and stuck like superglue. The only thing I could do was cut off the folded corner and accept the fact that one corner of my MacBook Pro would not be protected.

I wrote to Zagg about the situation, suggesting that they record a video for the MacBook Pro shield, and requesting that if at all possible they send me a replacement for the folded piece of plastic; with sufficient fluid of course. Other than the computer generated email to indicate that they'd received my email, they ignored me completely.

I accepted the situation and moved on.

This week, I received an email from the company stating that our two iPhone shields had been shipped, refused and returned. It turns out that Zagg had incorrectly shipped the iPhone shields to the L.A. address instead of the Hong Kong address I specified when I ordered them. When I replied to their email pointing out their error, they completely ignored the order confirmation issued by their own company, insisted that the shipping address on the original order was the L.A. one, and insisted that I pay shipping charges to Hong Kong.

I was probably one of a minority of unlucky customers, but Zagg's arrogance is still something to be very wary of. I wonder if I'll ever see the iPhone shields…

Update (August 28)

Zagg has replied indicating that while I supplied our Hong Kong address as the billing address, I supplied the L.A. address as the shipping address. Unfortunately for them, this is impossible because I was not aware of the L.A. address until after I arrived in L.A. on June 16 when visiting with Peisha. The iPhone shields were ordered on June 11. There is something really screwy with their system!

Update (August 28)

Zagg replied again, still adamant that I had given them the L.A. address as my shipping address. They're not asking for a lot of money to reship the iPhone shields so I'll pay it and be done with it, but I don't like the way they do business. Here's a copy of my final message to their support people. What's missing from this version of the message is a copy of an email conversation I had with their tech support people when while ordering the shields for my MacBook Pro and Canon camera, I was unable to specify an L.A. shipping address and a Hong Kong billing address!!!

In summary people, the Zagg shields might be as good as they claim, but their service is absolutely dreadful. If you have one and only one address, you'll probably get your order. If you have more than one address, think twice before ordering from Zagg.

Take care all.

Dear Jenn,

I appreciate the opportunity to redress your corporation.

I will repay the shipping fees, but for the record, here's something else for you to chew on. when I ordered the shields for my **MacBook Pro and Canon camera** while staying in L.A., I attempted to order via your web site specifying Hong Kong as my billing address and L.A. and my shipping address. it was NOT POSSIBLE to confirm the order. below are a few of the email messages related to that incident.

so between:

  1. the confirmation sent to me by your corporation that specifies both the shipping and billing addresses as being those of Hong Kong, and
  2. the fact that I was not aware of the L.A. address at the time I ordered the iPhone shields, and
  3. your system was incapable of accepting an order where the billing address was Hong Kong and the shipping address was L.A. when I tried to order my MacBook shield two weeks later,

you guys have it completely wrong, or you're covering for someone in the company, or your IT system is screwed up, or something else much worse.

if you think the original order has both the shipping address listed as the L.A. one, I challenge you to retrieve a copy of the order archived by your automated backup systems on the night of the order.

the arrogance of your corporation is staggering. I have never encountered such arrogance before. hopefully, this will be the last time, and I'll steer my fans away from your corporation as well. I wouldn't want them to get hurt by someone so ruthless.

sincerely,
Gregory

Update (August 28 evening)

It has occurred to me that the whole fiasco may have been caused by human error. When I couldn't order the MacBook Pro and Canon shields online while in L.A., I was forced to call Zagg's phone sales centre. It is quite possible that the lady who took my order mistakenly (and with good intentions) also changed the shipping address for the iPhone shields. I've notified Zagg of this possibility, and suggested that they compare archived versions of my order from before and after the MacBook Pro order. I suspect that the orders will be different. However, I doubt that the Zagg personnel will actually go so far as to retrieve multiple archived versions of my order to get to the bottom of this eventually proving that they were at fault. We'll see.

Update (August 29 evening)

There has been absolutely no response to my last email messages which is understandable given the harshness of the messages. I have nonetheless paid the (extremely reasonable) re-shipping fee and Zagg will reship the iPhone shields to us on the next working day; i.e., Monday. Thankfully, they're shipping the shields by first class instead of their standard shipping method so we'll receive the shields in a week and a bit instead of 3 weeks and a bit.

Obviously, it wasn't worth my time or energy to complain about or investigate the shipping error. Zagg were only asking for a few U.S. dollars to reship the items to me, and I give them a thumbs up for their shipping options and prices.

My only concern now is how the shields will affect Chinese input on the iPhone. With the iPhone, we can use our fingers to draw the Chinese characters, and the software is incredible at recognising the characters irrespective of stroke order or neatness. However, there are times when the glass can become rubbery to the touch making it harder to draw the characters quickly and accurately. The invisibleSHIELD on my MacBook Pro is very 'sticky' and I fear it will impede my ability to draw the characters with a smooth sliding action. Handwritten Chinese input is important to me, so if the shield does in fact affect Chinese input, I'll have to remove it. Now wouldn't that be a laugh!

Cheers all. Time to sleep.

Blown away!

Filed in Entertainment Ind., General, Music, TechnologyTags: , , ,

I'm blown away by the Apple iTunes system.

I'm getting myself organised for a musical future, and part of that involved converting and importing into iTunes all of the Karaoke VCDs and DVDs we have in the house. When the tracks become part of the system, they're easily accessible, and they'll get listened to. The process of converting and importing the Karaoke tracks took three days of AppleScript scripting to automate and process, along with lots of Chinese typing, but I now have more than 700 karaoke tracks; both audio and video; in my iTunes library. Being a perfectionist, I then proceeded to correct the data for the tracks in my library, and create playlists (unrated, not played within the last month, ≤xGB) that I could use on our Apple TV and iPhones.

Did I say iPhones? Yep! I've waited more than a year for Apple to release the iPhone in Hong Kong, and I was registered with Hutchison 3 in both the local store and the online database weeks before the official launch. Even though we can't really afford it at the moment (who can?), we went ahead and purchased one white 16GB and one black 16GB, two colours so that my wife and I wouldn't accidentally pick up the wrong phone. Before buying the phones, I calculated the Total Cost of Ownership for the All-You-Can-Eat package. It comes out to HK$12,000 over two years per phone which is a lot of money, but not as expensive as the TOC in some other countries. The HK$12,000 included an upfront payment of $6,000 including the 'iPhone' cost, the 'Plan Prepayment' and the first month's subscription fee; ouch!

The iPhone is so cool. It has its bugs but the current functionality is great, and the potential is simply awesome. When comparing the iPhone to other 'smart' phones, people need to remember that the iPhone is not so much a phone as a portable computer with added phone functionality. It's a completely new paradigm. For the purposes of this article though, I'll only describe one function; Apple's included Remote application.

Here at home, we have two desktop Macs, one Apple TV, two portable Macs, and now two iPhones, and iTunes is completely interlinked through our wi-fi network. It's incredible. At this very moment, my iPhone is controlling the iTunes library on my iMac which is broadcasting the music through the Apple TV connected to our hi-fi system! How cool is that??? I could remote control the Apple TV directly but I don't get to set ratings while connected to the Apple TV, only when connected to an iTunes library on one of the Macs.

Life is suddenly becoming so much more musical ;-)