Thursday, February 05, 2009

Don't Forget the Power Cord

I moved the whole family down to Tucson, AZ from Hanna, WY for February 2009. My wife's packing was a resounding success. She didn't forget a single thing. Of the things I was responsible for, I only forgot one: the power adapter to my Mac Mini. It turns out that no single item in our packing list was more important. That's because Apple uses a proprietary power connector for the Mini. Nobody in Phoenix or Tucson carries them.

The online Apple Store sells them and they "ship within 24 hours", so I ordered one on Tuesday. On Thursday morning, I got an email saying that it won't ship for 7-10 more business days. I called Simutek (a local Apple retailer) to see if I could buy a Mac Mini from them, use the power cord for a week and then sell them back the Mini as "used" when I was done with the adapter. Instead of accepting my desperate offer and making a quick $200, they offered to rent me the power adapter off one of their floor models for $5/day. Sweet! I promptly canceled my order through the Apple Store and ordered the adapter from Simutek.

Now to the point of this post: lessons I learned from this situation and what I can do better if there's a "next time."

  • be more careful in packing (mentally walk through the unpacking process)
  • unpack as soon as possible to provide extra time for acquiring replacement parts
  • push all Git branches off to the cloud somewhere to reduce dependency on a single hard drive
  • in time critical situations, it's valuable to work with a real person who can elevate his research to make sure that important deadlines are met
  • don't design something with a proprietary interface if a standard interface can do the job


TanookiTravis said...

First of all, I forgot you were down in Tucson already. I hope all is well down there. Nice weather?

Also, that's one downfall of using anything Mac (other than iPods) because there always seems to be some sort of compatibility issue. And it appears the Mac Mini is the ultimate offender.

I don't want to get into a Mac vs Microsoft war or anything but I am a little mad at them right now. Long story short, Megs and I both have Zunes now.

mndrix said...

The weather's nice in Tucson. Mid-70s with no wind. It's quite a change from Wyoming in February.

I can understand your frustration with Apple. On both my iBook and Mini, there's only one connector that's non-standard: the power connector. I wonder if the computer industry just hasn't come up with any decent standards in this area yet.