Posted by: Paul | October 11, 2010

iWack

As those who know me best will tell you, I get a bit frustrated when I can’t fix something myself.

I’m in the process of setting up a new home editing studio. At the centre of this is a shiny new iMac – I’d had good reports about their speedy performance with ProTools, and that’s the key to my setup. So I took the plunge, despite never having been quite convinced about the Mac’s claims to stability and usability, and bought one from John Lewis so I got an extended guarantee thrown in. I had a feeling I might need it.

So the machine arrived last week, and before I put anything like PT or Photoshop onto it, I thought I should make sure the network connection was working correctly. After all, sending and receiving material over the web is central to my ability to work. And that’s as far as I’ve got, as the wireless connection seems to be broken.

At first, it makes you doubt yourself. My network is set up with WPA security, and the three other wireless-enabled devices I have in the house all work fine (PC/PS3/PSP). But the iMac – no dice. It tells me I have the wrong password at first, so I check it and retype. Same message. I check it on the PC, on the PS3, and even plug directly into the router to check it there – I definitely have it right. So I take the obvious next step – disable security. What happens then is I receive a new message – ‘Connection Timeout’.

Something is definitely up. It’s almost as if the Mac is not attempting to connect at all, or there is something broken in the wireless mechanism inside (or it could be a software thing). After 25 minutes on the phone to Apple, the Appleite advises me to reinstall the whole OS. Well, thanks for that. If I wanted to do that on a BRAND NEW MACHINE I could have done it myself last week! That’s hardly getting off on the right foot with a new system, a total reinstall before I’ve even begun…? It doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that I can entrust my sensitive production material to this machine.

So I’m following instructions, and writing this while I wait for the exceptionally lengthy reinstall to run its course. But if it works, I wil seriously eat my hat. My suspicion is it will have to be returned to John Lewis for a replacement. The iWack iMac is going iBack.

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