11 December 2009

How do you like them Apples now?

by Phil Johnson

everal readers have asked for some closure to this story, which actually began here.

It's a happy ending—finally.

The new iMac arrived in pristine condition Monday morning.

(I know. I was supposed to be in London Monday. But if you follow me on Twitter, you know that my flight was canceled four hours after the plane officially departed LAX. Actually, it only taxied from one gate to another, where we were held captive on the tarmac whilst engineers tried to fix a problem the pilot kept assuring us was "insignificant." It seems the auxiliary power on the plane was malfunctioning, and two of the plane's computers crashed along with it. Every time the plane would try to back away from the gate, the cabin would go dark and silent, signifying a total power failure. After four aborted attempts at reaching the runway, several passengers revolted, many of them loudly refusing to fly anywhere in that plane. Finally, four hours into the ordeal, the captain angrily announced that the flight would have to be canceled because "a few passengers are refusing to fly." The entire cabin immediately erupted in happy applause. It's the only time so many passengers have been deliriously happy to have an international flight summarily canceled. Some of them would have to wait 48 hours to be rebooked. Since I was going for a board meeting and couldn't possibly make it in time with such a delay, I didn't go to London at all. I'll try again in February. But that's another story. Still, one of the happy side-effects of the canceled trip is that I was here when the new computer was delivered.)

Of course the first thing I did was check the screen, which was intact and working perfectly. I had the computer set up and running within 15 minutes, and it took only about 3 hours to transfer all my data and software from the old iMac. (That machine, which runs just fine if you don't try to run Windoze on it, is going to be inherited by Pecadillo and wife). Compare Monday's 3-hour data transfer to the three-day ordeal I went through when I set up my final PC laptop a few years ago.

The new iMac is lightning fast and beautiful. It has 8 gigabytes of RAM and a quad-core i7 processor, which did solve every problem I was having with sluggish performance on the Windoze virtual machine I am running on my Mac. I can't tell you what a joy it is to be able to work without little ten-second delays every time I try to move the cursor. Everything on the new computer is almost instantaneous. (Except the indexing of my iTunes library, which, after all, has 40,134 tracks and 165 days' worth of music. Indexing iTunes took an extra 3.5 hours after my data were all transferred.)

Anyway, I'm happy with Apple again. I'm glad they finally came through for me, and while I think there are yet some great improvements needed in their customer service, I have no complaint with their hardware. Take a look:

That's actually my computer with a full-screen photo of the soul of the new machine as temporary wallpaper. (I downloaded the big photo from some Web site. I didn't really crack into the case.) I've got all my mods done and my software settings set. Couldn't be more pleased with it. It's much more fun than the trip to London would have been. (No offense to my friends in London.)

Now my next task, if I can find a 2-day window before Christmas, will be to try again to install the Logos Bible software update. It kept crashing the old machine. The real problem may be something in my VMware Fusion settings or the way I have Windoze XP configured. We'll see. I also expect to try a new Windows 7 virtual machine on the iMac very soon, and if I can carve out three more days for another big project, I'll install all my Windows essentials there, and I might be able to dump XP completely. Wouldn't that be nice?

Phil's signature

PS: for those who invariably complain when I post something that lacks any spiritual substance, I feel your pain. But I've got overdue deadlines, and I needed a quick blogpost/update. I'll try to do better next week. But this morning you can head over to the Pulpit blog, where John MacArthur will be continuing his series blasting the charlatans who dominate religious television. That should give you something fairly substantial to chew on.


Unknown said...

Hey Phil, have you ever tried the new Logos 4 alpha version for the Mac? I'm considering purchasing and wondering if I should just install it on VMWare Windows or is there hope for the Mac version?

Glad to hear everything finally worked out with your new computer.

Jon said...

But Phil, just think of all the poor little children that don't have computers. That iMuc would have bought about 5 or 6 real PCs...

I guess I'll leave you to your delusions of Macness, but I demand daily blog posts from you from now on.

CR said...

John MacArthur writes: That's not all. Almost no false prophecy, erroneous doctrine, rank superstition, or silly claim is too outlandish to receive airtime on TBN. Jan Crouch tearfully gives a fanciful account of how her pet chicken was miraculously raised from the dead. Benny Hinn trumps that claim with a bizarre prophecy that if TBN viewers will put their dead loved ones' caskets in front of television set and touch the dead person's hand to the screen, people will "be raised from the dead . . . by the thousands."

Pet chicken?

CR said...

Well, I learned something. I'll definitely never play anything on TBN on my PC. I wouldn't want it to turn into an iMuc (thanks Jon, I love that...iMuc). Does Benny Hinn have any prophecies for raising iMucs from the dead and it actually turning into a real computer that people can use with all the applications?

CR said...

You know, I really appreciate you including that Pulpit Blog link to MacArthur's article. MacArthur (I started to write Mac as short but I didn't want to insult John MacArthur)has a real sense of humor that I think a lot of people miss and him mentioning that he wanted to submit himself to something so painful (like watching TBN) to try to distract him from the pain of his surgery recovery was funny.

It was also humorous to read about the pet chicken and putting dead bodies in front of the TV and placing the hand of the dead body to the TV screen so it will come back to life...well, sometimes you just have to bow to the absurd so I got a good chuckle.

I only can chuckle for a little bit because if the Lord wasn't sovereign this would be an utter travesty. Many people look at that TBN filth and it could be a business man that's depressed and he's flipping through channels and asking what's Christianity about and flips on TBN and says, you got to be joking me and goes to the adult channel instead.

Thank God that saving faith is wrought by the Holy Spirit and it is a gift of the Spirit of God and His plan of salvation is not frustrated by the utter filth of TBN.

Doug McMasters said...

No offense taken, Phil. Your London friends know how much you use your computer and appreciate the experience of acquainted yourself with a new one--especially when all goes well.

But we do look forward to February. It is just too bad you can't bring that MONSTER over here so we can see it in person.

I'm glad John had time to watch TBN and to see what happens on that channel.

John states, "Why, then, is there no large-scale effort among Bible-believing evangelicals to expose, denounce, refute, and silence these false teachers?"

Great question. What might that look like?

We took nine of our men to the MLJ Men's meeting so they could hear Justin Peters and Paul Washer.

Everyone needs to see Justin's presentation critiquing the Word/Faith movement.

The Damer said...

I always love the PC guy who somehow claim that you can get "5 or 6" PCs out of the cost of 1 iMac. If you do an apples to apples comparison you'll see a 10-20% premium for a product that is superior in every possible way.

I type this from my iMuc. <<< That's not funny and yes the pun was intended.

I do, however, feel your pain Phil. I had my hard drive go kaputt and had the Apple store somehow get it to work for a moment and sent me back home only to return 3 days later when it stopped working altogether.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Glad it ended well. I still think Apple is in trouble, though. As a marketer, I know you can't maintain a company on good products alone, without adding excellent customer service and support. I also know that companies almost always become victims of their own success, taking advantage of customers' loyalties as a given, until the loyalties no longer exist (and the company is always the last to figure this out, for some reason). Apple is in trouble; whether people want to recognize it yet or not is another question altogether.

Kyle Mann said...

@The Damer:

5-6 PC's for the cost of 1 Mac is an unbelievable claim to be sure, but so is a "10-20% premium." Perusing the Mac store, some Macs are 1.5-2x as expensive as PC equivalent. And superior in every possible way? Hardly. Superior/different in many ways, sure, I'll go for that.

Phil, I'm glad it turned out well for you.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Agree Kyle, some Mac people speak as though one can't get a quad-core Windows PC that will operate just as fast and easy as a MAc, these days. I have to laugh at that one!
Macs may have been better at one point, but not anymore.

jmarinara said...

Glad it worked out well.

I think I'm the only guy in America who has a single core Windows XP pro machine (pre service pack 2) and is happy with it.

Probably because I don't really do anything with my machine but word processing and internet.

~Mark said...

That bad boy is stuffed!!

John said...

More to the point, which airline were you flying on???

Phil Johnson said...

American Airlines. They were all very polite and sympathetic during the delay, but the second the flight got canceled, both crew and ground staff got surly. They refused to take any questions, much less answer them, and all I wanted to know was what belt my luggage would be coming back on.

I do understand their frustration. It can't be easy to reroute nearly 300 disappointed, short-tempered passengers. But you've got to be courteous in a situation like that.

The Squirrel said...

Yes, pet chicken, indeed.

Jon said...

You iMuc lovers... so emotional! I was joking! Kinda...

I'm definitely glad Phil got his baby all setup and ready so we can enjoy his daily blog posting. Woot!

Sir Brass said...

I swear I'm NOT coveting that beautiful hunk of silicon, metal, and glass.

Very nice, Phil :). I'm jealous.

Btw, why defile it with M$'s lame attempt at covering over the sin of vista? Just keep VMware running the old reliable XP pro until at least SP 1 for Win7 proves that it won't bomb the OS.

Kyle Mann said...

Brass -

Any specific problems you have with Windows 7? I have very little to complain about it. And the "$" you put in "MS" ruined the credibility of your comment.

Sir Brass said...

I always refer to Microsoft as M$. That's my honest opinion of them even while a dedicated windows user for 7 years.

I haven't heard anything very negative about windows 7 overall, except that it is almost 3 years overdue. But who knows how it'll behave in a virtual application compared to being the dedicated OS on an NTFS partition. Best to keep running the old reliable until the new kid on the block shakes out whatever bugs he came with. Good philosophy for any OS. Look at the improvement OSX underwent from 10.0 to 10.1 or even 10.2.

Anonymous said...

I use VmWare Fusion as well. From my observations, using Windows (7 in my case) in Mac works better than a pc. Albeit, it gives occasional problems.

Still, the Mac has never given me any problems.

Solameanie said...

I think American Airlines deserves some rather bad international publicity over this episode. They have no right to get surly, or to blame their passengers for not wanting to fly on a malfunctioning aircraft. The thought of the plane losing power over the open Atlantic doesn't make me very happy, and I wasn't even flying on it.

The crew ought to be thankful they didn't receive a military-style blanket party from the passengers.

Sir Brass said...

Sola, to be fair, the auxiliary power units are not used in actual flight. Consider them to be the starter motor of the plane. Once that sucker is fully up and running in the air, they aren't used.

Now, they couldn't take off b/c they essentially couldn't get them all running. It's more of a "This dang car just won't start. The inside electronics turn on, but the engine won't start," rather than a, "This car is going to have the engine die real soon and it might be on the roadway."

On the ground and while taxiing, a big jet like that uses it's aux power units (essentially smaller turbines themselves) to generate the power needed to move and to get the engines started. Once the plane is fully ramped up, though, those aux power units are turned off.

Sir Brass said...

Sorry for the double post. Consider this to be an appending: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_power_unit

Now, something I didn't mention: if the plane Phil was to be flying on DID lose engine power while in the air, and the APUs malfunctioned, then the pilots might (key word here) be unable to go for engine restart and the likelihood of crashing headlong into the Atlantic would be even more certain IF enough engines died. However, an engine dying in flight is a rare occurrence, and usually when it happens it is catastrophic enough that an engine restart isn't possible b/c the turbine is somehow blown (in which case, an APU malfunction wouldn't even factor into the whole darn equation).

SandMan said...

Brass: I don't think I would enjoy flying with you. : )

Are you in the industry, or is it just a hobby of yours to know all of the ways that a plane can and cannot fail and crash headlong into an ocean?

WatchingHISstory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WatchingHISstory said...

I can piss in the tall grass like any big dog but Frank Turk thinks I should stay on the pourch with the small dogs. He has banned me from his blogs. I quess he thinkls I am not qualified to discuss theology with his homeboys. I just ain't edumacated enugh. I wanna blog with the big boys with cemetary degrees!!!

Sir Brass said...

Sandman, I USED to be in the industry (got laid off in late June). My education was also at an Aeronautical University, so the focus was on aerospace industry applications for all degrees. I'm no aerospace engineer (my degree is electrical engineering), but I like planes.

And also, I wouldn't be spouting this off while IN the plane. I would've been one of the ones simply wanting OFF. If the plane can't get started and keeps failing, then let me off and I'll rebook to get on one that IS working later.

See, I also know that if something that problematic keeps occurring and you can't get the problem to clear, then it's going to take a while to fix. Why keep the passengers on there? They have a good reason to refuse to fly.

I'd refuse to ride in a car with a bad starter or a bad battery. After all, it isn't going to get started. Waste of time. However, if it is running fine, but you know that the starter is bad, then wherever you shut it off, make sure it's at a mechanic's shop. Though during that commute I know that the engine won't go *blamo* on me. The thing that is bad isn't part of the normal operation of the car once the engine gets turned over. Same with an APU. It's critical for getting things started and for supplying power during preflight and taxi, but as far as pure "not fall out of sky" safety, it's a non-factor in MOST plane certifications.

SandMan said...

Brass: I was really joking.

Sorry to hear of your lay-off. Hope that you are doing okay.

My brother went to Embry Riddle in the Aeronautical Science tract. He decided to pursue law enforcement instead, but while he was there I was often privy to too much info. My favorite: in case of cabin depressurization be sure to get YOUR mask on first because you have about 9 seconds before the oxygen is forcefully ripped from your lungs.

I agree with you on the starter... I do work on and understand cars. I'm glad you used a starter in your example and not an alternator. I burnt one of these recently and the car literally died at 60 mph... glad I had not ascended to 35,000 ft. LOL

BTW, I vote we all ignore the random, somewhat juvenile comments recently posted between yours and mine. Just sayin'.

Solameanie said...

Acknowledged, Sir Brass. Truth be told, I just plain don't like to fly. I realize a crash would probably mean instantaneous death, but the thought of having to think about it while falling 30,000 feet doesn't thrill me too much. Of course, one would probably lose consciousness when the cabin depressurized, unless you put on the oxygen mask.

What cheery thoughts for Christmas.

Sir Brass said...

Sola, fair enough. Though honestly, from having worked in the industry, I can tell you that those things are SAFE. Not totally safe b/c nothing truly is, but far safer than traveling by car.

Sandman, that's funny. During the final months of my employment, I was becoming more and MORE dispirited with the culture surrounding my work. Dilbert went from being "funny ha ha, I've heard those stories," to "funny ironic, I saw that yesterday." I don't want to work in a place like that, and private sector engineering is like that no matter where you are unless you have one of those rare and exceptional managers (I had one at first, but that exceptionality ended up getting him unfairly fired last year b/c he took the brunt of an unavoidable screw-up that we couldn't have predicted but still got egg on our faces).

So, I'm now taking steps to also pursue law enforcement. Funny, eh.

Marie said...


I'm so happy for you and the new 'puter. I'm even happier you weren't in a plane blowing up somewhere over the Atlantic.

Thanks for posting Macarthur's diatribe on Facebook - I linked to it and even some of my Pentecostal FB Friends "like" it.

Aaron said...

If you follow Phil on Twitter at all, he's seemingly delayed on every flight. I fly a lot, and have never had any of the delays I've seen him have just during this year.

P.S. I'm happy everything worked out and that your MAC is running the way you want (even though I'm not a MAC guy myself).