Hack Your Apple Genius Bar Visits

6 01 2009

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If you own Apple hardware, chances are you’ve paid a visit to an Apple Genius Bar at least once for service, repairs, or support. As slick and reliable as Apple gear is, they’re still complex electronic devices, bound to bug out, die, or fail on occasion. Credit Apple for developing a generally well-structured and friendly in-person support system in the form of the Genius Bar. They typically try to make your visits as painless as possible, and, when compared to the competition, are still the standard bearer in terms of convenience and quality of service (don’t worry, there’s a ‘but’ coming).

BUT…

As Apple, Inc. continues to grow, gaining market share and converting new customers, Genius Bar visits have steadily grown to be—at times—complicated and troublesome affairs. Add to the fact that Mac Geniuses now deal with all manners of iGadgets in addition to servicing computers, and Apple’s got the ingredients for a potentially fine mess on their hands. It’s the nature of the beast: as your organization and portfolio expands, you’ve got more clients to manage and speed bumps to smooth over. I haven’t always been so so sanguine on the subject:

I don’t know if you’ve been to an Apple Store lately, but one of the drawbacks of the company’s newfound hipness is all the blazing idiots you have to deal with to get anything done in one.

A couple days before Christmas Eve—in a bizarre parallel to an episode almost two years prior—my MacBook Pro’s logic board failed. Luckily, my data was safe since I had JUST backed it up. Bases were also covered financially, as the MBP was still covered under AppleCare. The only real headache would involve competing with the rest of the crushing Holiday masses ON TOP OF the usual, perpetually-busy Apple Store traffic—all scrambling simultaneously for time and attention. My two less-than-ideal options were A) wait it out or B) face the crowds. Since the prospect of being unable to work on projects outweighed my white-hot distaste for being anywhere near malls and shopping centers on big Holidays, I decided to suck it up and go with option B.

Rather than bemoan Apple’s overtures to the mass market (growth is good, right?), I have—from time spent learning the hard way—worked out some tricks that help make my visits to the Genius Bar less ‘God-awful-shoot-me-now-who-the-hell-are-these-people-anyway’ nightmares to more ‘well-that-could-have-been-worse-who’s-up-for-Jamba-Juice?’ affairs.

Hints and hacks after the jump.
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