Fun times with consumer electronics!

(This blog was originally written on Myspace)

Way back in january, within minutes of Apple CEO Steve Jobs coming off stage after revealing the iPhone, I ordered myself the two other products that Mr Jobs had announced but had gotten lost in all iPhone hype – Apple’s new Wi-Fi base station and Apple TV. Both were due for release in february, but that didn’t happen and I kinda forgot aboot them until, when enjoying myself in London (which is another blog for another time), I got a dispatch mail telling me they were on the way.

Anyway, they finally arrived on Tuesday. I set up my Wi-Fi first, as you need it to work with Apple TV. It was incredibly easy,all up and running within five minutes. This is one of the reasons why i love Apple, they make things so simple. Now I’m able to thrash people all over the world at Mario Kart on my Nintendo DS and i can surf the web free of charge on my mobile phone. Out in the garden, away from my computer, obviously.

With my Wi-Fi up and running, I went to plug in my Apple TV. Back when I ordered it I didn’t look to closely to see if it was compatible with my television and surround sound system, assuming that it was. Turns out that was a mistake. I checked the back of DVD player/home theatre for the right sockets. Nothing. Never mind, I thought, my TV will have them. No. No, it didn’t. Shit. Initially, thoughts of a two hundred quid paper weight crossed my mind, but thanks to eBay, I found a scart converter to solve my problem. I would just have to wait for it to arrive before getting my Apple TV experience.

If more evidence of my impulsiveness and complete lack of self-control with money was needed, check this – Disappointed that my surround sound system didn’t have right sockets and reasoning to myself that it was a bit long in the tooth now (I have had it five years), i bought a brand new Sony one. Yes, I know. I need help.

It arrived on the thursday, and the moment I lugged that heavy box up to my room I regretted it. Those of you who have been lucky enough to enter my inner sanctum know how chaotic it is at the best of times. I have a large section of wall covered by videos, DVDs, and CDs and magazines piled everywhere. All this needed to be taken out so I could pull up the wires to my old surround sound system (which, rather cleverly I thought at the time, I’d threaded under my carpet) and lay the new ones. It took FOREVER. I took the opportunity to clear out some of the rubbish in my room. I mean, do I REALLY need copies of Time Out dating back to august of last year?

Eventually, with a shift at work sandwiched in-between, i finished the set up of my fancy new home theatre and put all the magazines, CDs, and DVDs back in their place. At last, I was ready to enjoy my new toy. Well, that was until, firstly, there was no picture (solved by the ol’ classic of turning the plug off and on again), then by a lack of surround sound (I’d put the orangey yellow lead in the yellow socket, not the orangey yellow socket). FINALLY I’d finished.

So, on saturday the lil’ scart connector I bought from eBay came and I could now set up my Apple TV. I connected it to my TV and sound system, and fixed in the electrical lead. It felt a bit loose, but I didn’t think much of it. I plugged it in, switched it on and nothing. I reached around thinking the power cord had come loose and pushed it in. BUZZ! SPARK! Okay, that’s not good, I thought. Most people when faced with sparking electrical shorts would turn off the power and leave well alone. Not I. I gave it another go, just in case. BUZZ! SPARK! Even i draw the line when end of the lead glows white with sparky electrical badness.

Yup, i got myself some of that there faulty electronic goods. I went on the Apple website who said I should call Apple Care. I did, and it wasn’t such a bad experience. Okay, it took twenty-five minutes and I was on hold listening to the fucking Corrs, but the folk I chatted to were helpful. The first person took my details and set up a case report, and when I mentioned I had to get to work, rushed me through to the next guy. The next guy had to write-up a safety report and I had to answer a few questions like were there any flames, smoke, fumes etc. coming from the Apple TV box. After i answered his questions i was put through to Debbie O’Connell (yes, she was Irish) who was the after care person. She was the best, sorted it all in a minute. She simply asked if i wanted a replacement or refund (replacement) and said she’d mail all the details to me later. Great! And off I went to work, only ten minutes late.

That was my fun times with electronical consumerist goods. Learn from my mistakes. Laugh at my misfortune. Be jealous of my awesome home theatre. Touch me gently on the knee.

PS Anyone want a Panasonic surround sound DVD player? I’m willing to listen to any reasonable offer.

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