OT: Local Apple service experience and laptop recommendation

From: Eric Wolf 
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My daughter has, once again, done in her Dell laptop. She's 1/2 through her
senior year of high school, so I either need to help her get something for
college or just buy something cheap to get her through the year.

Like all kids nowadays, and especially the artsy types, she's entranced by
All-Things-Apple. I would be happy to make the investment in a MacBook for
her if I knew that she could walk into an Apple Store and just get it
fixed. She's a bit accident-prone and has broken/lost/thrown across
playgrounds more electronic gadgets than I can count. Extended-warranties
are a money-losing proposition for anyone selling to her - if she actually
took action on the broken device before it expired. Apple Stores are hip
enough that I figure she just might take her broken stuff in if she had
access. Alas, Chattanooga lacks an Apple Store.

Are there any Apple repair shops in Chattanooga that come close to the
Apple Store level of service?

As an alternative, NewEgg.com has a refurb Lenova ThinkPad T60 for $225
that should be adequate to get her through the year. Chances are the
ThinkPad my be tough enough to become her backup computer through college
(when she breaks her Mac badly enough). Does anyone (Aaron) local to 'Nooga
have a comparable deal?

Lastly, anyone have experience with kingoflaptops.com? Their prices are
just a little too good to be true and there are ZERO Google-able reviews of
the company. Those two things together make me wonder. No info at the BBB.
I just Googled their listed address... One is a home for sale and the other
is an apartment in a complex:

http://www.realestatesrichmond.com/property

=============================================================== From: Phil Sieg ------------------------------------------------------ Roger Bisson @ Desktop Solutions here in Chattanooga has been servicing = Macs for nigh on 20 years. He is a personal friend and provides = exceptional service. Last month he replaced the logic board in my 2011 = macbook air in 2 days. Watch craigslist for intel macbooks @ $300-$400 dollars. Be smart, ask = the seller questions, and you should be fine. I have bought several = Apple things this way and come out very well on the price. Phil Sieg President SeniorTech LLC / snapf=C5=8Dn=C2=AE www.snapfon.com Phone: 423.535.9968 Fax: 423.265.9820 Mobile: 423.331.0725 "The computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. = It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds." Steve Jobs, 1955-2011 through her senior year of high school, so I either need to help her get = something for college or just buy something cheap to get her through the = year. entranced by All-Things-Apple. I would be happy to make the investment = in a MacBook for her if I knew that she could walk into an Apple Store = and just get it fixed. She's a bit accident-prone and has = broken/lost/thrown across playgrounds more electronic gadgets than I can = count. Extended-warranties are a money-losing proposition for anyone = selling to her - if she actually took action on the broken device before = it expired. Apple Stores are hip enough that I figure she just might = take her broken stuff in if she had access. Alas, Chattanooga lacks an = Apple Store. Apple Store level of service? $225 that should be adequate to get her through the year. Chances are = the ThinkPad my be tough enough to become her backup computer through = college (when she breaks her Mac badly enough). Does anyone (Aaron) = local to 'Nooga have a comparable deal? are just a little too good to be true and there are ZERO Google-able = reviews of the company. Those two things together make me wonder. No = info at the BBB. I just Googled their listed address... One is a home = for sale and the other is an apartment in a complex:

=============================================================== From: Ryan Macy ------------------------------------------------------ There is mac authority @ hamilton place mall, they are a authorized mac = repair facility I believe through her senior year of high school, so I either need to help her get = something for college or just buy something cheap to get her through the = year. entranced by All-Things-Apple. I would be happy to make the investment = in a MacBook for her if I knew that she could walk into an Apple Store = and just get it fixed. She's a bit accident-prone and has = broken/lost/thrown across playgrounds more electronic gadgets than I can = count. Extended-warranties are a money-losing proposition for anyone = selling to her - if she actually took action on the broken device before = it expired. Apple Stores are hip enough that I figure she just might = take her broken stuff in if she had access. Alas, Chattanooga lacks an = Apple Store. Apple Store level of service? $225 that should be adequate to get her through the year. Chances are = the ThinkPad my be tough enough to become her backup computer through = college (when she breaks her Mac badly enough). Does anyone (Aaron) = local to 'Nooga have a comparable deal? are just a little too good to be true and there are ZERO Google-able = reviews of the company. Those two things together make me wonder. No = info at the BBB. I just Googled their listed address... One is a home = for sale and the other is an apartment in a complex:

=============================================================== From: Ed King ------------------------------------------------------ From: Eric Wolf When I was 12 if you didn't have Nike shoes, Polo shirts and an Atari, you were worthless. Now,-a-days Apple is the new fad. My 12 year old niece thinks she "has" to have an iPhone for her birthday Her school fuels the Apple fad by issuing an iPad to each student (apparently in lieu of textbooks) but all I ever see her do on that damn thing is play games.

=============================================================== From: Ed King ------------------------------------------------------ I walked away and thought about what I had written and felt the need to come back and clarify that my niece is an A/B student despite the fact that I never actually see her do any "real work" on the iPad. From my observations, they use the iPad for nothing more than a electronic "book reader" and if that's the case, why did the "have" to use Apple product? Anyway, she's a good student and smart (runs in the family, I guess) and I didn't want to imply that I thought she was a slacker just because she "apparently" plays games all the time, lol. ok I feel better now. time to install some balljoints

=============================================================== From: Stephen Haywood ------------------------------------------------------ ok I feel better now. time to install some balljoints I didn't know iPads had ball joints. Learn something new everyday :) -- Stephen Haywood Information Security Consultant CISSP, GPEN, OSCP T: @averagesecguy W: averagesecurityguy.info

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ You sure don't want the ball joints to go out on your iPad while playing Angry Birds!

=============================================================== From: Ed King ------------------------------------------------------ iBalls

=============================================================== From: Chad Smith ------------------------------------------------------ Now, if you were implying that they should have just given them Kindles instead of iPads, that I could see. But if you were saying a different tablet, not really. Until the Kindle Fire came out, and to a lesser degree, the Nook Color, there really were any name-brand tablets out there that costs much less than an iPad. Even now, most tablets cost *more* than an iPad, (the 16 GB WiFi-only version). When an organization buys in bulk, they (at least seem to feel the) need to buy name brand, so they can have an expectation of quality. It also helps to ensure there will be replacements / parts / accessories available, when / if needed, and service for when the expectation of quality is not met. Specifically for a school, aside from the tons of educational apps there are out there for iOS, telling potential students / parents that "Every student gets an iPad" is a much better sales pitch than "Every student gets a [Insert alternative cheaper tablet / eReader here]." I currently have an HP TouchPad (WebOS), a BlackBerry PlayBook (Playbook OS), and a Velocity Cruz Tablet (Android). None of them are as good as an iPad. I started to write a review of each, but realized that something best left for my blog, and not here. (Don't want to add to the noise.) *- Chad W. Smith* *"I like a man who's middle name is W."* President George W. Bush - February 10, 2003 bit.ly/gwb-dubya

=============================================================== From: Ed King ------------------------------------------------------ I don't have an ipad. or a kindle. or a nook. or any of that bullshit. if I want to read a book, I sit down, get comfortable, and read a BOOK. I think that having e-books on these mobile devices is counter productive because its too easy for the undisciplined child (weren't we all) to focus on a homework/e-book when there are GAMES just a swipey swipe hand jesture away.

=============================================================== From: Chad Smith ------------------------------------------------------ And computers don't have games, or Facebook, or music, or any other billion things to pull kids away from their work? And yet they are virtually indispensable from the educational process now. And if the kid didn't have a tablet, or a computer - there are video game systems, cable TV, mp3 players, radios, comic books, baseballs, frogs, dolls, toy cars, legos, the great outdoors, and a billion other things - digital and not - to draw away their attention. (Be sure to note, I'm speaking in generalities, and not in regards to anyone's specific self or child.) Regardless of format - there are always alternatives to doing your homework. The key is discipline. Self-discipline or parent discipline. Not having an iPad isn't going to make someone a better pupil. Either they can focus, or they can't. An iPad or any other device isn't going to change that. You're really coming off as a "Back in my day, we walked to school in the snow uphill both ways, and we LIKED IT!" right now. When I was in school, we used used textbooks, actual physical dead tree editions, and unless it was a brand new edition that year, I can't think of a time after starting Jr High that there weren't doodles or notes or cuss words or tic-tac-toe or "the dot game" or some other proof of distraction written ON THE BOOK. Kids... no, strike that - PEOPLE will ALWAYS find a way to not pay attention. Heck, one of my biggest distractions in school was just day dreaming - zoning out. Didn't need an iPad or a cell phone or a Walkman or an 8-Track or a Cave Drawing to not focus. *- Chad W. Smith* *"I like a man who's middle name is W."* President George W. Bush - February 10, 2003 bit.ly/gwb-dubya

=============================================================== From: Ed King ------------------------------------------------------ we can debate this all day and its not going to change my opinion, so stop wasting your energy. go read a book or something

=============================================================== From: David White ------------------------------------------------------ Back on topic.... (disclaimer: I didn't read any of the messages, other than the original & 1 or 2 of the first responses) +1 for MacAuthority. I've never been there, but I've heard good things about them. I also follow one of their guys on twitter.