Went over to my brother’s house to help him set up his wireless network. By coincidence, his network went down when hurricane Sandy passed through the neighborhood. Anyway, my brother went to a local store (rhymes with TestMy) and they talked him into purchasing an Airport Extreme (Extreme!!! – does it fight in cage matches?) and Airport Express. The Express was to be used as an extender (repeater) so the house would have a strong signal thoughout. To be honest, when I learned of this, I was unhappy. I was expecting Netgear or Linksys, but no, it was Apple. The salesperson assured him it was the very best, and that it did all kinds of wonderful things behind the scenes, such as auto update, and it was plug and play.
Okay, so after a period of time, the Extreme was working, but couldn’t get the Express to work. The “marvelous” software for configuring the devices gave a wealth of useful error information – 6753. I tried researching the issue, but after following all suggested fixes, gave up. Never did find out what 6753 equates to, although it is very familiar to Google.
Fast forward to the weekend. More time, another try. Gave up and decided to return this iCrap to TestMy. We were walking out of the place with some other hardware when I talked my brother into talking to the “Apple Guy.” A salesman had suggested it, and if you know me, you know I do not give up easily when it comes to this kind of stuff. So, the “Apple Guy,” who works for Apple assured us it is the best equipment, and that maybe we weren’t doing something right. It is plug and play, he assured us. I have become somewhat brazen in my old age, and I said, show me. He mumbled some excuses, but then attempted to show us. Kudos to him. Would you believe it wouldn’t work for him either (on an Apple computer). Same issue that we were seeing (or not seeing), it was not recognized by the wonder software that comes with it (to be honest, you have to download it – they don’t supply it with the hardware). He wondered if it was something that we had done to it, but then conceded it might just be defective “out of the box.” We left with a new one in exchange.
We got back to the house, and attempted to install the new Express. No go. Decided to call Apple’s customer service (as suggested by the Apple Guy). To Apple’s credit, the service center (that I spoke to) is in Canada, and they actually speak English there. First and foremost, I want to say that the customer service representative that I dealt with was very professional and absorbed all of the slants I cast toward Apple with no hostility. After 45 (forty-five) minutes of fruitless effort, countless jabs about how this plug and play stuff was not very plug and play, the customer service rep decided it was beyond her, and that she was going to escalate the case. I told her thanks, but no thanks. We were going to return the Express and get something that actually worked.
The customer service rep agreed that that was probably the best course of action. In spite of the fact that this hardware/software was purported to work with Macs and PCs (Macs are PCs, but that goes without saying), she said that PCs and Macs don’t play well together. Go figure.
I know some of you out there are pro Apple (can you say zealot?). I know you’re going to say it’s something I did wrong. Maybe you’re right. However, shouldn’t the documentation (LOUSY) and software that’s supplied with Apple products that are purported to be plug and play work without requiring the layman have a degree in rocket science?