Temperature Perception!?

by Tom Bridge

This morning, I was working on my MacBook Pro, tapping happily away at a manual for a Zimbra installation, when I noticed I had 10% of battery left. I fished out my power adapter and walked over to plug myself in, when the screen went dark.


Imagine my surprise when I tried to wake it from sleep. It wasn't sleeping, it was off. That's right, instead of sleeping at the end of the battery, it randomly and completely, with no warning, shut itself off.

Uh oh. That's no good. I spent some time on the phone today with Apple, explained the constant heat issues, the whine, and now the straw that broke the camel's back: the random power failures. Today's shutdown wasn't the first time, I lost a few pages of a paper I wrote on weblogging and pamphleteering, when I was editing it for republication. Then I lost part of a presentation on Zimbra. The third time was the charm and I called Apple.


2006-05-16 14:57:57
Problem Description: Perceived Author Emotional Sensitivity to Written Communication

Given that everything you experience is a sensory issue (since you perceive the world via your senses), then Apple is spot-on with their description.

You didn't mention whether or not they're actually fixing the problem. You're complaining about the wording of their response email?

Don't you have anything better to do?

Ben Stanfield
2006-05-16 15:02:43
There are those of us who cautioned you against buying version 1.0 (aka public beta) of any Apple product. This is why. Just sayin'. :)
Tom Bridge
2006-05-16 15:04:36
Dear Zaphod,

Perception implies that it's something only I am perceiving, not something that is clearly obvious. Not to mention "customer sensory issues"

As for "having something better to do," since I can't work on my laptop, I've got plenty of time on my hands.

Daniel Jalkut
2006-05-16 15:08:06

Customers who complain about the CPU whining and other noises get the same analysis. My similar repulsion to the word choice is documented on my blog, which has been somewhat compulsively dedicated to documenting MBP problems as of late:


The other problem you're experiencing is the tendency for AppleCare to document every single thing you complain about, but then only choose to fix (or attempt to fix) one of them on a particular repair submission. In my multiple conversations with Apple support it seems I always have to clarify that there are multiple issues when they latch on to one or another of the many items listed on the report.

Tom Bridge
2006-05-16 15:11:36
I knew what I was getting into buying a 1.0 product, what I was hoping to avoid was having my issue, that is pretty blatant and obvious, marginalized and called a perception issue.
2006-05-16 16:18:16
Tom, I'm with you. The eMail you got is insulting given the recent news. It's just too bad you can't make the right decision these days - you get screwed wether you buy the last PowerBook or the new MacBook Pro.
2006-05-16 17:15:35
I agree with you Tom. Last night I returned my MacBook Pro and took the ten percent restocking fee hit. I consider it a stupid tax on my part. I was completely dissatisifed with the heat and buggyness MacBook Pro. I will wait until Apple gets the heat issue worked out (probably by figuring out how to apply thermal paste). After all, my 12" Powerbook can last me another 6 months to a year. Until this morning, it was the best 12" Powerbook on the market. It is not quite as fast as the MacBook Pro, but it is way less buggy.
Andy Lee
2006-05-16 18:30:15

I was going to link to your blog, then saw you beat me to it.


I'm sorry to hear you were so dissatisfied you returned the machine. I've been trying to tell myself now would be an okay time to get one, since surely they've ironed out the problems, but things like your post and the May 20th movement make me very hesitant.

2006-05-16 19:05:29

I first got a week 13 model and later exchanged it for a week 15 model. Both of them ran very hot. Way hotter than my Powerbook. The metal strip above the functions keys was too hot to touch. If you are thinking of getting one, at least check out one of the display models at your local Apple store or Compusa. Feel the area above the F-keys and on the bottom of the Macbook below the keyboard. They are smoking and I am unable to believe that this heat will not impact the longevity of the computer.

The Macbooks were also just buggy. For example, on random occassions when I would wake the Macbook Pro from sleep, the screen would be garbeled and I would be unable to enter my password. I would have to let the Macbook Pro go back to sleep and then wake it back up. It would not join wireless networks like it should. It also took longer to go to sleep and wake up than did my Powerbook. One thing I love about the Powerbook is the nearly instant on/instant off feature. I will probably wait for Wireless N, Merom Processor, Leopard and iLife '07. Hopefully this will all happen by February 2007.

2006-05-16 19:45:01
Thank you for being a beta tester. I will enjoy my intel book in a year or so much better because of "soldiers" like you.
2006-05-16 20:58:26
I knew I was buying into a Rev 1, but then again, other companies have been making Intel-based laptops for a while. I am experiencing the same issues as Greg: WiFi, garbled graphics, heat, and CPU whine. I called Apple tonight, and they are going to repair the unit.
Rob Speed
2006-05-16 21:31:05
Is this the same MBP that John worked on?
Saint Fnordius
2006-05-16 23:54:46
It's a bad case of writing--for the engineer instead of the customer--from where I'm sitting. It tries to say "this is something the customer felt, heard or saw", probably to point out that the parts weren't otherwise failing (broken latch or such). Unfortunately, it's all too easily parsed as "this customer is an oversensitive whiner, but we're going to coddle him anyways." I doubt they'd be so insulting in a mail to the customer.

I'm going to be cautiously optimistic and suggest that the point is that the description means "Hey you guys, make sure the unit actually FEELS cooler, and don't just test to see if it's overheating or not."

--Marc ("Saint Fnordius" moniker kept to maintain a common identity across various boards)

Tom Bridge
2006-05-17 05:16:41
Rob, it is the same MBP that John put the new HD into on Day 5.
2006-05-17 19:40:13
Tom, I had the same problem #3 you list (also in Arlington, VA, but I don't think that's related) with a MBP with an almost identical serial number. The more immediate behavior you describe of the battery winking out and turning off the computer appears to be the fairly widely-reported "silent recall"--I described the problem to AppleCare, was sent a new battery, and the MBP seems to be functioning normally. That's definitely not a "sensory issue" nor was the one month I was without the MBP while it was back at Apple for a blown power system. Luckily, the folks I dealt with were pretty competent and considerate about fixing the problems.
Some Dood
2006-05-17 22:37:07
FWIW, when you create a ticket in Apple's system (web-based GCRM piece of %*(@ software), you have to select a "main" option, such as "Sensory Issue", and some of the options are rather vague, while others are quite specific - they may have selected one or two other problem descriptions, but only the main one may be listed in the email.

Bear in in mind my experience was w/ internal support, applecare might be somewhat different. But I doubt it.

Some Dood
2006-05-17 22:46:31
Addendum: Also, you have to remember that the person taking your applecare call isn't necessarily

1. That technically inclined - competent, likely, but I wouldn't bet on it.
2. That well trained. Well, they are at least trained well to know they're being monitored and metric'd to death, so there's a lot of pressure to get the call in and done adequately, not necessarily to do it well.

2006-05-30 09:02:33
Wah, wah, wah. When you call the support line they have to log a case, especially when you are calling in regards to a brand new product. This helps in tracking and discovering emerging issues so that engineering can identify and resolve those issues. "Customer Sensory Issue" is merely a classification that Apple uses to categorize your particular issue so that when engineering is sifting through the tens of thousands of calls, they can narrow the search down. And what you experienced is a sensory issue. We're all humans, we're all different, I can keep my hand on a machine when someone else has to pull it off because it's too hot. Too hot for that person, not for me, that's their "sensory" and not mine. It's a perfect classification. And this sounds like you're fault, not Apple's. You saw that you were at 10%, so instead of saving everything you were working on you decided to fumble for a Power Adapter. Why does that make Apple responsible for your data? Why was your searching for a Power Adapter make it the straw that broke the camels back? Everyone whines and whines that they want faster laptops, more power, more features, and when Apple delivers everyone complains that it's too hot. You're the one who chose the role of guinnea pig by purchasing the first revision of a completely new architecutre, blame yourself. If you don't want to have any problems, buy a third or fourth, or even later revision. This goes for any product, not just Apple. And if fussing about some wording used in an email or case is the biggest problem you're dealing with, I would like to have your life!
2006-06-02 00:00:21
Wow! Great! Hi Tom,Do you know where was your Macbook built? The production line is under my feet.It's not a joke.
Sensory Issueā€¯
2006-10-16 00:11:45
Sensory Issue