- Time Capsule: I just bought a hard drive for backup purposes, so there is no immediate need for it. However, this is a really compelling product at a really compelling price, so I may get one once I get a laptop (which would benefit from wireless backup) or other Mac with 802.11n wireless. Otherwise, we’re fine for now.
- Software updates for the iPhone and the iPod touch: Still no iPhone in Canada. I was just saying the other day that I’d buy an iPod touch immediately if it came with an e-mail and mapping application, and now it does. I still have an underused 30-gigabyte, fifth-generation iPod, so there’s no immediate need for a new one, but the possibilities of it as a PDA/mobile Internet device are intriguing.
- Software updates and a price cut for the Apple TV: We don’t have a high-definition television, and Apple’s rental service isn’t in Canada yet. Despite interesting Flickr integration, I don’t need this thing.
- MacBook Air: Reason not the need; WANT. I anticipate buying a laptop this year, and wanted something small and light, enough so that I’ve been considering the Asus Eee and its ilk. But while the MacBook Air is thinner and lighter than a basic MacBook, it’s just as long and wide — the X/Y is essentially the same. It’s clearly meant as a secondary machine; I’m just thinking that it’s easier to contemplate a $1250 secondary machine than a $1900 secondary machine. Still, WANT.
A $20 phone has solved the wireless network problems I’ve been having for more than a year. After ruling out other possibilities (such as hardware or software problems), it turns out that our neighbour was using a 2.4-GHz wireless phone: every time she made a call, my computer — which is in a room next to her apartment — was cut off. (Jennifer’s stayed running, because it was far enough away from the interference; I’d thought that there might have been something wrong with my computer or the router’s range.) Our solution was to buy our neighbour a 900-MHz phone, which won’t interfere with the network: fortunately those are still available! Now I only have wireless router hiccups, fibre-optic cuts, DNS outages, and my web host’s variable reliability to drive me bonkers.
I note with interest this report on HardMac (via Gizmodo) that more than 200 Airport Express base stations have ceased functioning 13 to 18 months after purchase — because, you may recall, so did mine.
From the report:
Today, with over 200 reports of APX defects, we can draw some conclusions:
- as we originally suspected, it predominantly affects users living in 220/230V-based countries (98% of the reports).
- all defective APX have been manufactured by Foxconn during S2 2004
- as a result, all defective APX have a serial number starting with HS42, HS43 or HS44.
- most of the defective APX have a product number either A1084 or A1088.
We are still missing proof that the large amount of defective APX is based on a design or component failure, even though we also suspect a Samsung-branded fuse to be part of the problem.
It’s interesting, but not necessarily surprising, that the serial number of my defunct AirPort Express begins with HS44; my replacement base station’s serial number begins with 6F53. And, true to form, the old station lasted a bit more than a year — though I’m not in a 220V region. Interesting.