I'm a Power Mac user, but my last excuse for a laptop crapped out on me a few months ago and I've been without one since. So with the current Cram & Jam promotion Apple is running for the education market (buy a notebook and an iPod together and get a $200 mail-in rebate) I thought it was the perfect time for me to get myself a little iBook for portable computing. I have an iPod already, so I was going to sell the new one to offset the cost of the iBook a bit. I went into an Apple Store yesterday and spent over an hour, even though I knew exactly what I wanted and didn't want to browse around. It was quite busy, I might add, but the reason it took me so long to get out of there was because the few Apple salespeople who were out on the floor seemed to be too busy for selling. One of them was talking to personal friends (maybe it was his break? for the whole hour I was there??) and another was using one of the display Macs to look at online auctions (and told me to go check with So-and-so when I asked him for help). Unfortunately, So-and-so was giving a diatribe about Apple's mid-90s follies to a poor couple who had probably asked a question but now looked like they couldn't wait to get away. After waiting longer than was necessary for politeness' sake, I cut into the conversation to ask if I could please get some help. The departing couple (they high-tailed it out of there as soon as the salewoman's attention was distracted) flashed me a smile of thanks. I would say this sort of behavior on the part of the sales staff at this store was a fluke, but a month ago when my boyfriend and I came in to buy his Powerbook, we had the exact same experience. Anyhow, that's not the issue at hand! I brought my nice, relatively inexpensive 12" iBook home, popped the Airport Extreme card in, and fired her up. At first all seemed well and I was quite excited. The first trouble was that I was getting very poor reception on the Airport card (like one or two bars, only a few feet away from the base station -- the significant other's Powerbook was getting 5 full bars). Ehhhh, I thought, maybe I didn't stick the antenna wire in firmly enough (I later checked, and I had). But the real disappointed was in the screen. I sat down on my bed with the iBook and a stack of CDs, ready for some installation goodness, when I noticed troubling little rippling/bubbling effects on the screen that were taking place whenever the 'book was subject to the slightest vibration (i.e. me typing on it while not on a firm surface like a desk, but rather on my lap). The effect was somewhat similar to what happens when you flex an LCD screen or press your finger onto it. It was confined to three specific areas of the screen, and comprised of a small circular region (what I called "a bubble) and two diagonally-running lines a bit further down the screen (these produce what I referred to as "rippling). Somewhat akin to the San Andreas fault in size. These defects aren't as noticeable on a light-colored background, but become glaringly apprarent with a darker image on the screen. So I'm begging the partner for a ride back to the Apple Store today, where I plan to politely tell them I can't possibly keep a laptop with a screen like this and pick up a new one. I will be using this notebook on the trains a lot, and I will be driven crazy if I have to watch the screen colors distort and jiggle with every little vibration. I really hope that the Apple Store will promptly replace it for me, but I'm also worried about my participation in the Cram & Jam thing now. They'll have to put the new iBook on a receipt with the iPod for me to be eligible for the promotion. Unfortunately, I have already cut the UPC label off the iPod box (I have someone all set to buy it already, and was going to make the delivery yesterday). I'm going to take the box and the cut-off label with me to the store, and hopefully they'll just scan it in and stick it on my new receipt. So, I'm disappointed. Hopefully the good (though lazy/chatty) people at this particular Apple Store will make things right without a fight and ease my frustrations. I will report on my progress later in the day.