Dear Apple, if I followed your advice I'd have ****** my computer

janush

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 8, 2009
18
0
APPLE FORUMS REMOVED THIS POST!

what are your thoughts?

Exact post:

Dear Apple, if I followed your advice I'd have ****** my computer and had to pay £100 - a forum member here fixed it in 5 seconds.

In a nutshell I had a trash warning glitch that I couldn't get rid of on a 9 day old gi7 imac that I had previously set up with all my info via Time Machine from my macbook pro. Calling Apple - they said that the only way to get rid of this was to perform a clean install making sure to back-up everything. I said that that was crazy and would involve me in having to invest in a new HD as I've already filled the imac with 500gb of stuff that has now been wiped over and I don't have a spare 500 gigs kicking around. I told them that I'm pretty sure a simple Terminal command would do the trick but they told me that they don't train their "help" to use it and that it was there for developers. I said that as it was their software which they installed then they should at least have people on the end of the phone that could help. After causing a fuss and wanting to make complaints I was passed to a senior guy who tracked down this exact problem on this forum and emailed me the link. We went through the terminal commands with no luck but I contacted the guy directly - Dave Sneddon, known as "dbsneddon" here. Two simple Terminal commands fixed the issue first time and took about 5 seconds!

Now my point here is, firstly: if I had followed the original advice from Apple I would have had to buy a new 1TB HD and then tracked down all the software installs of all my software - some of it custom and obscure (it took my years to get the mac exactly how I like it) and I doubt I would have gotten back 100%.

Secondly - why is there no-one at Apple that can help with Terminal commands? I was told this was for developers - I explained I was not a developer and that as it was a standard part of the Mac app software they should have someone at their "help" end who could deal with it.... two short lines of code, that's all it took!!

It was only after asking to complain that I got to someone who went the extra mile (yes, I love Apple and appreciate this but this only came by with me making a nuisance of myself).

So, at the end of the day, it was a forum member here who sorted out the issue in one hit.

My suggestion (which the Apple guy said he would bring up in his next meeting) is to have a separate subdivision of Apple help that is allowed to talk about Terminal - at the very least the could have guys like Dave Sneddon here on retainer and forward any Terminal issues to him directly - a win-win situation surely?

Secondly - the first guy I spoke to at Apple really didn't have a clue about this issue and gave me me 'bad' advice that would have cost me money and made my mac less perfect (to the way I had set it up).... he really insisted that this was the only way to sort it out.... he was wrong! - If I didn't force the issue this is what I would have been left with as the solution.

Either way the problem is sorted and I hope no-one else has to go through advice that would have taken hours and hours that was fixed in a few seconds through Terminal.

Dave - thanks again

1st Apple guy - fail!

2nd Apple guy - admirable effort and well appreciated
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,381
Boston
Is there a point to this rant?

btw, you posted something that violated their rules on their forum. Apple has never advrtised that the discussion forums would be a bastion of free speech. Its a heavily moderated site that can be quite useful for user supplied support. Start ranting against apple and at a minimum the post will get deleted, continue and you'll get banned.

The terminal command is something that apple shrinks away from and being such a powerful tool, its quite easy for someone to truly mess their system up, so its no surprise that apple does not train its employees on it. Basically use it at your own risk.

So did you get your problem resolved - my eyes glazed over shortly after the first rambling paragraph.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
tl;dr

From what I did read it just sounds like you're whiney and don't have a backup of your obscure software (and on second thought, if you already filled up a days-old iMac with 500 GB worth of stuff one would think it wouldn't be that hard to find it again). Nobody cares how long it would take you to find replacement versions in the first place.

Get over it. Glad you got your problem fixed though.
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,130
5
FL
Simple...this is akin to Mercedes giving you advice on how to repack the airbag on you new car. Ain't gonna happen.

Most people who buy Macs have no idea what terminal even is. Apple doesn't want John Doe mucking around with code via terminal. Too much harm can be done by novices. They are providing simple solutions to the general consumer. You want to get fancy...ask around forums for unsupported hacks. And yes, YOU are being unreasonable here.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,277
3,347
Imagine apple customer rep gave you a terminal command to use and you somehow screw it up and mess up your system, we would be reading a completely different rant about how apple customer service caused you to mess up your computer and how you wanted apple to pay for it. Thats why they dont provide that info. But there are plenty of forums out there that will answer just about any issue you have.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,432
1,401
Isla Nublar
Being in IT I can tell you having a customer using terminal is the WORST thing that could possibly happen. One missed dash or space can end up ruining your computer. This is why Apple isn't going to have customers use terminal.

Also with any type of tech support you can't diagnose every problem over the phone. Its just not possible. I get users stopping in all the time trying to describe a problem and 90% of the time what they describe is not whats happening so it is difficult to get the problem correct without seeing the machine.

Lastly, you may want to remove the name of the guy who helped you. Its generally not good to have your name blasted over the internet.
 

thederby

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2007
155
55
Austin, TX
Being in IT I can tell you having a customer using terminal is the WORST thing that could possibly happen. One missed dash or space can end up ruining your computer. This is why Apple isn't going to have customers use terminal.
"ruining your computer" is probably a little extreme. worst case he'd end up having to do a full os/app reinstall which is what he was hoping to avoid to begin with.
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
1. Go and invest in that 1TB Portable hard disk. IIRC you can get one that looks good with Macs for £69.95 from John Lewis.

2. Now you have got it sorted, BACK UP. Computers DO fail. I think you should listen to a podcast that gives sound advice on this, so I'm going to link to it.

http://macpowerusers.com/2009/08/09/mpu-08-backup/

3. For pitys sake remove the Apple employee's name from here. Apple can be very funny about employees being members of a rumours site..

4. Grow up. Apple isn't generally going to give advanced advice that *could* do more harm than good when typos are made. If you have a problem like that in future, I would suggest a genius bar appointment.
 

palane

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2009
71
0
Bzzt

This doesn't hold together. You stated just moved everything over from an external drive. So, you had only a few new files that weren't already available. My guess is that a keychain drive could have handled any new files.

If you'd wiped that drive, then you should have immediately backed up the new computer. BTW - What happened to that MBP? Wasn't it still around? The only way that this would be the problem you described is if you'd transfered files to the iMac, wiped the external HD, and sold/lost/wiped the MBP. In which case, what on earth are you doing? I conclude that having to track down old installed programs is a nonissue.

What exactly do you plan to do when you have to back up this computer? You need a bigger drive regardless. Particularly before messing around in the terminal.

I agree that having to wipe the computer and a clean install sounds fairly drastic. I would think that you'd back-up the new data, reload the computer from the TM backup, and then add in any new files.

Or, just live with the stupid file in the trash.

Nice title, though. Gets plenty of comments.

BB

what are your thoughts?

Exact post:

Dear Apple, if I followed your advice I'd have ****** my computer and had to pay £100 - a forum member here fixed it in 5 seconds.

In a nutshell I had a trash warning glitch that I couldn't get rid of on a 9 day old gi7 imac that I had previously set up with all my info via Time Machine from my macbook pro. Calling Apple - they said that the only way to get rid of this was to perform a clean install making sure to back-up everything. I said that that was crazy and would involve me in having to invest in a new HD as I've already filled the imac with 500gb of stuff that has now been wiped over and I don't have a spare 500 gigs kicking around...
 

173080

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2003
409
1
With the Terminal it comes down to this: if you have to ask, stay away from it.

Of course Apple isn't going to tell you how to use it.
 

mslide

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2007
708
2
You expect a customer service rep to know how to use Terminal? Wow. Consider it a luxury that apple even gives the average user that kind of power. I was shocked the first time I used a Mac about the fact that I could open up Terminal and use it like any other unix machine. Like others have said, if you have to ask about using Terminal, then you shouldn't be playing around there.
 

wesleyh

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2007
432
0
Makes me wonder... Why doesn't apple use remote desktop to fix some issues on client computers? Seems that would be easy enough to do and it's all built in.
 

janush

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 8, 2009
18
0
hmmm, quite a catalog of varying replies here..... ranting, moi?

the point I was trying to get across is that I thought the advice I was given by Apple was fundamentally poor, it was only by 'ranting' that I got some semblance of good advice.

if I'd followed the first bit of advice it would have cost me money, considerable time and numerous headaches. the second bit of advice was actually perfect and the Apple guy actually pointed me to a thread on a forum where I eventually got a simple Terminal command that fixed the issue.

Essentially the first Apple guy should have alluded to getting help on forums and simply stated that using Terminal was not supported by Apple, at your own risk etc etc.... (obvious to me anyway). It was the insistence and implication that this was the 'only' way to fix the issue that got my goat. My so called 'ranting' transferred me to someone else who gave me advice that solved the problem.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
...if I'd followed the first bit of advice it would have cost me money, considerable time and numerous headaches. the second bit of advice was actually perfect and the Apple guy actually pointed me to a thread on a forum where I eventually got a simple Terminal command that fixed the issue...
Ever hear of "getting a 2nd opinion"? Works in technology, just like in medicine! :rolleyes:
 

mac2x

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2009
1,147
0
With the Terminal it comes down to this: if you have to ask, stay away from it.

Of course Apple isn't going to tell you how to use it.
I agree. I know how to use terminal safely, but many others don't. In fact, I've used it to zap stubborn files in the trash. :D

To the OP: Don't expect Apple to provide support that could do more harm than good. Just back up your stuff. If you seriously put 500 GB on a new iMac within a few days, I'd suggest moving most of it to external HD's. It makes the reinstall process much easier if it comes down to that.
 

Greenman85

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2009
236
0
does the OP realize that hiring someone who would have extensive knowledge of code is unrealistic? the people who intimately know the code would not be apple genius's because they are overqualified for the position and would not be paid accordingly to their skill. The OP=FAIL
 

janush

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 8, 2009
18
0
This issue has obviously been resolved and to all extents played out. However, I want to make one more point - I should mention that whilst it says that I'm a "newbie" I am in fact a long-term member from 2001 but hadn't posted for 8 months and couldn't remember my moniker or password and so felt it easier to re-register. I was sad to see some of the responses I got here. A few people were quite rude and non-caring - in fact some of it was almost troll-like. Admittedly my post was a bit rantish but I felt it was fair and gave fair credit and critiscism where due.

I've always thought that there was an unwritten mutual trust and respect amongst mac users - that we were above some of the kind of cheap baiting comments I've seen here.

Just my 2 cents.
 

stevemiller

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2008
1,706
1,139
to the op: things you still haven't really addressed...

1) computer was only 9 days old and itself restored from a backup... why couldn't you just re-restore from this? how does that equate to losing years worth of configuration?

2) your post title suggests your computer would have been ruined, but your actual argument reveals you just would have been inconvenienced. part of using computers is accepting that you have to reformat at some point.

3) the terminal has its own set of associated risks. maybe you can justify it having been safe for yourself in this circumstance, but you can't really draw generalizations. as you found, terminal solutions can often be discovered with a bit of googling, but thats a far cry from expecting apple to cover those bases when for a sizable chunk of their customer base, you DON'T want them poking around with root privileges.

4) saying that someone telling you to always have an up to date backup is "bad advice" makes you look really foolish. by all means live on the wild side if you want, but trying to attack what most consider to be good practice is just ridiculous.

5) people who feel the need to call upon status "i've been a forum member for years" or ad hominem attacks "your points were made rudely so i'm going to ignore them" often do so in response to having built their own argument weakly.

what are YOUR thoughts?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,381
Boston
I think it all boils down to the use of the terminal and most of the posts really touched upon the salient point. You cannot expect nor would you want tech support to walk someone through issuing a terminal command as the risks are much higher then the reward.

I really don't understand the anger about the first tech recommending getting a backup drive. That is obviously a very safe and prudent action. I have 3 external drives, one portable, one time capsule and another. All three are used for backups, the portable for offsite. My issue is my data is priceless (pictures of my family and events) and so ensuring a valid backup is not bad advice even if it means plunking down some $$
 

mac2x

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2009
1,147
0
[...] However, I want to make one more point - I should mention that whilst it says that I'm a "newbie" I am in fact a long-term member from 2001 but hadn't posted for 8 months and couldn't remember my moniker or password and so felt it easier to re-register. [...]
:rolleyes: