City2Surf 2011

City2Surf Starting Line

City2Surf Starting Line

That’s another City2Surf run, my 3rd now!

This year was a wet race, apparently the first for many years although by the time we were off the rain stopped.

Last year I was under 80min so I got to start in the “green” group, this is the second group after the elite and front runners. I did better than I expected – my main aim was to keep my time under 80 minutes and in the end I did 75min 56sec.

I was really please with my time, that’s nearly 4 minutes off last year, another minute off would have seen me in the elite “red” group next year – unfortunately due to the number of entries received they’ve changed the times for next year and I need to get under 70 minutes to get into this group.

Deanne entered again this year, she’s now up into the “yellow” group and knocked nearly 50 minutes off the time, she was just over 120 minutes. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t be under 100 minutes next year!

This year was a little more difficult, I think it was a bit more humid and I was struggling a bit with the heat. I normally run the City2Surf in Skins, but this year they were uncomfortable so I think if it rains again I’d probably ditch them.

Next challenge will be the Blackmores Half Marathon in October which reminds that I need to enter soon!

This is customer service…

Apple Store

Apple Store Castle Towers (image Apple P/L)

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of an Apple fan boy. Unashamedly.

After getting my first Apple computer (a 15″ MacBookPro for work) in February 2007 I quickly became a “convert”, and soon had an iMac as well for home. At the time my wife Deanne had an Acer laptop which she used mostly for her uni assignments, as well as web browsing, email and watching videos. In other words – the usual stuff.

The Acer had its share of problems, and when it eventually died I convinced Deanne to get a MacBook laptop instead. Actually it didn’t take too much convincing – she’d used my iMac a fair bit already and soon came to love her little MacBook.

Well that little MacBook is now about 3 years old, and during an upgrade to OS X Lion I discovered there was a problem with the hard drive. I did what I knew, tried to verify the drive – it reported a problem. I tried to repair the drive. That didn’t work. Here I was at the limit of my knowledge of Mac hardware so I decided to take it to the Apple Store to get checked out.

What?!?! You didn’t pull it apart and try to fix it yourself?


Once upon a time – sure I would have built the computer myself (a generic beige desktop PC with off the shelf parts), troubleshot it and repaired it but its not 1998 anymore – I’d rather just pay someone else to worry about that. So I booked a session with the Genius Bar at the Castle Towers Apple Store – and that was simplicity in itself. Go to the website. Select the store. Select the first available date and time. Done. A nice little confirmation email that updates the appointment into iCal and onto my iPhone. I take the MacBook down to the store on the day and sure enough its the hard drive. The in-store tech ran his diagnostic tools on it which showed no errors, but the OS still said otherwise – so rather than wait for it to die he elected to replace it.

The MacBook had a three year extended warranty which ended a few months ago – never mind he said, we’ll replace it under warranty. Is it backed up? Yeah – got a Time Machine backup. OK – well we’ll try to copy the data over anyway but its good to know you have a backup anyway. So it’ll be ready in a few days once they get the parts in and it won’t cost a cent even thought its now out of warranty.

Now contrast this to the service we got from Acer with Deanne’s old laptop

  • Multiple phone calls to try and get it seen to
  • Inexperienced technicians – didn’t have the right parts so they replaced the mother board with a similar model “until we get the parts in”. Never mind the USB ports don’t line up with the case etc.
  • HD died – don’t ask about backups, just erase anyway.
  • More follow up phone calls to find out the status of the repair and when it would be ready.

Some people will tell you that Apple are overpriced, you pay the “Apple Tax” for expensive equipment that isn’t the the latest spec and so on. Considering the difference in service you get – I have no problem at all with the and I’ll continue to recommend them to family and friends.