15 July 2010

Where iPhones come to die

"...it's better to burn out then to fade away."
- Kurt Cobain, American singer-songwriter

Dear Apple iProducts,

Thank you so much for releasing a beta version of OS 4.0. I abstained from downloading this operating system at first. Yet every time I activated iTunes, there was that message:

iTunes has detected a new update is available!

The first few times, I just ignored the text. My iPhone was working splendidly, why would I want to foul up the order? I remembered when I upgraded to OS 3.1.3, it took the better part of my workday. It could be put off for a bit.

Would you please let iTunes download OS 4.0?

Then, my roommate showed me his update, with the background image instead of a blank black screen and the ability to organize my apps into folders. Amazing! I wanted that. Plus, I noticed sometimes my apps froze and quit. Perhaps 4.0 fixed these bugs? Also, I had already downloaded all the updates for my 80+ applications, so upgrading to a new OS should be a breeze, right?


So I ran a test drive. I figured my iPod Touch was a good hardware piece because it was almost like an iPhone, without calling and SMS abilities.

20 minutes later, I happily put a background image on my iPod. Awesome! So slick, this new operating system!

Granted, there are only six applications on the Touch, yet much more music and even full length videos. Should be no harm for my iPhone, correct?

I started the update around 0800h on 14 July. I figured I could go the morning without playing Angry Birds and texting if needed. Why didn't I download my recent pictures?? For heaven's sake, the iPod only took twenty minutes!

I should have known something was wrong when it took 16 hours to backup the device. At 16 hours and 20 minutes, iTunes informed me that it was prepping for a restore. Why? I didn't ask for a restore. I just want a new OPERATING SYSTEM!

Then came the errors. Oh goodness, iTunes can't read my iPhone because of Error #-&*($(#&(#$? Why the bunch of numbers, Apple? An eight digit number that spelled 'DEATH.' Okay, fine, I'll just restart my iPhone. No big deal.

It wasn't a big deal until it was three in the morning. I caught up on Season 5.2 of Nip/Tuck. I read all of Some Birds Are Like That. All the while clicking 'Okay' to errors. No, it's not okay Apple! I didn't agree to this headache, nor sign up for it. An endless loop of affirming I was 'okay' with the errors and restarting my iPhone. My computer informed me it needed to shut down to install some new updates. Even my laptop knew it was time to call it a day. Or rather, a night.

However, my now brick iPhone did not. I disconnected it, yet it was like Frankenstein's monster. It had a life of its own! Shutting down to load itself again, error detected and shut down. Lather, rinse, repeat. I finally held down the home and screen button until the device blacked out, effectively throwing it on the funeral pyre.

I learned how to function without a phone. Using the iPod, I was able to download a Twitter application, along with Angry Birds and Wikipedia. I perfected the art of over-medium eggs. I researched the new Halo: Reach release (14 September 2010). I found out the Mario franchise was still the top-selling game. I even found out that I, Robot game was a commercial failure. My other roommate then informed us that he would not be downloading the new operating system. I made a Baroque quip. It may or may not have come from years of Disney's Beauty and the Beast being my little sister's favorite movie. Oh Cogsworth, still a source of entertainment after nineteen years.

Finally, 2117h 15 July, I deleted the backup file. Forum threads stated that the errors are generated in the backup file, it being from OS 3.1.3 and could be a source of dissension. This was not a decision I took lightly, I had over 1000 pictures, every text from the past thirteen months, and numerous contacts.

iTunes froze. I waited. 2122h, iTunes recognized my iPhone. The music and videos were gone. FINE, I could live with that. Everything synced on my iPhone was on my laptop. The iPhone screen was still had that annoying apple with a missing bite and a 30 percent loaded bar. Then, it shut down and the iPhone disappeared from the iTunes sidebar.

Awesome. Perhaps another endless loop? iTunes informed that it could not sync the iPhone as it could not establish a connection. It's connected, I promised. Please. Just load.

Eternal cycle of loading up to 30 percent, then shutting down to do it perform a restart all over again.

So, thank you Apple. I thought you had proved me wrong with the iPod and then the iPhone, but if releasing an error filled operating system is your modus operandi, I don't know how long I will continue to use your products. The sunset is a little dimmer without my iPhone.

Sincerely, a perturbed consumer.

PS: At 2212h, I finally put my phone into recovery mode. Downloaded OS 4.0 all over again. iTunes informed me I could restore my iPhone and everything after download. At that exact moment, the sun broke free of the cloud cover and splashed the living room with golden light.

PSS: The restore is from 22 February. About 'sixteen' minutes of rehabilitation. I could live with that. What I cannot live with, is the wasted hours of grief and heartbreak. The sun also ended its brief reprieve from behind the cloud prison. Veiled metaphor?

PSSS: No dice. Everything is gone.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I'd heard a similar story a month or so ago but can't believe the upgrade is still such a nightmare! I'll be content with my netbook and Italian cell phone...esp. since the latter seems to be working here in the US as well! Ciao from Wash Dulles.

    Oh, and I still can't believe you made it all the way through...glad I could help distract you from the iphone carnage.