I recently wrote about the unreliability of all of the Apple computers I’ve ever bought. Last night, my iMac failed to start up, displaying a big white screen and what I came to understood as the ‘Forbidden’ icon. It made me miss the venerable Macintosh bomb icon.
This brings the number of Apple computers that have fatally failed within two years of my owning them to four. Here’s what my sad computer looked like:
Despite my distaste for the Uber-branded Orwellian weirdness that is the Apple Store, I took my iMac in. They decided that it was merely a ‘system problem’, not a hardware issue. So, we backed up my computer to a newly-purchased hard drive and they wiped the thing clean.
As I write this blog post, my CD drive is spinning and installing the dreck that is Microsoft Office for Mac 2004.
I suspected that my hard drive had died. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, as I do most of my work on the web and, besides, I had backed up about six weeks ago.
A License to Download, Once
However, I had bought about $20 worth of iTunes music recently. Most people know this, but I think it bears repeating: you can only download an iTunes song once. When you buy it, you’re buying, what? A license to play the song, and the right to download the thing once.
It would have been ironic in my case, as my Apple hardware failure would have vapourized a bunch of my Apple digital assets.
This policy, by the way, is farcical. Every other digital content vendor that I’ve used–Audible, for example, or PC games from Steam–enables me to download my purchases over and over again. This feature is particularly handy when my Apple computer stops working.
Truth be told, if my hard drive had failed, and I’d lost that music, my first tactic would have been to try to download it illegally. After all, I’d paid Apple, the artists and all the stakeholders once, why should I pay them again?