Dear Apple [en]

[fr] Lettre ouverte à Apple. Trois mois et demie depuis la panne de mon ibook et toujours pas de MacBook commandé depuis deux mois, ça commence à suffir.

Dear Apple,

I told you again more than six months ago [how much I loved my ibook]( Ever since [my ibook moved in with me](, I’ve become such an enthusiastic Apple user that my dad makes fun of me. I’ve turned my back on over a decade of faithful Windows use and even started [recommending you to my friends]( Over the last two years, a whole bunch of them have bought ibooks — or are now buying MacBooks.

A bit over a year ago the first cloud interrupted my honeymoon with my ibook. The [motherboard died and I spent 6 weeks without it while it got repaired]( I was glad I had given in and paid the “Apple Tax” (also known as “AppleCare”), because the motherboard died just about a year after I had bought my shiny new ibook.

Even though this had taken a long time, and there [wasn’t any French speech recognition software for OSX](, my ibook was pretty, and I still loved it, so I was not shy to [let myself be photographed with it to illustrate interviews I gave](

Six months later I had to [replace my power cable]( But I still loved OSX and my ibook was still pretty, so my dad had many an occasion to continue making fun of me because I was loyal to you. 🙂

This year, though, all hell has broken loose. If I’ve told you the beginning of my story, Apple dear, it’s because I want you to know how enthusiastic a switcher I have been, and that I understand nobody’s perfect and can also forgive that.

[In February my beloved ibook started freezing.]( OK, maybe the hard drive was a bit full. Sometime durin gthe month of March the frightening “failing motherboard” symptoms reappeared, so I gave my [favourite Apple retailer]( my ibook for a transplant. A couple of weeks later, my ibook was back home, but it didn’t take long for [things to go really really wrong](

At that point, my darling ibook had worked it’s way through at least 3 motherboards, and the hard drive was going belly-up too. The shop took it back in for repairs, and at the same time I tried to see if I could get an exchange.

Well, things haven’t gone too bad: my ibook was repaired (after you sent the repair shop a defective hard drive, if my memory serves me right), but then there was a problem with the wifi card connection. Around that time it seemed like you were going to accept to replace my broken ibook, even though you would only give me the bottom-line product instead of a customized equivalent to the setup I had.

When you [surprised us with the MacBook](, the shop agreed that if I ordered one, they would take back the new ibook I would have received and charge me the difference. Seemed like pretty good deal. On May 22nd, I finally ordered my shiny new MacBook through the shop.

Things already seemed to be moving slowly back then, but looking back, the worst was yet to come.

First, one of your representatives finally got in touch to organise the pick-up of my old ibook for the exchange. She insisted that they could only pick up my ibook at my home, during office hours. Excuse me? Apple, I know I’m a teacher (well, I was back then) and that teachers are at home all the time, but I do lead a busy life. Plus, the ibook was still at the shop (had been there for over 6 weeks), so I would have had to go to town during the shop opening hours, pick up my ibook, and then stay at home (?) one day for you to pick it up. Sorry, Apple, but do you really expect your customers to be at home during office hours? Somebody needs to review this exchange process.

Lucky for me, I have a good relationship with the store manager (given the number of hours we spent discussing my ibook problems, it was kind of inevitable). He managed to arrange for the pickup to take place at the shop. Then we lost a week (?) or so because for some reason, nobody came to pick up the ibook once everything had been arranged. Oh well.

Last week, I dropped into the store and was greeted with good news. The replacement MacBook for my ibook had arrived. Neat! But what about my “real” replacement, the customized MacBook we had ordered two months ago? Still nothing.

To this day, the last news I have is “not before next week”. I won’t hold my breath, though. “Not before” isn’t very encouraging.

So you see, Apple, I’ve done my job as an enthusiastic switcher and Apple evangelist amongst my friends, and [even in the local press through photographs like this one](

Photoshoot Coopération 6

I’ve been patient through my (many) trials, but this is just starting to be too much. I’ve been without my laptop since April 9th, the day it broke down. Today? July 26th. That’s three months and a half. That’s way too long. Not to mention my dad is really having fun poking at my Apple-love now.

So, dear Apple — I’m aware you’re having trouble delivering customized MacBooks or something, and I know you probably can’t do much in my particular case. But maybe — maybe — you could work a bit on making things a little less painful for faithful AppleCare’d customers?

Thanks for listening. Thanks for caring.

Yours still,


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Journée au Forum des 100 de l'Hebdo [fr]

[en] I'm spending my day at the Forum des 100 (a selection of 100 local personalities by l'Hebdo, a regional weekly magazine). My computer is still being repaired, and to top it all I've (temporarily) lost my internet connection at home.

J’ai piqué à  [Anne Dominique]( (assise à  côté de moi) le joli Powerbook qu’elle a amené au [Forum des 100]( Comment?

1. Mon ordinateur est toujours en réparation, et je n’ai depuis quelques jours même plus de connexion à  la maison (dans quelques semaines/mois, cependant, je devrais être l’heureuse propriétaire d’un nouveau [Macbook](

2. Il y a quelques semaines, j’ai reçu une lettre m’annonçant que je faisais partie des fameux “100” de l’Hebdo et que j’étais donc invitée à  passer mon jeudi 18 mai (aujourd’hui!) dans l’Amphimax de l’UNIL.

Quelques premières impressions:

– que de mecs en costard! (bienvenue en Suisse Romande, me dit ma voisine.)
– les verres dans lesquels on sert le jus d’orange sont vraiment petits, probablement pour nous forcer à  faire des allers-retours…
– un [webcast]( de la conférence (le lien est en haut à  droite) est disponible, vous pouvez donc la suivre depuis votre ordinateur
– le modérateur (et néanmoins blogueur!) [Bruno Giussani]( a annoncé lors des informations pratiques le [tag]( “Un tag est une sorte de mot-clé qui sert à  étiqueter un billet.”) à  utiliser pour les personnes couvrant la conférence sur leurs blogs: [forumdes100]( “Cette page vous permet de suivre en temps réel ce que dit la blogosphère de l’événement.”)
– pas d’accent sur mon prénom, ni sur le badge, ni sur la liste des participants (malgré les nombreuses autres coquilles que j’ai pu voir!) — et ils ont même épelé “blogueuse” correctement (contrairement à  la lettre d’invitation qui m’a propulsée “blogeuse”…)

Ah oui! Bruno a aussi attiré notre attention (je suis assise à  côté de l’équipe de [lift06]( sur le fait qu’il y avait des fontaines à  eau dans la salle et des points d’alimentation pour laptops dans la salle. (Il se souvient des mes [premières impressions de lift06](…)

Voilà ! Je vais rendre l’ordinateur à  sa propriétaire. Passez une bonne journée!

*PS: ah oui, pas de photos, je suis encore en train d’essayer de récuperer les dernières photos effacées de ma carte mémoire, qui ont péri avec le disque dur de mon iBook…*

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Peu de connection internet ces prochains jours [fr]

[en] My motherboard probably died, so I'll be ibook-less for one or two weeks, which means I'll have limited internet connection. Best way to reach me is by gmail or phone. If we have a meeting set up these next two weeks, please get in touch to confirm -- my calendar is on the sick computer.

Mon ordinateur portable adoré est en réparation (carte mère grillée, probablement) et j’aurai donc peu d’accès à  internet durant une semaine ou deux. Pour me joindre, utilisez mon adresse gmail (c’est celle que je vérifierai le plus souvent) ou bien des moyens archaïques comme le téléphone (mobile ou non).

De plus, si l’on est censés se voir prochainement, il est peut-être une bonne idée de me contacter pour confirmer, vu que mon agenda est sur l’ordinateur malade…

Toutes mes excuses pour le dérangement!

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Reconnaissance vocale pour OSX [fr]

A la recherche d’une solution pour avoir de la reconnaissance vocale en français sur mon Mac.

[en] Because of the limitations imposed on the purchase of US products in France, there is no planned French version of iListen, the most viable speech recognition software for Mac.

**Mise à jour 09.2007:** Bonne nouvelle pour tous, [Dragon NaturallySpeaking tourne très bien sous Parallels avec OSX]( On peut donc dicter sur nos Macs!

J’aime mon Mac. Mon entourage a d’ailleurs remarqué que depuis ma conversion, je suis devenue une irrépressible ambassadrice Mac.

Quand je pense à ma vie avant OSX, je regrette une seule chose: mon Dragon.

Ces temps, j’ai de nouveau mal aux mains, donc je me dis de nouveau que je dois vraiment acheter un logiciel de reconnaissance vocale pour mon iBook. Puisque Dragon n’existe pas pour Mac, il y a deux solutions: ViaVoice et iListen. ViaVoice n’est plus en développement actif, donc le choix serait plutôt iListen, dont j’ai entendu beaucoup de bien, et qui a l’avantage de bien s’intégrer dans l’environnement OSX.

Seul hic? Pas de version française, et pas de projets (aux dernières nouvelles) d’en produire une, vu les limitations imposées aux institutions françaises concernant l’achat de produits non-français.

Solution, que me souffle mon ami Kevin: mettre un place une société française pour faire l’intermédiaire avec MacSpeech et vendre le produit en France.

Il y a des volontaires?

Autre, idée, si l’architecture du logiciel le permet: faire développer indépendamment le vocabulaire et la grammaire français. Il existe en tous cas une version allemande et une version italienne de iListen, donc, ce n’est pas un problème technique, mais bien politique.

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My iBook is Back! [en]

Got my iBook back after 6 weeks of repairs.

[fr] J'ai enfin récupéré mon iBook, après plus de 6 semaines de réparation (par ma faute et par la faute d'Apple).

Finally, finally, after over a month and a half of waiting, I got my iBook back. Bonus: they changed the topboard, so I have a new trackpad and white wrist wrests.

Why did it take so long? Partly my fault, partly Apple’s fault.

  1. I didn’t register my AppleCare correctly, so the shop had to do it for me outside the registration deadline, and (more or less understandably) Apple took their time.
  2. Apple sent the shop a faulty motherboard to repair my iBook with; the shop changed it, the computer still didn’t work, they had to order another one (from second order to repaired iBook, it took less than 10 days — Monday to the Wednesday after).

It wasn’t too bad living without a computer at home, except when (a) I found myself the center of media attention once again and (b) when I had to stay at school to type up tests and stuff for school (that was the worst). I found myself reading more, and watching a little too much TV for my taste (got nearly-hooked on a couple of series — let me know if you’re planning to offer me a birthday present, I’ve got ideas).

Actually, it was a little like being on holiday. I missed my online friends, and a bunch of things happened in my absence; some of which I regret not having been part of, some of which I’m happy to have avoided. I had lots of things to write during the first weeks, and that was a little frustrating. I’m not one to write on paper and type up later (partly because writing by hand is difficult for me because of RSI), so quite a lot of things simply disappeared in the void.

I’ve more or less caught up on e-mail (I had been checking it every couple of days at school anyway), paid a visit to the blogs I like, said hi to some people on IRC and IM, and now I need to try to get back to what I was working on online “before”. That might take some more time, particularly as we are nearing the last weeks of school now.

Glad to be back!

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Possible Hiatus [en]

[fr] Mon ibook semblant sur le point de me lâcher, ne vous inquiétez pas outre mesure si je disparais ces prochains jour: j'ai pris un plan de protection AppleCare 🙂

My ibook seems to be giving signs of imminent logical board failure. If I go off the radar, you’ll know I’m really glad I paid Apple Tax (AppleCare) and that they are fixing my computer for free.

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iBooked! [en]

I’ve finally got my iBook up and running, and I love it! A small list of things that still cause me trouble.

I got my iBook last Tuesday. I bought a router on Thursday, and I finally got everything hooked up yesterday. I’m now happily typing away on my sofa with not a cable attached, cat snuggled up next to me, xchat running in the background while iTunes is busy ripping through my CD collection.

Things have been pretty smooth. Basically, where I’ve gone wrong, it was because I was trying to do “too much” (ie, configure my wireless connection when all I had to do was turn on the Airport Extreme card). Still getting used to some of the interface particularities, but already in love with Exposé. Here’s a status update:

  • I still haven’t found the backslash key
  • the TTS functionality that comes with OSX is really horrible
  • I need to find a good feed aggregator
  • can iTunes name my music files “Artist — Song Name” instead of just “Song Name”?
  • I need to buy ViaVoice
  • need to get my fingers trained on Mac keyboard shortcuts
  • I miss Trillian, and particularly the MetaContacts feature!
  • I now know what a Disk Image is
  • damn, can’t find a keyboard shortcut for the “Back” button in Firefox
  • what’s up with July 17th in iCal?
  • one of the first things I wanted was Dock Detox to keep my bouncing application icons sedated
  • I love Quicksilver
  • Mac people are very helpful!

I’m officially in love with my iBook.

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