Special Notice: 30 January 97   Updated 8 February 97

"PB Jelly"

8 Feb 97

"PB Jelly" Part 2
Apple Customer Relations Attitude

"Fry Ice"....

"PB Jelly", Network Problems / Solutions & Apple's "Help"...


Most of you know that Robert Morgan was given two choices in March 96. Either he took to his bed and telecommuted and hopefully let nature mend what happened to his spine, or he could face either surgery or turning in two legs for four wheels (a wheelchair). For him, the choice was obvious. Ergo he took steps to follow doctors orders. That one of the top neurosurgeons in the country at Yale-New Haven concurred was icing on the cake.

FWIW, it's no "Secret" that Echo 4 and RFI is one of the only, if not "The Only", "All Mac Financial Research & Analysis Shop on The Street", so Robert Morgan needed to use compatible solutions. Ergo, he used an old box as a server and had his home wired with a LAN (real easy if you use Macs) so it would be as if there had been no change in operations of Echo 4 and RFI. He even had another old box hooked in as another Fax /File / Internet Server. The other "concession" was that he ordered a PowerBook to enable him to do everything from bed, or anywhere, that he could do at the office. If it could be done in the office, it could be done anywhere. In other words, no "problems" would be encountered because of his "condition". And subscribers/clients wouldn't encounter inconveniences.

29 January 97: "A Day That Will Live In Infamy"...

Everything worked fine until the MacOS 7.5.5 Update "nuked" the Fax / File / Internet Server and even the drastic measures of: erasing, reformatting, reinstallment of software, and reconfiguring the system didn't resolve the problems with the Fax / File / Internet Server. However, even those problems were able to be worked around until the morning of 29 January 97 as Morgan had his "Trusty PowerBook" to take over all tasks.

Then came "A Day That Will Live In Infamy", Wednesday 29 January 97. "At O'Dark Thirty" Morgan went to check the network and start up the previously "Trusty PowerBook" only to find that overnight it had turned into "PB Jelly". Morgan was "Blind, Deaf and Dumb". However, we were able to do a temporary work-around to get the Update out before the markets opened as we worked on getting both the PowerBook, to no avail, and the network back up and connected.

At about 10:00 AM (ET), Morgan threw in the towel and called 800-SOS-APPL because nothing worked. "PB Jelly" was insurmountable on our end because it was a hardware problem. Even with going to the "back-up network", things were going to be "dicey". After his experience with SOS-APPL and getting the repair order in, he went to getting the "sensitive information" off that previously "Trusty PowerBook" to prepare it for service. And yes, he retrieved and erased all of the "Indicator Apps and Information". Sorry David and all others wanting access to it.

Since Morgan isn't a tyrant, he wasn't going to "Dog Rob" someone else's box to keep him "happy and up and running". Instead he would "adapt and innovate" to the situation. First, he was going to try to make the remaining systems work. Secondly, he was going to do something "extreme"; namely, tell Apple (FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME) that he needed "help". He didn't place the call until 9 hours after the SOS-APPL ordeal (to give him time to cool off so some "innocent" didn't suffer from his exasperation) and the results were less than satisfactory; even after explaining everything to the several people he talked to.

Nope, we're not "bitching" at Apple for its response but we have to give you an explanation because you're the ones paying the bills. Seems that "the best" normal channels can offer (and no, Morgan didn't try to pull any strings) was waiving the recovery fee as well as offering to pick up 50% of the tab of a rental; as if Morgan was going to put the proprietary information on a "rental". It's not the money or that RFI feels that "Apple owes RFI", but it's the general principle. If it was a "regular" disabled telecommuter, we suspect they'd be swinging in the wind even more. FWIW, don't think ill of Apple's customer service as they are tops in the industry, but....

And don't think we're "btiching at Apple" because we "expect" something from them. Good Lord, you know that neither: Echo 4, RFI or Morgan operates that way. That's what's made us so credible on The Street, especially with (Street Jargon Alert) "Upstairs" denizens.

Bottom Line? Morgan has developed several work-arounds. First, the network is jerry-rigged until we can get it back up to "cherry status". Secondly, Updates, etc., will be sent by courier (if needed) to the office for transmission over the main network via Fax and the Internet; including updated Apple Recon and Recon Lite files to the web sites. Thank some dedicated people at Echo 4 for that "blessing". And while RFI is not changing its stance on Apple (AAPL.O) for the: near, intermediate and long term; Morgan can only shake his head at the response he received from Apple's Customer Relations.

Finally. The last, very last, thing we want any subscriber/client of Echo 4 /RFI is to experience any inconvenience. Our problems are ours and not yours or Apple's. Ergo, even if it means Morgan breaking doctor's orders and doing what he shouldn't, then so be it. Remember, you come first with us. No matter what else we have to deal with. Regards. Robert K. Morgan Echo 4 Communications / Recon For Investors (RFI)

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