After a salad first course, i returned to find Barry quite indignant on my behalf. It is so not software, he announced. He seemed quite irritated with the previous genius' management of the issue as clearly not trying hard enough to find the issue and passing it off as software, leading the technical staff to not do much in the way of solution, either.
I thought back to the conversation with my therapist and your comments: how hard was i on myself in trying to solve the "software" problem? Particularly when he said "I was not going to tell you you were crazy," i wondered what i had telegraphed to him about my expectations of how this would go. How much of the previous "support" was gender biased? Such that i came in this time with all my command line geek-fu on display? Such that Christine felt she needed to be there as witness and to chime in that i'd spent about a 100 hours on the issue? (That was an exaggeration, in my mind.)
It was very reassuring and comforting to have someone pissed off on my behalf. I have a suspicion the April person who "helped" me is going to get chewed out, as Barry seemed both intent on solving both problems: the machine problem AND the process issue. (I'm going to write the store a appreciative note about Barry, but probably not with the first sentence as written here.) There's a possibility that the macbook, the first version in the very compact form factor, was poorly manufactured. (The technical term used was "meh," which i completely grocked.)
I do think i could have been more direct, as i would have told me, "Look, i know sending it back to get the logic board and another part replaced may seem unsatisfying as you've now been through this three times. This is the last time we'll try to fix the machine: if this doesn't resolve the issue, we will replace the machine with a new macbook." I felt like i was being prepared for the possibility that i may have to give up my attachment to that piece of hardware. Pfft. I'm just delighted to know that i will have a functioning chassis that will hold my data and software sooner or later.
All of this is under the extended warranty. There have been times in the past where i've needed to use an apple care warranty in year three, so i've found it a sensible precaution. In general, i've found apple hardware to last well past the extended warranty, and have felt i could have gotten even more use out of them (Christine has instead, eked the last useful processing out of them). I often wonder if the extended warranty is just a way to pull a bit more cash from the customer: this time, it's definitely to my benefit.