Apple Products "just work" . . . except when they don't
My biggest gripe with Apple products this year is all the pain that they've caused me. I've never experienced such stress at the hands of my devices just because of some relatively simple problems. Some issues are genuinely unfortunate, but I know that some things were harder then they had previously been with my old Windows PC's. At times I would find myself ripping my hair and out nearly breaking down as essays were due and exams loomed around the corner.
The first part of the story involves a year of kernel panics that I could never explain. I thought it could be an intermittent hardware issue with the logic board, which I knew I couldn't afford to replace at the time, so I lived with it. A few months passed and I found that sometimes Mac OS X would become "broken". Suspecting a hard drive failure, I replaced my aging 250GB factory-equipped drive with a 1TB 7200RPM drive (Hey, who doesn't like extra space?). Unfortunately directly after installing the drive I found myself completely unable to install Mac OS X all because the free space could not be partitioned. I gave up and brought it to a genius bar. They found that the ribbon cable was defective and replaced it (for $60!) and installed Mac OS X. When I brought my MacBook home I restored my data and was on my way - after the restore froze at "a few minutes remaining" as it characteristically always did in my experience. Now everything is fine and there are no problems with the hardware in my MacBook Pro.
However! I recently decided I wanted to try out BootCamp and install Windows 8 Pro. This was a total nightmare. I did manage to install Windows 8 and play around in a giant version of Flipboard for a little while. I was really enjoying it until I restarted into Mac OS X... again: it wouldn't boot. I don't understand how Windows 8 or Bootcamp managed to break my OS X partition, but the real trouble came when it came time to reinstall OS X. I couldn't repartition the drive again! This time I had an important paper due in the next few days, and even though I had my iOS devices to access my iCloud document from, I absolutely couldn't write the paper using either of them. I used every method of installation that I could think of: Recovery Mode, Time Machine Backup, and CD Installation. After countless attempts using the built-in disk utility it finally managed to erase the entire hard drive and reinstall Mac OS X. Of course - the installation and recovery both froze in the final "a few minutes remaining" phase.
I never had this sort of trouble with my Windows PC's, and even though I love my MacBook Pro, I dread the day another problem pops up and I won't be able to fix it (at least not easily). I've decided to take a conservative approach to using my MacBook Pro in order to avoid any problems in the future. No more tinkering, no more dual-booting. I really am dissatisfied having to treat it like a delicate thing - I prefer to personalize my computer the way that a Windows or Android user may, but maybe that's just not possible.
Update: I just experienced another (possibly unlucky) episode of hardware issues, this time with my iPhone 5. It's only a couple of months old and it suddenly muted the earpiece while on phone-calls. I jumped to the conclusion that the earpiece was dead and decided tomorrow I would visit the genius bar again. However, within a couple more minutes I hit the volume buttons and saw it detected that headphones were in (which they weren't). So after a couple minutes of cleaning the headphone jack with cut-off Q-tips I was finally able to get audio from the earpiece. The most stressful part? The thought that my expensive phone was now useless and possible not covered by Apple due to possible water damage (it's a very wet winter here in Canada).