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Monthly Archives: June 2012

  • Apple Certified Techs: Breaking down AK-47s in Under 4 Minutes.

    What does Apple Certification really mean?

    I recently sat down for an interview with Jason Draper, our in-house Fix-iPhones RepairLabs ACMT (Apple Certified Mac Technician) to learn a little bit more about his training and what being ‘Apple Certified’ really means.

    Jason Draper, Apple Certified Macintosh Technician

    We got him off of caffeine long enough to snap a 'polariod'

    So, is being Mac certified really that big of a deal?

    Well, before the interview, Jason slipped me his password for his AppleCare Service Training Course, so I nosed through some of the requirements and course prep myself.  I found out that each AppleCare certified tech mush have a thorough, tested knowledge in: Diagnostic, Hardware Tools, Troubleshooting  Theory (with an Apple-defined problem solving strategy that the technicians are expected to use), and Recognizing Accidental Damage.

    The test also requires extensive knowledge in: Embedded Battery Handling (proper handling in all manner of MacBooks), Electric Static Discharge Precautions, Power Management, LCD Service Issues and Repairs, and Hardware Service Issues.  Hardware repairs include best practices for  Electric Static Discharge procedures  (ESD) – to strap and ground yourself to remove static electricity, as even tiny shocks “from rubbing your feet on the carpet can destroy a logic board, or put a hole in resistor or chips with one little poke,” says Jason.

    The Wireless Networking capabilities the Mac Cert Techs are required to have include: setup, troubleshooting and repairs for AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and Time Capsule as well as Bluetooth products. He also has to be able to efficiently troubleshoot and service the iMac, MacBook, ‘Air, and ‘Pro.Jason explained that he must have a full working knowledge of repairing devices under warranty, and of what accidental damage may or may not be covered AppleCare. The course also makes certain that each tech has a clear knowledge of Reference sources, so he will know where to find the answers if he doesn’t know them off the top of his head.

    If that’s not enough, the Course Objectives commonly include: Terminology, Underlying Technology, and phrases like “Trained to isolate the issue in 3 minutes or less.” My favorite among these objectives, verbatim, is:

    “Given a set of instructions and an external drive, configure a known-good diagnostic drive with install and startup volumes in 25 minutes.”

    Next: Break down an AK-47 in under 4 minutes. Really, these guys have to be the Marine Corps of geek.  Each of the 30-some sections contains around 10 course objectives just like the (serious) ones above, and the tech in testing must be able to demonstrate any of these skills when called upon.

    Jason explains that Apple certified techs can repair any iOS devices: iPad, iPhone, and portable and desktop Macs. They are trained to deal with dropped devices, cracked screens, glass, and housings.  He had to learn Hardware and Software--especially the New iOS system, Lion. “It’s going to be very user friendly, I like it,” he commented.

    One fascinating element of the training shows just how tough the Macs are and how good the new iOS is, insofar as the hardware so rarely breaks. The course explicitly states the reason it requires certification in not only the hardware, but especially the software:

    Technicians might believe that understanding the Mac operating system is secondary when it comes to repairing hardware. This isn’t true. Over 75% of system malfunctions can be traced directly to misused, incorrectly set, or corrupted software.

    “There’s so much more on a Mac that’s software related,” says Jason, “Their hardware rarely fails. It’s a different world with a PC.”

    He explained that the test covers customer based support issues, such as simple problems with software, and how techs had to be able to talk the customers through how to fix them. Common problems include iTunes issues, update issues, and the iPhone not syncing correctly with a computer.

    Not only that, he has to be able to help customers EMOTIONALLY cope with a damaged machine.” (C’mon, we’ve all felt the soul-crushing anguish of a broken device.) Apple doesn’t neglect training its techs to work with customer complaints and objections, reminding the techs that “Denial is very human.”

    So not only does he have to be the repair guy, as well as the tech-support guy, he has to be the grief counselor and shrink to overwrought customers.

    “I also like long walks on the beach with my Mac. And my wife. Who is beautiful.  Sorry, Honey.” Jason adds, as he enumerates his talents. Apple also emphasizes ongoing education, and techs are required to recertify every year. Since becoming Apple Certified, the next step Jason would like to take is to become an Apple consultant. 

     

     

    Additional Sources

    http://www.technibble.com/how-to-become-an-apple-certified-technician/


    by , Tech Expert, Freelance Writer.

  • Who Knew Siri Could be So Sexy? iOS 6 Infographic

    The RepairLabs at fix-iphones.com are pretty stoked about all of the fancy new changes to Siri in the latest iteration of the Apple operating system, iOS 6.  We let our Social Media Girl come up with an infographic with a brief rundown of all of the nifty new additions. This is what she came up with. She thinks Siri is sexy too.

    Siri iOS 6 Infographic of new features

    She does it all, boys.

    Between the restaurant reviews and the movie reviews- and the nav!- just let her plan your date nights.

     

     

     

    Sources

    http://www.infowars.com/siri%E2%80%99s-dirty-little-secret/

    http://mashable.com/2012/06/11/ios-6-revaled/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable%2FS

    ocialMedia+%28Mashable+%C2%BB+Social+Media+Feed%29#68581Ivy-Bridge

    http://www.cultofmac.com/172994/hands-on-demo-of-siris-new-features-in-ios-6-video/

    http://mashable.com/2012/06/15/wozniak-on-siri/

    http://www.siri-isms.com/computer-world-431/

    by , Tech Expert, Freelance Writer.

  • So-Called iPhone 5 Leak Videos are BUNK.

     

     Why the Leaked iPhone 5 Videos are Fake.

    RepairLabs cries FOUL and takes issue with all of these so called new iPhone schematics that are being eagerly gobbled up by the web community.  9 to 5 Mac has just shared a video from Macotarkara, and I hate to be the one to break it to them (as I wholeheartedly love and respect this news source) but this isn’t the real deal. I’m afraid all the hype around this so-called prototype is nothing more than bunk and blather.

    Leaked iphone 5 Glass image from Macotakara

    A still from the Macotakara video claiming to show iPhone 5 glass, in comparison to the current iPhone 4 in front of it.

    • First of all, we can’t really get in for a close look at the varmint. Yes, we ourselves have received less than perfect images from our sources, but couldn’t they get us a high resolution shot that we can really investigate?  However we’re willing to concede that better images just may not be available if an anonymous source from a Chinese manufacturing company is providing the images. We’ve been in that position with our leak of iPad 3 Back Housing, back in Februray.

     

    • But take a look at the cuts on the metal around the casing. They aren’t the usual beautiful clean cuts that are typical of Apple’s quality standards. I’ve worked with hundreds of iPhones and Apple Products, and none have ever looked this bad.  At best this is the work of a newbie CNC machinist.  Look close in the 9 to 5 Mac image, right where the Home Button should be on the white casing. See those tiny lines? See how they stop right before the edge of the metal? Apple doesn’t do that. Their housings aren’t machined, they’re pressed. This casing looks as though it has been CNC milled – you can see the bit cuts, that round off as the blade makes the turn.
    possible iPhone 5 components, casing and glass

    We think there's something fishy going on here...

     

    • Yes, it does have a barcode…because I couldn’t fake a barcode in five minutes with a stencil and some black Puffpaint.

     

    • I also take issue with the pill-shaped USB port. Apple has utilized the 30-Pin port since the release of the original iPod, back in November of 2001. That is eleven years, kids.  Why would they change it now? The thousands of accessories out there are all going to be rendered useless. With their founder and leader gone can Apple really have abandoned their core design (pardon the pun) so soon?

     

    • There are cheap knock-offs out there, usually produced in China. The 2nd (right) image below bears a striking resemblance to the supposed blueprints. Check out the port on this image, kinda…pill shaped? Definitely not real Apple there.  And the first (left) image is another fun example  of how teriffically BAD the knockoffs can be. Hilariously, pitifully bad.

     

     

    Two Chinese knock offs of the current iPhone

    Two very bad knock-offs of the current iPhone 4

     

    In this humble genius’ opinion, the ultra-secretive Apple company could possibly have leaked fakes in order to trace leaks.

    Yes all of these things do match perfectly with the leaked schematics of late, but could it be a little too perfect? Couldn’t some unscrupulous, opportunistic start-up have created a quick and dirty mock up in order to get a million and a half YouTube hits? Hardware expert Adrian Kingsly-Hughes makes a compelling case (see link above) against those blueprints. Heck, we here at RepairLabs could easily make up our own glass front panel and plunk it up on the Internet claiming it’s real.  In fact, this leaves me wondering, why didn’t we think of doing that?

    No, I won’t go so far as to say that this isn’t the new design, but I’m mighty skeptical.  One thing I’m certain of: these pictures are not real iPhone components.

     www.fix-iPhones.com

    Take me on in the comments, I dare you.

     

     

     

     

    by , Tech Expert, Freelance Writer.

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