Fun with Acronyms, vol. 3 – S.T.A.R.B.U.C.K.S, Maybe

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Presenting, part three of the controversial “Fun with Acronyms” series. A groundbreaking expose on some of America’s most prevalent cultural institutions. The NY Times, commenting on the first post in the serial, a harrowing attack on Apple, said “Wilson’s assertion that Apple manufactures the iPhone is spot on”. In part 2 of this series, Wilson turned his biting social commentary to that juggernaut of contemporary commerce, Walmart. The Washington Post said that Wilson’s take on Walmart was “765 words”and noted that the poem “rhymed”.

Now, Wilson’s highly anticipated critique of Starbucks, presented to you commercial and gluten free –

S.T.A.R.B.U.C.K.S is short for So Ticked at Apple because of Remorseless Brazen and Unabashed Component Konspiracy ( (: ) to Steal (your money).

Honestly, this wasn’t the acronym I originally conjured. A recent circumstance has caused me to redouble my efforts about spreading the word about how much Apple sucks.

Before I do that, you need more info about me to help you understand my frustration (that got me thinking, if you have an iPhone and just don’t give a crap about the whole Android vs. Apple debate, does that make you “Applethetic”?).

Moving on…

…I’m a tinkerer. I’ve had eight Android devices and successfully rooted seven of them – I sold the eighth before I had a chance to root it. One of these was back in the 2.3 Gingerbread days of gold cards, you whippersnappers today have it too easy today with your autoroots and Odin .tar files.  I’ve built 4 computers, two for me, one for a family member, and one for a friend. The cpu fan in my laptop wasn’t cutting the mustard, so I took that thing apart and replaced it, put it back together and it fired right up. Thing is, I’ve no fear when it comes to dealing with technology – I know what to look for and I know where to find it.

Thing is, iPhone made me this way. My first smartphone was an iPhone 3GS. After learning it in and out, I hungered for more functionality (more personalization, Bluetooth transfer, access to a file directory, WiFi tether etc.) I thought surely there was a way to get all of those things on my shiny iPhone. That’s when I found out about jailbreaking. From that point on, everything I owned that was Apple was jailbroken (I even tried to jailbreak a real apple, didn’t take – wrong firmware).

Cool as Cydia and a jailbroken iPhone was, I still hungered for a more powerful device. Fortune smiled upon me one day as I patronized the local Sam’s Club. A cute redhead working the phone counter saw me looking at all the wonderful Android phones on display and began to espouse the wonders of Android. After certifying that her hair was indeed red and that this cute redhead was indeed talking to me, I decided to make the switch to Android.

Fast forward to now(ish), a woman that brought some VHS tapes to me to convert to Blu-ray needed someone to take a look at her MacBook Air. Apparently, her child wanted to test its tolerance for liquids. The young one found that tolerance and then some. Having no fear, I told her I’d take a look and, if nothing else, I’d liberate the solid-state drive, allowing access to its contents for saving and uploading to another machine.

The nerdier of you reading this probably already know the first hurdle I ran into. Apple doesn’t believe in common form factors like “Phillips” and “Flat-head”, these shapes don’t have nearly enough points. Apple devices are held together by the “pentalobe” screw. Which looks like this –

I’m sure Apple will send a bill for using this image…

If you think that’s ridiculous, heed this – there are 3 sizes, the smallest being about the size of a syringe needle. Gawk –

I’m sure Apple will send a bill for using this image…
I’m sure Apple will send a bill for using this image…

I had in my possession the smallest of the three, having purchased a set for tinkering with another friend’s iPhone 5. I don’t know why I was surprised, but that one didn’t fit the screws of the MacBook. So I ordered the next size up.

The next obstacle will be finding an adapter for the 16+12 pin (I assume, course I wouldn’t be surprised if the SSD is connected to the motherboard via magic spaghetti) PCIe adapter for the PCIe  (read: NOT SATA) SSD.

Long story short, the @$$clowns at Apple use proprietary components wherever they can, to prevent nerds like me from fixing it and taking money out of their deep pockets. The MacBook owner tells me they wanted $750 just to look at it! I guess I’d charge that too if I had no competition.

What’s more, iPads are held together by &$*%ing glue! My darling child, upset about how clear the “retina” display on this iPad Mini was,  exacted screen shedding vengeance. Witness the carnage –

Just needs a good wipe down…

I thought I’ve already got the special screwdriver, this’ll be a snap. A thorough inspection of the device revealed no screws, leading me to the premature conclusion that it was held together by magic or the sheer willpower of Apple executives. Upon further examination, I discovered that, indeed, it was held together by glue. In order to gain access to the innards, the pulp of this Apple of you will, one had to acquire a heart gun or, in a pinch, blowdryer to melt the glue. Of course, before you pry it open, you must speak the sacred words “Klaatu Barada Nikto”  lest am army of uberhip, coffee bar adolescents descend upon you and dance your face off.

I’m gonna film my excavation of the MacBook -I’ll post it here later this week.



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