I'm one of those backward types. I've been using portable Macs ever since I first set eyes on them. Their sheer simplicity and efficiency has helped keep me in employment and sports highlights for more years than some readers have been alive.
So, after landing at London's Heathrow Zoo, I thought I'd spend a few jetlagged minutes before my connecting flight writing pithy words about, oh, nothing immediately came to mind, but hopefully I'd think of something.
I began to write, hoping soon to find sense. What I found instead was that my M key had endured a difficult flight.
Suddenly, it was refusing to be depressed. It was going on strike.
I pressed the key and my screen was M-less. I pressed a little harder and the M-lessness seemed hopeless.
It was only when I pressed very firmly, on the very middle of the key, that the chosen letter appeared on my screen.
Yes, despite Apple's third attempt at fixing it, I was yet another of the keyboard victims. Or, as some would surely prefer, losers.
Perhaps some crumb or speck of dust had inveigled its way beneath this one key. Was it a butter croissant crumb or one from a pain au chocolat? Could it have been ordinary wheat toast?
Perhaps it was an eyebrow, an eyelash or one of my last head-hairs.
And now it was my problem. A first-world problem, of course, so please forgive the whining. It's merely a sad, existential whining, caused by a faith gone awry.
Welcoe To Lisbon.
This all happened just over a week ago. Since then, my M has been offering increasing resistance and I've been offering increasing aggression. I don't happen to have brought my can of compressed air with me, so I haven't yet tried one of Apple's recommended cures.
Moreover, I'm now in Lisbon where there are no Apple stores, only authorized Apple resellers. Did I want to bother them? No. Did I bother them? Of course. I had to check whether Apple's promise of one-day repair holds here.
"As a reseller, I have to send your MacBook to an authorized service provider," the very helpful authorized Apple reseller told me.
"How long will that take?"
"I have to tell you the possible number of days. It's 30. It could be less, of course, but it's best to get it repaired in America."
"I've only had my MacBook for a few months," I said.
"It's very bad," he replied. "You pay your money, so you should get something for that. This is a terrible design."
So now I'm determined.
I'm determined, in fact, to see how long it'll be before my M becomes entirely inoperative. I want to discover whether more keys will succumb to this obvious and desperate design flaw. I want to see just how useless this third-generation keyboard truly is.
This MacBook Air is less than six months old.
Not only is the M-key two-thirds of the way to its coffin, but the letter A on the A-key has already smudged to the point of being almost entirely blurred.
I can't help but conclude that this thing is cheaply, myopically made.
At what point does an issue become a complete embarrassment? Oh, we're there already?
The MacBook Air. Apple's Biggest Disgrace?
I've owned perhaps 20 or more Apple products over the years.
Not once has any of them started to malfunction in the first six months.