day 265: spontaneous combustion
About a month back I was haunted by technology failures. First my Airport Express base station stopped working and when I attempted to listen to some music over my iPod I realised that its hard drive was fried. I’m sort of used to Apple hardware failing after a short period of time, because of planned obsolescence, but it was so frustrating to have both of these gadgets fail in one day. So far before my recent problems I had a cracked socket for the charger after a fall with my iBook G4 (they ended up changing the design of the charger a few years later to prevent that), a head crash on my hard drive of the same machine, my mum had water damage on my old MacBook – a total goner, twice cable break on the power adapters for my old MacBook and my MacBook Pro (this fails by design, the problem has been known for years) and a short in the power supply of my old airport express, which I also assume to happen by design, since it’s a very common problem. Now a failed hard drive in my iPod and some sort of board failure in the airport express added itself to the list. Not exactly a great track record on the Apple front. Only one of these failures wasn’t due to bad hardware design, so I’d say that by now Apple can easily be added to the list of evil corporations who exploit human beings and their stupid consumerism. The only reason why I keep buying Apple products is because of usability considerations. Windows is terrible software and Linux is more trouble than it’s worth. If I just want to use my computer without worrying about the operating system, I’m better off with a mac, although lately I’m getting way too frustrated about their hardware. I guess there just isn’t any optimal solution.
Luckily Apple doesn’t produce cars or else you’d see pictures like this one more often. When I came up from the subway near my Apple Service Provider – there was still warranty on my Airport Express – I was suddenly greeted by a burning car. A crowd was watching the firemen work and occasionally you’d hear people talking to each other in hushed voices about the freakishness of the occurrence. As far as I could gather the car just spontaneously started burning without cause. The three guys, who had been in the car weren’t injured, but a bit spooked and the whole thing had a very odd vibe to it. Expensive car, spontaneous combustion and one other photographer, who was honestly giving me the creeps. His whole attitude and the way he shot reminded me of the description of Vaughan in Ballard’s novel Crash. Somehow he just seemed bored, as if he was disappointed that nobody was injured. Very very odd. I just took a few pictures of the firemen working on the car and a couple of pictures of the spectators and then left to get the Airport Express replaced.
When I later came back the same way the firemen had left and the police was interviewing the guys who had been driving the car. After that I wandered along a street leading up to Zoo, which has quite a number of university buildings and I took a few quite nice pictures. However, this picture of the firemen standing there after successfully having done their job I still liked the most. I especially like their confident postures.