How An Email To Apple CEO Tim Cook Brought A Bricked MacBook Back From The Dead

macbook pro
Modern computing has brought with it tremendous advances in both performance and overall usability. As hardware and software become more closely integrated, services such as those offered by the cloud have become increasingly commonplace. Apple is perhaps one of the best examples of channeling of this vision with its tightly controlled eco-system, which can have unintended consequences.

Meant to be safer and more convenient, sometimes these very systems can take a frustrating turn when used for activation and security. Apple MacBook Pro owner Paul McMahon faced an arduous activation lock fiasco that took an email to CEO Tim Cook to finally get resolved. 

Paul McMahon's Email to Tim Cook asking for assistance

While Apple support will usually handle requests such as activation locks, this particular case had some twists and turns necessitating an intervention. Cook is well-known for reading emails directly sent to him (though he probably only responds to a very small percentage). This certainly can help the CEO keep a pulse on Apple's customers, as personal interactions can often be revealing. Apple itself is no stranger to issues popping up, such as the recent Apple Watch debacle that is throwing them for a loop. 

Here's what happened that caused such a stir: The MacBook Pro owner had lost his laptop, and someone else eventually had it reset by a computer shop in hopes of gaining clean access to the machine. The machine was reported as lost at some point and was tied to an iCloud account, triggering Apple's safeguard systems that are in place to help prevent abuse and theft. 

This incident certainly gained some attention as it had been shared on Hacker News, which the original MacBook Pro owner cites as a possible reason for a resolution. Growing frustrated with the situation, he decided to fire off an email to Cook as a last ditch effort. It worked—one of Tim Cook's executive assistants was the one to work on this issue, eventually decoding the storyline. 

Luckily for Paul McMahon, he was able to eventually get this situation rectified, even if he had already purchased a replacement MacBook Pro. By providing the original documentation that proved he was the owner of the activation-locked machine, it was eventually resolved. While this is not necessarily a commonplace occurrence, reaching out Cook directly certainly helped an otherwise tough situation in this specific case.