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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > is Apple's hardware faulty?

is Apple's hardware faulty?
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mozilla fan
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Mar 16, 2005, 04:57 PM
 
I own a G3 iBook that has been happily meeting all of my needs for the past 2.5 years. About 12 months ago the screen stopped working and it was identified by Apple as being part of a recall...they fixed it in 4 business days.

Last night my iBook's screen wouldn't turn on, but the computer was on and was correctly beeping when I adjusted the volume, and the chime occurred at startup. This morning my screen operated for all of 2 minutes, then it froze.

So, I went to the local Apple store for the 10am opening time...it was a Wednesday...so most people at 10am are at work. There were 12 people waiting in line to enter the store. They all had iBooks and they all went directly to the repair desk. Within 15 minutes of the store opening enough people had entered the store and approached the repair desk that the queue for repair evaluations extended all the way to 1:45pm...that's 3 hours and 45 minutes to wait!!! This occurred in the middle of a normal work day.

Fortunately, I have extended AppleCare and they are going to repair it in the next 7-10 business days. However, this experience got me wondering: Is apple turning all of their attention to the music business and the computers are becoming unrealiable? My computer is from 2 years ago, so problems can occur sometimes, but for so many people to need repairs suggests an epidemic.
yep. I like mozilla, but I also like other programs too. I just chose the name 'cause it was available. (and I was using mozilla at the time)
     
Big Mac
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Mar 16, 2005, 05:35 PM
 
You do know that there was an iBook G3 recall, right? Apple's hardware quality may not be quite as good as it has been traditionally, but the dip has not been as significant as some make it out to be.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Mojo
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Mar 16, 2005, 09:54 PM
 
It is my impression that Apple hardware has gone down in quality in recent years, probably due to consumer pressure for less expensive computers.

A couple of days ago I got back my 3 year old G3 iBook that had to have its hard drive replaced. It was the first drive I have ever had die, but I could accept it to some degree. It was three years old and the repair was only $185.

But today my barely three month old G4 iBook optical drive swallowed a CD and now it won't cough it up. I can hear the drive attempting to eject the CD but it sounds stuck. The usual methods for ejecting a CD didn't work: holding the mouse button while restarting, booting into open firmware. etc. So in a couple of days it will be taking a trip to Apple...

I suppose that the usual Defenders of Apple Virtue will post responses to the effect that "only people with problems post to these kinds of forums," etc., etc. But I have noticed a worrisome drop in reliability and build-quality, things we used to take for granted with Apple products and one reason we could justify the higher price for Apple gear.

To make matters worse, Apple seems inclined to deny hardware problems that are apparently endemic in some models, particularly the iBook. It makes no sense to me to produce buggy hardware and then alienate loyal customers by not owning-up to well-known problems and fixing the affected Macs without a hassle.

Apple has around 2% (maybe a bit more, depending on the source...) of the computer market and it cannot affford to alienate its tiny base of customers. And yet the company seems intent on doing just that.

These days it seems to be a requirement to purchase the extended AppleCare when it comes to portable Macs, effectively raising the price of Macs between $175-$250. AND it may be a good idea to buy a "back-up" Mac, so that a person isn't left stranded when the inevitable happens and the main Mac has to be sent in for repair.
( Last edited by Mojo; Mar 17, 2005 at 01:53 PM. )
     
bimmerphile
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Mar 17, 2005, 12:32 AM
 
the iBook is the bottom of the food chain. Mojo is absolutely right, apple is trying to cut costs every which way to sell more computers.

Unfortunately, in doing so there are more and more problems that occur. I mean, I owned an iBook G4 for a year and a half and had the logicboard die twice, the second time resulting in my parting out the machine! I had my Ti667 for almost 3 years prior to buying that iBook. Problems? 667MHz became too slow for Panther (for my liking, anyway).

Lesson learned: Buy a Powerbook...and Applecare

Then again, the PBG4's have their own share of problems, too...take the "white spots" issue for an example.

Lesson learned: Buy a Rev. B model

Does any of this mac me not want a mac? Hardly. I would rather take the occasional hardware failure any day (assuming I bought an APP) and have it fixed within a business week by Apple (a nice fresh system is good from time to time anyway) than security update after security update, virus scan after virus scan, problem after problem....I'm preaching to the choir, I know, but to at least keep things in perspective.

Keep in mind, too, that the industry as a whole has been in a slump for the past few years. Everyone is trying to cut costs, and when that happens with a set of chips far upstream from being soldered into logicboards....you get the picture.
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Captain Obvious
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Mar 17, 2005, 01:00 AM
 
1) your laptop is 2.5 years old.
It is a portable which is more susceptible to damage because it is moved around more often and has to endure a larger variety of conditions. In the two plus years you have owned it you may have babied it or thrown it around either way it has to go through more than a desktop. There is a really high probability part of the cause of these problems are related to people abusing their iBooks.

2) People only go to the Apple store when they need a repair or troubleshooting. It does not suggest an epidemic. It suggests that people with working computers do no bring them in to say "hi" to Apple employees.

3) as you said at 10Am most people are at work. If they get an hour off to get to an Apple store it is unlikely that the people who need their Macs repaired are going to drag a 25lb tower to their office or lug a 50lb eMac on the bus. Laptops are easy to carry as part of a weekday commute. Go on a Saturday at opening time and take a poll.

I am hardly an apologist. I just see a lack of common sense in the way this conclusion was formulated.

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mozilla fan  (op)
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Mar 17, 2005, 10:22 AM
 
Originally posted by Captain Obvious:
1) your laptop is 2.5 years old.
It is a portable which is more susceptible to damage because it is moved around more often and has to endure a larger variety of conditions. In the two plus years you have owned it you may have babied it or thrown it around either way it has to go through more than a desktop. There is a really high probability part of the cause of these problems are related to people abusing their iBooks.

2) People only go to the Apple store when they need a repair or troubleshooting. It does not suggest an epidemic. It suggests that people with working computers do no bring them in to say "hi" to Apple employees.

3) as you said at 10Am most people are at work. If they get an hour off to get to an Apple store it is unlikely that the people who need their Macs repaired are going to drag a 25lb tower to their office or lug a 50lb eMac on the bus. Laptops are easy to carry as part of a weekday commute. Go on a Saturday at opening time and take a poll.

I am hardly an apologist. I just see a lack of common sense in the way this conclusion was formulated.
In response to your comments:
1)I use my iBook as though it's a desktop (sits on my desk on top of a cardboard box, external keyboard and mouse connected)....I have an iBook for the occasional business trip, but for the most part it serves as a desktop. However, I agree with you that many people do tote their laptops around like they are indestructible.
2) true. people go to the help desk only when they need help. it is disconcerting to see so many people during a work day, but I guess they'd be doing work if they had a working computer.
yep. I like mozilla, but I also like other programs too. I just chose the name 'cause it was available. (and I was using mozilla at the time)
     
mozilla fan  (op)
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Mar 17, 2005, 10:23 AM
 
Thanks to everyone for the comments. I'm somewhat comforted in knowing that other people have also been disheartened by the quality of some recent computers. Even though we may encounter some "bumps" in the road with Macs, they are still truly a wonderful machine.
yep. I like mozilla, but I also like other programs too. I just chose the name 'cause it was available. (and I was using mozilla at the time)
     
Wiskedjak
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Mar 17, 2005, 10:39 AM
 
Originally posted by bimmerphile:
Lesson learned: Buy a Powerbook...and Applecare
Lesson learned: company produces a poor product so you purchase another product from this company as well as the (highly profitable and thus desirable to sell) extended warranty? This behavior only excuses and encourages poor build quality.
     
Wiskedjak
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Mar 17, 2005, 10:43 AM
 
Originally posted by Captain Obvious:
1) your laptop is 2.5 years old.
It is a portable which is more susceptible to damage because it is moved around more often and has to endure a larger variety of conditions. In the two plus years you have owned it you may have babied it or thrown it around either way it has to go through more than a desktop. There is a really high probability part of the cause of these problems are related to people abusing their iBooks.
Loving my nine year old Tecra which is ticking along quite happily and withstanding admirably the abuse that I put it through for 5 years as well as that of a four year old kid for the past year.

2.5 years is not an acceptable life expectancy for a laptop.
     
Mojo
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Mar 17, 2005, 01:51 PM
 
My G3 and G4 iBooks reside on top of a table 99% of the time. I have taken the G3 on a trip exactly one time in three years, and it was well-protected. The most either iBook usually travels is from my office to my living room or backyard and back. This is not hardship duty by any means.

I prefer the form factor of the iBook for day-to-day work, and at one time I thought that I would never buy another desktop Mac. But my iBook problems has me thinking otherwise these days. A PowerBook is a possibility, but PBs seem to have reliability and design issues too.

(Something is missing from my original post: I forgot that the G3 had to go back to Apple within the first year I owned it for the infamous "tight-hinge" problem.)

Yes, it is rather perverse that we continue to buy Apple gear after multiple problems. But what is the alternative? There are no more Apple clones. As I recall, while the clones were less expensive, many were also rife with hardware problems. During the same time period Apple products had a good reputation for reliability.

I have not used an original iBook but from what I hear they are tough little buggers. Form triumphed over function when Apple brought out the iceBook.
     
deaglecat
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Mar 17, 2005, 02:29 PM
 
In truth, people still buy Apple kit DESPITE of the problems. However a small minority (like me) have decided to skip purchases or make other product selections because of experience of problems with product quality and support.

I'd still buy Apple kit but only if it REALLY appealed, they have lost the "..well, sure why not?" discretionary purchases from me.
     
omar96
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Mar 17, 2005, 02:44 PM
 
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:
Lesson learned: company produces a poor product so you purchase another product from this company as well as the (highly profitable and thus desirable to sell) extended warranty? This behavior only excuses and encourages poor build quality.
How does it encourage poor build quality if it costs them more than the sale of said warranty to continue to fix faulty parts.
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Mar 17, 2005, 02:48 PM
 
Poor baby, four days to fix your iBook under warranty? Consider yourself lucky you're not in Europe, mine took two months...
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deaglecat
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Mar 17, 2005, 03:00 PM
 
So will they extend the logic board replacement programme again ... due to expire tomorrow (18th March) ?
     
Detrius
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Mar 19, 2005, 10:01 AM
 
Originally posted by deaglecat:
So will they extend the logic board replacement programme again ... due to expire tomorrow (18th March) ?
Nope. At this point, they are covering individual machines if they are less than three years old.
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mbryda
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Mar 20, 2005, 08:50 AM
 
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:
Lesson learned: company produces a poor product so you purchase another product from this company as well as the (highly profitable and thus desirable to sell) extended warranty? This behavior only excuses and encourages poor build quality.
How do you figure? The company will then be spending more on the warranty costs and the warranty will not be "highly profitable" any more. Companies will then want to increase quality so those warranty costs go down and it becomes more profitable again. It's really a fine balance between cost and quality.

We could easily have computers that would never be obsolete (constantly and infinitely upgradeable), hardly ever break, and work for 30 years. Problem is they'd probably cost $100-200k a piece. Would you buy one?

Or look it at this way: We could have cars that get 100-200MPG. But we'd ahve 0-60 times of 30-40 seconds, a top speed of 75 and could only carry 2 people. The ride would be absolutely HORRIBLE and you wouldn't have A/C, cruise, and all the other niceties that we take for granted. And that car would probably cost $50k. Would you buy one?

We're seeing the same thing in computers. People don't want to pay for good, quality machines. They want it cheap and don't care that it breaks down every week or month. That's how Dell sells so well (they make garbage computers) - they are cheap and people are suckered into buying them because they are cheap.

Apple tried to be the expensive, upscale computer co. And it worked great for a while. But as people saw a $600 POS Dell that was stripped of everyting and compared it to a $1200-1300 Mac, they went with the Dell. Not realizing all the extras you got with the Mac made it worthwhile and not expensive at all.

So we have cheap Macs that stil have excellent quality compared to cheap PC's. Repair rates went up because the quality, while still great, had to slip to make the price points.
     
Mojo
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Mar 20, 2005, 02:19 PM
 
I think that the logic behind mbryda's argument is faulty, not to mention the absurdity of the mythical computers/cars offered in support of his/her point.

No one is asking for or expecting a computer or car that runs for thirty years. (Although cars in general are built much better than in the past, offer good performance and can last many years if cared for properly.) It would not be that much of a price difference for Apple to improve the reliability of their computers.

Apple has done a very poor job of emphasizing the differences between Macs and PCs, particularly equipment reliability/compatability, the advantages of the Mac OS and the almost complete freedom from viruses and other assorted PC plagues that Mac users enjoy.

Competing primarily on a price-basis is a terrible way to increase market share. ( Just look at a typical Apple financial statement to see the little profit the company is realizing.) Mbryda's final paragraph says it all: Macs may have "excellent quality compared to cheap PCs," but what does that really say about current Macs? That they can only be considered "excellent" when compared to some of the most cheaply-built computers on the market?

If you look at it that way, I suppose that Macs are really good computers. But I prefer to base the comparison on other factors, and when I do that Macs come up short in the quality department, even if they are less expensive than in the past.
( Last edited by Mojo; Mar 21, 2005 at 05:49 AM. )
     
mbryda
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Mar 22, 2005, 10:52 AM
 
Originally posted by Mojo:
I think that the logic behind mbryda's argument is faulty, not to mention the absurdity of the mythical computers/cars offered in support of his/her point.
Please explain how the logic is faulty. We can build anything - but it all comes at a price.

Apple has done a very poor job of emphasizing the differences between Macs and PCs, particularly equipment reliability/compatability, the advantages of the Mac OS and the almost complete freedom from viruses and other assorted PC plagues that Mac users enjoy.
True, but the average atteneiton span of the American consumer is about 30 seconds and they remember even less than that. So how do you convey all that and get them to remember that?


Competing primarily on a price-basis is a terrible way to increase market share. ( Just look at a typical Apple financial statement to see the little profit the company is realizing.)
They seem to be doing great. Splitting stock, on track to sell more Mac Minis than originally anticipated, laptop #'s are up, etc. They are quite profitable. Something must be working - it's not all iPod sales.

Typically people want what's cheap. It's what sells low end cars, electronics at Wal-Mart, Dells, etc. The average customer will look at computer X for $500 and computer Y for $1000, look at the specs and see if they are similar or close and choose the cheaper. Few actually analyze the differences and understand all the features.

Mbryda's final paragraph says it all: Macs may have "excellent quality compared to cheap PCs," but what does that really say about current Macs? That they can only be considered "excellent" when compared to some of the most cheaply-built computers on the market?
A Mac is light years ahead of anything from Dell, Gateway, or HP/Compaq. The only real competition is IBM and some of the "high quality" PC vendors (Alienware, Falcon NW, etc). And those prices exceed Mac prices.

Heck, I used to build my own PC's from quality parts and my iMac and iBook are the best computers I've ever owned. Despite blunders by Apple, Macs are still rated the most reliable of ALL the manufacturers. That alone tells you that the quality is still there.
     
Mojo
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Mar 22, 2005, 03:00 PM
 
What we have here is a case of "what is" vs. "what could have been."

A world dominated by a single operating system is the way it is, and for many of the reasons offered by mbryda. Apple has always encouraged people to "think different." What we are debating is whether Apple has chosen to abandon its reputation for quality hardware in order to increase its market share and whether or not it is a good thing.

At certain critical points in its history Apple has made missteps that have made its operating system a poster-child for what could have been. This may be another of those critical points, the success of the iPod notwithstanding.

Many consumers may have short attention spans, and that is why advertising tends to be repetitive and the really effective campaigns slowly build on a central theme. Apple has implored people to "think different" but the company never went to the next level and spelled out what that could mean to your typical consumer.

How many of us have talked with a Windows user about certain attributes of the Mac OS, only to hear them say "I had no idea that there are no viruses that affect Macs!" Or spent time with a long-time Windows user (who stays with the platform because "everyone uses it") who finally gets to use a Mac and is amazed at the differences between Windows and the Mac OS?

I have noticed recently that the problem with assorted viruses, adware, spyware, etc. that affect Windows is beginning to be a real problem for more and more casual Windows users, to the point where they can see a reason to consider switching to Macs. And the perceived price differential between PCs and Macs is becoming less important as the problems get worse.

Is Apple exploiting this opening? The Mac Mini is a start, but Apple should be emphasizing features other than its price. Since it is primarily a computer hardware company, Apple gets most of its profit from the sales of computers and iPods. And as they are currently priced the profit margin must be tiny, because as tech companies go, Apple is not very profitable: in FY2004 Apple realized $276 million (3.03%) in net income on net sales of $8.2 billion. Microsoft had net sales of $36.8 billion and a net income of almost $8.7 billion (31.57%).

And if I'm not mistaken, Apple's numbers (such as they are...) owe a lot to the sales of iPods.

I do not think that it is wise for Apple to be so focused on courting the general consumer market at the expense of the long-term good of the company. I think that if Apple took a stand in regards to maintaining a certain level of quality that it could realize greater profit both in hardware and software sales. Once you have them hooked on the quality hardware and Mac OS experience, it is a small step to selling more quality Apple software. Software is a lot more profitable than hardware, and yet Apple seems rather myopic when it comes to developing its software business.

Maybe people will just come to accept that most computer hardware isn't very good quality, just like most Windows users seem to think that using any computer OS is a hassle, so why should they try another? Perhaps long-time Macophiles will gradually forget the Good Ol' Days when Macs were "built like tanks." Hopefully there will be companies equivalent to Alienware, Falcon NW, etc. that will be producing quality Mac hardware for those of us still willing to pay for quality.
     
Xiaopangzi
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Mar 26, 2005, 04:10 AM
 
Well, the FIFTH logic board has failed on my 800 MHz iBook, which should drive me out of my mind, but I am quite excited, because I am sure that Apple ABOLUTELY HAS TO give me a brand new iBook G4 as a replacement this time. There's no way they can possibly expect me to have a SIXTH logic board installed, despite my lack of AppleCare coverage. I am still within the three-year extended period for the iBook REA program from the date of purchase. I may be willing to have one more logic board replacement and then wait until the next failure after that before insisting on a new replacement iBook, just to ensure that I get OS 10.4 and maybe an even faster CPU.

Anyone who has not gone through such frustration themselves may flippantly claim that I'm being selfish by insisting on a new iBook G4 more than two years after purchasing an iBook G3 without AppleCare, but the fact is that I've actually lost clients (and thousands of dollars) during the two or so weeks that I've had to wait during each replacement. Apple has already spent enough money on repairs to have been able to give me a couple of new iBooks already and still save Apple some money. I am sure to have two more failures before the end of this year when my three-year extended coverage expires.

As for the worries of the originator of this thread, I assure you that this one lot of iBooks is an extremely rare case of poor design in which the CPU was placed too close to something else, ensuring that overheating would be a problem. I could even smell the heat sink "wax" melting just days or weeks after I bought the iBook. I've owned Apple portables since the PowerBook 170 and have squeezed several years out of each one without hardware failures (just dealing with outdated hardware as the years go by and operating conditions requires higher capacities), so this iBook problem is indeed a very rare exception that was caused by one poor design.

I don't think the May 18 date will be a problem, because I remember that May 18 or three years from original purchase—whichever is later—is the period of extended coverage, so anyone who bought their iBook after May 2002 will still receive a free repair (and in the case of AppleCare coverage, an actual replacement).

Until now, I've been expecting my local Apple retailer to be an advocate on my behalf, recommending a replacement iBook instead of a logic board repair or replacement. However, after the last incidence, I discovered that we need to personally call Apple ourselves before bringing the iBook in for repairs, and then raise hell on the phone, insisting on a replacement, before it will be authorized, after which the problem has to be confirmed by a local Apple retailer. Now that I know the procedure, it should work out this time. The problem is that I'm a softy, and although Apple has cost me countless thousands of dollars in lost productivity and accompanying frustration, I can't make that frustration evident in my voice when speaking with others, so I always settle for whatever I can get or even getting nothing but injustice in the end. This will be a test of my personality. Unfortunately, it falls on the Easter long weekend, so I can't even call until Tuesday and then take my iBook to a dealer on Wednesday.

Oh, by the way, expanded coverage was extended to June 18 in case you have purchased your iBook any time before June 18, 2000, otherwise taking it beyond the three years from purchase date. I forgot about that revised date until now.
( Last edited by Xiaopangzi; Mar 26, 2005 at 04:22 AM. )
     
Mojo
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Mar 26, 2005, 04:52 PM
 
...but the fact is that I've actually lost clients (and thousands of dollars) during the two or so weeks that I've had to wait during each replacement.
With your track record with this particular iBook I am having trouble understanding why you don't have another Mac. Even if I never had a problem I would not trust my computer-dependent business to only one computer. Two machines is a minimum, along with sufficient data back-ups, including at least one copy kept off-site.
     
iDaver
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Mar 26, 2005, 06:09 PM
 
My iBook 600 is 3.5 years old now. Runs like a champ. No problems.
     
trip
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Mar 26, 2005, 06:36 PM
 
I have no doubt quality has gone down.
Although Apple has only a few percent of market share they have had large growth in the past few years (43% or something). Some of that is due to ipod. Anyway I thought I had read apple has opened up 3 new plants in that past few years. I think apple is having some difficulty with quality control due to "growing pains". Hopefully this will level off or that they are learninging from it...
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Xiaopangzi
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Mar 26, 2005, 11:08 PM
 
Originally posted by Mojo:
With your track record with this particular iBook I am having trouble understanding why you don't have another Mac. Even if I never had a problem I would not trust my computer-dependent business to only one computer. Two machines is a minimum, along with sufficient data back-ups, including at least one copy kept off-site.
When I had a six-digit income in the 1990s, I used to buy fully loaded $8,000 PowerBooks every couple of years in Tokyo and keeping the older working ones for emergency purposes, but since returning to Canada after so many years in Japan, I've been unable to make enough money each month to survive and thus had to downgrade to an iBook for the first time in my latest purchase (actually a gift from my retired father).

Fortunately, with some help from my wife's family in Beijing, we managed to buy an iMac G5 two weeks ago for the inevitable next logic board failure—which turned out to be just in the nick of time. First priority probably should have gone to replacing our only car—a dangerous 1988 Nissan Sentra into which we stuff our family of five and pray that it won't breakdown during a left turn in an intersection. Now, this amazing 20" iMac display dwarfs our family 12" TV.

Anyway, I'm kind of excited, because I really do expect to receive a new iBook this time, and if Canada has a similar policy to that of the States, I can upgrade the hard disk and RAM for a very small amount of money.
     
mbryda
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Mar 27, 2005, 10:45 PM
 
Originally posted by Xiaopangzi:
Well, the FIFTH logic board has failed on my 800 MHz iBook....
G3 without AppleCare, but the fact is that I've actually lost clients (and thousands of dollars) during the two or so weeks that I've had to wait during each replacement.
My wife's on her 3rd logic board on the 800 Mhz iBook and, IIRC it's not the CPU but the video card that is wrongly placed. My theory is that the board gets bent and pops the video chip out. If you press on the left side by the trackpad, sometimes you can get the video back. But be careful the HD's under there too.

But, you are getting screwed on your turnaround time. Each time we've called it in (on a weekend), we've had the box by Tues, back to DHL on Tues, and back to us on Fri.

Not to mention, if I was running my business on this machine, I'd have a spare (the thousands and clients you claim to have lost would have paid for another machine) on hand for this.

Also, after the 2nd repair, the 'book would have been on Ebay and another mahchine would be on my doorstep.

Not to be a prick, but maybe you should step back and take a look at your business practices.

Your clients don't care about your problems - they want and deserve you to meet your deadlines. If it means spending money and having some credit card debt in the short term then that's what you have to do if you want to be in business. Meeting your deadlines will be worth it in the future and will bring more business in a long term view.

I'm not saying Apple didn't make defective iBooks (I think they did), but some of the things that you claim are your own fault.
     
Xiaopangzi
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Mar 28, 2005, 12:32 AM
 
Originally posted by mbryda:
My theory is that the board gets bent and pops the video chip out.
Actually, it’s a heat-related problem, which is why you can usually get the faulty iBooks to work for a little while after refrigeration, which has come in handy to get a couple of jobs out in the past. However, it may in fact be that the heat unseats the video chip. An insider’s explanation is that two components were placed too closely together in that one series of iBooks.

Originally posted by mbryda:
But, you are getting screwed on your turnaround time. Each time we’ve called it in (on a weekend), we’ve had the box by Tues, back to DHL on Tues, and back to us on Fri.
If you’re living in the States, that could be the reason for the differences. All iBook logic board replacements have been done at a central repair unit, and it could be held up at the border. The biggest problem the last three times has been that Apple has returned the “repaired” iBook to dealer on a Friday, and I’ve had to wait until Monday to pick it up each time, since the service desk is closed on weekends. This is at the biggest Apple retail shop in Canada’s third-largest city, Vancouver.

Originally posted by mbryda:
Not to mention, if I was running my business on this machine, I’d have a spare (the thousands and clients you claim to have lost would have paid for another machine) on hand for this.
... some of the things that you claim are your own fault.
As mentioned in my previous post, we do now have a backup iMac G5, so I am more secure now. If I couldn’t afford one until now, I couldn’t afford one. Having paid for everything in cash throughout my life, I was unable to establish a credit rating (not even a negative or poor one) until getting my first credit card last year when I was 38 years old. Just like the common problem of skilled people without connections being unable to get a job without having work experience, those without a credit history cannot get a credit card despite never having been in debt. It was a vicious cycle that seemed impossible to escape. The biggest problem of course was that I was living in Asia and thus had no history—work, credit, residential, tax, driving record, etc.—at all in North America from 1986 to 2002. I didn’t discover until too late that most people get credit cards as students when they don’t have any history, so I lost out on that opportunity.

Originally posted by mbryda:
Your clients don’t care about your problems - they want and deserve you to meet your deadlines. ... Meeting your deadlines will be worth it in the future and will bring more business in a long term view.
I have always taken pride in the fact that I’ve never missed a deadline, and that is pretty amazing if you have any idea about the demands of the translation world, which dwarf any pressures that graphic designers believe they experience.

As for losing clients, I don’t know what it is like in the States, but it is well known that if you turn down a Japanese client (such as when your hands are full with another job from another client), they will never give you a second chance by asking you again. That’s why Japanese translators have to accept every single job they are offered and somehow get them done on time with about 90 hours of sleep per month. It’s impossible to be productive without any breaks or sleep, but you also can’t afford to sleep or take time to eat when you translate for Japanese clients. I aged decades just in about twelve years of such work. My clients love all the work that I do, but only two of them pay me faithfully—though at a quarter of the rate that I’d get in the States for similar work. Unfortunately, the demand for Japanese translators is nonexistent in North America, and I can’t fathom a career change at this point.
     
mbryda
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Mar 28, 2005, 10:04 AM
 
Originally posted by Xiaopangzi:
Actually, it’s a heat-related problem, which is why you can usually get the faulty iBooks to work for a little while after refrigeration, which has come in handy to get a couple of jobs out in the past. However, it may in fact be that the heat unseats the video chip. An insider’s explanation is that two components were placed too closely together in that one series of iBooks.
I tried it all with the wife's 'Book. Froze it, tapped it, etc. The only advice that worked was pressing on it. I'm thinking there may well be multiple issues with these machines that I'm hoping Apple has at least addressed in these revisions. I'm the next in line in the family for a new computer, not the wife!

If you’re living in the States, that could be the reason for the differences. All iBook logic board replacements have been done at a central repair unit, and it could be held up at the border. The biggest problem the last three times has been that Apple has returned the “repaired” iBook to dealer on a Friday, and I’ve had to wait until Monday to pick it up each time, since the service desk is closed on weekends. This is at the biggest Apple retail shop in Canada’s third-largest city, Vancouver.
That could be - I've always just called 1800-APL-CARE and delt with them directly. Send it to the depot in TN and have it back in short order.

If I couldn’t afford one until now, I couldn’t afford one. Having paid for everything in cash throughout my life, I was unable to establish a credit rating (not even a negative or poor one) until getting my first credit card last year when I was 38 years old. Just like the common problem of skilled people without connections being unable to get a job without having work experience, those without a credit history cannot get a credit card despite never having been in debt.
I guess I'd have asked just about anyone for a loan then. There are always people willing to lend money - it's just that the interest rates are huge. Just like those who will finance cars to people with bankrupcies. Sure they will lend you the money - at about 25% interest. But if you are in business and can pay it off quickly it wouldn't add much to the price.

But, this is in the states - not too sure about Canada (although I've been to Vancouver numerous times and it's a great city!).

I have always taken pride in the fact that I’ve never missed a deadline, and that is pretty amazing if you have any idea about the demands of the translation world, which dwarf any pressures that graphic designers believe they experience.
Unfortunately, I'm in IT and we have some demanding deadlines as well. Always under budget and a compressed timeline.

As for losing clients, I don’t know what it is like in the States, but it is well known that if you turn down a Japanese client (such as when your hands are full with another job from another client), they will never give you a second chance by asking you again. That’s why Japanese translators have to accept every single job they are offered and somehow get them done on time with about 90 hours of sleep per month. It’s impossible to be productive without any breaks or sleep, but you also can’t afford to sleep or take time to eat when you translate for Japanese clients. I aged decades just in about twelve years of such work. My clients love all the work that I do, but only two of them pay me faithfully—though at a quarter of the rate that I’d get in the States for similar work. Unfortunately, the demand for Japanese translators is nonexistent in North America, and I can’t fathom a career change at this point.
That's some huge cultural differences there then. I guess it's a lot different than here where if you simply say "I have too much work at this time", you will be in the running next time. But if you miss a deadline you'll probably never see that person's business again.

I can also understand the career change thing - I've thought about the same thing for a long time. Problem for me is I'd have to start all over again at the bottom of the ladder and it's not something my wife and I could afford at this time.
     
   
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