Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chronicles of Service: eMac! O rage! O despair!

From the outside and sometimes inside, Macs are often if not always perfect, normal, Apple says. At least they seem to be; because it may be entirely different ... "Mackie" was studio technician at a major reseller for 10 years, from 2001 to 2011. A unique position to observe the Apple machines from another angle, that of their small or large defects. Here is the first summer of his columns on the "SAV Mac".

By the cry of the heart, you understand that I dislike, hate, hate that Mac (no need to choose the words, they are added). Yet everything had started out with this big machine in April 2002 and that nobody expected.

At that time, the first iPod was on the market for a few months. Same freshness for the iMac G4 had just put away the CRT iMac in the first row of old technologies being abandoned at Apple.

In short, everyone had eyes for the new iMac G4, its LCD screen, its unique shape and sunflower DVD player that you put out her tongue. The venerable G3 iMac, which was still present in the catalog, was quickly eclipsed! And ... wham, here is the announcement that Apple eMac, but reserved for the world of education.

When I saw it, the reaction was "Interesting! A 17 inch screen, much cheaper than a G4 iMac, but why only for the world of education? "I'll bite your fingers again, because Mac will eventually be available to all and will be a success ... except for technicians who had to repair it. And opportunities have not failed!

For the past good first impression, this machine proved full of flaws. Worse, there appeared some as soon as it was unpacked and booted.

- Heavy! The creature, despite its 23 kg, offered no clear decision to lift or even what to stand properly in the arms without flinching. There was no big integrated handle like on the iMac. After 10 days raised by eMac, imagine the state of repair of the back.

- Noisy! With its large fan, hard drive Quantum (often) and its imposing CRT that triggered a "degauss" at each switch or wake.

- Edged! Sharp edges of the frame of the CRT, I was left with a nice scar.

- Capricious! Many failures to recurring problems.

If you say "cable IVAD" the old timers will remember the SAV they certainly an issue that affected the first eMac, namely the image that began "Trapeze" and was again "normal" after a good slap saving on its chassis. It was also a time before a solution is presented. Meanwhile, technicians were making disassembly / reassembly of the cable with a dot of glue to secure it, or even a change of CRT with the damn carcass cutting.

Funny things in the beginning, there were also concerns the internal 56K which, if the driver working, would disconnect after a few seconds. Instability strictly software that will give some returns for a hypothetical SAV unnecessary defects in materials and good sore head.

And that's only around the end of 2005; a new problem begins to emerge with the latest generations of completely random crashes. Once is not custom, the guilty will be quickly identified: defective capacitors that showed swelling and electrolyte leakage. This defect is also shown elsewhere on the first iMac G5 (bug with video), the first AirPort (syndrome 3 red lights that flash) and more generally, here and there among computer manufacturers.

This anomaly will result in an extended warranty program from Apple. With the result of massive changes in the motherboard logic and a ballet of SAV in the eMac, revenue technicians bully back. Besides other contortions, this administrative time for machines that were only just exceed the period of care facilities to obtain free repair of this.

A few weeks ago, I met two eMac in the street waiting for a setting in the trash. They stayed there!

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