Annoyed with Apple.

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token's picture
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Hey guys,

I am just going to vent a little frustration here. So I, like many others, purchased the new Mac Mini the day it was announced. Before I placed my order, I called the local Apple store to ask them a question. You see, I have an extra Airport Extreme card sitting here and I didn't feel like paying an extra $80 on the BTO option if I didn't have to. So, I asked them if the Airport Extreme card in the new Mac Mini was a user serviceable part. I was told that it was. I asked them flat out of if there was some kind of door on the bottom of the case unit that would allow access to the card like in a Powerbook G4. Again, I was told that it did have such a thing without question.

So, today I saw some pictures of the Mac Mini on gearlive. It, in fact, did not have any such thing. Annoyed, I called the Apple store again for clarification. I explained my situation in detail, and then I was then transferred to Apple Care. After explaining my situation again, and being placed on hold several times for up to 10 minutes each, I was informed that it was not a user serviceable part. I asked if I could upate my order. I was transferred to sales where I had to explain my issue again. I was told that I could indeed update my order, but I would lose my place in line. So, instead of receving my Mac Mini on or before the 21st of this month, I would receive it in 3-4 weeks. I made mention of the thac that wasn't exactly fair since I ordered my machine after having received very bad information from Apple themselves. I did not update my order because this is going to be a gift to my parents and I need it by when they originally said I should receive it. I'm not really sure what to do about it right now.

I am highly annoyed at the level of customer support I received from my favorite company. Please don't make the same mistake I did. This is just a friendly little warning.

--Mark--

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Who cares if it's a "user ser

Who cares if it's a "user serviceable" part? As long as you don't 1) break anything while installing the card you have and 2) don't mess with any "warranty void if removed" stickers (if the Mac mini has them), Apple will be none the wiser.

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token's picture
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Well, I care. For one thing,

Well, I care. For one thing, I don't like being misinformed when I am making a purchase. Frankly, if they weren't sure of the answer, then that is what they should have told me. The fact is that this is a new machine. We don't know exactly what will, and won't void the warranty on it. We don't know what internal indicators Apple is using to determine whether or not the warranty has been voided. If you put yourself in my position for a second, I'm sure you would be annoyed too.

I probably wouldn't care so much if this machine was for me. It isn't. This is going to be a gift to my parents, so I don't even want to take the chance of voiding the warranty. My parents live down in Florida and I'm up in MA. It wouldn't be exactly easy for me to fly down there to help them out if they have a problem with the machine. Keeping the warranty valid is a priority for me.

--Mark--

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You can use a USB 2.0 802.11g

You can use a USB 2.0 802.11g adapter with it, instead of going for AirPort. It'll be a whole bunch cheaper, and if you do end up having the APE installed later, or do it yourself, you can use the USB dongle with something else.

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I'd speak with my dollars and

I'd speak with my dollars and cancel the order and buy them a mini-itx

Dr. Bob

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We've got an Xserve at work

We've got an Xserve at work which was as good as a door stopper as the mainboard died for the fifth time in 2 years. After asking the customer relations manager if it is possible to get the machine replaced because of all the problems we were having she said these exact words: "If you don't like the quality of the computer, change brands".

I asked her to load up our pending orders about $40K (AU) worth of G5 and displays and told her to cancel the order. About a week later a replacement server arrived.

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Re: Who cares if it's a "user ser

Dr. Webster wrote:

Who cares if it's a "user serviceable" part? As long as you don't 1) break anything while installing the card you have and 2) don't mess with any "warranty void if removed" stickers (if the Mac mini has them), Apple will be none the wiser.

Looking at the photos of the mobo and taking a few quick measurements of an airport extreme card (as well as checking the size of the bluetooth card in the iBook G4 service manual) it looks like Apple will be using a custom adapter to cram the two cards in there.

If you were to plug an extreme card into the only suitable looking connector on the mobo you'd have to cut a slot in the top of the case to get it to fit (Mac mini 50.8mm tall, Airport Extreme card 60mm tall). I expect the airport and bluetooth cards to be lying flat next to the HD, under the optical drive.

Knowing Apple to be the cheapskates that we all know they are, the adapter card will be part of the $150 wireless upgrade kit that needs an AASP install if you don't get them BTO.

Admittedly we've yet to see a complete Kodawarisan dissection, so I may be talking out of my arse at the moment. But a proper take-apart will spread some more light on how they're cramming stuff in there - like what the internal structure's like for mounting the HD...

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Re: Who cares if it's a "user ser

Blackstealth wrote:

Admittedly we've yet to see a complete Kodawarisan dissection, so I may be talking out of my arse at the moment. But a proper take-apart will spread some more light on how they're cramming stuff in there - like what the internal structure's like for mounting the HD...

I personally have been *considering* the idea of getting a "Mac Mini" myself, but... frankly, I'd have to take a pretty big blow to the head to even think about doing so before seeing a third-party review of the thing, including a full description of what is and what isn't "user servicable". There seems to be some debate whether it's possible to even open the case without a special tool. (All those plastic studs sticking up around the motherboard in the pictures on Apple's site fill me with fear and loathing.)

To be blunt, if the RAM isn't user-upgradable without voiding the warranty it's a deal breaker, plain and simple. Something interesting to note:

Mac Mini 1.42/80GB HD/Superdrive: $699
Bargain Basement 17" 1280x1024 flat panel: $300
Apple's price for 1GB of RAM: $425
Decent keyboard and mouse: $60

Total: $1484

Reconditioned 17" iMac G5 1.8/80GB/Superdrive: $1299
(Includes display, keyboard, mouse, obviously.)
1GB RAM (2x 512 DIMMs): $132. (Lowest price on Ramseeker. And definately user-installable.)

Total: $1431

To be blunt, the Mac Mini really isn't that much bang for the buck. I was considering it because I already have a flat panel and peripherals, but... I've almost convinced myself it's not that great of an idea.

--Peace

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Re: Who cares if it's a "user ser

Eudimorphodon wrote:

To be blunt, the Mac Mini really isn't that much bang for the buck. I was considering it because I already have a flat panel and peripherals, but... I've almost convinced myself it's not that great of an idea.

Yeah I've pretty much reached the same position. It could be ideal if the missusses machine gives me any more trouble (or decides to bite the dust), but I'm unlikely to buy one for myself - even to fiddle about with.

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Eudimorphodon: The machine is

Eudimorphodon: The machine is ment for people (most everybody who has ever owned a computer) who have a spare keyboard, mouse, and monitor laying around. If you dont have any of this, then yes it is cheaper to go and buy a higher end machine.

G4 in a G5 Case: http://www.mlode.com/~stuka/g45/
iMac in FlexATX Case: http://www.mlode.com/~stuka/imac-atx/

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Re: Eudimorphodon: The machine is

Stuka wrote:

Eudimorphodon: The machine is ment for people (most everybody who has ever owned a computer) who have a spare keyboard, mouse, and monitor laying around. If you dont have any of this, then yes it is cheaper to go and buy a higher end machine.

That's not really the point I was arguing.

Basically the realization I came to is that once you start optioning this thing up at all you're paying a pretty substantial price for something obsolete out of the box. (Which it is. Other then having a faster CPU and USB 2.0 it's basically identical to the late-2002 vintage iMac G4s in terms of expansion headroom.) The pricing exercise was simply pointing out that when it comes to value-for-money the machine falls sort of flat. Add a monitor *inferior* to the iMac G5's built-in one and the system costs about the same as one that has at least a modicum of future potential. Which seems to argue the iMac G5 is technically a better deal.

For plenty of people the price-value equation will be right up their alley. More power to them. I'm just not sure it's the right machine *for me*. Which seems a perfectly fair thing to say.

My honest guess is that Apple is hoping their more competent salespeople will be able to lead people who come into their stores after hearing about the Mac Mini down the same path and upsell them the better machine.

--Peace

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Re: Who cares if it's a "user ser

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Mac Mini 1.42/80GB HD/Superdrive: $699
Bargain Basement 17" 1280x1024 flat panel: $300
Apple's price for 1GB of RAM: $425
Decent keyboard and mouse: $60

Total: $1484

Wow, that is one heck of a high end estimate. Try this for size (this is what the average bloke is going to go for anyway):
Mac mini: $499
Cheap keyboard/mouse: $40
1 gig ram: $150
any decent monitor: $200

Thats 900 dollars, almost 600 under what you were suggesting. Your pricing structure is what a maccie would be looking at, my pricing struture is what a average windows user would be looking at.

And for taht matter, a lot of them aren't even going to consider a monitor, their old dell 17 incher crt (connected to their nasty dell 733mhz celeron system) that works fine is going to be just adequate for their uses and they are just going to get the basic minimac and keyboard and mouse.

Also i see a lot of value-minded people maybe upgrading to 512 megs of ram rather than 1 gig, heck a lot of people I know are still stuck on 256 megs of ram and are happy with it.

You seem to be preaching the argument of "Use like minded/equal quality perpherials and then the pricing structure loses is appeal/value" but thats the whole point, the minimac is finally a mac that doesn't need the elitest required/expensive perpherials like the high quality imac G5 flatpanal, and "apple-branded" ram and a "real apple logo keyboard". Finally cheapos like me can ignore that fluff and go for the meat of the computer which is the market that Apple has always ignored: selling a bare computer without perpherials for a low price and use whatever perpherials you feel like paying for or have on hand.

Heck, i'm half tempted to buy a minimac and use it with a wavy beige 15 inch crt monitor from 1997 just to piss off people. LOL You know the average user isn't going to give one bit of attention to the fact that OS X's built in anti-alisaing looks horrible on an old .29 dotpitch 17 inch crt monitor compared to how it looks on a real Mac LCD display, its just unimportant to them, but they will be impressed with how well the os is and runs though down the road, and thats the important thing.

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If you can't open the box, wh

If you can't open the box, which is what people are discussing here, that $150 RAM will make a nice keychain. And if you decide after ordering that you need more RAM, you'll be paying an Apple service tech to install it.

I'm *definitely* waiting for an answer on the case-opening question before I consider one of these. Heck, by the time I get around to it, I'll probably be able to pick up a used one out-of-warranty for $200 and hack the living cr*p out of it.

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Something to consider, MANY m

Something to consider, MANY more users are hardware junkies like me in the windows world than in the mac world. I have noticed that int he mac world, hardware junkies are far and few between. Most mac users don't care about their hardware, just so long it looks good, runs good, and is reliable. On the other hand, tons of windows users aren't afraid to crack open their cases and screw/hack/upgrade at all.

So unless apple seals the minimac shut with some sort of plastic welding, i think that a lot of minimacs will be opened up and upgraded and what not.

Plus most all companies will build some sort of method for opening the case so that the computers can be repaired/fixed.

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Read around Apple's board

According to the Mac mini's Memory Specifications and Upgrades page:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300572
Additional memory should be installed by an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

You are allowed to upgrade your own memory. You are not restricted from opening the case. But if you damage anything because of opening it up, Apple will not cover it under warranty.

The Airport Extreme and Bluetooth upgrades are not user upgradable, because the adapter card and antennas are not included in the base setup.

Read Apple's Discussion boards for more information. Several people have posted similar concerns.

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Re: Read around Apple's board

Captain_Z wrote:

According to the Mac mini's Memory Specifications and Upgrades page:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300572
Additional memory should be installed by an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

LOL, "should" be installed by apple service provider. Sounds like the days that Radio Shack put "must be installed by Radio Shack" on their 16 kb upgrade kits for the model 1 trs-80's.

If you are paranoid, fine, but don't think that everyone/most everyone is going to take that recommendation seriously. Car companies say "you should change your oil at the dealer" but most people just get it done at jiffylube and save the receipts for warranty purposes.

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Re: Read around Apple's board

bobotech wrote:

LOL, "should" be installed by apple service provider. Sounds like the days that Radio Shack put "must be installed by Radio Shack" on their 16 kb upgrade kits for the model 1 trs-80's.

Radio Shack stuck a big sticker over one of the screws on the bottom of the system, which you had to break to get into it. They technically couldn't deny you warranty service if you upgraded it yourself, *unless* they could prove the malfunction was due to something you did in the process, but they'd give you bloody hell over it.

I have no doubt that I could break open a Mac Mini and successfully install a piece of RAM in it. The question is how many potentially warranty-voiding actions I'd have to take to do it. I'm *not* paying $700 for something just to end up in the lurch on it.

Quote:

If you are paranoid, fine, but don't think that everyone/most everyone is going to take that recommendation seriously. Car companies say "you should change your oil at the dealer" but most people just get it done at jiffylube and save the receipts for warranty purposes.

Do note that the Apple Knowledge base includes *Installation Instructions* for putting RAM into *every other* Macintosh model. Looking at the design of the Mac Mini, I'm becoming more and more convinced that it's put together in such a way that a "Case Cracker" will be required to take it apart without leaving pry marks all over it.

http://www.apple.com/macmini/design.html

See those plastic tabs ringing the bottom half? Getting it apart without mangling it might require pressing the whole unit into a "service jig" that inserts approprate blades into the case and depresses all the tabs at once to pop the lid off.

Again, this is all speculation until someone *not* tightly under the thumb of the Apple PR machine gets their hands on one of the thing, but... There's plenty of reasons to be suspicious.

--Peace

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Ive heard that those tabs are

Ive heard that those tabs are actually for EMI supression and make a good ground contact with the upper case.

But we'll have to wait and see...

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a funny thing I found

I hear this tool can open a Mm.

and I stumbled upon this somewhere:

Quote:

The Mm is not designed for customer access. Unlike other Apple products, there are no customer-installable parts in this system.

To open the Mm for upgrade or servicing, you must use a putty knife to release the catches in the Mm case.

BTW, the AASP-installable Mm AP & Bt Upgrade Kit includes an adapter mezzanine board + antennas, as well as the APx and Bt modules. So obviously the adapter + antennas aren't included if you don't order your Mm so equipped.

dan k

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Re: a funny thing I found

Quote:

To open the Mm for upgrade or servicing, you must use a putty knife to release the catches in the Mm case.

Crap, first they make me buy torx screwdrivers, now I have to buy a putty knife!?

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'nuther interesting 'point'

You can order your CTO Mm with just one of either APx or Bt and the adapter will be there. Of course, the not-ordered-item's antenna may not be present . . . we'll only find that out once Mms start hitting the street.

dan k

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These instructions came from

These instructions came from someone who knows someone that worked on the Mac mini team.

[1] Place mini on its face, with the top facing toward you.
[2] Place thumbs firmly on the vent grates, about 1" inward from the edge.
[3] Press down. Hard.
[4] Pivot the body of the computer away from you.
[5] Wince at cracking sounds.

There is also this video that shows the putty knife method
http://www.smashsworld.com/2005/01/taking-apart-mac-mini-how-to.php

I am considering buying a mini but I will not unless I can get it in writing that opening and installing my own memory will not void the warranty.

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re: These instructions came from

grab that vid while you can, as soon as App1e legal spots it it'll be gone so fast yer head will spin. I would have posted a copy myself but . . . errr, I've made a habit of staying clear of that sort of legal entanglement. Wink

dan k

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Well that looks worlds easier

Well that looks worlds easier than taking apart any laptop i have ever ripped apart.

And it uses a standard laptop style cd/dvd rom bay. I like the minimac more and more.

There, its not welded shut or anything, there is nothing stopping people from opening them up and upgrading them themselves.

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Apple says . . .

it's OK to upgrade a Mm yourself as long as you don't break anything, according to MacWorld.

dan k

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Where can I find instructions

Where can I find instructions for installing an airport/bluetooth card into a Mac Mini?

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As much as I would just love

As much as I would just love to get angry over you bumping such an ancient thread, Miss Manners wouldn't approve.

Don't bump threads over a month or so old unless you're the original topic starter and have something vital to add, or if you have something absolutely ground-breaking (which, in that case, it's probably better to just start a new thread anyway).

As for your instructions, look around for the Mac Mini service manual. No, I won't provide a link.

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Are you kidding me? I'll bump whatever thread I please

Are you kidding me? I'll bump whatever thread I please if I think that it will increase the chances of finding the answer to my question. If you can not get you head around this concept then perhaps you need to unsubscribe and troll around a different forum.

Deconstructing the Mac Mini:
http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/editors/2005/01/miniopen/index.php

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Thank you for being arrogant

Thank you for being arrogant and rude. But seriously, this would have been:
1. Much easier
2. Much nicer
3. More accessable in the future

if you would have just made a new thread about it.

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I do not think you understand how to use forums!

Mooseman, you are confused, you are the one that is being arrogant. It seems that you just do not understand how forums work.

Needlessly starting new threads that are similar to existing threads is totally stupid. Don't you get it... if someone posts a question to an existing thread they are more likely to get the answer from other individuals that have previously subscribed to the thread and that have already discovered the answer that you are seeking.

Furthermore, starting a new thread that is similar to an existing thread only makes it more difficult for future users that are searching for the the same answer.

Check this out, perhaps it will enlighten you:
http://205.209.177.141/albino_files007/posting(www.albinoblacksheep.com).swf

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I am the original poster for

I am the original poster for this thread. Frankly, this post was meant to vent frustration...6 months ago. I think it would have been more then suitable to create a new post.

That said, I don't think ithe condescending attitudes towards moose is warranted. He has been around the 'fritter for quite some time, while you have been a member for slightly more then 24 hours. I think he knows the lay of the land here a bit better then you do. Please show some respect for the members of this community and they will do the same for you.

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Guys - Watch It

Guys -

Watch the arguing. Any more drifting offtopic in this thread and it will be closed.

Though I agree that it would have gotten better responses if the question had been asked in a new thread, whats done is done.

We do not question the validity of a post based upon the length of membership. We do not insult other posters personally. If you must make an attack, make it upon the content of a post, not the poster.

-BDub

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Just a guess but...

Quote:

If you were to plug an extreme card into the only suitable looking connector on the mobo you'd have to cut a slot in the top of the case to get it to fit (Mac mini 50.8mm tall, Airport Extreme card 60mm tall).

Call me crazy, but I think that cutting a slot in the top of the case might void the warranty. However, an Apple service tech might not notice the "user-added" cut in the case if you were to avoid tampering with the stickers. Tongue