Curse You, Steve Jobs!

Written by: NetworkError, on 11-03-2009 14:06
Last update: 03-04-2009 12:14
Published in: Public, Technical Wootness
Views: 4527

I like Macs, generally. OS X is a fabulous OS, IMHO. Not that I'm a fanboy or anything. I'll use just about any OS. (Windows and Linux are both swell too.) And the design that goes into Mac hardware is very sleek. Not always reliable, and never cheep. But very sleek.

In spite of my general affinity toward Macs, I find myself cursing them to the heavens whenever I need to repair one. Repairing macs is one of the most aggravating experiences in existence. And the most aggravating part? Steve Jobs makes it this way by design. Obviously I'm writing this because I've been troubleshooting a Mac recently. Specifically, beloved iMac G5 went on the fritz.

You can't service me, foo!

The Ethernet Fiasco:
First, the Ethernet port went out. Naturally it's mounted to the main board so replacing it is out-of-the-question. That's OK. I can get one of those newfangled USB to Ethernet adapters that Apple makes, right? So I bought the adapter and plugged it in. Nothing... It doesn't have any lights on it. It it working? Is it broken? Did OS X notice that I plugged something in? If find myself missing the little "Bing! New hardware found!" that Windows does, even if it doesn't recognize your hardware.

After poking around a little, I found a useful post on Mac's website about getting this thing working. Here is an excerpt from the user's comment.

"... Thanks to this product, it saved the life of my mac mini! All I needed was to upgrade my OS from Tiger to Leopard..."

That's right... All I have to do to get this little USB to Ethernet adapter working is upgrade my freaking Operating System. IT'S JUST THAT EASY! THANKS, APPLE!

But before I could even get that done, disaster struck. My Mac died. It died hard. So I cracked open the case (not for the first time) and did a little poking around.

You would think doing a little maintenance on an iMac G5's hardware wouldn't be that hard. Maybe not easy, but certainly not hard. But nooooooo. Steve wants to make you sorry if you don't use an Apple certified repair shop. He wants you to suffer for such traitorous behavior!

The Hard Drive:
Let's start with the hard drive. You can take the rails+drive assembly off with a standard Philips head screw driver. But the rails are screwed into the standard sized SATA drive with not one, but TWO types of proprietary screws. I can practically hear Steve standing behind me laughing while I look at this assembly. "You want to swap out hard drives without giving Apple it's cut? F*&# you, you no-good paying customer!"

The Power Supply:
Let's move on to the power supply. This is a special power supply. It's the kind that comes with self-destructing capacitors. (The ones with the 'X' on top, not the 'Y'.) Removing the power supply requires standard tools, but it's wedged in there under the case clamp. It took two of us 45 minutes to get the thing out and I was a bit worried we were going to break the stupid case doing it.

So now we have the power supply out and I want to take it apart to examine the capacitors. Is that OK with you, Steve?
"Hell no! Those capacitors are not user-serviceable! I invoke the power of MORE PROPRIETARY SCREWS to induce epic failure!"
Damn you, Steve. Can't we be friends? Can't I service my own iMac?

I'm going to end up dremeling grooves into the tops of these screws so I can use a standard flat-head screw driver on them. Lameness. Hopefully I'm just a bit of dremeling, and soldering away from reviving my Mac. We'll see.

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