The really bad news is that I'd half-expected a problem!
If I'd trusted Apple, I wouldn't have set up the machine, but let Marianne do it by herself.
When it's your own, you have to learn the chores, the maintenance routines, installation, putting most things where a rather demanding OS X wants them to go.
But I had to be sure that the bloody thing worked.
Apple is pocketing another 1,800 euros (a bit more than 2,000 dollars), but the policy is to repair, rather than replace, even new faulty machines. And "bugger off till it's done". Summer in Paris? Oh well, you won't mind if it takes a bit longer.
It's not the money. I wasn't going to say how much it cost, but the Wildcat told me that Apple's approach was "scandalous at that price! It's not a bad cabbage from the supermarket."
What if I'd bought the Mac for a sudden reporting assignment abroad? What if I were a designer with a project to complete? If I weren't in a big town?
Last year, it was software. I foolishly ordered Jaguar by 'phone. Instead, they sent me Mac OS X 10.2 Server. A shipper in Rotterdam said they wanted it back before they'd give me what I paid for.
When I told him that this was out of the question and was between me and Apple, he understood. The Server ended up given to an African university's computer sciences department, where I hope it's proving useful.
I'd leave out the business with the 2001 iMac's busted video card if it hadn't been related to a shoddy stunt pulled by Apple on its second-class customers outside North America.
French magazine SVMMac reported this in April 2001. They also took issue with the new iMac's memory cache as sold in Europe:
"The surprise turns into downright disgust when you compare the American iMac 500 MHz with the model sold in the Hexagon (France). On the model sold in the States, the level 2 memory cache changes. This buffer memory, partially but directly responsible for the performance of the machine, totals 256 Ko running at 500 MHz on the New Continent, as against 512 Ko but at a cadence of 200 MHz in France.
"What's one to make of such a choice, when you know that it's better to have a cache which is smaller but runs at the processor's speed, rather than a slower memory? Could it be that we're being dumped with the end of the production line that was used in previous models? No, impossible!
"Let's add that the same models, the other side of the Atlantic, have a video card with 16 Mo of memory, while everywhere else, they've got 8 Mo. This is a difference gamers will notice, because it will force them to compromise with regard to resolution and will be a drawback when it comes to finer details. These kinds of 'novelties' do rather leave a bitter taste."*
As it was, I ended up still with an 8 Mo card, but it worked — not well enough for Jag.
It's not special treatment I want, unless Apple starts treating all its clients like VIPs again, but proper answers. Anyone else badly burned is welcome to help obtain them.