This holiday season I was given some Christmas money, and I wanted to purchase a DVD burner for my G4 Apple Macintosh computer. When I purchased my computer, I was wise in buying a tower since they are upgradeable, right? WRONG!When I attempted to place an order for what Apple calls a “Superdrive” they refused, stating that they do not carry them in stock. After a very lengthy discussion, they sternly stated that the Apple store does not sell them!
I found this to be quite odd. I worked as a computer service technician for over 10 years. I serviced every make and model machine from Compaq, IBM, HP, Dell, and even a cheap no-name Korean brand that went out of business, and none of them refused to sell me an internal drive of any kind, EVER! I knew that the sales people might not have been properly trained, so I decided to speak with Apple’s service department. I thought that a certified Apple service technician would be able to help me, WRONG! They stated that they would not ship me a DVD drive because my machine was not originally purchased with one. I retorted by asking them, could I buy a second “Superdrive” if my machine came with one, then they said yes! However, I would have to order it through a certified Apple Service Provider. Apparently, Apple does not provide such a complicated, labor-intensive service. I called one store local to me, and he stated that it would cost me $450.00 of my Christmas money!!!! WHAT?!?!?
I called Apple back, and I was forced to wait on hold for over 3 hours. Finally I spoke with Apple’s customer relations department. This policy must be a mistake, as it is the worst possible experience I have ever had with a computer vendor. I asked them why Apple is the only computer company on the face of the planet that refuses to provide an upgrade part for their machines. They completely refused to give an adequate answer , then gave no explanation, and no recourse at all. They stated that I had to purchase a third party external drive, but they are not compatible with Apple’s iDVD software. They also stated that any third party internal drive was not guaranteed to work with iDVD. Is this application forever uselessly installed on my computer from the factory? I will probably purchase a third party drive, and figure out a workaround like I would for a Windows or Linux box, but if that is the case then why purchase a Macintosh to begin with?
I guess all of my technology friends were right when they warned me before purchasing my machine. They would tell me, “Macintosh computers can not be upgraded easily.”
When I discussed this with other people, they said that they would never have tried to buy a Superdrive from Apple, and that they would never try to buy an upgrade component from any computer manufacturer. I received comments in an e-mail such as this, “Why pay the extra money for nothing? So the fact that they
don’t offer the drive as anything but a replacement part doesn’t really
surprise me. However, the thing that really disgusts me is that they didn’t
tell you the truth when you called: that you can buy a Superdrive from
other vendors, and that although they don’t “support” other drives, a lot of
them work just fine, and work with iDVD, and the fact that they don’t “support” them means that if you can’t get it working properly, you’re not
entitled to use your free Apple tech support to try to get it working. So
that’s the truth, and they should have told you that. Shame on them for
giving you the runaround like they did.You can go to dozens of resellers’ web sites where they will sell you a
Superdrive. 30 seconds on google found me one for $179. Other World
Computing also has a bunch of iDVD compatible drives”.
My response is that they should support at least ONE updraded drive! That is why I called them in the first place. Even Microsoft offers a hardware compatibility list (HCL), for those devices that they support. If they only told me, “the following drives are supported”,and gave me a short list I would have stoppped calling them.
I even had someone say that “From what I understand, with my experience with DVD-+RW disks on OSX,
the component of OSX that deals with optical drives, simply, sucks.
That’s the reason they prefer to not support at all third party drives
or just in conjuction with iDVD: because their generic driver for them is not as reliable as it should, or as compatible.
On Apple’s own website I posed this question to others. Here is the most critical information that I found:
1) If you run into this problem, you can read owner reviews of different drives @ xlr8yourmac’s Drive Compatibility database. A database that Apple should provide, if they are not going to sell you a working drive.
2) After you find a working drive, then you might need PatchBurn to enable Finder & iApp support for most 3rd party drives. It’s better to stick with a vendor that Apple uses (support is to strong a word) such as Pioneer, NEC, LG, Plextor, or LaCie.
3) Since 3rd party DVD-/+R/RW burners can be had for under $75 online, it would make no sense to buy one from Apple for several hundred, even if you could.
If you really want a drive with Apple-firmware (usually limits drive performance) you can look on sites such as OtherWorldComputing; they often have such drives for sale.
They recomended a DVR-108 or ND-3500A.
All this aside, this “work-around” process should not be happening for machines that cost as much as $2000.00! I simply bought a DVR-107 out of frustration from the first website I found that claimed to have compatible drives. And I paid too much for it, to boot! I would not be upset by this if I were running Linux. I bought a Macintosh computer because I thought they always had certified drivers for a small subset of equipment. I was even willing to pay slightly more for that convenience. Now, the writing is on the wall. I bet, it will be an expensive pain to replace my video card. I will leave that for another day.
I bought an external dual firewire/usb SONY DRX-510UX DVD+-RW and it wouldn’t work as a burner with OSX. I had to use Patchburn! And even after I set it up as a burner through the hack, it wouldn’t write all kinds of disks (dvd plus and minus that is). I wrote to Apple’s customer service and they couldn’t give me a straight answer about these disks, because *supposedly* 10.3.5 was “fixing” these problems (it wasn’t). iDVD doesn’t work with it either, we just use it as a simple CD burner for now.
Anyways, I find it laughable that Firewire was born through the joint venture of SONY and Apple, and then you get a freaking Sony drive and you plug it in on a freaking Apple computer, and it doesn’t work out of the box as it should.
Bleh. Even Linux works with that drive just fine, without extra drivers.
I had the same darn problem with a notebook. They are hell bent on not putting different hardware into systems. Logically, I can only think its to get the consumer to purchase a new system or to keep things as simple as possible for themselves. Once you put something different into a system the warranty is very difficult to follow. They only want to warranty what was on the original receipt. The REALLY bad part is that if you manage to put something into your system outside of the original purchase they often tell you your system is no longer supported. I highly suggest you pull it out before bringing to service. This is all a bunch of crap and I am glad you brought it to everyone’s attention.
I wonder why they want to integrate their hardware and software so much. They have good OS and some cool features but they can be sold really well without depending entirely on apple. I think they should concentrate what they do the best! innovate. They suck at marketing and also at making profits. With M$$$$ supporting iPOD clones, I wonder how long apple will keep up profits !!!
… are the LaCie ones, IMHO: high compatibility, good quality, and now even the internal ones work with Power Macs. The external drives are also quite stylish (d2, Porsche). Anyway, I agree that disk burning should evolve considerably on OS X: for example, native packet writing support – see “Mount Rainier” – would be a very good thing (to be able use CDs/DVDs as big floppy drives, in “real time”, essentially); also, some more built-in Toast-like functionality wouldn’t be bad…
I agree that it’s weird that drives don’t work with OSX. That’s just plain wrong.
However, I do wish to note that those 450,- USD ain’t all that weird. Try buying an original Compaq spare part from the Compaq site; the prices are also ridicoulously high. Probably something to trick you into buying a new machine, I dunno.
Come on now. It doesn’t take a friggin rocket scientist to find out what Apple’s OEM “superdrive” is and just go out and buy the same drive. BIG FAT DUH.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet:
I am not too surprised to hear that they wouldn’t sell you the superdrive. When I did tech support on laserjet printers I was speaking to this Apple Cert Technician who was doing troubleshooting with me over the phone. I had to send out a new firmware dimm for the printer, and had to schedule it to be delivered on a day he can be there.
He basically said that it’s Apple’s philosophy that all hardware should be installed by a professional instead of the end user and that is why he didn’t want the end users to install the firmware dimm (even though it’s a piece of cake ).
Doesn’t seem logical to me though that they would not sell the superdrive, they would probally make a little more money than if it was sold as a bundle with the computer, it’s just silly
Apple has threatend lawsuites againced companies that create compatibility with iDVD. Check this out
MacMall has a 16X DVD+/-RW SuperDrive upgrade for PowerMac computers for $119.95. If Apple were to sell SuperDrives rest assured they’d be priced at least a hundred dollars over that:
And honestly, if you wanted to add a DVD-RW drive to your Dell, would your first stop really be dell.com, or would you find a 3rd party vendor selling DVD-RW drives cheaper?
Just hop on Froogle and you’ll find nearly a thousand hits for “SuperDrive”
I’d chalk this one up to “failure to use the Internet”
Firstly, I’m a Mac person. Just to clear the air.
When I buy a Mac I buy a package. I choose what I want and then order it. That is my Mac, it comes complete, and if the hardware has issues it’s not my fault. This is also what makes the Mac more stable than Windows – Apple know all the possible hardware out there, they can code to that.
I completely support Apple on this. Why should they supply you with parts that you could have got when you purchased the machine? The model number is all over the web, just get it from somewhere cheap. I’d never call Dell/HP/whoever asking for their parts except as a warrantee replacement, too damn expensive.
For the record, my G3 iMac has an upgraded HD and RAM. RAM is easy, HD not so. I did it though, and it’s been fine ever since.
And that ends a pointless rant. I just thought it was fitting as a reply to this. I normally respect OSNews as, well, a NEWS source. This isn’t news, just somebody’s bad experience.
Is “swings” part of the paraphrase? Or does he mean to say “slings” like Shakespeare did?
“slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune”
Not swings. Think David vs Goliath.
Yeah, that kind.
well, that’s the *apple* way of hardware-support. It’s a dumbed down model.
First off, It starts by calling those drives “superdrives”, so some newbies must think this is some unique kind of device.
Apple’s much too egocentric to offer up a WIDE support of recent devices.
This was the Apple way, and I fear it will continue this way.
Flexibility isn’t one of Apples strenghts.
As a technician, you should be at least vaguely familiar with the tech support and warranty policies of most major computer manufacturers, none of whom will officially support a third party drive or device in their system. To do so absolves them of responsibility for failure / unforseen incompatibility of hardware that they did not supply you with in the first place. If another company wants to sell you a drive and tell you that it’s compatible with, say, a G4 somethingorother running OS X.x, the onus should be on them to support you on it and its compatibility with the machine and the software you want to use it with. Why should anyone be required to spend the time and money on helping you operate a product that you didn’t even purchase from them?
Also, using Microsoft as an example regarding software / hardware interaction support is an absolute farce and I hope you were joking when you put it in there. Microsoft isn’t in the business of selling personal computers; they’re selling an OS that needs to run on all kinds of different PCs with different hardware configurations. It’s in their best interest to offer support on various manufacturers’ hardware – it’s an inherent part of their business. Apple, however, determines exactly what hardware their OS and other software is supposed to run on, and can easily limit their support to those predetermined configurations. As previously stated: why would they want to support an LG drive when they sold you a Pioneer to begin with?
That being said, it’s too bad that they couldn’t sell you the part on their own, surely a kink in their supply chain and ordering process – and hopefully they can correct that. Your situation was probably not anticipated when they set it all up. Believe it or not they’re not required to help you upgrade your computer. You might just be SOL, but as others have pointed out, I’m sure you can find a solution elsewhere.
Simmer down and think of the logistics of the situation, and maybe you’ll see how unreasonable so many aspects of your reaction are, save for what I’ve stated in the last paragraph. This angry consumer crap is a little to knee-jerk in this situation, or at least seeming far to all-consuming. Sometimes you need to do a bit of research and problem-solving on your own. Jesus, you’re a technician, aren’t you?
He claims to have been a “technician” and seems to have only have had a problem with Apple … till he calls HP or DELL and then he will tell their support the same thing … I’ve never had any problem with any other company.
He claims to have been a “technician” and have dealt with support for years still he acts as if he doesn’t understand the concept of “Phone Hell”.
Why is this news ? Can anyone just rant on osnews now ?
I was thinking of buying a Mac, but after reading this and its comments, I must reconsider. Perhaps I should wait until there’s an OSX x86.
What about Dell, let me tell you about Dell,
My DC board went out on my Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop. I called Dell to order another one and was told that I had to buy the entire motherboard for over $400.00. The laptop was not worth that! I ended up getting the part on Ebay for $12.000. Did you try Ebay.
Here is one that is at $6.50
Your problem is not just with Apple. Try getting an HP power supply on a machine that is three years old!
I completely support Apple on this. Why should they supply you with parts that you could have got when you purchased the machine?
That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard! So computers shouldn’t be upgradeable now? Perhaps your general contractor should tell you you can’t add that wing on your home, you should’ve added it when you bought it! New car stereo? No! Why didn’t you buy it when you bought the car?
I normally respect OSNews as, well, a NEWS source.
That’s your mistake, sitharus. OSNews is run by volunteers, not journalists, and we publish submissions by our readers, many including experiences with OSes (countless), OS companies (plenty of those too), and even hardware vendors (like NAS devices). If you’re a reagular reader, you’d know that opinion pieces show up on the site regularly.
I’ve just bought a Pioneer DVR106 for my MDD (Apple genuine) from this (very well known) american international reseller:
I cannot believe how Mac fans are defending Apple over this. As for claiming the original poster had unreasonable expectations – no, he absolutely did not. His expectations are exactly what the overwhelming majority of consumers would have expected in a similar situation. The expectations of Apple zealots on the other hand…well, the posts here speak for themselves don’t they?
Here’s my 2p.
Apple subsidizes software such as iMovie and iDVD by requiring you to buy a machine with a SuperDrive to get the full use our of them. I ran into this problem on my original TiBook. I used a patch which allowed me to save the iDVD output to a file. I then moved the file over to a older G4 Tower with a SD, but unfortunately it was too slow to to be practical.
Considering the troubles we all had over the years with Windows and even Linux in the early years, I decided that if I am going to play in Apple’s sandbox, I will follow the house rules.
So, a few years later I purchased a 17″ PowerBook with a SD and an external LaCie 8X DVD-R. The internal SD still sux, but I am very happy with LaCie. I also upgraded from the iMovie & iDVD beginner apps to Final Cut & DVD Pro. Life is better if you don’t cut corners
Apple motto: Our sandbox, our rules.
Microsoft motto: Buy any-old-crap and put our software on it.
Linux motto: If it don’t work, write it.
“That’s your mistake, sitharus. OSNews is run by volunteers, not journalists, and we publish submissions by our readers, many including experiences with OSes (countless), OS companies (plenty of those too), and even hardware vendors (like NAS devices). If you’re a reagular reader, you’d know that opinion pieces show up on the site regularly.”
First, your wrong. OSNews may be run by volunteers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to complain about poor submissions. When I purchased my membership to OSNews, I was buying a membership for a news site (Maybe “News” in the title isn’t enough of a clue…).
I didn’t renew my membership because of crap like this. It’s one thing to sit their and explain why something is wrong, or review a company, but it’s another thing entirely to just say “yes” to every submission of significant length that is sent in.
So, as a “customer” of OSNews, I also have every right to complain (as it says even on this site!) that this content is crap.
OSNews has the potential to be a wonderful news source. But really, even SlashDot doens’t stoop to articles like this. The execuse of being “volunteer-driven”; I will remember that the next time someone complains about OSS, and lack of support, documents, or ease-of-use. After all, it’s volunteer driven. That’s what OSNews uses as it’s excuse.
So computers shouldn’t be upgradeable now?
*cough*like laptops you mean*cough*.
Perhaps your general contractor should tell you you can’t add that wing on your home
But if you build the wing itself and the house falls down around your ears, they won’t take the blame
New car stereo?
And if you burn out all your car’s electrical system while installing it…..
Apple are absolutely within their rights. They support the machine they sold you, and there are upgrade instructions for those areas that are meant to be upgradeable, for which you can also get support if you find the instructions difficult to follow, or whatever.
As someone who used to work the helpdesk for a major OEM, I can categorically state that we would not support the installation of new drives, video cards, sound cards, external modems, soundcards etc; basically only RAM, hdd and processor upgrades, and then only installation. If they suffered problems we would tell them to put the machine back to its original configuration before continuing with support. Although these parts were available, the stock was for replacements, not for general retail sale to satisfy the whims of the customer, who would be told that upgrades were not within the support conditions apart from that stated, and that were they to attempt unauthorised upgrades their warranty would be voided. One could hardly expect the support desk to help customers void their own warranty. To do other would have meant a whole new retail parts sales operation, to say nothing of the consequent additional support costs that would be incurred after a hamfisted installation, and believe me it’s tragic to the point of tears what some people do to their machines while ‘upgrading’. Furthermore, because we were selling OEM machines, users weren’t even entitled to support from Microsoft, only from us. Therefore if they experienced say, driver related problems with their new video card, it was not up to us to support them.
This article also struck me as a whine of epic proportions. Apple’s support terms and conditions are clearly explained, and available for perusal before you buy – Caveat emptor (buyer beware) Apple’s practices are basically no worse than most other manufacturers, and in many respects a wole lot better.
I am so glad I learned on DOS and then moved to Linux. Twenty years ago we had the same thing Mac never changed that is why they are a music hardware company now. The company I work for uses Mac for graphics and I guess that Mac has a niche other that music players. If you want a puffy over bloated system resource hogging system the go XP or OSX, keep it simple guys to the programs you run. I would like a system with the nice hardware that Mac has but I am not spending several thousand dollars more for a few nano seconds. Please
download needed stuff from here: http://homepage.mac.com/geerlingguy/mac_support/mac_help/pages/15-b…
“BURN DVDS TO AN EXTERNAL BURNER OR A DISK IMAGE WITH iDVD:
One feature oddly absent (or so people think) from iDVD is the ability to burn to external (third party) DVD-R drives or to Disk Images… this REALLY cripples iDVD, in my humble opinion! What most people don’t know, is that there is a nice easter egg (not exactly a ‘hack’) that allows users to do both of these wonderful things so that they aren’t restricted to cheesy iDVD imitations for making DVDs for burning on an external drive.
I originally found this information in this forum thread, but thought it would be nice to put a step-by-step guide on my site for those who don’t understand (or don’t want to read) all they said in the forum. Note that I am not the original author of this easter egg enabler, and I don’t even know exactly who is – I thank whoever it may be, though…
I have tested this with iDVD 4.0.1, and others have reported it working with versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.0.1, and 4.0 as well (on G4s and G5s of all flavors). If you have problems, please read my FAQ before emailing me a question. In addition, if you find that your external DVD burning drive is not being seen by Mac OS X, iTunes, or iDVD, you might want to try using ‘PatchBurn’ to see if your Mac has better luck seeing your drive.
(Note: It has come to my attention that this page is now being seen internationally… if anyone would like to offer a translation of this page into his or her own language, I would be willing to post that online 🙂
Download the file ‘iDVD_Egg.dmg.sit’, open it to decompress it, then open the Disk Image file that is decompressed.
After the ‘iDVD Egg’ white disk image appears on your desktop, place the two files (named ‘Pfurz’ and ‘Hurz’) inside it DIRECTLY into your home folder (in the same area as your ‘Documents’, ‘Pictures’, ‘Library’, ‘Sites’ and related folders are—but NOT inside those folders).
Open a project in iDVD.
Click the burn button once to open up the ‘shutter’ to reveal the radiation button. (Note: if this doesn’t work, restart your computer and try again).
Hold down “control” key, then select “Burn DVD…” from the File menu (while “control” key is held down). Keep holding the control key down until the dialog box pops up (Thanks, Karl and Keith .
A dialog box will come up asking whether to burn to an external drive or to a Disk Image. Choose one of the two options and click Burn.
Note 1: if you need to burn a DVD+R disc, first create a Disk Image, then burn it to your DVD+R using another disc-burning utility – thanks, Amy!
Note 2: If you choose to burn to a disc, you’ll need to select the drive you are burning to (even if you only have one external drive) – thanks, Jacqueline!
Note 3: The ‘DVD-R Simulation Mode’ is for doing a ‘test burn’. the ‘DLT Format’ selection only applies if you are burning your DVD to a Digital Tape (some pros do this to send it to a DVD production company)
After the burn/image creation is finished, the dialog box will pop up again, asking you want to burn again (or save another image); click ‘Cancel’ if you’re finished.
If you created a Disk Image on your hard drive, you will need to burn it to a DVD using a burning utility such as Disk Utility or Toast. Read #3 of my FAQ for more information.
If you have any problems, please read my FAQ before emailing me a question.”
Apple doesn’t WANT you to upgrade the optical drive, probably because they would like you to buy a new Macintosh. The drivers are fine. Apple could easily support practically all DVD drives currently available – but they DON’T WANT TO. That’s kind of impudent.
Funny you have such problems. I put a Lite-On CDRW ($50-$60 best buy) when I wasn’t happy with the CDRW offerings. Then I wanted a DVD-R (Superdrive) so I went to best buy again and got an 8x for $55. Both of them work fine. I never had to research compatability, etc. (G4/933 Quicksilver)
Same thing with all the ram in my tower. Bought it all at “PC Only” computer store.
Same thing with my Firewire, USB 2.0 and UW SCSI expansion cards (PCI)….bought them at a “PC ONLY” computer store.
I just don’t see what the problem is. People can’t figure out the easy way to do something so they flame apple over it.
Sounds to me like an operator error.
If someone with hosting or email services calls where I work & the problem is down to their internet connection AND that connection isn’t through us .. we refer them to the person they bought it from. If we know their provider and that we could provide a better service/support we also make them aware of this. This is very much in line with what apple have done in their case.
Apple could, perhaps, make a bit of money selling superdrive upgrades but they don’t. Unsuprisingly, they also don’t do so for graphics cards either. That is, unsupprisingly, handled by the few manufacturers who make cards for the mac.
why don’t the makers of the drives support the mac? maybe it is for the same reasons apple don’t, there isn’t enough money in it.
why don’t the makers of the drives support the mac? maybe it is for the same reasons apple don’t, there isn’t enough money in it.
selling lame dvd-burners for $400 without making any profit?
what the hell…
“selling lame dvd-burners for $400 without making any profit?
what the hell…”
its quite possible to stock or sell a moderately cheap part for $400 and lose money. the selling price has no reflection on the channel set up to sell the part. if its inefficient, it can lose money even at inflated prices.
i have plenty of qualms with apple, but not supporting third party end user upgrades to relatively expensive and complicated electronic devices is not one of them. if you have been around the block a few times, you will know that many vendors have at best fair to middling support for this sort of thing. ive had it go both ways with other pc vendors.
why stop with the complaint about optical drives? why not stir the pot over apple motherboards or cpus? where do you get those? does apple sell them? does apple allow end users to install them and stay in warranty? can you get them from third parties (cpus yes, motherboards very rarely)? does apple warrant the machine after you have installed a new motherboard or cpu?
you story should have not written as is. it should have been written on a good tech forum before you made the purchase and any of thousands of mac users could have informed you of exactly how to get the best drives at the best prices and how to get them working with the greatest compatibility with your specific mac. you then could have written a glowing piece on how tech forums make the net what it is, a great place to gain knowledge and help from others without cost.
good luck with your future efforts. and see the idvd enabler i posted above if you are having any issues with it.
“I was thinking of buying a Mac, but after reading this and its comments, I must reconsider. Perhaps I should wait until there’s an OSX x86.”
Well, in my experience Apple has good products if you avoid the stinker in their line which is th eMacs. eMacs are a big exception to Apple quality line up, so much that they were featured in the TOP TEN WORST Product of 2004:
AS for OsX coming out for x86. it would be nice, although Apple could flood the market making PPC mainstream and thus not needing to go the x86 route.
But don’t wait until OsX comes out for x86, rather wait for it to be truly 64bit, as for now the G5, which are excellent machines, are overpriced-under-utilized because is a 64bit CPU with a 32bit OsX.
Anyway, I think for the most part Apple products, although some what over priced, are nonetheless high quality products.
Or more generally:
Why? Because Linux just works. You get free, 24/7 Support staffed by millions. most of whom know whats going on. The best part is they do it not for a pay check but for the love of the it.
Thats power no commercial OS will ever match.
same holds true for macs and windows based pcs too. last time i checked there are millions of both types of users more than willing to help fellow users. linux has no monopoly on helpful fellow users.
I thought it was fairly well known that major distributors like apple, dell, etc were not in the business of selling after-market parts. In fact, IME, they tend to discourage this sort of thing exactly how the article outlined. I am, however, quite surprised that anyone tech savvy would even consider purchasing after-market items from places like apple/dell/etc when places like newegg or owc exist.
The author of the article is obviously pissed off, and that is his right as a consumer. I do agree, however, with the several others who have chimed in that this is not anything even resembling news. This is an op-ed piece that would be locked on most tech boards as a rant containing much vitriol and little content.
pioneer dvr-108 (generally regarded as one of the best dvd burners made and the pioneers also work well with macs…many superdrives are in fact pioneer dvr models)
if you paid $170+, you should ask for assistance next time when looking to make a tech purchase.
Try ordering an upgrade from anyone, Dell, HP or whoever.
They are EVERY BIT as overpriced as Apple.
A “tech” would know this (if he is a tech).
That leaves us to third party devices. A PC is an OPEN platform, a Mac is a CLOSED platform. Raise your hand if you didn’t know this.
Now, which platform do you THINK a third party device will work in more easily???? Hmnn. Lets think about it real hard.
Whoever wrote this, and whoever decided it was worthwhile to post it needs to get a clue.
Macs have lots of advantages (I use one) and lots of disadvantages – you just have to figure out if the pros outweigh the cons; for some they do and for others they do not.
My Mac has a third party CPU and HDD, a generic PC DVD-RW, a flashed PC video card, standard PC RAM and lots of “unsupported” drivers and many hacks. Its barely a Mac! I am also a “tech” (or was) and NEVER – NOT ONCE did I even THINK ABOUT calling Apple. That would be dumb.
When the CD-ROM on a Power Mac G4 733 Mhz died, we went to a PC only store picked up the cheapest “Superdrive” we found, a Medion one 😕 which happened to be built by Pioneer, slid it into the tower powered on and everything worked like a charm. There’s only the minor that iTunes does not indeed allow recording, which I just realized after reading this, since we use Toast for recording everything. That does not make Apple less pathetic in that iTunes and Finder loose that feature; I agree that Apple should fix it (considering that Patchburn only changes some text files (or so I have read).
Maybe we were lucky, maybe pretty much any ATA optical drive works with a Mac (iTunes and Finder aside). In any case, we never thought of calling Apple to ask them what to do about our died CD-ROM. We just found it natural to go out, buy a new non-Apple one and expect it to work.
Ok, so I bought a 12″ ibook from Apple in January ’04 which came with a Combo drive. When I wanted to upgrade to a DVD burner I did a little research, got a drive, and installed Patchburn and Robert’s your mum’s illigitimate half brother, no problems at all.
And this is in an iBook; this guy couldn’t get a tower sorted out even quicker than I managed to sort my laptop out??? Purlease!
Took me a minute to find.
From the article:
I even had someone say that “From what I understand, with my experience with DVD-+RW disks on OSX, the component of OSX that deals with optical drives, simply, sucks.
Hearsay from an unnamed source. This is good stuff.
I haven’t read such an article this bad that has no OS news information and all whines. For a 10 year techie, as noted, this writer doesn’t have much sense to figure out what drive Apple uses and not a hint to just buy a 3rd party drive. My wife uses a DELL, if I want to put a burner in it, I’m not going to DELL first. Check their prices out for upgrade components; they make you pay way more than picking up the part at your local computer shop. This is similar to all name brand manufacturers and no surprise here. Horrible article.
I have a Sony DRU-710A that supports CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, and DVD+R9. I tossed it in a generic Firewire case and connected it to my TiBook. Works likes a charm in DragonBurn & Toast. Ran the PatchBurn program and it works perfectly with iTunes and iDVD.
I must say this article is completely useless. I don’t expect Apple to support drives they don’t sell and that aren’t included in the DiscBurn functions. I researched it on my end regarding the drive and PatchBurn even before I purchased the 710A.
I’m afriad im gonna have to go with the author on this one. True Apple wants to support componets that there OS will support so its coded with a few configurations. They also have some detecting firmware on the mobo and some of there software doesnt like third party parts. We’ll, if iDVD wont work, lets take something from an open source program and use that? Patch burn is a good idea and as far as I know Apple said there latest patch and Tiger would fix this. (Ya, ok) If Apple clearly wants to compete with PC’s there going to have to be more flexiable with there hardware configurations. Think I want there 4 yr old video card playing Doom 3 on my Mac? Think I should just stick with 256 MBs of RAM? $300 for 512MB of RAM for my laptop? lol I dont think so. When faster burners come out, think I should stick with there slow poke? THe newer Macs are more flexiable than the old. Apple is trying to change this and they should, cuz like me I really dont care for some of Apple’s choice of hardware.
“Just buy this model number….”
“Apple just works because of it’s limited hardware…”
More apologist talk, and people wonder why Mac’s market share is going in the tank.
Hear no evil, speak no evil, ….
OSNEWS was taken for a ride with this story. Mac Towers are very upgradable…
this guy did something that no one does!!!! who calls the OEM for a part for upgrades? NO ONE!!!
and if this guy did 1 minute of investigation he would have found that you can use any internal dvd burner in a Mac… Patchburn works to get external burners working… and I do not think that the first post was really Euginia…. she KNOWS that external burners need the easteregg files to wok with iDVD…
who allowed this troll story? really it is full of inaccuracies and setups…. should I write a story about apple support if I asked them to give me a sandwich and they did not?
dell as far as i know does NOT void your warranty if you open the case.
they even had a little sticker on it saying that fact. “Removing this label will NOT void your warranty”
(i did a double take the first time).
I have a 107/A07 and it works great.
Apple does not void the warranty either!!!!
I cannot believe the posts on here… I feel like I am in the twilight zone… you have people who have no clue about the mac world calling Mac users trolls and zealots because they simply tell the truth “Macs will support 3rd party drives” sure… you need patchburn but so friggen what… I have an NEC dual layer DVD drive… all its features work when using Toast 6… sure. iDVD only works with DVD-R/RW, but so what!!!!
all this article has done is add more uninformed fodder for PC fanboys to use against the Mac (BTW.. I use PC and Mac so I am not some crazed fanatic… but as some one who builds systems, it just makes no sense to ask an OEM for a component upgrade after the computer was bought.)_
I use both x86 and Apple hardware. I know all about upgrades. And I do agree with the majority of people about this story. Apple SHOULD sell you the Superdrive no questions. If you screw up your system installing the thing they should let you know that it is out of their hands.
About the people talking about how easy and painless x86 upgrades are, have never run into driver conflicts. I recently built a system for my sister bought her a MSI mobo and a ATI video card. And anytime my niece or nephew would try and play games the system would go into a hard lockup and would have to turn off the power to bring it down.
After some troubleshooting it turned out that the mobo drivers and the video drivers had a conflict. And after installing slightly older ATI drivers….. problem solved. The funny thing is I contacted both ATI and MSI about this problem.
MSI tech support: Sounds like you need to exchange your ATI card because it sounds defective. (So I did, no help)
ATI tech support: Sounds like something is wrong with your motherboard, exchange it for the same model. (So I did, to no avail.)
The cover of my G5 has been off many times. Not because it was broken, but because of the utterly awesome build quality of the computer. I wanted to show it to friends! This machine is miles ahead of _any_ PC I’ve ever seen the insides of, and I’ve seen thousands from white box clones and home built boxes to top brand names. None of them even comes close to the build quality of te G5.
I’ve also had to return this G5 once for a warranty repair because one of the CPU’s went defective. This was handled excellently! They took my machine in for repair and they gave me a free loaner with the same specs which was a surprise because this was at the time when the G5 had just been released and it was extremely hard to find, especially the dual 2GHz. models.
Two weeks later I got my own computer back, with a whole new case around it because the service techs had spotted a scratch on one of the side panels. I had caused this scratch myself, but they still replaced the whole exterior.. for free.. and those anodized aluminium cases are expensive!
I’ve never considered swapping the DVD-burner yet, but I just might try to see what happens when I do. I have this black LG burner lying somewhere around here. My bet is that this will just work with any application worth its salt. In which case it’s not OS X that’s at fault, but the iApp in question.
I built a mac a few months ago out of an iMac G4 board, and for xmas I just got a Lite-On 16x dvd burner. I’ve not tried it with iDVD, but it works fine with Toast.
I am surprised however that this technician did not search elsewhere for the drive before contacting Apple. I would never consider for a second buying a part from Apple unless absolutely necessary (perhaps an iMac power supply, which they won’t sell you anyhow…I tried).
If you do need an Apple part, you have to go through a vendor. That’s what I did to get the power supply for my Franken-iMac. But yea, it only took me minutes of searching on google to find out where to buy the “superdrive” (www.macsales.com).
What an amazing article for a ‘reputable’ web site.
Maybe I should write an article on my upgrade experience on a 4 year old g4 tower.
faster processor from ebay, check.
DVD writer from macsales, check.
video card, check, of course, more ram.
Easy, done, still works today.
“That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard! So computers shouldn’t be upgradeable now? Perhaps your general contractor should tell you you can’t add that wing on your home, you should’ve added it when you bought it! New car stereo? No! Why didn’t you buy it when you bought the car? ”
Just to point out a fact… Yes, many times you can’t add that wing do to zoning or permit requirements changes since the home was built. and yes, many times you can not just pop in a new cd player on new cars beause of the extremely non standard location, sizes, and wiring of the car. some newer cars in the mid to high price range require more work to modify the dash to install the stereo than the speakers and cdplayer are worth.
but anyways. I’m starting to have a hard time telling if I’m readin /. or OSN sometimes…
Watching Mac fans defend their companies pathetic customer service, sorry guys it is and always has been bad, Yes, I know the service is good for broken parts, but Dell does the same thing with better coverage.
And all the Mac haters going “yea, it may be better; but they’re mean!” And Microsoft is nice?
Face it, Apple has some disgusting business practices. Like suing everyone who leaks anything about upcoming products. But, they do make a damn nice home computer.
I have an iBook and I plugged in a USB CDROM burner, which worked fine. But then I added a USB port expander and plugged the CDROM into the port expander and IT DOESN’T WORK!!!! What’s up with that? It also doesn’t work if I remove the port expander and plug the CDROM into the USB port on the iBook that I didn’t install the CDROM.
In other words, it won’t work unless I plug it into the exact port in the exact manner I did when I first used/installed the CDROM. This is most annoying since there no way to “un-install” it & try again. I suppose the only way to “fix” it is to scratch the disk and re-install the OS. Anyone have any better ideas? And YES, I *NEED* the extra USB ports.
I’ve worked for various Apple Authorized Resellers as an Apple Certified Technician since 1998.
In NO way is Apple Service bad.
Compared to NEC, Packard Bell, and some other companies, it’s incredibly good…
Yes, Apple has the “Not Sold Here” syndrome…
They could easily have used generic parts and supported them all along. Such as PS/2 Keyboards and Mice in the old ADB days.
Or, standard CD-ROM Drives instead of the “Apple ROMmed” drives…
Or standard PCI/AGP Video Cards like the AmigaONE, Pegasos, and other PPC Vendors do…
They don’t. It’s their choice.
It doesn’t make them “Bad”.
You might not wish to choose to buy their stuff because of this.
But, to most of Apple’s Customers (and customers of Name Brand PC’s that have similar restrictions), it doesn’t matter.
Most people don’t EVER upgrade their computers.
Most people don’t upgrade their cars either…
They just replace what’s broken, when it breaks.
MAYBE they’ll upgrade their RAM, or add a printer and scanner…
And I agree this article was POORLY written, the guy did NO research…
You can EASILY get Superdrives from MacSales (OWC), or http://www.wegenermedia.com and lots of vendors CHEAP!!!!
Much cheaper than $170.00.
I upgraded my G4 350 to a G4 550, 512mb of RAM, and a better video card, and even though I’m an Apple Authorized Technician… I didn’t order ANY of the parts from Apple.
I bought them all from eBay or from local vendors.
And if my machine is out of warranty, I’m used to that…
Most of my PC’s are hand built, and hence… Have NO warranties at all… (Except for the warranty on the parts from the individual vendors.)
As a long time MAC user/Zealot if you wish, I can understand your confusion about buying a faster DVD drive. What you need to realize is that the first MACs had a small CRT built in. The computer market in the late ’80’s did not have any or many knowledgeable customers that could service them safely. CRT’s can hold a charge for a very long time and at such a high power as to be deadly. So Apple had and still does have a policy that most customers should not open their computers.
Times have changed and MANY (not all)computer users now are more familiar with how to replace a hard drive and ram ect. Typically inside a computer system the power supply functions at about 10 volts or less and so shorting your self out accidentally would typically not kill you or any one else. A box computer typically does not have a CRT (except the eMAC). CRT’s are still deadly to the ignorant.
Replacement parts are all over the place for MAC computers, with time you learn what you can replace and how and where. It is not the same for the MAC as it is for the PC. I do not go to big box stores for MAC software, they only shelve PC software. Buying MAC compatible hardware is pretty much the same. It is out there and plenty of it. But you have to know where to go to get it.
If Apple let just anyone put just any hardware in their computers and had to supply drivers for it all, then the famous Plug and Play which they tout would fly out the window. The dependability that they offer would be no better then MS’s plug and pray.
I am sorry that you have been so frustrated with your purchase attempts for upgraded hardware but this is just another difference that you will find with your MAC and Apple policy. I am always upgrading my computer, a G4 mp 450 which I bought new about 4 years ago.
The big difference is that I have to do a bit of home work and online research before I buy. I can’t usually just run to any store anywhere and knee jerk implulse buy something that just catches my eye and expect it to work with my computer just because I happen to be in the store at that time(though If I know what I am looking for I do impluse buy if the big box store has what I want)ie two 120gig ATA133hardrives at about 65 dollars each. Otherwise I go to an independent MAC store like the PowerMacPac in Portland Oregon and ask around between staff what they have or would suggest that full fills my current need. I know had you been able to ask them what DVD drive to buy for using in your Mac you would have gotten an answer of “any of the Pioneer DVR-AO3to8 drives and they could have drop shipped it to you just like that after a wave of your plastic money”.
Your MAC is still good tool/computer. If your a long term user this is about the last lesson that Apple has to teach-“Apple is NOT in the business of selling consumer quality upgrade hardware even for their own computers”. I know that it can be frustrating but it did save you a bundle of money- since you did not get the high priced drive from the Apple/manufacturer. Next time let us on line help you instead of trying to make the world work for your MAC like it does work for a PC. After all that is why you are trying to upgrade your computer and replace it.
Best wishes with your computer and many happy years of use.
I can buy a 330hp turbocharger for my VW Jetta, but VW doesn’t sell it or support it…does that make VW unsympathetic to customer needs? No.
Using the Web, Apple’s System Profiler, and the Manual which came with my various Macs, I have been able to buy 3rd party and install successfully. This includes upgrades to PCI Video, HDs, RAM, and Optical Drives — internal and external.
The hardest to upgrade was the G3 iMac 333, just way too many screws.
Just wanted to say, nice work on the subject title (headline)
Apple wouldn’t sell him the Superdrive because they don’t want someone taking their old G4 tower and upgrading it to squeeze a few more years of life out of it. They want you to buy a brand new G5. As far as problems go with stock parts, Apple’s customer service is excellent and they will usually go the extra mile to make sure that your problem is taken care of, but your cries will fall on deaf ears if you want any kind of support in regards to upgrades. That being said, anyone who wants to upgrade the drive in their Mac should check out this link:
It’s a nice little database that allows you to see what drives (hard or optical)work in what systems. You can adjust the search by Mac Model, OS Version, brand of drive, drive model, etc. For optical drives, the people who contribute to the database will usually leave notes about whether the drive is iTunes and iDVD compatible. Cool resource.
I tried adding an additional hard drive. The formatter/initializer program could see the drive (actually I tried several different brands and models) and I could set it up fine, but the OS never recognized any of the drives. I had to get the exact same brand/model as the one that came with it originally. That is pathetic. I see from this article that Apple is doing the exact same thing still today. That was my last Mac. At the time I thought they were incompetent, but that was obviously naive, they did it on purpose, to sell more hardware at superbloated prices. This practice should be illegal.
Just wanted to chime in with my two Apple support stories.
The first encounter with Apple support occured maybe 6 months ago when my iPod kept rebooting and I could not restore the unit. All I had to do was fill out a support request on Apple’s site, maybe 3 days later a box came in the mail with packing instructions and pre-paid postage to apple. 5 days later I recieved a new iPod in the mail with a piece of paper attached to it. No, it wasn’t an invoice but a Customer Statisfaction survey. Needless to say, I was a very happy customer.
My second encounter involved my 1.33 ghz powerbook g4. The backlit keyboard crapped out and I was pretty upset considering the lappy was bought this past June. A quick call to Apple and a 10 minute drive to CompUSA had my laptop shipped out the next day. No games, no BS, just my laptop being repaired in a timely and efficient fashion.
So far my experiences with Apple have been very pleasant, but come on folks who calls the OEM for parts? I work as a technician and I always advise customers to never purchase the parts from the OEM due to the excessive cost (an example being a $300 mobo for a 350mhz HP machine). A little common sense goes a long way…
I’m a Windows and Linux user that was about to purchase my first Mac in 2005.
After reading this, the chances I’ll buy a Mac–even if they introduce one dirt cheap–went down by 50%.
Upgrading Mac is easy.
Be it FW external hdd, just worked.
USB2 CDRW drive, just worked.
Non-branded BT adpater, works better than under Windowz even without a need to install driver.
When I buy my Mac, I have expected no upgrade from Apple.
If I had to, I would have to do it on my own and do a few googling or ask on a few forum.
I’m just a student, not a techie.
I’d pray for your customers that their box never went wrong, since they don’t have good techie to help them fix even the techie’s own computer.
Are you someone from Dell or something?
This article is crap, please someone come and clean it up.
Apple does this and and someone complains and everybody calls him a whiner.
I’m stunned. Why do people accept such shabby treatment by a company and then exalt in joy over their abuse? I just don’t understand it.
It is stupid for Apple to not support external hardware, and not offer upgradable hardware.
I wish you better luck, although I have never had a problem installing hardware updates into my PowerMac. Here are some of my most recent upgrades:
1. Pioneer DVR-108 DVD Burner
I read the compatibility database, and this one popped out of the screen. I had it shipped to my house for $80! They wanted $130 for it at Micro Center and CompUSA. Applied Patchburn and it works flawlessly with DVD Studio Pro, iDVD, and iTunes.
What people need to realize is that not all apps work with all CD/DVD burners. Apple is in the business of making the hardware and software work effortlessly together. They do this by engineering the software to only work with specific (tested) hardware. Besides, these third party drives do come with Roxio Toast for burning as well.
2. ATI Radeon 8500
I pulled out the old, and installed the new. Drivers were built into the system, and I didn’t even feel a hiccup. I did notice the Quartz Extreme, and now wonder how I lived without it.
3. Acard AEC-6280M ATA-133 IDE Adapter
I just put this into one of my PCI slots, attached the new hard drives (my Mac can hold 4 hard drives, and two 5-1/4 drives) and booted up. On boot, the system asked how I would like to handle the new drives and offered to initialize them for me. Not even BeOS gives me that! (Confession: I am someone who still checks up on the Haiku status and eagerly awaits to try a more completed version.)
4. 512MB Memory (from Crucial)
Easy to install (as the case was engineered for very easy access. Not even my G5 at work is this accessible!
Whenever upgrading systems, there will always be limitations to some extent. BeOS and other alternative OS’ have taught me this. I could always give in and start using Windows again (I use XP at work and although stable, the interface lacks), but then I would lose the beautiful and thoughtfully engineered environments. I always researched my hardware purchases for Windows, and this is no different now for my Mac and BeOS machines.
Good luck with your future upgrade endeavors, and remember that there is a large community of us geeks to help you along the way.
You’re correct in saying apple is handling this incorrectly and should sell you a new drive for your machine. Which they stated they would for $450. Your complaint isn’t about what they will and will not sell you, but about price.
Being a competent (<– keyword) tech person, you should know with very little research (aka calling small dog or macsales.com) that their are other drives not officially supported by apple but work with the iLife Suite. The Pioneer series of drives are what apple has been using for superdrives since day 1 and not so coincidentally work from third party distributors as well.
Did Apple handle this incorrectly? Yes. Did you just rant to be heard? Probably.
Lodge your complaint to them and buy the same drive for less money from a trusted third party.
I learned a lot.
Got some great links, got info on another function sneaked in by Apple’s coders, observed another clash of nerds.
Life is good.
Here’s a tip!
“MAC” vs “Mac”:
At one point I wanted to try and upgrade my PM 5200 with an TV/FM tuner. I had actually upgraded the motherboard to a 5500 (The difference is a 2nd generation PowerPC, three times faster and not crippled from design). I stopped by a local authorized service provider, and he looked in his big book of parts, quoted me a price, I dirtied my pants, and decided that I was just fine getting one off of eBay.
Yessiree, the one place to get my OEM parts at prices that don’t kill cattle.
Apple won’t sell you the part because they don’t want to set the precedent of allowing every idiot to upgrade their computer. As cited above, there is possible liability and death from upgrade mishaps. Perhaps if you faxed them your resume showing your experience as a tech and signed a waiver…they would let you apply to become a service provider and then you could order it yourself. You’d still have to pay the large dollar amount though.
Mr. Welch, Apple cannot help it that you are thrifty and cannot see spending $450 on a single part. You found a solution, you just refused to take advantage of it because of the economics of the situation.
Anywhats, as most Apple people will tell you, by the time you’re considering upgrading all of this… why don’t you start looking at a new mac? The G5 tower is bound to be what, 2-3 times faster than whatever you’re using now.
I wonder why such an article, it is quite easy to upgrade your
internal cd or dvd burner. MCE provides many solution for the macintosh and they all work well as far as i tested.
Take a look at their web-site before contacting apple tech support or marketing departement.
I swear, I do not work for this company, but I am a satified customer. That ‘ all.
My girlfriend has a g3 233 desktop. We haven’t upgraded the processor, just the ram and the video card, and hard drive. Most of that was years ago. She’s recently bought an IOMega cd burner/dvd player for it which works like a charm with the usb2/firewire card we stuck in it. Seriously, for a machine bought in aprox 1998 that is something like 5 generations behind the current macs (bw g4’s, Cubes, new imacs,g5’s,g5 imacs) and at the bottom of the group in processor speed, she has been able to run osx on it for some time now, and do her every day stuff and even play unreal tournament on it when she feels like it networked to my pc. I wouldn’t call that a bad machine… we have been given a upgrade to a blue and white tower which has a 300 g3 in it, native firewire and supports 1gig of ram… and I think it will end up being an excellent machine when I upgrade it…which I will with the aid of the internet.
This guy just wanted to rant and rave. As you all said, the resources were there. Probably Apple has all of its resources on superdrives in stock already allocated to going out in new machines, they are becoming that popular. I even want one, and I’ve built PC’s for years.
The xlerate your mac forums are very inclusive, and the info was there if he wanted it. I wish OSnews would have held this rant from going into the headlines and wasting my time on something that could have been constructive.
The new macs are excellent machines… I don’t think they hold a candle to a new dual pci-express machine (SLI), and that is the nature of the computer world. Competition elimates the weak and even some of the strong, and makes the really smart and strong, stronger. Before you know it, they’ll have a dual g5 or Cell machine running a dual Geforce 6800 SLI. Just wait. (of course by then we’ll have dual core dual processor sli pc’s running A64’s. Ha ha. Just wish apple would go ahead and port osX over so I could run it on my new supermachine.
I’ve owned 2 macs; a 604e Power Computing Power Center Pro and then an Apple G4. The G4 I purchased second hand and all the warranty stuff transferred over for me. Even the service contract the original owner was passed to me which I though was cool.
Now optical disc drives. Most will work it’s just if it will work to BOOT the OS of a CD. I sold my DVD-RAM drive thinking I could just replace it with a regular sony dvd drive… no. .. then I tried an expensive plextor before finally getting a Pioneer A5.
My big problem with Apple was when they went from OS9 to OS X. I purchased roughly around $1000+ worth of software only to find that most of it didn’t work under OS X. To be more specific under OS9 emulation…. Since then I made the switch to Windows was has it’s own set of problems.
A Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), is not too much to ask for. They refused to tell me the make and model of a drive that would work, and that is why I was angry. They do not sell ANY internal drives, and no manufacturor will fully support the drive for OSX. My point of the article is that there is NO support at all, not even from 3rd Party for drivers et cetra.
I have upgraded my machines several times. My Dell came with a 233MHz PII and I wanted to upgrade it to a 333MHz one. Dell will surely not sell me a PII 333Mhz module because my PC came with a 233MHz.
Dell, Apple and IBM only have the obligation to fix what they sold you originally. No manufacturer at the level of these companies will sell you upgrades. Do a search on Dell’s site with “processor upgrades” and all the hits are for memory modules.
It’s like saying I wasn’t happy with the 2.5L inline six BMW sold me with a 325i and I want a 3.0L engine and BMW should sell me one becuase I can put it in myself. They won’t.
You were too angry to even just type “superdrive upgrade powermac” on google!!!! I just did and got these two hits. No effort and all the support you need.
There are many drives that work with the powermac you should have done better research. It would have been less stressful and time consuming than writting an ill-informed article and going through posts on OSNews defending your view.
Why is this even on OSNews.com? This isn’t news it’s just a rant, maybe I should post a big ass rant about IBMs so called Tech support when it comes to their lame ass RSA II Raptor cards that they ship broken, and I’m required to flash all of them back to a working status? Or maybe I should complain about HP and their call centre in Bangalore India, and how the staff there haven’t been trained in dealing with HP server techies, and they treat us like common people who’ve just bought a PC off the shelf? Or maybe I could complain about… nah screw it.
Once again did I miss something why is this on OSNews.com? BTW we have a term to describe people like this PEBKAC.
“and no manufacturor will fully support the drive for OSX. My point of the article is that there is NO support at all, not even from 3rd Party for drivers et cetra.”
no manufacturer will support the drive?
Apple Superdrives and LaCie optical drives are just rebranded Pioneer drives…the exact same Pioneer drives that you can buy at Best Buy, Comp USA, etc for a PC.
you have 3rd party support, and you don’t have to load any additional drivers.
(a) Should there be restrictions on the upgrades you perform? IMHO, no.
(b) Should Apple be responsible for supporting those upgrades? IMHO, no.
(c) Should Apple sell components to the end user? I don’t know.
What ever your opinion is on each of these issues (and perhaps others) is, please don’t mix the issues. It makes it sound like you have a minimal intellectual capacity since you are distorting reality to fit your preconceptions.
I was under the impression that just Automobile Manufacturers try to rob you. This is horrible its one thing if you dont have a choice but if you have an obvious choice why would a company have suck short sighted policies. Oh well I like my amd64 with linux, atleast all my hardware are supported.
Raptor, a car isn’t a computer. Doing upgrades for a car is not common and its quite a bit more complex then upgrading components on a computer.
The author wasn’t really complaining that they don’t sell upgrades, he seems to be more annoyed with he fact that Apple did everything possible to make it harder for him to upgrade.
I think someone should sue Apple for uncompetitive practices like tying software to hardware. This is just crazy. I never could understand why people spend money on Macs, their overpriced, they lack the fun (for geeks) factor of Linux and the functionality of windows (most Mac apps have much better OSS variants).
I am having a hard time with this one. Apple is under no obligation to support upgrades, nor sell you upgrade parts, and should they, they are allowed to selll them for insane prices, like Dell, HP etc. These companies are in the business of selling you a computer, not parts.
That said, G4 towers are just about as expandable as any PC. I bought an old G4 400 MHz Sawtooth two years ago. The machine has a now has a 1.2 Ghz processor, a 64 MB PC video card that I flashed with a Mac ROM to save cash, generic USB 2.0 with additional ports in the slot where the Zip drive was, a Pioneer 4X DVD burner (Cendyne branded), an Alchemy DVR card and 340 GB of storage on 4 internal drives. None of this stuff is from Apple because it isn’t offered, and if it was, it would be outrageously expensive in order to convince me to buy a new machine.
Finally, if you do want to upgrade a Mac tower, you should always start over on xlr8yourmac.com , as it seems that someone has always tried the upgrade in the past, and you can see how it went before you put your money down. They are the best resource for this sort of thing, and if they aren’t, they will have the links to the people with the definitive site.
That’s Slings and Arrows.
If this guy is an average “technician” around your grounds, please tell me where it exactly is, so I can move there and let the neighboring masses know what the word “technician” really means.
This guy is just complaining. Why ? Because he had a freaking bad day (or night whatever). Want a spare part for Apple HW ? Buy one from a reseller, distributor, or ebay. Many places to get stuff from, new or used. 5-7 days tops if you’re in the US.
Want spare HW parts for any other computer with big names ? Do the same. Otherwise they will cost like hell (try HP, I’m just through with official HW upgrades for a HP laptop – wasn’t mine, wouldn’t have gone this way then -, so I know the drill: way too expensive and way too slow).
If you are a “technician” then you know what you are working with. If you know Apple HW, then you know what and where you can buy replacements or new stuff. That’s it. Anything else is just a waste of the readers’ time.
Apple is in the hardware business, and that would serve as an explanation. However, Apple can smear themselves with feces, and that would be their right. They do earn a bad score from me on customer service. Here’s how this should go down: “Sorry Mr. Welch. Apple sells preconfigured systems only, and doesn’t sell upgrade parts. I can tell you that the model of the Superdrive is a Pioneer A07/8, but that’s about it. You might want to check a reputable parts supplier if you want to purchase and install the drive, but your system would not be supported at that point. I can recommend the site http://www.XLR8yourmac.com for tips.” That last part would be a mere courtesy, probably not something Apple would say, but you get the general nub of my gist.
“idvd with third party drives internal or external” By anon. Spot on. Good info.
This is what I mean, go to DELL!
8X/4X/12X DVD+RW and 32X/16X/40X CD-RW Internal Combo Drive for Dell OptiPlex GX270 Systems
$152.95 a bit overpriced but not $450.00 and It is supported by Dell™ Technical Support when used with a Dell system!
The product has been tested and validated on Dell™ systems to ensure it will work with your computer and is compatible with Dell™ OptiPlex™ GX270 D/T system.
I wanted a slightly overpriced drive that is supported, that is not too much to ask for.
Is it just my weird ideas, or isn’t hardware supported through drivers? Wouldn’t supplying a working driver be part of the hardware sale, not necessarily the OS sale?
I see a lot of people saying that Windows and Linux just support new hardware, and that OS X doesn’t. Is there a magic thing in Windows and Linux that supports brand new hardware that isn’t like previous hardware, and no previous drivers would recognise? Say I plugged in a point-of-sale scanner. Would the PC just know about it, and how to deal with it?
I suspect not.
You can put in generic drivers that will cover most expected types of functionality, and Apple have. Maybe not as many as Windows, but I’ve done several upgrades to a PowerMac tower without issue.
So why didn’t the drive retailer offer a Mac version of their driver?
By the by, I installed an LG CD-RW a few years back, and this worked in the OS without any driver (I verified this before purchase, as there was no mention of OS X on the box). Very nice, considering the part was only new to the market. It didn’t work with iTunes, so I looked around and found a hacked driver on http://www.xlr8yourmac.com, and never looked back. A subsequent upgrade in OS X no longer required the hacked driver.
That’s great when it happens, but can any company guarantee it will be the norm?
And why assume things for Apple’s motivation in selling parts? As I don’t know their internal policies and procedures, I have a hard time commenting on them. Apparently I’m in a minority, as a number of others helpfully point out that Apple don’t want anyone to upgrade, they hate users or it’s part of a conspiracy.
Isn’t it just easier to believe that they don’t want to get stuck in a support loop for something they don’t make and can’t control? They do sell some parts, but they’re generally Apple parts. I don’t know the full story, so I can only judge on my experiences.
Lastly, I don’t understand the people saying that they wouldn’t buy a Mac because of this incident. It’s analogous to me saying I wouldn’t buy a PC because I read about a driver conflict above, or because Dell won’t sell the new WhizBang(tm) graphics card I want at the price I want, and even if I do get it, Windows won’t automatically support it without the driver being installed.
A little bit of research goes a long way. It would have saved the article author a lot of pain. My experiences have been hassle-free. His weren’t.
As has been pointed out ad nauseum, this is a completely legitimate beef, but this isn’t Apple. Jeez, I remember trying to buy a replacement drive for my Dell laptop. Same issue. Same runaround. I remember trying to buy a replacement optical drive for my Gateway desktop years ago. Same issue. Same runaround. Now I just don’t bother. If it’s not on NewEgg, I go to PriceWatch. Only if every source says “May only be purchased from vendor” do I go to the manufacturer.
Anyway, I have to concur with what appears to be the majority on this one: this is not a good article for the front page. This is a LiveJournal entry.
Something that should have taken an hour at the most took this guy (a self-described “computer service technician for over 10 years”) way too long and he’s got to spread the word to all those ignorant mac-loving suckers about his suffering at the hands of mean unfair Apple (please note sarcasm).
First, the G4 tower is upgradeable. In fact, just about any machine is upgradeable if you want to put the time and effort into it. It’s just easier to put new PCI cards, RAM, hard drives, optical drives, etc. in a tower. Believe me, I’ve done all those things in my B&W G3. In fact, I’ve even upgraded the processor unlike a number of Wintel users I know who claim that this is such a big deal on their computers but have never actually done so.
Second, do Wintel users usually place orders for service/upgrade parts with OEMs? It seems that Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, etc. would not exist if that were how most users went about upgrading their computers. For some reason, this guy thought that his years of experience gave him special privileges. Besides, those companies he named, i.e. “Compaq, IBM, HP, Dell, and even a cheap no-name Korean brand that went out of business,” weren’t all operating on solid business principles. That is why only HP and Dell are left in the PC business. Should Apple do the same because this guy thinks so? Hah! Actually, I understand that Wintel users don’t mind paying outrageous service fees (GeekSquad?) just so long as the initial purchase price was “low.”
Third, this guy is just lying when he writes “I was forced to wait on hold for over 3 hours.” He chose to wait for an “adequate” answer. Well, here’s his answer: It makes poor business sense to do what he was asking – just look at those other companies whose computers he serviced.
Fourth, Apple does provide a hardware compatibility list. There are numerous CD writers that are supported under iTunes, e.g. http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61639. There is a similar list for iDVD but it holds just one entry – Apple Superdrive (defined by Apple as the DVD burning drive that comes factory installed with a Mac).
Well, the article wasn’t totally worthless. He did mention xlr8yourmac.com (a great site), the NEC ND3500A which is an excellent burner (was $50 A/R at pcconnection.com), and Patchburn (free + 10 minutes – I agree with Eugenia that this is a nuisance). Get an external FW/USB 2.0 case for a 5.25″ drive (dealsonic.com) and you’ll have a great external burner for less than $100. By the way, on the rare occasions that I’ve dealt with Apple customer service, I can only say that things were handled politely, professionally, and quickly.
Should Apple support 3rd party DVD burning drives? Yes, and it already does. Should Apple make this information common knowledge? Not if it isn’t in its own best interest, even if paying customers think that they should. Is this information common knowledge? It already is. Should people make not mountains out of molehills? Too bad, they will continue to do so no matter how often rational voices intercede.
Sheesh, want a clone? Get one and quit griping. Ever try to put a Mercedes transmission in a Jaguar? Try telling Jaguar techsupport that your Yugo will work with a Hyundai transmission, theirs should too. Ridiculous.
This article is useless tripe.
I’ve had no trouble upgrading any of my Macs, least of all the CD-ROM drive. It takes me about 2 minutes to find the brands that work for a given model and OS and clicking the “Buy Now” button. I’ve done this to numerous G4 towers, even several G3 systems. No patches required. It was no harder than upgrading any x86. In fact, it was easier as I didn’t have to fuss with drivers or update burning software, etc…
When as the 10th comment on this thread I linked the $120 16X SuperDrive upgrade on MacMall (http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=9286&offset=0&rows=15#318…) I expected end of story. Yet people are still lambasting Apple like this is an enormous problem.
Why is it a problem, simply because you can’t purchase the upgrade from Apple directly? While I admit Apple used to be the polar opposite of this policy, allowing you to order any component or logic board within their systems directly, that’s not been the case since the ’80s. If you want an upgrade, turn to MacMall or any of the other companies selling aftermarket parts.
There’s no need for crazy patches, there’s no need to research what specific model of Pioneer drive a SuperDrive actually is, unless you want to sacrifice the painless Apple experience and guaranteed compatability and save $30. There are plenty of vendors of aftermarket products for your Mac. The PowerMac is fully upgradable.
The attitude here seems to be that if Apple doesn’t sell a SuperDrive, then nobody does, which is completely ridiculous. As I mentioned earlier, there were nearly 1000 hits for SuperDrive on Froogle.
It’s a simple rule… want parts that work with your Mac? Then buy ones with Mac support. There are dozens of companies dedicated to selling Mac compatible components exclusively, namely MacMall. If you need an aftermarket upgrade, these should be your first stop.
So, in conclusion, this story was a troll and this “problem” is a complete non-issue. It has, unfortunately, brough the PC trolls out in force, who continue to reiterate this as if it were still a problem. It simply isn’t.
My experience entirely when I decided to junk my PC for a G4 PCI Powermac, I ripped the dvd writer (pioneer) a05 from the pc added it and 1 gig memory to the Mac and found it much easier than with a PC.
First off, I’m a Mac dude. Second, (although they usaully don’t go together) I am cheap.
I love the OS and tend to buy cheap to mid range Macs, because I am not loaded.
I wouldn’t go to Apple for their Super drive at this point. Their “Superdrive” is slow and expensive.
I agree Apple should provide an upgrade path (outside of RAM & HD) for ALL Macs. My current machine is an iBook G3/900. Even LaCie would not “support” a G3 machine with their drives.
This is what I did:
1-Bought a Poineer DVR-108 (16x, 8xDL) from,www.newegg.com, cost $80
2-Bought a Firewire enclosure from http://www.newegg.com, cost $40
3-Bought Toast (tech stuff aside, I have always loved it) from http://www.newegg.com, cost $60 (support Mac dev!)
And so I could use the iLife stuff…
4-Download Patchburn II from http://www.patchburn.de/
Total: a whopping $180 (without Toast $120)
Moral of the story? If you can turn a #2 Phillips head and you can use a search engine. This is simply not a problem. I agree Apple SHOULD, but Apple WON’T so others DO. Problems with the drive??? Nil…
Here is another important moral, now my little, humble, and unsupported iBook burn DVDs faster than the Dual G5/2ghz macines at the school and the Viao laptop my buddy bought 8 months ago. Smokes’em all.
Next time go to http://www.xlr8yourmac.com first. Research it and make a wise choice, just as you did when you decided to “opt-out” and buy a Mac in the first place.
“That leaves us to third party devices. A PC is an OPEN platform, a Mac is a CLOSED platform. Raise your hand if you didn’t know this.”
At this time, MAC IS AND WILL BE THE ONLY REAL OPEN PLATFORM. 🙂
Processors are open-based.
Motherboards (Hypertransport-based) are open-based.
Mac OS X is open-based.
Sorry, you wrong!
I didn’t believe this story when I read it–the “3 hours on hold” set off my BS meter. Not even Dell would keep you on hold that long. And certainly not Apple, who was recently ranked #1 in customer service.
I happened to walk by a store today which sells Mac products.
SuperDrive $269 bucks. Installed.
Way too expensive? Of course. But nothing is cheap with Apple.
But this story is BS. I suspect this is an example of someone with marginal people skills doing more damage to themselves then a problem with Apple.
But an article like this will sure bring out the Apple Haters, that’s for sure.
Apple support simply sucks. It’s the worst support I’ve ever seen.
I work on an university, where we just bought arount 70 Powermac G5 dual, and a couple of XServers. Pretty expensive bought, each machine was almost 5 thousand dollars (with monitor, and everything).
Now you would imagine that, on a big purchase like this, Apple would at least take the time to help you with support for all those machines, right? WRONG!
They are just stupids. They sold us all those machines, and they couldn’t even tell us that the machines come with just 3 months of warranty, and thta a care pack costs only 200 bucks. Now we’re left with a bunch of machines without warranty, that can break at any minute. Just for the matter, from those 70 machines, 5 never worked, 3 broke during the 3 months warranty (and you have to take the fucking heavy machine back to their store to have it fixed), and 4 more are now broken.
If that was not enough, try buying care packs for 70 machines from apple. It seems that they really don’t want you to buy that. If you tell them that some of the machines are broken, they simply refuse to sell you the packs, it’s just plain ricidulous.
Apple should really hire a good business selling department… It’s just ridiculous. We buy equipment from other companies, like Dell, IBM and HP, and they are always reponsive, and help you even if your equipment is not on warranty (at least for businesses).
My ibook works fine with my external firewire Sony DRX-500ULX. Burns DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and regular CDR/RW discs without a hiccup in iTunes, Toast, Dragonburn and Popcorn. Finder and iTunes needed patchburn of course, but it works fine. Pretty strange that Eugenia’s Sony 510 refuses to write DVD+RW discs though.
” They sold us all those machines, and they couldn’t even tell us that the machines come with just 3 months of warranty”
Dude, that’s 90 days support, AND 1 year warranty.
Jeez, the malinfo here is getting so bad.
” Think: Safari 1.2 requires OS 10.3, which requires you pay the 150$. I personally don’t like paying for a new OS every year.”
Jeez, here’s another one!
Whats up with this forum today?
Spreading lies and half truths is rampant today!