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View Full Version : iMac Magnet Warning (front row version)


eva01
Oct 18, 2005, 09:00 AM
I found this on Mac Fixit today and just wanted to let other people that don't know about mac fixit to read this.

Warning -- keep iPod and other magnetic devices away from lower-right portion of the iMac The iMac G5 rev C (iSight) contains a magnet on the lower-right corner of the machine (below the slot-load SuperDrive) that is used to secure the remote in place when not in use. Be sure to keep iPods and any other storage devices that use magnetic media away from this area to avoid potential data damage.

p0intblank
Oct 18, 2005, 09:03 AM
I don't have an iMac, but still... that's kind of scary to even think about. :o Does Apple have an official warning on their site? If not, I think they should.

Thanks for the heads-up!

eva01
Oct 18, 2005, 09:05 AM
its probably a very tiny magnet and the chances of data loss are remotely negligible, but just in case. Better to be safe than sorry

cleanup
Oct 18, 2005, 09:10 AM
There's also a small magnet on the top edge of Rev A and B iMacs. It's there so you can magnetically secure an iSight to the iMac.

Eidorian
Oct 18, 2005, 09:11 AM
Wow, I was EXPECTING there to be an issue when they said there's a magnet to secure the remote. I didn't know about that iSight one though.

eva01
Oct 18, 2005, 09:11 AM
There's also a small magnet on the top edge of Rev A and B iMacs. It's there so you can magnetically secure an iSight to the iMac.

but one is more likely to have an iPod or a HD next to the lower right portion of the iMac than sitting on top of the iMac.

dcv
Oct 18, 2005, 09:15 AM
When I saw the pictures of the new iMac I did wonder how the remote control was attached to the side of it... I didn't think it would be magnetic for this very reason.

Hmmm... keep your iPod away from your iMac... interesting concept :rolleyes: ...perhaps easier said than done!

eva01
Oct 18, 2005, 09:17 AM
When I saw the pictures of the new iMac I did wonder how the remote control was attached to the side of it... I didn't think it would be magnetic for this very reason.

Hmmm... keep your iPod away from your iMac... interesting concept :rolleyes: ...perhaps easier said than done!

yeah especially considering if the location of the USB or FW ports are on the right hand side of the stand...

stoid
Oct 18, 2005, 09:28 AM
How does this compare to the magnets found in speakers. I have a pair of Harman Kardon SoundSticks II on my desk, should I be worried about data loss and keep them distanced from my hard drives (internal, external, and iPod?)

lickily
Oct 18, 2005, 09:32 AM
I thought about that when I first read how the remote was secured. Probably not a concern, but any chance of problems with internal components (HD, RAM, etc.)?

yg17
Oct 18, 2005, 09:37 AM
How does this compare to the magnets found in speakers. I have a pair of Harman Kardon SoundSticks II on my desk, should I be worried about data loss and keep them distanced from my hard drives (internal, external, and iPod?)

Computer speakers are shielded so there's no worry. The magnet in the iMac might be shielded too. Either that, or not even powerful enough to wipe a hard drive

neocell
Oct 18, 2005, 09:49 AM
I really doubt this magnet would have any negative impact. How about the magnets in PowerBooks and iBooks to get the closing latch to pop out. How much data have they corrupted? Just someone rambling on about theoretical problems and not actually thinking about life in the real world

jsw
Oct 18, 2005, 10:00 AM
Computer speakers are shielded so there's no worry. The magnet in the iMac might be shielded too. Either that, or not even powerful enough to wipe a hard drive
It wouldn't be shielded, as that would defeat the purpose of having one. :)

As far as the earlier rev iMacs... is there a magnet on top, or simply metal under the plastic for a magnetic iSight mount to latch onto?

Abstract
Oct 18, 2005, 10:06 AM
its probably a very tiny magnet and the chances of data loss are remotely negligible, but just in case. Better to be safe than sorry

Well it BETTER be tiny. W3rd on the street is that there's also a harddrive inside the iMac itself! :eek:

Alex Duggan
Oct 18, 2005, 10:09 AM
It wouldn't be shielded, as that would defeat the purpose of having one. :)

As far as the earlier rev iMacs... is there a magnet on top, or simply metal under the plastic for a magnetic iSight mount to latch onto?

There's a magnet inside of the casing on mine, as well as in the iSight mount (Rev. A 20")

Josh
Oct 18, 2005, 10:16 AM
That magenet is so small/weak, I gaurantee you it will not have any effect on data in iPods or other devices at all.

You could leave your iPod taped to that area for a week, and it would be fine.

The article is just slinging paint, that's all.

emotion
Oct 18, 2005, 10:19 AM
that magnet is nothing compared to the magnets in turnables. i use my mac for digital djing and have seen no probs when near a turntable.

i'm not sure i'd worry about the imac magnet

mcarnes
Oct 18, 2005, 11:05 AM
It wouldn't be shielded, as that would defeat the purpose of having one. :)

Shielded on the inside, not the outside (inside to protect the internal HD, etc). C'mon demiG, you know this stuff.

jsw
Oct 18, 2005, 11:10 AM
Shielded on the inside, not the outside (inside to protect the internal HD, etc). C'mon demiG, you know this stuff.
But I was replying in the context of the possible threat to an external iPod.... :)

bit density
Oct 18, 2005, 11:23 AM
Try this, take a magnet, and a credit card, like your backup one in case your paranoid. Rub the magnet all over the "mag-strip". Now take that card and try and buy something with it where they run it through a mag strip reader.

It still works. How can this be? Because stray magnetic signals are in general not enough to accidently erase magnetic media. Even strong and close. In general your ipod will not be close enough, and even if it was, it wouldn't rewrite your hard drive.

macrlz9
Oct 20, 2005, 09:30 PM
taken directly off of apple's user manual...

OutThere
Oct 20, 2005, 09:50 PM
While it's a good idea to be cautious I think there's a little too much worry about magnets and hard drives...iBooks and Powerbooks both have rather strong magnets built right into them as part of the latch. I've had pens slide over to the magnet and up the front of my computer to stick to the magnet. It's placed all of 4 inches from the hard drive in my iBook, and probably closer in 12" versions. While you might want to be careful, about leaving your iPod pressed up against it, it's not the end of the world.

Makosuke
Oct 21, 2005, 05:59 AM
Magnetic fields fall off at the cube of distance, so the range on this magnet, like most, is going to be VERY short. Although it's theoretically possible for this to mess up the data on a hard drive (which is why Apple is covering it's butt with that warning), it would have to be VERY close to actually have any effect--practically in physical contact, I'd wager. So long as your iPod dock isn't right next to that corner of the computer (even a couple inches is almost certainly more than enough), it is unlikely to ever have an effect.

(And actually, if it's in the dock, the metal case of the iPod's drive is probably grounded, in which case I don't think the magnet couldn't have any effect at all as it's basically a Faraday Cage at that point.)

Bottom line: I wouldn't lean my external hard drive against that corner of the iMac, but so long as you give stuff a couple inches clearance it'll never be an issue.

belvdr
Oct 21, 2005, 11:11 AM
Considering hard drives have magnets in them for the motors, I don't think this magnet is going to present any issue.

jared_kipe
Oct 21, 2005, 11:31 AM
Considering hard drives have magnets in them for the motors, I don't think this magnet is going to present any issue.

No kidding, has anyone actually lost data due to magnets since the old floppy disk erra? I think that the metal casing around hard drives and what have you is suffecient to protect the data. Hard drive platteres are not the same kind of material as the magnetic tape in audio cassettes.

macrlz9
Oct 21, 2005, 12:19 PM
just to let everyone know i agree that it is very overrated and i doubt this magnet will have any kind of effect at all. i just wanted to show that it is documented so apple is covering their rear ;)

aquajet
Oct 21, 2005, 12:34 PM
yeah a non-issue, apple is just playing it safe

cblackburn
Oct 21, 2005, 12:48 PM
Magnetic fields fall off at the cube of distance,

It's inversely proportional to the square of the distance IIRC

(And actually, if it's in the dock, the metal case of the iPod's drive is probably grounded, in which case I don't think the magnet couldn't have any effect at all as it's basically a Faraday Cage at that point.)

The faraday cage effect only works for electric fields IIRC.

Bottom line: I wouldn't lean my external hard drive against that corner of the iMac, but so long as you give stuff a couple inches clearance it'll never be an issue.

Hard drives have a pair of Neodymium magnets in them to move the heads and they are *substantially* more powerful than the one that will be used in the iMac G5. I very much doubt it will be a problem.

Chris

joker2
Oct 21, 2005, 01:26 PM
Try this, take a magnet, and a credit card, like your backup one in case your paranoid. Rub the magnet all over the "mag-strip". Now take that card and try and buy something with it where they run it through a mag strip reader.

It still works. How can this be? Because stray magnetic signals are in general not enough to accidently erase magnetic media. Even strong and close. In general your ipod will not be close enough, and even if it was, it wouldn't rewrite your hard drive.

<off topic> ...why is it that certain cards in my wallet lose their "magnetic strip" every couple of months or so? I continually have to get new cards, (especially the BP cards) as they no longer scan. (and with the exception of the BP card, it's usually different cards, not the same one each time.)</offtopic>

Jay42
Oct 21, 2005, 01:58 PM
Would be very cool if it was an electro-magnet that you could turn off and on through sys. prefs! That way you could turn it off if you weren't using it. Why don't I work for Apple?

jared_kipe
Oct 22, 2005, 11:59 AM
Would be very cool if it was an electro-magnet that you could turn off and on through sys. prefs! That way you could turn it off if you weren't using it. Why don't I work for Apple?

Because an electromagnet would constantly eat up power?

Koodauw
Oct 22, 2005, 12:30 PM
Watch sales associates... sometimes they're not careful and lay the CC down on the counter and that spot might have a strong magnet thingie to demagnetize for security objects and whatnots.

Actually, I think that is over rated as well. I have set my credit on those things numerous time and have nothing happen to the card.

Also, the PB has a small magnet in it and perhaps the iBook does too, but idk.
Its apart of the locking mechanism in the latch.

eva01
Oct 22, 2005, 12:34 PM
Actually, I think that is over rated as well. I have set my credit on those things numerous time and have nothing happen to the card.


That isn't overrated for the reason that those things at stores, you have to hit a button before the magnet reacts. It is how at least borders kills those security devices you step on a button and it sends a magnetic pulse out. If your credit card is on there when the button is pressed, say goodbye.

CanadaRAM
Oct 22, 2005, 12:50 PM
Computer speakers are shielded so there's no worry. The magnet in the iMac might be shielded too. Either that, or not even powerful enough to wipe a hard drive
SOME computer speakers are shielded.

Magnetic field strength follows the inverse square rule: If you are 2 x farther away, the field is 4 x weaker. If you are 3 x farther away, it is 9 x weaker.
So it hardly takes any distance at all to nullify the effects of a small magnet. The only possible effect would be if you made a habit of rubbing the iPod against the iMac right where the magnet is (perhaps in an attempt to get them to breed? Envisions a G5 computer on a lanyard around the neck, or an iPod with a 17" screen... scary)

This is also only a concern for hard disk based iPods - and although hard drives aren't particularly magnetically shielded, between the HD casing and the body of the iPod, I can't see a little magnet getting anywhere close to the platters.

Now this bad boy however:

Koodauw
Oct 22, 2005, 01:10 PM
That isn't overrated for the reason that those things at stores, you have to hit a button before the magnet reacts. It is how at least borders kills those security devices you step on a button and it sends a magnetic pulse out. If your credit card is on there when the button is pressed, say goodbye.

Well back in the day, before all this fancy " push a button before the magnet reacts" type device, there was simply a magnetic square on the counter. basically a magnet that looks like a mouse pad. That was what I was referring too. They never erased any CC of mine.

I don't know about the newer type. Have to try it. Ill report back later with details.

prostuff1
Oct 22, 2005, 01:12 PM
Apple is just covering there butts by putting the warning in the Manual.

I highly doubt that the magnet in the new iMacs would do anything. The magnet is probably to weak to do anything permentant.

On another note about the mag-strips on CC. They did an expirement on myth busters about this and found that it takes a VERY strong magnet to make the strip not work. The magnet they ended up using was like the size of 2-3 quarters stacked on top of each other and i think the thing could hold somehting like 35 pounds a piece. In other words...a very strong magnet!!! And that was the magnet they had to use to get the mag-strip to not work.

eva01
Oct 22, 2005, 01:14 PM
Well back in the day, before all this fancy " push a button before the magnet reacts" type device, there was simply a magnetic square on the counter. basically a magnet that looks like a mouse pad. That was what I was referring too. They never erased any CC of mine.

I don't know about the newer type. Have to try it. Ill report back later with details.

ah i see, sorry, i am almost certain that, that happened at least once at borders.

could have been just a problem with the persons card that it was dying anyways

Mechcozmo
Oct 22, 2005, 02:38 PM
taken directly off of apple's user manual...

Thank you, Mr. Lawyers. Any twat who looses data would blame Apple, despite the fact that the twat's data was lost due to them dropping it while the hard drive was spinning.

I hate evil lawyers.