Mac Mini issue

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Old Sniffer, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. Old Sniffer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #1
    I have recently taken delivery of a Mac Mini (1.25G4; 512MB; 40GB; Combo; Modem) computer as part of the settlement of an insurance claim for a defunct PC. At the time of making the settlement with the insurance, I asked that it would come with Bluetooth and Airport Extreme card pre-installed. I was assured that it would come with this. Guess what? - it didn't!

    The problem / issue:

    I already own a Powerbook and Airport Extreme Base Station for my Broadband connection as well as an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard & Mouse. I therefore cannot connect to internet or use said items with Mac Mini. I've checked back with the insurance company and they said that I would need to pay £91.65 for the additional kit that they would then send it to me and that I could be 'guided' over the telephone by their technical support dept about how to install the Airport Card (the Bluetooth module would be a USB add-on).

    I want BT and the Airport Card installed but I'm concerned as to installing it myself (as suggested by insurance company) as the Apple website says that "Mac mini may be upgraded with an Internal Bluetooth module and an AirPort Extreme card. These options are not user-installable on Mac mini, but they can be added later by an Authorized Service Provider".

    I contacted my local Apple Authorized Service Provider and they quoted me £145.11 for kit and installation charges. They told me that installation would require inserting a Mezzanine plate into the mini (to hold BT and Airport card) and that it was a very fiddly process.

    Has anyone tried to install these items into a Mac Mini themselves? - Can you do it?

    I was thinking of other workarounds to this problem (to avoid paying all of the extra dosh). To sort Bluetooth issue - add a D-Link DBT-120 USB (Rev 2) Bluetooth adapter for £34.94 in spare USB slot - or just get a cheap USB keyboard & mouse.

    Internet connection is a little more tricky. Does anyone know if you can 'split' a DSL line, so that one connection goes into my Ethernet modem (which then connects to Base Station for Powerbook wireless internet) and the other into my spare USB modem, which I could connect to the Mac Mini (as I don't really need a wirless connection on the Mini). Or can you get something that will split the ethernet cable so that I can have one connection going from modem to base station and another cable to the Mini (sorry - I've not even opened the Mini box, so I don't even know if it has an ethernet connection??).

    Any help / advice, gratefully received.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a

    Marky_Mark

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    My advice would be to speak again, or better still, write to the insurance company. Tell them that you have been advised by the manufacturer's agent that the parts are not user-installable, and that you took in 'good faith' (make sure you use these words) that the parts you discussed with the insurance company would be pre-installed. The goods they have provided as settlement for the claim are therefore incomplete.

    Suggest two options to them - either they can provide a financial settlement amount to allow you to have the apple dealer supply the approved parts and install (get a quote on headed paper and send it to them first), or, that they provide access to one of their own approved installers to do the work on your behalf, so that *you don't risk damaging the Mac and invalidating the warranty* whilst you are at it.

    Tell the insurance firm that you are only talking about a £50 difference here, which would be cheaper then damaging and having to replace the Mac if it goes wrong.

    Be polite, courteous and reasonable at all times with them - you'll be surprised at how successful you could be.

    By the way - I forgot to add, the Mini does have an eth connection.
     
  3. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #4
    Yes but getting hold of the parts is more of a problem. If you can get the parts it's not a collosal job to fit but if you're in any way nervous about doing that sort of stuff then get someone else to do as it involves pretty much taking the whole thing to bits. Also DIY screws the warranty.
    No, I don't think you can.
    It has ethernet and the 'splitter' you need is called a router. They are pretty cheap. Check your wireless basestation doesn't have one built-in ...or at least a LAN socket. Some do.
     
  4. Old Sniffer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #5
    Thanks for your advice. I'll try this. However, when I had the original conversation regarding replacements for my PC, the value of the like-for-like replacement package was in excess slightly (the normal £50 excess charge on any insurance claim + £30 that I paid), because as well as the Mini, I also had a 23" ACD. When I contacted the insurance company (their supply company) after realising their mistake, they said that I would have to pay the additional £91.65 that they would charge for the kit because of this. Furthermore, they said that they could not take back the Mac Mini and replace it with pre-configured BT & AE Mini, as this would incur additional courier charges (all payable by me). Do you think this might affect my claim with them? Also, half of the package (23" ACD) is fine.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Old Sniffer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #6
    Thanks.

    My Base Station (Airport Extreme) has a LAN socket (ethernet) and a WLAN socket (this looks like an ethernet port to me) - is this so? If I have an ethernet cable connection from modem to Base Station (Powerbook wireless) can I just connect an ethernet cable from WLAN port on Base Station to Mac Mini for a physical connection to internet?

    Thanks.
     
  6. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #7
    They are both ethernet ports. The WLAN is the port for the connection to your modem and the LAN is for any wired machines. At least that's the way I think it works.
     
  7. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a

    Marky_Mark

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Ok, from your update above, I think I'm right in reading that the insurance company has settled fairly on a financial amount, if not a spec. You've opted, this time, to replace your damaged equipment with new equipment from a different manufacturer, and the price differential means that you've ended up with a slightly lower spec. I would suggest on this basis, that the insurance company has been fair and equitable in its settlement, and any enhancements to that spec would now be down to you.

    I would play the 'good faith' card on spec one time and see if they are willing to settle on a higher spec on that basis. Even if it is a verbal agreement in a telephone conversation, you can argue that you assumed that the agreement existed and you 'proceeded with that agreement in good faith'. If that doesn't yield a result, I think you just need to accept the settlement as it stands and move on.

    Let me know if I've got this wrong, I'm happy to help further if it's of use.
     
  8. Old Sniffer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #9
    Thanks. That sounds about right and I'm happy with the financial settlement. The point I need to make to the insurance company is that (in addition to the £50 excess and the £30 extra), I would have been happy to pay slightly more for the BT and AE pre-installed, as requested. If I had asked for the same spec from the Apple website, I would have paid an additional £69.99 for the BT and AE option to be preconfigured.

    The other issue is that the company I've been dealing with are the insurance company's sourcing company (2nd party). They then get the hardware from another 3rd party company (Jigsaw Computers). I noticed from Jigsaw Computer's website that the cost difference between the spec on my mini and that of the next size up (1.42Ghz; 80GB hard drive and BT & AE built-in) is £59. The sourcing company will also be able to get this at slightly cheaper cost, so the only other additional costs are courier charges to ferry computers back and forth to my address.

    If I do decide to write to the insurance on this and request the 'good faith card', I guess that a letter would need to go to the parent company and not the sourcing company (where the original problem arose regarding agreed specs)?

    Thanks.
     
  9. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a

    Marky_Mark

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Yes - write to the insurer - the 'first' party. Anyone else in the loop is acting on their behalf, and are unlikely to have decision-making powers.
     
  10. Old Sniffer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #11
    I think this solves my internet connection problem then! (Although I currently have my ethernet cable connected from the modem into the LAN port on the Base Station for Powerbook wireless). Does it matter which port I use for the Powerbook wireless and which I use for Mac Mini physical connection? Can you get longer ethernet cables, as I need a bit of length to reach the mini from the Base Station?

    Thanks.
     
  11. Old Sniffer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #12
    Thanks for your advice Marky_Mark, it has been helpful. I may do that, although judging from Caveman's answers, it seems that I can get a physical connection to the internet for the mini, just by connecting an ethernet cable from the other LAN / WLAN port on the Airport Base Station. This solves my problem, as I don't need a wireless connection for the mini! The Bluetooth issue I can solve by connecting a USB 'dongle'. If these workarounds do the job, I'm happy, otherwise I will write to the insurance company with your suggestions.

    Cheers!
     
  12. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #13
    You can get a bluetooth dongle cheap from this guy on ebay

    link

    The usual price for one of these is £35 and it's the only external adapter Apple officially supports.

    I have no connection with the ebay seller other than I have purchased stuff from him.
     
  13. Old Sniffer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #14
    Thanks for the link.

    Re: "...Does it matter which port (LAN or WLAN) I use for the Powerbook wireless connection and which I use for Mac Mini physical connection on the Airport Base Station? Can you get longer ethernet cables, as I need a bit of length to reach the mini from the Base Station?" - Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  14. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #15
    I'd use WLAN for the incoming connection from your modem and LAN for the one to the mac Mini. I think that's the way it works. It will only work one way. There is no connection to the powerbook....it's wireless.

    You can get ethernet cables in pretty much any length you want.
     
  15. Old Sniffer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ely, England
    #16
    Brilliant - thanks.

    You've made my day :)
     

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