As some of you may or may not know, for the past several months I have been posting messages on this forum - and others across the web - regarding my struggle with Apple Computer resulting from the purchase of a defective Titanium PowerBook, and its' subsequent repairs and replacements. Over a period of 20 months, these units were replaced three times and repaired nearly a dozen times. I don't have an explanation as to exactly WHY this has occurred, I only know that is has, and that the experience has been both frustrating and obnoxious. If you're so inclined to read about the full experience, please visit my website (http://williamsdesign.com/apple.shtml) and I will provide you with additional details. If not, we can pick up the story right here. I am now on my fourth Titanium PowerBook, which has failed. I returned it to Apple for service, and it came back to me non-operational. It was then returned to Apple Engineering in Elk Grove, CA. When my defective computer was originally inspected last week by Apple, I was told that the damage was caused to the computer when a RAM chip was improperly seated by their repair staff. This, according to Robin Roberts (at the time my corporate executive relations contact) caused some arcing within the case, and there were clear marks on the inside where "charring" has occurred. I must note that she went out of her way - to the extreme - to downplay the nature of this damage. Personally, I have had Macs for a long time, and I had a hard time believing that the problem could have possibly occurred in the way it was described to me, but then again - I use Macs because I don't WANT to have to be a computer expert, I just want to get stuff done. It's like my car. I can change the oil and do basic maintenance, but other than that, I just want to drive it. I have no interest in becoming a mechanic - or a computer hardware technician. Regardless, an offer was made by Apple to replace the unit with ANOTHER Titanium PowerBook. I declined, because this would have been my fifth of the line, and I no longer want to deal with what I view as the inherent defects this model seems to suffer. Sue me, flame me, whatever - this HAS BEEN my PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE. I asked for a CREDIT of my ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE so that I could purchase a different (yes, newer) model computer (hopefully one I would have fewer problems with), the 17" Aluminum PowerBook. I never (NEVER) asked Apple to cover the cost of the upgrade, I offered to do that myself. Likewise, the 17" Aluminum PowerBook was - and still is - the ONLY comparable, non-titanium option available. Show me a 15" Aluminum, and I'll bite. If for no other reason, it will fit in my computer bag. After this offer was refused, I gave Apple another option - a refund of the purchase price, which is prescribed by the Apple Warranty: "If a defect exists, at its option Apple will (1) repair the product at no charge, using new or refurbished replacement parts, (2) exchange the product with a product that is new or which has been manufactured from new or serviceable used parts and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product, or (3) refund the purchase price of the product." Via the pit bull of the corporate executive relations division, Patrick Ekstrand, Apple again said no. Quite firmly, I might add. I then punted and asked Apple to repair the computer, and I would deal with the issue through Small Claims Court, as it was clear that I wasn't getting satisfaction through "normal" channels. I'm pretty sure they thought I was bluffing, but I filed that day. On Monday of this week, I was *supposed* to receive my defective PowerBook back from Apple's repair center. When it did not arrive as promised, I did some investigating - only to discover the unit had been placed on an "Engineering Hold." Red alert, captain. Today, three days later, I received a call from Nancy Laxson-Heighton, a project manager within Apple's legal department. She indicated that Apple engineers had gone over my computer again, and NOW determined that the arcing in question COULD NOT have occurred during any normal usage, and that it was their contention that this damage was caused by misuse or intentional sabotage of my computer. My warranty has been voided, and Apple will only repair the unit if I pay for that service and the related parts. Of course, I categorically deny her baseless allegations, and I have sworn out out a legal affidavit to that effect today. This claim by Apple is, plain and simple, PURE FICTION. I'm sure the Apple zealot masses will use their claim as cannon fodder for a flame attack - whatever. I've been down that road before, and I know the truth. As for Apple, I will see you in court. Specifically - May 21st at 9:30 AM. Bring your checkbook. For the rest of you, please learn from my experiences. Apple is a large corporate entity and not unlike any other in the computer industry - or any other industry. If you think ours is a "different" lifestyle... or somehow superior beyond the (normally) rock-solid hardware and futuristic, ultra-stable OS - well quite frankly, you've been sold a bad bill of goods. If you call C.E.O. Steve Jobs by his first name (Yo, Steve!) or think for a second that he gives a rat's ass about anything other than separating you from your money... well, you're naive. Yes, Apple Computers are normally well built, extremely reliable and not prone to failure. They have to be. They are slower and cost thousands more than comparable Windows boxes, and there has to be some kind of justification for that - reliability is it. Likewise, if everyone was having the same experience with Apple hardware as I am, the stock would be in the toilet (well, more so than it already is) and they would be having a fire sale at 1 Infinite loop in Cupertino. Just be prepared, if you get a bad computer, or SEVERAL bad computers, expect do things Apple's way - or to bend over and grab your ankles. Apple will be more willing to do anything - divulge private information a la John Manzione - even create baseless and unproveable accusations - rather than deal with an actual problem. You don't like or agree with my views? That's your business. Just be a smarter consumer than I have been - know your rights and stand up for them. Apple's certainly not going to do that for you. Caveat Emptor, my ass.