What's Inside the Little Black Box?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ScarletRed, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. ScarletRed macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #1
    To those of you who purchased a brand new MacBook Pro:

    When you open up the box, there is a little square black box with "Designed by Apple in California" written on it. What's the proper content inside this box?

    I bought mine from ebay. When I opened it up, I found the OS X installation discs and a single burned DVD that has the installation programs for

    Adobe Suite 2
    Aperture
    AppleWorks 6
    filemaker pro 7
    Final Cut Pro 4
    Final Draft 6
    mac office 2004
    iWork'05
    Keynote 1.0
    McAfee Virex 7.5 OSX
    Quark Xpress 6.0 FINAL
    Roxio Toast Titanium 7

    and a few others. And a few manuals. Each program contained a file with serial number. Something tells me that these aren't the standard content for the little black box. Basically, I received a whole bunch of softwares that I didn't ask for. And one thing I did ask for, I didn't quite receive - I wanted iWork'06. And I did receive it. Well...sorta. The full version of iWork'06 is installed on the HD but the installation file on the burned DVD is for the older version.

    Sure, Adobe CS2 Suite alone is worth several hundred dollars and I suppose I should be thankful but I didn't get the one thing I really asked for and for that, I am somewhat miffed.:( And the fact that I did not receive original installation discs.
     
  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

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    #2
    I think that is all that is included. Is all that software legal?

    EDIT: re-reading your post, I see it does have the codes. That is not normally included.

    If iWork '06 was included on the hdd, and you didn't get the install code, it is illegal.
     
  3. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #3
    iWork 06 is on the OSX install DVD's (2 dvd's 1 - containing all software) that comes with your macbook. Same as iLife 06

    -------------

    The other disc you received obviously is ilegal and I'm surprised this thread hasnt been closed already.

    Basically your choice install, use the serials and break the law and steal from the industry and live with that knowledge.

    Or be good and just bin the dvd and stay away from naughty temptation.
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #4
    I would be miffed too; getting a bunch of warez that you didn't want without receiving the one thing you did want.

    Quark 6 for one needs activating over the internet or phone/fax, the serial number alone won't do the trick. I think some of that other software is the same... which makes it essentially worthless.

    I would never buy a Mac from someone on eBay. If I really wanted a secondhand machine, I'd try here first. That might be somewhat idealistic but that's just the way I feel about eBay for large purchases.
     
  5. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

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    #5

    IIRC, the demo is on it. Back when I had a MBP, I never had the full version of iWork. I doubt that it has changed.
     
  6. NJuul macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I think it's the full version that's on the discs, you just need to enter a serial code to activate it.
     
  7. Max on Macs macrumors 6502

    Max on Macs

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    #7
    Correct. It is a fully working version, but you need to purchase a license to keep it fully functional after the 30 days (it will still work for reading the files if you don't activate it).
     
  8. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #8
    Yes, I think I learned my lesson. Never make large purchases on ebay.

    And as for iWork'06, I have the full version installed and I registered it with an installation serial # I was given by the seller. But I still don't have the installation program. Because of this, I don't think I will be able to reinstall it once I reformat the HD for whatever reason. Correct me if I am wrong.
     
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #9
    The demo installers should be on the restore DVD that came with the computer, which you said you had. The demo and the full version are identical--the only difference is whether you've entered a serial number or not. So you do effectively have the ability to reinstall.

    That said, given the DVD of illegal software and pirated serial numbers included with the computer, I'd have no reason to believe that the iWork serial number the seller gave you is any more legit than for the other $10,000 of software he "included". So from a legality standpoint, in all likelihood, you got ripped off.

    It's a little baffling to me why someone would be selling a *real* (as in, as described and functioning) MPB on eBay for a price that was obviously reasonable enough to sell at, but then include a bunch of totally illegal software for no good reason. That's like selling somebody a perfectly good used car and then loading the trunk with stolen stereo equipment when the buyer drives off the lot.

    If the Warez wasn't a specific selling point of the auction (you make it sound like it wasn't even mentioned), why on earth would you do something willfully illegal that gets you no benefit at all? Did the seller think he was being nice or something?

    Come to think of it, are you sure the MBP wasn't stolen or something...?
     
  10. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #10
    No, the MBP I bought is not a hot item. And I registered mine with Apple. The seller advertised the merchandise on ebay as a brand-new factory-sealed fully upgraded MBP with pre-installed software package. Here is the actual ebay ad. I think the ad will be visible for a few more days before it disappears. As you can see, the seller makes it sound legit.

    The truth is that I only wanted iWork'06 pre-installed...and I got it, sorta. What miffs me is that legitimacy of the preinstalled softwares are highly questionable.

    I've learned my lesson. I won't be buying a Mac desktop from ebay nor any of the large purchases.
     
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #11
    Huh... the auction doesn't explicitly say anything about included software other than the OS (though by default you get a full version of iLife with any new Apple computer), but perhaps the graphic image of all those high-end apps (that were indeed included, though shouldn't have been) was supposed to be a hint. Still seems odd, if the seller was at all legit in being able to offer that price on that machine that he would go to the trouble to include a bunch of illegal software with it.

    I'm kind of curious; I'm guessing if you open it up and look at the RAM installed, there's going to be one stick of Apple RAM and one stick of something cheaper. Had this seller bought a similarly configured computer from the Apple educational store and added an extra 1GB stick of RAM himself, he could be offering that price and making a profit.

    Likewise you could buy a similar system from Amazon and, by installing 1GB of cheap RAM, come in at just about that price, but the Amazon systems I saw didn't have a 7200RPM hard drive, and that's be a lot of work to go through for about $20 profit plus whatever you get from S&H.

    The deal isn't QUITE too good to be true (awfully close, though), but something about what the seller is doing seems seriously bogus to me, although I wouldn't have thought much of it had the disc full of warez not been tossed in for no apparent reason.
     
  12. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #12
    So much for new sealed box......It was opened. Was the MBP used? Like when you booted up did it ask for you user information? (i know this can be recreated)
     
  13. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #13
    Hmmm...I don't recall.:(
     
  14. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #14

    well start adding up the cost of those programs and you'll see they might well add up to more than the retail cost of the computer!!!! CS2 standard is something like $899, Mircosoft Office is $399, can you even buy Final Cut Pro as a stand alone any more or does it only come bundled as FC Studio which is $1,299.....and there's more!!!

    I look at that ad and CERTAINLY the implication is that it includes all of those software titles.....that looks like the bait to me

    it's definitely possible for a computer to be hot without Apple knowing about it and you would be able to register it no problem.
     
  15. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #15
    So then what would you recommend at this point?
     
  16. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Well I would give the seller low feedback to start with. Just a hint, if you can wait until after they have given you feedback. ;) Then its your choice if you want to keep it. I would probably keep it if it registered fine. (with apple) The other option would be to talk to ebay and get it refunded and returned on the bases that it was opened, and with illegal software. But as i said I would probably keep it and report it to ebay.
     
  17. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #17
    I don't think there's a huge reason to make a big fuss over it.

    Fine, the software is illegal, and you don't have the correct install disks, but you got a very good deal on the computer, and it's working fine (right?), so unless not having the iWork install CDs is the end of the world, maybe it's easier to just sit back and enjoy the computer.

    You can, if you want, submit neutral, or even negative feedback, but reporting to eBay won't get you anywhere. Most of the time with eBay, you're pretty much on your own.

    Do what you will with the burned DVD of software.
     
  18. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #18
    I obviously wasn't counting the several thousand dollars worth of software included because that was obviously pirated. I was just trying to figure out if it would be posible to obtain a new MBP with those specs for that much or less (and the acution actually notes that the memory is upgraded from 1GB).

    And the answer is, grey-market yes (Apple edu with aftermarket RAM), through any legit channel, probably not--since Amazon is about as cheap as you'll find anywhere, and the price doesn't add up from them.

    Alternately (I wasn't thinking of this before) it could be an Apple refurb--you could probably come up with that machine for somewhere around $2430 if you bought one of the current refurbs and replaced the HD with a 7200RPM and added the extra gig of RAM. That would get you a $170 profit plus the extra hard drive. Alternately (and more likely), if the hard drive is actually 5400RPM or Apple had some 7200RPM refurbs for sale at some point, you could easily be making around $300 profit on that unit.

    This last scenereo seems most likely, since it would give the seller a consistent source of perfectly good, full-warranty MBPs, and with a bit of work adding an extra gig stick of RAM and saying that it's "NEW" (which could theoretically be interpreted to mean "new model" not "unused computer", so it's not technically a lie) you can sell it on eBay at a hefty profit.

    If this is what's going on (and not the edu resale, which is not ok), it's shady, but I don't think technically illegal past the questionable claim of "new".

    Which again brings up the question of why the seller would toss thousands of dollars in Warez into the bundle and make it flagrantly illegal. What's the point if you're already getting somebody to happily pay extra for a slightly upgraded refurb?


    To ScarletRed: Just to satisfy my curiosity about the source of the computer, could you do something: Select "About this Mac" from the Apple menu, then click on "More Info...", and in the application that pops up select "Serial-ATA" from the lefthand column and copy the model number of the drive it reports.

    If it's actually a 7200 RPM drive, like the auction claims, the model number will probably be "ST910021AS". If it's actually 5400RPM and the seller was lying, we can tell from the drive model number. Oh, he also made a mistake on the Expresscard slot--called it PCMCIA, though that's a relatively minor blunder in the description.

    Past that, I don't really know what you should do; if you call Apple with the serial number, they can probably tell you whether it's a refurb or not (they might even have a record of whether it's an educational sale or not). Explain your situation, and hopefully they'll be helpful.

    If it's a refurb, you have a legit computer that you paid a little too much for and happened to come with a bunch of illegal software. If it's an edu sale, then it was resold against the end-user agreement but I think you're in the clear personally. If it's a legit new machine... then something's wrong, because it shouldn't be that cheap.

    One other quick check you can do is get your serial number (it's displayed in "About This Mac" if you click twice on the place where it says "Version 10.4.x") and paste it into the box down near the bottom on the right hand side of this page:

    http://www.apple.com/support/

    ...it will tell you the approximate purchase date and how much warranty is left. That'll give you a hint of how recently it was purchased, which might give you a hint as to how new it is.
     
  19. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #19
    Serial-ATA Device Tree
    Intel ICH7-M AHCI
    ST910021AS

    ST910021AS:
    Capacity: 93.16 GB
    Model: ST910021AS
    Revision: 3.07
    .
    .
    .

    I typed in the serial number into the box. The response:

    Our records indicate that your product is covered under Apple’s Limited Warranty and your estimated date of purchase was 16-May-06. Based on this data, your product will be covered by Apple service warranty for 311 more days.

    The auction ended on June 12, 2006.
     
  20. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #20
    Welp, the item is indeed as described--that's the 7200RPM drive (only available as a build-to-order option, ordinarily, I think).

    Looking at his other auctions, the guy appears to have been selling mainly relatively new laptops for several months at least, and with quite positive feedback. Nobody has that many stolen laptops to sell, so the question is whether he's got a very steady source of used machines or is buying refurbs and selling them at a markup. Grey-market doesn't seem that likely now that I'm thinking about it, since a lot of his items are a little older.

    The machine you got obviously isn't "New" (as in "unopened"), since it was clearly bought about three weeks before it went on auction. I guess the most likely scenereo is that somebody didn't like their new MBP and unloaded it at a modest loss, and this guy is reselling it on eBay.

    I STILL don't get why he'd dump a disc full o'Warez in the box on what is already a decent deal, or would be if he didn't fudge and call it "new" even though it's not. The software piracy certainly is illegal, even if the computer sale isn't (and you know it wasn't like the person who he bought it from had the disc in there and he didn't notice it, since there was an image of all those apps on the auction even though it didn't mention them being included).

    Since the computer is fine, I suppose you just call it good. I'd feel a little dirty using a computer bought from somebody that willing to toss in a heap of illegal software, but the computer itself is probably legit, if not QUITE as implied. If you want to find out whether it's an Apple refurb or just used, you could probably call Apple and ask about the serial number.
     
  21. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #21

    looking at some of his other sales, they all seem to be chock full of "extra" software".....I'm guessing it's just part of how he attracts buyers. I suspect there are many times when the prospect of getting several thousand dollars worth of premium software for "free" makes the auction look like one of those super ebay bargains everybody dreams about
     

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