Rant about poor Apple hardware design

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rogerco, May 20, 2008.

  1. rogerco macrumors newbie

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    #1
    It has just taken three experienced IT technicians 10 minutes to find out how to insert a DVD into a PowerMac - possibly the worst piece of case design in the world.

    It had come in to be upgraded from Tiger to Leopard, and to be fair two of us are not Mac users and one has a Macbook so none of us had seen a MacPro before - but Macs are supposed to be intuitive, right, so this should be a breeze.

    No sign of any drive access on the outside of the case - perhaps it is in the monitor? We know some Mac are like that, but not this one as far as we can see.

    Pressing the eject key on the top right of the keyboard did nothing. Looking in the system profiler established that it thought it had a DVD drive but there was no external evidence of it. Two bits of flimsy aluminium strip on the front of the case looked like they were blanking plates where a drive should be, but poking them just threatened to bend the metal. Taking the side off the case it looked like there might be a drive in the top space but difficult to see clearly, no access there anyway. Looking though all the standard software there didn't seem to be anything appropriate - tried firing up dvd player and pressing eject but it just said 'unsupported drive type - perhaps the system profiler is lying and there isn't a CD drive - but then what is that in the top of the case and how did anyone ever install software in the first place. More fiddling around on the front panel and someone discovered that you could slide the cover piece downwards and it did look like the front of a CD drive buried deep within - shining a torch in we can see it is not a slot loader but seems to have a tray, but how to get it to come out. One goes to fetch a screwdriver and pair of pliers to see if we can tease it open, whilst another holds the cover plate down and the third is playing around with the keyboard. By chance in frustration he HOLDS DOWN the keyboard eject key and out slides the tray.:confused:
    What a palaver - on any sensible system there is some external clue as to how things work but that is far too clever for Apple cos it is all supposed to be 'intuitive' ;)
    Net result two techs confirmed Apple ridiculers and one Apple user feeling that perhaps he has made a mistake.
     
  2. aibo macrumors 6502

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  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #3
    ^^ I sorry to ++ a post, but seriously. The eject key has to be held down to stop accidental presses by the user, which is especially a problem on laptops. I'm sure there are PCs where you have to hold down the eject button for it to work. So you should just of held it down for 5 seconds until the disc ejected.
     
  4. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #4
    OMG have you guys never heard of RTFM or google even - seriously I dont know which is more stupid: the part about three of your 'technicians' not being able to figure this out before resorting to physical mac-abuse, or that you actually posted about your level of ineptitude on this site!!
     
  5. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #5
    There's a nice web page that tells you all about the Mac Pro.

    IT Technicians :rolleyes:
     
  6. G4DP macrumors 65816

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    #6
    S these technicians though the slots at the top of the tower were just for show?

    If this is the level of your technicians abilities god help you. Seriously consider firing them, especially the one who has a MacBook.
     
  7. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #7
    This post belongs in this thread
     
  8. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

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    #8
    Your IT guys are idiots. Anyone with half a brain who calls themself an "IT guy" should be able to figure out the hardware side of any computer. I'm not talking about navigating an OS, I'm talking about hardware. Can your IT guys program a VCR? They know what a VCR is, right?

    This has nothing to do with being a "Mac guy". It has to do with a person being technically competent. Part of IT is being able to troubleshoot and diagnose any system. People like to throw around the term "tech savvy" nowadays. It seems like any 15 yr old with a computer is an "IT guy".
     
  9. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #9
    I call Shenanigans!

    Cmon, you really think thats serious?

    Wait, maybe it is..............
     
  10. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

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    #10
    hahahahaha - i almost fell off my seat when you said you went to get a torch and a pair of pliers, you must be the 4 most stupid people in your company. I would seriously consider asking your boss to fire you after you've fired your "technicians".

    Oh and btw - that story must be the biggest load of bull-crap because you can't even attempt to eject from within DVD player without a disk already in.
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #11
    OMFG!!

    You mean the eject key actually caused the drive to eject?

    Seriously, you need to send that back to Apple to sort out. Actually your own IT guys seem to know their way around a computer, they should be able to do it...





    :rolleyes:
     
  12. rogerco thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Well it was quite funny to watch, but not half as funny as watching the rush to blame the user in responses here - come on guys, look at yourselves :rolleyes:

    99% of devices with a CD/DVD either have a tray with an eject button on or near it (in addition to any soft or firm other eject mechanism) or a slot which is at least visible (like the Macbook or iMac).

    The MacPro goes out of its way to conceal its optical drive behind an (ugly) vanity flap; from a cursory visual inspection you might assume that the drive was external (eg in the monitor, or a usb add-on).

    I've also got a Macbook, and on mine the keyboard eject doesn't work - but that's ok cos it has got a slot and if there is a disc in it will be on the desktop and I can software eject it (as an aside I think I screwed up the eject keyboard function when frigging with spaces etc).

    The serious point behind this entertainment is that Apple's design here is not at all user friendly - it seems to set out to conceal rather than reveal, and form is certainly not following function which would put an eject button near where you physically insert the disc. In this respect Apple is going against the natural flow (again) and damaging its reputation.

    Of course once you _know_ that you have to hold down the keyboard key to make it work it probably seems natural - but even you didn't know that the first time you did it, and to suggest that you have to go to google or a website or even RTFM (which to be fair to them wasn't with the machine) in order to perform a basic function that is done differently by Apple to just about every other device in the world is extremely arrogant.

    Interesting thread this - reinforcing prejudices about apple-istas as being extremely dogmatic and blinkered...:eek:
     
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #13
    They are IT Guys so they should just RTFM. Sorry no sympathy from me, they didn't even Google "how to eject DVD from Mac".

    Are you sure you just haven't held it down long enough?

    Maybe it isn't massively obvious for Windows users, but please, holding down a button is a fairly standard practice for electronics.
     
  14. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

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    #14
    It is probably a made up story... but still I love the self-righteous indignation of stupid people in circumstances like these!
     
  15. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #15
    Having used a number of machines, and now onto a 2008 Mac Pro, I actually agree with the OP. The last Mac desktop I owned was a Beige G3 tower, and before that a Performa 630. Both had eject buttons next to the drive. They were very useful, which is why they were put there.

    Thinking about it...what if I were to connect a non-Apple keyboard to this machine. I'd have to use Terminal commands to open the drive?

    Another thing I used to love, is you could turn the old-world Macs on from the keyboard. Fantastic!

    AppleMatt (flame proof)
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #16
    Good point. They probably should include an eject button for that.
     
  17. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #17
    F12 also used to open the drives IIRC.
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

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    #18
    Obviously your IT guys are not up to speed.

    It seems this is becoming more typical in the IT arena these days. Anyone can claim to be an IT guy when they have minimal knowledge of computers and a few certificates up their belt.

    Sad.
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #19
  20. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #20
    I think you're right! Amazing how many little things we forget.

    AppleMatt
     
  21. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #21
    On one hand, I'll agree that Apple sometimes obsesses too much with a pretty hardware exterior, to the point where usability, connectivity and performance suffers. Through their obsession with thinness, smallness and flush surfaces, they're painting themselves into a corner. The last dozen or so Apple events hosted by Steve Jobs have all revolved around the same 'money shot' where Steve holds up some thingamabob and marvels at how THIN it is. Look how THIN it is! It's so incredibly THIN! So much THINNER than our last model and everything else on the market! You can't even see it from the side! You could stack fifty of these and it's still THINNER than a credit card!! Nevermind that it takes a rocket scientist to replace the battery, or that we omitted countless features, it's THIN!!! The crowning achievement would of course be the MacBook Air, so thin that it fits inside a manila envelope. The problem is that its thinness is the only achievement. In all other aspects, it's a trip 5 years back in time, with a puny and slow hard drive, virtually non-existent connectivity and a slow-as-molasses processor. There was the Mac Mini and the iMac, and the even thinner iMac. Both using mobile CPUs, and in the case of the Mini, a mobile hard drive. And there's talk of an even smaller Mac Mini coming, as if the problem was that it just isn't small enough... Steve Jobs is probably crying himself to sleep every night agonizing over the fact that he's gonna have to go up on stage and introduce a 3G iPhone that's actually thicker than the old one. Myself I find it refreshing to see him talk about something other than thinness for once.

    On the other hand, I'm gonna have to agree with the gentlemen above -- fire these "technicians" pronto. Anyone who grabs a screwdriver and a pair of pliers before he grabs the operation manual is infinitely dumber than whatever counter-intuitive product design that's challenging him. This is right up there with the infamous tech support call from a guy who complained that the "large beverage holder" (=the CD tray) on the front of his computer broke when he put a bucket of Coke on it.
    They're not incompetent for not immediately realizing how the Mac CD tray works. It's their neanderthal approach to problem solving that sucks. Fire these grease monkeys and hire some competent ones, only this time with green cards. What kind of IT professionals have never once stumbled upon a Mac in the last 7 years? The eject button disappeared in 2001, when the Quicksilver G4 was introduced. I'm not saying the Mac is the center of the world (I'm primarily a PC user myself), but assuming these guys went to some sort of school, underwent some training or at least climbed out from under their rock once or twice, they shouldn't be standing around scratching their heads like the Mac was some alien craft that just landed...
     
  22. D4F Guest

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  23. za9ra22 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Very little about computer systems is simple and intuitive. If that were not so, we'd hardly need IT guys in the first place. The truth is that we know what we're used to and have to think about what we're not. In that regard, Apple's design is no worse than anything else in modern consumer electronics - better in some respects, worse in others.

    The problem is in the assumption that because something isn't the way we think it ought to be, it means the designer is 'wrong' when in fact it's our lack of preparedness to keep an open mind and actually look for the answer that otherwise eludes us. In the end though, there's no excuse for anyone who calls themselves an IT specialist being incapable of finding the answer to a basic problem like this very quickly. It's perfectly OK for such a person simply not to know how to open the optical drive, but not to know how to get the answer quickly and efficiently is something I would find disturbing in any of the techs who've been responsible to me over the years. I'd expect, in fact demand, any of them had sufficient skill to Google for 'Mac disk eject' or something similar in the face of not knowing.

    In terms of it being bad design, that's just nonsense. Not only should any IT pro either know or be able to quickly find the answer, but users (who rightly might not be expected to know) are provided with introductory documentation with the system that is (well) designed to be easy to read and informative, thus ensuring that everyone who needs to know, can be as informed as they wish.

    Oh, and even if the eject key is hard to locate on the keyboard, or it's function obscure, in MacOS 10.5.x, by default an eject icon is placed in the menu bar.
     
  24. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

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    #24
    Hilarious! If only it had been video taped for youtube. The intuitive part of Macs is OSX, btw. Aesthetic design is obviously another story (for some).

    Personally, I don't think these IT guys are idiots. I merely think they were baffled by a design they hadn't yet come across, and had fun trying to figure it out, rather than RTFM or googling. Now they know. :) Thanks for sharing that OP, I'm still giggling. :)
     
  25. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #25
    If you are buying a mac pro...you know what it is. You know what it can do.

    You know how to use it.

    One would assume that its a rare occasion a newbie to all that is Mac buys a Pro first off.
     

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