This forum getting me concerned!

DougY

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2009
287
0
The responses to my very simple question about the quality of the Apple iMac have given me a tremendous headache!
Philosophers I didnt need, just some information.
Thanks to those who gave me just that.
 

Bennieboy©

macrumors 65816
Jan 15, 2009
1,277
1
england
slightly pointless post?, the choice is upto you, any computer purchase runs the risk of not being totally perfect, i dont think anyone here can answer your question, it's upto you to decide if you want the machine or not ;)
 

jeremycrook

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2009
13
0
Stokenchurch
I would buy the Mac over a pc any day of the week. If you are unlucky and get a bad one, Apple customer service is the best I have come across.

When I have had a problem they will bend over backwards to fix it asap.
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
1,464
79
compost heap
PRO:

1)Not every Mac product line has problems - many lines (especially Mac Pros and some laptops) have few problems
2)Every computer line - including PCs running windows, linux etc. has some problems
3)On the whole, Apple customer service is outstanding - you can exchange your faulty unit for a new one

CON:

The new iMacs - especially the 27" have issues, definite issues

My advice:

If you just want a Mac experience right now, buy something relatively cheap - like a mac mini. That way you're not putting in a lot of money, and you get to experience OS X and see if you like it. I think it's a good experience :)

However, if you have your heart set in a 27" iMac, I'd wait until January to order. Until then, monitor these boards. See if the newer builds have fewer complaints associated with them (seems to me week 49 and 50 builds have fewer problems, though it's still early). Then, pounce. That's what I'm doing :)
 

chstr

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
673
0
mac is all about the software. in my opinion imacs are overkill for most people. if you want a 27" screen pick up an HD tv or monitor and a mac mini. save big $$$ and have a kick a$$ setup
 

Bryan Bowler

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2008
3,737
3,386
I would buy the Mac over a pc any day of the week. If you are unlucky and get a bad one, Apple customer service is the best I have come across.

When I have had a problem they will bend over backwards to fix it asap.
This pretty much sums it up!

Also, if you can wait on your purchase, waiting until January or February should bring improvements that will melt your concerns away.

Bryan
 

DougY

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2009
287
0
Thats what Im planning on doing.

PRO:

1)Not every Mac product line has problems - many lines (especially Mac Pros and some laptops) have few problems
2)Every computer line - including PCs running windows, linux etc. has some problems
3)On the whole, Apple customer service is outstanding - you can exchange your faulty unit for a new one

CON:

The new iMacs - especially the 27" have issues, definite issues

My advice:

If you just want a Mac experience right now, buy something relatively cheap - like a mac mini. That way you're not putting in a lot of money, and you get to experience OS X and see if you like it. I think it's a good experience :)

However, if you have your heart set in a 27" iMac, I'd wait until January to order. Until then, monitor these boards. See if the newer builds have fewer complaints associated with them (seems to me week 49 and 50 builds have fewer problems, though it's still early). Then, pounce. That's what I'm doing :)
Im planning on waiting til January, for economic reasons. And Ive been a PC user for a long, long time, so Im not ignorant to the fact that ALL computer users have problems at one time or another. Its just that I read an awful lot of negative responses here, and it got me a bit concerned, never having had a Mac. Thats all. I appreciate all the info here.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
You do realize that people come here to complain more than they come here and give praise right? If you allow one forum to ultimately decide for you then maybe you're not ready to make any kind of purchase.
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
1,464
79
compost heap
You do realize that people come here to complain more than they come here and give praise right? If you allow one forum to ultimately decide for you then maybe you're not ready to make any kind of purchase.
Not quite. What you say is only valid for newbies posting, because more newbies are self-selected (many register to post a complaint). But folks who were here before the 27" iMacs came out, are a random group - not self-selected to complain. "Here's something to keep in mind when you read "only people who have a problem write on websites to complain, so you get a distorted image of how prevalent the problem actually is - most people don't have a problem and they don't post."

This is only valid to a degree - that is when the group who write is a self-selected group. That is, mostly people who have a problem write, etc.

But when you have a random group on a website, that argument does not apply.

Imagine that you have a bunch of people who are regular users of a website (such as this) - they are not registering just to complain about a problem. They are already here. If now, among regular users you get 50% with a problem, then they represent a random sample. And the sample says that 50% of users have a problem. This is like any survey or sample - it is valid, because it is random.

In the other scenario, it is not random - the users are self-selecting, so only they post, so you cannot estimate problems based on that.

Now comes the crucial part - many of these complaints are coming from regular users - not self selected ones who are newbies who registered just now to complain. This means that if many regular users are having problems, they are a random sample - it means the problems are real and prevalent.

This is what is happening with the 27" iMacs - these problems are real, folks, and are VERY PREVALENT.

I'm waiting till January before ordering - hopefully they'll solve their issues by then. Folks, this is real and the risk is very high. On the hopeful side, looks like maybe the latest week 49 and week 50 iMacs have fewer problems. We'll see in time."
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
1,464
79
compost heap
To a very small percentage of computers shipped.
No. You didn't understand my post at all - the distinction between self-selected and random. If the random people have a high percentage of problems, it's a high percentage of problems overall. That's how all sample based research is done.
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
1,464
79
compost heap
Thats why internet statistics are totally worthless and inaccurate for making an informed decision.
You're not getting it, but that's OK - most people don't have a very good grasp of statistics. We're talking at cross-purposes, so I'll just let it go. Anyone who has a math background though, understands what I'm getting at, so let those who can hear, hear: these are real problems that are in fact prevalent, not just a small number of website complainers. Take your cue from that, do as you wish.
 

admanimal

macrumors 68040
Apr 22, 2005
3,530
2
No. You didn't understand my post at all - the distinction between self-selected and random. If the random people have a high percentage of problems, it's a high percentage of problems overall. That's how all sample based research is done.
Your post still doesn't explain away the fact that the average forum user, regardless of how long they have been registered, is more likely to post if they have a problem than if they do not.

If you took a truly random sample of relevant Macrumors forums users- that is, a random sample drawn from of ALL owners of new iMacs and NOT just all owners who have posted something about it, and a majority of those users had problems, then you could draw legitimate conclusions about it. Otherwise, you can't. The collection of people on this forum (newbies or otherwise) who have posted something about their new iMac is NOT a random sample of the target population.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,047
1,180
5045 feet above sea level
And how do you know this? Some people over here are on the third one, and still have to keep their fingers crossed...

Tom B.
1) people with issues tend to be most vocal, esp on forums

2) AFAIK, apple has not acknowledged this as a widespread issue , unlike the 8600 fiasco

3) there are always manufacturing defects, no matter the product

Your post still doesn't explain away the fact that the average forum user, regardless of how long they have been registered, is more likely to post if they have a problem than if they do not.

If you took a truly random sample of relevant Macrumors forums users- that is, a random sample drawn from of ALL owners of new iMacs and NOT just all owners who have posted something about it, and a majority of those users had problems, then you could draw legitimate conclusions about it. Otherwise, you can't. The collection of people on this forum (newbies or otherwise) who have posted something about their new iMac is NOT a random sample of the target population.
I agree

A random sample is just that, random. The vast majority of posts on these forums are made by those who have issues. That is not random, that is a specific group

Evidence it's not random is the lack of threads on perfectly working imacs out there
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
1,464
79
compost heap
Your post still doesn't explain away the fact that the average forum user, regardless of how long they have been registered, is more likely to post if they have a problem than if they do not.
I'm not sure about that. Note, there are many threads here "post if your iMac is perfect!", and also many who post anticipatory or "waiting" posts, then get their iMac, and then post their experiences. And a huge percentage of those have problems.

If you took a truly random sample of relevant Macrumors forums users- that is, a random sample drawn from of ALL owners of new iMacs and NOT just all owners who have posted something about it, and a majority of those users had problems, then you could draw legitimate conclusions about it. Otherwise, you can't. The collection of people on this forum (newbies or otherwise) who have posted something about their new iMac is NOT a random sample of the target population.
It is not perfectly random - but it's close enough, in that the bias is not clearly for one side or another - in other words, the sample is not biased even if not perfectly random mathematically.

But even if that were not true. Here's a devastating line of thought, that's also an elegant way of estimating this issue.

Imagine that you send out a search party: "find me all lottery winners, and put them in a room". Anyone entering that room would get an impression that it's very frequent to win a lottery. That's a selected group - not random.

Now, get a group of random people in a room - truly random, say from a phone book or whatever doesn't correlate with lottery playing. You'll get an impression that (correctly) says: it's rare.

Now, what if you have a sample of people in a room that you don't know if it's random or not (like macrumors here :)). Can you still estimate how prevalent lottery winning is? Yes. By asking: who among you people has won the lottery more than once? AND THAT'S YOUR ANSWER.

If it was a rare event - you'd get very, very few people who could raise their hand. If it was a frequent event, you'd get many hands up. That's how by proxy, you can tell, even if you don't know if your sample is random or not.

And we have the answer here. There are many, many, many posters who are on their second, third, or even fifth or sixth iMac exchanged. If it was as rare as winning the lottery, then statistically it would be very unlikely that you'd win it (or get a defective mac) a second (or third, fourth etc!!!) time in a row. What unlucky again? Rare event happened again? Really?

And that settles it. If it happened to one poster with 3 bad ones in a row - OK, he's a freak of nature and statistics. But it's happening over and over again. Time to conclude - as I did - it is a PREVALENT problem.

I love math! That's why I'll always make money, and the math challenged won't :) And so I avoid problems more often on average, because I understand statistics. It's less expensive that way. You are welcome to conclude that it's safe to buy right now, heh, heh:D
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
8,989
25
Portland, OR
It is not perfectly random - but it's close enough, in that the bias is not clearly for one side or another - in other words, the sample is not biased even if not perfectly random mathematically.
:eek:
Holy crap! Have you taken a statistics course in the last two hundred years? That is no where near an SRS!

But even if that were not true. Here's a devastating line of thought, that's also an elegant way of estimating this issue.
It sure isn't true. It's a bald faced lie at worst, and a big pile of misinformation at worst.

Imagine that you send out a search party: "find me all lottery winners, and put them in a room". Anyone entering that room would get an impression that it's very frequent to win a lottery. That's a selected group - not random.

Now, get a group of random people in a room - truly random, say from a phone book or whatever doesn't correlate with lottery playing. You'll get an impression that (correctly) says: it's rare.

Now, what if you have a sample of people in a room that you don't know if it's random or not (like macrumors here :)). Can you still estimate how prevalent lottery winning is? Yes. By asking: who among you people has won the lottery more than once? AND THAT'S YOUR ANSWER.
Jaw dropping. Simply jaw dropping. If you think everyone wins the lottery before someone wins it twice, then yes, this would be true. Or even if mathematically it worked out to something like that. However, some people are more inclined to buy several computers in a few years, while others will buy one (or less). Just as some people are more likely to return ten iMacs. Just as some people are more likely to buy a few lottery tickets.

If it was a rare event - you'd get very, very few people who could raise their hand. If it was a frequent event, you'd get many hands up. That's how by proxy, you can tell, even if you don't know if your sample is random or not.
No. No it is not.

And we have the answer here. There are many, many, many posters who are on their second, third, or even fifth or sixth iMac exchanged. If it was as rare as winning the lottery, then statistically it would be very unlikely that you'd win it (or get a defective mac) a second (or third, fourth etc!!!) time in a row. What unlucky again? Rare event happened again? Really?
Computer failure is no where near the statistics of winning the lottery. Given. However the probability of getting a faulty computer after returning another to the SAME place is a lot more likely than getting a faulty machine your first time. Why? Because those faulty machines all come off the exact same line around the same time. They're all more likely to have defects if one has a defect. So of course people will go through several machines if they're dumb enough to keep accepting machines from the same place/time. I would return a computer for a full refund and then buy one online or wait a month or two.

And that settles it. If it happened to one poster with 3 bad ones in a row - OK, he's a freak of nature and statistics. But it's happening over and over again. Time to conclude - as I did - it is a PREVALENT problem.
Yeah, your math was so sound. :D

I love math! That's why I'll always make money, and the math challenged won't :) And so I avoid problems more often on average, because I understand statistics.
:D:D:D:D:D:D
In all honesty you really don't. You just plain don't. Maybe you should take a refresher course. I may just have an unfair advantage. Since I took a stats course.
 

Btom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2009
571
0
........

Evidence it's not random is the lack of threads on perfectly working imacs out there
Actually quite a few people WERE reporting no problems with 27" iMacs, but also, if a number of people reports similar problem (flickering) on two units in a row it simply means high percentage of faulty units (from basic statistics).
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
8,989
25
Portland, OR
Actually quite a few people WERE reporting no problems with 27" iMacs, but also, if a number of people reports similar problem (flickering) on two units in a row it simply means high percentage of faulty units (from basic statistics).
The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
1,464
79
compost heap
Jaw dropping. Simply jaw dropping. If you think everyone wins the lottery before someone wins it twice, then yes, this would be true. Or even if mathematically it worked out to something like that. However, some people are more inclined to buy several computers in a few years, while others will buy one (or less). Just as some people are more likely to return ten iMacs. Just as some people are more likely to buy a few lottery tickets.
I suggest that you re-take the course on statistics. If you have a sample of unknown degree of randomness, and perform an statistical operation on it (running a test), it will tell you the distribution of events. If it's a rare event, then by rights, regardless of original randomness, since this is a new test, they become random.

And your argument about batches is nonsense - since it begs the question. After all, what matters is the answer to the question: is the problem prevalent? It doesn't matter if the answer is "bad batches" or "full moon" - what matters is: IT IS RISKY TO BUY (for whatever reason, including bad batches).

Please re-take that stats class - you need it urgently!
 

admanimal

macrumors 68040
Apr 22, 2005
3,530
2
I love math! That's why I'll always make money, and the math challenged won't :) And so I avoid problems more often on average, because I understand statistics. It's less expensive that way. You are welcome to conclude that it's safe to buy right now, heh, heh:D
I love math too. That's why I have an Associate's degree in basket weaving from the University of Phoenix Online. Basically the same thing as stats.
 

scottness

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2009
1,370
3
Room 101
People just don't get on to complain about stuff that is working. The vast majority of posts complaining about their machines here and elsewhere are coming from the minority. Most of us have perfectly fine machines. Apple or no Apple. If you've got a Mac that doesn't have problems, you're not going to complain about it. If you've got an HP with no problems, you're not complaining about it....
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
1,464
79
compost heap
I love math too. That's why I have a B.S. in it, and a Master's in a related field (Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence- basically glorified statistics) and why I'm about a year away from a PhD in the same. I still don't agree that your conclusions follow from your explanation. I guess I just need to retake Stats 101. Maybe that way I wouldn't have been so stupid to order a 27" i7 that has been working perfectly for 2+ weeks.
C'mon. The question is not "are all iMacs faulty" - the question is "is it highly risky". Of course, you'll have users with good units - such as you. But a very high number of faulty units - some estimates run to over 50% - indicate it is still too risky, unless you like to gamble. Personally, I'm waiting till January. I'm hoping the number of faulty units falls - and it looks like week 49 and 50 units come off the lines with fewer number of faults (so far, let's wait).