Apple Requires a “Direct Signature” for all Hardware

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 03:00
Category: Hardware

pre-sign-for-this-shipment.pngApple offers a new delivery option when ordering from their online store. After your order is processed an option is available to “pre-sign” for your shipment. The only problem is that FedEx won’t accept a such a form to leave your package.
It works like this: after you place the order, you can click on a link on Apple’s order status page to “Pre-sign for this shipment.” It takes you to a page that instructs you to accept the terms and conditions outlined below. You are then be presented with a Shipment Release Authorization form which you must print, sign and attach to your door prior to delivery.

Terms and Conditions
I understand that Apple requires signatures acknowledging receipt of delivered goods. By signing the Shipment Release Authorization form, I hereby authorize Apple’s carrier to leave my package at the address I have specified for delivery when placing my order. I understand that, in so doing, I assume the risk of any loss, theft, or destruction, and release Apple and its carriers from all liability that may result from, leaving the package where I have indicated on the Shipment Release Authorization form.

The problem is that FedEx considers a Shipment Release Authorization form an “indirect signature” because a live human did not sign for the package at the time of delivery. According to two FedEx representatives that I spoke to Apple specifically requires a “direct signature” for all their packages, no exceptions. So Apple appears to be sending mixed messages, telling FedEx that they require a direct signature but telling customers that they’ll accept an indirect signature.
Shippers of valuable hardware need to protect themselves from fraud, especially in light of the recent theft-in-transit scams that are plaguing technology companies.
It’s worth noting the discrepancy in signature policies in case you’re waiting for a special delivery from Apple.

(more…)

Apple Exceeds Delivery Expectations

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 03:00
Category: Hardware

I received this email today:

I already received the iPod Shuffle v2 I ordered for my wife. Ordered in September, selected free shipping during checkout, shipped from China on Monday, and it was handed to me at 10 am this morning. Haven’t been able to use it yet, but dannnnnnnng is it cool to look at!

It echoes what I’ve heard from many of you and even my own experience.
My MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo was ordered via Apple’s online store and I selected the faster “2-3 Business Days (after shipping)” option for an extra US$18. Apple’s online order status page (which I highly recommend) told me that it was shipping on 31 October and was slated to arrive on 02 November.
I was extremely surprised when the FedEx tracking page changed on 31 October. My MBP had traveled from Shanghai to Anchorage to Indianapolis on the 30th, then from Indianapolis to Philadelphia to New Jersey on the 31st. I was very excited when I read that my new MBP was “On FedEx vehicle for delivery” yesterday, when I wasn’t expecting it until a full two days later!
Sure enough it arrived yesterday and I haven’t slept much since. Obviously, your mileage may vary and not everyone is going to receive their order two days early. Apple’s overly conservative shipping estimates are another example of their commitment to under-promise and over-deliver and they deserve credit for it.

(more…)

Mac Pro Unboxing

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 11th, 2006, 00:00
Category: Hardware


Mac Pro unboxed and taken apart. Ahhh, computer porn…

PowerMax: Mac Pro taken apart!

technorati tags:, ,

(more…)

WWDC: Apple Drops Monitor Prices

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 8th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Hardware

m9177lla_125.jpgWhen Apple added the new Intel Mac Pro and Xserve to their online store after yesterday’s WWDC keynote address they also quietly dropped the prices on their flat-panel Cinema Displays:
Apple Cinema Display 30-inch – US$1,999 (was US$2,999)
Apple Cinema Display 23-inch – US$999 (was US$1,299)
Apple Cinema Display 20-inch – US$699 (was US$799)
In addition to the price drop, Apple also silently bumped the brightness on the two smaller models:
ACD 30-inch – remains at 400 cd/m2 brightness
ACD 23-inch – 400 cd/m2 brightness (up from 270 cd/m2)
ACD 20-inch – 300 cd/m2 brightness (up from 250 cd/m2)
…and the contrast ratios:
ACD 30-inch – remains at 700:1 contrast ratio
ACD 23-inch – 700:1 contrast ratio (up from 400:1)
ACD 20-inch – 700:1 contrast ratio (up from 400:1)
Back in May 2006 I purchased a Dell 2405FPW 24-inch display for US$760 after comparing it to the Apple Cinema Display 23-inch.

The Dell 2405FPW has 24 inches of viewable screen area, inputs for S-Video, Composite, Component, DVI & VGA connections, four USB 2.0 ports, 500 cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 contrast. The Apple monitor has 23 inches viewable, two USB, two FireWire 400 ports, 270 cd/m2 brightness and 400:1 contrast.

(more…)

160GB MacBook Drives get Perpendicular (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 11th, 2006, 20:55
Category: Hardware

mb-sata-hdd.jpgMCE is now selling 160GB (5400RPM) SATA hard drives for the MacBook, MBP and Mac mini for US$299. Previously the largest shipping notebook SATA drive was 120GB. In January MCE announced 160GB hard drives for PowerBooks but those drives are Ultra ATA/100 and won’t work in Apple’s newest iron. So if your MacBook’s hard drive is already full, image that bad boy and upgrade to the new 160GB drives. I recommend picking up a pair so that you can have a hot spare at home.
UPDATE: Suprisingly its not Seagate Momentus 5400.3 mechanism (although they’ve had a 160GB PATA version out for some time now.) The drive that MCE is selling is a Hitachi Travelstar 5K160 mechanism – they’re first perpendicular recording (PMR) hard drive.
Click through for the whole PR…

(more…)

15,000 Songs on your Credenza

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 1st, 2006, 08:22
Category: Hardware

iPods are great little sound machines, with the emphasis on little and they pack enough power to drive a pair of earbuds for hours and hours. If you don’t need portable, you can get a lot more bang far a lot less buck. Whether you use an all Apple solution or even a PC, older computers make cheap digital jukeboxes and iTunes is free. Keep in mind that most PCs used for computing tasks are attached to some seriously lo-fi speakers. This is not what I am talking about. I have cobbled together a number digital jukeboxes, many on the cheap.
My first digital music box came pre-configured. You see, I still have my Twentieth Anniversary Mac and it was designed to play music. The Bose sound system is decent, considering the size limitations of the small drivers in the TAM head unit. The fan in my TAM always runs because of a G3 upgrade, I only have a 20GB laptop drive in it and the version of Quicktime running on OS 9 does not support Apple’s Fair Play. But, with it’s built in remote control, CD drive and iTunes, it makes for an elegant integrated music system.
Read More…

(more…)

Airport Express: When Blinking Green Means Stop

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 21st, 2006, 10:00
Category: Hardware

airport-express2.jpgAirport Express is a great product. Lots of us use it to set up wireless networks, play music and print. It’s easy to set up and works well — until it dies. When mine did, I did the usual. I looked on line, I checked all the wires, I called Apple support. They were helpful, but I was out of luck. My waranty had expired. I looked on Apple’s discussion forums and this seems very common. Shouldn’t Apple fix what appears to be a design problem?
Is this still happening with new Aiport Expresses?
Contributed by: Peter

(more…)

RadTech Impact HDD Enclosure w/64-bit Encryption (UPDATED)

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, February 19th, 2006, 20:00
Category: Review

radtech-impact-enclosure.jpgRadTech has release a new and unique hard drive enclosure that’s perfect for an extra 2.5-inch hard drive that you might have as a result of upgrading the internal hard drive in your PowerBook. The Radtech Impact Hard Disk Drive Enclosure w/64-bit Encryption is different than any HDD enclosure I’ve ever seen because it adds a layer of physical security giving your data an extra level of protection.
Most people keep a complete backup of their PowerBook at home on a FireWire drive of some sort (and if you don’t, you should) but what happens if the backup drive is lost or stolen? It’s the same as having your PowerBook and all its precious data stolen – personal and private information can fall into the wrong hands.
This story has been updated with new information in the keys and getting replacements.
Read More…

(more…)

FireWire Evolution Redux

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 26th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Hardware

firewire-logo.jpgContributed by: James Wiebe, CEO, WiebeTech LLC
15 months ago, I wrote a white paper which was entitled, ‘FireWire Evolution’. The paper contained a lot of information on the history of FireWire, and delved deeply into the marketing path which Apple had taken with FireWire 800.
I probably was a little too careful in my analysis; I tried not to ruffle feathers needlessly at Apple. In any case, it’s dangerous to predict the future.
This time, I am throwing caution to the wind and I will be a little more emphatic. If you are making storage decisions based on rollouts of FireWire 800 technology, your purchasing priorities are sadly out of order. Apple was the only champion of FireWire 800; a task it seemed to take reluctantly. Now, Apple is making marketplace moves that are absolving itself of FireWire 800.
One of the keen underlying technology themes at MacWorld 2006 is that Apple has begun to remove FireWire 800 from its product lineup. It was removed unceremoniously from the MacBook Pro, and I’m betting that it will soon be gone from the entire Macintosh product lineup, most specifically the desktop lineup.
No, I don’t have a secret line of communication with Steve, and I have absolutely no Apple engineers whispering in my ear. And I have no axe to grind with my own product line, because we do sell lots of FireWire 800 drive enclosures and docks every day. We also have some customers who are married to FireWire 800 technology for the right reasons and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
FireWire 800 was the right technology at the right time, but badly marred by marketing mistakes at the time it was launched. It had a viable upgrade path to even faster versions (none of which has ever happened).
So where to from here? Here’s my thoughts as to where Apple should go…
Read More….

(more…)

Overnight HDD Upgrade for your 'Book

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 23rd, 2006, 19:18
Category: Hardware

Momentus_5400_3.jpgTechRestore, Inc. (a PowerPage sponsor) is now offering 160GB overnight hard drive upgrades for PowerBooks, iBooks and PC notebooks.
The service includes overnight pickup of your notebook from any location in the continental U.S., installation of the new 160GB drive, data transfer and return overnight shipping for US$490. Your old hard drive is returned so you’ll have a backup of your data.
The same service for other drives costs:
- 120GB (5400RPM) US$330
- 100GB (5400RPM) US$280
- 100GB (7200RPM) US$400
As an option you can have your old hard drive installed in a portable case for US$20. All upgrades are covered by a 1-year warranty from TechRestore and a 5-year warranty on the hard drive from the manufacturer.

(more…)