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iMac owners may finally have a solution to their graphics woes.  (Source: Apple Support Forums)
Apple is working to try to improve the quality of its offerings

While Apple has suffered from a plethora of quality control issues, from cracked iMacs to overheating iPhones, those problems have done little to slow the company's sales momentum.  With the launch of revised iMacs in October, the company has seen brisk sales on the desktops.  In fact, the iMac 27" was the top-selling U.S. desktop in October.

Despite that success, Apple has been inundated with customer complaints.  From the aforementioned cracked monitors (apparently due to poor packaging and/or shipping problems) to flickering screens, the pricey but chic computers came with some major issues, in some cases.  Apple has now moved to remedy the latter problem and shore up its deteriorating quality image.

The company released 683 KB update designed to fix the flickering issues on iMacs with the ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards.  The update is entitled "27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0" and is available for machines running OS X version 10.6.2 or later.  You can find it, direct from Apple here.

Apple warns customers not to restart their computers during the update.  Apple says that could result in the computer failing to start.

Customers ordering their iMacs for the holidays were disappointed when shipments were delayed past the holiday season.  Apple claimed this was due to the high demand and refused to address speculation that it was also due to the graphical problems on the machines.  The company's spokesperson stated, "The new iMac has been a huge hit and we are working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible.  We apologize for any inconvenience or delay in delivery this may cause our customers."



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Just works...
By Marlonsm on 12/22/2009 11:16:01 AM , Rating: 5
...all it needs are some patches.




RE: Just works...
By mydogfarted on 12/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: Just works...
By Motoman on 12/22/2009 12:56:22 PM , Rating: 3
...if you're referring to the Explorers rolling over and whatnot, that was Ford's fault.

Firestone (I think they were Firestone tires) had specified a certain PSI for their tires, as any tire has a specified PSI for proper operation. Ford, however, had handling problems that they thought they could adjust for by specifying a low inflation pressure for the tires.

Which, once you learn the physics involved, creates lots of problems on the tires themselves, since they don't have the needed pressure to properly keep the shape they need to keep and to carry the load they are carrying. Which means the tires fail.

Blaming Firestone was an act of idiots. It was Ford's fault, pure and simple.


RE: Just works...
By nafhan on 12/22/2009 12:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Kind of like blaming Ford for shi**y tires blowing out.
Were you meaning to be ironic?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestone_and_Ford_ti...


RE: Just works...
By Motoman on 12/22/2009 1:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
...that's it. What I was referring to in the previous post.


RE: Just works...
By omnicronx on 12/22/2009 1:02:56 PM , Rating: 1
Apple sells hardware, of course its their fault. Just because its a firmware update does not mean it is Apple or Nvidias fault. Or did you forget they sell the same products for PC and I have yet to hear of any issue. Its most likely something to do with the way they interface with EFI. AMD and Nvidia provide the hardware, Apple does the rest. The great thing about controlling your hardware is that issues like these shouldnt happen. You control everything, so there is zero excuse here.
quote:
Kind of like blaming Ford for shitty tires blowing out.
I actually laughed when I read this, you are my number one candidate for analogy of the year. I know 5 year old's may not remember (just assuming from your childish name), but Ford recalled around 15 million tires for exactly what your stupid analogy mentions not too long ago. They took full responsibility and replaced all the affected tires. While the initial problem was obviously Firestones fault, it should have never made it into production, or at least the final testing phase. http://www.icarumba.com/cobrands/contentmodules/re...


RE: Just works...
By Motoman on 12/22/2009 1:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While the initial problem was obviously Firestones fault, it should have never made it into production, or at least the final testing phase.


No, it categorically wasn't Firestone's fault. Ford demanding running the tires well below the specified PSI to try to keep their Explorers from rolling.


RE: Just works...
By omnicronx on 12/22/2009 1:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
Ya I forgot about that heh, I should remember that too, considering a bunch of those explorers came from the plant I live beside ;)


RE: Just works...
By wolrah on 12/22/2009 3:37:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Ford demanding running the tires well below the specified PSI to try to keep their Explorers from rolling.


I know the Wiki article says that, but it doesn't make a damn bit of sense. Lowering the tire pressure will make the tires react in a sloppier manner, causing the vehicle to behave MORE unpredictably under hard maneuvering and thus more likely to roll.

Anyways, Car and Driver fairly conclusively proved that regardless of the cause of tread separations, the cause of the actual rollovers was 100% the driver being an idiot. In their tests they dumped all the air from a tire while doing 70 MPH without a hand on the wheel and the vehicle tracked perfectly straight. Dumb drivers who don't understand the basic physics of driving a tall vehicle would panic, jerk the wheel, and then the inevitable would happen.

Any vehicle capable enough to deserve the title of "truck" or "SUV" by definition has to have ground clearance. Unless you want H1 Hummer width, this also means it will be unstable compared to a passenger car. It's inherent to the type of vehicle and not anyone's fault but the tool who purchased one without knowing what they were getting behind the wheel of.

Ford's low pressure spec probably did have a lot if not all to do with the separations, but the rollovers themselves I place entirely on the heads of the drivers. This entire issue is just like the Consumer Reports thing with the Suzuki Samurai. "Tall, narrow vehicle less stable than short, wide vehicle in emergency maneuvers. News at 11." Who'd have thunk, I mean it's not like anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention in high school physics couldn't have figured this out. If you care about on-road handling, stop looking at vehicles built to go off road.


RE: Just works...
By Motoman on 12/22/2009 3:50:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I know the Wiki article says that, but it doesn't make a damn bit of sense. Lowering the tire pressure will make the tires react in a sloppier manner, causing the vehicle to behave MORE unpredictably under hard maneuvering and thus more likely to roll.


...that's probably perfectly accurate. I'm not sure what Ford was thinking - maybe that lowering the cg of the vehicle another inch would take care of any undue propensity to roll.

All in all, it was a parade of stupidity on Ford's part. But the way they managed to get Firestone to take the blame for their stupidity...pure marketing genius. Apple would be proud.


RE: Just works...
By MrFord on 12/22/2009 3:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ford's low pressure spec probably did have a lot if not all to do with the separations, but the rollovers themselves I place entirely on the heads of the drivers. This entire issue is just like the Consumer Reports thing with the Suzuki Samurai. "Tall, narrow vehicle less stable than short, wide vehicle in emergency maneuvers. News at 11." Who'd have thunk, I mean it's not like anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention in high school physics couldn't have figured this out. If you care about on-road handling, stop looking at vehicles built to go off road.


Also, the fact that buyers of so-called SUVs shifted from off-road drivers to soccer moms and the guy commuting to work each day "because they need all the space and safety they couldn't get from a regular car that still seats 5 people" and "because 4WD let me go so much faster in rain and snow because physic laws don't apply to SUV" put people who could barely keep a Taurus on the road at the wheel of a 4-doors Ranger.

Each time someone tells me how much safer during the winter a SUV is, I remind them to check what type of vehicle they'll see upside down in the middle of the road next time a snow storm hits: SUV.


RE: Just works...
By redbone75 on 12/23/2009 10:22:59 AM , Rating: 1
It would be nVidia's fault if it were a discrete solution that the end user could purchase and install themselves. Doesn't Apple have very strict control over the hardware they sell? Do they not work very closely with vendors to ensure the products they sell "just work?" If I purchased a Dell and the same thing happened do I blame Dell for their lack of testing or do I blame the individual component makers? This is obviously an issue that thorough testing should have caught before the product was released to the public. That it wasn't either means Apple didn't have a large enough sample size for testing or they knew about the issue already and didn't think it would affect a significant number of users thus needing to be addressed.

Stop making excuses for Apple. They are a personal computer and electronics vendor just like Sony, HP, Toshiba, Dell, etc. When they release inferior products they need to be held accountable and be forced to address the issue. Otherwise, they'll just pretend that there is no issue and get fat off your money while you just accept it.


They're good for redneck rampages also.
By 67STANG on 12/22/2009 11:55:55 AM , Rating: 4
About 8 years ago, I got a job at this company as their web designer. The computer they had for me to do design/development on: an iMac. After bitching about it for about an hour they promptly procured a real computer for me.

I paid them $40 three months later to allow me to pull the iMac out of storage and run over it with my truck in the parking lot. It was glorious.




RE: They're good for redneck rampages also.
By daemonios on 12/22/2009 12:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! That's hilarious, although I don't endorse that particular way of disposing waste :)

On another note, from the Apple patch release notes: "Do not disturb or shut off the power on your iMac during this update."

Do not disturb? Why, it might sulk if you complain to it that the update is taking too freaking long?


RE: They're good for redneck rampages also.
By monomer on 12/22/2009 2:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do not disturb? Why, it might sulk if you complain to it that the update is taking too freaking long?


Eheh, reminds me of the old SNL commercial:

"Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball."


RE: They're good for redneck rampages also.
By Maharajamd on 12/22/09, Rating: -1
By Motoman on 12/22/2009 1:42:58 PM , Rating: 4
I would approve of that action, as well as any similar action taken with Bose and/or Monster Cable products.


RE: They're good for redneck rampages also.
By theslug on 12/22/2009 2:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse me? What does that have to do with being American?

I'm American and I don't agree with that sort of destruction of a working product. I'm the person you'll find that always says these sorts of things should be properly recycled.


By Motoman on 12/22/2009 2:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
Who says they didn't drop off the crushed remains at a technology recycling facility?

Just pointing that out.


By seamonkey79 on 12/23/2009 5:42:25 PM , Rating: 1
...perfectly working... Mac...

something's not right here...


By KoolAidMan1 on 12/23/2009 12:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
I can endorse this for an 8 year old iMac. Ever since the Intel transition, no way, especially with the new 27" models. The 27" display by itself would be a steal at $1500, considering that Dell's closest specced 30" is $1700. That the 27" iMac starts at $1700 with a fast computer built in is kind of insane.

But yeah, run over those crummy old lamp shaped iMacs if you want to be wasteful, whatever. :)


Lies, damn lies, and statistics
By Abrahmm on 12/22/2009 11:23:59 AM , Rating: 5
"In fact, the iMac 27" was the top-selling U.S. desktop in October."

I love misleading "facts". There are 1000's of options for Windows based desktops, and Apple has, what, 3? It's the top selling desktop due to the wide range of consumer choices in the Windows based market, not because the 27" iMac is a selling machine.




RE: Lies, damn lies, and statistics
By Motoman on 12/22/2009 12:33:17 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. That's one of the dumbest things ever said, anywhere.

There are, what, hundreds or thousands of essentially identical configurations of PCs out there with hardware basically the same as this Mac (from major OEMs, and the mom & pop shops, and don't forget the enthusiast BYO market). So if you want a useful comparison, add all those essentially identical PCs together, and compare that number to this Mac.

Here on DT a while ago an article pointed out a more useful, and accurate, representation of Mac marketshare - web surfing records. Unless you wish to believe that there are millions of Mac owners out there that *don't* surf the internet, the ~4% statistic shown there says everything that needs to be said.

Apple has ~4% of the personal computer market. Period.

It would be really nice if the media would give Apple the amount of coverage that it's marketshare deserves.


RE: Lies, damn lies, and statistics
By omnicronx on 12/22/2009 1:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's one of the dumbest things ever said, anywhere.
Well considering it was written, a thing cannot be dumb, and that 'ever said' would also imply anywhere, I'm not so sure =/

Just yanking your chain ;) I noticed the same thing. Really its not the fact that 'identical PC's are sold, but that even the largest PC retailers have large product lines, not just merely three or four models to choose from. The statement is correct in saying it is the best selling model in the US, but because of the lack of a large Apple product line, it is very misleading.


RE: Lies, damn lies, and statistics
By Motoman on 12/22/2009 1:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
It's not so much due to the tiny Apple product line, but rather that there are so many essentially identical PCs out there that are perfectly interchangeable with each other. "Models" of PCs is really a concept that doesn't make much sense...it's not like there's any particular constraint over what does or doesn't make it into the case.


Quality control?
By omnicronx on 12/22/2009 12:39:15 PM , Rating: 3
How does this ever make it through Quality control?? This is a VISUAL issue, the most basic and easiest problem to notice.

Apple had to of known about this issue, which is my gripe. I know this stuff happens, and is not exclusive to Apple, its just the way they dealt with it.

And of course somehow Apple always seems to be able to fix issues like these with a 'software patch'. How is it always a software patch? Making a crappy work around for a hardware issue is rarely a good solution, and when you consider that Apple just flat out does not recall their products, you would have to assume that this happens every now and then. Its just not possible to fix every single hardware issue you have with a software patch, I don't care who you are.

Of course that would go against the 'Just Works' philosophy.. one of these days Apple, its going to bite you in the ***, and then you are going to wish you were truthful with your ever so faithful customers.




RE: Quality control?
By hiscross on 12/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: Quality control?
By damianrobertjones on 12/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: Quality control?
By hiscross on 12/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: Quality control?
By seamonkey79 on 12/23/2009 5:44:30 PM , Rating: 1
...are you a moron, or do you just play one on the internet?


RE: Quality control?
By hiscross on 12/24/2009 4:02:43 PM , Rating: 1
Why no. That said, what does "mac uses the same hardware as macs" mean?


RE: Quality control?
By KoolAidMan1 on 12/23/2009 12:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
First, this is an issue that is affecting a small percentage of customers. Second, based on reading support forums it is a problem that doesn't seem to pop up until after several days or a week. Restarting fixes the problem for several days and then it pops up again. Yeah it sucks that its been a problem but hopefully the new GPU firmware takes care of this.

FWIW, I have a 27" i7 860 iMac sitting next to my i7 860 Windows PC. I was reading forums because I was worried that I may be affected but my iMac works flawlessly.


RE: Quality control?
By R3T4rd on 12/23/2009 6:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
Knowing Apple, it wouldn't surprise me if they disabled certain hardware part of the video card/Mobo through the so called "patch" (Through BIOS) while on the Standard Windows PC, it works just fine - in essence Apple cripples the hardware to get rid of the issue....and doesn't let the customer know. Well, most Apple customers are too "ignorant" to know anything anyways because it just works.


RE: Quality control?
By bernardl on 12/23/2009 4:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well, most Apple customers are too "ignorant" to know anything anyways because it just works.


Right, that makes a lot of sense...

Cheers,
Bernard, a Win XP, Win 7, OSX and refrigerator 2.0 user.


Sadly
By stonemetal on 12/22/2009 11:26:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"The new iMac has been a huge hit and we are working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience or delay in delivery this may cause our customers."


Sadly I think he isn't lying. People are rushing to buy them even though they were known to be defective.




RE: Sadly
By Gyres01 on 12/22/2009 11:31:59 AM , Rating: 2
Hell nobody I know is rushing out to buy any form of iMac. They all want the damn Iphone....I guess that is what is keeping them in the game.....IMHO


RE: Sadly
By Mitch101 on 12/22/2009 12:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
Its basically Droid or iPhone now in my neck of the woods. Both are nice devices. Corporate still with Blackberry but alternatives are knocking on the door. All the hype that went around the Palm Pre I have yet to see anyone with one.

I didn't even think about it until you mentioned it but all the talk of getting a MAC seems to have died out. I too cant think of anyone saying they are thinking or getting a MAC. I also think the Apple commercials mocking Windows have run out of steam since Windows 7. And nobody around the office is even mentioning the L word. Really is a silent night round here. Kind of nice for a change.


RE: Sadly
By KoolAidMan1 on 12/23/2009 12:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
Read their quarterlies for the last year. The bulk of their income comes from the Mac, then the iPhone, then the iPod, in that order. On top of that, Mac sales continue to accelerate and increase YoY. If you believe the media hype then its all about the iPhone. If you pay attention to reality then you see that the Mac is still very important to their business.


What?!?!
By CrazyBernie on 12/22/2009 11:02:16 AM , Rating: 2
You mean to tell me that wasn't some sort of special feature that they charge extra for???




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