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Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.

Internal CD-ROM Quirks

For a decent multimedia machine, the Mac has some strange problems. The latest to surface concerns the internal CD drives in the Performa 600CD, IIvx, Centris 650, and Quadras. The drive works fine but does not allow access to the volume control dial and headphone jack on the AppleCD 300 (the identical mechanism) because Apple thinks people would be confused because Macintosh beeps don't come from that jack. There's only so far you should go in crippling hardware to make it easy to understand.

Pythaeus adds:

There are some real issues with the "Buick Case" bezel used on the Performa 600, IIvx, and Centris 650.

  • Why did Apple make the CD-ROM hit light invisible? When copying large images from PhotoCD, which can take several minutes, you have no indication that the computer is functioning. It looks as though it's frozen. (There is a similar problem with AppleTalk Remote Access, the Finder's watch cursor, and the "AppleTalk doubleaxe" arrows.)

  • Only the Sony CD-ROM drive fits behind the current removable slotted bezel.

The bezel is easy to remove, but if you install a different CD-ROM drive (the Toshiba or the Texel with the pull down doors) you need to make an auxiliary handle for the drive doors because the bay is so deeply recessed even with the bezel cover completely removed.

So where are the generic 5.25" and 3.5" bezel covers from Apple? MicroNet says they had to tool their own - whether they are available separately or not I don't know.

With the Texel drive, you can cut and fit a small piece of Radio Shack heavy duty hook & loop velcro (it's clear plastic knobby velcro, adhesive-backed) under the door tab, providing enough of something to grip with a fingernail to open the spring-loaded dust door.

The Toshiba mechanisms are tougher, since they have a smooth curved tab on the door.

In either case it would be possible to epoxy a second tab onto the dust door or even, using a small bit, drill a hole and tie a piece of knotted yarn through the hole as a door pull.

I know this is absurd, but I bring it up to illustrate how shortsighted Apple's "designers" can be at times. [Gee, I wonder if the marketing department that hosed the Apple Adjustable Keyboard might be implicated in this as well? -Adam]

Henry Ford: "Any color as long as it's black."
Apple: "Any CD-ROM drive as long as it's ours."

Information from:
Pythaeus

 

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