Feeds

Apple G4 upgrade block confirmed

We never promised users an upgrade path, says company operative

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Updated Apple has given tacit confirmation that its now-defunct Power Mac G3 line of desktop PCs have been nobbled to prevent owners from installing the new PowerPC 7400 (aka G4) processor. According to the MacInTouch Web site, Apple's Tech Exchange bulletin board was bombarded with complaints about the fix, introduced in the G3's most recent firmware update (see Apple crippled G3 Macs to bar PPC G4 upgrades). Apple subsequently pulled the discussion thread, but before it did so, an Apple employee wrote: "Notes to consider after reading this [thread] include the fact that there is no shipping or announced PowerPC G4 processor upgrade from Apple or, as far as we know, any other company and we're not aware of any documentation that indicates any Power Macintosh G3 computer was marketed as being upgradeable to a PowerPC G4 processor." In other words, G3 owners were wrong to assume their machine was upgradeable simply because previous models have been. Or, more bluntly, if you now want new Mac processor technology, you'll just have to buy a new Mac. Of course, Apple is well within its rights to design and sell computers that can't be easily upgraded, but it's pretty shoddy behaviour to develop a machine that can be upgraded only to nobble it at a later date -- and to do so without informing users installing the firmware update that this is the case. The existence of the anti-G4 fix, which prevents a G3 from booting up if the user has installed a PPC7400 upgrade processor daughtercard, has been confirmed by upgrade specialist XLR8, which said: "A special fix will be needed to run G4 with the 1.1 firmware in a Blue and White. Users get five [warning] tones... We have a fix in hand." "Currently, the most recent Apple ROM update issued for blue and white Power Mac G3s has rendered them incapable of using G4 upgrades," said upgrade supplier Newer Technologuy. However, Newer also suggested: "This could change as ROM updates are issued frequently." Upgrade vendors have also said that G3s with the 1.0 firmware are not limited in which CPU they can take. When news of the firmware fix broke in June, we asked Apple to comment, but a spokeswoman would only reiterate the company's refusal to discuss rumours. Perhaps the company would like to return to the issue, now it's something more than mere speculation and in light of the fact that the PowerPC 7400 has now been launched officially. Another Apple employee, Todd Hart, from tech support this time, yesterday revealed on the Tech Exchange bulletin board that division isn't aware of the full story. "Was this done intentionally?" Hart wrote in response to a user query. "From our perspective at the user level support, we don't know. We do have a request in to find out yes or no. Will there be a software update from Apple? We have a similar request in on this." Until then, he added, there's not much else he could say. In the meantime, irate G3 owners might like to follow one MacInTouch reader's suggestion and complain directly to Apple's Customer Relations department on 1 800 767 2775 or at PO Box 4040, Cupertino, CA 95014-4040, USA. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.