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Apple in a fix over switch

Power Macs fail to power on

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Apple has confirmed the existence of a hardware hiccough that cause Power Mac G4 power switches to fail - but as yet has not issued a fix for the problem.

According to initial reports on Apple's support bulletin board, the glitch causes the desktop machine's power switch to burn out, which renders it inoperative. It also ensures the host Mac can't be switched on either.

Why? Because it leaves owners of new machines without any way of turning their computer on. Apple's Pro Keyboard, which has been shipping with all new Macs since the autumn, has no power-on button, unlike older Apple keyboards.

Doh!

When Apple launched its latest line of monitors, it decided that henceforth all Mac users should only be allowed to turn their computer on using the monitor's on/off switch. That connects to the Mac via the monitor's Apple Display Connector's USB line and fires up the computer when the screen powers up. To make sure users didn't stick to the plan, Apple removed the power key from the Pro Keyboard.

Apple support staff report that the problem is under investigation, according to ZDNet US. Embarrassed Apple helpdeskers are forced to suggest meekly that customers see if they can find an first-generation USB keyboard instead.

A company spokeswoman said that Apple was aware of the problem, but that it was "extremely rare".

"We have taken steps to address [the glitch] in our manufacturing," she added.

Currently, Apple resellers appear to be replacing dead switches with existing - ie. potentially faulty - switch panels. ®

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