iMac G5: A New Hope

(With apologies to Star Wars fans)

Update: I have since gotten a call from Apple, which clarifies most of the issues here - and where I not only acknowledge that I have been unfair to the local distributor but also made a few other mistakes in judging the masses of feedback I got.

So, the FNAC store manager called me back just now. He apologised for not calling me on Monday - I was giving him the benefit of the doubt anyway, since the distributor isn't easy to reach the best of times, and a store manager for something the size of Colombo's FNAC store isn't exactly someone with a lot of free time.

After I reassured him it was OK, he outlined my options as follows:

  • I could wait another 2-3 weeks for a factory-issued custom configuration.
  • Or I could wait until next week (which is when the distributor is due to deliver more stock) and have them deliver everything but the internal Bluetooth module.

Which is not available except as part of a factory-built configuration.

I talked to the manager at some length (he seems to be a sensible and competent guy) and unearthed the fact that they (the distributor) apparently can't even supply the module separately.

Guess which option I picked.

So, if all goes well, next week I should get a call from FNAC to pick up a brand new iMac G5 with 1GB RAM, AirPort Extreme and... a 256MB DIMM.

Oh, yes, they (the distributor) cannot perform custom RAM configurations, which means that by adding two 512MB DIMMs for my 1GB, I will end up with an extra 256MB DIMM.

Haven't they heard of customer service?

Still, I can use the RAM somewhere else (I think). It is, nevertheless, yet another completely pointless annoyance, and has only cemented my resolution to:

  • Never, ever, again, buy a Mac in Portugal if I can help it.
  • Stick to laptops from now on. With luck, the G5 will last me four years or so, and I had tentatively budgeted for getting a PowerBook in 2006 (which is when I expect my 800MHz iBook to become formally obsolete), and I can get one over the counter at the London store (even if I have to order the keyboard locally).

In the meantime, people who are willing to procure and ship me the internal Bluetooth module are welcome to drop me a line.

No, let's rephrase that - even better: if someone can check if it is possible to obtain one over the counter at the London Apple store, I would appreciate it - I might be going there next month or so, and the iMac G5 is far easier to open than the HP boxes I have to deal with on our lab.

More commentary on this (and the Bluetooth module saga, which I've seen several times before when people wanted to add it to their PowerBooks) later tonight - I just spent half a day at a vendor's office on a workshop, and am trying to get some work done...

Update: Melo just called me and, amongst other things, hinted that the current shambles that is the Portuguese online store might be on its way to being replaced by a globally-hosted site like the Spanish one, which is run by Apple itself rather than by some local guy with a web server on a non-standard port (yeah, people inside corporate firewalls couldn't access the Portuguese store - real professional, these guys). That would also mean global order tracking, shipping, etc. - all the things I couldn't benefit from this time around.