Apple update fixes Mac Pro glitch

APPLE A DAY

April 03, 2008|By DAVID ZEILLER

Afirmware update apparently has rectified the reboot-on-wake problem that has dogged the 2008 edition of the Mac Pro since its introduction just before the Macworld show in January.

I use the word "apparently" because Apple does not mention the issue in its explanation of the update's benefits. Instead, we get only a vague statement: "This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of Mac Pro (Early 2008) computers."

Owners of the affected Mac Pros can obtain the fix by running Software Update. It shows up as "Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.3."

On the main thread on Apple's support site where this issue has been discussed, everyone who applied the update reported success in eliminating the reboot-on-wake problem. It has been only a few days since Apple released the fix, but so far so good.

Users are talking to one another because Apple has failed to clarify whether the update includes a fix for the reboot-on-wake issue (although it did lock the discussion thread Sunday to prevent further comments, if that means anything).

If Apple has fixed the problem, why not say so in the update's documentation? Why leave users guessing?

For the past three months, Apple support has told many Mac Pro owners (myself included) that it knew nothing of widespread sleep issues. I suppose it would be bad form to admit you solved a problem that you previously refused to acknowledge.

I have never understood why Apple so often denies issues that affect thousands of users.

Sometimes, if the issues are severe enough and generate significant Web chatter, Apple will make amends publicly, as with the MacBook random shutdown and discolored palm rest incidents in 2006. Even then, affected customers were told only to "contact AppleCare for service."

But in many cases, particularly problems that it can fix with a software or firmware update, Apple never admits anything.

Perhaps the company fears bad publicity would follow from admitting its problems. After all, one of Apple's Mac marketing angles is superior reliability over Windows PCs.

But you don't retain customers' loyalty by jerking them around when things go wrong.

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