The Rumor Mill

Mac User Makes Fool of Self

Mr. Vuillemot's Ludicrous Claims Against Apple Computer

- 2001.11.14

By now I'm guessing a lot of you have seen the Open Letter to Apple by Ward W. Vuillemot. According to one copy posted on the Web, Mr. Vuillemot emailed his tirade to MacCentral and MacInTouch, as well as posting to the DealMac Forum, Apple Support Forum, MacNN Forum, and MacDebate Forum.

I guess >Low End Mac's message boards just don't cut it for Mr. V. ;-)

Anyhow, Mr. V. is all pissed that the "Apple G3 (gossamer) desktop" (I have to assume he means the Blue & White Power Macintosh G3 [Yosemite], since it was the only desktop "Apple G3" to offer DVD drives) he bought in 1999 doesn't work as he wants it to under Mac OS X version 10.1 (which he refers to as Mac OX 10.1, sigh).

Thanks to feedback from several readers, I've learned that Gossamer was the code name for the beige Power Mac G3, which was introduced in November 1997, upgraded to 300 MHz and a DVD-ROM option added in March 1998, and discontinued in January 1999. I hadn't been aware DVD-ROM drives, let alone a hardware decoder card, had been available for this model. I'll have to contact Dan and have him update the LEM profile for this model (done - dk). Updates to this article are enclosed in square brackets. AO, 11/16

I don't usually deal with events in the real world - making up rumors is much more fun - but the sheer stupidity of this complaint boggles the mind.

Mr. V. notes, "When I purchased the computer, Apple sold the DVD drive without a decoder," then made it an optional build-to-order (BTO) feature in a revision of the Power Mac G3 released one day before he received his computer (but 14 weeks after he ordered it). After two [or possibly three] years of badgering Apple, Mr. V. convinced them to install the DVD decoder in his computer.

Although this card was not a standard feature on the version of the Power Mac G3 he purchased, Mr. V. now complains that the Personality Card he insisted Apple provide cannot be used with "Mac OS 10.1." Duh!

Thanks to his insistence that Apple provide a nonstandard component to his computer, that component doesn't work with an OS released two [or possibly three] years later. So sad.

The Power Mac G3 apparently worked perfectly before the modification Mr. V. insisted on, but now he's all in a tizzy because his computer has no sound or DVD support - at least under OS X 10.1. Curiously, Mr. V. doesn't note whether he has sound with Mac OS 9.2.1. His failure to state this leads me to believe that there is no problem under Mac OS 9.x. (More on that below!)

Yes Mr. V. makes the ridiculous claim that Apple broke his computer! Remember, Apple never offered him the Personality Card; Mr. V. fought them for two [or three] years until Apple agreed to put it in - probably just to get him off their back.

Mr. V. goes further to claim that running under Mac OS 9.x is not an option for him, although he doesn't explain why. This is especially bizarre since the Yosemite G3 shipped with Mac OS 8.5 and clearly supports Mac OS 9.x.

Based on everything Mr. V. has posted, he believes his computer was broken from the day he bought it - first, because it didn't include the DVD decoder card that wasn't even an option when he ordered it, and second, because now that Apple has installed the card (after he badgered them for two [or three] years), he finds the card doesn't work under Mac OS X 10.1.

Mr. V. goes out of his way to avoid telling us that the card works under Mac OS 9.x or why the classic Mac OS is no longer an option for him. Instead, he wants Apple to drop everything and provide OS X drivers for his nonstandard configuration, replace the card with a card compatible with OS X, or provide him with a whole new computer that "equals or exceeds the current system while returning the lost functionality."

Oops, he just admitted that he had that functionality before installing Mac OS X 10.1, an operating system that remains incomplete. With patience (either waiting for a future OS X revision or living with the classic Mac OS), Apple may eventually support his configuration, but that's not good enough for him. Instead, he hopes to cobble together a class action suit against Apple for not supporting the modification to his hardware that Apple resisted providing for two [or three] years.

You'd think an engineer would understand these things, but rather than go back and use what worked (Mac OS 9.x), Mr. V. has coerced Apple into giving him enough rope to hang himself. His online rants indicate he's already tied a noose and put it around his neck.

- Anne Onymus

Further thoughts on 11/16: Andrew W. Hill took a close look at the specs of Mr. V's machine. The Gestalt ID definitely points to a beige G3, not the blue & white one. It also notes a clock speed of 315 MHz, which means Mr. V. has overclocked his CPU (see Clocking the Power Mac G3 for details) or OS X misreports clock speed, since there was no 315 MHz model from Apple. Interesting....

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