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How smoking can ruin your Mac

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Texas Mac Man:
How smoking can ruin your Mac

Well, I clicked on the link you provided and read the page, also checked-out the link in the article.  Precious little actual info available, other than the reports that Apple has, in at least two instances, refused to work on Macs that they assessed had been used in smoking environments.  Nothing about what [if any] damage to a computer is caused by smoke.  Apparently Apple's only substantive objection was that there could be some sort of health risk to the techs who worked on machines that had been operated in smoking environments.  

IMO, unless the warranty data specifically states that using equipment around cigarette smoke will void the warranty, then Apple should have to stand by their warranty.  

This makes me wonder if there is any data that indicates cigarette smoke has any detrimental effects on computers and/or other electronic equipment.


Here's another article, complete with pics:

My mom was a heavy smoker, and her computer mouse would constantly stop working. I'd go down, put on gloves, open the Kensington up, spend hours cleaning the sticky tar and dirt out of the mouse, put it back together and it'd work for about 2 months. I finally bought her a brand new mouse and within a few months it was the same routine. Her Macintosh also started slowing down, but I never opened it up to clean it so I don't know if it was tar, dust, age or a combo of things.

Neither of us smoke, and while we've had to occasionally clean cat fur and/or household dust out of a mouse/Macintosh, we've never had to take things apart and spend hours cleaning sticky brown stuff out of anything.

Personally, I can understand an employee not wanting to work on a computer filled with tar and dirt.

Just got finished almost gutting a house we rented to a family for just over twenty years. Even after the father had a heart attack a year ago, it is obvious he nor his wife stopped smoking. And I can guarantee the smoke affected every surface in that house, we just took the heater/AC unit apart and took it outside to hose it down and spray cleaning solvent on it. Threw away the air vent outlets, the cabinets. Realized the windows were plain aluminum, they did not have a dark brown "finish!" I even gave up cleaning the the electrical receptacles and wall switches. I just ripped them out and had new ones installed!! Disassembled the two ceiling fans and put all the pieces through the dish washer. Same thing with the glass globes on some of the ceiling fixtures! Then we ran an empty load in the dish washer... :yuck:

If the guy was lucky, the cooling fans accumulated tar evenly on the blades and didn't become out of balance. But if the machine was ever shut down, I wouldn't be surprised if those same fans ended up stuck to the frame and never worked again, at some point. Air is usually sucked in through the optical drive opening also. I'm sure that things worked like a charm!

Warranty or no, there is no excuse for living like that and expecting anything as sensitive to atmospheric conditions as a computer, forced air fan and filter, etc. to continue working. I can guarantee we'll have a "No Indoor Smoking" clause in the next lease. And we'll also include a note that the house will be inspected (especially the forced air filter) every 60 days with little more than a two day notice. "Two strikes" and their out. And no deposit/cleaning refund.

I'm even thinking of not allowing anything running Windows preinstalled...

The clue lies in the comments after the article.  Many people who actually worked on repairing computers chimed in to explain that the tar residue attracts and condenses dust which overheats the computer and could cause failure. As Kimmer indicated in her description, that might have been the future for her Mom's Mac.

I think Apple may have a legitimate beef with having to repair "abused" hardware. However, for PR purposes, I think it would be wise for them to put something in the warranty that spells out some of the less obvious causes for refusal of repair.


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