Author Topic: How smoking can ruin your Mac  (Read 4612 times)

Offline Texas Mac Man

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« on: November 20, 2009, 07:58:59 PM »
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Offline kbeartx

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 03:54:24 PM »
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.

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« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 03:56:07 PM by kbeartx »

Offline kimmer

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 06:49:22 PM »
Here's another article, complete with pics:
http://www.squidoo.com/cigarette-smoke-computer-damage

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. wink.gif

Offline Xairbusdriver

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009, 07:31:34 PM »
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! nono.gif

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...
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Offline krissel

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2009, 12:42:01 AM »
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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Offline Paddy

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2009, 01:18:30 AM »
Having once rescued a PC formerly owned by a smoker, I have some experience with this. It was disgusting; sticky tar with dust embedded. I never could get that thing to stop smelling - and I cleaned everything several times.

As for being a biohazard - I think that's probably a bit of a stretch, but causing damage to the machine itself? Sure - anything that accumulates and blocks heat dissipation could do that.

My mother hasn't smoked in 4 years now, but the effects linger in their house, cottage and the car (which we now own). I can still smell the cigarette smoke in the car - it's fading, but it's still there. Still need to get the inside cleaned to see if I can get rid of the last of the smell. The paint in some of the rooms in their house is permanently discolored. I spent hours one day cleaning the outside of all of the kitchen cabinets - the yellowish brown residue was everywhere. The fridge, which was white, was off-white when I started - all from the cigarette smoke. I had to use a fairly strong cleaner to get it all off too. It wasn't a mild soap and water job! So removing the tar from computer components wouldn't be easy either, especially as most shouldn't be gotten wet.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 01:19:23 AM by Paddy »
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Offline kbeartx

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2009, 11:50:05 AM »
IMO, the problem w/ the info in the comments [and those here as well] is that it's all anecdotal - in other words, a compilation of opinions and reports of personal experiences.  

Yes, logic suggests that sticky tar will attract and 'capture' dust, and create an insulating layer on exposed surfaces increasing heat buildup, which might be enough to damage electronic components - but as logical as all that sounds, in truth it's all supposition and theory until somebody conducts a scientific study and so far, I have read zero hard data to support these assertions.

And, as I mentioned earlier, unless Apple's warranty states that smoking near your Mac can void your warranty, then they are just weaseling, IMO.

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« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 12:33:02 PM by kbeartx »

Offline Xairbusdriver

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2009, 01:48:23 PM »
Sorry I didn't keep the three roles of soiled paper towels for you, kBear, I'm sure they would have been valuable in some 'scientific' study. Frankly, we could hardly wait to get rid of them and wash our whole body and all our clothes. Frankly, I don't need or want any more 'personal' experiences with that stuff...

While posting something about 'smoking' might be 'fair', I suspect the lawyers would say mentioning anything specifically could make it difficult to deny service for anything not mentioned. wallbash.gif I don't see the problem, as long as they continue to be fair to ME! laughhard.gif blush-anim-cl.gif hey already have water presence indicators in laptops, maybe there is a market for 'tar' indicators, also! rofl.gif
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Offline kbeartx

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2009, 07:24:47 PM »
I don't dispute for an instant that smoke from many cigarettes results in surface deposits, and I don't disagree that smoke-filled rooms are unpleasant-smelling [during and after the smoking].  

Even though the link from surface deposits to dust buildup to overheating sufficient to cause component failure seems logical & cogent, it is merely speculation without evidence.

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« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 07:26:01 PM by kbeartx »

Offline gunug

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2009, 08:49:01 AM »
I've lost three grandparents and a parent to cigarettes and I'm sure that the people we hired to clean up my mothers parents house earned their keep.  On a computer I'd be most concerned about the optical drive I think and I'm sure the key caps would be showing nicotine stains.  I think it's possible there is a lot of stuff in the small print on the warranty but probably if smoking "damage" was part of it we would've heard by now!
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Offline Jack W

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 07:03:51 PM »
And some discussions on smoke damage on MacInTouch.com"

http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/ap...html#d23nov2009

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Offline jcarter

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2009, 06:49:11 AM »
No cigarettes in this house, just a couple of cigars on the back porch when our grandkids were born, but we do have a wood stove.  I dont think it emits enough to ever bother us or the computer.

Offline sandbox

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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2009, 05:29:08 AM »
QUOTE
Apple's customer service came under the microscope earlier this week, when the company refused to repair smokers' Macs.
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/353680/office-...ts-cs-into-line
QUOTE(jcarter @ Nov 25 2009, 07:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No cigarettes in this house, just a couple of cigars on the back porch when our grandkids were born, but we do have a wood stove.  I dont think it emits enough to ever bother us or the computer.
Jane don't be fooled by wood smioke, it's far worse than cigs.http://www.burningissues.org

Offline jcarter

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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2009, 08:13:56 AM »
That is very very interesting. I am wondering if they are talking about the outdoors where the smoke gathers in valleys and yards, or inside our houses whre the smoke is not supposed to be.
We have one of those EPA certified stoves with the internal catalytic converter.  It burns the smoke at a high temperature in a secondary chamber above the fire box, and supposedly all you get coming out of the chimney is CO2 and water vapor. Though when you first fire the stove up before the converter kicks in, you can smell the smoke from the chimney in our yard. Its quite amazing the difference in the creasote buildup with these stoves, its almost none if you run them properly.
Jane

Offline Xairbusdriver

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How smoking can ruin your Mac
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2009, 12:13:49 PM »
It's not "smoke" that is the problem, Jane. And your smoke is vented, anyway. It's the abundance of 'tar' from the tobacco that is in the smoke. It's the stuff that turns the filters brown, it's the stuff hat turned everything in my rental house brown, it's the stuff that turns your lungs brown...of course, the extra chemicals don't help much either. Anyway, 'tar' is normally a liquid at room temps, but in the smoke it is a vapor because of the heat of the burning tobacco. Anything that the smoke can come in contact with, walls, drapery, aluminum window frames, computer out and insides, etc. is usually much cooler, closer to room temp. That means the vapor will easily condense on those surfaces. Since the inside of a computer is usually warmer than the room, that tar may not solidify but remain as a sticky liquid. That makes it extremely good at collecting dust particles which are always in house/office air.

I'm not sure the goo is electrically conductive and even the dust may not be unless the humidity is very high. But all that junque makes for a greatly intensified collection of the tar and any harmful chemicals that may also be in the smoke. We threw away much of the stuff in that rental house (cabinets, electrical outlets, air vents, etc.) because it was just too messy and time consuming to clean them. We did put most of the ceiling fans blades and trim pieces in our dishwasher. That's when we discovered they were white! eek2.gif

This all may be 'anecdotal' but the whole crew of workmen were happy to see all that stuff in up in the dumpster! laughhard.gif

Oh yeah, the smoke in the 'valley' is probably not good to breath continuously, but I'm pretty sure most of it gets blow away fairly often. And they are much less concentrated than a closed house with two smokers! Of course. it's not just the visible particulates that are harmful, it can be just as unhealthful in some areas that don't look 'smokey'! sad.gif
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 12:17:19 PM by Xairbusdriver »
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