Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Medicine Apple

Apple Voiding Smokers' Warranties? 1078

Mr2001 writes "Consumerist reports that Apple is refusing to work on computers that have been used in smoking households. 'The Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, [the warranty has been voided] and they refuse to work on the machine "due to health risks of second hand smoke,"' wrote one customer. Another said, 'When I asked for an explanation, she said [the owner of the iMac is] a smoker and it's contaminated with cigarette smoke, which they consider a bio-hazard! I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honoring warranties if the owner is a smoker.' Apple claims that honoring the warranty would be an OSHA violation. (Remember when they claimed enabling 802.11n for free would be a Sarbanes-Oxley violation?)"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Voiding Smokers' Warranties?

Comments Filter:
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:28AM (#30184480)
    If it was in the agreement, I don't see why it wouldn't be legal. Since smokers are not a protected class, they can be discriminated against by private industry without any legal repercussions.

    Of course, if it's not in the agreement, you could argue breach of contract (or whatever the particular legal term would in this case) because they're trying to impose additional conditions on the warranty after it's already been purchased.
  • by attie ( 1610995 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:34AM (#30184554)
    Look at this [] and tell me that you wouldn't run screaming if someone asked you to repair that. Also, the way smoke is clogging up that fan, I'm thinking that smoking around a computer is a decent reason to void your warranty. Like using your phone in the rain. The harm came to the unit through your own negligence...
  • Re:yes and no (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:37AM (#30184576) Homepage

    It's nasty, and I can see it contributing to component failure in bad cases.

    Straight off the obvious cause of failure is by blocking vents and jamming fans. I recently repaired a radio base station that had been used in a smoking environment (tucked away in the corner of a security control room). Despite the ban on smoking in the workplace coming into force several years ago, the sticky residue was still attracting huge amounts of dust, which was causing the radios (in particular the transmitter) to overheat and crash.

  • Not unprecedented (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:41AM (#30184616)

    I've worked in two separate computer retail repair shops where we've voided warranties for this. It's not just because there's a smoker in the household; it's the results that inflicts on the computer. Like parent said, it gets NASTY. I've seen it gum up CPU and graphics card fans many, many times.

    It constitutes abuse of the equipment, and that is explicitly not covered under warranty.

    Here's a nice gallery of what cigarette smoke does to PCs:

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:45AM (#30184656)

    I used to work as a computer technician to pay my tuition.

    Computers that had either failed or seized up due to nicotine/tar build up were impossible to clean, and nearly impossible to repair. The nasty build-up got literally everywhere, clogging heatsinks, coating voltage regulators, caps, expansion slots, and other devices that depend on air convection to stay cool. The only way to get these machines running stably again was usually massive part replacement.

    If smoking doesn't constitute improper operation, it should. For all the people bitching out there, smoking has been demonstrated to cause premature failure to humans, particularly second-hand smoke which contains a Noah's Ark of nasty bacteria and pathogens. WHy is it such a surprise that it also kills sensitive electronic equipment?

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:55AM (#30184774) Journal

    I would buy that if they had said, "The computer was destroyed by accumulated dust and dirt. User's fault." But they didn't. They blamed some nebulous reasoning about the computer causing lung cancer in the repairman. In other words, brown-and-smelly bull.

    (1) When did Microsoft buy-out Apple? They must have taken-down the "Don't be evil" mission statements.

    (2) Is there any proof that SMELL can cause lung problems? I thought Penn&Teller debunked that nonsense several years ago.

    Trivia -

    - If you buy anything that smells like smoke, and the seller did not reveal it, you can get a refund through Paypal or Amazon. I just did that with a suit that was claimed to be "new" and it did still have tags, but it absolutely stank of smoke. So I get a refund, no questions asked (except for some hatemail from a very angry housewife).

  • by Kev6 ( 595619 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:56AM (#30184786) Homepage
    The flu (and pneumonia) is actually the 8th leading cause of death in the US. The first two leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer, with more than 10x the number of deaths than the flu. Both of these can be caused by smoking.

    Heart disease: 631,636
    Cancer: 559,888
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
    Diabetes: 72,449
    Alzheimer's disease: 72,432
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
    Septicemia: 34,234
    From the CDC []
  • Re:Good for apple (Score:3, Informative)

    by BrianRoach ( 614397 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:02PM (#30184834)

    Not to be picky, by Obesity is now the #1 leading cause of death (health problems related to) in the US.

    And 3/4 of the country is now Obese.

    So ... as long as you're skinny and smoke, chances are the fat ones are going to die first.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:02PM (#30184844)

    (1) When did Microsoft buy-out Apple? They must have taken-down the "Don't be evil" mission statements.

    You seem to be confusing Apple and Google.

    (2) Is there any proof that SMELL can cause lung problems?

    No one said smell can cause lung problems anymore than people claim sight can cause your chest cavity to be punctured because you can see a guy aiming a gun at you. Smell is a sense which can be used to detect things that are potentially damaging, like carcinogens.

  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:04PM (#30184864)

    Slashdot ate my [shudder] tag.

    Dealing with anything which a smoker has owned (or used) is just completely disgusting. House, covered in yellow nicotine stains, thin film of brown smoke residue on fucking *everything*. I have a photo somewhere of a lightbulb which has a yellow/brown vapour deposition coating on one side, the other being less exposed. Then there's the smell on their clothes, in their cars, the yellowed teeth, yellowed fingers. I'd put money on it that the macbook in question was just as disgusting inside.


  • Re:Hard to deny (Score:4, Informative)

    by sgage ( 109086 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:08PM (#30184900)

    "As a smoker I find it hard to deny Apple's case here. Tobacco smoke is not a good thing for electronics. "

    But that isn't Apple's case. They're claiming that working on a gadget that was exposed to cigarette smoke constitutes exposing their employees to a biohazard.

    Not that cigarette smoke predisposes the gadget to breakdown (which it may or may not do).

  • Re:yes and no (Score:5, Informative)

    by Slurm ( 147172 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:10PM (#30184920)

    The "biohazard" stuff is crap.

    Well, third-hand smoke [] is considered by at least some docs to be a direct cancer risk.

    Among the substances in third-hand smoke are hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons; butane, which is used in lighter fluid; toluene, found in paint thinners; arsenic; lead; carbon monoxide; and even polonium-210, the highly radioactive carcinogen that was used to murder former Russian spy Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006. Eleven of the compounds are highly carcinogenic.

  • by RickRussellTX ( 755670 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:13PM (#30184942)

    The issue is not whether smoking is legal or illegal; there are plenty of legal things you can do a computer that would void the warranty. If they're going to make this argument, they simply need to support the claim that the damage to the computer goes beyond normal wear and tear.

    For example, computers in chemical labs often fail because small amounts of airborne chemicals attack the PC boards and chassis. I've worked on boxes that look like they'd been strapped to the bottom of a battleship for a few years.

    Having seen the office accommodations of some chain smokers, I can't say I blame Apple. I've seen environments where every surface is coated with brown, sticky residue and a multi-millimeter thick layer of dust and ash.

  • If you're smoking... (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#30184992)
    If you begin smoking, then there is not one bit of you that has any respect for humanity and the world you live in. Smoking is 100% egocentric, you do it because other people do it and you want to be "cool" like them - very cool of you, wanting to be like people who smoke, rob, vandalize cars, and otherwise are completely without respect. There is no possible way at all that one can start smoking and have respect for anyone. And there is no good excuse for starting it, because there simply is no reason to do it. It stinks and does not have the pleasurable effects of, say, cannabis. So, good riddance.
  • Re:parent != troll (Score:5, Informative)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#30184996)
    In some parts of the country you don't get much of a choice. It's very hard around here to get an affordable rental and buying something is usually not affordable. Trust me if the other option is being homeless, they may as well hold a gun to a loved one, because you'll pay the money whether you want to or not. People around here that make minimum wage can pretty much count on rent taking up half or more of their paycheck, niceties like chemical free living aren't necessarily realistic.
  • by Majik Sheff ( 930627 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:24PM (#30185054) Journal

    Ammonia based cleaners (particularly Formula 409) are extremely effective at removing cigarette tar buildup. At my previous tech job we actually had a wash station similar to a automotive parts washer that we built because of the handful of chain-smokers we provided service to. Our warranty also explicitly excluded fans damaged by tar buildup and the resulting heat damage. We structured our fees in such a way that it encouraged our addict customers to bring in their computers regularly for cleaning instead of having to buy a new motherboard/processor/power supply every 18 months.

  • by arashi sohaku ( 228013 ) <{thunderwizard} {at} {}> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:34PM (#30185162)

    Killz white primer paint works wonders on smoke impregnated walls. Not a shill... just used it on the walls in my house. Sometimes the house is worth it, even if there's smoker's residue. Like someone else said, clean it first, then Killz the rest. :)

  • Re:Good for apple (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:37PM (#30185208) Journal

    Have you ever opened up a computer that a really heavy smoker has been sitting in front of for years? It's disgusting. Everything has a coating of tar on it, it stinks even before you power it up, and when you try to work on it, it's all gummy.

    I'm just amazed that more hard drives and more fans don't fail because of smokers.

    It's pretty bad when you wipe the screen and the paper towel turns ORANGE!

    Is Apple being dumb? Now that smokers are the minority, I don't think so. Let them pay for supplemental coverage, same as health insurance. Besides, if you want to quit smoking, there's an app for that []

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:41PM (#30185266) Journal

    But lung cancer isn't caused by smell. It's caused by particulates (smoke) and the repairman is not smoking or breathing smoke.

  • Re:Wash it (Score:4, Informative)

    by earnest murderer ( 888716 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:42PM (#30185282)

    Maybe not, but it doesn't excuse not honoring the warranty.

    I don't think anyone is demanding they work on it. They're just as welcome to replace the device.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:48PM (#30185348) Homepage Journal

    I've used it too, and it's great, but it's called Kilz, not Killz. One is a brand name, the other is leet speak.

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:50PM (#30185362) Journal

    Spray some fucking febreze and do your job.

    Then you end up with this gross yellow residue running all over the place.

    Seriously - go up to a smokers' computer and wipe it down, and see what comes off. Or open one up on a humid day and feel how all the parts inside are sticky with tar residue.

    Your insurance policy calls it "smoke damage" for a reason - smoke is not beneficial.

  • Re:I'm not surprised (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vidar Leathershod ( 41663 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:50PM (#30185366)

    This came about as a direct result of people falsely claiming against the warranty when there was known water exposure. All modern cell phones and their batteries have this feature as well, and there are absolutely times when the sensors (really just a system by which a striped ink pattern bleeds to stain the material when wet enough) have been triggered by humid weather, or condensation.

    As for you not "buying any more Apple products", likely you weren't a customer before this. I have heard this same tired old statement again and again. Yet Apple sells more and more every year, and maintains their reputation as the most customer friendly consumer electronics company. That's not to say they are perfect, and there are plenty of things they do that annoy me. Comparing them with the competition, though, they are the best to work with, and give the most discretion to their employees to override policy of any of the major firms.

    Regarding cigarette smoke and OSHA, I would say they definitely took the wrong angle and are likely technically incorrect. At the same time, while I approve of people being able to smoke if they want, smoking near computers shortens their life significantly, due to the gummy deposits that form on the components, heatsinks and fans, and vents. I have cleaned off many computers in this condition, replaced fans if needed, etc. I charge for the time. I also stink like a couple of thousand stale old cigarettes until I shower. When you have an employee working an 8 hour shift, it would be abusive to force them to clean a computer in this condition and suffer for the rest of the day.

    The submitter to Consumerist is an ass who knows exactly how nasty his computer is, can see the gummy deposits, etc. which occurred due to very close proximity smoking at the computer's location. His screen is probably nasty, too. And it's not like this is new information. Smoking near computers has long been known as a really bad idea.

  • Re:parent != troll (Score:2, Informative)

    by earnest murderer ( 888716 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:50PM (#30185372)

    WTF is wrong with that picture?

    Thousands of people in a small area trying to live together reasonably well?

    Smoking is nasty smelling. Telling yourself that your smoking doesn't affect any one else is a ridiculous.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) < ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:52PM (#30185378) Homepage

    Because it's a choice, and you can legally penalize someone for doing something detrimental which they chose to do...
    In many places, if you are interviewing someone for a job your not allowed to consider their ethnicity or gender (over which they obviously have no control), but if they smoke you can use that as your reason for choosing someone else.

    I could use a computer in an environment where it gets no ventilation, and that would void the warranty if they could see evidence of how it was used... I can smash it with a hammer and the warranty is voided, i can try using it in the bath and the warranty gets voided... Noone is forcing you to smoke in the vicinity of your computer, you do so at your own risk.

  • Third Hand Smoke (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fieryphoenix ( 1161565 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:54PM (#30185396)
    They are probably concerned about this: [] Even so, this does not relieve them of their warranty obligations. If they cannot safely handle the item, then they probably have to simply replace it.
  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:56PM (#30185428)

    There's always this thing called a "filter"

    There is, but you and I don't get much say in the design of a typical laptop and a significant amount of computer kit doesn't have filters on the air inlets.

  • Re:Good for apple (Score:1, Informative)

    by linguizic ( 806996 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:09PM (#30185564)
    You know what, fuck you... I have a severe case of asthma and have had MANY attacks out in public because I got too close to someone smoking. Smoking isn't just about the smoker's choice. It has an affect on the people around the smoke too.
  • by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:12PM (#30185598) Homepage Journal

    It may be more of a danger to children, but to dismiss an environment that is coated with poison dust as harmless without further study is absurd. []

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:15PM (#30185640) Homepage Journal

    A smell is caused by particulate matter hitting your olfactory senses.

    smelling smoke = breathing some trace of smoke.

  • Fraud (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:17PM (#30185648)

    Unless the warranty or EULA specifically mentions smoking, it's fraud plain and simple. The OSHA claims are just as fraudulent and easy to debunk. Just call up your local OSHA office and ask them about it.

  • Re:Good for apple (Score:5, Informative)

    by conureman ( 748753 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:32PM (#30185806)

    When I worked TV repair, we'd jack up the estimate on smoker's TVs to compensate for the nastiness factor. The electrical charge attracts the particles from the ambient air and the build-up in some environments can be dramatic -and fast. Failure was very often scum related, either by blocking cooling air, or providing an arc path for the High Voltage.

  • by Jonathan A ( 1584455 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:46PM (#30185930)

    ok, I'll bite with my ignorance of why this then only applied to Apple, not other US IT companies?

    When SOX was passed, there was a lot of discussion about what it meant for the company I was working for at the time. SOX made the CEO and CFO personally liable for the company's compliance with accounting rules. As an engineer, a lot of the discussion in my area centered on software upgrades. How did we have to account for upgrades and bug fixes?

    As I recall, selling a product with the expectation of future free upgrades could be interpreted as booking revenue in advance of sales. If the customer's decision to buy was based on the expectation of the upgrade, and the seller books the revenue at the time of the sale, then the seller has booked revenue for a non-existent sale -- the future upgrade. By giving away free upgrades, the company could be establishing the expectation of future free upgrades, making the CEO and CFO potentially liable for accounting malpractice.

    In the end, we decided what a lot of tech companies, including Apple, seem to have decided -- bug fixes would continue to be free, since they are addressing a product defect and not enabling new functionality. Upgrades, even if it was just to enable a latent feature of the hardware, would not be free.

  • Re:Good for apple (Score:3, Informative)

    by BLKMGK ( 34057 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @02:05PM (#30186104) Homepage Journal

    Say what? So if I created a device that emitted a smell so nasty it made you wretch you'd be okay with me waving it around you while you were trying to enjoy a meal, walk down the street, or sit on a park bench? Because hey after all you "assume the risk" of every moron around you doing something disgusting when you venture outside of your home right? Sounds to me like "the rest of us" is quickly becoming a minority and you don't like being one of them.

    I'm all for personal freedom so long as it doesn't impinge too greatly on others. I don't blast my music, I don't let my dog poop on other people's lawns, and I try to be considerate of others. Cigarette smoke, frankly, makes me ill. If a person in the car ahead of me at a light is smoking I can often smell it and it can make me gag. When smokers come in from outside and share an elevator with me I'm forced to get off at the next floor because the stench is overpowering. I'm not alone in this, other coworkers have expressed similar issues. Sorry smokers but your habit effects others and there are finally enough of us speaking up about it to make some changes, it's not going to stop.

    I used to live with smokers, my parents and grandparents all smoked. The film covered everything and every car ride was misery as I was forced to endure the smoke. I used to work in an environment where smoking was allowed in offices and I repaired the computers. I had to empty the keyboards of ashes, I had to clean the gunk off of the screens - inside and out, and I had to clean the crap from inside the boxes. The offices were often just nasty to be around, it was like a film covered everything. Like it or not smoking DOES cause damage to computers. In my experience the damage usually wasn't so bad it couldn't be fixed. No worse than dog or cat hair except that you can't use canned air to remove it. I recently inherited some clocks from my Grandfather, my Uncle smoked around them for a few years. When I wiped them down the brown gunk was disgusting. I had to clean and oil them inside to get them running again, these were mechanical clocks with little to no airflow inside of them and yet they were filthy. The evidence is pretty overwhelming really - smoking damages everything around it.

    As much as I detest the effects surrounding smoking I'm not sure I support Apple's not fixing these computers. I guess I'd have to see just how bad these computers looked inside and it would have helped if Apple had made this a known policy. I CAN understand why they might want to have such a policy but before they begin instituting it they need to be a little more open about it. IF they had done that then sure, I can understand them rejecting claims like this if upon popping open a computer they found it contaminated with tar and crap...

    Some interesting reading [] and [] If you do some Googling on cigarette smoke damage you will find thread after thread of evidence of smoke damaging computers, guitars, stereo speakers, and on and on. Close enough to evil for you?

  • Re:Smokers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Molochi ( 555357 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @02:14PM (#30186176)

    Having done PC support in offices back when smoking in offices was common I can attest to the putridity of a machine that gets smoked around. I would equate it with working on a grimy car engine. It's even worse with pet owners that smoke. You take the machine outside and "hose down" the system with a spray circuit board cleaner and replace the PSU. It's messy work but you bill the customer for your time. If you think the customer may balk at the expense you talk to them, maybe show them what smoking around computers does. It wasn't that big a deal when most of the system's chips didn't need heatsinks. You could get away with cleaning just the CPU's HSF, and maybe replace the PSU if the customer was on a budget.

    Of course I only worked on steel cased, pentium-era desktop machines. Modern systems and notebooks in particular would be more involved as they really depend on staying clean and cool to avoid heat related instability. I would expect a cleaning could include a surcharge for abusive and unusual treatment of the hardware. I mean, if someone brought me a machine that they had doused in maple syrup, I would probably refuse them service or just name a price that I figured was a little north of what I thought they would be willing to spend.

    As for the health concerns, well I smoke anyways, but I do it outside. I'd still wear gloves, just like I almost always did.

    But Apple has other concerns. I doubt a mall store tech could contain the mess with the resources they have available. They might not actually be allowed to use the cleaner I would use. Or it might attack plastic requiring full dissasembly of a notebook. I don't know, I'm out of the loop on that.

  • Re:Wash it (Score:4, Informative)

    by chudnall ( 514856 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @02:22PM (#30186244) Homepage Journal

    Having done computer repairs for heavy smokers, I would void the warranty just for the damage it does to the electronics. There is nothing as disgusting as the inside of a smoker's computer. After a few months, the tar will have completely enveloped the heatsink, power supply, and every fan in the system. Sometimes it's so thick that the air cans can't blow it out. I've replaced a lot of fried motherboards because of this.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @02:28PM (#30186290) Journal
    THe tech certainly isnt obligated to do Haz-mat work, but that doesnt mean Apple can shirk its legal responsibility. THe part is under warranty and is being denied for a non-industry standard reason. Explanations are in order.
  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @03:00PM (#30186644)

    While I think the reaction is over-the-top (and giving Apple techs that degree of personal control dangerous), nicotine tar does have a destructive impact on computer components, and it is very hard to non-destructively remove. Somewhere around here I suspect I still have photos I took 25 years ago of an IBM-PC-XT-class system that had been used by a chain-smoker: the interior was heavily coated with nicotine tar, damaging a number of components and making it virtually impossible to remove to prevent further future damage, especially when there was no expectation that the exposure would stop. The entire interior had a sticky yellow tinge. I wound up showing the interior to the customer and factually pointed out that the same compound was also coating his lungs, and he seemed rather persuaded by that visual demonstration.

    There was a lesson here for these two puffers to learn, but they chose to ignore the lesson and transfer the blame for the consequences of their poor choices to others. They should be giving the mirror a smackdown, not Steve Jobs.

  • Re:Good for apple (Score:2, Informative)

    by xgadflyx ( 828530 ) * <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @08:34PM (#30189546) Homepage Journal
    It is a known fact that driving 1 mile in an automobile produces more toxins than a lifetime* worth of heavy smoking. Conclusion of the report is that; In order for cigarette smokes to match the same amount of air pollution in the stated cities, it will require; (from report) * 33 millions cigarettes per person each year * 91,300 cigarettes per person each day * 3,810 cigarettes per person each hour * 64 cigarettes per person each minute []
  • Re:I'm not surprised (Score:3, Informative)

    by multiplexo ( 27356 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @08:38PM (#30189590) Journal

    Here's how to get around that if you know that your gear has been damaged by moisture. Buy a can of desiccant packets, wrap iPhone or iPod in a soft cloth and place it inside of can of desiccant packets. Seal can and apply heat to the exterior by wrapping it in warm towels. Do this for about an hour and the moisture inside of the iPhone/iPod will be absorbed by the desiccant packets. At this point your iPod/iPhone may start working again. However if it hasn't the moisture sensor is no longer going to show as tripped because you dehydrated the inside of the case. Worked for me last year when I had an iPod nano get soaked while I was changing a headlight on a wet and rainy night. I took it into the Apple Store, said "hey, this is broken and under warranty" and they gave me a new one.

  • Re:Wash it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Have Brain Will Rent ( 1031664 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:14PM (#30189814)
    I've been an ex smoker for quite a few years now and it is a bad habit. But I have to say your claim is unadulterated BS. I've built, rebuilt and modded my own machines for years while I was a heavy smoker and have NEVER seen anything like what you're claiming. I don't know why you would bother to invent something that is so obviously untrue but it is both amazing and depressing that people are so unquestioning as to accept it as "informative."
  • Re:Wash it (Score:5, Informative)

    by L'ano Itar ( 839614 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:38PM (#30190006) Homepage

    As a reformed heavy-smoker who also smoked in a room full of computers, I'll call your bull... er, bluff on this one. I generally take apart my computers once a year or so to blow out the dust and remove the cat fur that inevitably clogs the intakes. I've never had an issue with tar on heatsinks, nor premature failure of components. Some of my machines were in constant use for up to a decade before finally being retired.

    Non-smokers whining about the smell of old tobacco is one thing, but when we resort to lies to "prove" a point, there is no argument.

  • Re:Good for apple (Score:5, Informative)

    by sloth jr ( 88200 ) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:33PM (#30190398)
    Sorry, it's very obvious when:
    a) using anything from a smoker's house
    b) being near a smoker, whether they are smoking or not.
    c) driving behind a smoking driver
    d) someone is smoking nearby.

    Zippthorne is in no way unique in this regard, even if your own olfactory sense is not processing the stench in the same way.
  • Re:BZZZT, Wrong! (Score:3, Informative)

    by erikina ( 1112587 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @11:49PM (#30190760) Homepage

    I call BS on this one. Every biker I know says a car handles quicker under emergencies than a bike.

    As a biker, I'm going to agree with the GP on this. I think there are a number of factors: a) On a bike you tend to stay much more alert and aware of other vehicles. b) The average skill of a biker is higher than a car driver. c) You're only 3 feet wide. It sure makes dodging easier.

    I've been in a similar situation, I was going down the road at 40 miles/hour, and a car pulls out of a side street into my lane, stops. Leaving it completely blocked. The only thing I could do, was go into the oncoming lane to get around the car. Fortunately the oncoming lane had moved over just enough that I missed them. I miraculously made it through with only inches on either side. Had it been a car? I would've ploughed into the idiots driver side door (and probably killing her). Or maybe my reflexes would've caused me to try dodge the car, and have had a head-on collision.

    Yes I'm aware these are just two datapoints, but perhaps you could quit with the jerk statements:

    You don't really have a bike, do you?

  • Re:Wash it (Score:2, Informative)

    by atamido ( 1020905 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @01:37AM (#30191224)

    You've obviously never seen tar buildup, let alone on computer parts. The tar is an extremely sticky residue and does not just blow off, or even wash off. You could run the inside of the system through the dish washer, and it wouldn't make any difference.

  • Re:Are you lying? (Score:3, Informative)

    by olrik666 ( 574545 ) <> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @01:58AM (#30191330)

    I don't believe you for a second. Your statement may look good for slashdot, but one would expect all electronics to fail because of smoke. Are TVs, VCRs, DVDs, PVR's, fridges, sound systems, game systems, microwaves ovens, clocks, etc., failing because of smoke? Of course not.

    Olrik (non-smoker)

  • Re:I call bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:40AM (#30202506) Homepage Journal

    I call bullshit on your bullshit. I fix PCs for a living, and you know when the owner is a smoker because you get this stuff inside it: []

    Brown tobacco residue everywhere. It's thick and sticky and difficult to brush away, unlike normal house dust. It also smells like an ashtray.

    What worries me most is that the owner's lungs are probably like that too.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's