CED offers free seven-year Apple repair deal

Specified problems on some Macintosh computers will be fixed free of charge by Apple's local distributor, CED, for up to seven years after the models are discontinued.

Apple's repair extension programmes - the company is adamant that no products are actually being recalled - address problems with the Performa 5200, 5300, 6200 and 6300, the Power Macintosh 6200, the PowerBook 5300 and 190 and two AppleVision monitors.

All the models date from an unhappy era for quality control at Apple, when the company was arguably juggling too many different product lines and trying to make too many low-margin computers. Internal Apple documents admit as much and state that "product lines will be rationalised" and Apple will be "aggressive about quality issues".

The most serious problems with the Performas are monitor-related, causing colour changes and unexpected shutdowns.

The fix involves cleaning points and/or replacing a cable, but boards and even the CRT will be replaced if necessary. For component-related freezes, the installation of MacOS 7.5.3 contains important fixes. The new Performa 5260 is apparently free of these problems and is not covered by the programmes.

The AppleVision 1710 and 1710av monitors can fail to power up correctly and may display a "rainbow" effect. Video and analogue boards and the power switch will be replaced as necessary. The PowerBook 190 can suffer erratic trackpad performance in humid conditions (fixed with a software update) and monitor cable problems in colour models.

The sick puppy of the litter is the original PowerBook 5300, in which the housing around the screen may crack and the AC power adapter may come loose. There are also problems with PC cards with a high power drain, PC card modems, slow booting from mains and network drop-offs. SAs required, system software and logic boards will be updated, housing will be replaced and shielding will be installed to improve HDD performance.

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