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MacBook Air: Too many screws according to Japanese engineers

Sometimes I think I should just hire Rainer Brockerhoff (aka "the man without version control") to ghost-write my blog postings for me. When he posts something, he likes to take a topic I've been wanting to post about for ages and distill it down to the essentials. Like this whole thing about too many screws in the MacBook Air and the reason why the AirBook doesn't have FireWire:

Not only does he pick out the choice quote that I caught on:

"When it comes to Japanese PC manufacturers, their manufacturing plants will complain or add their own technical efforts to lower cost, if a proposed structural design was insufficient," one of the engineers said. "The MacBook Air gives me an impression that its manufacturing plant packaged the computer exactly as ordered by Apple."

He also gives us a short rundown of the power specs of the AirBook and how battery time would probably be halved just by attaching a FireWire device.

For what it's worth, I've heard that this whole optimizing of devices that go into manufacturing is also common in China, not just Japan, and that it's a common misunderstanding between western companies and their manufacturers in Asia. Kinda reminds me of that joke:

Benny from next door came by and wanted my washboard for his skiffle band -- but he's such a nice guy, I gave him my washing machine instead.
Supposedly there are similar miscommunications regarding how much one should stick to the written letter in a contract, and it's more common in Asia to try and interpret the spirit of the paper than analyze the actual words... but mind you, I only got this info third-hand, I've never even been to Asia, much less taken part in business negotiations.

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