The Apple community is excited about a new offering, 16 years in the making. Mac managers and consultants have provided Apple services to their constituency for years without the benefit of specialized Apple-branded training or certification. As of Feb. 4, 2000, the Mac-involved IT and IS Managers’ and consultants’ world has changed.

Training opening to the world
Apple opened up its service training to the public for the first time in February 2000. For a tidy sum of $299, anyone can now sign up for AppleCare Technician Training. Formerly available only to employees of Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP), the AppleCare Technician Training is a self-paced CD-tutorial that prepares you to take a series of Apple service certification exams.

The training package includes five CDs: Service Training, Service Source 2.5 (11/99), two MacTest Pro Diagnostics CD (PowerMacs and iMacs, and G3s), CD-ROM Test Disc Type 2.01, and a Technician Training CD (covers G4, iMac DV, iBook, Apple Cinema Display, and OS 9). According to Apple Computer, Inc., the information prepares you to troubleshoot, diagnose, take apart, and service all of the latest products. Macintosh users who have received the training packages claim the materials only include service manuals dating back to the introduction of PowerMacs released last fall. The training package contains no information on 68,000 processor machines, and the parts database only contains product parts for the machines included in the service manuals.

After you’ve completed the self-paced training, you must sign up with Sylvan Prometric testing centers to take exams in the areas for which you want to receive certification (Macintosh Desktop, portable Macs, and LaserWriters). Certification does not entitle you to represent yourself as an authorized service provider, nor does it provide you with access to Apple ASP Technical support. In addition, you do not receive access to purchase service repair parts and warranty work. While AASPs receive monthly CDs with updated information, the materials in the AppleCare Technician Training Program are static, and are a subset of the materials available with the full program. Also, AASPs have access to Apple’s Service Source Online Web site.

Ted Landau, author of Sad Macs, Bombs, and Other Disasters, says, “The tutorials they do have are good and offer complete information.” He has included other users’ comments on the training on the Web site.

As this training is the only game in town for Macintosh support personnel who are not associated with an Apple authorized service center, it is recommended for IS managers living in a cross-platform environment. You can find complete details on the program and ordering material at this Apple Web page .

Ilene Hoffman, MS, is a Macintosh/Internet writer, trainer, and consultant based in the Boston area. She is Senior Editor at, Contributing Editor at MacTech Magazine, and the perpetrator of the Hess Macworld Expo Events List. She is also a Community Leader on America Online.

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