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Mac shipments suspended from NYC Schools over WiFi flaw

Scheduled delivery of Apple computers to schools run by the New York City Department of Education have been temporarily suspended due to problems related to connecting to the DOE's wireless network infrastructure.

Apple is scrambling to address the WiFi connectivity issue within its Leopard operating system. The fix appears set to be included in the bug fixes of the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5.3 release, as noted in the report Successive Mac OS X 10.5.3 builds continue.

Until the software fix ships, all Macs on order with wireless features are being held at Dell's merge center in Austin, Texas. The DOE contracted with Dell Managed Services to handle all of the school system's tech related ordering, including the procurement of Apple desktops, laptops, and servers. Because of the WiFi compatibility problem, ordered units have been on hold for as much as two months waiting for a fix.

Apple apologized for the delay both in an email to faculty obtained by AppleInsider, and in a notice on the Apple product catalog on the Dell Managed Systems website. The company said it was working to resolve the issue as soon as possible so that the pending orders could be delivered.

Schools managed by the DOE can still order new Apple computers and servers through Dell Managed Services, and systems that do not rely on wireless connectivity can be approved for shipping despite the order suspension.

In an apologetic email, an Apple sales representative offered to help compile a list of any orders "for desktops or laptops that you DO NOT plan on using your wireless networks but rather want to have installed using standard wired ethernet hook-up" and to "work with Dell Managed Services to identify these orders and release them for installation now versus waiting for the wireless issue to be resolved."