Here is where Apple lies, blatantly and repeatedly, about the Airport Extreme and how it can share your external hard drive. "Turn your external USB hard drive into a drive you can share with all the users on your network."
Then when you try and actually hook your hard drive up to the $180 router and you get an error message, you find out it doesn't support external drives for the latest versions of Windows like XP, 2000 and Vista (those using NTFS, the modern standard for Windows hard drives). NOWHERE did Apple disclose this, not online and not in the damn manual for the product.
An honest marketing pitch would read, "Turn your external USB hard drive into a drive you can share with all the users on your network by reformatting it and destroying all the data."
Oh and of course they've already obsoleted this product.
Oh and also? This "easy to use" brand new router didn't work with the software that shipped with my brand new Mac. I had to install a second AirPort Utility beyond the one already on the hard drive.
And no I'm not going to format the drive, it contains all the data from my old computer, and from at least two online accounts.
(PS Not even the tech specs of Airport Extreme divulge that NTFS is not supported.)
Update: I got over it, copied the data to my Mac, formatted the drive, and copied the data back to the drive. Now it's a Time Machine volume over the network, since it's attached to my AirPort (though Apple may not support this officially).
It is amazing that they are still lying after all these years.
Apple lies about much more than the AirPort and have done so for much longer than most people know.
Back in 1978 Apple claimed to sell more machines than all others combined. They actually sold about 7000 units while Radio Shack sold 200,000. Even Commodore sold twice as many machines as Apple. This did not stop Apple from lying and preying on the ignorance of consumers.
Today Apple does not make hardware of any sort. All production is from the same Asian factories that produce the products of Apple's competitors. Many of the big manufacturers like Quanta, Compal, and Wistron, are virtually unknown to consumers. Apple is just a peddler of the same stuff that everyone else is selling. This means any perceptions of differing qualities are due to marketing and not reality.
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