May 26, 2010. Wife's MacBook Pro had its DVD and iSight camera
fixed last week, two weeks shy of its Extended AppleCare contract
running out, rendering it *completely unsupported* by Apple. Son
still uses the old 2004 (?) 12" PowerBook, but it's pretty slow.
Meanwhile I'm on a Dell D430 from work. Not as fancy as a MacBook Air,
but it works fine. All this is to say... I'm still disappointed that Macs
(and iPads and iPhones) cost so much. But what really gets me?
Religiously fanatical Mac users. The kind that get disgruntled when
Macs aren't fully supported/encouraged at their work, when their
product is a smartphone that runs Linux and the official development
platforms are Windows and Linux. Computers are tools, people, but by
whining about not getting to use your "preferred platform", you're
acting like tools too. Talking to a co-worker, I think my problem is
with some Mac users' snobbery or arrogance about their computers. And
I can't imagine that attitude would be any less prevalent inside the
company. In fact, I suspect it'd be worse.
Checking in on Sep. 19, 2007. Typing this on a 4-year old
Thinkpad T40. And my wife is working on her still shiny MacBook
Pro. But of course we'd have never bought it if it wasn't at a
substantial educational discount. (Shhhh!) My point? None, really,
except that Windows laptops do seem to have better longevity. Ugh,
pretty painful to use. That first gen iPod we bought? A lovely
paperweight, even after replacing the battery myself. Phooey --
computers should not be disposable. But paradoxically, I do think
they should be cheap. Apple stuff is still way overpriced. Oh
yeah, and some people think this page is worth advertising on. Uhm,
It's now May 6, 2004. I just found this old (Jan. 2002) Slashdot
article by Jon Katz, but it's right on the money (mainly because
he agrees with me. :-). Fine fine. Apple isn't going to die.
But they're going to be a margin player for a long long long time --
which probably suits Jobs just fine. He's made the
Mercedes/BMW market share comparison
Only, in the long run, I don't think people will continue to always
pay premium prices just to be part of his elite club. And oh yeah,
the margins on high-end computers are *nothing* like the margins on
Here's another nice exploration of the
Mercedes/BMW:Apple analogy, talking about roads, gas, Fords and Kias.
It's Sep. 5, 2003. We have a G4 Cube, and an iBook. But we also
have various Windows 2K boxes around, and a Linux server. Apple's
made huge inroads with their G3s, G4s, PowerBooks, TiBooks, AlBooks,
iPods, iTunes Music Store, etc. But they're still a margin player,
just like they were in 1998, just like they were in 1995. And it's
still because they're stupidly interested in what's cool, but not
what's profitable. People who buy Macs are essentially funding the
R&D labs for Microsoft and all of the hardware manufacturers.
Because whenever Apple does something cool, everybody steals it, and
Apple limps along selling really cool stuff at really expensive
prices to um, suckers like you and me. :-}
i wrote this when i was a wee lad, oh maybe towards the
end of 1995, after Windows 95 had finally shipped. As uh, raw, as it
is, i still think many of my points are valid. It's now June 19,
1998, and Steve Jobs has taken back the reins. i'm torn, because on
the one hand, i know Jobs is trying to do what i'm telling him to do
in this article: Market to the suits. But at the same time, he's
introducing the iMac? The VW Bug of computers? And what's this
silly "Think Different" campaign all about? It's sounds suspiciously
similar to "Computers for the rest of us." And ok, so maybe it was
a little frivolous, but dangit, did he really have to have
the Icon Garden? i mean,
i don't think any executives decided against going with Apple because
they drove out to Cupertino and saw a couple of dorky icons. Well,
maybe i'm just bitter that i never got to take my picture with them, like
Kevin did. Grr.
_Any_ways, on to your regularly scheduled programming:
Apple Computers must be run by idiots. i mean, here's my dilemma: i
love Macs. But Macs are gonna die. i'm pretty damn sure of it.
Macs are the computers that really made a difference. i mean, look at
Windows--it's a sad imitation of the Mac. And Windows 95? It's
supposed to be a better imitation of the Mac (especially now that Apple
has lost it's "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft).
Macs are gonna die though, because as i mentioned before, Apple is run
by idiots. Ok, so look, the Mac wouldn't have come about if the two
Steve's weren't a little crazy. Building a computer in their garage?
Building a computer that starts up with a smiling computer icon? Cute
icons? A mouse, for goodness sake?
No, we needed some NON-IBM type of people to create the Mac. But damnit
now we need some VERY IBM (well, old-school IBM--the people that put IBM
typewriters on every secretary's desk, and IBM mainframes in every data
processing center) type of people to sell the damn thing.
Scratch that...we need very Microsoft-type people to sell the Mac.
Apple is STUPID. Ok, so it was good to say that 1984 won't be like
1984, and to have the runner with the Apple logo on her tanktop throw
the hammer into the Big Face of Big Blue. Macs are different. Fine.
But hello! Guess what allows you to stay in
business? Yeah, that's right, money. And guess what makes money?
Selling computers. And who buys a lot of computers? Suits. Yes,
people that you hate. People that AREN'T artistes or creative or cool.
Yes, boring people with white collars and striped ties and gray suits
need to buy your computers, otherwise your company will DIE.
Die die die.
i'm sorry, maybe you didn't hear me. You will DIE if you don't sell to
more corporate-types. And you don't sell to corporate-types if they
think your computer is a toy.
Anyways, like i said though...i love Macs. And people that love Macs
know that they don't love Macs just because they're cute, cool, and for
creative-types. They know that Macs let you get work done.
Bottom line for me whenever i'm trying to recommend hardware/software/whatever
to a friend/client/relative. What do you need to do? And will this
item allow you to do it? Can you get work done?
Macs let you get work done. Macs don't require you to learn about IRQ's
memory addresses, jumper switches, CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT, SYSTEM.INI,
Macs don't make you delete something in the Program Manager, then delete
it in the File Manager too. Macs don't make you use DOS. Macs aren't a
shell written on top of DOS.
Here's what Apple needs to make corporations understand:
Macs will save you money because you don't have to train people anywhere
near as much as you have to with Windows. Basic operations are basic.
Macs will save you money because you don't have to hire people like ME
to do things like installing network cards or printers, setting up file
sharing, or showing people how to delete files.
There are other reasons, but i've gotta go get lunch.