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The future of Apple

By japhar81 in Op-Ed
Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 06:02:16 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)

Having just become the owner of an Apple iBook (blueberry, yum.) I've been forced to re-evaluate my apple-is-for-weenies-who-cant-use-pc's attitude. I'm hoping this won't start a flamewar, but I would like to share some first thoughts, and to see some discussion on the future of Apple.

First, a bit of my background for those who haven't been keeping up with my diaries. I've been in MIS for something like 12 years, and have been around computers since I was born. I went from IBM 360s to UNIX minis straight to a 386, then a pentium, etc. etc. I've been a unix user forever, and a windows user since I began earning money (I work with what pays the bills, thats M$). I also recently lost about 120Lbs. that went by the name of Melanie, and discovered that all of a sudden I had a ton of extra cash. So I bought a used blueberry iBook on a whim.

First Impressions
I have to admit, I was stumped by the OS X install CD at first. I couldnt find the partitioning utility. Mostly because I was expecting something more complex than opening the logical menu. Yeah, it was that easy. Installing the OS was a joke, and took all of 15 minutes. I honestly think my dog could have done it, but his paws would have scratched the pretty mouse pad.

Right around this time the puppy ran through the house, tripped over the power cable, and down went the iBook, being dragged across the room and slamming into a wall. I was sure I had just lost $600. Then again... the thing didn't even have a scratch on it. Lets see that with a Vaio or a thinkbook.

I installed the dev tools, and all of a sudden I felt right at home, bash, ssh, and gcc.

I'll stop now, that should be enough to tell you that this pc weenie is impressed as hell. Yes, I still prefer PCs, they're what I know best, theyre 'industry standard', etc. But, I love the Apple design, my only issue is the cost.

The Point
This brings me to my actual topic. What is the future of Apple? I've shown my iBook to at least five other guys I work with, who have never touched an apple. One has ordered his blueberry ibook from the same place as I did, and the other three just took their lunch break and headed to the Apple Store at the mall. So, is Apple just not marketing itself right? They've got an incredible product. It's rock solid from what I've seen of OS X, and I have yet to have the thing crash. Even with 64M (recommended OS X is 128) I get snappy response on whats now a generation old hardware. And I get all the creature comforts of my linux pIV.

Not to mention that Office X does a better job of getting my work done than office XP ever did on my windows box, and Virtual PC 5 lets me do in emulation anything I cant do natively on a Mac. It boots XP, it runs my apps, etc.

The Question
What I'd like to hear is other's opinions on this. Why isn't apple doing better. I know the MS conspiracy theories, and I even agree with some of them to an extent, but why is it that even the techies 'in the trenches', the ones that have a clue, tell people to stay away from apple? What needs to happen for Apple to reach its potential?

Yes, they need to drop prices on their hardware, but in all honesty, I'll pay more for a notebook that can take a real beating. I might even pay a little more for the look. Except that lamp-looking thing. Someones gonna pay me before I take that home.

The Apple Stores around here are always, always packed full of people. I see great software on their shelves (current games, the latest from macromedia and adobe). Is it just that the techies have no faith in Apple surviving against MS? What do you all think? What is Apple doing wrong?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
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o Yum. 55%
o Yuck. 5%
o Whatever, give me my AS/400. 1%
o Great idea, too much $ for the hardware. 35%
o Really cool, but why invest in a dying tech. 1%
o Never thought about it, I go with what I know (PC). 1%

Votes: 78
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by japhar81

Display: Sort:
The future of Apple | 74 comments (74 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
One scary thing... (3.50 / 2) (#1)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:53:57 PM EST


To be followed by windows.slashdot.org, no doubt.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"

Lest we forget... (none / 0) (#3)
by japhar81 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:55:47 PM EST


nuff said(.slashdot.org)

<H6>Rome is always burning, and the younger generation never respects its elders. The time of your second coming, japhar81, is no exception. -- Aphasia</H6&gt
[ Parent ]
except that (1.00 / 1) (#40)
by cicero on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 06:27:12 PM EST

none of those domains (hosts/whatever) exist.

I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
likey likey (none / 0) (#32)
by cetan on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:05:58 PM EST

It's not scary, it's actualy something they've needed to do for a long time. Each section get's it's own "pretty" url.

===== cetan www.cetan.com =====
[ Parent ]
Interesting article (1.85 / 7) (#2)
by Ken Pompadour on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:55:06 PM EST

But you answered your own question about why Apple isn't doing better.

they need to drop prices on their hardware,

Apples cost about 3 times as much, cycle per cycle, megabyte per megabyte, than PCs. And I doubt that corporate purchasers are going to be impressed by Apple marketting their "user friendliness,".

EVERY company does the same sort of marketting, whether it's true or not.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
Mhz for Mhz (none / 0) (#4)
by japhar81 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:57:38 PM EST

Thats my point though. Mhz for Mhz, my dinky 300mhz (or whatever gen1 ibooks were) laptop with 64M ram is giving better performance than a loaded 1GHz box. At least for what I'm doing right now (Word, excel, etc.). G3/G4 isn't like intel, its an apples/oranges comparisson.

Are corps. (and people) just missing this?

<H6>Rome is always burning, and the younger generation never respects its elders. The time of your second coming, japhar81, is no exception. -- Aphasia</H6&gt
[ Parent ]
Just not true... (1.40 / 5) (#6)
by Ken Pompadour on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:01:50 PM EST

Try reading John Carmack's opinion on the subject from last year(for the record, he slams the Mac for being so slow). I think it's pretty naive to think that a 300mhz computer with 64 megs of RAM can outperform a 1ghz computer with 256 megs(for example).

And don't you dare say a word about altivec (A)Only makes one whit of difference in Photoshop and B)PowerPC thumpers conviently act as if SSE/MMX don't exist when making this argument)

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Re:Carmack (2.00 / 2) (#9)
by Ken Pompadour on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:05:58 PM EST

OK I exaggerated a bit. But judge his feelings on the subject for yourself:

http://groups.google.ca/groups?q=john+carmack+said+macs+are+slow&hl=en&selm=see-below-250499 2001550001%40dynamic25.pm08.mv.best.com&rnum=1

(Macs are) just not quite as fast as the best intel systems.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Irrelevant (4.50 / 6) (#13)
by trhurler on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:13:49 PM EST

I don't give a rat fuck what John Carmack said about the Apple machines. What I care about is the Spec benchmarks on the PowerPC versus the Intel and AMD chips, bus comparisons, and so on. At the higher end of their present line, Apple is whomping the PC crowd handily, but admittedly at a higher price. Their midrange is easily competitive with modern PCs, and is competitively priced. Their low end is - LOW END!

As for Altivec, there are more apps than just Photoshop that use it, but granted it is a niche thing. However, it IS better by far than the Intel MMX stuff. To understand why, you'd actually have to look at the instruction sets, the specific semantics of certain instructions, and the modal nature of MMX vs Intel's weak-ass float implementation and so on, and frankly, from what you've said, you lack the background to talk about that stuff. You apparently can't even compare processors using CPI and instruction types and other actual figures instead of MHz. MHz is a marketing wet dream, but like horsepower in cars(another marketing wet dream,) it doesn't mean much unless you're comparing two examples that have the same basic engine design. The short version of the story is that MMX/SSE is the weakest small vector implementation in any production processor design. The ones for sun4u, powerpc, and just about anything else that has this feature are all superior by far.

By the way, Carmack is just pissed because Apple won't bend over backwards to please him the way PC video vendors will. He's a great game writer, but his head got too big for reality a long, long time ago.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
A couple years back I played around a bit with MMX (2.00 / 3) (#17)
by Ken Pompadour on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:28:01 PM EST

Which you can download here.

Anyways, I'm insulted enough by your comment* that I'm not going to justify you with a response.

*and frankly, from what you've said, you lack the background to talk about that stuff.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Look, man (4.50 / 4) (#29)
by trhurler on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:50:49 PM EST

I'm completely uninterested in getting into a dick size contest with you; suffice it to say that yes, I program too. If you think MHz is a meaningful comparison of two processors with differing attitudes towards register use, totally different instruction sets and significantly different implementations(use of microcode, etc), or that John Carmack's opinion means more than benchmarks, or similar silliness, then go on about your merry ignorant dumbfuck way, and feel free to be as insulted as you like. In the world of not giving a damn about Ken Pompadour's feelings, I am a man without peer.

And remember, the best way to show your blind faith in the superiority of your favored computer is to be so ignorant of everything else that you can't possibly discuss it. Lord help you if you ever discover that other architectures' small vector implementations include niceties such as a divide instruction, for instance!

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
umm (1.00 / 1) (#55)
by crayz on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:31:26 AM EST

What I care about is the Spec benchmarks on the PowerPC versus the Intel and AMD chips, bus comparisons, and so on.

You look like a real idiot saying this. Why don't you post some Spec comparisons between an Athlon XP+ 2000 and a DP G4/1GHz? Why don't you post a bus comparison between the top-of-the-line G4 on a 133MHz bus and pretty much any modern PC system.

I'm a Mac user, but what you're saying is just fucking stupid.

[ Parent ]

dear skunk (none / 0) (#57)
by crayz on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 02:33:35 AM EST

trhurler's post is long, articulate, and seemingly insightful

my post is short, crude, and seemingly worthless

but Mac lose miserably in Spec benchmarks, when Motorola even bothers to provide them(try estimated 21.4/20.4 for G4/450(a bit less than half the MHz of the current crop of G4s. I don't think Spec is multiproc aware, but it doesn't matter) to 554/458 for an 1400MHz Athlon(not top of the line), according to geek.com). So when trhurler talks about Spec benchmarks, he is obviously either lying or ignorant

and current bus speeds on PCs are generally 266-400MHz. current bus speeds on the most expensive Macs are 133MHz. so when trhurler says how Mac bus speeds are better, he is once again obviously either lying or ignorant

so why don't you be a little bit less quick to hand out those pretty little '1's when you apparently have no clue what the fuck you are reading

[ Parent ]
Right. (5.00 / 2) (#15)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:20:22 PM EST

Of course, the correct comparison would be a 300 Mhz iBook against a 600-800 Mhz PC laptop.

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Hahah.. (3.75 / 4) (#7)
by MisterQueue on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:02:07 PM EST

seeing as how you can't even convince them that a 1.2 ghz Athlon runs better than a 1.5 ghz Pentium 4, then my argument is yes. And I'd love to see you put your dinky little mhz box against my AMD beast by the way. ;)

"So, from now, remember: every time you are interacting with an acquaintance and you think you caught them smirking while they thought
[ Parent ]

uhh (none / 0) (#54)
by crayz on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:20:16 AM EST

I have a G3/350 w/ 320MB of RAM and OS X is none too zippy on it. Try OS 9 on your machine, or OS X on a G4/800+ to see what real speed is.

[ Parent ]
no graphics card support (none / 0) (#67)
by calimehtar on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:56:18 PM EST

I have the same problem. I bet you have either a Wallstreet or an early iMac, both of which contain OSX-unsupported graphics cards. It has less to do with the processor than you might think.


The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.

[ Parent ]
no (none / 0) (#75)
by crayz on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 04:23:54 PM EST

a Blue G3/350, w/ Rage 128. it is NOT fast. even on my G4/400 it is pretty pathetic. compare, e.g., scrolling in iTunes OS X vs. iTunes OS 9. the problem is that Quartz has to do a ton of stuff, and almost all of it has to be done on the CPU

[ Parent ]
Lol. Mhz. (4.80 / 5) (#14)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:18:33 PM EST

Apples cost about 3 times as much, cycle per cycle, megabyte per megabyte, than PCs.

You shouldn't show off your ignorance of system performance factors this way.

The reason Intel's clock speeds are so high is because their chip design requires it. Since the days of the first PCs, Motorola chips like the 68000 produced the same levels of performance as Intel chips that ran at twice or three times their clock speed.

LOL. IBM & Motorola should start shipping "clock halved" chips so they can brag about having 2 gHz cpu speeds as well.

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Well.. (4.00 / 3) (#5)
by MisterQueue on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:00:44 PM EST

If someone handed me one for free, I wouldn't refuse it, I don't hate them that much. But paying? no thanks. You already brought up cost, but my other problem with it is lack of upgradability.

If I want I can go home right now and pull out my video card from the system I built myself and buy any number of other video cards from many different manufacturers, stick it in, put in some configuration, and it works. (Generally..heh.) To me, that's where the value is at, but also, to me the computer isn't just a tool, it's a past time as well. ::shrugs::

"So, from now, remember: every time you are interacting with an acquaintance and you think you caught them smirking while they thought

Why cant you do this with an apple? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
by japhar81 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:04:07 PM EST

Granted, the laptops wont let you do this. Thats not news. Same goes for intel laptops. But why cant you put a new vid card into your desktop G4? They use a standard AGP bus... Same goes for HDDs, RAM, DVD drives, etc. About the only difference I see is the availability of drivers. And that goes back to my original question, why isn't Apple supported more, is this the intel monopoly at play?

<H6>Rome is always burning, and the younger generation never respects its elders. The time of your second coming, japhar81, is no exception. -- Aphasia</H6&gt
[ Parent ]
Hmmm.. (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by MisterQueue on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:09:05 PM EST

The money isn't there for them to support the drivers. (Not only do they have to pay apple ready tech support for a market they're "unsure" of, but they also have to consider constant development in an entirely different area.) I could see them at least trying to make a leap in the same way they do linux drivers. (i.e. linux will work with these drivers but we won't support it.) As for that, I know not why.

But still, you tell me where I can pick up a g4 case with bare essentials (just mbd, processor, and case actually), and if you can't, then I'll tell you why i cannot do the same thing there. Unless I'm wrong, I'd actually have to buy a pre-built mac in order to do change out said vid card. Hell, my current system was pieced together over 8 months, which allowed me to save up for each part to go a little more overboard. THAT is why I stick with my x86 architecture really.

"So, from now, remember: every time you are interacting with an acquaintance and you think you caught them smirking while they thought
[ Parent ]

Economics (none / 0) (#35)
by jolly st nick on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:23:48 PM EST

Hell, my current system was pieced together over 8 months, which allowed me to save up for each part to go a little more overboard. THAT is why I stick with my x86 architecture really.

You see, of course, that puts you in a rarified market segment. If you paid yourself for your trouble (as most MIS departments must, and as non-techies must pay to outsiders) then hot rodding a beige box doesn't look so attractive from a pricing standpoint.

[ Parent ]

All perfectly true and important to some (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by TON on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:23:56 PM EST

If you want to mess around with hardware, upgrades, just plain tinker around, Apple ain't much fun. I did open up an iMac and upgrade the HD. It was a pain, but well worth it; I'd salvaged a machine with a dud HD from the trash.

Most users do not want to do this though. They just want to use the damn things. A lot of people just want to use AOL and play games. Most companies just want the damn things to work. Macs generally do.

My gut feeling is that the "pull out the video card and screw around" segment of the market is pretty small. It's important to you, me, and a lot of people here, but as far as the future of Apple, or any other maker goes, it's pretty small potatoes.

It will be interesting to see how OSX opens up the hackability of Macs. I'd definitely like to see more room to play and have fun.

"First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis


[ Parent ]

Upgradeable (5.00 / 2) (#20)
by Rand Race on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:30:49 PM EST

I slapped a Radeon 7000 in my G4 just the other day to complement the GeForce in the AGP slot on my dual monitor setup. Open, insert, works. No generally to it, no config other than res/depth, and the 'open' part is the easiest and quickest of any machine I've ever owned. Upgradeability isn't the problem, it's the 'many different manufacturers' part that Apples stumble on. Radeon or GeForce... that's it for all practical purposes.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Where'd you buy that iBook? (3.50 / 2) (#10)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:06:46 PM EST

Where'd you get an iBook for 600?

I wanna pick one up for me Mom!

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul

Computer Whse (none / 0) (#19)
by japhar81 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:30:40 PM EST

Its a bit used, but it comes like new, in box, with the puck power adaptor and a stock OS 9 install... email me if ya want their phone #. kdentdev -- hotmail.com

<H6>Rome is always burning, and the younger generation never respects its elders. The time of your second coming, japhar81, is no exception. -- Aphasia</H6&gt
[ Parent ]
Apple & Design & Cost & the Need to Co (4.66 / 3) (#12)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:12:58 PM EST

What's that old joke? Cheap, Fast, Reliable. Pick two.

Apple has always focused on good designs and the original iBook is a perfect example of that: designed for students, so rugged and simple to use. But that drives up the cost.

Unfortunately, people often don't see past the cost and the "it's not a PC" issue. There's another old joke: If Seymore Cray developed a wrist watch computer with voice input and a holographic display, people would ask "is it DOS compliant?"

I bring my iceBook to work everyday, and set it on my desk next to my Linux development box. I get a constant stream of "admirers" who love how it looks and love what I can show them, but who just refuse to buy one.

BTW - in another message I asked you where you got an iBook for 600. The reason I ask is because Apples keep their "resale" value in a way that would astonish PC owners. A refurbed Last year's iBook usually sells for only 100-200 less than a brand new one.

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul

No, that's not the joke (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by notafurry on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:51:29 PM EST

It's "What would you like? Fast, cheap, or good - pick two".

And the joke is about the process of building something, not the end result. Macs are not as fast as the fastest PCs, they are not as cheap as PCs of the same speed rating, and they are not any "better" than PCs. They're boutique items; more design time went into making sure they look unique, and some people with more money than sense are willing to pay more for that. Period.

I'll grant you that it wasn't always true; Macs were five years ahead of their time. Unfortunately for them, that time was 10 years ago. They now survive in serious work purely through inertia, and through the consumer market through effective decorative design.

[ Parent ]

La, La, La. (4.66 / 3) (#25)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:08:20 PM EST

Yup. Botique design. In otherwords, they pay attention to usability, reliability, and productivity.

Which is why I prefer ssh'ing from my iBook into the Linux box I'm developing for than from the Windows PC they put on my desktop. (and, yes, I'm running redhat on the pc.)

OS X provides what Linux promises - Unix on the desktop - except that I don't have to dork with it. It just works. Plug it into my office network, I'm on the lan. Unplug it, plug in the modem, and I've got dial up without any further intervention. I want to watch a DVD? I pop it in and watch it. On my home server (mandrake 8.1) I've installed about twelve different versions of xine and xine add-ons and I still can't reliably watch cowboy beebop while I exercise.

Linux on x86 is wonderful as a hobby operating system - like any hotrodder I enjoy tweaking with the internals to get that extra horsepower out the other side. But when I just want to sit down and have it work, without glitches or gotchas, a Mac is my choice everytime.

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Nope (2.66 / 3) (#33)
by notafurry on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:18:32 PM EST

That's botique as in "looks pretty and costs more, but does the same job". Once I get my Linux workstation set up, I never have to do anything with it until and unless I decide to change something - and any time I decide to make that change, why, there's an easy option available. More or less the same with Windows - I just uninstall the application I've tired of and install something else that does the same job. Or maybe my video card just doesn't do the job anymore - not a problem. A new one will work fine.

Laptops are about the same. I want to move from home network to the office? Just do it. I don't need to run any commands or change any settings - provided the networks are set up properly, and that's just as true for Macs. Pop in a DVD and watch it, sure; load it in the drive, fire up the DVD software, and off we go. I'm not so stupid as to permit autoplaying, but if I wanted to I could - just a matter of changing some settings.

Linux is indeed a wonderful "tinkering" system, but I have systems for that. My production systems are stable and stay in the same configuration until there's some real need for a change - a security problem, or a new application I need for some task.

[ Parent ]

RE: Nope (3.50 / 2) (#53)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:59:20 PM EST

It maybe botique to you. But it's not to alot of people. Alot of people don't have the time or expertise to learn something like linux. That's something that alot of geeks forget. Or they know it and have the "I'm more intelligent that you, bceause I'm a computer expert" atittiude.

Plus, some of as value different things. I'm graphic designer. Athetics are imporant to me. I just don't feel comfortable using something like linux, it's destracing. Say what you want about that, but that's the way it is for me.

[ Parent ]

Wrong argument (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by notafurry on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 01:35:16 AM EST

If people don't have the time and expertise to learn Linux, they still aren't going to turn to Mac - they're going to turn to Windows on a PC, which *for the average unskilled user* is just as stable and as powerful as a Mac - at half the price.

As for your graphics argument, that was true five years ago. Now the only thing keeping it true is, as I said, inertia. I support graphics designers and I'm married to one. The only ones who actively use Mac workstations do so because it's "all they've ever used" and they refuse to consider other options. PC's can do the exact same job, in the case of Windows with the exact same software for the most part, and do it cheaper, faster, and better. With more options.

[ Parent ]

RE: Wrong argument (3.00 / 1) (#69)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 03:17:49 PM EST

That's BS. I know heaps of people that used to have a PC, and now have a mac. These people aren't 'power users' or anything. They just switched over after having used one duing a uni course.

I was not talking about the fact they most graphic designers use macs because it used to be that macs were much better in the design industry. I was talking about the fact that the OS, and apps for them generaly look better, and are well designed (I was comparing to linux to, win2k isn't too bad). And that GUI asthetics play a big part in if I like a particular OS.

Plus some of us want to avoid microsoft, due to there lack of respect for privacy, and the 100's of other issues that you see splashed up at slashdot so oftern.

It still holds true though that video editing is an area where macs beat PCs (unless you go with a high-end PC). And just because there maybe less options, those fewer options maybe better.

[ Parent ]

My take on it all... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by dipipanone on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 09:07:29 AM EST

I've been using various computers for 20 years or so now. Started off with a BBC Model B (because I couldn't afford an Apple II) and moved from there to a CP/M machine, and then onto a Mac II cx in the late 80's. Why would I use something as ugly as msdos for page layout, when I could run Quark in OS6?

Since then, it's been Macs all the way, but when I first got net access in 1993, I wanted to use Unix. A/UX was effectively dead by that point, NetBSD m68k was barely functional and MachTen was a kludge (though I played about with the latter two.) So I was waiting for MkLinux to come out. When it did, the two machines I had at the time, (a Powerbook 145b and a Performa 5400) weren't supported.

So I eventually bought a new beige G3 and went the MkLinux route. It was a bit of a pain. I'm not a coder, and lots of the stuff I wanted to run just wouldn't compile. So I shifted over to PPCLinux which had more support, but it still wasn't ideal.

And so I finally bit the bullet and bought my first Wintel box, with the aim of using it for dual boot. 98 for games for the kids, and Linux for me, and I was hooked.

If you'd asked me six months ago, I would have said I wouldn't touch Mac hardware with a shitty stick. I felt as though I'd finally escaped from years of playing the starring role in a bukkakke mpeg, while Jobs and his buddies emptied their sacks right over my face. I was running a home network with a twin-Pentium Linux fileserver/webserver/mailserver/ web development machine running Immunix 7.0, my beige G3 running LinuxPPC, and a dual-boot desktop that runs Windows 2000 and RedHat 7.2. No way would I ever go back to the tyranny of Cupertino.

And then I learned about Fink, and last week, hastened to the Apple store where I was only too happy to part with the readies for my new Titanium Powerbook.

Come on, Stevie baby. Line up the Apple development team one more time and squirt that hot Darwin jism where you know I like it best...

I'll gargle for you...

Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
Go ahead, 0 me (4.11 / 9) (#18)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:29:55 PM EST

I find it ironic how many Apple supporters complain about Microsoft's monopoly when the former's hardware, design and (to some extent) OS stranglehold clearly indicates we'd actually be worse off if Jobs and Gates switched places.

Play 囲碁
Why? (4.50 / 2) (#21)
by japhar81 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:34:25 PM EST

Yellow dog has a linux distro for Macs. How would it not be the same thing? I don't see apple trying to crush distributors who sell with linux loaded. In fact, my ibook came loaded with yellow dog at my request.

<H6>Rome is always burning, and the younger generation never respects its elders. The time of your second coming, japhar81, is no exception. -- Aphasia</H6&gt
[ Parent ]
hardware and software platform (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by klamath on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:59:05 PM EST

I don't see apple trying to crush distributors who sell with linux loaded.
Neither do I see Microsoft trying to crush distributors who sell with linux loaded. This is a complete red herring.

Apple provide a software and hardware platform for their users, a platform that is zealously protected by their team of lawyers. Take the recent debacle over OSX-like themes/skins, or the more historic incidents where Jobs crushed companies trying to distribute alternative PPC-based systems. Apple are very serious when it comes to protecting the "Apple-ness" of their products -- their appeal to a niche market who are willing to pay more, in exchange for what they perceive to be a superior product.

Apple's behavior in attempting to protect its combined OS + hardware platform is very similar to Microsoft's attempts to protect its OS platform (for instance, the killing of Java, and their response to the threat of OS-agnostic web content). The only difference is that while Microsoft have only an OS platform to protect (which runs on an open hardware platform), Apple's domain includes both software and hardware.

[ Parent ]

OEM Contracts? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by guet on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:41:21 PM EST

You don't count OEM contracts ?

On the contrary, I think it's a real shame the anti-trust trial got fixated on the browser issue, rather than looking at contracts with hardware manufacturers. I think Jean-Louis Gassée refused to testify for that reason.

While Apple is zealous in protecting 'their way', I don't agree that they sue, for example, people producing interface skins for the same reason as Microsoft attempts to embrace and extend (eg Java). These are two different actions with very different motivations. Apple has flaws, but not the same flaws as Microsoft. See the above comment about Fink for another difference.

[ Parent ]
No one's a saint (5.00 / 2) (#42)
by mech9t8 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:18:02 PM EST

Apple's a hardware company. If they can get Linux people to switch from using x86 machines to using Apples, they sell more machines. Did you save any money by getting Linux instead of MacOS?

OTOH, they did shut Be out making OSes for the G3 PowerMacs. (That's part of the reason Be switched to x86.) Never mind to whole Mac clone fiasco.

Apple's a company out to make a profit. Just like Microsoft. Any better behaviour on their part is just because they see it as a better business decision, and if they were Microsoft's position they'd probably be doing the exact same stuff as Microsoft.

[ Parent ]
irony (4.50 / 2) (#22)
by guet on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:45:50 PM EST

: )

OS X is built on Darwin, open source BSD.

Apple just refused to release MPEG4 compliant streaming software because of the licensing rules for end users.

They're a very different company. They don't talk about taking VIG's from every transaction on the internet.

[ Parent ]
Hippie Fascists (4.50 / 2) (#36)
by TON on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:24:23 PM EST

IIRC, that's how Neal Stephenson characterized Apple in his fine extended rant In the Beginning Was the Command Line... I think he was right at the time, but is that still correct now?

Darwin plus Fink seem to put Apple and Jobs into new territory. From the Fink FAQ:

Q2.3: What is your relation with Apple?
A: Apple is aware of Fink and has started to support us as part of their Open Source relations efforts. So far they are providing us with pre-release seeds of new Mac OS X versions in the hope that Fink packages can be adapted in time for the release. Quote: "Hopefully it underscores the commitment that many suspect we're not willing to provide. We'll get better at the open source game over time." Thanks Apple!

Time will tell.

"First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis


[ Parent ]

Seems clever... (2.00 / 2) (#65)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 11:24:11 AM EST

...until you realize that all hippies are fascists.

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

the altar of 'it costs lest up front' (2.41 / 12) (#24)
by turmeric on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:07:12 PM EST

or: why american consumers are fucking morons.

guy goes into a store sees two hammers. one costs 12 the other 15. he buys the 10 dollar one. why? obviously because he wants to 'save money', and doesnt want to be a 'fancy dan' who 'wastes money on frivolous things'.

he takes the home, it breaks. he goes back to the store, sees a bunch of 'hammer repair kits' or 'hammer tune up kits', which have little plastic pieces that can repair broken hammer blades. 4 bucks each plus tax. oh yeah let me not forget the money he spent on gasoline driving to and from the store. and the cost of the bandaid he put around his finger when the hammer broke and hurt him. and the cost of the nail he ruined and the sandpaper he had to buy to clean up the place where the broken hammer made a big dent in it.

Total cost for the cheaper hammer: 20 bucks.

But JQ American Moron only cares about 'saving money', so doubtless when he goes to buy a computer, a car, a hammer, a wife, or a husband, he will get 'whatever is cheapest' and totally ignore everything else in the world, because after all, he is supposed to 'save money', be 'thrifty', not be 'fancy', and most of all not be 'wasteful' by buying 'expensive stuff'.

In other words, certain places in the world care about quality and will buy something that will last a long time and do the job. Americans, however, are so stupid they will buy 300 copies of something that is disposable and crappy rather than 1 thing that is expensive and will last forever, because Americans are fucking idiots.

Partly true (4.66 / 6) (#26)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:21:07 PM EST

The problem is that a higher price isn't an automatic guarantee of quality either, and if you don't know how to tell the difference between a good hammer and a bad hammer, you might as well save the money.

I'm running into this right now with telescopes. I can buy a mass produced 10" telescope for about $700, or a "botique" model for $2500. Nothing in between. What makes the botique model worth so much more? (Other than the optics, which are less than 1/3 of the cost) I have no clue - so I'm real reluctant to spend the money for a $2500 scope no matter how cool it is.

Which, I guess is part of Apple's problem - they can't seem to communicate why their stuff is worth more.

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Apple's communication (none / 0) (#48)
by panserg on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:29:38 PM EST

Apple doesn't communicate well: neither why should I pay more for what, nor how should I use it, nor how should I fix or upgrade it. The may hesitate to say all truth. Or perhaps they don't know the truth. Or they don't know how to communicate. And certainly they don't know that without proper communication with customers they are gonna loose the rest of customers. In a time of "old-bad" M$-win (95) and "young-green" linux I loved Apple and Mac OS. Time changed. M$-win has been improved in features and customer support. Linux becomes adult serious player on the OS market. What's happened to Apple and Mac OS?

[ Parent ]
Communication on "how to fix it" (none / 0) (#61)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 09:08:52 AM EST

Part of this is because of Apple's target audience; they are aiming for people who aren't interested in upgrading/fixing machines themselves, but I will admit that Apple does seem to make it unneccessarily hard sometimes on people who do want this info.

In their defense, though - I still don't think very many users, even big corporate administrators, want this kind of info or to have to provide down-in-the-dirt support.

I'm having that problem right now with the Linux drivers I'm developing. Few Fortune 500 corporations want their admins recompiling their kernels everytime they add new hardware. But that leaves my company in the position of having to ship binaries for multiple kernels - and since each distributor customizes the kernel, and every patch seems to change the unreliable memory allocation system (often in very low level ways) that means I'm gonna have to do test builds and full test suites against three releases each of red hat, SUSE, Mandrake and every other damn kernel.

You could argue that we should just GPL the drivers, and hope the vendors pick them up, but since I'm dependent on vendors who haven't GPL'ed *their* drivers, I'm kind of wedged - I can't publish their headers and, without them, how the hell can you compile my source?

I hardly consider this an "adult serious player".

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

americans? (4.83 / 6) (#28)
by klamath on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:50:43 PM EST

Americans are fucking idiots.
How does anything in your post relate specifically to Americans? You seem to be commenting on the typical consumer in a mixed market economy -- i.e. the consumers in most countries in the world.

[ Parent ]
we here are pseudo-intellectuals. (5.00 / 4) (#41)
by rebelcool on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:13:17 PM EST

Can't go wrong insulting the 'common american'. After all, they are ALL (yes, EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ONE) dumb, uncaring, naive, fools. Everyone else in the world (especially Europeans - they have such cool furniture, thus demonstrating their intelligence) is much smarter.


COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Well who doodly doo (4.28 / 7) (#31)
by Bob Abooey on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:00:39 PM EST

The "It's going to last longer" and "Apple costs more money up front but is cheaper in the long run" is all anecdotal and by and large a big marketing ruse.

The bottom line is that Apple sells their stuff for more because people buy into their marketing magic and believe that it's worth it. Apple makes some interesting stuff, but it's not worth what they want for it. I mostly buy the cheapest crap PC hardware you can find because I've never had any problems with it. If I did then I would buy better stuff. So your little rant, as far as I'm concerned, is fundamentally flawed.

Dividing by zero is the closest thing there is to arithmetic blasphemy - William Dunham
[ Parent ]

Welcome (4.85 / 7) (#27)
by epepke on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:50:25 PM EST

I already wrote a rant about some of the reasons that usable products are selected against. It isn't specifically about Apple, but most of it applies.

As far as techies' perceptions of Apple, much of it is in the rant. It's something I call the Acolyte Effect. An acolyte is to religion sort of as a techie is to computer scientist. He knows more than the common people and gets a kick out of it, especially knowing something that makes him superior to the users he looks down on.

It doesn't appeal to me, not because I'm some moron who "can't use" a challenging system, but because when I say that I built a computer, I mean that I bought the chips and designed the circuitry and soldered or wire-wrapped it together. So, "building" a computer by throwing some boards and stuff into a box and connecting a few cables doesn't give me much egoboo. Similarly with software: I don't get an emotional thrill out of figuring out a registry or configuration problem; I'm just ashamed that there are people in the same trade as me who don't think things through. As a result, I appreciate Apple's work, just as I appreciated the Amiga when it existed, because it gives me the feeling of being amongst kindred spirits who know something of craftsmanship.

I think most of the arguments against Apple are contrived. Cost more? Yeah, a little, and it's quite reasonable for what you get. You also don't have to spend so much money and time collecting dingle dongles to make it work, and the computer remains really productive for more years. Not enough MHz? Bah. The only reasonable measure of the speed of a machine is how often you want to put your fist through the screen when you're doing real work (or play). I get completely satisfactory performance on all extant games on my little G4 laptop. One might as well say that the Oldsmobile is better than the Lexus because you get more pounds per dollar.

But enough of that. What I really want to say is welcome. I've been programming Macs since the Megamax C compiler made it possible to do so without a Lisa or assembly (1985?). I've enjoyed it a lot, but I kind of got away from it during the 1990's. Then along came OS X, and I'm hooked again. If you want a real thrill, develop a small application in Cocoa. You'll have to spend an hour or two learning Objective C if you don't already know it. The Interface Builder is the first visual GUI builder I have ever seen that is worth a dam. It does what you need, and then it gets the hell out of the way. The class libraries are well thought out. You know how you were prepared to jump through hoops on the installation and got thrown for a loop because you didn't have to? Programming in Cocoa is like that.

I'm now developing a rather big application in Cocoa (simultaneously in Cocoa/Aqua and with a plain, command-line POSIX-compliant UI), and it all scales just fine.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

Er...what? (3.86 / 22) (#34)
by Bob Abooey on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:22:19 PM EST

I think most of the arguments against Apple are contrived

Well, how convenient. You just willy nilly decide to disregard most arguments against Apple then because you think they are contrived. That's mighty scientific of you.

Cost more? Yeah, a little

How about a lot more. Like around 30 - 40% more than a similarly equipped PC. (that's a conservative estimate too)

and the computer remains really productive for more years

Uh... years? Just so I understand you here... You're claiming that if I buy a top of the line Mac today and a top of the line PC today that the Mac will be more productive for years???? That's the most absurd thing I think I've ever heard from a Mac pundit. Would you care to try to somehow back that up?

The only reasonable measure of the speed of a machine is how often you want to put your fist through the screen when you're doing real work (or play).

No. That's incorrect. It's misleading and incorrect. The speed of a machine is important. As a developer you should know that. The amount of time you spend sitting and watching your app compile is very relevant. Unless you just want a machine to download email and write letters to your Aunt Susie, then yes, a slow machine is just fine.

Bah... you're a pretty good reason why people get turned off to Macs. You make a bunch of anecdotal claims based upon old Apple marketing mantras with no base in reality. Bah...

Dividing by zero is the closest thing there is to arithmetic blasphemy - William Dunham
[ Parent ]

Ah, well... (3.80 / 5) (#44)
by epepke on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:59:14 PM EST

Well, how convenient. You just willy nilly decide to disregard most arguments against Apple then because you think they are contrived. That's mighty scientific of you.

Got your goat! Got your goat! Got your goat!

Just so I understand you here... You're claiming that if I buy a top of the line Mac today and a top of the line PC today that the Mac will be more productive for years????

No, I don't think you understand. I'm saying that Macs age more slowly, and they keep their value longer.

No. That's incorrect. It's misleading and incorrect. The speed of a machine is important. As a developer you should know that. The amount of time you spend sitting and watching your app compile is very relevant.

My app compiles quite quickly. A slight ripple in the output window, and it's running. But you should know that the speed of compilation is not solely based on the processor speed. And you tacitly agree with me--if time matters, it's the time I spend.

Bah... you're a pretty good reason why people get turned off to Macs. You make a bunch of anecdotal claims based upon old Apple marketing mantras with no base in reality. Bah...

I'm glad to be of service. Please, please stay away from development on the Mac. It doesn't need any more of that reality of which you are so fond. It needs development by people who care primarily about the user's experience.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
What I hate about Macintosh (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by scanman on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:18:27 AM EST

Whenever I use a Mac, I feel that I am at risk of having a so-called "luser experience". I don't buy into that psychic crap. I stay away from Windows (luser) eXPerience too.

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

Pretty simple... (4.50 / 4) (#37)
by mech9t8 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:32:52 PM EST

Most people knows lots of other people with PCs, and use PCs at work. Therefore, they are going to be more familiar with them, are going to have lots of people to go to for tech support, and (perhaps most importantly) have plenty of places to get free software from. (How many home users actually *buy* Office or Photoshop or, well, anything else?)

That's the main reason right there. Whatever benefits the Mac has in terms of hardware and software quality, those benefits aren't important enough to outweigh the benefits of the PC's ubiquity for most people.

As for me personally... I'd love to get an iBook. Hardware-wise, it's much nicer than any of the PC notebooks out there. The problem is, right now, I need it for exactly three things:

(a) web-browsing and e-mail. Sure, whatever, both Windows and OS X are fine for that.
(b) Development: It'll run Apache and PHP and whatnot, if I need that, but so can Windows... or Linux in VMWare... or a Linux reboot on an x86 notebook. But I also need support for IIS and Visual Studio, and I'm not sure if Virtual PC's networking support and speed and whatnot will be sufficient for my needs.
(c) watching movies. DVD support's fine, but I want support for DivX ;) movies, which, as far as I can tell, is pretty shakey.

So I'd like to have one for its nice hardware and its neat OS, but I have no idea how adequate it'll be for 2 out of 3 main uses I'll have for it. And there's no way to tell without buying one and trying it out. I may go take a test drive in a store with Virtual PC, but I'm not sure how convincing that'll be. And, moreover, if it's merely "adequate", it's probably not worth the trouble of switching OSes. (Well, it may be for me, because I'm a computer type, but it certainly wouldn't be for most people.)

Whereas, if I go to get a PC notebook, I know exactly what I'm getting. It won't be as nice hardware-wise, and it'll be boring old Windows, but I know exactly how well it'll suit my needs and exactly how to configure and run the thing. And there aren't a whole lot of questions that I'll have to find answers to (like, just to pick an example I just thought of, printer support).

And I think that sums up why most people don't get them. If you want to get stuff done, it's generally easier to stick with what you know. And most people don't have thousands to throw at something because they want to experiment.

free software (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by askani on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:33:02 PM EST

There are places that one can find free apple software. There are warez sites that are mac only. It is just a matter of looking at various chat rooms. However, most people would rather not make the effort. Such is life.

[ Parent ]
Divx;) support (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by jaymagee on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 10:31:44 AM EST

Divx;) support is getting there, give it time. Also, for some reason, Divx files seem to play better on a mac the more memory you have. I went from nearly unwatchable at 64 megs, to gorgeous at 768. Of course, quality got better along the line. I'm using a G4 400/768 megs RAM. It works beautifully for everything. Sorry I can't help you with #2, but for DVDs, you can't beat a mac. Especially with the new iBooks, where a 20 dollar cable lets you hook the thing into your TV using RCA jacks. Its great if you don't already have a set top DVD player.
Making a better humanity, one genetic change at a time.
[ Parent ]
Chance Apple collapses-23% (2.50 / 2) (#38)
by Randall Burns on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:38:40 PM EST

The claim APPL is about the probability that Apple dies by 2005-the odds here are currently around 1/4.

You know what? (none / 0) (#45)
by mike3k on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:39:57 PM EST

People have been predicting Apple was about to die for the last 20 years. It still hasn't happened, and they're doing better than they have in many years now that they have a modern OS.

[ Parent ]
not terribly difficult to answer... (4.00 / 2) (#43)
by rebelcool on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:19:44 PM EST

they are more expensive. Most of the computer hardware market is driven by business sales. Businesses base their decisions based on cost (and often, compatiblity). Everything under the sun is available on windows, and pc hardware is cheaper. Selecting PC's over macs is a win-win situation, unless you happen to be in one of the minute markets where apple has something of an advantage over windows (the graphics and dead-tree print world comes to mind).

The reason PC hardware is so cheap is because its commoditized. Many companies manufacture each component. Apple on the other hand, manufactures most stuff on their own.

Does apple NEED to do any better? They're not dominating the market, but I dont really think thats their aim anyways. I think they're quite happy being the niche that makes elegant, easy-to-use artsy products.

Kind of like insert-your-exotic-car-company here.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

apple's customer support is ugly (1.50 / 2) (#46)
by panserg on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:13:51 PM EST

A year ago I bought OS X v10.0. Tried, found a lot of missed drivers and VERY SLOWLY working old applications, disappointed, installed LinuxPPC in dual-boot with Mac OS v9.1 (the last one I use very rarely only with scanner and TV-tuner) and temporary forgot about OS X. General impression of OS X was: snobish toy, not for daily usage.

Now I found OS X has got drivers for my printer, scanner, TV tuner and other hardware. And software is promised to work better. Of course I decided to install it again. Install what? I still have 10.0 while I need 10.1. And you know what? I looked all over www.apple.com and all points me to buy 10.1.

But I already paid money for 10.0, which did not work almost. So, should I pay again just to try one more time? Or there is a hidden way to download ISO image with 10.1, which I did not found. I doubt it exist, b/c there is a messaage on the site that "CD image is too big, you have to buy CD".

It's insane! It's crazy! It's just saying: "Apple hates customers!". I's just what M$ needs. I don't think Apple has any future. They never loved their customers. The small amount of Apple's customers just is a type of people who loves to be driven by snobs. Regular people looks for a friend in their computer. Blame M$ monopoly, but there is a wide competition of software for M$ and hardware for Wintle. Blame M$win, but they at least try to catch customer needs and to support customers. Blame Linux, but the support of the Linux community is just great, if not the best.

But don't cry. I think IBM will either buy Apple or seize the niche of cheap PowerPC computers. And, fortunately, IBM has chosen Linux as a future OS for PowerPC - open, robust OS for daily based work of programmers, designers, writers and eventually businessmen.

all you need is the update CD.... (none / 0) (#47)
by robotic on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:26:12 PM EST

Which is free from an Apple Store (if it is in stock) or $20 shipping and handling if you order it from apple. Then you install 10.0, and upgrade to 10.1

The 10.1 CD is over 600 megs... the majority of people cannot download that, so it's not worth Apple's time to put up a server just for that.


disclaimer: I was an intern at Apple.
Sig: Maybe someday...
[ Parent ]

it's exaqtly my point (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by panserg on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:37:23 PM EST

1. you have explained availability of CD in their store much better than www.apple.com did (do you work in Apple yet?)

2. All Linux and BSD people download ISO images all time without any problems. Linux vendors usually publish URL to download and only after that advise to go to nearest store. 600 M is propbably too much only for Apple's customers. Perhaps b/c Apple doesn't already have money and hardware resources (or IQ?) for better (and faster) online support web site.

[ Parent ]

Well.... (none / 0) (#59)
by robotic on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 03:17:41 AM EST

1. I worked at apple over the summer (in hardware R&D) and I'm hoping to go back again this coming summer.

At the time of the 10.1 release, this was quite well documented. I assume that at this point, Apple doesn't assume that there are that many people around still holding onto 10.0 cds and hoping to upgrade. Most everyone either has upgraded to 10.1 already, or never bought 10.0 and will want the full version. This has also been how they have always distributed *.1 releases.

2. You have to remember that the vast majority of linux/bsd users have broadband. The vast majority of computer users in general (and mac users) are still on dial-up (no, I don't have numbers to back this up, but I probably could find some if I had the time.) Apple tech support in most cases is considered to be fairly good. I dealt with hardware tech support twice (before I worked there) and found the whole repair process to work well.

Sig: Maybe someday...
[ Parent ]

it's just unhonest (2.00 / 1) (#66)
by panserg on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 11:24:29 AM EST

I've just called to Apple customer support and they confirmed that 10.1 upgrade is not for free and there is no "fresh-install" distro of 10.1 - it MUST be installed over 10.0.x. So, I have already made a mistake to pay money for too-early-experimental version 10.0 and now I am forced to pay it again.

I'll think 3 times before I'll buy it again. And you can imagine what would I say about Apple to any of my friends.

Apple is marketting themself certainly only for snobs who doesn't count money (like money of parents or corporate money). Hmm... how long can Apple stay under recession conditions?

[ Parent ]

Sorry, that is just not true. (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by robotic on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 04:22:37 PM EST

If you order osX today, they will send you a box, with a CD with a full version of 10.1 on it. You do not need to have 10.0 installed to run it.

The upgrade is $20. At the time of the release the upgrade was also available at some apple stores for free, it might not be anymore.

But really, $20 isn't that much considering how large of an update it is. (I think the $20 also gets you the latest upgrade to 9.2 as well, and the latest dev tools.)

You do not need to have 10.0.x installed in order to install 10.1

Sig: Maybe someday...
[ Parent ]

Apple (2.00 / 1) (#49)
by blues is dead on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:30:23 PM EST

Reading the posts, I see another case where words map so badly onto reality.

What is the point of finding which is better, since the advantages are asymmetrical?

If I had to buy many computers for common tasks, I'd likely go for the Mac, with its lower TCO. I had to open a G4 case yesterday, and it was incredibly simple, considering there wasn't a single screw involved.

However, installing a new HD was a pain. So drawing out of the lines, thinking different, is discriminated against.

This pretty much mirrors my experience with the entire platform. The reason I am not so excited about Mac OS X is because Apple is a monopolist. I've met Apple programmers; I've gone on their little junkets. The prognosis for Apple users is good -- Macs are now Unix machines, performance is reasonable.

The downsides are that OS X will probably never be a great GUI for getting things done (as opposed to being clean and looking cute), and Apple is definitely a company that imposes its views on its users. Hardware is also a higher priority than software.

That said, I like working with Macs. I'm happy that they occupy a healthy, but small, niche.

The price isn't as bad as you might think... (4.33 / 3) (#52)
by bsletten on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:40:07 PM EST

The price argument isn't as cut and dry as people make it out to be. Yes, you can buy much cheaper PCs, but once you start adding comparable features, you can get pretty close with the price.

I just spec'ed out a Dell Inspiron. Once I picked a wireless card, extra memory, the larger display, a combo drive, etc., it was on the order of $2,995. And that isn't even looking at the software that will come with the OS and the sheer joy of using OS X. That compares pretty nicely with a brand-spanking new Titanium.

I fell in love with the Titaniums and will probably look at an iMac or Power Mac for my next home machine.

Price (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by Bilby on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 07:46:25 PM EST

I'll happily give you that laptop prices are fair - when I was recently looking around for a new laptop, the Titanium and iBook prices were fair compared to equivalently speced Dells, Toshibas, and the like.

However, the desktops - especially the G4s - are overpriced. I had to get quotes for servers, and we could buy a P4 system, with redundent power supplies, mirrored HDs, and a rack-mount case for 2 thirds the price of one G4 - and the G4 lacked the HDs, power supplies, and rack-mounting. We went for the P4s.

For home use I would, all else being equal, buy a Mac laptop over a PC, but a PC desktop over a Mac.

[ Parent ]

My reasons. (none / 0) (#58)
by Znork on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 02:40:45 AM EST

1. Look and feel lawsuit. Apple is a litigous company, and while I understand that they have to protect their designs to a certain extent, the amount of damage that lawsuit would have caused to the software industry, had it succeeded, makes me dubious towards Apples intentions. Annoyances like Sorenson encoding in QuickTime. Etc. I believe Apple would actually be worse than MS had they had the market position to be.

2. Collusion with MS. The IE issue plays into the hands of MS. Maybe they had no choice tho.

3. Frustrating experiences bootstrapping Macs for internet access. Trying to somehow transfer internet software onto a clean Mac in the old days was a singularly painful experience.

4. Apple surviving against MS? I think Apple has already been killed by MS, but Bill and company need Apple in its reanimated state for antitrust and public image reasons. Apple is safe and controllable 'competition' through threats of not making certain MS products available. They'll probably be dropped in the future, when MS has perfect control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the US government.

But apart from that, I actually think that Macs are pretty good and I would reccomend them to a certain subset of new users, especially now that OSX is available.

The truth about Apple (2.50 / 2) (#62)
by Jack Wagner on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 09:42:41 AM EST

Normally I try to stay out of these discussions but after reading through some of the comments here I want to make a sane attempt to set the record straight.

I worked for Apple for a little less than two years. I started out as a developer who spent six months undercover in the tech support division. This was part of the Fix-IT initiative that required all new engineers coming on board to work in tech support so they could get an understanding of what the real issues were and what the public really wanted.

It was, to put it mildly, a nightmare.

I've been able to use the experience in a positive fashion with my own company, Wagner Consulting LLC., but I admit the happiest day of my life was when I turned in my resignation at Apple. Working in tech support (or the jungle as it was referred to by the techs - a bad reference to the Viet Nam conflict) opened my eyes to the truth about Apple and Macs in general and it was a polar opposite to the marketing mantras that Mr. Jobs puts together.

In a nutshell, people find their Macs hard to use, they have a difficult time understanding all the multiple shift-click mouse simulation stuff, and they absolutely go ballistic when they realize that they paid a handsome sum for a machine that isn't capable of growing to meet their needs in the future. I would spend hour after hour trying to calm people down ( people get mad when they pay top dollar for something only to later find out they were lied to) and address their needs while watching the lights in the new-call "queue" continue to stack up. Nightmare is putting it mildly.

Things didn't get much better when I finally moved to my engineering position. My forte is low-level OS kernel internals but the powers at Apple decided to put me in the IPC department because it was such a colossal mess. The code that let the GUI talk to the kernel was/is kludged beyond belief and it was finally the cause of my resignation, basically I just couldn't take it anymore. But I'm not here to get too technical about the horrors of the internal codebase for OSX, rather I want to let people know that a large percentage of Mac users feel slighted and ripped off because their Mac runs worse than generic PC's which can be had at half the cost. And finally, you would be shocked if I could tell you who actually makes some of the hardware that Apple uses. (I'm still under NDA) Hint, you wouldn't buy a PC with some of that crap if you knew what you were doing.

Please don't flame me, I'm actually a fan of the iMACS and I still use my G4 for websurfing. I do, as a responsible consumer, want to try to get the objective truth out there for everyone to see.

Thank You.

Wagner LLC Consulting - Getting it right the first time

Plight of the maintenance programmer (5.00 / 3) (#64)
by selkirk on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 10:57:30 AM EST

By its very nature, tech support attracts the problems. No one ever calls tech support to say "Great Product." Have you worked in a PC tech support organization? Its no better.

Every junior maintenance programmer thinks that the code they have been assigned to work on is a mess. Its called the "Not invented here syndrome." Sometimes they are even right. Most of the time, they just don't realize how complex software development is and how imperfect the world is.

Computer Science classes assign problems that have a solution can be completed by one person working by themselves part time in one week. In the real world, problems often don't have perfect solutions, or take years to develop a solution and far too big for any one person. It takes new computer grads a while to adjust to programming in the real world. I've observed that it takes 2-3 years to beat the academic idealism out of new graduates to make them decent programmers.

Usually, a very enlightening process for maintenance programmers is to have their own original code released to other maintenance programmers, who will of course think that it is a "mess."

Unfortunately, many programmers change jobs every two years and never see the full life cycle of a software product. They never see the long term consequence of the work they do. Its up to the next junior programmer to answer the tech support calls for their code and perform the maintenance on their mess.

[ Parent ]
users vs. developers (none / 0) (#68)
by Pink Daisy on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 01:12:48 PM EST

Apple spent a long time marketing to users but ignoring developers. Compare the difficulty of developing for Mac to the difficulty of developing for Windows 95. On the rapid/ light end, compare Hypercard to Visual Basic. Both provide excellent capabilities for automating interactions with other applications, but building a complex standalone application is much easier in VB. Further, VB was promoted heavily by Microsoft, whereas Hypercard was not promoted to nearly the same extent. Microsoft has been much better at promoting their product to developers.

When it got to serious development, Microsoft had the much bigger advantage. UNIX folk have always had it easy; segfault as much as you like and the system stays up. Recent versions of Windows do that for you, but not Windows 95. Still, Windows has a huge advantage over MacOS 9 and previous when it comes to development affecting system stability. Windows 95 has memory protection; it just isn't good enough all the time. MacOS <=9 has a tendency to crash with almost every crash of a program you are debugging. In the past, Microsoft has had an environment that is much more forgiving for developers.

The tools they make available shows a lot about how much the vendors care about developers. Visual Studio has been one of Microsoft's best products for a long time. For MacOS? Use Metroworks; a product from a third party. It's good, but the fact is, Apple didn't care enough to make a high quality development environment of their own. Even now, developing for MacOS X using Apple stuff requires using either their proprietary version of Java, or learning Objective C. Sue, neither is tremendously difficult, but both are extra effort compared to using C or C++. Microsoft has a history of respecting developers, and Apple has a history of ignoring them.

Given that Microsoft treats developers so much better, I am not at all surprised at the much higher number of Windows applications. That logically leads to more users, since users generally care about applications more than about the OS itself.

More price comparisons (none / 0) (#70)
by bsletten on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 04:07:33 PM EST

I came across this today. It is a useful tool for comparing Apples to oranges (Dells, Compaqs, etc.) at different price points.

The future of Apple | 74 comments (74 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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