Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Aug 2009 19:37 UTC
Apple Using his blue box, Steve Wozniak once called the Vatican (for free), and, imitating Henry Kissinger's voice, asked if he could speak with the pope. The pope turned out to be asleep. Wozniak pulled these pranks together with Steve Jobs, with whom he'd found Apple computer not long after. Oh, how the times have changed. How can a company with its roots in phreaking, pranks, and home-made computing end up the way it is today?
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Different perspective
by Tom K on Wed 5th Aug 2009 19:56 UTC
Tom K
Member since:

Perhaps the problem is not Apple, but rather your hope that a computer/electronics company will fill a spiritual/emotional void of yours.

Re: the frying pan -- "... but it doesn't exactly make my heart fill itself with longing". Correct -- a frying pan won't do that. Why do you expect anything more out of a computer or music player? They're just mass-produced inanimate objects made of plastic and metal.

I understand the emotional attachment to companies that people (mostly people who sit on their computers all day) develop. WHY? They're just a company. They're in the business of making money, nothing more.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Different perspective
by molnarcs on Wed 5th Aug 2009 21:07 UTC in reply to "Different perspective"
molnarcs Member since:

I understand the emotional attachment to companies that people (mostly people who sit on their computers all day) develop. WHY? They're just a company. They're in the business of making money, nothing more.

On the other hand it pays off to be cynical on geek forums, the tired line "they're just a company in the business of making money" will always lend you some positive moderation... It's also easy, because you'll never ever have to think again, to distinguish between different shades of grey or colors (to stay with Thom's metaphors), company=onlywantsyourmoney->QED will suffice and fits every single situation.

Look, you can ridicule people who go beyond the company=onlywantsyourmoney formula all you want, but the only thing that's evident from your belittling comment (look at him, he has emotional attachment to a product HARHARHAR) is that your way of looking at things lacks any depth or understanding of the finer details of life.

People do like or dislike things about products/services they buy, and they develop feelings about companies that provide them. It's not 0s and 1s, not sheer functionality that they take into account when it comes to buying something. If it was, people would never buy fair-trade products (would you ridicule people who do?). Thom wrote one of the most detailed account of what makes a company likeable for him - why is that ridiculous? Is the question itself "What makes you like a company?" ridiculous for you? I think this is a valid question, and while admitting that it can also be a profitable question for companies, that still doesn't make it ridiculous. There is an emotional component to ALL OF OUR DECISIONS. Denying it is like denying that other people's behaviour influences you. Only a fool would do that.

It is rather ironic that you accuse him of trying to fill in an emotional void (by taking his sentences out of context btw) - what about you? What are you trying to do here? Essentially you are attacking someone for no good reason other than... what? Makes you feel better? Do you want a cookie? Acknowledgement? Well, you're soooo cool! There. ;)

Edited 2009-08-05 21:16 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Different perspective
by Tom K on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Different perspective"
Tom K Member since:

I'm not attacking. You're perfectly accurate about human nature, and there being some degree of emotion to everything we do or say -- you just proved that, by getting your panties all up in a knot about my comment. :-)

Look, I like my iPhone. It pleases me to keep its case and screen clean. I like using it. I'd be pretty devastated if I lost or broke it. That's definitely a level of emotional attachment -- and I'm not ashamed to admit it. There are people out there who have shed themselves of all emotional attachment to physical possessions, but I myself have not reached that level of enlightenment or whatever you want to call it.

On the other hand, I don't look to Apple (or my iPhone, or MacBook Pro) to fill my heart with longing, or provide some kind of spiritual or emotional satisfaction. Spiritual and emotional satisfaction/attachment I find in people who are close to me, and by travelling and seeing new things and observing how different cultures or groups of people behave.

I look at Apple as a company that makes some great products -- products that are easy to get attached to, but all in all, mass-produced products that are replaceable.

PS: Don't you dare lecture me about not seeing the finer details in life. You don't know me. What was that about being belittling?

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Different perspective
by Tom K on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Different perspective"
Tom K Member since:

Also, there is no issue with anyone liking or disliking a company. "Liking" something is not akin to looking to it for emotional fulfillment, though.

I have nothing against Thom. I was simply pointing out that some people's attachment to Apple is a little bit ridiculous at times. They are not a religion, and they're only selling pretty boxes that do things -- nothing more, nothing less. I think some Internet nerds often forget this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Different perspective
by molnarcs on Thu 6th Aug 2009 07:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Different perspective"
molnarcs Member since:

Look, you did quote him out of context, and the only purpose your post served was to ridicule someone who wrote an opinion piece. In fact, you are still at it:

On the other hand, I don't look to Apple (or my iPhone, or MacBook Pro) to fill my heart with longing, or provide some kind of spiritual or emotional satisfaction. Spiritual and emotional satisfaction/attachment I find in people who are close to me, and by travelling and seeing new things and observing how different cultures or groups of people behave.

As opposed to Thom? Are you suggesting that unlike you, Thom's sole source of spiritual/emotional satisfaction is Apple or objects in general? It takes a great deal of ill will to twist the meaning of what he wrote to serve your purpose... which still seems to be the same I pointed out.

PS: Don't you dare lecture me about not seeing the finer details in life. You don't know me. What was that about being belittling?

Look, I'm sorry about that, it was a bit overboard. At that time I thought you were a teenager - being a teacher, I routinely lecture them. Still, obviously you're not, and I apologize. (Ok, that was a snide remark too) The point is, that I did exactly what you did and for that, a do feel some regret. Otherwise, 99% of us don't know shit about each other (no need to point out the obvious there), and yet, some of chose to ridicule others by deliberately twisting the meaning of what they wrote. Sad but true. Deal with it. And the occasional consequences.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Different perspective
by wanker90210 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Different perspective"
wanker90210 Member since:

If I buy an expensive iPhone and cannot use it the way I want or was promised I could do, I get pretty emotional about it. Not necessarily in the Amiga Zealot way, but that I just wasted a lot of money.

Things like this Apple Bashing 1984 initiative does give Apple an idea of what people are annoyed with and a business incentive to change it (more sales). Sending emails to will be read by a secretary and then deleted.

I do hope the 1984-thread will contain concrete arguments rather than emotional, otherwise I think it will be ignored. USA based companies, perhaps more than in other places, will look at alternatives and if path B leads to bigger revenue than A, path B will be chosen.

I use MacOS, Linux and Windows everyday and I tend to lean towards Mac because it's a trouble free (relatively) environment to work in. For the same reason I tend to like NetBeans over Eclipse. The day the trouble of using Mac > other platform, Apple will loose me as a customer. For me (self employed programmer) this is strictly a business decision. I do think Microsoft is a better company for us programmers, but that the Apple machines offers higher productivity (my MBP has for example the first usable touchpad I've ever used and has MacOS is a solid UN*X with more or less the same commercial programs as Windows where it counts for me).

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:

bcc bigbossA, bigbossB, bigbossC....

hehe.. the trick would be getting the email list together then sending the blast without setting off spam filtering. I know I've come close to including a few extra managers on email to the rep I'm dealing with in a few cases.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Different perspective
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:47 UTC in reply to "Different perspective"
Flatland_Spider Member since:

Thom wants to be entertained. He's not trying to fill a void; he's saying Apple computer's aren't as fun as they used to be, which is true. They used to scream weird, but now they mean you probably have an iPhone.

I kind of have a thing for cast iron skillets. It really doesn't matter the brand, since they all work the same. They still have more character then my teflon coated wonder pan. In the case of the frying pan, it's more about finding a tool that works perfectly for you. If nothing else on the market works perfectly as you think it should, then yeah you'll develop an attachment to it.

It goes with out saying that Apple is in it for the money, but they used to be more interesting then they are now. It's like finding a weird little coffee shop with tons of character that slowly turns into a Starbucks. Sure Starbucks is hip, or whatever, but it's got a cold corporate edge. It doesn't make a dirty chai latte the same, the baristas look more wholesome and clean, and they play corporate radio rather then whatever the employees want to play. The coffee shop also used to be a good place to find out about interesting things, but now it's just about the corporate line.

Reply Score: 6

jabbotts Member since:

Company brand loyalty beyond the current moment is madness. A good product now doesn't mean a good product in the future. Services are the same, the current service doesn't indicate future service quality.

In terms of the physical device and why people become attached to a device though; what is your favorite pass-time or general area of interest?

People who's area of interest is snowboarding can tell you exactly what hardware they like. Board, binding, boots, winter wear. Car enthusiasts will give you the details of there favorite machine and how it compares to others for them. History buffs will have an area of time they are drawn too, an author or series of publications. Why is one being drawn to a specific gadget emotionally any different?

The Newton second generation device was fantastic. For most it's just a chunk of hardware and software but it has features I still miss and am unable to replicate today. Early Palms where a little rough but the device that eventually replaced my Newton has similar emotional apeal. Those two devices started an interest in mobile PDA sized devices that persists today. That shouldn't seem odd or make me a shallow all-day screen watcher; it's simply that gadgetry and discovering what it can be made to do beyond the hardware and intended software limits are happens to be my area of interest.

If you remember the 10 anoying blog lines list from yesterday; "so what's the point of ..." specifically. So what is it that gets you interested. What is your subject of enthusiasm which may differ from those who see more potential than just. What is your particular baby that other people would walk up to and think "another human, so what's the point?"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Different perspective
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:47 UTC in reply to "Different perspective"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I understand the emotional attachment to companies that people (mostly people who sit on their computers all day) develop.

For the same reason why I like staging mock battles with animal crackers before eating them, its fun to anamorphise something absurd. I can cheer my Elephant general on to victory, but if he betrays me and joins the legions of rhinos than he is dead to me!

Reply Score: 2

agree and disagree
by JoshB on Wed 5th Aug 2009 19:59 UTC
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I agree that some of the older macs were a lot more fun and a lot more exciting (I still think the cube is probably the coolest computer ever), but there was a method to their madness.

Every product is simply a continuation, or a refining, of past products. The cube turned into the mac mini. The iMac became that lamp-type iMac, which became the current iMac, each one an extension and refining of the last.

I think that it's boring because we're used to it, but really it all looks like a march towards some engineering-ideal which only Steve Jobs is privy too. Which is kind of your point: the imperfections make it memorable. Which is true. So as this has progressed and become nearer and nearer that Jobsian singularity the products have become less and less memorable. Which begs the question: would you rather have something perfect or memorable?

Reply Score: 2

Cool Article
by Guppetto on Wed 5th Aug 2009 19:59 UTC
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"Then I realised something that became a universal truth for me: it takes imperfection to notice perfection. From then on, it became apparent to me that all the products that appeal to my sense of style and beauty, products that appeal to my emotions at some level or another, are all products that are imperfect. Products that are a little crazy, a little wacky, a little impractical."


"It feels as if after designing the iMac G4, the Apple design department ran right out of imagination and fairy dust, making way for an obsession with hospital wards and metallic powder."

Wow, These are wonderful quotes that I'll remember long after I forget the real purpose of this article. You're really on to something when you speak of imperfection. Great read and know that I'm definitely stealing that first quote.

Reply Score: 4

Wacky Colors Yes, Cube No
by Drumhellar on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:20 UTC
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Apple should at least have their smaller Mac Books available in the same colors as their iPods, but maybe not the Pros, since they are, I don't know, more classy or something.

I think part of the reason for the transition was the fact that the ghost-white (or whatever it was called) and the graphite color options for the plastic iMacs were far more popular color options than the colorful ones at the same price. I know generally the graphite ones were spec'd higher, but for a little while there was some overlap.

And, I have to disagree with JoshB. The Cube didn't become the Mac Mini. They are far different beasts.

The mini is a far more conventional design, while the cube was not. Besides the lack of screen, there is little to differentiate the Mini from a laptop.
Meanwhile, the Cube contained an AGP slot that was accessible, and there was even a good third-party Radeon card that could fit in there that was quite a bit faster than what Apple offered. It was also available in dual-processor options (Not dual-core. This had two sockets in it) The cube was an feat of engineering, and it was also very expensive.

And, as for imperfections are what makes something memorable, while frequently true, I don't think it is so for the Cube. That was a wonderful design, but the hairline stress fractures that frequently appeared in the outer acrylic shell marred it's otherwise elegant design. Those were imperfections that seriously detracted from the design.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wacky Colors Yes, Cube No
by JoshB on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:26 UTC in reply to "Wacky Colors Yes, Cube No"
JoshB Member since:

You make a good point about the ability to expand the cube, and about it's price point. The two products do target different slightly different niches, but both also fulfilled the "headless mac that isn't a mac pro" role.

Reply Score: 1

by nothingtoseehere on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:20 UTC
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An interesting parallel may be explored regarding this article and how this site's appearance changed over the years. I would assert its current incarnation looks almost Apple-esque. ;-)

Judge for yourself:*/

Reply Score: 1

v nonsense
by kristoph on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:33 UTC
RE: nonsense
by fretinator on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:53 UTC in reply to "nonsense "
fretinator Member since:

Apple has not lost it's way, it IS the way!

Broad is the way that leads to vendor fragmentation. Narrow is the way that leads to iLife, and few are there who find it.

Reply Score: 3

by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:33 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

I don't like apple now, but, I used to hate them.

Are you really championing form over function??


You should be sentenced to use Mac OS 8.5 for the rest of your life.

Wozniak would *NOT* approve of form over function.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Booooooo!
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 8th Aug 2009 14:04 UTC in reply to "Booooooo!"
StephenBeDoper Member since:


I find it strange that the article treats machines like the original iMac, iMac G4, G4 cube, etc, as the pinnacle of Apple - while I find those models to be the pinnacle of design that values form over function. Sure, those models were cool from an aesthetic point of view - but design is not just about aesthetics.

Compare those machines with the previous "era" of Apple computers - which were distinguished from their competitors by the hardware inside the case, rather than the design of the case itself. It's an odd contrast that Apple made two of the best-designed computers I've done service work on (7200 & the Beige G3) - and within a few years they also made two of the worst from a serviceability standpoint (iMac G3 & the eMac).

Reply Score: 2

Is this a wind-up?
by FrankenFuss on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:44 UTC
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How can a company with its roots in phreaking, pranks, and home-made computing end up the way it is today?

Ummm...they grew up?

The whole premise of your article is ridiculous. You don't like the metallic theme and that's your opinion. But to assert that something is wrong with Apple because they aren't harkening back to their prankster roots...well...I think you had nothing better to write today.

Let's hope that tomorrow is better for you.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Is this a wind-up?
by fretinator on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:55 UTC in reply to "Is this a wind-up?"
fretinator Member since:

I would say 10 Hail Lisas and a trip through the stations of the X and he should be good to go.

Reply Score: 4

by oskeladden on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:48 UTC
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I agree so much that I actually registered just to say I agree.

To the dissenters: Apple used to have a mad zaniness about them that was wonderful, and that gave Macs their charm. It wasn't form over substance - the flexibility of the iMac G4's screen was a technical marvel, and one which genuinely had utility. Apple used to experiment a lot, and most of the time their experimentation paid off. Sure, their products also had quirks because of their experimentation, but they also had a lot of individuality. You could express yourself with a Mac in a way you couldn't with a PC. None of this is true anymore. Apple has become yet another computer maker - one of the better ones, granted, but not that different from other good ones. Its designs are safe and stick to convention. They don't have those convention-challenging flashes of brilliance any longer. The iPhone's UI comes close, but even that's a long way from the sort of stuff they used to achieve.

Just my opinion, of course. People will obviously disagree.

Reply Score: 9

by Budd on Wed 5th Aug 2009 20:49 UTC
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Very funny how the trend is changing.Few days ago, the "editors" announced (like anyone would even care) that they are finished with Apple.At least no more Apple products. It seems that they can't let go. I'm not saying that's good or wrong,I find it very odd. Well,not quite odd,but really funny. I'm ready to bet that Snow Leopard will generate more heat. Few months now. Preparing my popcorns.
I'm using 3 OS's daily. XP (due to the nature of my work) like 90% of the time. But right now I'm starting to really like using my MBP. I even re-pluged my old Quicksilver. Just for the fun of it. I'm not holding my breath thogh, I know that brand fanboy-ism is really bad. Sooner or later I will stop using OSX that often.People get bored time to time.

Reply Score: 3

going down
by xmv_ on Wed 5th Aug 2009 21:18 UTC
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For me, Apple started "going down" after they did not release the G3 systems in time. They failed the whole "clone" thing (when other manufacturers were producing Macintoshes). The cloners, made better, faster, cheaper, systems. Laked a bit of sexyness, but anyway. The inside was great.

Ok, they had financial issues, but from that point on, their products started to be less sexy as they were before in my eyes. G4's were nice and all, but slow and not very useful compared to their Intel equivalents. G5s didnt hold their promises either.

MacOS 8+ was nice and all, but nothing compared to Copland. It was also a lot more bloated than system 7.6.
And then, just like that, the dream was gone.

For those who wonder what was this G3 system, here's first Google link: (in front of this G3 266Mhz you had AMD K6 and Intel MMX CPUS at 200/250Mhz. ) These machines were using system 7.6 (the last system 7)

Reply Score: 2

RE: going down
by Anim8me2 on Fri 7th Aug 2009 02:50 UTC in reply to "going down"
Anim8me2 Member since:

I remember the clones...

They sucked!

We went through almost every iteration made and without exception they were the crashiest things around. We went back to real Apple Macs and crash issues ended. The clones needed to die.

Reply Score: 1

Could not agree more
by ktuludawn on Wed 5th Aug 2009 21:22 UTC
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Back then Apple was selling art. Now they are just selling functional and boooring devices.

I left Apple for that reason. Now they are just another player in the computer / entertainment market.

Reply Score: 2

To some degree I find...
by mrhasbean on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:07 UTC
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...myself agreeing with Thom - insane as that sounds to me as I write it - but if you think about the whole wackiness thing it was at a time when Apple needed to be noticed. They were in decline and needed something to bring publicity. Those wacky designs were great, don't get me wrong, I had a Blue Dalmation and a one of the Lime iBooks too. We owned an internet cafe at the time that was decked out with one of each of the fruity iMacs too.

But as a marketing exercise the wackiness will only get you so far. Once you start to gain some momentum you then need to look further afield at what the wider market wants, and in Apple's case what were the latest "in" design philosophies, which is where the polished and brushed aluminium finishes, shiny white flat surfaces and the like come in. If you remember at the time of those wacky designs there were people criticising the fruity designs as being like an explosion in a candy factory - something that was very non-corporate. For Apple to appeal to a wider audience - to gain more market share in key markets - sadly some of the wackiness was lost.

But yes, some of those designs were show stoppers...

Reply Score: 3

Excellent story
by theine on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:30 UTC
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I'm glad you're running this site, Thom.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Excellent story
by suryad on Fri 7th Aug 2009 17:25 UTC in reply to "Excellent story"
suryad Member since:

Agreed I thought it was very well written and a bit livening up my day.

I think it can be applied to many different things and not just Apple machines ;) People who dont agree with the article that is great but I think there is something more to the article than just 'oh Apple is not making good wacky interesting designs anymore'. Its just a train of thought Thom was following and he wrote it out. I especially liked that girl on the train story. ;)

Cheers Thom!

Reply Score: 2

Well, to each their own...
by Kalessin on Wed 5th Aug 2009 23:28 UTC
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Apple has chosen to go for a different look and market themselves somewhat differently. For some people, it's an improvement. For others, it's a disaster.

Personally, I hated the "colorful" Macs. I thought that they were hideous and I wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole. I much prefer the look of the current Macs. They actually look nice and sleek now. I would never have even considered purchasing one with how they used to look. Now, I might. I still don't think that I ever will - if nothing else because I'm a die-hard linux user - but I'm a lot more likely to buy one now then before.

Whether Apple made the best choice when they left the fruity colors behind, I don't know - that pretty depends on how sales would have been affected one way or the other. But whenever a company makes a significant change in how they do things (and often even minor changes), there are going to be people who love and people who hate it. Thom doesn't like it, so he thinks that "Apple has lost its way." Personally, I think that putting it that way is a bit extreme, but that's his opinion. If anything, I'd say it's an improvement. But, to each their own.

Reply Score: 3

Still art
by Eddyspeeder on Sat 8th Aug 2009 23:57 UTC in reply to "Well, to each their own..."
Eddyspeeder Member since:

I have always loved the status lights (power, HDD) that are in front of most laptops. I’m talking about the ones that used to be orange/green LED and later on often became a captivating blue. Now I see these laptops and comparing them with my 13” MacBook Pro (June 2009), I find the blue lights sluggish, obnoxious and, plainly said, ugly.

But then again, just a few days ago I saw the commercials for the color iMacs again. What were we thinking in those days? They’re ugly!

Looking closely at my MacBook, I see wonderful features (such as: the battery indicator, the hidden sleep light & audio speakers, the pretty much concealed ports... oh and I almost forgot about my multitouch trackpad which was definitely worth the extra bucks!). To me, it’s still very much art!

Either way, I think OS News is getting way off when the general train of thought is that Apple now “lost it”. It’s even still the same designer doing the work (Jonathan Ive). In his Wikipedia bio is a nice overview of the stages he went through: from 1. translucency, through 2. colours and 3. minimalism, to 4. dark aluminum. I'm sure he'll progress on to different designs in, oh, about 2 years or so.

I for one like this "dark aluminum" phase. If you’ve seen the female robot in WALL-E, you still know what hotties Apple is capable of producing.

Edit: And yes, I *do* miss the Cube.

Edited 2009-08-09 00:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Wackiness != Imperfection
by jack_perry on Thu 6th Aug 2009 00:40 UTC
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Then I realised something that became a universal truth for me: it takes imperfection to notice perfection. From then on, it became apparent to me that all the products that appeal to my sense of style and beauty, products that appeal to my emotions at some level or another, are all products that are imperfect. Products that are a little crazy, a little wacky, a little impractical.

Color me bondi blue, but I don't think that wackiness==imperfection. That isn't to say that I think Apple's products were ever perfect (even if I'm typing from one right now) but wackiness itself can lend to perfection.

And where's this "impractical" nonsense coming from? The old Mac's were quite practical in their day, no less than my old Amiga was practical.

Don't get me wrong; I get your main point: the fun has gone out of Apple, largely because they went all corporate on us.


Reply Score: 3

I just switched back to Linux...
by scottsz on Thu 6th Aug 2009 01:08 UTC
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I was a Mac user for three years - switched over from Linux with all kinds of multimedia dreams. Apple was happy to sell me products when they needed a switcher - recently, when I needed to make the switch from desktop to laptop, Apple had nothing I could afford.

All the multimedia wishes I had, I couldn't afford to make happen.

Apple ignored me, while I waited for over a year for some kind of simple tablet or even a netbook. I had a budget of under $600 and Apple had nothing to sell me. Meanwhile, Dell was selling Ubuntu laptops that I could afford, guaranteed Linux supported hardware, and run really, really well with Mint.

Steve wants his iTunes store, and his precious iPhone.

He had the winning cards in his hand - Microsoft struggling with Vista, and people buying multiple Mac Minis... it was right there. Instead of going for market share, he decided to find another market he could play 'premium supplier' in. Pathetic.

There are plenty of conveniences I miss in OSX, but I don't miss Apple as a company. They really have changed. Steve and his inner circle are a disgrace. Great products don't justify evil. I hope the backlash keeps going. Tim and the other ringwraiths are just shoring up the warchest for when Steve passes on and the stock nosedives.

They got me for plenty of money and time, and when I needed them, all their laptops were overpriced. Greed and corruption over there at the Cupertino Palace.

I'm thankful that Linux is still around and still a very viable alternative to the mainstream.

Reply Score: 1

alcibiades Member since:

They really have changed.

Except, they have not changed at all. They always were like they are now. One could go through a long chain of behaviors to show it. What has changed is us, we woke up and looked at what was in front of us.

Edited 2009-08-06 11:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

by melgross on Thu 6th Aug 2009 02:30 UTC
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I like the way Apple is. no large company can survive being a hippy.

So I guess you must REALLY like Microsoft them. Gates and Ballmer were always uptight.

I remember Gates from the '70's from meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club when I used to get out to California. He was a stuck up nerd than, and he still is.

Reply Score: 2

by Eddyspeeder on Sun 9th Aug 2009 00:02 UTC in reply to "Apple++"
Eddyspeeder Member since:

Let's just say: with age comes responsibility ;-)

It was fun watching "Pirates of Silicon Valley" again.

Reply Score: 1

What's desirable
by 3rdalbum on Thu 6th Aug 2009 02:38 UTC
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I work in a furniture shop, and I used to work in an electrical store.

People have always asked me questions like "Does this come in black?" or "Does this come in white?" or "Does this come in a baltic colour, because all my furniture is that colour". They've never asked "Does this come in an metallic-look?"

For god's sake, Apple. Make a wood-look Mac. Make a leather/vinyl Mac. Make a Mac that looks like a dog turd, just get away from the depressing grey!

Reply Score: 3

RE: What's desirable
by jrlah on Sat 8th Aug 2009 08:33 UTC in reply to "What's desirable"
jrlah Member since:

Well, Microsoft already tried the dog turd look with their brown 1st generation Zune. Apparently it didn't work too well ;)

Reply Score: 1

Looks and market share
by spinnekopje on Thu 6th Aug 2009 07:20 UTC
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I really like the unibody look of the macbook pro and there is a good chance I will buy one in the future.
But it would also be nice to see some different colours again for their less powerful machines.

Apple has a healthy market share. It has enough customers that are happy, they are good in what they do and there aren't that many problems like Microsoft has just because of their market share.

Reply Score: 1

He just got old.
by axilmar on Thu 6th Aug 2009 08:11 UTC
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As we age, the wow factor is lost in many cases. Younger people will feel the same things about modern Macs, just like they do for all things they encounter for the first time.

Reply Score: 3

v Never mind!!
by Hakime on Thu 6th Aug 2009 08:18 UTC
RE: Never mind!!
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 6th Aug 2009 08:58 UTC in reply to "Never mind!!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Hakime, we all know you're the resident Apple troll here, which is fine. You're the lightening rod. Nothing to be ashamed about.

Your pro-Apple zealotry obviously obfuscates the points I as trying to make in the article. I didn't say Apple was doing bad, or that the company not being fun any more is going to harm its success.

In addition, I would like to see some proof for the accusations you're making about me having said in the past that Apple was going to die. Please, point me to those articles or comments from that time. I'm intrigued.

Reply Score: 2

You can skin your laptop
by akauppi on Thu 6th Aug 2009 10:57 UTC
Member since:

At least Verkkokauppa in Finland sells Apple laptops with a custom skin "printed" on top of them.

Haven't tried, though, and maybe this is not the real issue, either.

I do agree that they've become a bit boring. Maybe perfection does that to you. Liked the girl-in-the-train story. ;)

Reply Score: 1

v Rant much?
by Buck on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:11 UTC
I see your point!
by Mark Williamson on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:07 UTC
Mark Williamson
Member since:

Much as I like the modern Apple look, which is typically very very slick and much more stylish then their competitors ... Thom's article has reminded me of what Macs used to be like. They were somehow alien, mysterious machines that looked like they were made by some scrappy underdog with design flair. Now they look like they're build by a large, successful, industrial design studio - which they are and it is *awesome*.

I do have a nostalgia for the days when Macs weren't PCs much with way more style and a nice OS, but instead every design was a novelty in some way. To a certain extent, for people who got into this way before me, the same is probably true of the Newton vs the iPhone, etc.

Just before the colourful iMacs, though, Apple did make much more conventional machines, right? Like PCs but with more style and better design - much like they do now. Maybe these things go in cycles (cycles which probably depend on Apple's current level of market success!).

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

Not because I want to take it on a date and buy it dinner. I much prefer the current design to the hippy era, and having several Mac laptops, a couple Mac Pro's, and a couple Minis, I'm quite pleased with the overall reliability and design. Of course that's anecdotal, and I realize people do have problems with Macs just as they do "regular" PC's.

I'm not an Apple fanboy either; though I use a MBP as my main machine, I've got a Win7RC x64 workstation sitting here, as I manage a mixed Windows/Linux environment.

My Mac just happens to offer the best workflow for me.

Unlike many Apple users, I'm not interested in converting people; as long as they're around for me to purchase from them, I couldn't care less what the OS X market share is.

Reply Score: 2

by Eddyspeeder on Sun 9th Aug 2009 00:10 UTC in reply to "I use a computer for it's functionality....."
Eddyspeeder Member since:

My Mac just happens to offer the best workflow for me.
Unlike many Apple users, I'm not interested in converting people; as long as they're around for me to purchase from them, I couldn't care less what the OS X market share is.

Amen to that!

If people I know are *happy* with Windows, then I'm happy for them. I'd even recommend it to people whom I feel are better off using it, just as I'd recommend Linux to anyone who is more suited for Linux.

But I will show others what a breeze computing is for me if they complain to me about their struggles.

Reply Score: 1

Eee 701 > eee 1000
by Amiga64 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:51 UTC
Member since:

Thank you for explaining to me why I love my Eee701 better than my Eee1000. The 1000 is an eminently more practical and capable machine, but the 701 has that crazy feeling of "we're trying to do something different here". Even the crappy screen is acceptable because I love the audacity of using screens meant for portable DVD players to make a cheap laptop.

Thanks again for clarifying that for me.

Reply Score: 1

v Slow news day?
by stodge on Thu 6th Aug 2009 17:23 UTC
"Think different" is over...
by sergio on Thu 6th Aug 2009 18:01 UTC
Member since:

Apple still creates very good products yeah... but that's all. No rebelness, no soul, no risk-taking, no nothing. Blame on iPod/iPhone.

I miss Apple Computer Inc.

Reply Score: 1

Member since:

I have never bought an Apple computer because of looks. Sure I looked at them the same way as maybe a cute girl.

But for me girls/women and computers and everything else have two major parts about them.

Looks and personality. I give up to five points for each for a possible total of ten.

The hottest girl/woman in the world that has a horrible personality gets the same score as an unattractive woman with a great personality. Both of these women would top out at 5 points out of 10.

A girl/woman with decent looks and a decent personality rate higher than both because she would get more than 5 points. Slight better than average in looks and personality is at least 3+3=6.

The personality of Mac Classic OS and Mac OS X (via NeXT) is a personality that is trying to do more than just exist as an efficient machine but to provoke feelings of art in the OS and in the looks of their machines.

Yes their machines have gotten less interesting. Grey is grey is grey. A grey color girl/women would not be as attractive as a tanned girl/woman (be it natural due to ethnicity or sun bathing).

Grey looks sickly. Deathly ill. White looked like purity. Both are/were ... plain.

I have a G3 iMac (not used but it works), a G4 Lamp, a G4 PowerBook (grey and uninteresting) and a white Intel Core 2 Duo iMac (circa Nov 2006).

Yes the earlier ones had more art, more something to them. Thankfully the OS still does. That is what keeps me with Macs. The apps that come with it and the OS itself is better than what you get from Microsoft.

Plug and play is still crappy with Windows when you connect devices to it like a camera or video camera. Why do you still have to install drivers? Shouldn't they already be there? My answer is yes on them already being there and updated through OS updates.

Macs still thrill me but not because of the case anymore so much as the operating system.

I think Apple's, which means Steve Job's, main mindset has been diluted because of iTunes and iPods and now iPhones and iTouches. The clearest point on this is that Apple Inc is not Apple Computers anymore but just Apple.

Just Apple.

Just Apple.

I'm repeating myself here because that's how I'm feeling about Apple.

I'm not switching though. Microsoft is crap. Their products are crap and people are sheep being led to the slaughter house.

Linux is better but only fulfills the geek side of me but not the art side of me that I need. The OS is too industrial. There is no art in Linux. Everything is ugly to look at. Are there any artists involved in Linux? Look at OpenOffice. Actually it is better not to even on Macs. It really needs help in the way it looks.

Reply Score: 2

Come on...
by skingers6894 on Fri 7th Aug 2009 04:31 UTC
Member since:

The unibody laptops and the MBA are probably the most beautiful laptops ever.

Sure they don't come in clear coloured plastic, but everyone "oohs" and "ahhhs" these things.

Apple don't have to "think different" anymore because they are leading the mindshare now . It's everyone else trying to "think apple" now.

This article sounds like one of those guys who likes an Indie band until they become popular and then hates them as if somehow the fact that more people like them now diminishes their quality.

IMHO This is not about Apple being special, this is about you lamenting the fact that YOU are not special as an Apple user now.

Reply Score: 2

Lets start a new cult!
by buurtnerd on Fri 7th Aug 2009 07:42 UTC
Member since:

You are totally right. I feel the same way. Let's start a new cult and use Plan9 (window manager: 9WM) as our new OS. I guarantuee you never have seen anything wackier than 9wm and Plan9.

Edited 2009-08-07 07:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Your priorities are screwed up
by mlankton on Sun 9th Aug 2009 19:45 UTC
Member since:

Why isn't your hardware under your desk, where it belongs?

Honestly, I wouldn't care if my Mac looked like a vacuum cleaner. It gives me OS X running on 8 cores.

Reply Score: 1

by bongo_x on Mon 10th Aug 2009 01:56 UTC
Member since:

First, I'm a pretty big Apple fan, but I don't even have an iPhone so I guess I'm not a fan-boy.

I have know idea what some of you are talking about, Apple lost it? They used to be rebels? I think that you may have been impressed at a certain age and are projecting things that weren't really there.

I've always thought they made the coolest stuff and wonder why others can't seem to do it (although the Palm Pre..). As far as I can see they just keep progressing in a brilliant way.

They did the colorful plastic thing and caught the other makers by surprise, waited for them to catch up and then hit the nitrous button and did a hard left, leaving Dell and such with a bunch of cheap looking, outdated colored plastic designs. They just keep doing it. I thought the first ipod was cool, but the next one was so much cooler, and then the next one. Each time I thought "how can they improve on this?", but they do.

I think you're suffering from an aspect of what I call the "Star War Syndrome". If you were a certain age when Star Wars came out, it was the coolest thing in the world. If you were just a couple years older (like myself) it was a half-assed Sci-Fi film. I thought Kiss was the bees knees when I was a kid, and still have a soft spot. My friend, who is a couple years older but general likes that kind of music, just thought they were stupid.

I don't think the soul was sucked out of Apple, I don't see the big downhill slide, I think they keep moving forward and leading the pack. I don't see their peak in the late 90's either. If they were making wacky , colorful plastic computers all this time, well that would be sad. Then they'd be Dell.

Reply Score: 1