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 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 Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Different perspective
by Tom K on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:38 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 Parent Score: 8

RE: Different perspective
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:47 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Different perspective
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:47 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 Parent Score: 2