Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Oct 2010 20:54 UTC
Apple Is it an indication of Steve Jobs' (in)famous strive for perfection, or just stupid bone-headedness? The white variant of the iPhone 4 was first delayed for a few weeks, but those few weeks became 'end of the year'. Now we know why: the manufacturers Apple employs are apparently having issues matching the shades of white of the various components. This anecdote ties in nicely with a very interesting interview with John Sculley about Steve Jobs' ways of doing business.
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RE[4]: Hmmm
by Neolander on Sun 17th Oct 2010 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Strange. There is e. g. a huge difference in HW usability, though. I've never seen a Dell having something like target disk mode.

What's that ?

Do HPs come with EFI?

I don't know about HP, but my Asus laptop has EFI (just set up to bios emulation as a default setting, for obvious reasons).

Why has DVI output been a standard on even the cheapest Mac laptops for years while HP's still used VGA, etc. etc.

Because DVI is highly overrated ;) No, seriously, as of today, screen connectivity is moving towards HDMI (which is a good thing since it finally unifies TV and computer connectivity). Most laptops come with HDMI connectivity built-in nowadays, except those from Apple (or have they changed their mind recently ?)

I see Apple's HW design choices (and yes: even if the number of suppliers of components is limited, there's still such a thing as a HW design) less a restriction than a set of choices that affects their software. It's part of the platform they build on.

Not sure of that. On a mature market like the laptop one, the configuration is now more or less standard : a keyboard, a screen, a webcam, speakers, minijack sound I/O, USB, wi-fi g+, legacy and HDMI video output, eSata (I really don't know why this one is so widespread now), and a CD drive. Bluetooth is not always there on lower-end models, don't know why exactly since it probably doesn't cost much.

So software does not have to support a wide range of configuration on the PC market, really...

E. g. iChat (AV) is a SW that directly relies on the availability of a cam on every Apple laptop.

Cam is more or less a standard features of laptops now, so this point is irrelevant. Moreover, what if I don't like video calls ? How come I am forced to buy a webcam in the name of some random software which I will not use ?

Even something trivial as sound output - I've never had a Mac with lousy sound output while the HP I have to use at work - even though it has a distinct sound card - has horrible sound quality.

Not sure what you're complaining about : speakers or minijack output ?
If it's speakers, well, it's no secret that good speakers are expensive, especially when they are small (because they have to defy the laws of physics through careful equalization, and things like that).

But if I want a computer just for work, do I need top-notch sound quality just to annoy my coworkers ? No ! So again, HQ speakers should not be a mandatory part of laptops.

Do you want to know why HP even bothered to put a sound chip in the PC? Easy - there are still way to much idiots that think a spec sheet tells the whole story. And that's why some people come to the wrong conclusion that it doesn't matter if you buy HP, Dell, Apple, IBM or whatever.

Indeed, spec sheets don't tell enough. But good vendors make a selection between the available products, and look for at least some level of quality when they go mid- and high-end.

Myself, I'm a bit of an Asus and HP fan, because I have had a very good overall experience with their computers, and a bit of an Acer hater because I've never met an Acer computer which did thermal dissipation right and computer spontaneously turning off because of overheating should have been left to the Apple III era. But I do think that all computer vendors (except Acer) now more or less sell the same thing, once you leave the low-end market where quality hugely varies between one model and another. Choosing a computer is only a matter of knowing what kind of keyboard you want, if sound quality matters to you, if you want bluetooth...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Hmmm
by MysterMask on Sun 17th Oct 2010 18:40 in reply to "RE[4]: Hmmm"
MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12


"
target disk mode

What's that ?
"

See? That's what I'm talking about. You may think that HW is just standardized interchangeable pieces with no engineering any more. But it's how this HW is used to the benefit of the user!
(Target disk mode means you can boot any Mac in a 'disk mode' where it behaves like an external drive to other macs. Very useful in various circumstances e. g. when moving to new HW or in support situations)

On a mature market like the laptop one, the configuration is now more or less standard


And you are satisfied with the given? Engineering is not about selling the same piece of HW 1'000'000 times. It's about pushing further. With the "it's standard" attitude we would have been stuck with CP/M and 8bit CPUs.

I really like vendors that are able to disrupt the 'standards' market with new innovations - that do real HW engineering and not only throw together the cheapest 'standards' parts. That try to improve customer experience and not just brag with useless spec lists.

Cam is more or less a standard features of laptops now.


And why has it become a standard feature? (see my point now)

Not sure what you're complaining about : speakers or minijack output?
[..]
But if I want a computer just for work, do I need top-notch sound quality just to annoy my coworkers?


I talk about minijack output with heavy static crackles (I wanted the sound for not being distracted by co-workers talk. It doesn't have to be top-notch, only usable. And why use an iPod if the box under the desk seems to have all necessary parts for that - but alas ..)

My point was: Selling a PC with a sound card that is not usable shows that even though things seem to be standardized, there are still differences between manufacturers. I'd rather buy a piece of HW from a company that does care about the fitness of the final product and not about specs lists.

Choosing a computer is only a matter of knowing what kind of keyboard you want, if sound quality matters to you, if you want bluetooth...


Your horizon is too narrow for my taste.

Edited 2010-10-17 18:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Hmmm
by Neolander on Sun 17th Oct 2010 20:37 in reply to "RE[5]: Hmmm"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

(Target disk mode means you can boot any Mac in a 'disk mode' where it behaves like an external drive to other macs. Very useful in various circumstances e. g. when moving to new HW or in support situations)

That's just a crappy Mac workaround to replace an ability PC users have had for ages : take the HDD out of the computer with no skills and only a screw driver.

And you are satisfied with the given? Engineering is not about selling the same piece of HW 1'000'000 times. It's about pushing further. With the "it's standard" attitude we would have been stuck with CP/M and 8bit CPUs.

Yeah, I'm satisfied with the current PC market as far as hardware is concerned. Good enough for me, except for the weight/hardness (I'd love to see a computer as light and flexible as a sheet of paper) and those horrible LCD screens that just need to die and be replaced by OLED as quickly as possible.

My main gripes with computers nowadays are in software. Same for most people. There's a lot to fix in there.

I really like vendors that are able to disrupt the 'standards' market with new innovations - that do real HW engineering and not only throw together the cheapest 'standards' parts. That try to improve customer experience and not just brag with useless spec lists.

I think it's that line of thinking that led that engineering failure that shiny LCD screens are to become so widespread. The will to make something new.

And why has it become a standard feature? (see my point now)

I wish it hadn't. I dislike it when I have to buy things I don't need together with things I need.

Edited 2010-10-17 20:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1