Apple = ****

Not the fruit, the hardware manufacturer. So many time I hear the cries about how wonderful Apple are, but let’s face it – their stuff is design over function. All their stuff is the height of cool. It looks fantastic. The user interface on the iPod is genuinely a dream to use. But they’re fragile and unreliable. The first thing any sensible person buys for an iPod is a protective sleeve and a screen-scratch protector. Surely for an item designed to be portable, this kind of protection should be built-in, not an optional extra?

And now Apple have joined Sony’s policy of preventing people making full use of a product they’ve paid for as the recent iPhone updates can shaft an unlocked product. Sont have been doing this with the PSP for a couple of years now, but at least it only stops you using the homebrew and cracked software you’ve downloaded. The Apple update actually renders unlocked phones permanently useless and has also been causing problems with unaltered handsets. Well done, Apple.

I hear so many pro-Apple arguments. Their stuff looks nice. Well, whoopee. I want something that works, is upgradeable and for which I can get all the software I want. My PC is to be used, not to be looked at. PC’s are targets for viruses, whereas Apples aren’t. Horseshit. There are antivirus scanners for Apples as well – if they don’t get virii, then why do they have scanners? PCs are a more common target as there are more PCs. If the world ditched MS and moved to MacOS or whatever it’s called this year, in three years time they would be the major target.

As I said, I admire the design of Apples. If I wanted something to put on a desk and look shiny to show off how much money I have, I’d get a Mac. But for useability, upgradeability and sheer “tinker” factor, the PC rules hands down.

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John Coxon

I have to say that Apple have no real reason to support iPhone hacks, but you are entirely correct – locking down iPhones that have been hacked *is* totally out of order. However, I cannot bring to mind a single example of a company that I love or that I hate that has never made a bad call like Apple have done with regards to the firmwares of the latest iPod range. Nintendo has made mistakes, Sony has made mistakes, Microsoft have made mistakes. What really captures the situation is that Apple and Nintendo make far less mistakes of this nature than MS and Sony. Vista is ****, and in about a year XP will no longer be available. Given that OS X Leopard is, actually, a better coded OS than Windows, it’s a viable solution.

For a geek like you I’d not expect OS X to be your OS of choice, I’d be going with either XP or Linux, but for the casual user who just wants something that works easily, Apple make decent software at relatively low prices (compare Leopard to Vista, or iWork ’08 to Office for Mac ’08 – admittedly iWork is less powerful, but not by that much!) and the hardware is not extremely expensive (it’s not cheap, and it’s the uncomfortable side of reasonable, but arguing it’s a ripoff seems misguided).

I also know why the new iPhone firmware is so tightly nailed down – if people could hack the iPhone firmware there is a slim chance they could hack the iTunes Wi-Fi Store, which would clearly affect Apple’s revenue and make it inherently less secure. I don’t think Apple should have broken hacked iPhones but making the iPhone more difficult to hack was always going to happen once iTunes Store became available.

Agreed re: Apple. Every time I have to use one, I get frustrated with the Mac OS in about five seconds. And why can’t they figure out that a right mouse button is useful?

Also agreed re Sony – I could blather on forever about the copy-protection and annoying software for my Minidisc, or the fact that they insist on using Memory Stick which is a format that nobody else cares about (unfortunately, it’s cheap and works fast, so in fact I don’t really dislike it, but on principle…)


John Coxon

Uhhh, you realise you can just do (IIRC) CTRL + Click to right-click, if the owner isn’t sane enough to have bought a two-button mouse, right? Apple’s latest mouse (which you have to buy seperately, natch) is a two-button mouse that looks like the old one-button mouse – I’m using it at the moment.


In order:

JC – if iTunes wasn’t so evil, I’d feel sympathy. I loathe DRM so if the whole thing comes crashing down one day I will laugh, and dance and pee on its grave. The thing is, they’re not just trashing hacked phones, they’re also trashing ones which (allegedly) haven’t been unlocked. This is unforgivable and points back to the usual issue with Apple – design over function. They’re made a beautiful piece of equipment that’s been designed internally by slightly stupid monkeys.

Ric – Sony and the old CD protection was one of the stupidest stories of all time. Making it impossible (they thought) to copy them by making them unplayable in CDROM drives. This actually *trashed* the drive on some Macs, and the CDs refused to play in some regular stereos. Fuckwits. And yes, memory stick is annoying (I use it for my PSP, though, so I only have the one which stays permanently inside the device) – but so is the fact that there are about 10 different types of hardware memory to choose from. Sod’s law, I’ve gone with Fuji and Olympus for my cameras which use xD – by far the most expensive. Dammit.

JC (again): Actually, I think I did know that about the keypress. But you shouldn’t need to know! As for selling a 2-button mouse separately… good grief. What next? “Get our new expanded keyboard at an extra $44.95 plus S&H… includes *VOWELS*!!!!”

John Coxon

The vowels thing is actually Microsoft’s next sales policy. True story.

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