New Face of Evil?

03/12/2012 § Leave a comment

The Dark Lord of Design looks over customersImperial Governor Ive (center) looks out over his customers with two high ranking storm troopers from the bridge of Apple Death Star San Francisco

Although I’ve strayed, I don’t use Apple products as a general rule. I broke down last year and bought a MacBook Pro though, as I needed a machine more powerful than my trusty but slightly underpowered Gateway-branded Asus net book; I had a need to run some very heavy-weight programming software from Rockwell Automation and some games I like, which meant running Windows. So I settled for the Mac. It was the most bang for the buck in the store. 2.2 GHz dual-core i5 processor with the ability to over clock (or more like step up) itself to almost 3 GHz, and 4 Gigs of ram, it was the best I was going to do. I was shown a lap top that was rated at over 3 GHz, but it was bulky and I’m a real nut about weight and space, and the Mac was much sleeker and lighter.

Well, I regret that decision now. Later in the year the excellent line of Acer S5 ultrabooks were introduced, and I even found a different ultrabook (make escapes me) that featured an i7 processor running at 1.7 GHz. Plenty of power for what I needed. I thought briefly about a MacBook Air, but I didn’t like that you can’t replace the SSD, apparently its some sort of static assembly within the Air.

But I needed a machine right then, so I walked off with a BRAND NEW, not a refurb, MacBook Pro. And it worked great, for about 6 months. Then the power supply self-destructed. I’ve since removed the HD and recovered my more important files, but seriously? After 6 months?

Before that incident hailing my first and last little fling with Mac products of any kind, I steered clear of Apple for a history of reasons; my first issue was the cost. I would loved to have gotten a Macintosh II personal computer when they came out in the mid 80s, but couldn’t afford the steep price. The Atari ST was a much better deal and one could get a dandy C compiler for it, something called Laser C. I loved that set up. Then the iPod came out, which I ignored for a long time becuase I already had a PMP, a Creative Nomad II, which worked fine. Then Bluetooth came out, and I knew I had to have it. Earphones without a cord seemed like a revelation to me. but the iPod wasn’t getting bluetooth anytime soon. Still, to this day, if you try to listen to audio output via A2DP you’ll get nothing. You have to buy an external USB bluetooth adapter and stack to get hi-fi audio output from your MacBook Pro.

I actually found an inter-company memo, supposedly from the Steve himself, on the net somewhere saying to the effect that “we make too much on third party licensing to build the iPod with bluetooth”, but I don’t have a url for that. Later my live-in girlfriend at the time bought a Macintosh, and I tried to learn the API but didn’t get very far. The tools I found were some Pascal tool chain from the same people that later become Code Warrior, and it just didn’t feel right, and I stopped bothering with it. I didn’t much care for the “love” I was feeling from Apple with regard to their customers, developers, products, the whole schmear. So I never really bothered with any of their offerings after that, until the MacBook Pro.

I suppose I should simply send take it to the nearest Apple Genius Bar and see what they have to say about fixing it. But its not like I dont have a life, so it sits under my desk

In the article I swiped that pic up top from, Apple’s Sr. VP of Industrial Desgin Jonathan Ive discusses his design philosphy. Its boils down to being a collaborative effort.

Wow, there’s a revalation. I’ve been in many organizations during my career. Mavericks who aren’t successful at being a maverick are quickly shown the door. EVERY effort I’ve been involved in where I wasn’t a contractor was certainly a team one. Apple’s enlightned “new” approach to working with design resources isn’t new, its simply logical. What they did have was the Steve himself, and for whatever I might think about the man there’s no denying that he had a different approach to product design and marketing.

Now that the Steve is gone after building a up a mighty empire by carefully choosing what technology goes into the company’s products, can Apple continue to be dominant? Jobs obviously had very tight control over all the aspects of product delevopment. He had total control over the direction of the company. Now that he’s gone it will be interesting to see where Apple goes next.

But I’m still not buying any more of their products.

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