Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Apple fanbois disgruntled

What happens to Mac fanatics when the brand bums them out?, article.

I was just talking to my friend Laurie yesterday. Amidst camera talk and such, we spoke of Apple, since we both have been enthusiastic Mac users for 20 years or so.
But while we both like the iPad that all dat, we were also both sort of depressed over the way the Macintosh is going.

I said that I'm stuck with a three-year old OS (Snow Leopard, because I can't find good replacements for some of the software I use a lot. This is the first time this has happened ever, normally an Apple OS upgrade was smooth as an apple.

And Laurie said he has a new MacBook Pro and an iMac, and while he loves the machines themselves, he really doesn't like the newest OS, Mountain Lion. It's not pleasant to use, he says. Apple has not improved it recently for professional/enthusiast users, au contraire, they have pushed it in the direction of the iPhone look and feel, presumably in order to lure in the hordes of iPhone users to the Mac system. Basically they dumbed it down.

And the tower model, Mac Pro, which I use, has barely been upgraded or changed at all in several years. Apple is promising one this year, but I'm not holding my breath for something great. Not when the last update to the iMac made it so thin (who asked for that?) that it has to use pro laptop parts, which are slower and more expensive.

And now that Microsoft has jumped the shark in exactly the same fashion (making the interface more like a portable interface, thus confusing a lot of matters), even throwing in the towel and jumping to Windows does not seem promising at all, if it ever did.

I did not see this coming, it's so depressing. Tim Cook repeats Jobs' mantra that they are not in it to make money, but to make great products. I really hope that this includes enough pride they they will continue trying to make a great desktop computer, the product which put them on the map in the first place.

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On top of that, Apple's mind-state of nanny-state now extend to deleting emails containing certain racy phrases. 

17 comments:

Laurie Jeffery said...

For creative professionals like myself, this isn't the best news. Apple do make very, very good computers. They do make very, very good apps. But when they update the OS and the update stops supporting older yet vital applications that we have built our business around, it's a disaster.
It wasn't always like this with Apple. I'm old enough to remember when apps from third party developers and Apple would run on and on perfectly with each OS improvement. For pros like me this was good news and very important to our businesses. Then came OSX and things changed. Wonderful as it is, the new operating system from Apple started dropping support for older apps and later dumping them altogether.
We will get by one way or another, of that I'm sure but it's not the happy partnership it was.
There is nothing worse than a lover scorned and that's how it feels right now. Never thought I'd say that about Apple.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I know!

It was actually kind of miraculous how apps always kept working, when you heard of the problems Windows users had with every damn upgrade.
Even when the replaced the gold-durned PROCESSOR in the machines, it just kept working without a hitch, thanks to "Rosetta". I was unheard of, even Bill Gates commented on it.
I really think they could have continued to include Rosetta, at least as an optional extra.

Bronislaus Janulis / Framewright said...

I've expected to lose some of the older programs as systems get upgraded, but since going to 10.8, whatever it's called, core apple programs don't work properly for me. Mail and Calendar are both not functioning properly. They work as they are supposed to on my phone, but not on the desktop. Mail has been replaced with Postbox, and the Mail app on my Kindle works fine, so I'm working but, but, but ... guess the desktop is being phased out.

Bruce said...

"... I'm stuck with a three-year old OS (Snow Leopard, because I can't find good replacements for some of the software I use a lot."

The kind of people who wrote that software 10 years ago are now writing software for the iPhone and iPad. Hard to blame them or Apple for that.

"This is the first time this has happened ever ..."

Really? How long did you wait before switching from OS 9 to OS X?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I changed immediately, with the beta.

And I dont' recall having to use Classic all that much.

Bron,
It's worse than I thought. Now I'm also getting reports, like yours, that Snow Leopard is just not working well. Gawd.

Bruce said...

OK, I give up. Enjoy your ride on the misery train. I'm sure you will find plenty of other people to share the ride with.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Did I miss you trying to cheer me up!?? :-)

If I was only a writer, I could use any platform, heck, an iPhone with a bluetooth keyboard would do.

But working with large and numerous photos and web design, you need a powerful computer with a very large screen, and when you sense that such a platform may be dying, it's hard not to get on the "misery train".

ttl said...

But working with large and numerous photos and web design, you need a powerful computer with a very large screen

I very much doubt that.

For web design, in terms of computing power, an Intel Pentium is enough. And a 15" screen is plenty. What you do need, though, is access to as many different web browser platforms as possible. But with services such as Browsershots available over the network, this is no longer that much of an issue.

The real challenge in web design is making your site responsive, i.e. intelligently adapt to the smaller screen of the iPhone and other smart phones. So, for web design, what you really need, if anything, is a low-powered device with a small screen. You could make do with Apple's iPhone emulator. But I find being able to test with the physical phone and a real over-the-air connection helps getting a feel for how well it works.

For photo retouching, a bigger screen is nice. But you do not need it. And besides, these days you can attach a big screen to any computer.

In 2004, I created twelve complex digital art works on a PowerBook G4 with a 15.2″, 1152×768) display. Each image was around 5000–8000 on the longer side and consisted of tens of PhotoShop layers, making use of many auxiliary PhotoShop plugins. I wished I had had a bigger screen, and more computing power. But I didn't need either of those. I doubt having had those luxuries would have made any difference in getting my works ready for exhibition.

For the kind of simple photo retouching I assume you do with Domai, I don't think I would even bother to boot up my real computer. I'd do it in the café or while I was walking to the bus stop. ;-)

Ken said...

Apple used to have a policy it seemed to keep old software alive. Since they went to MacOS X that has ended. I have a shareware application that I would need to rewrite from scratch to make it work on current Macs. It is written in Pascal, uses Carbon and compiles to PowerPC, all now unsupported.

Gavin said...

There does seem to be a trend that some (too many, in my opinion) GUI design teams seem think that fashion is more important than functionality. So we end up with Desk Top Environments that look like jumped up Smart Phone interfaces.

Note only are Microsoft & Apple Operating Systems affected, the trend also happens to Linux distributions. For example I used to use the 'GNOME 2' Desk Top Environment, but 'GNOME 3' is effectively unusable for me.

Linux allows me to customise my Desk Top Environment to best facilitate how I like to organise my work.

I have a 30" monitor and currently have 25 Virtual Desktops, of which 18 are in use - I tend to stay logged in for 10 days or more. Each Virtual Desktop holds aspects of what I am working on. I make full use of tabs, not only in browsers (such as Firefox). but also in directory windows and terminals.

The above features appear to be lacking in all the Apple & Microsoft Operating Systems I've ever seen.

Fortunately, in Linux you have a choice of Desk Top Environments. I fled from 'GNOME 3' to 'xfce', and I am now in the process (I have 2 Linux desktops & a Linux laptop) of migrating to the 'mate' Desk Top Environment (which is like 'GNOME 2', but generally more functional).

Linux has the GIMP for sophisticated image manipulation, and there is other such software. I am not in the graphics field, other than out of necessity - I have to design & implement GUI's and web front ends to the systems I design & implement. So I can not claim that all your needs will be met by a Linux distribution, but I do suggest that you investigate them. I use Fedora, but you might find another Linux distribution more appropriate to your needs.

dave_at_efi said...

It took me 3 years to migrate to OS X from OS 9 after it came out. By then, 10.4 was moderately stable -- the previous ones just weren't.

I'm now running 10.6.8, like Eolake, because I have a few PPC programs that I need to use, and I refuse to upgrade them at significant cost, just to be able to run OS 10.7 or 10.8. There are NO features in 10.7 or 10.8 that make updating worthwhile.

I bought a Mac SE in 1986, and have been a Mac user ever since. However, it appears that I have bought my last Apple computer a few years ago. Sad. The company is forcing us to do things that would have been anathema in the past, and lost my loyalty.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

"I'm now running 10.6.8, like Eolake, because I have a few PPC programs that I need to use, and I refuse to upgrade them at significant cost, just to be able to run OS 10.7 or 10.8. There are NO features in 10.7 or 10.8 that make updating worthwhile."

Exactly!

"I bought a Mac SE in 1986, and have been a Mac user ever since. However, it appears that I have bought my last Apple computer a few years ago. Sad."

Well said.

Gavin said...

I remember playing with the Lisa and the first Mac. My impression then, was that the Apple approach to GUI design was condescending and cloying. Not letting you do 'real' work, by 'protecting' you from the command line, single button mouse (more than one button is too 'complicated'!)... They were also excruciatingly slow and monochrome.

The Apple desktop has improved immensely since then and is far superior to what it was initially (especially when it comes to speed and graphics capability). My youngest son (15) got one last year, but this year he chose a Linux laptop from ZaReason for school & general use - previously he used a school provided laptop with a Microsoft O/S.

However, Apple still wants to control what you do far too much: trust us, don't worry your tiny little mind about the details, we'll protect you from 'nasty' things.

I find using Apple & Microsoft O/S's is like flying a mostly automated plane blind with one hand tied behind your back. Possible & safe, but very limiting. A great experience when doing things they assume you will be doing - but painful & frustrating if what you want to do is within the capability of the hardware, but clashes with their design philosophy.

ttl said...

... it appears that I have bought my last Apple computer a few years ago. Sad.

I don't understand this thinking at all. Apple hardware is still the best in the industry. It's only the OS, and the culture around it, that's crap.

For example, the Mac Mini, when equipped with an SSD disk, is a fantastic computer. I had one (running Debian GNU/Linux) for many years, and I found absolutely nothing to fault in it. It consumed less that 10W of energy, and was silent as a snowflake in the night.

The same goes for the MacBook Air 11". It's the nicest computer in its class. I've never used a MacBook Pro, but I hear they are excellent as well.

The iMac sucks for the reasons Eolake has mentioned above, and a few other reasons besides. And as to the Mac Pro, we'll have to wait and see.

Mac OS has always sucked. Recently it has began to suck so bad, that it is no longer usable for much of anything -- which is why people are migrating away from it. But you don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water: the hardware is still excellent. (Even if very expensive.)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Good points, only I'd hate to have to learn an new OS/interface now. I struggle even to learn another feature in Photoshop.

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