I spent years as the world's most obnoxious Apple hater--back in the day when the "busy signal" on the screen, meaning some process was in progress, was the Mario Brothers goobering their way back and forth, back and forth. This was in the heyday of "Donkey Kong" and "Pac Man," making me about the same age as Noah. It got worse when my wife worked in education and her team had those translucent, egg-shaped Macs, one or more of which failed for some undiagnosable reason at least twice a week. I drove half-way across Denver to fix loose cables, reboot printers, adjust monitors...I'm not a techie by any stretch, but I do have a chromosome for serendipitous luck. Then the white iMac came along and my life changed. Years later I actually banged on a black MacBook for six years, and never had it hiccup--not once. But things change in Cupertino, and today I decided I've had enough. My take is that Steve Jobs, for all the good he and Apple have brought the world, had the notion that if he did it, that's all you needed and his way was how you needed it. What he did and how he did it are etched in stone.
14 months ago I bought a MacBook Air, partly to avoid the many-pound laptop luggable I use at work (there is essentially zero compatibility between the OS X and Windows 7 Enterprise platforms), and partly to cure my lust for an iPad. Well, the MacBook has been to the Apple hospital in Houston four times in six months (I'm going to buy FedEx stock tomorrow) and Apple won't replace it. They keep putting in new parts: memory, video cables, wifi card...the list goes on, but the MacBook continues to exhibit eccentric quirks I don't need to live with. All the Apple techs have graduated from charm school--they're professional, polite, and eternally sorry for my troubles. I learned a few days ago that the acceptable failure rate on certain Apple products is now in the 15% sphere, where it was less than 5% not that long ago. The culprit seems to be their decision to buy cheaper parts. But there's more than that. Apple Mail is possibly the weakest email client in The Local Group, that cluster of a few billion galaxies to which the Milky Way belongs, and few of us get by without email these days. I've asked Apple for nearly 10 years to simply integrate a "Block Sender" button or tab, thereby to get rid of the junk mail that gets thicker by the day. But, NO! You have to write a rule...a new one for each new iteration of some sports betting scam or other piece of bait intent only on sucking the life out of your wallet. Don't get me started about their junk mail filter--a placebo if ever there was one. And good luck should the day come when you want to move the contents of your Lightroom Catalog or your iTunes library to a PC.
Then there's the iPhone, that ubiquitous contraption where you can actually find people watching football games on a three inch screen while they stand in line at Verizon, AT&T or wherever, waiting for an undertrained "Support Specialist" to help them figure out what won't or can't work. First, Siri is an idiot. Case in point--we recently went to a family wedding near Spokane, Washington. The combo bachelor/bachelorette picnic was in a park near downtown, and we stayed at a nice resort hotel a few miles away. On the way to the picnic I said to Siri, "Directions to Manito Park." Siri said, "I found 12 parking lots for you in Spokane, Washington." I tried to get her attention thus: "Manito Park! Manito Park!" Luckily, my brother-in-law was driving, else we should have driven straight up a tree. Siri, ever wishing to please, calmly replied, "I found 15 parking lots for you in Spokane, Washington." I of course thought of Hal, the evil computer in "2001: A Space Odyssy--'I can't do that, Dave,' in a voice softer than a mouse's ear." Blessed are such feeble minded contrivances, for their stock price shall forever rise, no matter what. If you want music for your ringtone, getting it from a track you bought at iTunes is not much of a trick--but God forbid if you want music you loaded from your own CD collection--best you should become a neurosurgeon--it's easier and takes less time. Bitch #3, and the deal breaker between the iPhone and me--every upgrade of any kind (I have no more than three apps on my phone) kills my office calendar and email and I have to reconnect. Every time.
Such angst is beyond my capacity. I have a good friend whom I respect and admire for his many gifts and skills. He is in the "Apple can do no wrong camp," from which I am escaping as we speak.