Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Letter from the Editor

Dear Macintosh Noobs,

First of all, SteveJack at MacDailyNews said it succinctly, "Quit whining."

If I may, and trust me, this is my blog so I may, let me expand on that for a moment.

If you're a recent convert to the wonderful world of Apple, welcome. Now, please quit with the dogdamn sniveling. Here are a few things to expect:

The shiny new Apple toy you just bought will be "cutting edge" for a few minutes after you open the box. If you bought the absolute top of the line best product Apple is shipping – say, an eight-core MacPro with 3 TB of HD, 32 GB of RAM, and a 30 inch Cinema Display – it may be cutting edge for several weeks. I wouldn't bet on it, but you have a ghost of a chance.

In a few days or weeks, Apple will introduce something better and drop the price on what you just bought. Probably by a couple hundred bucks. I have used Apple hardware for twenty-one years. I have never bought an Apple computer that was still the latest and greatest when the garbage man took away the shrinkwrap.

It doesn't matter if it's an iPhone, an iPod, or a computer. The day you unbox it, it's usually second tier.

If you think that's a rip-off, please explain why in the comments in twenty-five words or less. Points will be taken off for misspelling, incorrect grammar, obscenities, name-calling, using the Lord's name in vain, weird little chatroom acronyms like OMG and ROFLMFAO, leet-speak, emoticons, dangling participles, split infinitives, references to Linux, odd syntax, comparisons to XP, and run-on sentences.

Apple continually improves its stuff. When it has something better it sells something better. The price of the latest Mac hasn't changed drastically in 24 years. The price of the old stuff goes down accordingly.

A five-year old Mac will fetch a pretty decent price on Ebay. Yes, somebody will buy it. You have to get special permission from the city to throw away a five-year old Acer.
I have a 4Gig iPhone. It was discontinued within moments after I bought it. And the price went down by $200. I was lucky and got the whole refund because Apple has a fourteen-day price protection policy. Here's the thing, though. I knew the risk when I bought it. I thought it was cool enough to pay the extra $200 for it or I wouldn't have bought it. Yeh. I could afford it. If you can't afford to be an Apple user, well... sucks to be you.

Here are some things not to expect:
Six different versions of system software. Apple only has one version of each version.

35 pieces of crippled crapware that force you to look at them in order to use your computer for the first time.

That ugly little blue "e" logo that hasn't changed in 8 years. You can't even get a recent version of Internet Explorer on your Mac. There isn't one.

A 35-character registration code that you have to enter in order to even use the computer.

The blue screen of death.

Pressing the START button to turn the computer off.

The entire system crashing.
And of course one more thing you cannot expect from the Macintosh experience: Sympathy from non-Noobs.

If you own a new Apple product, it will be serviceable for about five years. I'm talking about running the most current version of the system and recent software releases. That kind of serviceable. Yeah, toward the end of life it will get a little slow. I just checked under my eyes. No moisture.

Try to install Vista on a five-year old stock Dell. I mean just try to install it and run it. Then use it to do something, like typing your name in a text editor. Really. Tell me how that goes. I'll wait right here.

Feel free to seek help with any problems you actually encounter, but please keep your complaints to the purely technical if you must snivel. We're happy to help you improve your Macintosh experience.

Finally, if you're really, really, really unhappy with the things Apple does or doesn't do, go back to a generic compu-box running a turn-of-the-century OS (or not quite running a newer OS). We'll miss you. Honest. But we'll somehow soldier through.

Or you can just shut the hell up entirely. That will be okay, too.



Some troublesome grumpy old jackass. (I have a soapbox and I'm not afraid to use it.)

Hey! All elephants have to stay in the coat check room.