The Long Awaited Apple Rant

My response to a post by David Lee King:

I got to unbox a 1st generation iPad for work and then spent 30 minutes trying to figure it out since Apple decided that an instruction manual would be too easy. Note: I’ve never owned any Apple products so there might be just a thing that you know to do thanks to prior exposure to Apple, but I did not. I found it to be a highly overpriced toy when my half-as-much 2 yr old netbook can do practically everything my desktop can do except edit videos.

I also rooted my Nook Color and have been inseparable from it. I think of it is as my “computer on the go” which I can just toss in my bag. I don’t have to be separated from things that I still needed to get done like watching a show, reading, writing, keeping tabs on social media, etc. Also it is half the cost of an iPad.

The main drawbacks of a Nook Color are 1) The headphone jack cannot be used to attach a microphone since the hardware does not support 2 way signal. 2) No camera.

On the other hand, you can root it and gain access to Bluetooth so you can attach other devices to it.

The below is a bit rambling and my opinion is not popular about Apple products in general. However, I came through my opinion based on hands-on experience.

Breaks down and processes slower. The machines my undergraduate program labs had were suppose to be top of the line, brand new, powerful design enabling machines. Instead, my classmates and I would be embarrassed by our Mac suddenly roaring in the middle of class because we dared to open a second tab on our browser and quickly we’d try to shut everything down. Then the computer would freeze and not turn off. I lost count of how many times someone would reach around and just unplug their machine in order to get it to shut down. When we were rendering our CGI videos everyone ignored the older PCs on the other side of the room. That is until we had time to kill while waiting for Maya to render and someone had the brilliant idea of testing out the rendering on a PC. Soon everyone was transferring their work to the old PCs which could render in half as much time.

Unfriendly user design.The other night I “put a bee in people’s bonnets” when I told them that iPods are not intuitive. Everyone in the room but myself had one. They love them. So easy! I pointed out that I’ve been handed iPods before and was unable to make heads or tails of how to make them work. This $30 mp3 player Thomas gave me? Within 2 minutes I figured out how to shuffle through folders, search for music, change the bass, etc. Apple products are stylish, no doubt, but they are not intuitive. From my understanding, this is why you’re suppose to buy Apple products at Apple stores so someone can show you how to use them. That’s bad product design when you are touting them as being user-friendly.

Overpriced. Additionally the Mac vs. everything else is a type of snobbery. They cost twice as much (or more!) than PCs. When people tout around their Macs and begin making snide comments about how “oh, I wouldn’t even have a PC when I could have a Mac!” it is exactly like standing in a parking lot and loudly proclaiming that your Ferrari is so much better than someone’s Ford. We get it: you paid a lot of money for it. That’s great but that’s no excuse to rub it in other people’s faces that you have money to blow.

Locked down system. So your computer breaks. If it was a PC you could Google the problem and then fix it yourself and save yourself hundreds of dollars in the process. Meanwhile with an Apple, you have to take it in. I read recently that one of the lastest desktop models has the hard drive soldered in so you cannot change it out. What if later on I want a solid state or something bigger? By the way, what was causing the trouble that led to you having to take the computer into the shop in the first place so you can try to prevent the same thing happening again? No can do! No one will tell you. Note: I do not have personal experience with this facet but knew someone who worked at an Apple store who told me about this with pride. I grew up around mechanics who would swap stories of their work, how they troubleshooted, what they tried, and how they overcame problems. These stories became a community knowledge pool. Meanwhile, in Apple world, customers are assumed to have endless fat wallets and should be treated like children with the refusal to tell them what happened to their computer.

The only glowing advantage of a Mac is Final Cut Pro. Comparable PC products cannot hold a candle to the beauty of that program. It has all the factors that people like to attribute to Apple products: style, intuitive, superior performance. I loved working in Final Cut Pro HD so much that I purchased a book to help me work more effectively on my video editing.

I am on my second custom-built rig which is beefed up where I need the power and is fitted with the software that I wanted to install in order to meet my needs. For $400, I can replace a few parts and have a machine that outstrips anything being sold on the market.

The other day I removed a Western Digital hard drive from its external case and installed it within my tower. I laid on the floor with a book light clenched between my teeth as I studied a diagram of where I should reroute pins to. My screw driver laid next to me and I placed the removed screws in the corners of the case to prevent a friendly cat intervention. Then when I was finished, I hooked all my cords back and pressed the power button. My computer bounced back to life and recognized the new 500 GBs of space I had added. It was simple and immediate gratification.

A favorite talking point of Apple lovers is that there are no viruses. I spent days trying to convince one Mac owner that was not true and then had to keep a straight face when their computer was shutdown by a virus. As for myself, I have been online for 11 years this September. In that time my computers have only come into contact with two viruses which means I have spent .04% of my time in the last 11 years worrying about a virus. My free anti-virus hums along in the background solidly protecting my computer so this is not even a concern.

A final note on the iPad: You need a computer to even turn the thing on. Since one of the marketing campaigns was how iPads are the perfect gift for grandparents without a computer, I am sure there was more than one red face on Christmas morning when someone presented their parent with a shiny iPad only to discover that it was completely unaccessible since no one had a computer (and you have to have iTunes’ bloatware installed!) to start the thing with!

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