Armchair CEO: Apple
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
Nobody reads this, but Apple should really hire me for their Studio position... Why?

1. I love teaching
2. I love Macs
3. I love technology
4. I understand retail (and have worked briefly in it)
5. I have all the requisite knowledge necessary, and can gain more as needed
6. I can stop blogging any day now for that one site that would totally conflict (I mean, I love 'em, but I'd love to work with Apple more)
7. most of my life has been spent evangelizing Apple
8. most of my life has been spent explaining technology
9. I am an excellent communicator-- spent several years doing theater, speech & debate, won awards, get great feedback from students, etc... I RULE THIS!
10. I can SO be Apple's CEO someday. I got the vision, I got the drive, I got the brain.

HIRE ME!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005
 
I MOVED THIS TO HERE BECAUSE IT'S BITCHING, and NONPRODUCTIVE. - the mgmt.

"So before the beginning of our new quarter I was excited to learn we were getting 3 shiny new G5 towers. Well, we're six weeks into the new quarter, and guess how many G5's we're using? NONE. Not because we didn't receive them. Because all three are dead. In fact, they were all broken on arrival. How nice for us.

But why are we still suffering the great aluminum paperweights? Because Apple, despite our corporate mothership purchasing AppleCare, is fiddling with contract stuff. I have, for several weeks now, attempted to "agree with Apple's terms and conditions" so we can get at least ONE new machine in here. So far, no luck. Every time I try to agree I get back a message saying I still haven't done it right. Finally, they sent me a form to fax. No fax number was provided, but its a start.

Rewind a few weeks ago. When we setup the first machine, it seemed fine. I went on vacation, and came back to begin installing Tiger on all the machines. The 1st one suddenly started locking up. One by one, they were all locking up. When I first called Apple, that very first machine had completely given up. I would try to boot as a single user (CLI only), and it would first kernel panic, then hang.

The other two are still sort of functional, but if you leave them on too long one of 2 things will happen: the machine will "wake up" but not activate the screen (resulting in a reboot), or the machine will "wake up" and you'll see the screen, or saver, or whatever was there, for a minute, and then all but the cursor will totally freeze up. Usually the cursor freezes up too, now that I think about it. Either way, it's reboot time. I haven't gotten a full day's use out of ANY of the three we purchased.

Of course, I've jumped through the hoops. Reinstalled using every possible config (archive, and then just wiped the drive). Still happens. Now we can't even return the other 2, because they are beyond the 30 day-swap out cutoff. Now I have to just take them to a service center and let them put Frankenstein back together somehow. Fun.

What really irks me is that Apple just doesn't seem to give a damn. This is an opportunity to show our company how good macs are, useful, reliable, etc. Instead, I get hassled by some stupid contract negotiation I'm not even a part of, and we have 3 POS machines wasting space in my lab.

Get it together Apple. WAKE UP AND SMELL YOUR MISTAKES! Just send us 3 new G5's, shut the hell up and leave us alone. I promise, we will not darken your doorstep for another decade. Not after this nonsense.

UPDATE: When I got back to my work email I found a response from the rep I'd been dealing with. She said to forget the fax, she'd kicked up my comments to a higher-up manager, and he said to just send us a NEW machine. In fact, it's an upgrade to a dualie. That's pretty nice. Too bad I had to waste hours of my time to accomplish this. There is still a net loss of productivity and time on my part. Also, the other 2 machines (which are broken, but obviously not as badly as the 1st) will still be "serviced" locally, and will probably require all sort of Frankenstien work. My first blue & white G3 mac still freezes (OS 9, OS X, and Linux), and I suspect it's a hardware issue. Of course, by the time Apple quit blaming everyone else the thing was out of warranty and now it's a big boat anchor. Bottom line: they don't want to fix anything. They'd rather you buy a new machine and just "suck it up soldier." That's a very unfortunate stance, and in a couple of years it will begin to hurt them..."
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Friday, May 20, 2005
 
Apple - Discussions - Videos not working?

Yep, several unlucky souls (including yours truly) are having issues with iTunes 4.8

Seems the "videos" we were promised with certain songs either aren't downloading or aren't playing.

When iLife '05 came out I wondered why iTunes didn't get an upward revision of note. Mystery solved!
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Monday, February 28, 2005
 
Read that Jef Raskin died. That's terribly sad as I feel like things were just beginning to take off for him again. His group, pushing for a totally new interface paradigm, had just signed a major deal that could have put this interface in front of consumers quite fast...

I hope his work continues even though he is gone.

The other thing is I wish Apple had hired him back. No doubt he and Jobs would never get along, but he could have really made some amazing things.

Learn more about the Humane Interface here:
http://jef.raskincenter.org/home/index.html
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Monday, February 21, 2005
 
So sue me!

Ha ha. Glad to see Apple might be calming down on the lawsuits... However, I know what a distraction things can be, and I can only try to conceptualize what the poor Harvard student who runs ThinkSecret.com had to go through.

Speaking of which, my iBook is off AGAIN for repairs. I think I can figure out on my own what is causing the network to be forgotten, but there's no excuse for a couple of things...

1. The original AirPort card was installed improperly, causing the keyboard to become bent. When Apple installed a new one recently, they did this AGAIN causing the keyboard to bend so bad that the magnets wouldn't attach, and a LOUD clacking noise would occur whenever I typed in the bent area's corner of the keyboard.

2. The paint on the keyboard is wearing off. I'm typing on an iBook purchased in 2001, and ALL the keys look brand new. Underneath there's dirt, dust, hair, and grime, but the KEYS look great. Apple went cheapo on the paint, that's all there is.

So it makes me wonder what corners got cut in the Mac mini. I know the 256 MB of RAM is a joke, and will cause them problems when the average moron tries to burn a CD, download some files, organize photos, and print something all at the same time. Can you say "rainbow wheel?"

I think the rev2 of the mini will sport a more accessible case. Using a putty knife (even for the techs mind you) is a little insane... And RAM should be easily upgraded. Especially when Apple charges nearly 4 times the going rate for 1 gig sticks...

Looks like this blog is going to take a break for a while as I will be focusing on my book, case biz, and other projects.

Until my next mac gives me reason to complain.
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Friday, January 21, 2005
 
Mac vs. Mac: Apple's OS Split Personality

There's a cage match in your mac. If you've got a .mac account or iLife apps, you've got a split personality...

In one corner, your operating system and the Finder. Most people simply use folders (also known as directories) to store and sort their data. This metaphor has been around since before the graphic user interface (GUI), and despite the ranting of Jef Raskin, continues to be the ruling paradigm in personal storage.

In the other corner, there's the "storage" system of iLife and .mac... No doubt you have music in iTunes. That's not too bad, except iTunes has decided to sort your music by author. Now iPhoto is another story. It has one of the most confusing and frustrating file structures I've ever seen. Now for fun, open up iMovie. While it's cool that you can access your photos and music from within iMovie, you shan't ever mess with the OS!

Here's the deal: if you put all your files in the folders where YOU want them, the iLife stuff won't like it.

I ran into this in, of all places, the Desktop Pattern prefs. There's a little section for iPhotos, and one for folders of your own. I had downloaded quite a few cool desktops, and wanted to use them. But slow caching makes that folder crawl when I put it in the prefs. The iPhotos work much faster. But importing those desktops into iPhoto is unnecessary and wasteful-- they are copied into the iPhoto folders.

You can see where problems creep in. If you don't use iTunes, it's bad too. iMovie puts together a rag-tag group of files also...

Add you .mac, and you now have localization issues. I recently set up an old mac as a backup. Since you can use .mac to sync machines, I thought, cool, all my bookmarks and such will be here! But alas, I had changed the user name to Homer Simpson. And now, when I get email, it's addressed to him, not me.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2005
 
Apple - QuickTime - Macworld San Francisco 2005 Expo Keynote

I tried to watch the keynote tonight, but QuickTime, as a streaming media, is just terrible. I've got good pipes into the house, but QT clearly doesn't handle loads appropriately. It took a LONG time to connect, and never rebuffered. But audio kept dropping out, video lost sync, all on a decent G4 machine. BOO!!!

Anyways, BIG news in Apple land. Picking up on the millions of iPods sold over the holiday season, I think they are in a really good position to finally increase their market share. The Mac mini is just brilliant. Just a few percentage points would mean a lot to the bottom line too. Can't wait to see the stock tomorrow!

And a $99 iPod? Whoo baby, better get 'em now before they sell out for xmas. Let's just say this thing will literally be flying off the shelves.

I'm not so impressed with iLife and iWork. How many people don't use spreadsheets? Well, you won't with Apple, because AppleWorks is still around, still sucks. No new spreadsheet in iWork. So you won't be working too hard. I'm also not sure why iWork's Pages app doesn't seem to be touting any web page building functionality.

Oh wait, I know why! They don't want to piss off Microsoft or Macromedia. Although they should piss off Macromedia. Those turkeys still have yet to put Flash player on a Palm, and still don't have Flash optimized for OS X. Losers.

Anyway, there's some other stuff. iLife '05. Yeah, this was inevitable. I'm not sure why, but the educational price is quite a bit steeper. Like a 200% increase. Why? Another nonplus event: "Magic Movie Editing." Oooooh, they finally put in a feature that Microsoft has had in their Movie Maker app for some time now. Cupertino, start your copiers, heh.

But this Mac mini thing has me excited. For $1002 you get:
a 1.4 GHz G4 CPU,
80 GB drive,
DVD burner,
512 MB RAM,
802.11g,
Bluetooth,
and a wireless keyboard and mouse.

With my educational discount it's just under a grand. Pretty. Frickin' Sweet.

Now I'm going to go create a how-to describing how you can turn the thing into a Media Center PC to rival Microsoft's piece of crap...
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