Armchair CEO: Apple
Saturday, July 12, 2003
Apple, apple, apple. My love/hate relationship with them began when I was six, no, younger than that. We were still living in NC, and my parents were finishing their graduate degrees. We got an Apple ][, and I remember first playing "Star Wars" on it, complete with off-tune theme song and difficult gameplay (using paddles).

BUT, that computer was put to extremely good use for the next *decade*. How many people can say that about any computer? OK, I know a few. Heck, some people are still using Timex Sinclairs... for good use...

Often though Apple frustrates me. I'm not talking about little GUI annoyances in OS X, or even the old OS issues. I'm talking about really bad stuff, like hardware that doesn't work.

Historically the monitors I have purchased from Apple have gone horribly, horribly wrong, way too fast. Almost without exception they have died a bad death, leaving me squinting, bashing them, or just living without the color red.

My first mac of my own was a pizza-box Centris that barely fit on my desk in college. It had a really cool keyboard that split, to make it more ergonomic. But it ended up not working, although I have to admit I was pretty hard on it (college).

What really has burned me the worst was what I thought would be the best mac ever: a Blue and White G3. Cool new case, all new technology. Uh, except I got the "revision 1" model (revA actually), that CAME WITH a faulty ATA chip, meaning any slave drives would inherently be unstable... A reputable manufacturer would issue a recall, and fix the problem. Or at least let me know it needed to be fixed. But instead, I learned about it 2 years later. AFTER spending a ton of money on a system that would simply never work. The machine would freeze, the firewire never quite worked, and OS X (when I installed it, thinking it would fix all this) would kernel panic within a couple of hours.

And the mac community is no help. What you've got are a bunch of apple apologists who blame the RAM, or solar flares, or whatever, and claim Apple is GOD, and I'm a crank... Yeah, Jaguar won't even get past the startup diagnostics without exiting to the shell, and I'm the crank. Whatever.

So I'm thinking about Yellow Dog Linux, but even that I'm a little sketchy on. What if it dies too? I hate to sink more $$$ into a machine that appears to me to be on its last legs. The firewire finally died entirely, and obviously something other than the ATA chip is bad.

Next time I'm going to talk about the "Apple community", fanatics, and why it's good and bad for Apple's market share.

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