July 5, 2007

Apple Mac: it just works … my ass!

Filed under: belous,osx — SiKing @ 4:47 pm

BSOD by Mac

The first computer that I ever worked with was an Apple II (the “Darth Vader” one). Even after I discovered the IBM PCs and clones, and other machines, I still kept returning to the Apple. I was impressed that it just worked right out of the box. When you powered up the Apple in those days, you were greeted with a prompt and a functioning machine within a minute or so, because it had an OS and BASIC built right into the ROM. The alternatives needed at least twice as long to go through their POST during boot, and they needed to load an operating system from a disk in order to be of any use. In those days I dreamt of owning an Apple IIc+. Then reality set in: the Apple cost at least twice as much as the clones, the operating system could not be upgraded, and the hardware was difficult and expensive to upgrade as well. I never looked back after that, until …

My SO wanted to get a new computer: “a pretty laptop”. She is not interested in how a computer works she only interested that it does work! Being the geek that I am, the first conclusion that I jumped to was Linux. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized that this would not be the right choice for her. She wanted a complete solution, that just works right out of the box. She wanted a Mac! I first had to convince myself: one-button mouse (how difficult could that be?), the OS is built on top of a BSD kernel (how kool is that?), comes with all the apps that she is interested in … a no brainer.

While she now enjoys playing around with it, I only get stuck with fixing all the “it doesn’t just work” stuff! How the fsck do you configure anything without a right-click? Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

First thing that blew me away, it doesn’t even have Czech localization! All the free apps that I suggested she install had perfect localization, but Apple could not be bothered to localize the OS?!?! The hardware, BTW, did have the localized cs-qwertz keyboard – to this day I cannot find how to configure two different keyboard layouts.

Next was that struggle trying to get it to boot from the CD, followed by the nightmare trying to get it to boot back from the internal drive! Followed by plenty of other screw ups that didn’t just work. I gave up on trying to get the piece of crap to connect to my wireless modem using WEP. Can someone explain to me why OS X comes preinstalled with a utility that handles .zip compressed files, but not with “the most common Mac compression format” .sit? I don’t get how a non-technical people can live with this shite!?!?

Today was the topper, though. We will be travelling over the coming weekend, and we figured that we would take “bělouš” (whitey) along, and watch a couple of movies in the evening. The Book comes with this fancy looking charger, where you can just replace the end that goes into the power supply, so how difficult could it be to make one end that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter? Apparently, freakin’ impossible for Apple! Check this. The Book comes with a power supply, that according to Apple’s own store costs US$79 or €89. Now right away, WTF is with that price conversion? Now if you want to actually travel with your portable notebook, you also need to buy the US$39 / €39 universal power outlet adaptor kit. We now got US$118 / €128 worth of accessories, and you still cannot charge your Book from a car lighter! The Apple store recommends a third-party US$69.95 / €79.95 “only currently available product (other than an Apple power adapter) you can use to charge MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks”. They fail to mention it is the only one that will charge from a car outlet.

As someone pointed out today: it’s just Mickeysoft in sheep’s clothing. Anyone wanna start a lawsuit against Apple for false advertising; I’m in!


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