Day 1261 – Creeping Dread

I’ve used Apple hardware since my father first bought an Apple II computer decades ago. He bought it because of Visi-Calc the first spreadsheet program with sufficient power to do the statistical modeling he needed. I sort of learned “integer basic” and became enamored of my new-found ability to make a computer do what i wanted as opposed to simply running apps and games on it.

Later, at college, i gained some exposure to the Next Cube and its Display Postscript interface. At that moment, although i didn’t realize it until later, i became an Apple Fanboy.

Flash forward to my years as a console jockey for a computer graphics company in NYC. I remained a loyal Apple fan and here’s why: the experience of using Apple’s interface was far nicer than the standard Windows counterpart. The actual applications (Powerpoint for the most part) was largely identical on both platforms so that wasn’t much of a factor, but using the Mac felt better. Also the Mac had better support for Postscript which was the lingua franca of desktop publishing, so to some extent my choice of platform was dictated by profession.

Now, flash forward once again. Apple survived the dark years of Steve Scully and Gil Amelio, Steve Jobs was reinstated as CEO and he worked his magic (part reality distortion part empowering designers) and turned Apple back into an ascendant competitor.

Life seemed good right up until the moment Steve announced a change: Apple Computer would now be known simply as Apple. In retrospect i should have sold my Apple stock at that moment and here’s why: Apple has indeed stopped being a computer company, they are now a Media company.

Ok, that is hyperbole. Apple still produces computers, good ones in fact, but a blind man can see their focus has shifted to media players, media presentation and media sales. I have no use for such technology. Sure i own an ipod, but i rely on Apple hardware and software for my livelihood. No Apple computers = no money for jeremy = no purchases at the iTunes store.

The experience of using Apple software (OS X Server to be exact) has degraded to a point where choosing one technology over another based on “feel” is almost moot. That Apple simply re-packages open source tools but fails to truly “Apple-fy” the process of using those tools demands conscientious users ask “why pay money for free software if the value-add is nebulous.”

So i sit and watch as Apple morphs into a maker of consumer tools and dread the day when i wake up to hear Apple has sold off its hardware business and separated off its computer software from its media software. I wonder what Chinese company will be buying?

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