Day 1425 – New Toy
Over the past 20 days i’ve turned 45 and Annette’s apartment in The Bronx was robbed. Great month, just great. But, the good news is 45 is the new…. fuck it, it’s not the new anything. It’s 45. The good news is Annette was not home when the bad guys came a-callin’, the perps were fairly professional taking only the one thing of value in the apartment – her computer. Oh, and her jar of change.
They were nice enough to leave her twin external hard drives, so she brought them out to Idaho, i wiped my beloved 17″, restored her last Time Machine volume, and Hey Presto! she was exactly back to where she’d been about a week and a half ago.
I, of course, ordered a new 17″.
After three days with the new computer the jury has returned with a mixed verdict. The hardware is stellar. The unibody construction is brilliant, the screen bright and tack-sharp, the keyboard is as good as the chicklet keyboards currently shipping. However that’s pretty much where the all-good ends.
The screen is very susceptible to vertical viewing angle alternating from washed-out to too-strong as you raise and lower your viewing position. In fact, it’s not the best left to right, either. The backlit keyboard is still quite good, but the keys are black plastic. I miss the sliver keys. There is no FW 400 port. There is a FW 800 and three USB ports, but this missing port is irksome.
The next bit is far more annoying: Apple has *again* come up with a new display port. Yes, yes i understand there simply wasn’t room for a full-size DVI port, but my real argument is with the marketing of this new port. I bought what i thought was the requisite adaptor ($20) at the time i ordered the machine. What was not made clear at the time was that adaptor will not work with the old-school fluorescent-powered 30″ Cinema Display. After some searching and, for the first time ever, a service call to Apple, i learned i needed to buy the $100 adaptor… the one that’s USB powered. Ohhh, of course, i should have realized.
Anyway… it’s a great machine, incredibly light yet solid. I had used my previous 17″ for upwards of 10 hours a day for almost two years and had developed quite a bond. Afterall the machine performed flawlessly from the day i turned it on. So i suppose some settling-in with the new snazzy arrival is to be expected.
But my larger concern is I fear Apple’s best days are past. They haven’t scaled well. Their quality has declined, their innovations have slowed, they’ve lost focus.