I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I am going to anyway. The reason people like Apple’s so much is the way the company treats them. My optical drive died. I easily scheduled an appt. I showed up to a clean store brimming with help, and was waited on in a few minutes, signed a piece of paper, and left.
That night, I received a call that my laptop was already fixed. Went back to the Apple store, in an out in 5 minutes. And everything works, and they even cleaned the entire laptop and it looks brand new.
There simply is no other product in my house by any company that receives the same kind of treatment (the closest thing is my vet, who is just wonderful). Getting anything else that breaks almost always turns into an ordeal. The Subaru dealership is pretty good, but it still isn’t the Apple Store.
Yes, I know you all have your issues with the OS and with the whole Apple v. PC debate, but there is a reason people love Apples. They work, the hardware is solid, and when something breaks, it is actually a pleasant experience getting it fixed. And I don’t care if Steve Jobs occasionally tries to take over the world. If I could, I would try, too, and my world would not be the benevolent dictatorship Jobs wants to set up. A lot of you people suck, and in my world you would just have to go.
Apple was horrible with my iPod about seven years back. Charged me a cool hundred to fix my battery issues (yes, one of those) and didn’t fix it. Said they upgraded the firmware.
Swore them off for years, until the iPhone. My first two busted very quickly. Broken home button, broken screen lock switch. They replaced them both and extended the warrantee another six months upon replacement. Really a positive experience.
My wife’s experience with Lenovo was no such thing.
It’s the gorgeous, clean, sleek, Pokemon-meets-Swiss design look of the products & ads. Minimal user involvement is one of Apple’s best features, but it’s also just part of the aesthetic. You’re in love with the packaging, admit it.
Your last line made me laugh. It reminded me of the line, “I want to be the lifeguard of the gene pool.”
Congratulations on your cult membership; your black turtleneck sweater is in the mail.
(sorry; couldn’t resist)
Sucks to your fat face.
This is why I keep coming back to BJ.
Edit: Also, I find the Apple stores pretty convenient, too.
I’ve had amazingly good luck with all my Apple products, which includes two desktops, two laptops and two iPods over the years… The only major malfunction was a mother-board issue in my G5 that AppleCare covered. The local authorized repair center (this was prior to the apple store in Ann Arbor) sent someone 15 miles to my house to pick up my machine and take it back to the shop in Brighton.
When it was ready they brought it back to me.
If you depend on your computer for work, like I do, I would highly recommend buying the AppleCare. Over the years, I might not have gotten my money’s worth if you add up the premiums vs the one repair, but I look at it as incremental insurance. Laying out the cash for that major repair would have been a wipeout.
When I lived near Apple stores I had the same experiences and opinion.
Now that the closest one is two hours away and the closest tech to work on Apple is an hour, the Apple’s boutique experience is a less than satisfying. And no, Best Buy is not a good alternative.
I am still an Apple person for most things, but I just pray nothing ever goes wrong.
Clearly, you have never cracked the screen of your iPhone and tried to replace it, only to be told that Apple has no cracked screen policy and you will just have to purchase an entirely new phone for multiple hundreds of dollars.
And Apple can go fuck themselves until AT&T isn’t their primary carrier. Also.
I bought a Mac Book Pro whose battery decided to inflate several times its normal size eight months later. I took a quick trip to the store, and they sent me on my way with a new battery free of charge. Instead of requiring me to try to ship the unstable battery (USPS frowns on inflated bags of acid), they took it off my hands for me.
My other experiences have been similarly positive. While you do pay more initially, the experiences afterward have been extremely pleasant.
When a family member’s iPod died, we phoned the Apple store. Soonest appointment was in two weeks. They said it was probably the battery. We could bring it in and they’d send it off for us, Apple would replace the battery and the whole thing would take a month. Or we could send it to Apple ourselves and it would also take a month. Or we could bring it in (at the two-weeks-hence appointment) on the off chance it was something else.
None of these options seemed particularly good. So we ordered an aftermarket replace-it-yourself battery kit online, replaced it ourselves, and it works great.
Went to the Apple store once with a friend. They didn’t have what she needed. Wasted trip.
Color me not that impressed.
Damn, I want to hear that back story!
Anonymous At Work
Apple products are great products if you don’t mind only using things that are approved of by Apple. iPhone apps are the closest to open-source that Apple is ever going to get. They make Microsoft look like Linux at times.
When I needed iPod service, I went through doing a reset with the guy on the phone. Then he decided it was a hardware problem, said it would need to be swapped. They said they needed my email address. I said, no I hate getting spam. They swore up and down that it would only be used for tech support. I gave it to them, and and been flooded with apple spam ever since.
So I went in, they dicked around for half an hour reseting it again. Then gave me a new ipod, which failed in exactly the same way.
And the guy in the store was creepy as fuck. Constantly smiling. Like while I was describing what was wrong. It was like he didn’t understand human emotion and Jobs had programmed him to be unfailingly pleasant. It gave me the heeby jeebies.
I agree with this, even if I would be near the front of the line in your dictatorship.
The no-fuss customer service, quick turnaround of the Apple store is great, but I’ve rarely felt quite so empowered as replacing a $40 optical drive all by myself.
Fried the battery on our MacBook Pro 17 when it was out of warranty. Walked up to the local Apple Store and asked them about it. The guy at the desk sort of looked around, walked into the back room and handed me a new one, no charge.
And like Cole the service at my vet’s is just as good or better but then, she’s my sister-in-law….
The hard-disk failed out of warranty and I had to replace that. Even though I didn’t have an “appointment” they took it and repaired it in a day, although on my dime. Fair enough I guess.
Recently the sound on-off key broke on my iPhone and yes, no warranty on that. The guy asked if I dropped it to which I replied, of course, all the time. Again, he walked into the back room, brought out a another (probably a reman), loaded the software and handed it to me, no charge.
Yes, Apple can seem a bit much but frankly my experience with them is far better than any other company that I’ve dealt with recently. They’ll be getting my wife’s business for a new iPad soon.
You are certainly paying a premium for all of that service, whether your stuff breaks or not.
It’s the price that bugs me about Apple, particularly with laptops. To any objective observer (a caveat one must add when talking about fans of Apple or Fox News), Apple’s laptops are no better than many other top of the line laptops out there, but they really bleed you for it. They bleed you so that they can pay for Cool Looking Stores and for college students who wear vintage Husker Du tees to help you with your computer so that you think that you must be cool, because, look! A kid with a Husker Du t-shirt is fixing my laptop!
It’s a long con, not dissimilar to George W. Bush using government funds to wage right wing warfare on Democrats. Apple takes money from the Kool Kidz so that they can continue to fool the Kool Kidz into believing they are Kool Kidz.
I know I am going to get the shit flamed out of me, but I really do see similarities between some Apple fans and some Wingnuts. In both cases, it’s suspiciously strange that their particular obsession is NEVER EVER wrong EVER. It’s very cult-like. Apple never fails the customer. The customer fails Apple. If, for example, a customer doesn’t like iTunes because it is bloated POS software that requires most of your memory to run, it’s not Apple’s software engineering incompetence! It’s the customer’s fault, for daring not to own a computer with enough (Apple) memory to run Apple’s super-bloated software.
I happen to own an iPhone and I freakin’ love it, and I don’t care what Steve Jobs does with his billions, but I am also filled with sadness when I see intelligent people fall for what is ultimately just so much marketing bullshit. The creation and distribution of delusion isn’t generated just for the people in the sticks. It affects intelligent people just as completely. And Apple is exhibit A, not for Apple’s genius as a technology company, but for Apple’s genius at conning smart people.
Did Tunch shit your bed John?
I’ve gone into the local Apple store to “browse”, it’s not good for that, totally sucky experience… but they do get your broke shit repaired without the hassel.
So like everything else, there’s the good and the bad.
About that wonderful vet; in Tunche’s world, you SUCK and BTW, your bags iz packed.
I’m planning on getting a desktop by the fall for school. I’m in school for design. Plus these design companies practically demand or require that you know how to use a Mac.
If you can afford Apple’s prices, sure. I had a PowerBook G4 500 Mhz that would have been $500+ to fix via Apple’s setup. I paid $300+ at a different shop that was Apple certified.
Still, Apple products have almost always worked for me. Just last night I unpacked and rebooted my teal iMac Rev B with OS 9 and it still works. I have a 1.25 Ghz eMac that I’m writing on right now, a 400 Mhz G4 tower that I got for free from work that my parents use, a PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz that works like a charm, and an iPhone that I’ve had for a year and not had a single problem with so far.
I hear the Nazis kept the trains on time.
About 3 years ago my Ipod crapped out.
Went to Apple store. Was told I’d need to make an appointment with a “Genius” which in Apple speak apparently means teenager with a ton of piercings.
Made appointment (for 2 hours later) and was told to come back.
Milled around the mall for two hours then returned. But no pierced teenage genius was “available”. Waited in store for another hour which I spent talking to customers shopping, explaining that you’d have to be crazy to buy anything from these people.
Continually, I asked if I could just drop it off and come back when it was fixed. Nope, gotta wait for the pierced “genius”.
Finally, after an hour and a half waiting (3 1/2 hours total) they asked if I’d be willing to just leave it.
Hung around telling the story to shoppers in the store. (Bad idea to screw people around in your retail outlet it turns out.)
I’d rather shove an actual apple up my ass then step foot in that store again.
My sister’s MacBook Pro hard drive crashed last week. I’m pretty savvy with computers and tried to fix it/save it myself. Hooked it up to my laptop, slaved it over Firewire, used DiskWarrior, Disk Utility, Data Rescue, Drive Genius. NOTHING WORKED. The drive appeared to be gone.
But the laptop was still under AppleCare. She took it to the Genius Bar, and within two hours those guys had somehow accessed the drive, transferred all of her data to a new drive, and installed a new drive for her. I was pretty freaking amazed.
@BombIranForChrist: Apple’s stuff does cost more, though if you compare it to something like a Sony Vaio or a ThinkPad, the price difference is typically fairly small; any of those are much more expensive than low-end Dell stuff or the like.
And sure, you are paying for the brand, but you’re also paying for the costs of developing the operating system (said costs being spread out over a much smaller userbase than what Windows has), and for the ability to do what John did and actually walk into a store with a broken laptop and have a fighting chance of getting it fixed in short order.
Yes, Apple is providing that service for free!
You could buy expensive extended warranties at car dealers and get great service. In fact, car dealers usually have great service in beautiful waiting areas, for only 4X the cost of the local Meineke.
It seems strange, now that any device can hook to the internet, and is no longer reliant on costly software for most of what it does, that Apple people are on a mission to get everyone onto Apple. Was it because they were left out of the network effect for two decades that they are very sensitive to it? But there is no network effect from owning an Apple or PC anymore. All devices connect to the internet and all browsers read all web pages. In fact, with the iPhone, more other users actually make your network worse (since ATT can’t handle the traffic). You would be better off, as an iPhone user, if less people were using the service.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
I sense that no good will come of this thread.
Kinda like popping in and saying Calamity Jane Hamsher is a force for good.
I think people largely invert what Apple’s strengths and weaknesses. On the pure technology front, Apple’s really not all that strong. There really isn’t a lot there which is cutting edge. There’s not a ton of big breakthroughs taking place.
Most of their gains the last few years have come from their actions surrounding the customer. The Apple Stores, the app store, how the iPhone broke from a model where cell phones were designed to the needs of the carriers rather than the customer, and so on.
They’re far from perfect, but overall they are getting better as they’ve gotten more financially sound and been able to take more risks. Apple Stores are the highest rated retail chain in the country, and they’re the highest sales chain as well on a per square foot basis. One of the risks to the store experience is how heavy the traffic has become. The 5th Avenue store in NYC racks up $400M per year in sales – in a 10,000 square foot store. It’s almost impossible to keep a good customer experience going with that kind of traffic. Apple averages $4,000 in sales per square foot per year. Stores like Best Buy are around $1000. Costco about $700. Starbucks is only around $100. Apple is putting more staff in each store than any other chain can afford to do, but if you try to deal with them during the holidays it can be very frustrating – the busier stores are impossible to hold a conversation in they’re so crowded.
But here’s a tip: if you need to get something repaired/replaced that you’re not sure Apple would cover, go in during a peak period to the busiest store in your area – Black Friday is ideal, but right after a product launch works well too. On those days they’re selling merchandise so fast that they get really lax on their replacement policies. They’re likely to hand you a new iPhone just to get you from tying up one of the staff for half an hour.
My last several computers have been built either by the Kurds who own the computer shop down the street or by me. You can get a kick-ass box for less or way less than $1000 (yeah, you can get a Dell or HP even cheaper, but without the kick-ass module.) The most I’ve paid for repair ever was $65 except for the time I personally fried my power supply, and then I had to pay for the power supply. Computers are just a whole bunch of components, and the components are really easy to exchange. I don’t need a “genius” of any IT persuasion to do that.
That is why I like HP they have stellar customer service (or in my experience anyway ymmv) When I had my prior HP Camera (the 945) I was walking back into the house after having taken some shots and I had taken the strap off my neck. I spotted a lizard and knelt down to take a shot and tripped on the strap and the camera fell out of my hands and hit the ground. After that the lens would never retract. I called HP told them EXACTLY what happened and the nice CS rep said “hmmm that shouldn’t happen” he then said. “I am sending you a new camera, just send the old one back with the return label that will be enclosed with the new one”. I fell, I broke the camera, and they replaced it for free and I didn’t even have to pay for shipping. You can’t get any better than that.
@Midnight Marauder: I believe that’s Apple’s policy because it’s not a manufacturing defect. Their battery replacement policy is also sort of a rape.
Having said that, I think there are a bunch of 3rd party individuals and places (check Craigslist) that will replace your screen or battery or do other maintence on iPhones on the cheap. I’m surprised the Genius Bar person didn’t mention that in passing.
@Anonymous At Work: Umm have you actually heard of Fink, Darwin Ports, SourceForge, Google Code, GitHub? You can actually run open source software on Mac OS X. And without paying the $100 fee that you need to do that on the iPhone.
As for Apple’s OS initiative. You know that Google Chrome browser? Who do you think wrote most of the code in there? Hint: Apple. Apple’s policy is to open-source the core and charge for the veneer. Microsoft doesn’t open-source the core, they open source tools that interface with their close sourse stuff. Different strategy: apples-oranges-whatever.
And this attitude is really pretty interesting (not that you necessary embody it). If we had a discussion here about cars and what people like and don’t like, there’d be lots of people happy with their BMW and Mercedes and Lexus and nobody would even think to comment on those brands as being bad because they cost more. People might say that they’re overpriced relative to a Honda, but they wouldn’t say that BMW sucks because of the price.
For some reason, people have embraced the idea that its perfectly reasonable for cars to cost from $15,000 to $90,000 (6x), all allowing you to accomplish precisely the same task, and that the horsepower and navigation system and leather is reasonable in exchange for $75,000, even though the car will only last about 2,500 hours of continuous operation. Even if they could never shell out that money themselves, they don’t think less of others for doing it.
But when it comes to a computer, with a spectrum of $400-$2,000 (5x), all allowing you accomplish precisely the same task, and that the CPU speed and software and fit and finish is unreasonable in exchange for $1,600, even though the computer will last 6,000 hours or more of continuous operation.
Houses, clothes, food, you name it, trading money for preference is all perfectly reasonable, but paying one dollar extra for preference in a computer suddenly makes you some kind of zombie. I think it’s interesting.
Yep. And both a Mini and a Kia can take you and your groceries across town. One gives you a more enjoyable experience with every shift, each button you push and the feel of the leather.
Most people are willing to pay more for the more enjoyable experience.
Thanks for beating me to the punch and doing a better job, Martin.
That was the Fascists, in Italy.
The Nazis were German — their trains were on time to begin with.
What makes you think they didn’t? And when they did, it actually only infuriated me even more. It’s an utterly nonsensical policy. Not to mention that a lot of those 3rd party solutions are just decent to atrocious.
But I don’t think it’s unreasonable in the least to expect them to provide some kind of assistance for a cracked phone (regardless of the circumstances) besides “Sorry, that’ll be $299.”
Let the Apple stories flow forth! Mine: I’ve been taking classes at the local college (software and digital photography) and at any time, a third of the classroom and lab Apples are out of service. I don’t know whether this is better or worse than PCs might do in the same setting, but color me disappointed.
To JC–blogging about Apple can get the Silicon Valley cops bustin’ your door down, so be vewy, vewy careful.
@Martin: It’s even better when some Linux-head starts rattling off what kind of system they built for themselves for $300 and how fucking awesome and Mac-kicking it is.
I’m heading out back to start work on my homemade wooden car.
Apple laptops are overpriced if you buy at the end of a product cycle.
They don’t update nearly as often as PC laptop makers do, so you can end up paying a pretty hefty premium when a product is coming up for a refresh soon. If you buy at the right time, the premium isn’t so bad, especially once you factor in the OSX factor, if you like that sort of thing.
As far as the Apple store experience, it depends on the store. The one in Brea, CA has been great for me, and at the Costa Mesa, CA store I almost lept over the genius bar and strangled an employee.
@Anonymous At Work: I need to point out again that for the first year of the iPhone, the only apps you could write were required to be based on open standards and that you had to host them yourself – Apple wouldn’t do that for you. That system is still in place. Developers and users didn’t care for it that much, but as a user there’s nothing stopping you from only putting open-source, non-Apple hosted apps on your iPhone or iPad.
The criticism that Apple requires you to get everything from their approved store is a lie. Please stop repeating it.
Apple to the core…
(Engadget was the outfit that broke the 4G photos 2 days before Gizmodo, but Apple didn’t even send them a nasty letter. Gizmodo stole Apple’s property and got a visit from the police.)
Gizmodo stole nothing. QED
Fixed that for you.
@trollhattan: Not how California is looking at it. And I agree with them.
@trollhattan: No, they just fenced the stolen property.
And, while it has nothing to do with the legal issues, they also proved themselves to be world-class assholes in the way in which they outed the Apple engineer whose phone went “missing”.
@trollhattan: They paid $8500 for merchandise they knew was Apple property. In your world that might not be stealing, but in the world where laws are it is.
Their hardware is the same as in PCs. I have no idea how many PCs I’ve bought or assembled (I currently maintain nearly 20), I’ve never had an optical drive go.
@dmsilev: Really. As you point out, that would have happened no matter which company was involved. To claim otherwise is sheer ignorance of how industrial espionate is treated in Silicon Valley.
Apple had me for life about two laptops ago, for the reason that John gives.
I was using my laptop in a crowded cafe when someone knocked it off the table onto the concrete floor. It powered up but then died. It was only three months old, so I took it to the local Apple techs, even though Apple explicitly says that smashing your computer into a hard stone floor pretty much voids the warranty. They looked at it and said that it was probably the sound card, but it could also be the X card or the Y card (I forget what the other two were) and since it was still under warranty they would replace all three, gratis. “Oh yeah, and the case is cracked. That’s not a warranty item, so if you want us to replace that it will be $125.”
That’s Apple. Even when they know you are screwing with them they still try and treat you right. How can you not give a company like that repeat business. Oh, and the superior product doesn’t hurt, either…
James K. Polk, Esq.
Wait, you are impressed that they were nice to you when you took your computer IN for service under your extended warranty?
You know that extended warranties are for suckers, right? The sales associates that sells you the extended warranty makes a 50% commission on the sale.
Love my mac laptop, love my ipod touch, have iphone envy, but will not bend to AT&T to have that item. Also envy the ipad, but the same AT&T issues with that.
Not so much love for the stores, but then, I kind of hate stores anyway, and I particularly hate malls.
The thing I love, besides how they work and work so nicely? The tactile feel and the look of the apple things. They are way too sexy.
Bill Section 147
Got my first Mac in 1985 and have made a living on an Apple Mac ever since. I have had so few problems over the last 24+ years with any of their products. I have only once had an issue with an Apple Service rep. It was on the phone and he was telling me Apple didn’t make a product – which was funny as I was holding the product in my hand while I called him to ask if I could get it replaced or repaired. I eventually found someone with a clue who directed me to where I could get the refurbished part.
And in the Apple Store I have had great experiences too. As long as my products have been under warranty they have been simply and quickly replaced.
My nephew bought a MacBook when he was deployed to Iraq. After a year he was having some problems, I went to the Apple store they gave me a free shipper, I sent to him and he shipped the MacBook to me, I put it in the box sent it to Apple, they fixed it and cleaned it and he had it back all in about three weeks. No charge and no questions.
For machines, I love my Macs. The Apple Store has been bleeding brilliant 90% and then they want to change my non-standard ram so -10%. For iPods, I’ve been not so happy. But hey, as long as they did right by you, I’m glad.
@Maxwel: Actually, optical drives are one area that Apple is a bit different. Apple is very intent on using low-profile slot-loading drives rather than tray loading. Slot-loading are more prone to mechanical failure, tray loading are more prone to breaking due to user error.
Optical drive failure is an intermittent problem for Apple and something they honestly need to put more effort into.
I should add that the unibody laptops are designed to help combat the problem with optical drives breaking by stiffening the body enough that it can’t flex and interfere with the optical drive operation. That was fairly common on older body design.
Bill Section 147
@Martin: And it isn’t just Apples to Apples (pun…not me) I was able to do graphic arts on my Macs years before anyone I knew who had a different PC. And a huge number of programs used for graphics were not even available or supported in the PC/Win environment in the 80s.
What has Chen been charged with? (crickets)
So, if you dropped your Motorola Razr ten years ago, did you go down to the local Sprint storefront and expect a new phone for nothing? How about the Walkman that fell while you were jogging? Did Circuit City give you a deal on another one?
I just bought a replacement Apple laptop because the last one I had lasted so long, and was so trouble-free. I dropped it constantly, left it all over the place, and banged it around in a shoulder bag for years. I had to buy a new cord. That’s it.
I finally dropped it on a marble floor and it literally broke.
So I bought another one. I was sad that I couldn’t buy the exact same one.
I have about a ten minute window of patience for learning anything new on a computer. I simply don’t want to. I have enough to read. I’m not interested, although I think it’s fabulous that other people are. I had trouble getting through the sales spiel without obvious signs of impatience.
@James K. Polk, Esq.:
Since I order all my Apple product online, there’s not even a sales associate making 50%. Apple takes it all, and I’m happy for the piece of mind. Doing the math in my head, I actually think I’m still ahead in the AppleCare v. repair costs.
I should mention that I only spring for the AppleCare on a total system purchase—tower and monitor, etc. Not for iPods, etc.
Bill Section 147
@James K. Polk, Esq.: The Apple Store is the only place where I have taken in a failed or broken product, had the service rep bring up the serial number on the product quickly, take my old product, and hand me a brand spanking new product in less than 10 minutes.
Also the Apple Care plan runs between 60 an 200 bucks so I really don’t begrudge the 50% commission or whatever the Sales person gets. And, I am still in the black on what has been repaired/replaced after deducting the Apple Care.
That was the particularly childishly nasty part, yes. He was already doomed at Apple, of course (people will be unsurprised to hear that per my friend who works in the iphone division, he’s been fired), but they made sure that anywhere he applied any time soon, his resume would be shitcanned. Because who needs the publicity?
@trollhattan:Sorry but the EFF is just full of shit on this one. Ample evidence that this was Apple property and a paper trail of Gizmodo offering bounties for stolen prototypes.
No effort by the thief to return the prototype and no effort by Gizmodo to ascertain the true owner or to respond to Apple’s requests.
Glad to hear that the trains run on time, John.
Seriously, you know better than this.
Of course, Apple’s policy is in place regardless of how long you have owned the iPhone, so your entire point here is moot. You could have had it for a day, get in a car wreck, have the screen shatter, and then be SOL.
But nice try with the Walkman and Circuit City references.
Again, I don’t think it’s crazy or unreasonable for them to offer you the ability to have your cracked screen repaired for less than $300.
EDIT: And who the fuck is talking about getting a new phone for nothing? I’m talking about having a cracked screen and wanting to replace it without buying an entirely new phone. What the fuck kind of scenario are you talking about? Oh that’s right, one that’s completely unrelated.
I don’t think of myself as the kind of guy the Apple Store would really cater to. When I’m out shopping, I know exactly what I want, want to get in and out as quick as possible, and the only reasons I’d have for talking to store clerks is if I need them to grab me something I can’t get off the shelf (say, a laptop), or if I don’t see what I want on display and want them to check in the back if they have any extra copies.
A year or so back when I was getting a new MacBook Pro, that was my intent. Knew the model and configuration I wanted, just hand it to me, ring me up, and we’re good. Clerk was chatting me up being friendly and all, and I was thinking “ugh, let me go.” One of the things he asks me is where I work. I tell him where, and he says “Oh wait, I think your company gets a discount here.” That perked me up. It knocked a few hundred off my purchase right there.
So I gotta hand the dude credit. As anti-social as I was trying to be.
Apple Store related question-
Does anyone have any advice if someone got their iPhone stolen and need a replacement at the subsidized price? AT&T are being pretty big dicks, my Mom’s only had her phone for a few months and she doesn’t want to pay full price, or semi-subsidized price.
@Gwangung: Yeah, I’m not usually so unsympathetic to the “little guy”, but my patience wore thin when they started releasing the name of the engineer who lost the phone in the first place. That wasn’t journalism, that was gossip-level shit, running the dude in the mud and screwing with his future career far more than was deserved.
Or instead of buying 1 mac laptop, you could buy 3 or 4 PC laptops for the same money. Keep a disk image backed up to an external drive, and if the PC you’re using breaks, pull one of the spares out of the closet, copy the image onto its drive, and go.
The Other Chuck
Steve Jobs makes the trains run on time.
“They paid $8500 for merchandise they knew was Apple property. In your world that might not be stealing, but in the world where laws are it is. ”
See, is it stealing if they had every intention of GIVING THE ITEM BACK TO APPLE, and took a few weeks to do so?
From what I can read about the law, it seems that it’s considered stealing if you ‘buy with the purposes of keeping’ said item.
But, it seems to be a vague statute, so it could go either way.
I can say this – I’m sure there are times that people have bought items, kept them for that same three weeks, found out they were stolen, then given the item back. And there were no charges for doing this.
So the whole notion of intent here, has to come into play. Is the intent “knowing that the item was stolen?” or is the intent “meaning to keep stolen item?”
Not that the Gizmodo guys were complete jerks about this, of course. Especially with regard to the employee.
I’m just pointing out there’s a certain vagueness in the statute I’ve seen covering this.
Since half of you seem to throw your Apple products around like jugglers having seizures, and Apple respond by carpet replacing half the components despite terms violations, no wonder they’re so pricey.
I did not know that the hipsters that administer these 3 figure warranties were called Geniuses. Good to know, my contempt was starting to ebb.
I have a MacBook Pro and Mini mac. I bought the repair and accident insurance. Every time I’ve called they’ve been nothing but helpful and reasonable. I bought the Dell insurance and the HP insurance in the past and half the time, the outsourced customer service didn’t understand what I was saying and the other half they were rude as hell. The great customer service and the lack of the blue screen of death is worth the higher price of mac, at least to me.
Pretty much so, particularly with prototypes (which are the essence of trade secrets).
I do not like to proselytize for a product, but I admit to loving my Apple computer. I just bought a new one because my old one failed, but it did last for eight years, worked beautifully the entire time, never had a virus, and had everything I needed (except, in the end, the power to start up). And because of the excellent Apple service, the crossover to the new one has been far less stressful than it might have been, but then, the Apple Store is only a few blocks from my house, which does make it easy for me.
One thing is clear, if Apple computers weren’t overpriced, then Apple wouldn’t have had a bit in their software license forbidding people to install their OS on non Apple hardware, nor would they forbid virtualization on non Apple hardware.
@gwangung: The CYA “call the lowest level CSR who has no knowledge of, authority, or policy to receive the product” was pretty pathetic as well.
@Peter J: I suppose they have a premium price, but I can’t see how they’re 3-4x for a similar build quality.
I don’t expect Toyota to detail my car. Though it’s nice when the local dealer’s service department runs my Prius through their car wash real fast.
But I think when I want it detailed I’ll call a detailer to meet me at the parking lot. I didn’t pay a premium to Toyota so I expect to pay for the services elsewhere. And I’m actually paying less overall. That’s called “value”.
It’s nice Apple details your computer. They sold you the entire package after all, hardware on up. And you paid a very serious premium, probably up to 30%. Which is a lot more than you’d pay just to have the system cleaned up – which in most cases is free to you had you simply gone to (wait for it…) the free Microsoft Live OneCare scanner site.
I suspect a local Dell retailer would have done the same thing. They charge a serious premium too. Considering you’ve already made one service visit more to a retailer store than I have in thirty years, well I bet you have to go back a LOT more times to even come close to breaking even on the premium. That is not called “value”.
I doubt Microsoft should detail your “xyz” notepad. They are in a different line of business after all. And PC buyers don’t pay them the premium.
Apple buyers aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are. But they have more smug then South Park could ever properly lampoon.
G was sitting on the couch one night with his laptop when Annie decided to jump down directly onto the keyboard and broke off the Q key.
We took it to the Apple store and the cat had managed to break not the key, but the little underlying piece of plastic that makes it move. The nice lady at the Genius bar was able to take it in back and replace the little plastic doohickey and G is still using that laptop today (even if it can barely play streaming YouTube videos).
I’ve been an Applebot for 20 years now and I don’t see any reason to change. I take it out of the box, I set it up, and it works. If it doesn’t I return it and get one that does. QED.
In case anyone was unaware, Apple have pretty good resale value. Here’s a place in Oregon that has always treated me right. They take tradeins.
Ask for Michelle!
Sometimes. Back in the bad old Performa days, my brother was trying to talk me out of buying one, so he did research to check on the price of a PC that had comparable components. To his surprise, the cost was pretty much the same, so I ended up with the Performa after all.
You have the illusion of value with a PC because you can get one made with cheap components for under $1,000, but if you actually compare Apples to apples (ie the same processor speed, the same video card, etc.) and not to the cheapest version of a PC, there’s really not that much difference price-wise.
Did they get a call from the proper owner informing them that it was stolen and refuse to return the item until the cops busted down their door? Because that’s what Gizmodo did.
Sorry, the point at which you refuse to return the stolen property when the rightful owner asks for it back is the point at which you have broken the law.
The Mac sitting on my desk is like a shiny, brand new Jaguar XK (supercharged!). Sleek, powerful, fast, elegant and makes the ladies swoon and the men jealous.
The HP PC (Vista!) sitting on my wife’s desk is like a 1978 Ford LTD Station Wagon. Clunky, inefficient, slow, ugly and people point at it and laugh.
@Mnemosyne: My main rig is an Alienware ALX. My workhorses are Toshiba.
The workhorses are not cheap. Just less expensive.
I understand your point. I just disagree that the average person (e.g. not a serious gamer (me), olympic class programmer (me), or a serious multimedia jockey (still me)) really needs to pay that premium. And someone whose main pursuits are surfing and blogging really does not need the Apple products for any other reason than cachet. Cachet is not a value statement. :-)
My machines get a lot of abuse. One of my workhorses is shared by a seven and a nine year old – they beat the snot out of it. I’ve never had to go get a free replacement of a key and switch. And they’re subjected to a LOT more than the occasional kitty pounce.
I didn’t need to buy a Benz or a beamer to get my sporty coupe. Instead I bought a Volkswagen EOS with hard top convertible that gets 34mpg and zips through tollway traffic quite nicely. I could of bought three of them for a comparable mercedes / BMW. But I didn’t need the decal on the nose to show how smart I was.
Steve Jobs is a egomaniacal jerk. In this he is like most billionaires, I’d reckon, although I will grant that he is probably a special case. The App Store is annoying to absurd, and Android will probably eventually eat its lunch. My Mac is a Unix box I can run Excel on without messing with WINE, and it has top-notch dev tools thanks to the legion of Ruby geeks who adopted it as their platform of choice. Apple makes good hardware and good software; their hardware is competitive pricewise with Lenovo, which has the best build quality of PC laptops I’ve dealt with. If price were my overriding concern, I’d get an eee. If I needed to use Windows, I’d get a Toshiba or a Thinkpad. I don’t, so I go with something that serves my needs (and I can do FOSS development on, fwiw).
Where is the smug? Who’s calling whom stupid in this thread? I genuinely don’t get the hate. It’s like John announced he loved Peyton Manning.
I spilled a full glass of diet Pepsi on my MacBook last year. The Apple people patiently listened to me freak out, took my laptop, and fixed it for me. I have to use a PC for work and it really sucks. I love Apple.
@snarkout: I didn’t call anyone stupid. I did make a blanket statement about Apple owners, nothing specific to BJ. And I stand by it.
BTW I own an iPhone and three flavors of iPod. When the iPad hits second gen I’ll probably buy it as well. Assuming Google hasn’t come out with the same tablet form factor in the meantime. The iPhone was the first PDA I’d dignify with the name. Droid is well past them.
But I will never, ever… buy an Apple computer. The opsys? Maybe. But they won’t let me. Because it has to run on their own Barbie doll, err hardware. Because Microsoft, Dell, IBM et al are evil. Or something.
I really do plan my purchases. Except wine and Belgian-style trippels. That is always an impulse purchase.
i view lappers as essentially disposable. i store everything relevant in one or any number of online accounts, my work lapper has to be formatted and whatnot(i pride myself in not listening to the it guy when he explains it, i drink with the it guys when i drink with people from work, so its understood) at work, and i am not allowed to mess with it, like i would, if i could, and i use it from home, where i have my home lapper, for personal things anyway….
but when a lapper breaks, or becomes a pia, i chuck it and buy a new mid-priced one with features in the mid-range of whatever crap they are selling.
@Mnemosyne: Yeah, the only price point at which the difference is marked is the Air versus netbooks, but it’s still not quite the same product.
@James K. Polk, Esq.:
This is not accurate. Employees at the Apple Store do not work on commission.
In your opinion as someone who is very good with computers. I’m guessing you’re also one of those people who doesn’t understand why average people aren’t running OpenOffice on a Linux box.
Windows is a pain in the ass to run. It crashes constantly when you’re doing stuff like spreadsheets in Microsoft Office. When I was stuck on a Windows machine at work, Internet Explorer — you know, the piece of software that Microsoft swore in a court of law was absolutely necessary to their operating system — constantly crashed the machine.
People like Apple computers because they work with a minimum of fuss and they very rarely crash. You can actually do things with an Apple computer instead of spending all of your time trying to figure out why it won’t work so you can do the things you wanted to do with it in the first place.
I know PC people love to tinker. My brother loves to spend hours trying to figure out why his new printer won’t work even though he’s downloaded the drivers three times. Me, I want to plug the printer in and print things, not futz around with it for hours trying to get it to work.
The amount of time saved in not having to figure out why things aren’t working was more than enough convenience for me to pay the small premium for an Apple.
A lot of you people suck, and in my world you would just have to go.
This is why we love you man.
Minutes later: Oh, you want me to drink that koolaid shot?
You know, if you’re going to present personal experience, mine is different.
I gave my kid an IPod for Xmas. It never worked. After a couple weeks of assuming that we were the incompetent ones, because, you know, Apple is so great! I thought maybe I should take it and get it fixed or replaced. I actually live in a big city (I’m not sure what Apple owners in small towns do– drive a hundred miles to the nearest Apple store?) and I tried to make an appt online. V. difficult, lots of odd hassles, pages disappearing, stuff, but finally got an appointment… two weeks away.
Okay, no IPod for two weeks. Well, it had never worked anyway, so no big loss (except the $300, of course). Finally the big day came and we went to the Apple store ten minutes before our appointed time. The store was buzzing. Our appt time came and went. The people at the counter wouldn’t even talk to us. We waited an hour… and we had an appointment. Finally our name was called. Exhilaration! We tried to explain to the counter person what the problem was, but he didn’t listen. He just reached under the counter and gave us a brand new IPod (of course, the one we had was new). It seemed like he’d been doing that a lot since Christmas. I asked him to show how to do something, and he was annoyed with me (though I hadn’t used up the allotted 10 minutes) and brusque and just pushed some buttons and shoved it back. Then he went into a long spiel about how I should buy the $50 insurance policy in case this one failed too after the first six months or so. That seemed to be the important thing– selling me that insurance. (And wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t buy it, and the new IPod failed one month after the factory warranty ended, so maybe he was right.)
I thought about the last PC I’d bought from Best Buy or some evil place. The screen had a flaw in it. I took it back to Best Buy– no appointment needed. I just walked into the store that very day, showed them the receipt, and they gave me a new computer. And you can believe I didn’t walk out of there marvelling at how amazing it was that Best Buy replaced the defective computer, or that I got in there quickly. I mean, aren’t we defining customer service really low when we act like it’s wonderful that Apple fixed your Apple computer? What exactly did you think would happen?
It’s so weird how Apple owners just seem so impressed with this, when I’m thinking, “You had to make an appointment to take something in to be fixed? Huh? You couldn’t take it anywhere but this one store, and you think that’s great? ”
I think Apple fans are kind of different than me. Or I’m kind of different from them.
Oh, and I always heard that Apples rarely crash. I was using a friend’s Mac pro, and no kidding– I had it up for three minutes, and I crashed it. (Too many windows open.) I wonder if maybe Apple users are just less impatient. Few computers can stand up to my level of multitasking. :)
@Davebo: “Milled around the mall for two hours then returned. But no pierced teenage genius was “available”. Waited in store for another hour which I spent talking to customers shopping, explaining that you’d have to be crazy to buy anything from these people.”
They got better. You make an appointment, preferably online. Check in when you get there, with an employee who waits around in front of the genius bar. There are large monitors above the genius bar showing the wait times and the next 5 or so people in line. There are separate lists for people with Mac issues and people with iPod/iPhone issues.
Goes pretty smoothly, in my experience.
@alix: ” V. difficult, lots of odd hassles, pages disappearing, stuff, but finally got an appointment… two weeks away.”
When was this, 2001?
“I was using a friend’s Mac pro, and no kidding—I had it up for three minutes, and I crashed it. (Too many windows open.)”
Um, no. You may have “crashed” it, in some way, but it wasn’t because of “too many windows”. I’ve had, literally, hundreds of windows open at once, and while the app may slow down, the OS as a whole has no problem.
Gotta join the bandwagon: the battery on the MacBook Pro started to act like it was dying only 14 months in. They replaced it free six months after the warranty expired.
@snarkout: “The App Store is annoying to absurd, and Android will probably eventually eat its lunch.”
Maybe. But Vic Gundotra, Google VP of Engineering, spent most of his career at Microsoft (1991-2006) before joining Google.
That does not bode well. He marinated in crap for 15 years.
@Mnemosyne: I don’t tinker. I haven’t had a Windows crash in the last five years. I let Windows update itself, like Apple. I also run a (free) virus/spy scanner and don’t open attachments until I scan them. I don’t run linux and hate anything command line driven. I tried OpenOffice for awhile but it was a pain switching between formats.
Everything you said is FUD to me. Just because I can build my own PC from scratch and handtune an opsys to skip and dance doesn’t mean I feel the need to do so. I hate that crap and don’t want to pay someone else to do it either.
Otherwise I’d own an Apple / mercedes-BMW.
I like Dell/Toshiba and Volkswagens. They really do just what I need them to do. I don’t have to tinker or take them to a shop to do the tinkering for me. They have all the features of the premium crap. But no premium.
It’s like you completely ignored my post and just riffed on what felt good to you. Kittehs iz sad.
Yeah. Not bloody likely.
Did the actual Mac crash? Requiring a restart? From too many folders? I’d be shocked if that was true.
Or, did the browser or program you were using lock up? Necessitating a simple Force Quit via key-command or pull up from the dock? Either of which has no impact on all the other files and windows you have open…
If you did in fact crash the computer, how long til it was up and running again? Ninety seconds?
Wile E. Quixote
In what sense? I’ll tell you that Android is not well past the iPhone, the upgrade procedure for the HTC Hero, one of the more popular Android based phones requires upgrading from a PC and wipes the phone down to the bare metal, requiring you to reinstall all of your apps and re-enter all of your personal information such as e-mail account configuration, Facebook account information, WiFi passwords, etc. You can upgrade an iPhone from your Mac or PC and you don’t have to restore everything afterwards because Apple is smart enough to write an installer that backs up the phone before upgrading, something that the geniuses at HTC and Google were apparently unable to figure out.
Yes, I’m sure that in terms of Linux fanboi wankability metrics the Droid stomps all over the iPhone, in terms of not being a pain in the ass though the iPhone wins.
I’ve had Macs since 1985 and just got a new 27″ iMac. Spectacular machine. LOVE the screen and the new wireless mouse. But for the first time, I am beginning to think Apple has gotten into too many pissing matches. Why?
Tell me Apple, why was I not able to buy this iMac with an eSATA connection for an external drive? Why couldn’t I buy it with a blu-ray drive? And for goodness sakes, why hasn’t DVD Studio Pro been upgraded to author high-def?
I bought at one of those sexy Apple Stores and for the first time ever, I got the feeling that Apple just doesn’t care all the much about selling computers any more–at least not one that sits on your desk and plugs into the wall.
Of course not… you’re not paying a premium for your other products to get that kind of service. Apple’s products are significantly more expensive as a result.
If you bought a BMW, for example, you would get similar treatment from the dealership for repair service. They are a luxury car, with a luxury reputation, and they will kiss your ass at the service department (while charging you twice as much). If you buy your stereo from a high-end audiophile store instead of best buy, you’ll also get much better service, but you’ll pay a significantly higher price.
Apple is no different than any other luxury manufacturer. If you want the same kind of service for other products, all you need to do is pay more.
@techno: “Why couldn’t I buy it with a blu-ray drive”
Jobs is on record saying that the licensing situation with blu-ray is a “bag of hurt”.
I also suspect they’re focused narrowly on the idea of using a blu-ray drive to play commercial blu-ray movies, and think that it’s only a matter of time before disks are replaced by downloads. So they aren’t rushing to put in blu-ray.
That ignores other uses for blu-ray drives, but it seems likely to me.
Jobs is a fascist.
But there would be no need for Geek Squad.
I just got an i7 MBP. It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered they wanted another $30 for a mini displayport adapter; nevermind that almost nobody uses displayports right now, let alone mini displayports.
Great quality, great service, but Apple’s a gated community and the HOA fees and restrictions are getting a little frustrating. I’m going to switch back to PC the next go-round.
I am sure you are right that blu-ray is a licensing thing. But here’s the deal. The AVCHD video cameras take astonishingly good pictures. But unless you can edit your footage, they are practically worthless. And once you have edited your footage, you want to be able to play it on the big screen in the den. Yes I know there are various ways to hook up a computer to the big screen but none as convenient as plopping a 12 cm disc in a tray and pressing play. So even as just a hobby, high-def video is not realistic without a blu-ray burner.
Anyway, because I LOVE Final Cut Pro, I was determined to make it possible to edit AVCHD on my iMac 24″ and play the output on a regular blu-ray player. I fiddled with the problem from April to December 2009. I went to on-line forums and pumped info from every salesperson who would talk to me. Along the way, I had to figure out how to get multiple high-def video streams to run over Firewire 800 and how to burn blu-ray compliant DVDs because that is the only burner I have. When I saw my first high-def DVD on an 83″ plasma down at the nearest Best Buy, I was so excited, I wanted to dance for joy.
Yes you CAN make high-def video for personal use with a $600 camera and an iMac. You can put about 25 minutes of 1080i on a $0.20 DVD5. And the AVC codec just blows the other compression schemes away. So over the weekend, I sold my 2007 24″ iMac to someone who thinks it’s magic and got a new 27″ iMac with its 2560 x 1440 LED screen. The trade-up cost me $700 (so take THAT folks who accuse Macs of being expensive.) Would have bought the iMac with an i7 quad chip but I don’t want to invest too much in something with no blu-ray burner or eSATA interface.
Even with my complaints, it is by FAR the best computer I have ever owned. Snow Leopard is beyond amazing. Photoshop loads in 8 seconds. LED is the ONLY way to go. Room for 16 gigs of ram. A terabyte of storage. QUIET!
Microsoft (and the 360) are on the same page, there.
Not to stretch the topic or anything, but how do you manage to manage hundreds of windows on a Mac? As a habitual user of dozens of windows or more on another machine (not running Windows!) I’ve been disapointed with the really crude handling (as see it) of numerous windows in Mac OS X. Fortunately I can get around the problem, mostly.
It’s one of a very small number of things I find really inadequate on the Mac; oddly enough, they mostly have to do with the desktop UI, which in most matters ranges from really good to superb.
So I’d be really glad if you could say what features, built in or third-party, are good for keeping track of lots of windows and opening and closing selected ones, and all.
@dmsilev: I’ve been reading this blog for years but never commented. John’s last line made me laugh out loud. So I am formally requesting my black turtleneck sweater and ask that John consider me for DMV czar. Oh.. can I wear a sash?
One time I was cleaning the bathroom while wearing an Ipod 80 GB, dropped the iPod full on into the toilet. Although completely soaked, it actually took a full minute to start malfunctioning and then quickly it died. I dried it out, and sent it to Apple in vain hope.
They replaced it for free. Good times.
“People like Apple computers because they work with a minimum of fuss and they very rarely crash. You can actually do things with an Apple computer instead of spending all of your time trying to figure out why it won’t work so you can do the things you wanted to do with it in the first place.”
Amen. My time is valuable to me. I’d rather have a system where things work the way they’re supposed to work right out of the box than a slightly cheaper system where I have to spend six hours of my Saturday fucking around with drivers every six months instead of whatever I’d actually been planning on doing that day.
Dell comes to my house or place or work to fix my laptop. Got you beat there, John Cole.
Oh and it’s eleventy million dollars cheaper.
You’re doing it wrong.
I don’t want to pay extra because Apple replaces phones or laptops dropped in toilets. Unless it’s sold as totally water proof, then the customer has been clumsy. Here’s an idea, learn to take take of what you buy, and to take responsibility for your actions. (That goes for those who pour liquid on them, sits on them, drops them, and so on too).
I don’t care enough about design, I’m perfectly happy with the look of a PC, actually, I much prefer that I’m able to replace things myself.
I like the freedom to do what I want to do with what I’ve bought.
Guess I’m not buying an Apple product any time soon.
Look, the computer industry is pretty much dead. Desktops have become commodities and software is becoming a service or giveaway. Computers have finally reached a point where increases in speed and hardware capability don’t matter as much to the consumer, unless they are the type of power gamer that obsesses over what fps they get from Crisis.
Apple realized this and has transformed themselves into a design and customer service company. They focus on perfecting the UI, tweaking stability/security and enhancing the user experience. The downside of this is that they don’t have the most cutting-edge software and try to force customers into a closed system – i.e. where they control the product quality and keep things free of viruses.
That’s why every other desktop manufacturer is trying to jump onto the mobile device bandwagon, create their own app stores and generally try to become the next Apple. Right now, the traditional business model in consumer computer sales is collapsing and only Apple seems to have figured out how to survive it.
The big trick will be if Apple can crack the business market. They’re behind there, but every time I walk across a college campus and see the huge number of Apple products, I think that they’re going to do very well when the current generation of college students get into the corner corporate offices.
@Porlock Junior: “Not to stretch the topic or anything, but how do you manage to manage hundreds of windows on a Mac? ”
I didn’t say I managed them. ;^)
It’s just that I have, on a few occasions over the years, wound up opening, say, an entire directory full of hundreds of images or PDF files. Takes a while to open, and things get a bit sluggish if you don’t have enough RAM, but it doesn’t crash the machine. (It behaved pretty much the same back when the OS was called NeXTSTEP and the machine had 16MB of RAM and a 68040.)
I wouldn’t try to actually *use* it like that, though. But I do tend to run lots of apps at the same time, though most are hidden or the windows are minimized.
@Will: “The downside of this is that they don’t have the most cutting-edge software and try to force customers into a closed system – i.e. where they control the product quality and keep things free of viruses.”
That only applies on the iPhone OS devices. Mac OS X is pretty much wide open.
Gotta call shenanigans on you on that one. I’m running a Dell T3500 workstation (lots of RAM, high end video card, etc.) and at the moment I’ve got Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Firefox, IE, Outlook, Dreamweaver, Flash and notepad running (I’m editing video, adding stills, converting vid to flv, embedding the resulting swf created in Flash and testing on Firefox and IE). This is my typical work environment. Windows 7 hasn’t crashed once in the 4 months I’ve been using it. Previously, I was running XP on a Dell Optiplex in a similar environment and might have had 2 crashes in the three years I used that machine.
I’ve got nothing against Macs, other than the fact that they don’t work exactly like my PC, but people who babble about how difficult and undependable Windows is don’t know what they are talking about.
Some people say VAGina.
Some people say vaGINA.
There are a lot of strong rumors that the computer side of Apple has become a legacy division. The real energy and attention of the computer is in mobile devices and the App Store. I have no doubt that the App Store model will come to the desktop/laptop side eventually.
@Will: “There are a lot of strong rumors that the computer side of Apple has become a legacy division.”
Maybe, maybe not. It’s just a rumor. There’s a strong tendency for people to latch onto the latest events in Cupertino and extrapolate them way beyond reason.
Sure, WWDC is virtually all iPhone-related this year, but that’s understandable in that they surely want to focus on the iPad, IPhoneOS 4, and the 4G iPhone, especially in the light of competition from Google. It makes sense to focus on that now. Snow Leopard just came out last August, so there’s no great urgency for a 10.7 Mac OS X release next year. If I recall correctly a few years back they were saying they’d be slowing down OS releases in the future.
At the end of the day, OS X is where iPhone and iPad apps (and iPhone OS) are developed, and OS X doesn’t run on those devices.
Apple’s support is great, unprecedented in the industry, and this is coming from an old code-monkey who lives by his code (when not playing bass :-) ) All of my PCs sucked and had hideous support with the exception of 2: my 386 IBM PS2 running OS/2 (indestructible,) and my later IBM Thinkpad A31p running XP (again, indestructible.)
But NOTHING comes close to the way Apple understands how people relate to technology. IBM is totally clueless, and Microsoft knows nothing except how to market half-baked [unprintable] to helpless captive audiences. I’m not saying the Apple experience is particularly cost-effective – someone who really knows what they’re doing can get by spending a heck of a lot less – but the friendly, competent, and speedy service I’ve had at the Genius Bar beats anything I’ve seen in 25 years of code-monkeydom. AppleCare is excellent and entirely worth the money (my only gripe is that they won’t extend it past 3 years.) You’ll get your money back and more on your first repair incident.
@orogeny: “people who babble about how difficult and undependable Windows is don’t know what they are talking about.”
It’s possible that they remember the pre-XP versions of Windows. I had the pleasure of working with practically every version since it was a thin DOS shell, and until XP, Windows followed an evolutionary curve from total sublime uselessness to being annoying, counter-intuitive, and unreliable…or in the case of NT and its derivatives very slow and useless with regard to the kind of programming that needs access to the hardware. (Mind you, I didn’t like Apple much either until OS X.)
XP was the first version of Windows that allowed me to work in relative peace. Still, OS X lets me work more the way I want to work.
I agree about pre-XP Windows, although Win 95 and 98 were at least functional. I think that prior to XP, Windows required a level of OS expertise that many people just didn’t want to deal with.
For me, since I moved (kicking and screaming, (under duress from my employer) from a Mac-in-the-box to WIndows 2.0 (remember “unrecoverable application errors”?) , I was forced to get comfortable with properly maintaining the OS.
It was when MS came out with XP, though, that the Mac/PC capabilities leveled off. I’ve worked in mixed PC/Mac shops-as the Web guy in a couple of Mac design firms-and I have found that there’s not much that can be done on a Mac that can’t be done on a PC, but there are many things that can be done on a PC that can’t be done (at least as well) on a Mac.
You are probably right on this–except for two areas–video and music editing. There is nothing in the Windows world like Final Cut Pro and Logic. EVERY musician I know has dumped his Pro Tools setup and migrated to Logic. And the following for FCP is cult-like. Why? Because every version beginning with 1.0 worked as advertised. In the Windows world, your choice was Avid (EXPENSIVE–I had a friend who spent over $130,000 for his set-up) or Adobe Premiere (which freaking never worked.)
I was teaching in a community college in the film department when the word got out you could do video editing if you only owned an Apple. Yes, Apple charged for FCP but in those days, it was ridiculously easy to install a pirated copy. In fact, I began to believe Apple was encouraging the bootleg FCP traffic because as a result, they sold a lot of computers to an important demographic. FCP is so easy to learn, I could have kids editing in 40 minutes–and most of THAT time was spent on how to capture and export big files.
And now Final Cut Pro runs on the most sophisticated Unix ever so why in God’s name would anyone want to change? And if you think that video editing on a 2560 x 1440 screen isn’t fun–well, it actually makes me giggle
I work a lot with commercial post houses in LA, and just about all the sound editors still work with Pro Tools. And I was recently cutting with a (young) video editor who was using Avid, and I joked, “Hey, shouldn’t you be on Final Cut? I thought Avid was just for old farts.” He said that the choice is pretty mixed among editors, because there are some things that Avid just does better or more comfortably for some (IIRC, his example was about how he could manipulate multiple timelines in Avid in a certain way, which he couldn’t with FCP). I asked him if the editing house was trying to get all the editors on the same setup, and he said that while he was sure they’d be happy if they did, ultimately they’re going to give the editor the tools he feels he works best with.
Personally, I just had to clean up a bunch of video files and convert it to F4V–I have a Mac and a PC. I’d done it a couple years before on a PC with nothing but freeware, but this time I thought I’d give my shiny new Mac a go. I found OSX alternatives, but they were buggy and there was almost no community support. I ended up using my PC again.
I posted upthread about how I’m probably going to switch back to a PC laptop next time, and this video conversion episode has more to do with it than anything. There’s simply a larger community for PCs. More users=more choices=more community support. Out of the box, OSX and its software has its advantages, but if you need to step outside of that box, you’re going to find a lot more resources for PCs.
Yeah? I’ll bet there ARE a lot of guys who will cling to Pro Tools. They have a LOT of skills invested in that software.
I tend to know the younger user and they are SO into Logic.
But as to Final Cut Pro. What in hell are you doing you cannot do with THAT software. I’ve been using it for years and I probably haven’t tapped 20% of its capability. And the best part is–it works. Video editors should never have to think about their software.
I don’t put much stock into featuritis. I would tell my students, “have a story worth telling, capture the most aesthetic video footage possible, get a clean audio track, and just about any software will enable you to get a good documentary or film or whatever.” Then I would tell them why I thought FCP was the best choice “It’s reliable and YOU can afford it.”
I just installed Windows 7 in a VMWare image on my Mac, and I’m flabbergasted.
They put all that work into visual effects and chrome, but the Console window is still the same crap, and the Environment Variables window is still the same fixed-size nightmare it always was.
Protip: when virtually everything you enter in a window is much longer than the text fields provided, the UI is broken.
There simply is *no excuse* for making users edit a potentially hundreds-of-characters-long PATH in a text field that shows only 36 characters and can’t be resized.
It’s 2010 for christ’s sake. WTF?
Nice wallpaper, though. And sounds. I’ll give them that.
Expanding on my above comment, one of the things I love about OS X is that the command line fits in so naturally with the rest of the environment. Copy and paste are normal, and you can even use pbpaste and pbcopy on the command line to integrate the pasteboard with Unix programs. Fonts are normal, not some weird holdover from DOS.
I find the Console window just plain painful to use.
Jon H, having installed OS X in VirtualBox, is there a way to make Finder show every file and folder other than opening a Terminal window and write this:
I just can’t see that as either friendly or intuitive.
Clip would be the equivalent of pbcopy. There’s no pbpaste though, but that can be fixed by either two lines of perl or by downloading any of the programs that does what pbaste does.
About cmd, you could try Powershell 2.0 that comes with Windows 7, or download one of the many other replacements, TCC/LE for instance.
@Peter J: There are free utilities that will set that.
But it doesn’t really buy you that much, unless you really like seeing all your .files.
At least the command is short and intelligible, and you’re not hunting in the registry for some hex value deep in a hierarchy, and worried that you might accidentally screw up something important.
Defaults on OS X go in xml files, such that Finder’s defaults are in its own file, etc. And your personal defaults are separate from the system defaults.
@Peter J: “About cmd, you could try Powershell 2.0 that comes with Windows 7”
It looked about the same as the regular Console, though I understand there is some scripting goodness baked in. Still has the wonky copy/paste semantics that are different from regular Windows apps.
So I have to download a program to be able to change the setting viewing all files? There’s no graphical way to do it? Isn’t that a bit of fail?
(I need to see all the files to be able to run a rather popular cross-platform program. One that I can run without any real hassle right after installation on both Windows and Ubuntu…)
That’s short and intelligible?
In Windows I don’t have to edit the registry, use a command prompt or download some program. I do that through Folder Options.
I think you have a lot of misconceptions about Windows, especially current versions.
Again, IIRC, it was something about being able to render one timeline alone instead of having to render all of them. I could be wrong. But he gave a couple other examples, and it made sense. If it makes any difference, this was a commercials editor, so the process might differ a bit from short or feature films. Cutting a spot, an editor might have the nights to himself, but the agency client is going to be sitting behind him during the day, almost every day, repeating, “Try this…Now try this…How about this…”.
I don’t think it’s about “features” per se, just minor but significant differences in the way difference editing software do things.
@techno: I don’t do high-end video work, so I can’t comment on that. But, for the Web video stuff that I do, Premiere Pro does everything that I need it to do. I’m reminded of the fact that, for a long time, Apple fans that I knew (including the designers at the last shop I worked for) swore that the Mac was far superior to the PC for graphic design. After a few “show me something that you can do on the Mac that I can’t do just as well on my PC” challenges, they had to admit they were wrong. They had simply never worked on a modern, high-end PC and, based on Apple’s propaganda, they just assumed that the Mac was better.
@Peter J: “I need to see all the files to be able to run a rather popular cross-platform program.”
What program, and why do you need to see “all files”?
Wireshark. Google for why you need to do it.
Still, the fact that I would need to do write this:
which is neither intuitive, short or intelligible, just shows one of my biggest dislikes of OS X. Apple has made a choice that the options you can easily change are few, and if you want to do something more, like just being able to see all the files and folders, you need to either need to write rather obscure commands in the Terminal or download third party tools (and I’d prefer not to have to rely on those for what I believe are basic things).
I guess all this is fine for the normal Apple user. But then I want more.
Popular would be the wrong word to describe Wireshark though, I should have used the word leading.
You can also get to a system directory in Finder by typing command-shift-G. It asks you for the path of the folder you want to see, and takes you there, whether it’s a regular folder, a system folder, or whatever. (Permissions may be an issue)
You can also use a terminal. ‘open /usr/local/bin’ causes the directory to be opened in a Finder window.
And neither of those would let me see the complete file system. For that, as established, it’s:
I must say, I like that one, the next time someone tells me how great and easy OS X is, I’m going to use that. How hard would it have been for Apple to add it to the advanced settings tab in the Finder preferences? Or they could have added a super advanced settings tab that would have needed to be unlocked? Why the excessive need for child proofing?
And while we’re at it. The PATH.
I’d agree that the size of the field for editing the path in Windows 7 is a bit short, the times I do it, which is not very often, I generally copy it, paste it somewhere else, edit it and copy it back. Though, I like that you took your time and actually counted the number of characters that fits in the field, not many would be as thorough.
But then, how do you edit the path on OS X? No GUI. It’s back to the Terminal again. And a lot of people seems to think using vi and either edit /etc/paths is the way to do it. I wouldn’t exactly call vi userfriendly, but I guess you have an exuse for that? As you pointed out, It’s 2010…