A few Apple complaints

2008-09-28

in Daily updates, Geek stuff, Internet matters, Rants

Last night, after the Bluetooth connection failed for the hundredth unexplained time, I switched back from my Apple wireless Mighty Mouse to my old Microsoft optical scrollmouse. I must say, the change is for the best. The old mouse is lighter, smaller, and more comfortable. It is possible to press both buttons at once, and press the middle button without accidentally scrolling. Most importantly, the scroll wheel itself is much less finicky – it may not be able to scroll horizontally, and it lacks the Might’s Mouse’s useless ‘squeeze’ buttons – but it seems the superior device overall, despite the need for it to be tethered to my computer.

In general, I think Apple does a magnificent job of making computer gear and software. If I had to make two complaints, the first would be about the way they sometimes privilege form over functionality. Alongside the Mighty Mouse (and the infamous prior hockey puck mouse), there is the interface of Time Machine, which is pretty but probably less useful than it could be. My other complaint is their willingness to change things after the fact in ways that cannot be reversed and that people might not like. For example, there was when they locked iTunes so that only three people per boot session could access your library over the network (a real pain in university residence), or when they limited the volume on my iPod Shuffle through a software update.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasha September 28, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I would say my biggest issue with macs is the price. I understand the appeal of user-friendliness but I don’t think it warrants the price tag. I also realize there is some unique technology inside apple products, but not enough to justify the rates. However, if McGill campus is a testament to anything, it’s the popularity of macs. Macbook Pros are by far the most popular rig on campus. Regardless, I still love my Asus G1S, which trumps any macbook for 65% of the price.

Milan September 28, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I agree that Macs are expensive. That being said, if you have the money to afford them, they are very good.

Sure, you can have two Hondas for the price of a BMW – but it is a lot more pleasant to have one of something excellent than two of something mediocre.

Litty September 29, 2008 at 10:07 am

Maybe so, but it is often better to have a Honda and a second car worth of stuff than to have a BMW.

Milan September 29, 2008 at 10:21 am

True.

There is clearly a different equilibrium for each person. It depends on how much you prefer Macs to the alternatives, how much money you have, and the degree to which computer type is important for you.

Personally, I would never shell out the excessive dough for a MacBook Pro. One of Apple’s most frustrating strategies is hugely overcharging on all upgrades. For instance, adding 24 gigs of flash memory to an otherwise identical iPod touch costs $200.

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