So I Got A New MacBook

Han F-ing Solo!

Of course buying something doesn’t make anything really all that much better. But at least it’s an easy “win” after a few hard knocks.

Look, with the way I feel like I’ve been metaphorically run through the emotional ringer since early in November, I decided that with some saved up money I was going to treat myself. Not just a little bit either. And with something that would be useful to me in a lot of ways.

So yesterday I went out and got a brand-spanking new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. This is such a marked departure for me that I’m really kind of excited about it. This machine will make it possible for me never, ever to have to bring home my beast of an old HP laptop that tipped the scales at a respectable 9 pounds (or so). Believe me that was a big pain in the neck (literally) to have to lug that hunk of junk home. As an added bonus, sometimes the thing takes 10 minutes to start.

No thank you.

And, in the profession I’m in, I figured it was finally time to be fully knowledgable about how the different capabilities could benefit me. Different OS, synching with my beloved iPad, iPhone…a closed ecosystem of my own that should keep me happy for many years (I hope) after the “replace my PC every 1.5 years” dance I’m used to. I can see myself loving this machine for a long, long time.

I splurged. I’m loving it. I’m an Apple guy now. So what?

Now to do some real damage with the design stuff. This is going to be an unprecedented time of creativity and fun for me, and for once I don’t have buyer’s remorse since it will only help me down the road overall. My dad binge purchased all the time, and I know first-hand most of it was just junk (I threw out a lot of it with my brother after he died). This I can use, and I will.

Let the healing begin.

Steve Jobs

The “Great Man” Theory

Steve Jobs

Official Pic of Steve Jobs from the Apple site

Dozens of obit writers, Tweeple and FB friends are posting, re-posting and cross-posting items related to the life and death of Steve Jobs, pioneering thinker and innovator, and the co-founder of Apple that everyone can name off the top of their heads.

I have nothing I can really add to that. But it did trigger a thought, one I consider a real counterpoint to what some of the “Occupy Wall Street” college kids are trying to say. It ties back, in fact, to a discussion I had with a professor in college who was an avowed Marxist.

We started talking about what she called the “Great Man Theory” and its inherent flaws.

Read More of This Tribute »

[Expletive Deleted]

You know when you hit that point where you feel like there’s a literal fire burning in your chest, and if one more thing ticks you off you’re going to grab something near you and go all “Gorilla testing Samsonite luggage” on it? That’s where I am.

Unfortunately, I can’t really go into what’s aggravating me because this blog publicizes itself on my FB and Twitter feeds. When you vent about things in your industry that aggravate you, it can cost you your job now. Just ask that kid that made that hysterically funny iPhone v. Android animated video.

So say, hypothetically only, that standards that can’t be adhered to by all browser platforms because the standards are completely ridiculous anyway cause you an undue amount of stress, since there’s no real solution to the problems other than controverting the standards.

See the catch there? In the hypothetical situation, Firefox and Chrome may render something that they both claim to render properly, while rendering them completely differently. So you try as hard as you can, hypothetically, to get them to match up, only to have things go haywire in Internet Explorer.

You can see where that would hypothetically make you want to chew someone’s face off, right? Strictly hypothetically. All just for the sake of argument.

Say, also, that even if you were to work for more than 12 hours a day on the problems, they never align themselves properly. That, too, would be extremely aggravating. I can only imagine how much someone might want to take a can of lighter fluid to their computer and destroy everything in one last spiteful move against their own mentally ill decision to keep working at something that won’t function properly no matter how hard they try.

Then they’d fill out an application to work at an ice cream store somewhere, eat so much sugar that they got Diabetes, go on Obama’s health care plan, find that state-run insurance is a terrible idea, then die a painful death after ironically losing their sight and being unable to access the Web because no one is adhering to the new standards that have to be controverted in order for sites to function in an adequately cross-platform way.

They would curse their bad fortune as they were unable even to post to Facebook their final words, since they could no longer access the site.

All, of course, while Apple keeps manufacturing products that are specifically moving to keep certain applications inaccessible to everyone regardless of disability. But that’s OK, because we’re all supposed to worship Steve Jobs.

Bathe in the irony.

OK, I feel a little better. I’m calling it quits for tonight and will pray tonight very hard that no one ticks me off on the Metro tomorrow, because I’m pretty sure they’ll regret that.

Powder. Keg.

F*** the iPhone

I kind of promised myself at one point that I wouldn’t do this. I don’t want to be that guy. I really don’t. I just can’t stop myself.

Recently I got a Droid. It was a big deal, because I finally left behind the shackles of an ancient cell phone and entered the world of obsessive Facebook posting of pictures from every little event. Want to see another picture of my kids eating breakfast? Don’t worry, it’s on the way.

One of the things that caused me to get the Droid over the “hipper” iPhone is

  1. I bear a fair amount of animosity toward the iPhone because it’s not been switched to a decent phone carrier;
  2. Apple is run by a dictatorial fathead;
  3. They can’t just release upgrades to the software?;
  4. Its stench of “hipness” is an immediate turn-off to someone like me;
  5. I have a mortgage and kids. Unless I want to sell one of them off, I can’t afford a bajillion dollar phone.

Numbers two and five are really the biggest issues for me. I could even get over the first four, but price point is huge.

In fact, price point has always been what kept me out of the Apple market all these years. Why would I willingly spend $1300 or more for a computer, when I could get essentially the same thing for less than half that price? What could possibly compel me to do it?

“The operating system?”
I can cope with that. Virus issues? Don’t go to dirty sites (I don’t), don’t trust random downloads or file sharing sites (I don’t) and then get Firefox and gird it with the NoScript extension, killing any potential drive-by infection attempts (and freeing you from 85% of the advertising on sites). So completely for free, I’ve negated any argument you can throw at me for spending twice as much for my machine.

“The robustness of the hardware?”
Do the math. I can elect to replace my computer once every five to seven years to keep pace with advances (I don’t need the newest thing on the planet) at a cost each time at about one-third of what I’ll pay for an Apple computer. The argument for the Apple at this point sounds more like someone insisting it’s better to pay for a Lexus when I can make do with a Ford and if I take care of the Ford, it’ll last me just as long if not longer.

“Fewer crashes?”
OK, Windows Millenium Edition was a joke. I’ll give you that one. And honestly, Windows 7 has not delivered as well as advertised, but honestly, it’s never been enough of a problem to cause issues for me. Seriously, I’m not trying to calculate Pi to the billionth digit. I’ve not had anything that I would consider a serious issue (with the exception of Millenium Edition, which I was trapped into because that’s what Stacey had when we got together, so I count that as a mulligan).

“It’s cool?”
It does a job. I don’t care that it looks sleek or dazzling. I need it to do a job. That’s all. It’s just a machine. It has no feelings and it can’t make me feel better about myself. If I can get something that does the same stuff, is compatible with what I need and is going to provide better service…for a lower price…then why the Hell would I choose to get the MacBook/Apple/iPhone?

I really don’t get it. I know there are Mac cultists out there, but the hardware market has caught up to you. Even if you had an argument for the superiority of the hardware in the past, that argument is shot today.

That’s just how I see it. Not thrilling, I know, but that’s what it is.