Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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I've just been reading this hilarious report on the MacWorld exhibition over at ars technica. Good I wasn't drinking at the time:

There is an actual sign upon a wall, a pair of eyes above a star, the word: OBEY. We all do, with our wallets, gladly paying the 'Apple Tax' for crippled DDR and CPUs that scoff at Moore's Law. Why Mac? That is the question I needed to answer, beyond the obvious possibilities, like Mac users are stupid or gay or both [...]

Empowered by Apple Computer and the ubiquity of the Airport wireless card, the Portable Losers drags their laptops to events so they can get on the wireless network and do nothing. [...]

PowerBook SE (Steroid Edition): [...] What is clear is that this machine will immediately become the most popular laptop in the history of the universe, and be the standard by which all other outrageously priced, technolust portables are measured.[...]

He looked very suspiciously upon those activities and diversions by which we while away the hours of our days, and yet he was not so sure of the place of culture, and its bastard pop-culture, to reason them utterly destructive. I liked being with all these people who liked the same thing I did, who waited with anticipation for one more thing, and did it really hurt anyone? I think not. That is why Mac, too.

Yeah, weirdos, those Mac people. Be sure to check out the link for the discussion on Macs and gays as well. It's hilarious, with bits like:

[...] My wife needed her own computer, one that was a portable development platform for Unix, to do high-end work in language synthesis and information modality, you know, natural language processing under a Chomsky paradigm, speech synthesis (not the talking parrot thing), and of course creating evil AIs that one day would bring about a nuclear holocaust.They offered her the Celeron sloppy seconds from some guy who needed a faster machine for Excel and PowerPoint. She declined. She needed power, and elegance, she needed a stone cold bitch of a machine with the heart of a superdupercomputer and the skin of a Playboy centerfold. [...]

Steve hasn?t change, not after all these years. Back when we first met, he had more hair, sure, and was still drinking tap water, filtered, of course, but the inner Steve was still the same, Love?em and Leave?em Steve, the guy who makes Bill Clinton look like a hermit monk in the desert. [...]

And it was the fugliest purple color I have ever seen. Note to Sony designers, who, if color sense is a mark homosexuality, obviously are not gay: pastels have been out for a decade, just like the Japanese economy. So, I returned the VAIO, and checked out the other Wintops, and it comes down to a single word: chrome. It?s as if sporting some shiny metal on an otherwise boxy, black shape is style, as if the sought after demographic was comprised of Pacific island cargo culters ready to worship an empty coke bottle. [...]

... and so forth. I was also pointed to Robert Cringely's site. He writes about Apple's newest offerings, including Safari and Keynote. Among other things he writes

A complete office application suite requires a word processor, spreadsheet, web browser, database, and presentation program, so with these new programs and its FileMaker database, Apple already has on sale three-fifths of an office suite. Who is to say that next year Jobs won't announce the other two applications, either of which is frankly easier to make than the applications announced this week?

Now, that's interesting. In my opinion, making a presentation program should be easy. Presentation programs are just useless gadgets anyway. Give some graphics hacker kids some time and fast computers and they'll give you more 'cOOl FX' than you'd ever want. Then throw away 90% of them along with the templates, hire some graphics people to make new ones and remove most of the buttons out of the UI. Or a different question: If making a good word processor is easy - why aren't there any? None of them has reasonably good typography, most of them have feature creep and are hard to use etc. The same is true for spreadsheets: Most are not powerful enough for anything non-trivial. If you need to program a few functions of your own, there seems to be no way around Excel. And Excel is so damn buggy in places, that it's a real pain to use. A nice thought that Robert has - but I won't hold my breath.

January 14, 2003, 23:41

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