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July 29, 2010

Comments

Laurent

As you previously wrote, Steve doesn't care about Macs anymore, so I doubt the majority at Apple does - especially not the executives whose main goal is to please Master Steve.

Ex2bot

I'm not impressed by build quality or design choices on many Windows machines. Neither am I impressed by the stories I've heard from friends about their so-called tech support. And I was impressed enough with Win 7 to buy it ($50) for my MacBook Pro. Now, though, I regret giving the jerks even that much as I've had to spend about an hour on the phone with Microsoft tech support in India on TWO separate occasions to get it to activate. I'm not even going to go into my troubles with my XBOX 360 or Office 2008.

Are you sure Windows machines are really such a good bargain? I think they're xxxx.

Boy

Sam

When you cite the ultra-low cost HPs, what you're really saying is that HPs offer more options at lower price points, not that the equivalent machine is less than half the cost. You obviously purchased the laptops with the lesser version of Windows 7 (not the "Pro" or "Ultimate") and Intel graphics. In order to get a real graphics card on a Core i5 HP laptop, you have to go to the "high performance" models which are huge and heavy.

Not that I'm not saying you got great value, or that the laptops don't fulfill your needs at a much lower price point. But I purchased one of those early-2010 Core i5 MacBook Pros, and its far and away the best laptop I've ever used. No buyer's remorse whatsoever. It's solid, light, the battery lasts forever, the screen is super-crisp, and I can do whatever I want with the OS.

ocracokewaves

Actually that is not what I am saying. My laptop came with Nvidia GeForce 230M with 1 GB of dedicated video RAM. If you want to do a speed test again my HP laptop, bring it on.

http://coastalnc.org/myhpi7laptopspecs.jpg

I am glad you like your system, but mine has also turned into a fantastic system and probably my all time favorite laptop. I could do without the numeric keypad, but that is no big deal.

I have used a lot of different laptops in my life so saying this one is one of my favorites is a big deal. The original Titanium PB was one of the great ones also.

I am sure that I would love one of the new MacBooks they are just priced way too high for what you get. There is no excuse for a 15" screen costing what Apple charges.

http://coastalnc.org/staplesinvoice.htm

By the way, I have not seen any limitations imposed by just having Windows Home Premium 7. If you need to do more with an operating system than what it does, I don't need it.

Patrick

I did find some comments on your model in New egg. It was $1100 and has plenty of checklists filled. I currently use the 13" macbook pro from last year. My real favorite features would rarely show on those check lists. Lets see there was the time my 3 year old son decided to skid my $1000 computer down the staircase. No problem the aluminum block kept everything intact. Then there is the common recharging interface that works with every other macbook sold in the last 3 or 4 years. No worries if you left the charger behind, someone else will have one exactly like it. The 6 to 8 hour battery life from a one hour charge is another perk. The final reason I still buy Macs is that they are used by me for a minimum of 4 or 5 years. You yourself mentioned your stable of old Macs. I find old pc's just don't get used like macs do. Maybe the new windows 7 system will change that. In any case, I am glad you are enjoying life in NC. It is a beautiful place to be with family and that is way more important than the type of computer you buy.

zorro

but you could still run a Hackintosh 8-) no need to run windows 7 especially on those similar hardwares, the box is quite different, the move to make them run OSX is really not difficult and it's not even a hack, even if some lawyers have been able to corrupt and poison the mind of a federal court people by mostly lying.

Thomas Elam

Hi,

I too was shown the exit after long tenure (24 years) at a large company. It was a fantastic position for the first 21 years, then all the top management retired within 24 months. The new team thought my entire department was overpaid, and we were all retirement-eligible. So, they made us an offer of retirement plus 2 years salary to hang it up. All but one of us (our admin assistant) took the offer, and never looked back. None of use have ever regretted that decision. In my case, the company soon discovered that I was doing things that they really needed, and no one else on board could do. So, I have the best of both worlds. I get a regular stream of consulting assignments from my old team mates, but do not have to put up with any of the management's BS. I am also free to take on other consulting clients, and have done well with that too. In 2 years I will be in a position to completely shut down my company and move on to other things. All-in-all it was the best career move I ever made.

You letter to Apple's management echoes many of my own sentiments. I don't think our situation is all that unique.

Kent Manning

Hi -- I never comment on these things, but I must say, I have long been an Apple user.

Regarding the pricing issue - I have often had relatives ask what I use. When I say Mac and then they compare prices they go PC. Then the trouble starts.

They call me to set up there PC. I dutifully do - as best I can not being an IT guru. It just seems that every time I set up a new PC for relatives, within a year it's a doorstop, running so slowly and so gummed up, it becomes unusable. (And that's WITH anti-virus etc running) In some ways the anti-virus software is more annoying than anything...

I have never had that experience in the Mac/Apple world.

My experience.

Thoroughly enjoy the blog.

ocracokewaves

I had similar experiences with Windows XP and of course I called Vista a "quagmire" long ago.

http://viewfromthemountain.typepad.com/applepeels/2008/04/a-mac-users-con.html

However, Windows 7 has turned into a completely different experience. My wife, a long time Mac-user, started using her Windows 7 laptop without any prodding from me. She has had no problems so far.

I have been using Windows 7 since February. It has yet to hang or have a problem.

I also set up a friend who I had on Macs in the nineties. He eventually went to XP because I could not support him from a distance. His Windows 7 laptop which is identical to my wife's has turned out to be his favorite computer.

I still love Macs. I just wish they were a little more reasonably priced. I am not looking for Apple to match Windows pricing. I just don't want to feel like I could have gotten two computers for each Mac that I buy.

I would be happy to pay $1200 for a 15" I7 MacBook, but I think Apple is too greedy to price them that low. A $1500 I7 21" iMac would be just about right.

Jules

I'll just say: congratulations.
I'm not speaking about computer prices or specs, that are minor issues in my opinion.
I'm speaking about life, about your sure smile seeing your grandaughter say "ridiculous", about having the time to see her and smile, about feeling the connection with nature, again, about living a life —and working—, and not about working as the only way of life.
I can imagine that you still check the weather forecast, but just to get ready to go fishing.
Again, congratulations.
I hope to read you again soon.

Ed Tidwell

Happy to hear you are enjoying the Outer Banks. My wife and I used to live in Greenville, NC when I worked for Burroughs Wellcome. Our favorite place to visit by far is Ocracoke, NC. Go there on a New Moon and site on the beach away from the harbor and lights. I've never seen so many stars in the sky at night. We could track planes in the sky by their shadow. It was amazing.

I always buy Apple refurbished gear. Straight from them with a full one year warranty and they promise no dent, ding or defect.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC516LL/A?mco=MTg0NzA2MTY

The Apple Store has what is known as EOL (End of Life) prices for previous models when a new model comes out. I get those for my small business and have been very happy with that.

That is the best time to buy in my opinion.

So for example I got a Mac Pro 8-core 2008 model for 1,800. That included the OS, software and a full year of support. It was even in a sealed box.

I'm willing to pay extra because I know if I have a problem Apple will stand behind it.

I find it ironic that the folks who want a 'cheap' PC have no problems paying 85K for a Lexus/BMW/Mercedes. For the record I drive a cheap Toyota with 150K miles on it. ;-)

I remember when a computer used to cost 5K so for me to get a 27'' inch iMac for under 2K that looks like a sculptured block of metal feels like a great deal to me.

I've personally found that Apple computers hold their value and CAN be re-sold. I can't say that about other PC systems.

For the record my first PC was an IBM PS/2 50 and then down the road I got a Gateway. Then I moved to DELL and then to HP. When MS stalled with Longhorn/Vista I was annoyed. When MS said they were getting into the Anti-Virus business and making it hard on Norton Antivirus to get access to the OS Betas I was finished with MS.

When Apple went to the Intel platform and I could run ANY OS in a window via VM Ware. (Windows XP and Linux) Then I was hooked.

I buy Apple because my time is worth money.

I'll never be able to buy a Ferrari but I can always get a Mac and enjoy the Information Highway without fear of an unexpected road repair. :-)

If you REALLY want a great cheap PC you should just install Fedora 13 on a bare bones system and safe your self $150 plus the annual $50 anti-virus tax. https://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora

Kind regards,
Ed Tidwell
Charlotte, NC

ocracokewaves

Unfortunately I am still scarred from the refurbished units that we were forced to use at Apple for our own internal use. It could be that we were given the ones that they were afraid to sell. We had one Dual-G4 system where we replaced everything but the case, and it was still flaky.

I continue to tell people that Windows 7 is different. It actually works. I used it today on the HP mini laptop that belongs to my youngest daughter's significant other.

I do not have a problem paying a premium for Apple gear. I just think they are being exorbitant on their pricing for i5 and i7 products both iMacs and laptops.

Actually I have been using Microsoft Security essentials which is free as my virus protection. I find it runs well and is less intrusive than Norton which seems to exact a system resources penalty. MS Security essentials is also free so I am pleased with that.

If I look at Apple as someone who needs to continue using a real desktop, they worry me. So where is the latest iLife update? Picasa has been updated a number of times since iLife.

One of my great problems with Apple is that they always move on to the next greatest thing when important things still need attention. iLife is a big deal to me. Does Steve no longer care about it?

I could do a list of areas that Apple should focus some talent, but it really isn't that important. I am not a typical user. I am one of the pro-sumers that Apple used to pay a lot of attention to in the days when the company was fighting to survive.

I think Apple is resting on its software laurels as far as its desktop and laptop computer platforms go. The real talent at Apple is working on the iPhone and iPad software.

That is one of the differences between Apple and some of the other large companies. Apple will never hire enough people to do more than a few things right.

Also Apple loses some very good people because any mistake has to have a penalty. Good organizations develop people, Apple has always been a churn and burn company when it comes to people.

Still I love the products, but I continue to hear stuff that doesn't surprise me from people leaving the mothership.

I am always pleased to hear about someone running a business who has had good experiences with Macs. I wish Apple would pay a little more attention to businesses.

As to Linux, I started using Linux in the fall of 2004. Getting it to run back in those days was a challenge. I finally settled on Ubuntu in 2005, and my old Dell Dimension from 2004 is one of two systems on my main desk along with my trusty Dual G5 Mac.

I never could find a html editor that I like which runs on Linux so my Ubuntu system mainly does Gmail and web browsing, but it is very fast.

Check out this post...

http://viewfromthemountain.typepad.com/applepeels/2009/04/some-interesting-numbers-on-apples-leopard-ubuntua-jaunty-jacalope-and-mss-vista.html

I should re-run the test now that all the OSes have been updated.

I would bet Vista would be even slower. Windows 7 is pretty fast, but I don't think it can take Linux or even OS X on boot speed. It might be close.

Clayton Moore

I left Apple last November and I can say the Apple culture that made it a special place to work started to fade just about 2006, now its barely recognizable as compared to the way it was. There may be places in Cupertino that still have the old feel but, one day when Steve is gone the last vestiges of that spirit will fade. The young rebellious and informal spirit that founded Apple and Microsoft would not be tolerated by the more educated and formal business people who run the companies today. Sad but true.


About products:

One thing is for sure if people keep buying Apple at these prices, no chance they will change their pricing structure. I have often wondered how long they can keep going on a seeming winning streak before they make a major miss-step or the market just turns away. Having said that I don't think the "computer" as a truly unique selling medium has much time left. The fact is that Windows gets closer every day to user friendly. I just don't think that in 10 years it will make any difference what logo is on the box, they will all pretty much do the same thing with the same ease and the same stability…. period. What does that mean? It means no magic in an Apple computer or an HP computer, is all going to be the same.

THATS WHY …. Apple Computer changed its name to Apple Inc. They know full well whats down the road. For the hugely valuable Apple Brand to stay heavily invested in, or identified with computers is not sustainable. Phones and Pads and Pods are small computers but its not the same thing. The idea is to design and sell something that stands alone and can command the price point they require. Add to that iTunes content either movies, music, or books and computers will be a dimly light image down the road. Desktops are GOING AWAY and soon.
Its all about mobile computing thats where Apple is investing its future, thats where its all going.

Clayton Moore

ocracokewaves: Good comments, yes churn and burn.
Working at Apple is like working for a TV station. Lines of folks waiting to get in because its "Apple" and Apple still has that cool place to work thing. Working at the local TV station pays very poorly but everyone wants to get their foot in the door ... its the glamour factor.

How the software thing works is that a long list of bugs on iLife as an example will always take 2nd seat to the software bling factor of NEW iLife features that Steve can show off at a presentation, THAT stuff had better work thats the way its always been.

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