And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
If this is your first time reading an Ars Technica review of Mac OS X and you’ve made it this far, be warned: this section will be even more esoteric than the ones you’ve already read.
John Siracusa, writing on page 9 of his always essential and insightful Mac OS X (now at version 10.7) review. Which, oh by the way, was released today alongside the new system. Silence grips Apple deathwatch, indeed.
Simple Finder. It’s been around in one form or another since OS 7 or 8. Here’s what it looks like nowadays:
Remind you of anything? Starting to get some ideas about how the product line could be integrated by the iTablet? How such a device could be made to have just enough Mac in it to be useful while Macs could be made to have just enough iTablet and iPhone in them to be instantly understandable to a hoard of potential new users? How those users would be trained from the get-go to buy apps and other content through Apple/iTunes? How the “what it does” question could be instantly forgotten with a single stroke?
It’s a computing product. It occupies the space between an iPhone and an iBook. And it makes everything else around it fall into place.
Gruber (and others) muse that Microsoft’s competition for Windows 7 customers is with its own Windows XP and with apathy. Most notably: not with Apple/Macintosh. Which is true. Apple has repeatedly stated through words and actions that they have no particular interest in the sub-$500 PC market. They barely have an interest in the sub-$1000 market. True, Apple has a few “hobby” projects in that space, but not a major business push.
But, and it’s a big but: the other end of an orthogonal relationship is the collision point. What happens when there’s sufficient processing power to do the vast majority of cheap-PC stuff on a phone or tablet? Microsoft’s continuing failure in this market is as obvious as Apple’s ongoing and growing success in it. True, you’re never going to word process on an iPhone, but a tablet: could be. Like many, I’ve already found an iPhone sufficient for huge swaths of what I formerly used laptops for while traveling. For many business travelers, it’s probably already there. A truly functional tablet could well eliminate most folks’ entire need for a laptop; certainly, the net-book industry would close almost overnight.
So it seems likely then that Microsoft (and the cheap PC market) will be utterly decimated when Apple (or somebody else) solves the tablet market. Think it through: a wildly successful tablet (or an iPhone type device with far greater capabilities that that of today) would obviate the need for a “real” laptop, would also neuter the crap experience of the cheap PC; who would want a table-bound POS when you could have a doodad in your lap that does everything said POS does and more, only with real usability and ease. Such a development would leave only the high-end market for people that need serious computing power or some other fairly specific, high-end task like a giant monitor. Microsoft is in precisely none of those spaces. Apple is in all of them, and not just in: they’re dominating and defining them in a way that makes follow-on innovation seem more like poor imitation, and gaining a foothold is that much more difficult. Curious that the only one they’re not in is the one they publicly disregard while (quietly) planning to destroy… almost like there’s a plan afoot.
Huh, Bukowski and I were using the same computer in the early 90s…
Charles Bukowski received a Macintosh IIsi computer and a laser printer from his wife, Linda. The computer utilized the 6.0.7 operating system and was installed with the MacWrite II word processing program. By January 18 of the next year, the computer was up and running and so, after a brief period of fumbling and stumbling, was Bukowski. His output of poems doubled in 1991.
Good old 6.0.7. The classic with just a splash of color. Huzzah! What a step up that computer felt like on moving from my old Macintosh SE. The “si” part of the name, by the by, stood for “small integrated” if my memory serves me correctly: smaller case (than a standard Macintosh II, which had dual disk drives, an HD, and lots of slots for cards), integrated video (the II line had, up to that point, required a separate video card purchase which, at the time, seemed vaguely insane). The magnificent follow-on to it, the IIci, was merely “compact.” The later IIfx went blue…
Steve Jobs all but introduces the upcoming Apple Tablet (hopefully the upcoming Macintosh tablet, but time will tell) in these quotes from an interview with David Pogue of the NYT:
There are some things that I’m focusing a lot of attention on right now—to polish
We have some really good stuff coming up.
Keep in mind, Jobs has previously stated that he considers most tablet-type computers to be, uh, shit. Additionally, we know that a number of pre-iPhones (for lack of a better term) died on the vine because one SPJ deemed them unworthy (he’s occasionally referred to these as their “best product decisions” or some similar construction: better to shitcan something bad than put it out there prematurely and sully the brand. Witness the Newton.
Likewise, he presages that this doodad will be far more than a reader:
I’m sure there will always be dedicated devices [like the Kindle], and they may have a few advantages in doing just one thing,” he said. “But I think the general-purpose devices will win the day. Because I think people just probably aren’t willing to pay for a dedicated device.
Even if the tablet runs the iPhone OS, it will be a far more capable everything than Kindle is a reader. If it runs garden-variety Mac OS X, it will likely outperform many (or most) netbooks in terms of absolute utility. How could it not? People already get pretty good results hacking the Mac OS onto these devices. An optimized version, from Apple, would dominate the space assuming it was priced within, say, $100 of its most direct competitors (honestly, it’s hard to figure out what those are in a field pretty well suffused with crap).