Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.
- Charles Dickens, English Novelist (1812-1870)

steve jobs

This is what I see when I see an iPhone.

This is what I see when I see an iPhone.

I really have hated Apple and all their iCrap devices ever since the iPod came out and my mom was so sweet to get me that pricey little iPod as the hottest Christmas gift of the year and I can remember I was so excited as I plugged it in via USB to my PC and I began dragging and dropping my mp3s over from my PC and . . . wait, what? What’s this? You mean to tell me I can’t drag and drop my mp3s over just as simple as you can with any other USB storage device that’s ever been made? You mean to tell me that I have to install that bloatware known as iTunes just to do something as simple as moving mp3s over to the device? Eff you, you effing control freaks.

Forget about the fact that Apple outsources all their manufacturing to the cheapest slave labor factories in China and then slaps the most over-inflated price tags imaginable on their devices, if Apple’s cult followers are brainwashed enough to pay those prices, far better to buy stock in the company than to complain about it. What I want to know is, when will Apple stop ruling their design process with a money-grubbing iron fist that squeezes out so much of the state-of-the-art technology that their customers deserve?

How long are iPhones and iPads going to stick with that outdated single button beneath the screen when both Android and Windows Phones have a much more useful set of three permanent buttons? On Android phones, you have a permanent back button just to the right of the home button, on Windows Phones, you have a permanent back button just to the left, but for some reason, Apple is stuck on this lame idea that one button somehow makes things simpler. Because of this, back buttons are completely at the whim of the developer and the all-important back button might show up in the upper-left of the screen or the lower-left or wherever the developer might want to put it.

Listen Apple, pigheadedly sticking with one button beneath the screen does not make your phone any more functional or aesthetically pleasing. It just sucks.

And when will Apple give people the same ability to upgrade their device storage with the MicroSD slots that every other phone has had for over a dozen years now? I know Apple’s all about fleecing their fan base and forcing three price points on them based on storage capacities that can’t be upgraded, but did Apple ever stop to consider that from a historical perspective, their phones and tablets look laughably behind the times when it’s 2017 and they still don’t have something as basic as a MicroSD slot?

I wouldn’t begrudge Louis Vuitton for cashing in on having convinced the women of the world that the ridiculous price tags on their handbags are worth the money spent because other women know how just much you spent on those status symbols as well. So I have to hand it to Apple for convincing their legion of fans that the value of their products is not in the sum of their parts but in the fashion statement they make. When it comes to the capabilities and the technology of their devices however, don’t ever let anyone tell you Apple isn’t squeezing it out.

Apple Squat

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One of my all-time favorite images on the Internet, updated slightly for 2013:

How Fanboys See Operating Systems

Joey Devilla gets all credit for the original image at global nerdy. Well done.

It works in general for most anyone who chooses one platform over the other, it’s just a bit more extreme when you’re talking about fanboys.

And if you’re a person who actually has a life outside of the Internet, you may be asking, “What’s a fanboy?” Here’s a sharp and concise definition from Urban Dictionary:

A passionate fan of various elements of geek culture (e.g. sci-fi, comics, Star Wars, video games, anime, hobbits, Magic: the Gathering, etc.), but who lets his passion override social graces.

Of course, you can also add phones and computers to the list of geeky things the fanboy gets hysterical about.

Most people see cell phones and computers simply as tools for work and communication, but not the fanboy. For the fanboy, their chosen phone and computing platform becomes integral to their whole identity, maybe even the most important part of how they define themselves.

If you’ve ever read the amount of passion a fanboy can pour into an Internet post on why Linux is the best ever and all other OSes are evil, it’s pretty hilarious to hear that level of fanaticism, and I can say that as someone who’s been that fanatical themselves. I can remember being thirteen- and fourteen-years-old and having arguments that bordered on screaming matches over how my TI-99/4 computer was better than my friend Scott’s Apple and with an equal amount of passion, he’d implore me to abandon my false god and accept the Apple II+ as the savior of the computing world.

Funny how things change, after being a hardcore Apple fanboy before the word fanboy even existed, Scott now works for Microsoft and the two of us are both united in being solidly loyal to Redmond. Now, a little older and more mellow, like most any adult, I see my Windows Phone and the dozen Windows computers in the house as simply my chosen tools for getting the job done. It’s a much healthier, saner way of looking at things, but I must admit I do miss those screaming matches we used to have.

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Team of Rivals
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Doris Kearns Goodwin