Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Just as a flower which seems beautiful and has colour but no perfume, so are the fruitless words of the man who speaks them but does them not.
- The Dhammapada, Buddhist Collection of Moral Aphorisms (c. B.C. 300)

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 device as the hottest Christmas gift of the year and I can remember I was so excited as I plugged the USB connecter from my brand new iPod into my PC and I began dragging and dropping my mp3s over from my PC and . . . 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 a file transfer? Eff you, you effing control freaks.

That was 2001.  Flash forward 16 years later and the tyrants at the Apple regime still make it just as ridiculously convoluted for me to get my wife’s pdf resume from my computer to her iPhone. All these years later and still the authoritarians at Apple won’t allow a simple drag and drop, so the next three options are iCloud and AirDrop – both a bunch of iCrap only available on iOS, and then there’s iTunes, I already swore I was not going to be forced into installing that garbage on my PC, the final solution was a third-party app (Documents 5, thanks Readdle Inc.!) which allowed my wife to get access to the pdf attachment from her browser-based email. Seriously, what a load of crap.

Forget about the fact that Apple outsources all their manufacturing to the cheapest slave labor factories in China and then slaps on their products the most over-inflated price tags imaginable. Far better to buy stock in the company than complain about that, but what I want to know is when will Apple stop ruling their design process with a money-grubbing iron fist that squeezes out the state-of-the-art technology their customers deserve?

How long are iPhones and iPads going to stick with that outdated single button beneath the screen when both Androids and Windows devices have a much more useful set of three permanent buttons?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, the all-important back button could be in the upper-left of the screen or the lower-left or wherever the developer might want to put it. Listen Apple, pig-headedly 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 them to shell out the big bucks if they want more storage on their devices, but did they ever stop to consider that from a historical perspective, their phones and tablets look ridiculously behind the curve when it’s 2017 and they still don’t have something as basic as a MicroSD slot?

Just the same as I wouldn’t begrudge Yves Saint Laurent for finding a way to convince the masses their bags are “status symbols”, to the point where people are willing to pay way more than any bag should be worth because everyone else knows how much they paid for that YSL bag, I also won’t begrudge Apple for finding a way to convince their loyal fans to pay a premium price to make their own fashion statement. You have to hand it to Apple for managing that one, but when it comes to the capabilities and the technology of their devices, 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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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
by
Doris Kearns Goodwin