Friday, May 4, 2012
My first Mac was the SE30 (Actually paid $3,050.00 for 64K Ram and 20mb drive!) As a Mac user, I have moved through OS stages from 6.0.3 to 10.7. Have owned at least 25 Macs from PowerBooks, to iBooks, to MacBooks, to iMacs, to MacMinis, to Mac Pros. Stood in line to purchase the first iPhone. Received the original iPad on the first day. I've beat a path to Apple Stores all across the USA. Purchased Final Cut Pro 1.5, and paid for upgrades all the way up to 10.0.4. I've personally converted lots of people to the Mac side.
You get the idea––I've got Mac user street cred!
But something changed when Apple rolled out Final Cut X and OS 10.7 "Lion." Those two products signaled a shift in Apple's approach (or at least our discovery of a shift). Apple Computer went from being a professionals' company to a consumers' company. And they have $110 Billion cash-money-on-hand reasons to justify that move.
iPod, iPhone and iPad broke it wide open for Apple as a consumer-driven company. Jobs knew that us Apple-based pro users have no where else to go. We old-school Mac users certainly cannot return to Windows because we were never there. Mac fanboys just go along with everything Apple says and does. Newbies are there because all their friends have come over. Apple's growth has been phenomenal, which is music to the ears of stockholders, of which I am not one.
As a guy who highly values great tools, the Mac has been one of the best. But in the words of B.B. King, "The Thrill is Gone."
The first "Thrill Killer" was Apple's and Jobs' decision to introduce Final Cut Pro X and immediately kill off Final Cut pro 7, which had become an industry standard for video editing. Final Cut Pro X was a clear rejection of the marginally profitable professional editors space and a bold grab at domination in the consumer video editing space by pricing FCPX at $299 for download, with NO user manuals––always a hallmark of pro applications. So egregious and insulting was FCPX that Apple had the audacity to enable importing iMovie Projects into FCPX, but not FCP7 projects!
Subsequent updates to FCPX have restored many features from FCP7. FCPX has become a useful tool in its own right, but the manner in which Jobs and Apple treated their loyal pros was not only unnecessary, but a clear statement of Apple's newfound love: Consumers, consumer-trendy products, and making boatloads of money on everything (such as $29 for little "bumper" cases for iPhone).
Employing near-slave labor in China also dulls one's sense of thrill about Apple, which "pimps" chinese labor for bigger profits, like everyone else.
The next Thrill Killer was Lion OS 10.7. At $29 dollars, how could we resist? "Best" of all, Lion makes the Mac work more like iPhone and iPad, two of Apple's biggest consumer successes. Jobs may may reasoned, "Hey! Make the Mac like the iPhone and them consumers will come running to buy Macs too!" Looks like Steve was right.
You don't need a mouse. You only need oily fingers and a "magical" trackpad. Right/Left clicking is over! The dispensation of "gestures" has come: Two, three and four-finger pinching, and swiping up/down and sideways. What's more, you don't need to see your screen scrolling as usual, so Apple reversed it and called it "Natural" scrolling! The justification for doing this?…It's now more like the iPad.
The worse thing about all this for me is the hype and "magical" talk. Apple personalities talk about Lion as if it were some significant breakthrough in personal computing. In fact, you will often waste time having to learn new ways of doing things that do not always result in significant savings in time or increase in productivity. LaunchPad is nothing more than "Simple Finder" from OS9 (Raise your hand if you knew that!).
Lion is mostly "change for change sake." It's Apple's attempt to change the culture of how we use computers, not because the way we use our Macs is broken, but because things just have to be changed every two years. Steve hyped up MobileMe and we bought it and used it. Just when it began working well (and it DID work!), Steve told us it was broken and that we now needed iCloud. He told us we need to have all our bad pictures automatically synced to every device. In fact, MobileMe Gallery was one of the finest photo presentation solutions ever!
But Apple just went and chucked the whole thing! I think I'll go down to the Apple Store the day after they turn off MobileMe just to see folks at the "Clueless Bar" ask "What happened to my stuff?" The Geniuses will tell the dummies, "You need iCloud! It's easier and better!" The truth is: It's NOT easier. iCloud is a gateway drug into buying Apple support and more products. iCloud/Lion also introduces fragmentation to the Mac community, which is new for Apple customers. There will be iCloud mavens, who understand and use it. There will be MobileMe refugees after June 30 who don't understand how iCloud works, or don't own a Mac that can run the App Store, or who cannot/will not install Lion. Apple is creating a lot of confusion
But I digress...
I don't mind innovation, but I do mind forced innovation. For example, there is no reason to hide the "Library" folder in Lion, other than to prevent consumers from messing with it, especially the latest hoard of newbies that Apple must believe are prone to doing dumb things. Forget that many of us need access the Library folder regularly (There's some kind of key-combination for that now).
Lion takes away "Save As" in favor of "Duplicate." Documents are automatically saved. Windows and apps are restored to their original cluttered locations when you login to Lion. Apple must think people are too dumb to use Save As properly (even though we've used it since personal computing began).
There's a lot of stuff like this in Lion that I find unnecessary. And just to know that Mountain Lion promises more distracting features like Reminders, Notification Center and Twitter integration! Wow! ...Not!
I am both happy and productive using Snow Leopard. OS 10.6 is what 10.0 was meant to be from the beginning. It is a highly refined and fully matured OS. I value getting things done and do not want to fool with the OS every year, or even think much about it. Apple seems to want users to esteem the OS as much as the applications that run on it. Excuse me Apple, MY work is more important than YOUR work!
Lion may as well be OS 11. It is a departure from what has been, and Apple knows it. However, they have played consumers by making them perceive Lion it just a simple upgrade from Snow Leopard and newbies don't have a clue, other than Mac being even more different than Windows Vista/7. Apple is counting on blind excitement and a lack of attention to detail by the masses of consumers. Yet many of us notice all those details and do not appreciate being corralled into something that is not superior and that we don't like.
Last week I purchased my first Mac that will not run Snow Leopard, a new MacMini. But here's the kicker: My Mac recognizes the Snow Leopard installer, installs the OS, BUT WILL NOT BOOT FROM IT! When I called tech support the guy told me, "We don't know which newer Macs will or will not run Snow Leopard." Then he tried to lecture me on why I should not be using a two-year old Snow Leopard! (Even though is it still being updated by Apple.) Of course Apple knows which newer Macs won't run 10.6 because of deliberate changes to the ROM or other components. Please!
From the "linen" startup screen to the ugly "leatherette" trim on the iCal and Address book apps, to the invisible scroll bars, to the colorless Sidebar icons, to the gaudy galaxy default screen graphic, and more, Lion has too many silly, backwards, and inelegant design features and functions. On top of all that, older and perfectly working apps (that you don't want to buy again) like QuickBooks Pro and earlier Adobe CS products won't run because Apple disabled the Rosetta emulator in Lion.
I'm only going to use Lion when I have to, such as to create iBooks using iBooks Author.
Okay, there you go: I am a Lion hater, so don't talk to me about it!
Have a great day! :-)