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back to article Two years after Steve Jobs' death, how's that new CEO working out?

Two years ago today, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs died. Since then, much has changed at Apple, with the most visible difference being Tim Cook stepping out from under the shadow of his larger-than-life predecessor, shepherding Apple's product lines, expanding its distribution, reshuffling its executive team, mollifying investors …

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Apple

Clearly with 150b in the bank and 9 million phones sold on opening weekend Cook's team is doing very well indeed. We all should be doing so poorly.

iOS isn't my cup of tea and the iPhone's screen size isn't either so I shall not be adding to Tim's pile of cash anytime soon, but you have to admire a company executing so, so well and building products that so many appear to deeply desire.

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Re: Apple

Yes, Rik has actually written a rather good piece here. Many say Tim Cook has effectively been somewhere between being a CEO and a COO since Steve Jobs first medical leave of absence, with the needle swinging fully to CEO in the periods Jobs was away. The share price today is considerably higher than when Cook entered the office and has started a recovery after the call from its' peak. In fact view the 5 year trend in the share price and it is remarkably linear, with the exception of a hike in the price in 2012, when there were no new products launched and the market's enthusiasm appears unwarranted. It now appears to have returned to the linear level of increase described by the average of five year trend. On the share price evidence alone, Cook appears a remarkably consistent performer. People also forget that throughout Apple's history there have been pundits proclaiming the company doomed at some times with more justification than others. That is in the nature of a tech products company where the vast majority of profits come from product sales rather than ongoing service contracts and the "next hit" is not obvious to the outside world.

But with this piece and other more recent articles, it does rather seem as though The Register is pulling away from the "Peak Apple" editorial policy it has been pursuing for the last year and which for a little while now has been starting to look to the neutral essentially, well, wrong. Of course this could be because in the words of another The Register hack, The Register is a broad church and Rik's evidence based articles are one voice of many.

There does of late, appear to be a greater number of pieces by The Register team as a whole, acknowledging news of Apple's ongoing success. It seems to me there has been a two year period where The Register gave in to a satirically easy-meat, rabid anti Apple streak, that went beyond satirising big business bullshit, but that spilled into an unwarranted level of negativity about the products of Apple business machine because some/many didn't like the style of how they do business. To allow opinion on style of business, to be readily transformed into opinion on the success/value of its products (e.g. I don't like the business therefore I will therefore wilfully see the products as bad) was always bound to be a mistake. The apparent policy also resulted in a degradation of the quality of discussion in the forums which is only recently beginning to recover. With intelligently written pieces like this I hope that period has now come to a close.

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Facepalm

Re: Apple

New boss, new handsets and yet their users are *still* holding it wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple

@Bob Vistakin

Prat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple

There are problems with your assumptions.

a) that they actually sold that number of phones, and it's just not hype, as they know by the time accounts are audited, they would have sold 9m phones and their bullshit can be easily covered up.

b) those users wanted to upgrade to another Apple phone, rather than being locked in and forced down the Apple road. the "I want a better phone, those Android ones look cheaper and better, but I will lose all my stuff I bought" dilemma.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Hate?

Why do some people HATE Apple so much? They do after all produce some great products.

Is it Apple Hate? Jobs Hate? Apple/Jobs Hate?

Any business has to protect its products, yet when others do it, that's just fine, but when Apple do it the vitriol being spat out is unbelievable, especially by those with no interests in them anyway.

I can compare it to the Labour Party/Ed Miliband v Daily Mail saga. Ed and his ilk would have you believe that butter wouldn't melt in their mouths yet look at the way their followers behaved after Margaret Thatcher died with their in built nastiness. Instead of qualified comments they just shout you down.

Same with the Apple detractors on here, comments are usually bigoted snide and nasty with no substance and I'll informed.

I can only assume from this that there may be a psychological correlation between Socialist Labour and Apple haters in that they operate and exist on a similar mental level.

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Re: Apple

"a) that they actually sold that number of phones, and it's just not hype, as they know by the time accounts are audited, they would have sold 9m phones and their bullshit can be easily covered up."

Ah sweet, an "I don't want it to be true" fantasist critic. However please be aware that to falsify sales performance figures would amount to deliberately providing false information that would be known to affect the market and share price and that, due to SEC rules and trading laws, would be a Felony. Apple have always reported 1st weekend sales and their veracity has never been questioned. Moreover, the figures for sales through their shops are actual sales to end customers (not just into channel) so the figures are more significant than those provided by their competitors.

"b) those users wanted to upgrade to another Apple phone, rather than being locked in and forced down the Apple road. the "I want a better phone, those Android ones look cheaper and better, but I will lose all my stuff I bought" dilemma."

Possible but that applies to Android users as well as iOS users, yet more are switching from Android to iOS (and from Samsung to iOS) than the other way round. Which is why now the market is getting close to smartphone saturation in the US and the UK, iOS is taking market share off Android (with other maturing markets in developed nations set to follow suite).

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Re: Apple Hate?

You can buy a Nexus 4 for half the price of a iPhone 4, never mind the iPhone 5. Most people would be perfectly happy with either, so where's the justification for double the price? Aspiration, b*ll*cks - they've been sold a pup - admittedly one that works pretty nicely and will no doubt serve them well, but to compare iPhone to art or any other high-brow pursuits, like someone does below, is just pure BS. It's a f*cking phone for christ's sake. Get over yourself and get a life. Or not. The phondleslab in your pocket will talk to everyone else's, whoever makes it. Move on. Get some fresh air, exercise, entertain the kids, you know - a life.

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Re: Apple Hate?

In my case, it is because I have used an airport express, two macs, and an ipod . All of them were infuriating and all of them were infuriating because Apple chose to make them so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Hate? - Socialist Labour and Apple haters

There should be a Register badge for so much irrelevancy in a post, a special award for someone so blinded by partisanship for, of all things, the Daily Mail that he (it's going to be a he) seeks to drag its attack on Miliband, and the blowback, into an article about Apple.

I missed the bit where Socialist Worker ran a piece on Margaret Thatcher's father labelling him "the man who hated Britain", but I expect that the Mail has photoshopped it somewhere. (and yes, I know one is not supposed to write "photoshopped", but someone should tell someone else that language is not (yet) owned by corporations.)

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Mushroom

Re: Apple

The fact that Apple makes obscenely vast profits on such a tiny minority of the market, is merely a testament to how far Apple ruthlessly exploits its weak-willed, easily-indoctrinated cult members, who clearly have more money than sense.

These are typically the same mindless consumer zombies who spend hundreds of dollars per yard on Van Den Hogwash digital A/V cables.

Are we really supposed to be impressed by their stupidity, or by Apple's malice and greed?

To the person who asked "Why do people hate Apple so much", may I first say good morning and would you like a cup of coffee, because apparently you've been sleeping for the past several years. Then I would bring you up to speed with this summary, to save me having to repeat the vast litany of Apple's extreme hostility.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple

The fact that Apple makes obscenely vast profits on such a tiny minority of the market, is merely a testament to how far Apple ruthlessly exploits its weak-willed, easily-indoctrinated cult members, who clearly have more money than sense.

That statement falls flat on its nose the moment you're dealing with people who by dint of their profession need to use all platforms, HAVE all platforms and yet still use the iPhone by preference. I'm not going into the why as that would be wholly irrelevant, the only reason I would like to illustrate as an amplifier for my choice is exactly the sort of statement above, which can only be driven by a jealous rage - I'd choose the irritating product wilfully, just to see if I could get someone like that to have an aneurysm.

I have the money to make an informed choice, not a popular one. I have 30+ years experience in electronics and their manufacturing, 25+ in IT from code cutting to government size infrastructures and I have used enough Operating Systems in anger to make a serious acronym soup. So thank you for the baseless assumptions that you make on my preferring one piece of kit over another. I will give you one "why" - I have all of them because I need to see what my clients see, but I also know I don't have the time to forever f*ck around with gadgets to make them work (the predecessor to ActiveSync, or making an Android phone work *without* getting a Google account and so give them legal permission to steal data), or spend weeks working out the latest WTF with the UI (Ubuntu, Windows) - keep in mind that this coming from someone who would edit sendmail.cf raw, without macro processors and who has been using Linux for a very long time.

What drives my choice is that I'm OK with spending a bit more if it actually works practically out of the box, and that it keeps working.

And that maybe, just maybe, some rabid foaming-at-the-mouth-anti-apple people have a heart attack for seeing yet another bit of kit sold. That alone would be worth it too.

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Holmes

@AC @14:00 - Re: Apple Hate?

Wrote : - "Why do some people HATE Apple so much? Is it Apple Hate? Jobs Hate? Apple/Jobs Hate?" .. Any business has to protect its products, yet when Apple do it the vitriol being spat out is unbelievable"

You ask a question and then assume an answer. "Protecting their products" - not sure what you have in mind there, the fatuous patents or the fact that you can't open the casings, even to replace a battery?

In fact I just find Apple amusing, because I do not need to fear them ever making a monopoly like MS did - they are too ridiculous and expensive for that to happen. Seeing Apple fanbois queing overnight for every new product and seeing Apple staff doing war-dances to hype themselves up, are among the biggest laughs I get on El Reg.

Wrote :- "I can only assume from this that there may be a psychological correlation between Socialist Labour and Apple haters."

Take it you mean "Socialist Labour *supporters*" and assuming you'd class me as a "hater", I don't recognise that; you cannot get much further from a Socialist Labourite than I am. OTOH I'd say that Jobs admiration is of similar psychology to excessive admiration of Thatcher (or Che Guevara, Gates, President Kennedy, Justin Bieber, take your pick) - deification of a contemporary person.

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FAIL

Re: Apple

Well, that's the messenger well and truly shot.

Time to reload, things are about to get busy.

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Re: Apple

iOS is unravelling because there's no Jobs or Forstall to push it forward. You need a single-mided twat to move forward, consensus and committee can only live up to expectations (or fail to). God help us when Ive gets his hands on OSX.

"The public does not know what is possible. We do." Akio Morita

Tim Cook does not think like this.

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Re: Apple

@SuccessCase

You saved me the effort, and did it rather eloquently.

How do I up vote you more than once?

pip pip!

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Re: Apple Hate?

"I can only assume from this that there may be a psychological correlation between Socialist Labour and Apple haters in that they operate and exist on a similar mental level."

I can only assume that you're not familiar with the politics of the ranks of Apple-glow wielding, coffee(sic) drinking, Islington Starbucks inhabitants.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Hate?

I can only assume you cannot read and comprehend.

" with the politics" != "psychological correlation"

moron.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple

Desperate. I really doubt a company as large as Apple would or could lie to it's shareholders and the markets about something so important - would be easy to prove and the penalties would probably be severe.

How about you (just for a moment) assume the figures are genuine as this is by far the more likely scenario.

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Re: @AC @14:00 - Apple Hate?

Wow - I though that people buy Apple stuff because they like it. Turns out it's a sinister mind control cult. Can't the government do something? Are we all going to turn into Cybermen?

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Facepalm

@getHandle 05/10 18:36

"You can buy a Nexus 4 for half the price of a iPhone 4"

You can also buy a Jaguar XK for less than half the price of an Aston Martin.

Which proves what, precisely?

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Re: Apple Hate?

Mainly due to their control freakery

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @getHandle 05/10 18:36

That nowadays reliable cars cost less than unreliable ones? The car analogy doesn't work.

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Re: @getHandle 05/10 18:36

That you're a master of the irrelevant analogy?

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@ Frank Bough

I agree.

When I read this:

"collaboration is essential for innovation"

. . . I realised that Cook has no vision of his own. None, nada, zilch.

What he describes right there is exactly the opposite of how Apple managed to get to where they are since the 1990's.

Jobs may have been a total arsehole, but he knew what he wanted and usually that flew in the face of the consensus opinion. He was almost always proved right in the long run.

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Re: @getHandle 05/10 18:36

>>You can buy a Nexus 4 for half the price of a iPhone 4"

>You can also buy a Jaguar XK for less than half the price of an Aston Martin.

>Which proves what, precisely?

How about:

- some splash money on fantasy associations with James Bond;

- some splash money on fantasy associations with retail queues with high-fiving, whoop-whooping sales assistants who call themselves geniuses?

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Re: @ Frank Bough

"Jobs may have been a total arsehole, but he knew what he wanted and usually that flew in the face of the consensus opinion. He was almost always proved right in the long run."

I'm waiting for the long run. Not sure it will prove what you believe it will.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple

@Bob Vistakin

Get a life you tedious little man.

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Overpriced trinkets

Apple's products are just grossly over-priced trinkets hyped up to appeal to the posers and "must-have" fanbois. Pay through the nose if you want to for a touch of styling (just like Bang and Olufsen audio and TV gear) but there are products around that will do the same job quite adequately without sacrificing several arms and legs and taking out a second mortgage in the process. In my opinion, an awful lot of folk have been conned by Apple's continuing rhetoric but I suppose that's the company's ruthless Jobsian legacy which must be maintained.

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Facepalm

Re: Overpriced trinkets

"...there are products around that will do the same job quite adequately..."

"David 45's performance this year has been adequate."

"So do you fancy David 45 then? Well, I suppose he's adequate"

"What did you think of the dinner I spent all afternoon cooking, my darling? 'Well, David 45, it was adequate' "

You may be happy with a life full of adequacy, but some of us aspire to a little more.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

Some people are happy with adequate - fortunately many people want more. Apple clearly pushes the industry along and does a great deal of innovation that everyone should be happy for (as the others copy it).

The design, service, support, durability and residual value more than make up for a slightly higher purchase cost. iPhones probably cost less than an equivalent spec'd Android over a few years (you replace the Android every 18 months whereas iPhones typically are still in use much longer or even if you replaced both every 18-24 months the trade-in / resale value of the iPhone is much higher - certainly to make any difference in purchase cost insignificant).

They come out with the best tech and usually first - retina screens, ultra notebook format, flash on their laptops - it may not look as special once everyone else has copied it. I'm sure people will not think fingerprint readers are a big deal - when in reality they are very niche at the moment (and frankly do not work very well) - but now Apple has made one conveniently built in, works very well and yes others will follow and then it will be normal but Apple raised the bar.

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Re: Overpriced trinkets

Well not quite, I'm mostly weendooz 7 and Linux these days but I have an old Power Mac G5 that has been running w/o being vacuumed w/ no glitches for 10 years. Have not had another machine like that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

You sound like one of those Labour Party Activists who denigrates anyone who wants to aspire to something. Should we all remain average and remain tied to mediocrity, how dare anyone want to rise above his station in life. Should we know our place and obey our masters who know better?

Bollo*ks.

Unfortunately you show the very reason why the education system need to be overhauled with your narrow minded ill informed pettiness.

I did not need to take out a second mortgage or credit to afford a new iPhone.

In fact, I didn't need to when I bought my MacBook Pro this year. I just went online, ordered them and paid with a Visa card because the money happened to be in my bank. I am neither a millionaire nor super rich, I just work hard to afford what I buy. In fact I also bought a gold one for my wife because her old 4S was showing its age.

We all know that you are jealous, I know it is hard on you but if you bucked up your ideas maybe it would put you in the position that you might be able to afford one, some day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

I agree with you in that apple gear IS extremely overpriced. If you don't believe me, compare mac/pc sales figures for last year, then look at which company took most of the profit from that sector. However, I wouldn't ever consider buying a phone or tablet from anyone else. yes you pay quite a hefty premium for them but they shit on any android device on the market in terms of usability, reliability and responsiveness. The only thing I don't like about idevices is the manufacturer. Their customer service is appalling and every time I have to go to the apple store the smugness of the workers there makes me want to vomit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

My goodness, it must be the same AC that was banging on above about how unfair it was of Miliband to object to the Daily Mail. Has the Daily Mail website closed down? Or has the Huffington Post started moderating out some of the more offensive posts of people who don't like its articles?

There is a reason why modern photocopiers don't have green ink as one of the options; fruitcakes can now post directly on websites, they don't have to put it in an envelope and post it. I did once suggest to the Guardian that they should flag the more bonkers posts by printing them in green, but Emily said I was being silly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

there are products around that will do the same job quite adequately without sacrificing several arms and legs and taking out a second mortgage in the process

If you spend more time thinking and less time ranting jealously you could maybe afford decent kit too. I'm happy to explain my choice to someone else, that's called "having a discussion". It also means I'm happy to hear of counterarguments, without invective, and in the end we would probably conclude that our needs differ and we bought what matched our requirements. As you appear new to this, this is called "civilised debate" - look it up some time.

Your style is of a 3 year old who has not yet found the right toy but is jealous of any other kids who have already found the toy they want. Let me know when you grow up. Judging by your post (and many others who post similar invective) this may either take some time or never happen at all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

I agree with you in that apple gear IS extremely overpriced. If you don't believe me, compare mac/pc sales figures for last year, then look at which company took most of the profit from that sector

That's irrelevant data. Overpriced means "priced more than a customer is prepared to pay for it", which does not seem to be the case by those same sales figures. I have always used high end laptops for my work, and buying a MacBook was by comparison equivalent in costs. For me this was an experiment, what made me throw out every bit of Windows kit 2 months later was a MASSIVE payback in time, usability and software costs. If you can avoid Microsoft and Adobe in your work, the Mac is actually the product with the best TCO of them all - and THAT is what converted me, not the iShiny stuff that gets many people into a jealous rage. Interesting is that I also use Linux less other than in the server room - I have a FreeBSD prompt at the ready in a Mac, and enough extra Open Source tools installed to make the terminal a good working place too.

To me, the invective merely indicates those people have never owned an Apple product, and thus talk from a position of ignorance. That is never a basis for a rational discussion, and such comments can thus comfortably be discarded.

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Windows

Never let the facts get in front of a good argument...

I don't suppose you have the FACTS to back that assertion? Such as comparing like with like?

Many of the Apple devices cannot be compared with other companies due to the unique attributes that Apple create, e.g. the operating system and application ecosystem. You can't get iOS on non-Apple devices. You can't get OSX on non-Apple devices (no, not hackintosh).

When looking at Macs, please show me the *equivalent* device from another major manufacturer. Sony, Dell, et al, where equivalents do exist (e.g. screen resolution, performance, weight, size, CPU, etc.) are *always* more expensive than Macintosh. And you have to run that Windows shit.

Some of us are very happy running Apple kit. It works. Sure there's issues, but generally the benefits way way outweigh the drawbacks.

Now go and do some research to back up your opinion then share it with us.

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FAIL

Re: Overpriced trinkets

"Their customer service is appalling and every time I have to go to the apple store the smugness of the workers there makes me want to vomit."

Essentially every survey, and in my case all anecdotal evidence, suggest that you bilious position is false.

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Re: Overpriced trinkets

Eight years ago I grabbed a 467MHz PC, already several years old, that was on its way to be scrapped.

It's run Linux as a door to a private network since then. The only times it has had to be restarted have been following power outages to its part of the building, maybe once every 1-2 years.

It just works. One day it won't. (Fan bearings have been making a noise sometimes for the last couple of years. Stuff breaks). Then another act of recycling will replace it at similar cost and with similar usefulness.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Overpriced trinkets

"In fact I also bought a gold one for my wife because her old 4S was showing its age."

Says it all really.

Paris probably likes people who buy her gold ones, too.

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Re: Overpriced trinkets

"put you in the position that you might be able to afford one, some day."

For a lot of people it's not the money they can't afford that keeps them at arm's length from Apple. It's the wasted time and working around non-standard and crippled-by-design aspects.

And some people are just embarrassed to be associated with bling.

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Re: Never let the facts get in front of a good argument...

"Many of the Apple devices cannot be compared with other companies due to the unique attributes that Apple create, e.g. the operating system and application ecosystem. You can't get iOS on non-Apple devices. You can't get OSX on non-Apple devices (no, not hackintosh)."

Apple hasn't created an operating system for years since before giving up on its Next-based efforts. Apple uses an operating system developed by others (Unix... yeah, yeah, yeah... BSD, Mach kernel, blah, blah, blah... but it sure quacks like a Unix, and smells as sweet), and then sticks its own blingy GUI and label - OSX, iOS - on the top. And just like it shouts "Look at us high-fiving, we make the best!" and the hard-of-understanding queue for "designer" Emperor's New Clothes, so the same queue-meisters believe that the "best" includes an Apple designed OS.

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Facepalm

Re: Never let the facts get in front of a good argument...

@WhoaWhoa

Your argument that Apple didn't design the OS is like saying Ferrari didn't design the 599 GTB because they bought the seats in from Recaro.

OSX may have a UNIX kernel, but as an OS it's most definitely Apple-designed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

For a lot of people it's not the money they can't afford that keeps them at arm's length from Apple. It's the wasted time and working around non-standard and crippled-by-design aspects.

Yup. You really have never been near a Mac. Mine talks to a Linux box, another Mac and a Windows server. And frequently mounts a couple of secure WebDAV services via a VPN. It also happily runs LibreOffice and OpenOffice, it compiles Open Source code in a terminal session and regularly acts as an X11 display for processes running elsewhere. Only NFS is a dog, but I've never had much success with NFS so that may just be me. I even have a version of MS Office on the machine in case some idiot sends me an docx of xlsx file (*), and I frequently piss off people on Windows by sending their Visio files back with much better looking design because Omnigraffle Pro just makes that easy. In short, I haven't come across any of the incompatibilities you claim - could you be more specific? Or have you not actually used a Mac yet for more than 24h?

Second, iIf you mean by "crippled" the absence of a need to start rooting for HOWTOs to identify the correct resource that needs to be messed with before a program or a desktop can actually do any practical work, than you have another description of "crippled" than I had in mind. I find it beats the living crap out of Windows, and is a far nicer way to use Unix than Linux. That's my personal opinion, of course, but it comes from practical experience.

And some people are just embarrassed to be associated with bling.

True, but I don't have the kind of ego that needs others to agree with me, so that doesn't interest me in the slightest. Easy. If association matters to you you still have a bit of growing up to do IMHO. Or need help.

(*) Personally, I would be grateful if the NSA would crack that file format, because MS clearly cannot. If the NSA can allegedly hack high grade crypto, it would be a nice gift to the tax payer if they figured that one out instead. (/rant)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced trinkets

>Pay through the nose if you want to for a touch of styling (just like Bang and Olufsen audio and TV gear)

True, Bang and Olufsen kit was usually highly styled (and indeed, one of their subsidiaries is renowned for aesthetic surface treatments for aluminium, just as another B&O offshoot is known for their Class D amplifiers - what is useful for inconspicuous low-power, low-heat speakers is applicable for portable equipment) ... but their price premium also bought you uncommon functionality - such as multi-room set-ups. And hey, the sound was better than average, even if it wasn't 'the best that could be have for the same money.

Nothing was stopping other, more 'serious' hi-fi manufactuers from incorporating such functionality, but even today companies such as Sonus or Brennan charge a premium for easy-to-use home audio 'solutions' built from commodity parts.

(Speaking multiroom, central-library audio: after several years, many people will have now have spare wifi-capable smartphones (e.g an old iPhone 3G being put out to pasture as audio player for the car)... even a semi geek might put together such as system from what would otherwise go in their desk's draw of old kit. Apple advertise their WiFi repeaters as offering similar functionality - I don't personally know how well it works, though)

Amongst the 'audiophile' community (read: dear people who delight in kit for kit's sake) was a common (if patronising) adage: 'Does it pass the wife test?', used to refer to loudspeakers so uncompromising in their function-over-form ethos that they appeared to have fallen off a 1930s sci-fi film set.

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Re: Never let the facts get in front of a good argument...

"OSX may have a UNIX kernel, but as an OS it's most definitely Apple-designed"

I think you're confusing operating system with graphical user interface.

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