118 posts • joined Thursday 24th January 2008 14:05 GMT
You =! Everyone
You believe computers are commodity items because you're a regular buyer of cheap laptops, and cheap laptops are indeed a commodity item - all built down to the same low expectations, defined by price, branded up under an infinity of names but all essentially the same product. If they work for you, and (perhaps more to the point) if you're prepared to work for them by reinstalling every couple of years and working around all the niggles, that's great, you're saving money, good for you.
But that's not for everyone.
In the same way that not everybody wants to drive a Chevrolet Matiz and not everyone wants to drink Tesco Value Lager, not everyone wants to buy a £400 laptop, or even a Windows laptop of any price. Some people *choose* to pay more for a better product. That's the concept you're going to have to get your head around, because those people aren't about to change.
@Trevor Pott o_O
Take a breath, and try to understand these basic truths:
1. At no point have I suggested that Apple are acting on anyone other than Apple's behalf, or indeed said anything whatsoever about Apple as a company. I'd never imagine that you care about my opinion of Apple as a company, any more than I care about yours. You have absolutely nothing on which to base your definition of me as an unthinking fanboy or slavish supporter of Apple, it's simply a crutch for your own prejudice.
2. Mac OS X is an open platform by the only definition that makes any kind of sense in this context - it's open to anyone to develop software for it that can be run on any Mac, without Apple's permission or blessing. Macs can also communicate with other non-Macs and non-Apple peripheraby way of open standards such as web, wifi, bluetooth, USB etc. Mac hardware can even (and easily) be made to run other non-Mac operating systems such as Windows or Linux. In short, a Mac is no more tied down to Apple (or any other corporation) than any other computer you can buy or even build yourself.
3. Your concept of "open" makes no sense. If both Mac and Windows OS are "walled gardens" by your definition then so too is every flavour of Linux and literally every other OS that ever walked the earth, making your specific attack on the Mac even more misguided than it already was.
Firstly you can apply the same argument to any other consumer item, and you'll quickly find it sounds strange. What do people do with their BMWs or Audis, let alone their Porsches or Ferraris, that you can do with an old Ford Fiesta? Answer: enjoy themselves, stupid. Same thing applies here.
Secondly, your cheap £400 laptop will be a PITA to use after the first year, and the bane of your life after three/four years, at which point it will be absolutely worthless even before it inevitably conks out. This Macbook on the other hand will have been a pleasure to use during that same period, still have years of life left in it at 3-4 years old, and have a substantial resale value too.
No big problems
1. There's plenty of software available for Mac (Valve have even launched Steam on the platform for gamers) and more useful pre-installed software than most people ever have on their PCs. Drivers? Say hello to fully automatic installation, just plug your printer in and it'll download whatever it needs. Canon camera? iPhoto knows it already. Oh, and with Mac OS X it's so much easier to try new software out - apps install by drag and drop, and uninstall just as easily - there's no register to bloat or corrupt.
2. Yes right click-button. Macs have had them since 2001. This particular Macbook can be set to recognise a click on the right of the pad, or (by default) a two-finger click using the wonders of multitouch. The whole pad is a button, it clicks, don't knock it till you've at least heard of it.
3. It's solid aluminium, built to last. It's worth it.
I'll admit that REALLY bugged me for the first few days of owning my macbook, but once I got my head around the Command key (which, in combination with the cursor keys will take you anywhere you want to go) it became much less of an issue. I'm not trying to pretend that dedicated keys aren't nice, but they're not as must-have as you might think once you get to grips with the Mac layout - the Command key is a very useful button that falls easily to the thumb and does a lot of useful stuff, so once you're used to using it generally the navigation just becomes a lot more natural.
Look i dont particularly care how this runs in comparison to other laptops (maybe some Fanbois do?), what i want to know (as someone who is looking to buy a new Macbook soon) is how this laptop compares for speed, HDD, connectivity, battery life etc compared to your standard Apple laptops.
See what I did there?
I'm sure you could perform a standard PCMark test on this machine if you dual-booted into Windows and ran it as a PC, but that would be completely missing the point of buying a Macbook. If your *sole* criteria for a review of the machine is its performance as a PC, then this probably isn't the laptop for you in the first place.
For those of us already interested in a Macbook or other OS X computer, then the comparisons in this review are a lot more interesting, and probably a lot more meaningful.
It's not about the branding
You might get the same or similar processor and memory, but you won't get anything like the same product. If you're happy spending £599 on something else then more power to you, but don't be so surprised if Apple still sell a few of these to other people (and yes, Macs have been steadily increasing their market share, even through the recession).
It's worth it
I have the previous generation 13" Macbook Pro (actually quite similar to this generation's 13" MBP which didn't get the Core i5 processor either) and all I can say is, they're well worth the extra. The aluminium unibody design makes them look great, but it also makes them more solid and better built than pretty much anything else you can compare them to - typing on one of these is an absolute joy, since they've absolutely zero creak or give - the keys all have nice feedback, but beneath them you're typing onto a slab of solid aluminium. Similarly the trackpad has the same positive, solid feel - although it's capable of much more fluid and flexible gestures than most.
Saying nice things about Apple computers invariably leads to some kind of holy war, but once you've used one for any length of time - and made the effort to learn the ways of OS X and main Mac apps - it's easy to see why people passionately defend them, and less easy to see why anyone would champion cheaper PCs. Sure, if you're on a tighter budget the average PC will do many if not all the same things, but then a Vauxhall Corsa will also drive you anywhere you need to go - that doesn't make it the best car, or the only one to consider.
You claim that you can't sell commercial software for OSX without passing an Apple inspection, but then say you can't sell it with their "stamp of approval" if it fails - so which is it? Clearly one is quite different to the other.
I put it to you that its perfectly possible to sell commercial software for OSX without any contact with Apple, and many people do just that. Ergo, it's an open platform.
@Trevor Pott o_O
Firstly, thanks for pigeonholing me as a fanboy, and confirming the particular narrowness of your personal view of the world. Secondly, thanks for conceding the only other point I was making - Macs are basically as open as any other platform, with the possible exception of Linux, which is largely unusable for all manner of other reasons.
Call me old fashioned, but if someone posted me some nine year old milk in the mail, I'd probably just call the police.
@Trevor Pott o_O
The "Fisher Price" Mac is already open. Always has been, always will be. It already has virtually limitless software avaialble and can be used for pretty much any imaginable purpose (or at least programmed to do anything you can't already find software for). If you knew the first thing about these "Fisher Price" computers rather than making a lot of misguided assumptions about something from outside your narrow view of the world, you'd know this.
What makes you think he was using the "idiot buggy" without permission? Is that not just a wild assumption you've made?
Road testing a complex high-performance car after an MOT-required modification (new brakes, exhaust, whatever) isn't exactly unreasonable. You can be quite sure that if they hadn't tested the work and the owner had been handed back the car in anything less than perfect running order, he'd have been almost as annoyed as he probably is right now - so what are they supposed to do?
It's why you drive a sensible car in the first place and don't throw your money away on expensive "statements". Accidents can and will happen, especially in cars that are clearly too powerful for the average British road (or roundabout).
Nobody was hurt, I'd say that was more important than a car getting bent, however posh.
Crafty old Steve
He's probably buying them all himself to save face. He'll have a cupboard full of iPads stashed away at home, and probably a loft full of iPhones too. I mean, we all remember what a failure that was going to be, right?
Another answer to the question that still hasn't been asked
The problem for Ubuntu is it's aimed squarely at an audience that doesn't really exist. It's makers, like most fans of Linux, seem to assume that Windows users, and most Mac OS X users, just need their hand holding with a familiar look and feel before they fall gratefully into the arms (wings?) of the penguin. Ubuntu has the patronising air of an outfit that's trying *help* these people who are obviously much stupider than themselves. Beginning with the assumption that Linux is best, all these other people need is to be tricked into using it, right?
The thing is, outside of that particular nerdbubble, nobody cares. And I mean nobody. People use Windows, people use Mac, whichever works for them - but the idea that anyone's queuing up for a third OS choice that has none of the real advantages of either is just fantasy. A minority pursuit that's been rumbling on pointlessly since the mid-nineties, and still nobody cares.
"you can't *make* me use them"?
How is Steve "making" you do anything?
At the end of the day, nobody - and I mean nobody - is making you develop for the iPhone, or even expecting you to develop for the iPhone. There are a wide array of other devices out there for which you can develop, using Flash or Java or whatever else.
Apple have created a line of products that don't use Flash, and for which they don't allow cross-platform development tools. If you *want* to develop for those products, you have to use the freely available tools provided - and that's something that's entirely in Apple and Steve Jobs' power. It's their right to allow or dissallow whatever coding they like on their platform, just as it's your right not to have anything to do with that.
But don't whine on about what bad old Steve is "making" you do. If you don't like iPhone app development, don't develop iPhone apps - go to Android, or Windows Mobile, or Symbian, and prove what a great success they can be without the restrictions Apple chooses to impose.
You'll probably hate me for saying so, but that's exactly what I like about the iPhone - the OS is supported directly by the phone's manufacturer and gets updated directly, without any wait for the networks or any third party hardware maker to pull their finger out. When Apple release new features, or a security update, you just plug your iPhone into iTunes and voila - you're up to date.
Yes it's a closed system but there are big advantages to that, to both the user and Apple, and I'm guessing it's that model that Google were aiming at with the Nexus One. Wasn't ever going to happen though, since they've created too much competition for themselves already.
This is how much it fails with more than one device on the same PC --><--
Believe it or not, it recognises that they're two different devices and treats them accordingly. Each gets their own sync settings, etc. For true independence you can of course have two or more distinct iTunes libraries on the same PC by simply having separate user profiles. You can also share libraries across more than one PC on your network using iTunes sharing.
Gosh. How difficult.
Android couldn't eliminate it's way out of a paper bag! The Nexus One has barely sold, the non-Google devices are all fragmenting the platform and making it more and more difficult to develop for, basically it's Windows Mobile all over again only without the little pointy stick.
Apple's "smartphone dominance" is going nowhere - they have the most apps, they have the most satisfied users, they have that same OS with cross-compatible apps on other big-selling devices like the iPod and iPad, basically they have everything that Google have singularly failed to deliver with Android so far - and their OS is only going to get better.
You've described nothing that even my old iPhone 3G can't do with ease - copy and paste between apps is flawless, switching between SMS and the calculator takes a second (in fact these two built-in apps actually do multitask AFAIK) and yes - SMS opens back up with your message still there to be sent. Going from any app to the camera and back is equally easy - some apps start back up where you left them, almost all autosave any work, and pretty much any app that actually uses photos will have the camera interface built into it anyway, thus negating the whole "issue".
The vast majority of people complaining about the lack of multitasking on the iPhone are exactly like you - nerds who have not, and will never use one, because of some blind hatred of the brand or the very notion of a popular smartphone that ordinary people can and do use productively. You see everything in terms of spec and have no real understanding of the functionality and how any of these things are actually used in real life, which is exactly why you don't and won't ever get it.
I hope if Apple do implement third-party multitasking, they can do it in a way that doesn't detract from the overall ease-of-use/performance combo, otherwise it's score one for a small army of nerds who were never going to buy the iPhone in the first place, and a real loss for everyone else - you know, those millions of "smartphone users" who actually own, use, and are immensely satisfied* with their "toy phone" as it is thank you.
* Just check the JD Power surveys. Then read them again.
Boring, isn't it
Slam the company all you like, but the constant fanboi references, "Jobsian cult", the inference that people bought ipads just because Steve told them too - that's just insulting the users, from the genuine Mac fan right down to anyone who so much as bought an iPod. Which is, let's face it, most people these days.
Point out what's wrong with Apple by all means, but if all you can do is resort to name-calling a significant portion of your readership, maybe it's time for a rethink on that.
There's bad and there's bad
Half a day isn't good enough. The iPhone got a bad rep from people who thought having to charge once a day was unreasonable - I use my iPhone a lot but would struggle to flatten it's battery by lunchtime, it's usually always good until well into the evening (or a day or two later if I'm sensible and switch off the unecessary stuff when I'm not using it).
Blaming it all on fast processors etc is a cop out - there's a lot that can be done in good hardware and software design to match those stand out features with more acceptable (and usable) battery life, even within the limitations of today's batteries, which realistically we're stuck with for a while yet. At the end of the day, if HTC are overloading the specsheets on these phones and producing devices that only impress on paper but don't really work as a phone (ie, aren't able to be relied on as a day-to-day mobile because the battery's dead by lunchtime) then that's a big failure on their part. Forget the excuses, they didn't have to build it that way.
What use are they?
Installing an OS. Loading software without a net connection. Importing CDs, DVDs (or just watching a DVD on the train). Backing up onto physical media. Quite a lot really.
If you've got the space for it (and in a 13" notebook you have) why inconvenience yourself by not having one?
I'll bask in this same smugness. My 13" MBP cost twice the price of this Thinkpad, in fairness, but I wouldn't swap it for three of the latter.
Funnily enough, the Macbook Pro replaced a Thinkpad - a ten year old T20 that was an equally fine computer in its day - but the decline of Windows and the Lenovocation of Thinkpads since then made my choice for its replacement clear.
This coffee-shop "Thinkpad" doesn't really deserve the name.
Presumably this is just a new generation of the same Vestel-produced Freeview crud they push out under the "Sharp" name at the moment. Which means that the exact same kit will also be available in various other forms under other illustrious names such as Hitachi, Bush, Alba, Grundig, Goodmans, etc, and be hitting the returns counter of your local Argos in no time.
I think I'll wait for the Toshiba.
Perhaps they don't
Last time I looked, 10.6 is higher than 10.5, and has been out since last September. My own Mac came with 10.6 out of the box and is doing just fine, thanks.
It's true, S60 has always been awful. At it's heart, it's simply a port of Nokia's most basic S40 menu style onto Symbian, that's exactly what it was at the beginning and exactly what the engineers and designers have been battling with ever since - all the more so now they've tried to make it touch friendly.
S60 isn't designed for touchscreens, it's designed for small screens and the most basic phone keypad and D-pad navigation ripped straight out of the nineties. The underlying Symbian is irrelevant to that, and always has been. The only reason S60 was ever respected as a "smartphone OS" was because it sold in high volumes - but almost universally to people who never even knew or cared that it was a smartphone OS. Those people were buying posh featurephones with good cameras etc, and a "user experience" that was as close to the most basic menu-driven Nokia that they could get in such a phone.
UIQ was far from perfect, but it was at least rooted in touchscreens, and a lot more forward thinking (at the time) about how people might actually want to use smartphones for their smartphone features.
Get on with it
Get the thing in the shops with a stupid price, realise that Freeview viewers aren't about to spend stupid money on HD any more than they were ready to spend stupid money on anything else, and then just get on with providing decent HD kit at a reasonable price.
I've no patience for the greed of manufacturers whenever anybody says "new format" anymore. The primary reason why it's taken so long to get HD on Freeview is because deep down, nobody really cares about HD on Freeview, least of all most Freeview viewers. Most aren't about to throw out their old kit for a LONG time yet, and the rest certainly aren't going to line up for the early-adopter tax.
How sneaky for Apple to try and make amends and compensate disgruntled customers. Obviously the right thing to do would be ignore these customers, offer them nothing, and refuse to fix their machines as well. Because, well, Apple customers need to learn the company's actually evil, right? How are they going to learn they've made a mistake in buying from Apple, if Apple keep tricking them with, you know, decency...
Seems to me the beach is the last place you want to take an ebook reader if you can possibly help it - the mix of heat, sand, salt water and suntan lotion aren't exactly the best friends of any electronic gadget.
Saying that, the iPad's screen is very shiny and reflective (glass like the iphone) so yes reflections are going to be an issue generally. It's also not e-ink, so most likely harder on the eyes in any case. On the plus side, it's does a lot more than just read ebooks.
A phone that even it's most ardent defender describes as "sometimes" frustrating and buggy doesn't deserve even 70%. If anything, I think the Reg has a history of being a little too kind to phones like this - personally I wouldn't reward a phone that worked "quite surprisingly well", in this day and age I simply expect a phone to work well, and one that doesn't - or doesn't "sometimes" - just isn't good enough.
It's not exactly beyond the wit of man for Citrix to adapt their client to make use of the iPad's control features (multitouch screen and on-screen keyboard) - in fact I'd be surprised if they hadn't done it already.
Not much point designing native clients for non-PC environments if you still need PC peripherals to actually use them.
Not sure that Citrix on the iPad is as pointless as all that. A lot of peeps login to work from home these days, either through choice or compulsion, and the ability to dip in and pretend you're working while idly thumbing on an iPad in front of the TV isn't so bad. It's yet another reason not to bother booting the laptop - all the more grist to the Apple mill.
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