Sep 24, 2012

Epic rant

I never have hated Apple products. Sure I think they're overpriced for something that's underwhelming, so I choose not to buy them. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad never seemed like a good value considering many other competitors had just as good products, if not better, for far cheaper. Apple does a lot of things right, mainly selling really expensive devices for people who have little idea of how to navigate a computer efficiently.
The other day my wife was working from home and was frustrated as to why her work assigned Mac couldn't offer something as simple as a Snippet Tool. She searched the internet for one, downloaded a few, but all came up with an error that was neither informative nor helpful. She missed the tool greatly and was none to happy that Apple couldn't make something similar for her needs. She has many complaints about working in a Mac house, but she lives with it and has cursed the phrase "Once you go Mac you never go back."
I posted about her frustration on FB and how I found it amusing. It then sparked a one sided debate about how Apple sucks balls, which was dominated by my friend Alec. It was too good not to share, for it was funny and informative at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Alec's epic rant against the computer giant:
Seriously? Fine. I'll start with the argument that always seems to piss of Fanboi's the most. Microsoft products are all about freedom and choice. If you use Apple products you'll have neither. If you want a photo manager on Windows, you'll have dozens to choose from. Most are free, some are opensource. You can use any of them, and they'll all output to your "My Pictures" folder, or whatever folder you want really, so that other applications can use them. You can even use two different apps concurrently if your spouse prefers one and you prefer another... and they're totally compatible. Compare this to Apple.

On OSX you have one choice of photo management, iPhoto. There are no other real alternatives. Sure you might find some, but they all have a fatal flaw: incompatibility. Say you want to make a DVD slideshow of your vacation to Disneyland. You'll have to use iMovie, which can only import photos from iPhoto. So if you used any other application for photo management, you'll still have to import them into iPhoto before you can do anything else. If you want to add a music soundtrack to your slideshow, iMovie will do that... but only if the song is in iTunes... and lord help you if it's an older track with iTunes DRM. If you tried to use a different music player, which there are very few, you wouldn't be able to import from that app into iMovie. iMovie won't let you pick files from finder! And if you did want to try a different media player or a different photo manager, you're screwed. Why? Because iPhoto and iTunes store their content in their own file structure and won't let other apps use it. Well... other apps that weren't made by Apple.

While on the subject of apps, lets talk about the new OSX App store. Apple won't let competing products into the store, and makes it nearly impossible for anyone to publish a free app in the store. Apple wants to control you and keep you in their walled garden where you have no choice, no freedom.

Have you ever tried to use Safari as your default web browser? It's awful, and horribly incompatible with a number of common plugins (i.e. Flash, Java). But don't delete it. Don't you ever delete Safari. Because if you do, you'll never be able to set the default web browser for your OS. I learned that the hard way. Downloaded firefox, and then deleted Safari. Can you set the default browser in the OS settings? Nope, it's hidden in the Safari Preferences page, which isn't there if you deleted Safari. So even though you'll never use their PoS browser, you have to keep it around so that you can modify default software actions. Even Microsoft allows you to purchase (albeit not easily in the US) a version of Windows without Internet Explorer.

Apple makes nice hardware, but maybe you prefer a different form factor. Even though hackers have found plenty of ways to run OSX on any PC hardware, will Apple let you do it? Nope. You want to use their OS, you have to use their hardware.

Now, would you like me to point out all the flaws and inconsistencies in the user interface as well?
Next lets discuss hardware. I know I said I'd talk about UI next, but I'm waiting for my mac to update to the latest version of OSX to verify these issues still exist.

Now I'm not going to blast Apple hardware for being too expensive. It's not. Compare a high-end laptop from Lenovo and you'll be in the same ballpark as a Macbook Pro. What Apple doesn't have is a low-end product, but I can't fault them for that. I won't attack them for overcharging for accessories or upgrades either. Dell will also charge a stupidly high price of $200 for an 8GB memory update to a laptop. $20-$30 for an adapter isn't uncommon either. No, what I want to discuss is hardware design and how Apple is retarded.

90% of the world is right handed. Oddly enough, Apple has never managed to capture more than 10% of the market. Coincidence? I don't think so. Apple products are designed for left-handed users. Look at your macbook, and imagine you wanted to plug in a mouse. All the USB ports are on the left side of the macbook. If you wanted to use a mouse and are right-handed, the cord would have to wrap all the way around the computer. So what, the cord is long enough right? No. The cord on an apple mouse is less than 2 feet long! So go wireless. Fine, but only if you're using an Apple wireless mouse. OSX is almost totally incompatible with any third party wireless mice. You can make most work with some additional software, but you don't need any of that on a PC. And 3rd party mice come with long 5 foot cables! Any peripheral you want to connect, from a camera to a printer to a DVD drive... they all need to plug in on the left side of an apple product, even though most of us have better fine motor control with our right hands.

Where is the lock slot on a mac? On the right hand side, so your lock strap will interfere with your mouse if you're right handed. Brilliant. Where's the power button on an iMac? It's hidden in the back on the left side. So when you need to press it, you're using your left hand.

Why does Apple put an Enter and a Return key on their keyboard? What's more frustrating is that these keys do the same thing 99.9% of the time, except when Apple decides for some reason that they're different... and you'll be pounding away on that Return key and be confused as to why the product keeps saying "Press Enter".

Speaking of keys, why is there an Eject button on the keyboard that only ejects a DVD? Why doesn't it eject attached drives if I have it selected? No, I still have to drag those icons to the trash can instead of pressing that perfectly good key on the keyboard.

Why must every edge on a macbook be as sharp as a knife? The company that patented "rounded corners" can't seem to use them on their own products. When I have to use my macbook for any length of time I walk away with bruises on my wrists. People probably think I'm trying to kill myself... but no, I'm just using a mac.

Apple's power adapters are the worst I've ever used... which is a shame, because the design is awesome. I love the way the clips fold out and you can easily wrap up the cables. But they use the cheapest cables available. The ends near the plug always crack and fray. I spent many nights soldering my plug back on. You used to be able to find 3rd party power bricks which used better quality cables, but since Apple switched to the magsafe plug I haven't seen any.

Apple makes the least upgradable or user serviceable hardware on the planet. If Apple could make their product only work with Apple branded electricity, they'd probably do it. Take for example the new Macbook Pro line. You can't replace the battery on your own, and that's the one thing that has a 100% chance of failing. You can't replace the hard drive, because Apple uses a proprietary hard drive size and interface. You can't upgrade the memory, because it's soldered onto the motherboard. No PC maker in the world does this. Once again, if you have a Windows machine you have freedom and control. If you own a Mac, you'll have neither.
Apple has the second worst user interface for a desktop computer, beating out Linux for the worst. It's married to designs that only made sense when the Mac had a single 9" monitor. It has UI controls that have seemingly random effects depending on the application you're using.

The Menu Bar (that thing at the top of your mac) makes sense only if you have a small, single monitor like the original Mac did back in '84. It fails once you move to a larger screen. If you have a large monitor, and the app you're running is in the lower right you have to move your mouse cursor all the way to the opposite corner just to select "Print" from the menu. It's even worse if you have multiple monitors because the menu bar is only available on the main display. So if the app you're running is on the second or third display you now have to cover a ton of real estate just to select a different tool from the menu. That's really hard to do when your 2 foot mouse cord restricts you to moving the mouse 1 inch at a time.

Apps have totally different look & feel. Some apps have leather like borders for some reason, others are brushed aluminum. There's no reason for the different appearances. Even the brushed metal ones are different. Some are pinkish in hue, others are blueish in hue.

The min/max/close buttons had different effects depending on what app you're using - assuming they even have those buttons at all. Afaik, every Apple app has a minimize button and they all work the same. The close button though, who knows. Some apps, like Chess, don't even have a close button. I guess they never want you to stop running those apps. In some apps the close button only closes the window, but the application keeps running (i.e. iTunes, Safari). But in other apps it actually shuts down the program (i.e. iPhoto, DVD Player, Facetime). The maximize button feels totally random. In some cases it maximizes the app to show all the available content (i.e. Finder). In others it maximizes the app vertically but not horizontally (i.e. Safari). Some expand to take up the whole screen (i.e. TextEdit, Appstore). Others do nothing (DVD Player), and some (iTunes) don't get bigger but instead turn into a mini version of the app!

If you want to command-tab to a minimized window... guess what? It's stays minimized. Seriously, who the fuck thought this was a good idea?

If you want to resize a window you can only do it by selecting the lower right corner of the app. Except in cases where Apple decided that it was perfectly ok to let you select any corner to resize. It's so random I don't even know where to start.

You minimize windows to the dock, but they're not grouped with the app associated with them. So you start Safari and you have one window open. You minimize that window, and now you have two instances of Safari in the dock... but you only have one window running.

If you want to eject a DVD or Floppy, you have to drag it to the trash can, which in any other case deletes whatever you're dragging to the trash can. So every new user says, "But I don't want to delete it... I want to eject it." They've heard this for decades but refuse to fix it. It's a broken concept.

When an application hangs, there's no equivalent to the task manager to kill it. Yes, you can bring up a menu with Ctrl-Alt-Esc (again, this combo is done with the left hand. Ctrl-alt-del on the PC is done with the right hand), and if you're very lucky it will kill a hung app. Most of the time you have to drop into terminal, run "top" to find the offensive app and then kill the job with a command line. If you have to go to the command line to make your GUI work you've already failed. Your other option is *GASP* to reboot.

Oh... something I totally forgot on the hardware rant... Why don't I have any Page Up, Page Down, Home or End keys? Has no one at Apple ever done text editing? Ctrl-Shift-End to select an entire column in excel, or Ctrl-Home to jump to the top of a document. Really useful stuff that I just can't live without.
Oh, just remembered Apple's awful screen-sharing/vnc solutions. So crappy. You can't tweak it for a slower connection, you can't disable certain UI elements to speed things up. Microsoft's Remote Desktop is generations ahead of the game. You can copy/paste between the machine you're using and the remote machine you're connected to. And it's not limited to text, you can copy entire folders over Remote Desktop. It's awesome.

XCode... I'll give them props for including not one but three development platforms for free with every mac: XCode, Automator, Applescript. Microsoft charges hundreds of dollars for full versions of Visual Studio and only recently made slightly-crippled versions available for free to non-commercials. But XCode is by far the worst IDE I've ever used. Like the rest of the industry, Apple likes C. But they want objects in C. Everyone else uses C++... but no, Apple has to make Objective-C, which even Mac developers say is a pain to use.

Lets say you want a simple app. It has a button and when you click that button a message pops up and says, "Hello!". In visual studio you draw the window, drop a button on it and then double-click the button to write code for it. In XCode you have to launch a second app called interface builder. You draw a window, and drop a button on it. Now you have to go back to xcode, write your code and then create a click-event from another window of Interface Builder, and draw some wacky pipe diagram from your code to the click-event and then to the button. This somehow implies that you might one day want to write code for a button that is not dependant on a click-event, and that this scenario is just as likely to happen as writing the much more common click-event for a button. It's retarded and stupid, and Visual Studio kicks so much ass over this. But again, Visual Studio costs hundreds of dollars and XCode is given away for free. You get what you pay for here. Too bad XCode is the only way to write apps for iOS devices.
"As a longtime Mac user, I've never been bothered by the USB ports' location on the left. I use a wireless Microsoft mouse (I don't like the mice Apple ships with). I've used other third-party mice without any trouble either. It's my opinion that the ports are on the left so that there isn't any clutter on the right to interfere with the precise mouse control of my right-hand. I'm also right-hand dominant and in no way feel ostracized or discriminated against by Apple's USB port placement. I could say a lot more about my opinion of Apple products, but I'll spare everyone from another Apple/Microsoft diatribe." - Mike

1 comment:

wigsf3 said...

Note: I tried leaving this comment through my iPhone. For some reason, the PUBLISH button did nothing. Hmmm... I think Apple knows we're trying to hurt it.

My only apple products have been iPods and iPhones. Not a fan of apple. This new iPhone OS changes the old maps app (Google) with Apple maps. Not that google was great but it was better than this new one. Apple's motto, if it ain't broke, fix it!
Now podcasts require a separate app. What was wrong with having podcasts in iTunes?
Gimme a few more days with this new iPhone OS and who knows what other issues of redundancy and pointless downgrading I'll find.