All my life I have used Apple computers. My family’s first computer was an Apple LC II. For a long time I only wanted to use Apple computers because that was what I was used to. Most people I knew used machines running Windows, but I knew a few fellow Apple users as well. Notably, my elementary school used Apple computers throughout the 90s. When OS X was first released, I was overjoyed that Apple now not only had the slickest hardware but also an arguably much better operating system than Windows. When I started to learn more about Unix in college, I was conveniently able to apply what I learned to my own Apple machine without leaving behind to elegance of my Mac OS for linux. So, my loyalty to Apple continued to grow. I felt proud to support the underdog against the dominance of Microsoft.
Unfortunately, my opinion of Apple has changed in the last couple years. I still think they make good machines. My Mac Pro definitely stacks up against almost any other workstation. But, it is in two specific areas that Apple has made poor decisions recently. For a while now, the whole iPod/iTunes situation has really bugged me. I think iPods are nice little devices, but the way in which Apple tries to control what users do with their music is downright wrong. It irritates me that the way iPods interact with iTunes is designed to be unidirectional. There is no way to move music from an iPod to the music library on your computer through iTunes. If I really want to get music files from my iPod onto my computer, the only way I have found to do it is to use the Terminal to access the files and copy them to the hard drive on my computer. Of course, there are all the DRM issues that Apple has gotten some flak for. It seems like Apple might be slowly moving away from DRM.
My more recent issue with Apple is my realization that they no longer act like the “friendlier, underdog” type company. The writing of this journal post was inspired by John Lilly’s post (COO of Mozilla) about Steve Job’s announcement of Safari for Windows. It is odd to see Apple trying to side with Microsoft against the “threat” of other companies like Mozilla. Personally I like Firefox better than Safari. That is just a result of trying both browsers for a while. I have nothing against Safari and I agree with John Lilly that I like having more options available. I just don’t understand Apple’s attitude. Why not side with companies like Mozilla to try to get more people to realize that there are other (better) browsers besides Internet Explorer?