Monthly Archives: August 2006

Condolences To Todd Cochrane…

My condolences go out to Todd Cochrane and his family. According to a post on Todd’s Geek News Central website, his father died in an automobile accident in Michigan on the morning of Monday August 28, 2006. What an awful thing to have happen and to have to live through.

iFuture of Computing…

Everyone has disparaged Microsoft for Windows being clunky and unstable over the years, how hard it used to be to install device drivers, etc. Microsoft has been fighting the device driver problem for many years. The Linux folks are running into exactly the same problems. Microsoft has finally gotten things pretty stable and fairly simple to use over the past few years, tying together all of these disparate pieces of hardware. People are willing to pay for point and click simplicity.

Now that Apple has moved to the Intel platform, which has enabled them to reduce the cost of their hardware dramatically along with a very smooth, sophisticated operating system in OS/X, all bets are off.

As I see it there are three different ways to go if you want to make yourself into a sort of computer tech. Windows is an obvious no-brainier, since there’s such a huge installed market base. Linux will continue to be around but I don’t see it as a big growth area anytime soon. Apple’s OS/X is going to be a big growth area in the next few years.

One of the problems with computers is that peoples’ expectations are constantly changing, so it’s a moving target. A perfectly functional computer today may be utterly useless to someone tomorrow, because a new piece of hardware or software comes out that their hardware and/or operating system combination won’t run. Let’s say one has a Linux system set up and all the installed devices work, but then the scanner stops working and another one is needed. It would be difficult to go to the big box store and simply buy a new scanner and bring it home and plug it in and make it work on any version of Linux. The same goes for other things such as sound cards, video cards, etc. That’s why I say Linux just isn’t ready for primetime.

I really think that Apple is poised to start eating a huge chunk of the computer marketplace. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s highly likely my next laptop will be an Apple running OS/X at some point, alongside Windows on Apple Intel hardware.

Apple, Trucker Tom Is Here To Help You…

Apple makes great products, no need of convincing me of that. They seem to finally be increasing their worldwide market share, but they’ve got a long ways to go before that share can become significant. I’m here to help them increase their market share. First of all, they’ve got to get rid of the ads that are aimed at the elites with the idea that people who buy Apple computers are somehow “special” or are somehow more “intelligent” than the great unwashed masses of “regular” computer-users. The marketing must be re-aimed at everyday people.

The anti-trust case against Microsoft was a Clinton administration abuse of power designed to distract attention away from Clinton’s well-documented moral and legal shortcomings. Microsoft doesn’t have a monopoly. Microsoft has been successful simply because it made a software product that ties together literally thousands of different computer parts to support a family of operating systems. Linux is fun to play with and quite stable, but will never go mainstream as it currently exists because of it’s spartan, geeky look, and worst of all, the cryptic names employed.

Apple has had the real monopoly — they sold hardware that was tied to their own operating system, making it possible for them to charge a premium for their hardware in the face of a low-margin computer hardware commodity business. Apple made it’s smartest move in years by switching to the Intel platform and suddenly making it possible for the first time to natively run Windows on their proprietary Apple hardware. I’ve said for years Apple could make a fortune by manufacturing a Windows machine to their hardware and appearance standards, and now in a real sense they have started to do so. If they were smart they would, for an extra price, ship them with the dual-boot feature already enabled with both OS/X and Windows pre-installed and pre-configured. At that point they would have a nearly unstoppable premium product. They would be competing at that point with a vastly superior product, and still get to charge extra for their proprietary computer hardware in the face of a low-margin computer part commodity market.

The analogy would be back in the VHS versus Beta wars had Sony quickly decided to make extra money by making a Sony VHS machine while still enticing people to try out Betamax. People would have paid a premium for a high-quality Sony VHS machine back in the day when VCR’s were still catching on. Sony finally did give up on consumer Beta machines and started making Sony VHS machines, but that was too little too late, as by that time VCR’s were a high quantity, low-profit-margin commodity. Now Apple has high quality machines that will also run Windows, but come with OS/X as well, so consumers have a choice in a single high-quality piece of hardware.

Apple wants to remain a hardware manufacturer, so switching to Intel was one choice. The other would have been to try make OS/X run on just any hardware, requiring thousands and thousands of specialized, often incompatible and/or buggy hardware drivers, a problem Microsoft has been dealing with for years, and has been rewarded quite handsomely for.

I’m working on the concept right now of an Apple-centric podcast that will likely focus on ways of pushing out the elitists and help normal, mainstream people realize the benefits of the Apple platform. I’m likely going to make many of the elitist types mad, which will be all-the-better, especially if I can get them to send in childish, angry email and voice comments.

Often people who think of themselves as being “different” and “elitist” end up in a predictable, cookie-cutter mentality.

Bullies and Cowards…

Bullies (a.k.a. Palestinians, Hezbollah) often see kindness and restraint as weakness. The response to terrorist aggression has to be very harsh and
absolutely ruthless. The idea that bold response will just somehow “make more terrorists” is absurd. What emboldens terrorists (a.k.a. bullies) is a
tepid, “we all just want to get along” type of response. The radical Arabs want to destroy both Israel and western civilization — they have openly
stated this as their goal for years.

Mac Mini…

I purchased a year-old Mac Mini from my friend Victor Cajiao and it arrived Thursday afternoon. I’ve got to admit I’m impressed with the Mac Mini and with the Garageband application in particular. Pretty neat stuff!

I’m heading back to work this morning. I’ve got to go over to Memphis, Tennessee to pick up a load that’s delivering to Palmyra, Pennsylvania.