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Apples & Lemons

When will Apple officially recognise the MacLemon problem on their hands? When there actually is a MacLemon that's when!
 - Eric 'Broadway Covenant' Kracinski

Things certainly have gone south for the Cupertino company in 2006. They might be still in the black, but no IT corporation has ever looked so ridiculous. Ever. Of course there are bastions (cells) of kamikazes hidden away at Daring Fireball and the risk is they'll emerge twenty years from now and still not know the war's over. And by then the world will have long since gone on to bigger and better things.

If only this Chinese catastrophe could have been avoided. If they'd kept production in Taiwan where they made all their great iBooks and PowerBooks. Then things might have been salvageable.

Still, Tiger was no shining beauty, not with its Dashboard and Spotlight dragging systems to a halt and opening security holes all over the place. And Tiger's GUI's gone to the cleaners too: remnants all over the screen. How anyone could ruin such perfectly good code that had worked flawlessly for twenty years is a mystery.

If only that too could have been avoided.

Still, there was Opener - and Opener is one of the biggest personal computer security holes ever. And Apple? What did Apple do? The author of Opener alerted Apple to the hole - first. Then, when receiving zip response, went ahead to show them what fools they were.

It's not nice to be found fools when it comes to computer security. No, if only that too could have been avoided.

But the Opener hole was in Jaguar too, so backdating to 24 August 2002 wouldn't help much. And before that date OS X wasn't even close to being complete.

Maybe Apple should have kept on track with Copland.

Of course then CEO Gil Amelio and his trusty consultant didn't think much of Copland. According to them, Apple as a corporation were a disorganised mess and nothing but nothing was ever going to come of Copland.

Think of all the years wasted - and for what? If only that too could have been avoided.

And that should just about bring us back to System 7. Before the birth of the World Wide Web. And whose fault is the World Wide Web? Why Sir Tim Berners-Lee of course. And he invented that World Wide Web on a NEXT COMPUTER.

If there had been no NeXT computers, there would have been no World Wide Web. Sir Tim has said so. Directly.

If only they could have been avoided too.

Actually one has to go back to about 1985. When Steve Jobs gets kicked off to Siberia. He was going around raving about what a success the Macintosh was and the board were shaking their heads as they studied the balance sheets and asking each other 'Success? Where?'

If only the Macintosh could have made more money initially so Steve Jobs wouldn't have had to leave.

And that could have been avoided if Apple had not allowed John Sculley to up the price of the Macintosh by $500 at the very last minute. An under $2000 computer may have fared far better in the market.

But it's doubtful. Everything Apple sell is overpriced. Their first circuit boards were overpriced. Their Lisa was overpriced. At either $2000 or $2500 their Mac with its four programs MacPaint MacWrite MacPaint and MacWrite was way overpriced.

If only someone had knocked some sense into them. And stopped them from price gouging all the time. But no. They price gouged and the company ultimately went into a tailspin.

If only all that could have been avoided.

Things were great back in the old days. With the Apple ][ and the Apple ///. That was great. Apple didn't have a corner on the market but they were making money and they were already price gouging but people were still buying.

And then IBM entered the PC market. If only IBM hadn't entered the PC market.

It could have gone a different way. Especially if IBM had never been threatened by DEC. But DEC came along precisely because IBM were already there and established a market for computers. DEC made money thanks to the preparatory work by IBM.

So obviously if IBM had never come along in the first place things would be dandy today. If only IBM could have been avoided.

But IBM were founded by Herman Hollerith, and Hollerith got the money to found IBM thanks to a government contract to run the statistical end of a nationwide US census. Basically it's all because the US wanted to do something silly like COUNT PEOPLE.

How ridiculous can you get?

If the US had never entertained such notions Herman Hollerith would never have been able to found IBM. And then IBM would never have entered the computer scene. And later be gunned at by DEC. Forcing them to invent the PC and bring direct competition to Apple's market. Forcing Apple in turn to invent the Macintosh. Which in turn resulted in Steve Jobs getting sacked out of his own company. Which in turn left John Sculley at the helm and Steve Jobs first in Siberia and then in Redwood City. Which resulted in Apple stagnating and almost going broke. Which resulted in Gil Amelio buying Steve Jobs back in.

Which resulted in John Goober, John Siracusa, Carbon, AppleScript, REALbasic, resource forks, and the hardware lock-in.

Which resulted in first Motorola then IBM getting TIRED AS SHIT of Apple and finally telling Apple to go fuck themselves. Which resulted in Apple having to do a deal with the x86 Satan.

Which resulted in the latest line of Camper Cookers.

'They ooze, they whine, they slime, they smoke, they stink, they moo, they shut down, they warp, they catch on fire - they suck! Welcome back to school, boys and girls - here are your new Apple notebooks! You'll never want another computer ever!'

And all because some twit in the US wanted to count people.

[Admittedly it's going to be hard for Steve Jobs to explain his failures to the Apple board, innit?]

Copyright © The Ian Malcolm Research Institute. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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