A Bite Out of the Old Apple

As I tried to avoid thinking about my upcoming discussion of Walt Whitman’s poetry, I spent considerable time surfing today. And since I’m a Mac fan I couldn’t avoid the swirling controversy over recent charges that Apple announced.

Now I’ve been an AppleAddict since I bought my first Apple IIe many a year ago. I also bought the first Mac, and I’ve steadily upgraded ever since, right up to buying an iBook last year when I couldn’t take my G4 along on my trips.

I’ve never veered in my loyalty to the company even when friends told me how inferior Microsoft Word and Excel was to some writing package long since forgotten and to Lotus spreadsheets. I also use Adobe products like Photoshop, GoLive and Illustrator.

Obviously I’m not going to switch over to Intel machines any time in the near future. Nor is it likely that I will refer any of my friends to those machines, despite the fact that my stepson writes code for Microsoft.

I can accept the fee increase for iTools, but, of course, I’ve never felt particularly compelled to use those. They’re a neat place to store a file for sharing, and I’ve used the mail box as an alternate mailbox but I use my AT&T account for my mail and my web page. It’s unlikely, though not out of the question, that I’ll sign up for .Mac.

I recently spent a considerable amount of money upgrading all of my programs to run on OSX. And I must admit I’ve been profoundly happy with the stability of this new operating system. I’ve only had one system crash since moving all my programs over to OSX after Photoshop and GoLive finally arrived.

That said, I’m still not happy with the recent price increases introduced by Apple, particularly the upgrade to OSX. I consider OSX anything but a complete operating system. It’s still slow, even compared to OS 9, particularly on the iBook. Any attempts to speed up the system should have been considered a simple upgrade, not a new program.

Now if Apple wanted to sell two different versions of OSX, one that simply upgraded the underlying system and another that included new features like iSync, iCal, etc. I would have no problem with that. The fact is, though, that I neither want nor need those programs. Microsoft Office, with Entourage, handles all of these perfectly well for me, and I don’t see why I should have to pay full price to upgrade an operating system that is considerably less than a year old.

I’m not particularly mad at Apple over these charges. The company obviously needs to make money to continue, but I’m certainly not happy. As it stands, I’m no longer encouraging friends to upgrade to OSX. The cost simply outweighs the benefits. It remains to be seen whether I will even continue to encourage them to switch to Apple.