Apologies I’d Like from Steve Jobs

I’m faintly non-plussed by the flap over the price cut of the iPhone. If you consider the price reduction of $200 in the face of the $3000 required to operate the phone for two years, it’s a less than 10% drop. If you were dumb enough to lay down $600 for a cell phone in the first place, well, I don’t have much pity for you, I’m afraid.

But that aside, Steve Jobs making a public apology for the change was an interesting event. Does it mean that we can look forward to more apologies from Steve when Apple screws their customers in various ways?Here are some issues with Apple products which I believe are far more significant for which I never received any apology:

  • The first-generation G4 Macintosh in general. The machine was a disaster, with problems ranging from an auto-sensing Ethernet port that didn’t work (which was a known issue with the G3 motherboard that the G4’s mobo was based upon, but Apple didn’t bother to address) to Firewire problems to performance hobbled by various shortcuts. Apple apparently realized quickly that the machine was a disaster: they introduced it on 8/31/1999 and discontinued it on 10/13/1999, not even two months later. I still have mine, but it runs Linux rather than any version of the Mac OS.
  • The dual-G4 PowerMac I bought after the first G4. I bought it specifically for use as my main music computer but the fans are so noisy that I can hardly stand to use it for anything, let alone activities that involve listening to something other than it.
  • Various problems with the first-generation Titanium: the keys scratch the screen when the lid is closed, the built-in wi-fi doesn’t work because nobody realized that putting an antenna inside a titanium-shelled computer isn’t very smart, the dinky little rubber feet fell off in short order, and the thing never had enough horsepower to run OS X properly.
  • OS X, particularly in the early days. The “public beta” really should not have been released. The system didn’t really become usable for several years; 10.2 was the breakthrough release. But since so much stuff was broken, lots of software written for 10.2 and back won’t work on 10.3 and forward. (Bear in mind that Apple charged over $100 for each of 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4.) Nowadays 10.4 is pretty good, but the transition from OS 9 to OS X was so brutal that I switched to Windows during it, and have no regrets whatsoever.
  • AudioUnits, Apple’s proprietary format for audio-processing plug-ins. They have no advantage to the end-user over the established formats and they cause developers significant overhead and aggravation. I really wish they’d just go away.

Long story short is that I’ve wasted way more than $200 worth of my time on these problems. When do I get an apology?

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