Bring on the doctors   Leave a comment

What ails me.

Monday the 14th. Back to work, alas; can’t play Skyrim all day. Boo!

My boss decided to send me a couple of emails that rather threw me off balance. The first was innocuous enough; could I build the software for Macs? I know he likes his fancy, expensive, brand-name, lifestyle (redundant; synonym for “expensive”) products, so thought that was all it was. Doesn’t matter anyway, the answer was simple: nope. Visual Basic does not work that way. Happily.

His reply was what really got me. He said that he was considering moving the company over to Apple.

To be up-front: I hate Apple with a passion. I’ve hated them ever since we were forced to endure System 7 Macintosh LCs at school; how much better, faster, and more stable Windows 95 seemed, when we finally got a modern PC at home! I hate that their OSs only come with their computers, and that their computers only come with their OSs. I hate that their computers are exactly the same hardware as any other PC but in a shinier box, for much more money. I hated OSX the only time I used it, dismally failing to run Word to print a PDF.

I hate how they’re always lauded for innovation, when what they do is just sell things that’ve already been done in shinier boxes, for more money and with less freedom of use. They didn’t invent the mouse/window UI, the desktop computer, the tablet computer, the mp3 player, or the smartphone.

And I really hate iTunes, and how it’s clearly only there to tie you into Apple products, and to tie anyone who buys Apple hardware into a specific shop; possibly the only more self-serving, anti-competitive, consumer-abusing pairing is Amazon with the Kindle. I’ve avoided using iTunes, but by all reports I’d probably hate it even more if I did.

Oh, I also really hate their habit of prefixing names with a lower-case ‘i’. Proper nouns in English start with a capital letter; them’s the rules. You don’t get to break them. I also hate it when the BBC does it. I hate it slightly less when nVidia does it, because graphics card naming conventions are supposed to be rubbish and make no sense (also, is it nVidia, nVIDIA, NVIDIA, Nvidia or what? I’m not sure even they know).

(Oh, let’s not assume I’m a Microsoft fanboy; I slag them off often enough. Yes, they’ve had their arses kicked by various courts for anti-competitive practices plenty of times. But if Microsoft is your racist uncle with whom nobody gets on, then Apple are Adolf Hitler, massive personality cult and all. OK, they’ve not gassed millions of people yet, but it’s only a matter of time.)

But as long as they stay in their brand-name lifestyle niche, I don’t have to care. Not buying their products is easy; certainly easier than the alternative. And I still haven’t figured out what tablet computers are for (touch-screen typing is not for me), but then I spend twelve or more hours per day within arms’ reach of a proper computer so maybe that’s not a surprise.

But – returning to the point – my boss is considering moving the company over to Apple? Why on earth would he want to do a stupid thing like that? I can see why you might want to move to an OS-independent system; it’d be a massive job, but with plenty of advantages, possibly solving other problems we’re going to have in the near future whilst we were at it. I could see why you might want to go to an entirely open-source system, in a brilliantly idealogical (but probably doomed) move. I could get behind either of those, as long as everybody knew it’d take flippin’ ages.

But I cannot, for the life of me, see why you’d want to move a company which has years of investment in software built in VB for Windows over to a more expensive, less open, far less widely used competitor, when you’d not only have to change the software but also all of the hardware, especially when your IT and development staff don’t know the first thing about running, supporting or developing for it.

Fancy lifestyle products do not sensible business decisions make. But I think I explained this clearly and forcefully enough to bury the idea (at a crossroads. Decapitated. With a stake through its heart.) whilst avoiding being insulting.

So that was my “what the fuck?” moment of the day, and it actually put me in quite a bad mood with my boss for a couple of days afterwards.

The fumes from shoving another five tablespoons of brandy in the Chrimbletide cake helped, though. It smells great. Mmm, cake.

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