Wow, 15 days without a post. It’s been a slow couple of weeks, news-wise, and I’ve been distracted by off-line problems; sorry about that.
Of course the TV has finally shipped, there’s been tons of reports about it, and Apple’s stock price even got a good boost from that. Still, it’s a device I find it hard to comment upon, either positively or negatively. I rarely watch TV or even DVDs, our TV is an old model that has none of these new-fangled inputs or features (I think), and even if the device were available here I’m not in the target market. What does seem slightly interesting is that it apparently runs Mac OS X (not the “lite” OS X many expected), and therefore some people have already twiddled it to install additional video codecs.
Other than that, I’ve just read an excellent piece by former Apple manager John Martellaro, essentially arguing that Apple has first-class engineers and designers and doesn’t (at least not nowadays) do anything dumb, although it may look like it from the outside standpoint:
What I’ve noticed is that there is hardly a single writer, including myself, who has complete insight into Apple’s reasoning and design decision for a product.
…when you get a lot of smart people together in an Apple conference room, and let them fight it out, good things happen. One person will invariably have insight and hindsight that’s lacking in the others. By the time the dust clears, and a lot of scribbling has been done on the white board, a pretty good solution will have been worked out. Gotchas will be discovered and diagnosed. Experience with the customer, intimate knowledge of Mac OS X internals, and next generation technologies coming down the road will lead to sound engineering judgment from the group.
…Just remember, no matter how experienced any one writer is, they can seldom out-think a corporation as good as Apple.
Indeed. There are many young pundits, journalists and developers out there that are way too eager to jump on the “Apple is obviously brain-dead” bandwagon – of course “young”, nowadays, describes almost everyone from my viewpoint . In contrast, I think that, today, most questionable decisions from Apple can be blamed on limited human resources. Doing insanely great stuff takes time and needs first-class people.
Another never-ending discussion is the Leopard shipping date. I stiil agree with Ars Technica’s Jacqui Cheng that Leopard should ship at WWDC. However, people have been picking up a rumor that Apple is delaying Leopard by several months to (supposedly) get Macs to boot Vista. Huh? This completely illogical reasoning is aptly skewered by Daniel Eran at RoughlyDrafted:
Apple didn’t exactly scramble to get iTunes working on Vista, and iTunes is an important part of Apple’s business. That being the case, will Apple hold up the release of Leopard for months in order to support Vista in Boot Camp, a product that Apple makes no money in providing?
The story is so absurd on so many levels that it’s hard to find a place to start pointing out why it’s so stupid.
It really is very strange. Apple says they will ship in spring (these local seasonal references are really obsolete in a global context, but that’s another rant). Spring in Cupertino goes until a week or so after WWDC, people tell me. Even so, people who have not seen anything of Leopard beyond some leaked screenshots wrote excitedly about a MacWorld release, then about a March release, then when their wild predictions aren’t confirmed start to moan that “Apple’s been having trouble getting Leopard out” and now, even, that “Leopard had reportedly been delayed until October”. I really hope that Apple will show more details before WWDC, but I won’t be too surprised if they don’t.