I’ve been reading Dave Winer since he wrote for Wired Magazine, followed Scripting News since its inception, and used many of the tools that he and his companies have shift. I’m slowly weaning myself the last of them, RadioUserland.
Dave’s periodic rants about Apple are amusing, though occasionally off-base. The only thing I would consider a lock-in, and it’s only a bit of an inconvenience really, is the DRM in in iTunes. And that’s an RIAA/MPAA issue; I’m sure Apple wouldn’t complain if they didn’t have to add DRM to the content in iTMS. You can’t convert music downloaded from iTunes Music Store to any other format within iTunes, but all you need to do that is burn it to a $0.10 piece of plastic and reimport in whatever format you want. Everything else is a piece of cake.
I don’t care his dollar-for-dollar performance schtick. That’s like saying that a car will be faster simply because it has greater displacement.
My mother bought a Windows PC five years ago ostensibly because my brother, who happens to own one, lives on the same island as she does, and I’m an hour plane trip a way. Bad move, mom. About two and a half years ago she gave up on it, bought a Mac and has been happy as a clam at high tide ever since. I give her a half-hour lesson on something new every time I visit, and that’s about it. I don’t think I’ve ever had to fix anything while there, and she’s never had to call any technician for help, other than the one from RoadRunner.
Apple simply gets the user experience aspect of a computer. Example:
One of the first times I used my iSight with iChat, I had some music playing in iTunes when a video chat invitation came in. I clicked on OK, and then realized that I should probably turn my music down. Guess what? Mac OS beat me to the punch, and paused iTunes just before the chat started. I left the chat, and iTunes resumed. Those are the kind of little things that make you happy you own a Mac.
My buddy Scott and I were on iChat the other day, discussing recording a podcast together, and when he launched Garage Band to record it, it automatically created two audio tracks, one which recorded my voice, and the other his, with no user intervention whatsoever. If it was on Windows, a virtual audio patch bay would probably be displayed asking you to route the signals where you want them to go.
While we’re on the topic of video conferencing, I remember hearing some whining when Apple shipped iSight and added video to iChat, that Apple was crushing third-party developers. Well guess what, folks? There wasn’t any video conferencing software for the Mac that worked worth a damn until Apple did it themselves. CU-See Me for Macintosh absolutely sucked, as did every other system I tried.
I’ll concede one point to Dave, and I thought of it myself – that Apple’s new ads could lead to a world of hurt if (or when) any really nasty virus gets written that affects Mac OS. But they probably put something in the EULA to cover that.