Apple's blind arrogance

By Chris Scott

By Letters to the Editor

Published December 20, 2000 8:48AM (EST)

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I'm sorry that Chris Scott had problems when he bought his new Macintosh. In large measure, I agree that Apple's customer service is not on par with, say, IBM's. I'd also have to say that Apple's treatment of customers has gotten worse, not better, under Steve Jobs.

However, even a minimal amount of research would have turned up the problem well before Scott's actual purchase. Since Scott was evidently able to find Mac-specific sites on the Internet (witness his report of Powerbook G3 problems), I can only assume that he got hot for the box and hastily bought it without doing his homework first. Is that Apple's fault? Hardly.

-- Paul Robichaux

Apple did the right thing changing the connector.

Yes, Apple (or the reseller) should have done a better job educating the market. But you would not want to use a flat-panel display with a VGA video output signal. That'd be like buying hub-and-spoke wagon wheels for your brand new BMW Z3.

-- Jason Osgood

The digital video port on the back of the "old" PowerMac G4 that Chris Scott has is not proprietary at all.

DVI is the same standard that SGI uses for their flat panels, and a quick look through the flat panel offerings of most companies shows DVI as the most widely used digital interface on the market. Granted, some manufacturers have gone with straight VGA connectors, but a professional would likely prefer a more expensive, digital screen for visual arts.

I do agree that Apple is being silly with this ADC business. The connector itself is a bad enough idea, but the way Apple seems to be heading back into a proprietary way of doing this is most troubling. To me, the fact that I can get any ATA hard disk, or any PC100 memory, etc., is one of the strongest features of the new line of Macintosh computers. Why pay twice the price for something because the company that made it had to go out of their way to be compatible with the Macintosh?

-- Dylan Neild

I have to use PCs at work, but I've always had Apples at home. I appreciate Chris Scott's frustration with Apple the company -- all of us have learned to be especially vigilant about compatibility issues with new Apples.

But PC users should rejoice every time Apple pisses off its own users, because without Apple there would be no, zero, nada improvements in PCs. If it wasn't for Apple, you'd still be typing DOS commands, and without the Mac GUI pushing Microsoft there would never had been Windows, Photoshop or a World Wide Web as we know it.

It's ironic how PC users laughed at the original Mac, sneered at the iMac, dismissed USB and Firewire, only to hail them when they became available on their own machines.

-- Mark Nelson

Occasionally I buy computers for the school for which I work. We're a PC shop -- save for the art and communications faculty. For them, I buy Macs.

Last summer I ordered about 45 G4s for two labs. First Apple delayed the order as they switched to a new product line -- causing the labs to open late for the fall semester.

Since then, we've had at least 15 failures in the machines -- logic board failures usually. I bought some really cheap HP Brios at the same time for another lab -- we've had a couple of floppy drives fail, but no major failures yet, and that's with much heavier use.

What does this tell you about the way Apple does business? It tells me quite a great deal: The Apple interface may look good, but the innards just aren't up to par. No wonder business won't deal with them.

Now if I can just figure out how to wean my faculty from the Macs ... and get them on machines that actually are up and running most of the time.

-- Patrick Schmitt

After more than a decade of passionate loyalty to Macintoshes, I've purchased my first Wintel computer. The operating system is inferior, confusing and more prone to inexplicable crashes. I've lost a lot of the productivity I had with my Mac, even with clock speeds allegedly 10 times faster on my new machine. But I did it, in part, for the reasons Chris Scott elaborated in his article about Apple's abandonment of its customers.

For years, Mac users paid significantly higher prices for their loyalty, suffered patiently with broken machines while our Windows-using friends could contact their computer companies on Sunday mornings for assistance and watched software companies abandon our platform. Top all that off with a reluctance to admit manufacturing and design errors, as Scott details.

Apple, you broke my heart long ago. Enough is enough. I've gone over to the dark side and I'm staying here. The prices are lower, the tech support is decent and I have a world of co-users who have never known the joy of using your great operating system and are satisfied with what they've got.

-- Brad Moldofsky

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