Sunday 23 December 2012

Second sight

Apple iPod Touch 2nd generation
I decide to prove the model of iPod Touch bought all those years ago (3 ‘normal’ years = 21 ‘Apple’ years) rather than settle on indirect signs. Wikipedia’s information that a particular generation can’t be updated beyond a certain version of iOS is a strong clue, as is the rather annoying discovery that whilst this version is good enough for some apps, if the model isn’t as required you’re still going to be stuffed buying your apps whilst the device is attached rather than through the device itself; you’re allowed to purchase even though the app won’t play. Over to the Apple website where I find proof comes in the form of a model number on the back, yet I can only see the memory capacity, under which I can make out some etching indecipherable to the naked eye.

Great - another evisceration of Apple, what could be better? There’s a USB microscope on the PC next door, I can write a blog on this and I’m going to be so witty, just like the last time, only my daughter spoils it all by walking into her room and asking for an explanation, upon which she picks up the iPod Touch unbidden, looks on the back and reads out:
Model number A1288. There... now can I have my laptop back?

Monday 10 December 2012

Santa Claus has come to town

Lee Majors in The Night The Reindeer Died
Children are great for this time of year; before they come along the message has likely given way to parties and some much needed time off work. Once they arrive, sweeping you up in the purest joy they amplify the true meaning of Christmas, which is something to do with presents and Santa. The latter made an appearance on the weekend courtesy of our local Round Table, his arrival heralded much excitement as I swept up my daughter and headed to the front door, opening it just in time to catch the man in the bright red suit as he was strolling past. Turning, he came forward and offered her a sherbet lolly from the tin he was carrying. “Thank you, Santa”, we said, for I may have joined in, and on closing the door my daughter turns to me and says
Daddy, you are SO embarrassing.

Sunday 2 December 2012

The anti-upgrade, from Apple

A month elapses between posts, five days pass between tweets. Once again I find myself with nothing left to say - which doesn’t sound likely - or no time in which to say it, or perhaps I’ve once again forgotten how. I passed on the gift-wrapped opportunity to give the BBC a well-deserved kicking over the Newsnight debacle and have given my brain cells a well-deserved kicking instead; and all because the developer loves his WPF. Well maybe it’s too early to call it love, but there’s enough of a sense of how much there is to learn and how worthwhile it will be. My car, I wrote about my car, several paragraphs about my car and I have no interest in cars. My car has gone to the great big scrapheap in the sky for which I was paid a sum just short of a cheap tablet computer, or a fraction less than the cost of my daughter’s Christmas present.

Then just as I’m about to give up the ghost, Apple push me over the edge when I rather optimistically decide that, yes, I will update iTunes and I’ll update the firmware on an iPod Touch. What was I thinking? Logic suggested this way I might be able to run some of the newer apps. I was tired. It’s not something I’d normally attempt, especially on a device that’s three years old, which in technological terms is still three years old but to Apple is an opportunity for a good shunning.

I have two complaints; I’ll start with the minor first. If I have my device connected, you’d think when purchasing an app the store would be able to first detect whether the device is capable of running it; you’d be wrong. The tipping point however was finding that previously purchased apps won’t re-install on an iPod Touch with the updated OS because they now require an even newer version of the OS, one not available to your ancient device. Can you imagine the shit storm Microsoft would endure if an OS upgrade resulted in a third of people’s purchases no longer functioning? Apple doesn’t really care.

Apple Maps fiasco
And that’s because of you since, thirdly - OK, three complaints - whilst this might be Apple’s fault, really it’s yours; maybe it’s not you, but statistically speaking there’s every chance it’s the person sat next to you. S/he’s the person who nodded approvingly when Tim Cook CEO issued his non-apology for the farce over Apple Maps; since it sounded vaguely like an apology that was all it took for some of their captive audience to express sympathy - yet it was something entirely avoidable and it happened for two reasons. Let’s not kid ourselves that Apple was in any way surprised over the inadequacy of their product. They upgraded their customers to Apple Maps because there’s a lot of money in controlling the map, and also because they don’t care, or at least they gambled correctly that they could get away with it.

They don’t care because they don’t have to. You see, you - or the person sat next to you - are equivalent to Ferris Bueller’s best friend Cameron, and Apple is like his hypothesised girlfriend. And Ferris was right to be concerned:
She won't respect him, 'cause you can't respect somebody who kisses your ass. It just doesn't work.