Hackers Don’t Tinker Because They Got Invited

February 4, 2010 at 8:39 am (Uncategorized)

I’m perplexed by the extremist reactions to this device, pro and con. It is, at the end of the day, essentially just an iPod Touch with a big screen and faster processor.

It’s not the savior of the world, it’s not the devil incarnate, it’s just a friggin’ iPod folks! It’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread, nor do I think it was ever intended to be. It’s not an open platform, and I doubt anyone seriously should have thought it would be. Why would anyone of reasonable intelligence and a grip on their emotions believe that a large iPod would suddenly operate under different principles than it’s smaller kin? When WAS the last time you saw a zebra change it’s stripes?

For some, the closed environment will provide the reliability and stability they seek – they want an appliance, not a weekend/weekly project. For others it will provide the reason they seek not to own one. Good for both groups. Some people need that automatic transmission because life is too hectic to care about the clutch, gears, and all that stuff. Some prefer to shift for themselves and the added feeling of control that provides. Neither is wrong, just different.

Each of us has our own needs. No one I’ve yet crossed paths with has reached the needed deity level required to make all encompassing decisions for others. Apple is wrong for doing it, as were Microsoft, IBM, and oh so many others before them, AND SO ARE THOSE WHO WOULD DENY THIS DEVICE TO THOSE TO WHOM IT COULD BE A USEFUL TOOL.

Personally, I see it as a tool to generate more competition in this mid-range hardware/software market. Competition is GOOD – generates new ideas, better performance, standards compliance, and even redefines and expands those standards as demand for new technologies and methodologies become more mainstream.

All in all, it’s just another new product on the market. Apple, believe it or not, is just another company who is trying to make a buck and keep doing so by not becoming stagnant (ala Motorola’s tendency to stop developing new products every few years and then nearly bankrupt the company in so doing). Steve Jobs is not God. He’s just a guy who is a good salesman and knows good design. Read more into him (or Apple) than that and we have the reason so many people are so disappointed I guess. These people probably also believe every whopper the used car salesman drops on them.

I might remind the doom and gloom crowd that when PCs first came out and for several years thereafter, IBM had such tight control over how compatible competitors could be, they effectively had a strangle hold on the market. You could buy Radio Shack/Tandy or a multitude of other knock offs, but each had different limitations in that they were not 100% compatible. Contrast that with today’s wide open x86 derivative marketplace. Keeping an iron fist only works for so long whether it is ruling technology or countries/people. It’s destined to fail, since there is always some revolution or another just around the corner waiting to happen. Thousands of years of recorded history proves this out.

Some of us would seem to need to take a break and relax out in the wilds of society also. Staying cooped up in Geek land isn’t healthy. Having spent a stint recently working directly with the public repairing computers, I can tell you that the average person is far more interested in getting their email, Facebook, Twitter, IM, porn, games, etc, than tweaking their OS or machine. To borrow Gina’s car analogy again, most people want a reliable daily driver, but the grease monkeys prefer the classic car they can restore to their exact specifications. It’s not a black and white universe folks, one stance does not prevent the need for the other, and there are millions of shades of gray between the two.

In fact, the older I get, the more I find a foot in each camp (both cars and technology, sometimes a project or tweaking just the right setup is nice, other times no maintenance is the theme de jour). Life is short, use your limited time here wisely. When you’re on your deathbed, hopefully a great many years in the future, will it have made a difference whether you could change the background image of your iPad ever so exactly just so? Or was it that you could do a bit of research and come up with that cure to cancer that is more important?

And if anyone seriously thinks I expect a cure to cancer to be made on an iPad, please go back on your medications and think about some in patient time in those nice rooms with the padded wallpaper.

Posted via web from HoosierDiva’s Raves & Rants

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