Should I get Verizon FiOS?

#21
No, actually I have an intimate knowledge of iOS, OSX, Linux, UNIX and other systems. This is not "kool aid drinking." I have written software for consumer and professional operating systems, mobile devices, and other things, programmed in a lot of high and low level languages.
Oh, so you not only drank the kool-aid, you helped manufacture it?

Look, I'm not "anti-Apple." I agree "for the most part, Apple products win over everything else in terms of usability." But they are leaders of a very slothful pack. The entire industry is about 20 years behind where it should be. My thesis is, if end users were aware of what's possible, and demanded it, we would see a resurgence in some of the joy a geek felt on opening up his brand new Altair 8800.

A computer should create a sense of power in its owner, not leave him baffled and frustrated. By definition, users are baffled today, because Ms, Apple, et al., deliberately withhold vital information about how their OS's work. Trade secrets, ugh! Back in the days of DOS, dedicated hackers literally knew the function of every file on their boot disks, and knew when they could expertly mix and match the most basic files from different machines.

As for legacy hardware, you are not going to be able to provide new features AND make older hardware work well. There comes a point of diminishing returns.
Perfect example. If a new feature impairs older hardware, the program should detect that situation and, at the user's option, remove that feature. When necessary, the entire program should uninstall itself and refund purchase price. The object should ALWAYS be to put power in the hands of the user. This is not an unreasonable expectation at all, but without an informed user, there's no economic incentive for Apple, or any software writer, to go to the trouble. In fact, the incentive is to frustrate the user to the point of upgrading hardware. Of course, that's for his own good. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrre, it is! :ballchain:

Rick
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#22
It's more complicated than that, Rick. There is also the question of how much legacy support you want to provide, and what your margins on software are.

Apple is primarily a hardware company. They make good margins on hardware. Software on the other hand is practically given away, likely as a loss leader for hardware. That's why new releases take advantage of new features but can't go back all the way to support very old hardware.

By the way, there is a lot of what you describe - disabling features to support older hardware. I do it when writing iOS apps all the time. There's "weak linking" where you can link against a framework and if it is available you use it. It gets very tedious though and when you consider that most people are running the latest version, why even bother...

A computer should create a sense of power in its owner, not leave him baffled and frustrated. By definition, users are baffled today, because Ms, Apple, et al., deliberately withhold vital information about how their OS's work. Trade secrets, ugh! Back in the days of DOS, dedicated hackers literally knew the function of every file on their boot disks, and knew when they could expertly mix and match the most basic files from different machines.
The end user doesn't need that. They need to know that they can send photos to grandma, check their online banking or play angry birds. They don't need to know the inner workings of an OS. All of that is handled for them, leaving them to be productive. As a result, computing today is accessible to every person and not just a select few.

But with Apple, a lot of it is open source so if you wanted to know about the inner workings, you can knock yourself out. I can guarantee you that it is a million times more complicated than the DOS days though.

A lot of open source developers use Apple's open source code in their projects. Grand Central dispatch has made its way into BSD for example, and there is even GNUStep which is an open source implementation of Cocoa.
 
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#23
You say it's more complicated. Depends on how much legacy support *you* -- translation the software writers -- want to provide. The plain fact is we're on opposite sides of this issue. Simplest thing in the world.

You say "why even bother ..." I say it should be required. You say the end user doesn't need that. I say the user doesn't know what he needs until you give it to him. The enormous frustration the average user experiences with his computer comes down to a lack of control. The average user just assumes he/she is stupid when it comes to computers -- I hear this every day among highly educated doctors and RNs who use computers many hours every day. This is absurd.

You say "computing today is accessible to every person." Apparantly you don't talk much to actual users! If you did, you might perceive the problem lies with the software, not with the the intelligence of users. Transparency is nice -- to a point, but there should also be a simplicity of design when a user chooses to pop open the hood. Why? Because it takes an average of five minutes before a user wants -- often needs -- to do something with the software which never occurred to the programmer.

I $^%! understand "it is a million times [well, maybe a thousand times] more complicated than the DOS days ..." Point is, they absolutely could make a multitasking OS that's only three or four times more complicated than DOS. The reason they DIDN'T had nothing to do with bringing "Computer Power To The People." Nor does it come down to necessity or brilliant OS design. It is deliberate obfuscation with a view toward keeping power CENTRALIZED and AWAY from the end user, because until the user is enlightened, that's where the OS writer's bread is buttered.

Remember the term "feature creep"? It largely fell to the wayside, not because it ceased being relevant, but because the entire culture gave up on ever attaining any semblance of computer power. Contrary to what you say, computers HAVE largely become tools for the select few. Many people have to use them on the job, but several times a day they're forced to call some techie or "system administrator" to accomplish very mundane tasks.

It's a sad state of affairs for those of us who love and appreciate the real liberating potential of computers.

Rick
 

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