Be Dumb, Be Very Dumb!

November 19th, 2014

It almost boggles the mind to realize that an article with a headline praising the OS X 10.10.1 update is essentially not much more than yet another an ill-informed attack against Apple. It almost seems as if the stock words were “borrowed” from other critical rants, and somehow strung together incoherently to express a point that is about as far from reality as you can get.

I won’t give you the link. The author in question, writing for a major web portal, doesn’t deserve the hits. But if you happen across the piece by accident, you will likely agree with me that it’s tragically misinformed.

It starts with the claim that Apple’s updates have become “Windows-esque,” as if Apple never before had problems with initial OS releases. Never! Well, hardly ever because it’s just not so. This argument is in keeping with the common meme that Apple’s software quality has declined since Cook over because he’s the supply side person who focuses mostly on hardware. Well, he doesn’t actually design hardware, and you can’t go to Asia to find component parts for an operating system obviously.

I realize it’s easy to remember the bad things and not the good things, but few would argue that every single major OS release from Apple, either OS X or iOS, has come with irritating glitches that required relatively fast fixes. Back in the days of OS X Tiger, one bug, interacting with third-party drivers for external hard drives, could even destroy the device’s partition map. That meant you’d lose your data and perhaps have to go to a costly data recovery shop to fix it.

The problem was quickly repaired, both Apple’s and the third-party drivers. But it wasn’t so pretty for me, because it happened on the very day I was attempting to sell an old Mac. When I saw the drive disappear from the desktop, without an easy chance to recover, I had to ad-lib real fast to devise a sensible excuse. It’s not that I was selling the drive anyway, so I simply said it was on its last legs and don’t worry about it. They believed me, handed me the cash for the Mac and left.

I heard no complaints.

Despite the facts, that ill-informed blogger goes on to claim that Steve Jobs was perfect, with an “insane attention to detail, extreme quality control, innovation, design, excellence, and a true standard of the very best.”

Except when hardware required extended warranty programs to repair persistent problems, or when they needed to rush out a fast fix for a serious OS failure. But some people never let facts get in the way.

So we are told that Tim Cook is nothing less than the “New Coke.” Or that “Tim Cook’s Apple is a fail.” Not a failure, a “fail.” It doesn’t matter that the company reports record sales and profits and has the highest market cap of any company on the planet. It’s a failure, and “Apple needs to reboot, clear its memory registers, reinitialize, POST, and nudge itself back to the Job days of excellence.”

Or maybe the blogger in question cleared his memory registers and forgot what really happened.

But let me go on. I hope you’re having a good time, because I’ve just gotten started.

So our poor, pathetic blogger fancies himself a mind reader. He says, “Steve Jobs would never have released the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 is so bad that my oldest son, who’s in college, refused one and chose the iPhone 5s instead.”


How so? Is it because of a poor design, poor performance, bad display, frequent breakdowns? Remember, the smaller iPhone 6 isn’t the model falsely blamed for being easy bend in your back pocket. You see “bad” is never defined. Is it maybe just too large for some people? That is quite true, but it doesn’t make an iPhone 6 bad.

What does? Inquiring minds want to know. Besides, who does anyone dare to assume what Steve Jobs — famous for changing his mind on a dime — would do in any situation were he still alive?

Unfortunately it takes a while to get to the meat of the article, about OS X Yosemite, and why it is so good. But first let’s find out why was once so bad, and apparently the blogger updated to OS 10.10 and encountered “lackluster performance.” In what respect? App launching, frequent spinning beachballs? What? The devil is in the details and there there are none.

But we do discover that the magical Yosemite 10.10.1 update made his “Mac mini awesome again.” Praise be! It’s faster than ever, proof that Yosemite is, in the end, an OS that can perform miracles once the fixes are in place. We don’t, by the way, know which Mac mini he has other than the fact that it contains 4GB RAM, and a Micron M500 SDD of unmentioned capacity.

In passing, I wonder what he would say about Apple’s decision to prohibit third-party SSD extensions that enable the key TRIM feature that ensures continued great performance. But that may just be too complicated for him to understand. There are even hacks to fix it, and that’s even more complicated.

Regardless, I’m real happy that his Mac mini has found its mojo, but I do wonder what Apple did to cause this miracle. You see, the bill of particulars for the OS 10.10.1 only lists this item that might impact his computer, one that “Addressed an issue that could prevent some Mac mini computers from waking from sleep.”

So does the inability to wake from sleep somehow create the impression of lackluster performance? If the Mac mini stays asleep there’s no performance, right?

I suppose that the original installation might well have been faulty in some fashion, and the files replaced in OS 10.10.1 undid the damage, but it’s hard to know from an article that’s so short on critical details, but rich with lurid prose about Apple’s endemic failures.

So we therefore consign yet another blog to the trash bin of meaningless rants.

| Print This Article Print This Article

4 Responses to “Be Dumb, Be Very Dumb!”

  1. Gray says:

    I can’t comment on the article because you won’t link and I don’t blame Tim Cook specifically, Steve Jobs had plenty of howlers while he helmed Apple. Nostalgia seems to cloud objective views of the past. But for me at least, this last year has been the worst year for Apple’s software since I started using macs a long time ago.

    iWork is my main productivity app, it was gutted in v.5 and Mavericks. A year later it is still missing over 100 features. But hey! I can share with 100 people now. iBook was great reader but the worst collection management tool. No way to edit meta data and it unpacked your open source epubs one-way. Apple never mentioned that in the download notes.

    Yosemite is nearly unusable for me unless I turn the contrast right up and takes roughly 3 times as long to do everything as Mavericks did on my i5 Macbook. OS X Click’n’Wait or maybe OSX “Golden Gate” because I can’t see anything in the foggy whiteout.

    The latest iTunes. I dumped it when I realized there was no sidebar. Why did’t Apple just keep it with the option to turn it on and off? It has been a solid year of takeaways and slow downs for me. No added features at all that I can use. Nothing except fluff like Handoff.

    • @Gray, There’s a lot of stuff, and a lot of it isn’t quite correct, or curious.


      1. The new version of iWork lost features in the interests of a central code base and OS X/iOS capability. Many of those features have since been restored. But nothing stops you from using the previous version.

      2. Yosemite shouldn’t be changing your display settings. It didn’t on the MacBook Pro and 27-inch iMac on which I installed betas, developer releases and the final versions, including 10.10.1. That may be something specific to your computer. Which MacBook? Readers?

      3. Yes, there IS a sidebar in iTunes 12. Check your Help menu. Or try Playlists view.


  2. Viswakarma says:

    Apple is now transitioning to a state where the use of a lap/desk top machine, mobile machine and cloud computing will provide a seamless end-user experience.

    However, during the transition the users of lap/desk top machines are losing some of the very useful functionality in OS X and applications, such as Pages, Numbers etc.

  3. Mark says:

    Hey Gene,

    When did we become a bunch of whiners? I mean anyone who’s been a long time Mac user (I’m a young’un with only 28 years) knows that Apple has screwed up royally … regularly. PreSteve return (oh the horror!), after return, now.

    We always were willing to blast them for screw ups and define our wants – that’s what our MUG did! But whining like this reporter and the above commenter? There are so many resources on how to deal with these things now that we have an embarrassment of riches.

    Brother, your sane voice, commentary and skewering of the click baiters is always appreciated!

Leave Your Comment