My time with Leto I was short and happy. Leto is a 12.1" iBook G4 with 800Mhz processor and 640MB RAM, that I bought from an internet acquaintance for 2k. With a new battery from China I had expected at least a year’s worth of smooth surfin’ on the cafés of this city, picking up chicks with a hard-on for white plastic apples. That is, not chicks with actual hard-ons.. With Leto I got my first real life insights into the mysterious world of Macintosh, and its religious followers.
The mystery is shit and its followers are dicks.
Making a hardware and software combo proprietary is not the workings of someone who wants to make "stuff just work" or provide "quality products with esthetical emphasis". It is the workings of someone who wants to own something, be it source code, hardware, licenses or customers. And by extension Apple owns its customers.
I know this from years of using Microsoft products and "thinking within the box", and the relevations that followed when I began my journey into the GNU/Linux world – as well as looking into and trying to understand the history of computers. By finding out how accidental the development of technology is really laid out, almost exclusively driven by economical motives, I came to realize that the whole scene of technology could have been – or rather can be – very different.
There are infinite ways of implementing our knowledge. It just so happened that the Personal Computing branch turned out more attractive when the idea of software copyright and licensing had been firmly established in law. Most people wouldn’t know that Xerox made a Personal Computer in the 50s, also inventing the ethernet and the mouse, nearly half a century before PCs were introduced as the latest thing.
This is a good reason for free software (free as in speech), in a non-strict sense. It provides you with choices, many choices, some of which you won’t even bother to consider. But at least you have the chance!
Superstition and obfuscation – namely keeping people in the dark – on the other hand, is the traits of a tyrant. A tyrant will always have some fanatic followers, which I personally experienced in my short-lived Macintosh era. They are luckily just defending a dying religion, because awareness will not be stopped. People will begin to ask themselves questions and find their answers, even if they will have to make it themselves.
Only a few people try to relieve Apple customers from this, from various reasons, but they are all persecuted as criminals.
From a statistical viewpoint however, most criminals use Microsoft products.
I doubt the seller of this iBook knew that it was one of many that after a couple of years of working will simply stop doing so. Why would he know it, when the makers of the product arrogantly refuses any responsibility because the thousands of users it affects are still just a tear drop in the ocean?
As for OS X, I think it is a great way to introduce the functions of a processing machine to the mentally disabled. The click-click-click you will have to go through cannot be avoided through a stripped down terminal.
Many people dread Microsoft’s BSODs (which I have had quite a few of through my work), but at least it spits out an error code which gives you a hint of what’s wrong. OS X simply fails to do anything, freezing everything on screen and refusing to work for a couple of power cycles.
And when the OS X kernel finally spits out an error, it’s anyone’s guess what it’s about. Why? Because the owner of the product you’re licensed to use would rather you pay them for a "professional repair service". With so many glad to pay this price, you are lucky if you find the information you need to solve the problem yourself.
The Linux development for this machine hadn’t come far enough for my liking, and I am too ignorant to take on independent development myself.
It was only thanks to the sense of information freedom of some Apple users that I was able to trace my problem to a defect in the logical board. In turn this means I bought the most expensive letter weight of my life.
In the meantime I was left with solutions similar to witch craft ceremonies in Voodoo. The one problem to solve them all (and in the darkness bind them) would be "repairing the disk permissions". The only thing more insulting to my intelligence would have been small animations of people fixing a cartwheel or something. Probably a feature in future versions of the OS.
With new Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) emerging with fancy laptop designs, and Apple moving in on the de facto hardware standard market, its days are numbered. God be praised. And thanks to the fanatic following of the white plastic apple, I will still be able to sell my non-working machine for a fistful hard currency.
The status quo of computational machinery is this:
– Leeloo went to my father
– Leto I will be sold to highest bidder
– The Powerbook G4 was exchanged for a new Acer laptop which I will sell
– When all other machines have gone, I will search the possibilities of ODMs.