Intervention in the Cult of Apple

Like a lot of people, I'd wanted a Mac since the old Apple ][ days but could never seem to pony-up enough scratch to meet the (comparatively) high prices of Apple's product offerings.

I got my first iMac, the cherry one, around 2004 which was quickly followed by a Cube, the Mac-mini, the 12" aluminum Mac Book, my first iMac (white) and then the my current Mac, a 27" I7 aluminum monster.

I've loved my Macs for the most part and justified the high-prices easily once I saw the quality engineering that went into their hardware.  Additionally, Mac software just doesn't have the same levels of bloat that affects Windows; software generally adopts a considerably smaller footprint on a Mac that it does on a PC so your storage requirements are less demanding and thereby more efficient in terms of, say, back-up and recovery.

Over the years, the patina has grown thicker on my "cult" status with Apple obscuring my affectation for their products.  Hardware prices exacerbate the condition as pricing continues to be a prohibitive factor in my purchasing decisions.

Consider:  I acquired the iPad within six months of it's release.  I quit smoking to do so, banked the money I saved on cigs, and used the savings to purchase a 64gb wi-fi only iPad.

Generally, and initially, my satisfaction with the iPad remained high for the first couple years of it's use.  However, over time and the inevitable discontinuation of support for the iPad-1, I've veered away from iOS towards Android, once again resurrecting the reluctance of upgrading due to the prohibitive pricing Apple continues to wrap around it's products.

I'm even less-inclined to replace my iPad with a newer version simply because, as experience has taught, there will come a day when I can no longer update the operating system or install a desired application simply because Apple has pulled the plug on the device.  Never-you-mind that the device still works well, is relevant, and can perform the tasks I need without complaint.  

As far as Apple is concerned, I am the not-so-proud owner of a $600, albeit working, brick.

So it's reasonably that I just can't see myself spending another $600-$800 on an iPad when I know it's planned for obsolescence and brick-dom.

I've accumulated several Android devices:  a tablet - the Nexus 7 by Google, an Android Phone by Motorola, and my home-entertainment box by Vidon.Me.   Android, as a platform, continuously updates itself and, to date, I've not received any message about an OS upgrade not happening because my hardware is no longer supported.  I've never received an error message from a software installation because my version of Android isn't supported.

Not so for the iPad-1.  I'm currently relegated to some level of hell in that I'm eternally stuck at iOS 5.1.1.  Software I'd like to have refuses to install based wholly, or in part, of the fact that either the iOS version isn't supported anymore or, in the case of the new Blizzard offering: Hearthstone, the operating system version is supported, but the iPad-1 isn't.

When my iMac finally dies, or it's hardware is mandated by Apple as no longer being "useful" and cut-off from the update world, I suppose I will probably continue to use it.  In anticipation of that day, my iMac is no longer my primary box, used for LAMP development, graphic design, and other work-related stuffs.

I use my iMac mainly for email, web browsing, and other, non-intensive tasks.  It's as if my iMac is semi-retired, puttering around the garden of my lan, waiting for the final chest-pain.  I really dislike the 10.9 upgrade as it seems Apple was successful in making Finder even more inept, slow and cumbersome than before.  I've seen more crashes on 10.9 in the last few months than I have in the rest of my Apple-owning history, combined.  I've abandoned iTunes and it's counter-intuitive interface in favor of XBMC writing off hundreds of DRM-protected songs I acquired.

Truth be told, I probably would have ripped Linux onto my iMac long ago were it not for Omnigraffle, an Mac-only application I use to document my software.  I've no desire to build a cost-effective Mac-clone either as I can imagine an entirely new plethora of problems with maintenance that effort would spawn.  So, my iMac now has a Do-Not-Resuscitate order.

Apple remains one of the wealthiest corporations in the world.  It currently has more cash on-hand than most countries.  I applaud their business acumen and wish Apple nothing but success in the future.

For me, I refuse to be held hostage to the platform - I need functionality, stability, utility and longevity in my daily, professional use.  At a price I can afford.

I relegated Windows to the status of Xbox-with-a-keyboard years ago (because: Windows) and happily use my PC for gaming -- nothing serious, not even email -- just games and it does just fine, thank-you.  All things Mac can be replaced by either Linux or Android with nary a tear shed.

I have to turn-in my Apple fanboi card simply because I require a sustainable platform that doesn't have obsolescence integrated into the release map, necessitating further contribution to Apple's cash bloat.