Tuesday, February 27, 2007

daddy mac

Personally and professionally, I have been working on Mac OS and Windows platforms simultaneously for the last 6 years. Recently, I've seen a lot of Apple marketing (outside the iTunes world) that advertises simplicity, elegance, and security (all features that basically result from making highly proprietary machines). Now, aside from overcharging, Apple has done a pretty good job at providing support for it's hardware. But any company trying to accommodate both hard and soft technological needs is going to run into problems, and Apple has recently tasted sexy iTune success and is taking Carl's Jr-size bites without a napkin. Apple is trying to make waves as a 3rd-party software vendor for other platforms, but they don't have the in-house technical support to BEGIN. In other words, now that Apple has decided to make its software available to other platforms (iTunes), they can't reap the benefits of the proprietary and compatibilty marketing campaign they're still trying to sell.

As an example: Yesterday I called Apple support and tried to find a knowledgeable resource for some issues I have with networked Apple products. I tried to start with iTunes. I've got a domain full of Windows users, all of whom use iTunes, some of whom want to share their libraries, etc. All I want is information on global settings and group policy options so that I can maintain consistency among users. (Without tools like these, iTunes is a network administrator's nightmare: users deal with ridiculously frequent and large program updates, shared libraries, auto-archiving and moving large files, and a virtual memory problem to warrant my granddad's. Sorry Hal.)

The first person I spoke to wanted me to download Quicktime. The third person I talked to transfered me to Sales. The first "iTunes Technician" I spoke to told me that I needed to authorize my machine before I could share .m4p files. Hahahaha! shut up. It gets better though. He transfered me to "accelerated support," where I could speak to a Genius. Unfortunately, the Genius said, iTunes does not support global settings. ...you are only able to buy songs from the United State, not internationally. Did I have any other questions? Hahahahaha! shut up.

In all, I spoke with 7 technicians: Jet, Jared, Kris Venditti, Glenn Esser, Joe Fleck, Bill Foster, and another guy who responded via e-mail. His response was good: he told me to download the newest version of iTunes and "have i checked out apple.com/support?" Oh my god, I totally forgot to use the web as a resource! As an IT professional, I usually spend my time on a typewriter, using my rotary phone, dreaming about a future of flying machines called airplanes and SHUT THE FUCK UP.

This is just one teensy issue I have with Apple.* I'm not trying to indict them for creating sub-par products; generally speaking, I like their machines and will probably continue to buy them as an end-user. It's Apple's deceptive "we're so slick and invincible" marketing that irks me. I suppose this blog is directed more to my friends who are Apple proponents or users, if only to reiterate that--no--Apple doesn't suck, but--yes--I will continue to complain about Apple as much as I complain about machines running Windows platforms.

Should I sign my name now? -BF

*Oh yeah, one more thing. Last night, one of my LaCie hard drives (supposedly Mac-friendly devices) failed. OSX's disk-utility app is really elementary. I can't find much information on my drive, and I definitely can't repair it. If anyone has any info on drive-restoration, let me know. Same goes for any other advice on networking Apple apps...