To be honest, I don't know what my exact problem with Apple is yet, but I think writing it out will definitely help me pinpoint it. Maybe it's just me? Hating on a popular company. Or maybe my frustrations with them as a company are real? I don't know.
My history with Apple is long. Real long. My first computer was an Apple II that my parents bought in the beginning of the 80s. I loved it, but mostly just used it to copy games. I didn't even really play them, I just loved cracking and hoarding them. My Apple had a really slow modem that I could dial into a few services and play basic games online, read information on BBSs or chat with my friend whose weatherman father had a fax machine that would take incoming connections. All pretty exciting stuff to a ten year old.
As the years rolled on, I stuck with Apple like a brainwashed cult member. I eventually got the Mac SE (Tetris for days, yo!) and discovered even more excitement with it. Hooking it up to a keyboard, early audio editing programs, usable word processing. It was like a late 80s dream machine. All in that cute little package. Who would be crazy enough to want a PC when you could have this!
In the 90s, it got weird. Steve Jobs was out, and in were the clones. I had a clone, (I think it was a Power Computing?) which came after a Centris 650, or 850? The forgettable years of Apple when they just seemed to get square and grey and typical of any other computer out there. The clone worked well but it was obvious the company needed some guidance, so back came Steve. At this point I was still a believer, reading my MacWorld and telling anyone who would listen that they really should buy that $6 Apple stock even if it seemed the company was getting absolutely destroyed by Microsoft. That might sound like extreme foresight, but it wasn't. More like blind fan-boy optimism. I just couldn't imagine Apple going out of business (even after the 90s Apple TV. Basically a black Mac with antennae.)
Shortly after, the iMac came out and the rest is history. Sadly for me, the most exciting thing about the iMac was that it came with the first all white Apple logo sticker. I was a fan, for sure, but even I had limits, and there was no way the rainbow apple was going anywhere near my bumper. But the white one? I flew that loud and proud like some underground revolutionary fighting the good fight. Truly believing if people would just all switch to Apple computers, the world would be a better place. (It pains me a little to even write this out.)
On went the computers. I pre-ordered the first G4, pre-ordered the first titanium PowerBook and pretty much owned everything in between there and now. The problem though, ever since the first OS X, the computers haven't really gotten better. In fact I'd say they have gotten worse and worse. The more they can do, the more it seems like they can't do. The rainbow beach ball (worst "your expensive computer is stuck" design ever) has become commonplace and the operating systems just feel sluggish and overburdened.
On top of this, Apple seems to be leaving the world of quality home computing behind, and forging ahead with disposable computers and lifestyle products. Lots and Lots of lifestyle products. iPhones, iPods, iPads. And in these "green times" we are living, crazy overdone packaging, and computers reduced to obsolescence quickly. (My four-year-old G5 is no longer upgradable.) I understand computer technology keeps moving and packaging sells, but still, I feel that our understanding of these truths are being taken advantage of. My complaints could get long, and way nerdy, so I'll spare you the whole rant. The bottom line though is that it feels Apple lost its way.
And the iPad just feels (and sounds) stupid. No multi-tasking (what year is it?), iPhone OS? Apps? Is it just me, or do Apps already feel dated. (Sooo 2010...) And watching Steve Jobs sell it like Moses with his tablet just got me mad. My year old PowerBook can barely handle a browser, email and word processing and this guy is trying to tell me I need something new? F-you dude... put that silly thing down and fix my laptop. Because the truth is, I don't need a giant iPhone, I need computers that work. And I used to have a company that did that really well. Unfortunately they got in the business of giant iPhones, and the rest is history.
Follow Steven Nereo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/single_ape