They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen


The Apple Macintosh debuted thirty years ago. I am sure, come Super Sunday, Apple's legendary shown-only-once 1984 Super Bowl ad will be replayed everywhere. If Apple is smart, they'll have a special New 1984+30 ad for this Super Bowl.

Thirty years is over half my life. The Mac and Apple have produced some outstanding products. Millions are hardened converts. I actually own a Mac SE, with System 6.0.8, but haven't booted it in years. When I get back down to the basement office and clear some of the crap on the desk, I'll probably fire up the SE and Word 5.1+ and do some writing. Probably have to open the chassis and change the battery again. (grin)

So good for Apple. Go Macintosh. Sure, that very first 128KB model was barely usable, but then the very, very first 64KB IBM Personal Computer running ROM BASIC and storing on a cassette tape recorder sucked, too.

Happy birthday.

The Title To This Entry Isn't Aimed At You, Apple

So PCMag had an article on the Macintosh anniversary, comparing the specs of the original Macintosh and latest iMac. The article eventually turned out to be pretty interesting, even though the kids these days mistakenly called a 3½" floppy drive an optical drive. But getting to the article was not half the fun.

-- recognizes I am on a tablet, so it immediately switches to the mobile version.
-- Without asking.
-- With the screen dominated by a huge picture of an original Macintosh.
-- And the page promptly crashes the Silk browser.
-- Restarting Silk and saying Yes, reopen all my tabs, I quickly scrolled through the still loading blank white webpage to the bottom and found the Desktop version button.
-- Immediately the whole page loaded. Silk was easily able to render the page. The picture of the Macintosh turns out to be tiny.
-- Somewhere in this process a small pop-up appeared asking me to subscribe, immediately blocked by a larger one. This one was an ad for something, and I had to scroll around to find the Skip this ad button.

This litany highlights, to me, everything that's wrong with modern websites. Look, I can understand why a Mobile version of the site might be useful to some -- especially if you're on a small phone screen. But they are also usually bastardized versions of the webpage. Incomplete, too many things to click through. With a perfectly good web browser, I can display the regular webpage -- even better, I don't have to learn a new (and usually unique and inconsistent) user interface.

Yes, PCMag is a business. I had a subscription to both Byte and PC Magazine for years until both went online only. Asking someone linking in to an article to subscribe or view an ad is fine, but interrupting you multiple times is annoying. And this business of having desktop versus mobile options at the bottom of the page? Everyone does it. Periodically I have to tell Gmail, Amazon, eBay and my work email to stop being so damned helpful and take me back to the desktop version -- always on the bottom of the page. Gmail particularly pisses me off, because if you just start scrolling down it just keeps adding more entries -- you have to select a message to find the bottom of a page, switch, then reload. Really? And everyone does it differently.

Very early mobile versions were pretty bad. Even when I owned tiny PDAs like the HP-548, I was better off using Pocket Internet Explorer under Windows CE than mobile versions. Clearly I am not normal -- Or else clearly smarter than the average bear.

Funny that on the anniversary of one of the great computers, I'm ranting about companies who keep trying to make my tablet into a phone, rather than a computer. You'd think that something from PC Magazine would know better.

Dr. Phil

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