Anyhow, the next few days are going to be tough for me. Why? The iPad launch. I know, I know, I've already made an Apple rant and I shouldn't be placing an article like this next to my poll (which is doing rather well, I might add) but hey, at least I stuck it past the jump, right?
In all seriousness though, I want to show you what I saw when I went to Gizmodo.com the other day. What follows are the first 2 screens on Gizmodo yesterday, April 1st (I almost thought it was some kind of April Fools...)
(Click to view full size)
(Yes, it's IE6, it's what my work uses still)
Seriously?! Is the iPad the only thing we have to talk about?! We've seen it before, it's called the iPod touch, made a few times bigger. Frankly there are better tablets out there for a lower price. I could go on for hours about my distaste for Apple's elitist, controlling business model, but most of my readers are of the sort that understand what I'm talking about. If you're one of those people who don't mind the way Apple works (and lets be clear here, I have no more love for Microsoft or any other large corporation) then you're far more tolerant than I.
I guess I just hate feeling restricted by a company that I'm giving money to. Told what I can or can't do with their product after I buy it. I hate being fed marketing lines about how superior a product is until I turn into a sheep.
Don't get me wrong, Apple makes some fantastic products. They create devices that have revolutionized the industry. Obviously the Mac was the first such product, though it floundered over the years as its limitations (primarily due to software compatibility) outweighed many of its benefits.
Next was the iPod, and it brought Apple back to life. An MP3 player that didn't have a million buttons and could be easily operated with one hand while hardly even looking at the device. It was simple, it was intuitive, and it worked. And iTunes made getting music and transferring it to the device a no-brainer.
Then the iPhone, which introduced a powerful smartphone with an (now Apple signature) intuitive, simple interface that didn't require you to have a Computer Science degree to understand (because let's be honest, Windows Mobile and Palm OS were not user-friendly enough for mainstream use at that point). With the App marketplace, an explosion of applications suddenly became available, turning the smartphone into a digital Swiss Army knife. Now Google, Palm, and Microsoft are doing their best to emulate Apple's success and appeal to those (like me) that may not particularly want a single-tasking smartphone with a dumbed-down OS, no Flash support (ie "go buy our content thru iTunes,") and an app market strictly controlled by Apple.
And I've fallen for it. And how could I not? Frankly, I'm surprised I haven't turned into one of those Linux fanatics (though I do dabble) because of my love for freedom within technology, the ability to learn how everything works, to tweak and modify and play around in a digital sandbox. Maybe this is why I like games like EVE Online... I enjoy being able to explore a complex medium where I can make decisions unhindered by what I am "supposed" to do, think, or experience.
Now I'm waxing philosophical and it's probably time for this blog post to end. But this is why I love researching technology and sharing it with the rest of the world. Most people don't have my patience to pour over long, dry diagrams and articles about technical specifications and benchmarks in search of the truth that lies behind all the marketing spin. But I enjoy it, particularly when I can share my findings with everyone else. Hopefully an audience is willing to listen...