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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Apple delenda est

I am a reasonable man, kind and considerate. I can see you nodding right now and saying to yourself, "Mike, you are the epitome of kindness and understanding." So because of these virtues it is only fair to warn you ahead of time of what about I am about to say, please turn away if you are easily shocked or wish to continue in your innocence.

Okay you had your chance. Here goes...

Apple must be destroyed.

I have not said that about any other bete noire; not Governor Napolitano, not Jon Talton, not my neighbor, not anyone else on my enemies list. Why is Apple different?

A little while ago, a kind and considerate person sent me an iPod for my birthday. The person in question knew I used my Palm Centro as an MP3 player and that while a wonder machine, the Centro is a little unwieldy. So in came a nice shiny, wafer-thin 8GB iPod Nano. Much smaller and 4x the storage space as the Centro. Smooth sailing for you Mike, your life is just now peaches and cream.

One problem.

To sync the iPod you need to use the iTunes management interface. Not just any iTunes for the new Nano but their latest and greatest, iTunes 8, which only works on Windows XP SP2 and above. Sorry I live in a house where we still use Windows 2000, heck my 12-year old still uses NT 4.0 (an OS almost as old as he is.) Why? Because well the crap still works for the limited uses we need it for and if I need serious power I'll just fire up the Linux box.

So basically I have a brick; a nice, shiny, thin brick that I cannot load. I call Apple support, I go down to the Apple Store - several different ones - and beg for help, a work-around, an explanation.

None. Should I add that of all the people I talked to, all the so-called "whizzes" or whatever they call them at these places treated me with contempt? That "You should get with the times", that "We cannot possibly support every operating system, I mean you don't expect us to support DOS" When I mentioned to them that they supported Windows 2000 until recently and then asked what features they gained in the recent version of iTunes that abandoned 2000 I was met with a blank stare.

I know that stare, I know that attitude because that was my modus operandi when I ran tech support, those who didn't want to run the latest and greatest were beneath contempt and just not worth more thought than "upgrade your computer." Oh yeah when I asked if them if they had something that could run under Linux, they had no resposne to that one either. So much for the bleeding edge.

Should I have taken the oh so subtle hint and laid out the relatively moderate amount of cash and buy a new computer that could have run XP? Or perhaps just got a copy of Vista or XP and partitioned the hard drive of my Linux box? I guess but why should I got through all of that so I could run Apple's software to load my Apple brick?

Here's what got me about all of it... besides the fact that Apple treated me more as a tech support supplicant than a paying customer. I found out later, after I gave my buddy a six pack of delicious Sierra Nevada Celebration to use his computer to load my iPod, that I didn't even need to use iTunes. There are plenty of solid 3rd party applications that work just as good if not better than iTunes, I mean even ole Winamp does a better job, and a bunch of them do Linux.

So they lied to me when they said there were no other options... either that or those tech whizzes who held me below contempt and smirked at me didn't know what they were talking about. Hey I'll eat alot of crap if the person who is dishing it out knows what they are talking about and I can learn a thing or two, I will definitly hold General McClellan's horse.

However when you dish it out and you are full of it? Say it with me...

Apple delenda est