Thank You Steve (#ThankYouSteve)

Following today’s sad news of the departure of Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs (effectively “Mr Apple”), I felt compelled enough to send an email to Apple’s “remembering Steve” address [rememberingsteve@apple.com]. They’ll receive millions I’m sure…

I didn’t know Steve personally but I’ve experienced the products his company have produced. I’m well aware that he wasn’t your typical “figurehead” CEO and that his involvement in the genesis, development and re-development of products (to the utmost level of detail) was a significant factor in what differentiated Apple from other “tech” companies. He was either an expert at marketing or at hiring the right people for the job – probably both, but certainly he has driven the successful creation of a brand that is truly global. He has left a great legacy – and he has employed a great team – keep up the visionary work!

I also encountered a weird phenomena on my work Mac this morning – which I tweeted about:

My work iMac took far longer than normal to boot today – I think it did it as a mark of respect… #ThankYouSteve

Fundamentally whatever you achieve as a person in this world (be it acclaimed by millions or gratefully received by one) doing something to improve a situation is the key. Whatever you do, do it well. Don’t seek the glory but if you do receive praise, accept it humbly. The people that get this round the wrong way remind me of an old Chinese / Greek / Kenyan / Swahili (can’t find the originator but my money’s on the Chinese) proverb “Empty pots make the loudest noise”. The Greek philosopher Plato apparently put it “As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers” (though that’s obviously been translated so I can’t vouch for the accuracy – somehow I don’t think Plato used the word “blabber”). Supposedly Shakespeare referenced the saying too in “King Lear” and “Henry V” – though I can’t find precisely where – the web is great at providing vague information 😉 Anyway, the etymology (ooh look at me, with me ‘igh falutin’ words!) of the term is not important, what does matter is that you make an effort to fill your pot so much that it overflows and others gain from your efforts. Never fill it selfishly but give what you receive – if everyone could work to that end imagine how different this world would be to live in… [cue: Louis Armstrong “What A Wonderful World”]

So… does the Lion (OS X) roar or suck!?

I recently sent some more money in the direction of Apple. I believe they make fine, well thought out products and I come from a PC background so I had to be convinced before making the transition. My first experience of Macs / OS X was just so enlightening – what took an age on a PC took moments on a Mac. Even things as trivial as boot up time, with a PC you can pop out to put the kettle on AND make a cup of tea in the time it takes to plough through CMOS boot, DOS-like boot, Windows GUI boot, system progs, anti-virus etc. On a Mac, you have the EFI boot (FAR slicker) and then ding!, you’re running apps and doing stuff before you’ve even THOUGHT about having a cup of tea.

So as I said at the beginning of this post I’ve just sent some more money into the great Apple bank account, this time for the Lion OS X update. There were a few aspects I was interested in, resume apps on boot was one and the multitouch gestures – what they didn’t make clear on the promo material was that multi-touch required a specific generation (or above) of Mac, guess what, mine was a generation too old 🙁 To be fair if you digged deep enough with a number of clicks from a chunky mouse-shovel the information was presented but it was quite a way from the glitz and glamour pages. As they always said in my Business Law classes “Buyer Beware” or if you want to get all legalistic and Latinified (me trying to dumb down what could be construed as “posturing”) “Caveat Emptor”, which is actually “Let the buyer beware”.

So with £29.99 extracted from my credit card (I notice it’s now £20.99!!) my Mac was duly updated. Oh dear. My once nimble Mac has now got a noticeably doddery trudge to its step. Subsequent to the update I’m now getting decidedly PC-like transitions to my menu opening clicks, often a click is followed by a half second pause before the requested action takes place – have I inadvertently lobotomized my digital workhorse? Certainly it hurts when an upgrade motion generates a downgrade emotion…

I’ve looked at newer Macs, they are better at running Lion OS X than my Mac but even friends of mine with current generation Macs have noticed a degradation in speed once updating to Lion OS X. So where do things stand? Surely Apple noticed this performance hit? Will it be ironed out in an update? (let’s hope!) I’d really like to know WHAT was added to Lion OS X that caused this performance hit – whatever it was perhaps they can release an update where you can select to remove it? It’s a shame, the awe and wonder aspect that I had for Apple products has distinctly lost it’s shine and I can only put it down to a fundamental marketing mistake: over-promising and under-delivering. So my message to the Cupertino crew – please fix OS X (for everyone), thanks 😉