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The adventures of Macky and Bullwindows (or Why Apple owes me a free copy of “Jaguar”)

By Eliot Hochberg (eliot@high-mountain.com), July 19, 2002

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When we last left our heroes, Macky and Bullwindows, they were wading through the jungles of Mac OS X 10.1.5, wondering aloud why it seemed to crash so often given that protected memory was supposed to protect the system when using software that required Mac OS 9. There were issues with screen redraw performance and navigating the file system. In a nutshell, it seemed as though Mac OS X just wasn’t finished yet.

We join our boys squaring off against Claris Knowitall just before the MWNY Expo keynote...

Macky: But what I’m saying Claris, is that there are still a lot of problems with OS X.

Claris : But Macky my friend, you have to understand, it isn’t finished yet. Wait until 10.2 comes out.

Macky : That may be, but I just bought a whole new computer. Am I crazy to expect it would have software that just works running it?

Claris : It does - Mac OS 9.

Macky : Claris, you have an answer for everything.

Bullwindows : Hey guys, settle down! The keynote’s about to begin!

Later, after the keynote...

Bullwindows : Macky, you look mad!

Macky : You bet I am Bullwindows! There’s plenty to be mad about!

Claris : What do you mean? They dropped pricing on the iPod, added a new larger one, showed the new RealPlayer for OS X, a new version of Maya, Warcraft III, a bunch of new iApps, a new display for the iMac, and Jaguar with all of the updates you were complaining about before. What, you don’t want them to make iPods for Windows? You were expecting the new iGarage door opener?

Macky : No, Claris, that’s not it at all.

Bullwindows : Well, then what Macky?

Macky : Well, I’ll tell you...

But before Macky gets to tell his friends what he’s so steamed about, a giant Jaguar leaps up from behind a potted plant, startling all of them.

Bullwindows : Macky, I swear it wasn’t me!

Claris : Me too, I was only thinking about what I would put on my iCal.

Macky : I know, fellas. That’s okay.

While the guys are assuring each other that they didn’t bring the Jaguar in, it pounces on Claris and Bullwindows, and takes $700 from each of them.

Bullwindows and Claris: Hey!!

Macky : See, see!! That’s exactly what I’m talking about!

Everyone, including the Jaguar, stops and listens to Macky.

Macky : A few years ago, I bought Mac OS X Server. It cost me $499. Then the OS X preview [That’s what Macky calls Mac OS X 10.0 - Ed.] came out, and that cost $129 more. After I bought it, Apple offered it for a discount, but I was too early. Then I bought a PowerMac G4 this year, which came with OS X 10.1.4. I’m sure part of the cost was the OS, but more importantly I spent over $2000 on that system. Now, in addition to charging for iTools, which isn’t really that big of a deal, I’m being asked to shell out another $129 for what is essentially a bug fix with some new features.

Claris : But Macky, iChat, Inkwell and Rendezvous are brand new! Surely you aren’t saying you should get those for free?!

Macky : iChat!? Inkwell!? Rendezvous?! Fine! Don’t give me those, then. Of course, everyone else’s chat software is free. And I have no real use for Inkwell or Rendezvous without new hardware that supports them! Just give me a free update of all the parts of the OS that I should have gotten when I paid all that money for my new G4! The bottom line is that Apple is working the same way that Microsoft does, charging for updates, .Mac instead of .NET, the taskbar at the bottom of the screen! Arrgh!!!!

Just then, the Jaguar stood up on its hind legs, and, handing the money back to Claris and Bullwindows, reveals himself to be none other than Steve Jobs!

Steve : Macky, I hear what you’re saying, but please, be reasonable.

Macky : I’ll be reasonable as soon as you put on a pair of pants.

Claris hands Steve a pair of pants that was hidden in his knapsack.

Steve : Look, Macky, I understand that you’ve spent a lot of money supporting Apple, and we all appreciate it. But you have to realize that these are tough economic times, and Apple needs to have revenue strategies that insure its viability.

Macky : Well, what of those of us who don’t have $129 to spend because we just bought a new G4, but we also need to have this upgrade because the previous version has a lot of bugs?

Steve : Really, Macky, your finances aren’t our problem. I feel for you, but I have to do what’s best for my company.

Macky : That’s just the kind of thing Microsoft would do!

Steve (irritated): You know, I’m getting a little tired of people dressing me down for doing things like Microsoft. Before, when Windows took over 90 percent of the OS market, everyone blamed me for not licensing the Mac OS to Bill Gates. Maybe that was a bad idea. But now, when I do things the way Microsoft does them, people like you give me a hard time, too. It’s time you realized that Apple is just a company. Companies are built to make money. I like to think we have a little more soul than other companies, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my company go under just to satisfy the idealistic ranting of a customer who can’t afford one lousy upgrade! Buy it or don’t, but stop expecting my company to be something other than what it is; a corporation.

And with that, Steve Jobs put his Jaguar suit back on and leapt away.

Bullwindows : That was a harrowing experience.

Macky : You got that right, Bullwindows.

Claris : So, are you over being angry with Apple? After all, a company has to make a living.

Macky : Well, Claris, I understood what Steve said, but I still think it’s a problem that someone like me spends almost $700 on software that has all sorts of bugs, only to have to spend more just to get it working properly.

Claris : It’s not like you were forced to buy it.

Macky : I know, Claris, I know. Anyone want to get an ice cream?

And with that, the three of them went off to spend $30 each on convention center ice cream cones.

Until next time, when you’ll hear Macky say:

Macky : But I thought this was a sugar cone! I want my money back!

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