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The Apple Two

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the ain't-that-the-truth dept.

Apple 643

theodp writes "Over at Slate, Tim Wu argues that the iPad is Steve Jobs' final victory over Steve Wozniak. Apple's origins were pure Woz, but the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad are the products of the company's other Steve. Jobs' ideas have always been in tension with Woz's brand of idealism and openness. Crazy as it seems, Apple Inc. — the creator of the personal computer — is leading the effort to exterminate it. And somewhere, deep inside, Woz must realize what the release of the iPad signifies: The company he once built now, officially, no longer exists."

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Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#31761536)

I'm pretty sure Woz came to terms with that realization decades ago. He hasn't had a say in any of Apple's higher level decisions since his plane crash in 1981, and he hasn't worked for them at all since 1987. He probably doesn't even think of it as "his" company anymore (if he ever really did). The guy has done a lot of cool stuff since then, and is probably way more interested in talking about his more recent engineering diversions (like his attempts [gizmodo.com] to get Toyota's attention about their accelerator problems) than discussing the philosophy of a company he left behind when The Bangles were still Walking Like an Egyptian.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (5, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | about 4 years ago | (#31761582)

He likes the iPad
http://www.pcworld.com/article/193329/apples_woz_ipad_great_for_students_grandparents.html [pcworld.com]

Though, I can't imagine using it as my only computer as a student, blech

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (3, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 4 years ago | (#31761702)

You couldn't possibly use the iPad as your only computer. Much like the iPhone, it requires a computer running iTunes for setup and syncing.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (2, Insightful)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 4 years ago | (#31761854)

I get that, but once "setup", my iphone doesn't ever need to be connected to a computer.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (1)

Mage66 (732291) | about 4 years ago | (#31761978)

From what I read, no external computer is required for setup. And you can download stuff via WiFi or 3G. A computer is optional.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 4 years ago | (#31762150)

Then the dude in the office next door would greatly appreciate the change, because so far that's his biggest complaint.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (5, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 years ago | (#31761712)

Though, I can't imagine using it as my only computer as a student, blech.

What about a T-shirt with "I wanted a Dynabook and all I got was this lousy toy"?

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#31762008)

"I wanted a Dynabook and all I got was this lousy toy"

Say Hello to my new little screensaver.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (2, Funny)

homey of my owney (975234) | about 4 years ago | (#31761868)

Yeah, that's the thing I like about sweeping generalities. They are always right on the money.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762076)

Yeah, that's the thing I like about sweeping generalities. They are always right on the money.

I see what you did there.

The iPad is original Apple Redux (4, Insightful)

StCredZero (169093) | about 4 years ago | (#31761902)

He likes the iPad

Of course he likes the iPad. The iPad is actually a lot like the original Apple computers in terms of what it's trying to do. Steve Jobs is actually trying to push a whole new category. (Not wholly new, but one that's only been obscure so far.) He's pushed things so far, that there is no current killer app for this device. It's just like the advent of the original Apple, when everyone was saying that it was very cool, but what the heck is it good for? It wasn't until later that VisiCalc became the killer app.

Steve Jobs and company have gone out so far on a limb, we don't quite know what to do with this thing. I've coined a new unit: the milliTaco. It's 1000th of the innovation required to make a game changer and confuse a Slashdot editor. With the iPod, it wasn't the features and stats, the killer was the legal music download ecosystem they created. With the iPad, it's the ability to interact with a networked computer in ways and situations that we haven't before, without looking like a total dork:

http://amzn.com/B001G713NO [amzn.com]

The killer apps are yet to come, for those of us who see the potential in this thing to implement.

Though, I can't imagine using it as my only computer as a student, blech

Well, duh! That's not what it's for!

Re:The iPad is original Apple Redux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762126)

If you don't think walking through the mall, typing on your iPad makes you look like a total dork then.....

well... enjoy your iPad hahahah

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (-1, Offtopic)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 4 years ago | (#31761672)

Also, the Apple wasn't the first Personal Computer, CmdFago.

"The first complete personal computer was the Commodore PET introduced in January 1977. It was soon followed by the popular Apple II." --Wikipedia

Just sayin'.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 years ago | (#31761732)

Far from it. [wikipedia.org] (Perhaps also not the first, but definitely an early overachiever. :))

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761944)

Far from it. [wikipedia.org] (Perhaps also not the first, but definitely an early overachiever. :))

Okay, if you count a computer that you could not buy as a personal computer, then how about the Zuse Z1, build between 1936 and '38 in Konrad Zuse's parents' living room?

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (4, Informative)

EvilBudMan (588716) | about 4 years ago | (#31761804)

Yeah, Wozniak wanted things open. The "other Steve" wants to benefit off of BSD but then close up stuff tighter than Microsoft does now. I knew they were somewhat like this all of the time especially when they sued Microsoft for their look and feel issues over Windows. Why can't all graphical user interfaces have a trashcan instead of a recycle bin? There is a lot of this in the industry that just makes it tough on the user when switching programs and I guess that's what most Electronic/Software/Media companies want.

As anyone who has ever watched Max Headroom in the 80's knows these things need to be kept separate by separate companies. When you control it all the quality suffers. Apple used to be a hardware company and Microsoft was a software company and all was well. Now they are both into everything. I wonder how long it will take Apple to crack into gaming and really hit the big time? Sony is an absolute power in electronics/media/. They farm out their gaming development. The new PS3 looks like the best toy I have ever seen. Apple tries to be a toy maker, but their toys ain't no fun any more.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (2, Funny)

wed128 (722152) | about 4 years ago | (#31762100)

I wonder how long it will take Apple to crack into gaming and really hit the big time?

Two words: Apple Pippin.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#31762156)

" Apple used to be a hardware company and Microsoft was a software company and all was well."

Not sure where you have been but Apple has been making and selling software for decades.

Re:Like Woz didn't move on a LONG time ago? (5, Funny)

Graff (532189) | about 4 years ago | (#31762208)

As anyone who has ever watched Max Headroom in the 80's knows these things need to be kept separate by separate companies.

Yes, 80's TV shows taught me everything I need to know. The A-Team taught me that people don't die even if you shoot guns at them and blow things up. The Dukes of Hazard showed me that you can jump a nearly 2 ton car at ridiculous speeds numerous times and still have it drivable when it lands. MacGyver proved that you could solve any problem with a rubber band, a pen, and a paperclip.

Officially? (4, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | about 4 years ago | (#31761556)

"The company he once built now, officially, no longer exists."

Since we're talking about competing philosophies rather than the destruction of the entire company, and further given that there's been no press releases declaring the death of Woz's ideals, i'm not sure that word means what you think it means.

Re:Officially? (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 4 years ago | (#31761578)

Aside from that, they still sell regular old personal computers. I guess that's a conveniently forgotten fact here?

Re:Officially? (4, Insightful)

EggyToast (858951) | about 4 years ago | (#31761718)

And those personal computers run a modified version of Unix, which is significantly more open than the old Mac OS. Hmm...

Re:Officially? (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#31761762)

> Aside from that, they still sell regular old personal computers. I guess that's a conveniently forgotten fact here?

It's not forgotten any time an Apple fanboy tries to deny that one of those personal computers could suit someone equally well as a locked down appliance.

This rush to denigrate the mac probably helped inspire the column.

The current Apple herd is eagerly poised to follow Jobs off this particular cliff.

With any luck, this "revolution" will be just like the last one.

Re:Officially? (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 4 years ago | (#31761682)

"The company he once built"

Because the other steve just had nothing do to with it

Last I checked, Jobs was the businessman and Woz was the tech. Without Jobs there never would have been an Apple Computer Inc. And Woz would still be in his garage tinkering. That's what each of them does. Jobs does business, Woz does tinkering. Both are necessary to start a computer company. But unfortunately, in the long run, only one of them is necessary to continue it. Woz was an incredible and probably an essential contribution to Apple in its early stages, but as a company grows, the value and results from powerful business leaders quickly overshadows the brilliant minds working within. The reason's pretty simple.... a sizable company can fairly easily replace good techs, but a good businessman is much riskier to replace. (as Apple found out a few years ago when it tried to replace Jobs)

Right now Jobs has dozens of people at or near Woz's technical level working for him. Apple needs many techs at this stage. But they work best wit only one business leader providing direction. That kind of waters down the tech's importance, regardless of what level it's at.

Re:Officially? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762036)

So there is a good idea created by the technical person, and along comes the suit to fuck it up. Is that the basis of your point?

Sure, it's official (4, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#31761584)

I mean, it's really official. As in the company Woz built was called 'Apple Computer, Inc.' and in 2007 the company by that name officially ceased to exist and became 'Apple, Inc.'. Woz had nothing to do with any company called 'Apple, Inc.'.

Re:Sure, it's official (2, Insightful)

psm321 (450181) | about 4 years ago | (#31761714)

So if you change your name, you're a completely new person?

Re:Sure, it's official (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762114)

You mean that can still find me after I changed my name to

Wait, someone is at the

Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761598)

As hard as it is to believe, Apple has actually managed to make Microsoft look like a more open company. You have more freedom, at a far lower price, when dealing with Microsoft than you do when dealing with Apple.

Frankly, I never thought we'd see the day where just being able to run the applications you wanted to run was a "feature" of a given operating system and platform. But here we are, with Apple dictating exactly which applications are acceptable, and exactly which ones aren't, based on fuzzy and secretive criteria.

I have to give a big "Fuck You" to anyone who supports Apple, or any company like Apple, but buying their products and encouraging their hideous business model. You people are the scum of the earth, and enemies of freedom.

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (0, Flamebait)

codepunk (167897) | about 4 years ago | (#31761724)

I am a developer and the reality is that I can put anything on my phone and actually 100 of my friends phones that I want. I will keep your mindless rant in the front of my thoughts as I collect my app check this month.

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761814)

You're not a developer if the only apps that your target platform supports are shitty games, meal tip calculators and todo lists.

Just wait until you develop an app and it gets rejected, and then you can't distribute it publicly. That would never happen if you were using Linux. That'd basically never happen even if you were using Windows! The GP is right, you've sold your freedom. You're a shill.

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (4, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 4 years ago | (#31761920)

You can develop for (almost) *ANY* Windows Mobile phone, not just 100 phones, without App Store intervention.

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (0, Troll)

codepunk (167897) | about 4 years ago | (#31762118)

I certainly could but then again I would have to have at least a small amount of interest in doing so.

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762054)

Okay. Give me a perl interpreter for iphone, please.

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761776)

Your point about running the applications you want would be valid if Apple sold the iPad as a personal computer, which they don't (what the press say is irrelevant). The iPad isn't a PC and it's not sold as one - its an appliance, like your Xbox, and is similarly closed.

Apple still sell plenty of 'personal computers', on which you can install whatever the fuck you want.

But don't let that get in the way of your rant...

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (4, Insightful)

dcavanaugh (248349) | about 4 years ago | (#31762094)

The difference is that the Xbox was sold as an upgrade to pre-existing cartridge game systems. It didn't need to act like a PC. All it had to do was improve upon legacy video consoles, and play the occasional DVD. Notice how the Xbox was priced far below a PC because of the limited mission.

If you view the iPad as a colossal ipod touch, the closed architecture is not so bad. After all, the world adopted the ipod while accepting its closed architecture. But if that's your point of view, then the "ceiling" for the ipad falls far short of what competitors will be doing with netbooks in the near future. Apple went out of their way to lock down the device.

The iPad sells for less than a MacBook, but it needs to be A LOT less. Closed architecture brings negative value. I expect a hefty discount to accept these limitations. My suggestions: Add a camera, make it run OS X, and charge whatever the market will bear.

Apple's darkest days were when they used closed architecture to ensure that Apple was the sole provider of peripherals and (to a lesser extent) software. You couldn't buy a freakin' mouse without going back to Apple. Today, Apple has superb technology that can beat Microsoft (and even Linux) on the desktop. If Apple becomes arrogant and complacent, MS will close the gap, just as they did with the original Macintosh.

Re:Apple has made Microsoft look "open". (3, Insightful)

ShinmaWa (449201) | about 4 years ago | (#31761988)

You people are the scum of the earth, and enemies of freedom.

Oh the irony! So, let me get this straight: if we don't buy things the way _you_ want us to, _we_ are enemies of freedom?

Not very well thought out (3, Informative)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | about 4 years ago | (#31761600)

If that was the case, would Wozniak's wife still work for Apple's sales department?
I think Woz is smart enough to understand that times are still changing, and those that want more open devices can simply go out and purchase an HP slate with its USB port, and all sorts of do-das. Those who don't want to mess with configurations, settings and .plist files can simply purchase and use an iPad.

The difference being... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761620)

Woz actually DESIGNED all of those products, and IIRC he did actually work on the mac as well while Jobs couldn't design his way out of a wet paper bag.

That's not to say that Jobs isn't an EXCELLENT CEO though. Probably one of two or three that are actually worth their compensation and relevant to their companies.

The end of homebrew (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 years ago | (#31761626)

One of the things that impressed me about early computer companies as chronicled in 's Fire in the Valley [amazon.com] is how DIY they were. Early computers were kits: you were supposed to assemble them yourself, and the seller had no problem with people figuring out how it all worked. If a part broke, you could replace it yourself with a soldering iron. Of course, by the time that the Apple II and Macintosh came along, consumers were essentially getting a magical box that worked if you just plugged it in, and Apple didn't think it desirable that people be tinkering with it.

Consider this development along with yesterday's story on amateur radio, where so much is going on now in software, with people using mainly expensive radios with everything on inscrutable ICs, and fewer and fewer hams are building their own equipment. Radio Shack no longer offers the range of retail components that they did just a decade ago. As time goes by, there's less and less electronics in our daily lives which we have any chance of understanding ourselves. Technology companies have become a priesthood.

Re:The end of homebrew (1)

grapeape (137008) | about 4 years ago | (#31761782)

I remember those days...I had a Sinclair my father and I put together. I was the only person I knew with a computer, friends were impressed but though of it more as a toy than a tool. Sure gear today is less hands on, but its also more accessible to the masses and much more powerful and complex. Cars were once simple enough that just about anyone could tinker with them as well...but the performance, horsepower and luxuries we take for granted today were not available. Thats just the cost of progress. Would anyone really want to go back? I have a friend who is a bit of an elitist, he likes to ramble on about how much better it was back in the "good ol days" but fails to understand that without mass acceptance the things he likes such as facebook, aim, linked in, craigslist, etc, wouldn't exist.

Re:The end of homebrew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761910)

I use none of the ones that you mention, and still the things that I do use would still exist even if 90% of the computer using population didn't exist...

Re:The end of homebrew (1)

timster (32400) | about 4 years ago | (#31761852)

Isn't this in large part what maturation looks like? Back in the day (and I do remember) something like the C64 was more like an unadorned steel frame than a building (work with me on the metaphor here). You could hang all sorts of stuff from your steel frame (even early network services like CompuServe) but it wasn't exactly a great place to live.

Over time it's become clear that most people want certain specific things out of their buildings, and it's not a huge surprise that we have a big market of people selling finished homes; the question of how you can get to the frame inside isn't as relevant as that of why you would want to. There's also a big market of people/companies who need or want an unadorned steel frame, and they are running Linux or similar, making all this "cloud" stuff actually happen.

New metaphor; computing has evolved in both directions, toward more and less complexity. These should been seen as complementary forces, not forces in tension. Heck, even life on Earth has evolved this way -- the advent of complex multicellular life with heavily guarded and structured genetics in no way heralded the end of simple bacteria that could trade genes all over the place.

Re:The end of homebrew (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 4 years ago | (#31761924)

Back in the day components were bulky enough to allow for soldering iron tolerances.

Now components don't need to be able to survive flaky voltages from a poorly hand soldered connection with god knows what as solder and have room for someone to make that connection. Thanks to that we have devices in form factors like smart phones and not the suitcase sized luggable.

Re:The end of homebrew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762184)

Yeah, well, those of us who still enjoy tinkering have DigiKey.


They're better than Radio Shack ever was. I mean leaps and bounds better: "Over 45,000 products added in the last 90 days!" If that doesn't make your inner geek weep with joy, nothing will.

The road to commoditization (3, Interesting)

crath (80215) | about 4 years ago | (#31762202)

The iPad isn't just the end of homebrew; it's the first step into the true commoditization of the PC. Until the PC is a true appliance, it won't truly be usable by everyone in society.

I do tech support for my aging father and his PC. What he needs is a PC appliance: a device that just works. PCs based on Windows and MacOS need constant care and feeding. He needs a PC that works like a TV: plug it in, turn it on, and use it. Sure, it needs to know some basic information about who's using it (email address, etc.), but beyond that it should just work.

Steve Jobs has introduced something very close to this in the iPad. The only barrier at the moment is that the iPad is intended to be a secondary computing device tethered to your primary device. But, it will only take a few tweaks of the software and hardware to turn it into a low-end priamry computing device --- something that is suitable for 80% of users.

Propellor heads like myself will never be satisfied with such a device; but, I (and the rest of the /. fanboys) don't represent the majority of users.

The iPad is a vision of the future.

And?..... (1)

sheph (955019) | about 4 years ago | (#31761638)

I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. Change happens over time, and I'd like to think it's usually for the better. I'm not hot to run out buy an ipad, but I can see the usefullness, and the next time I'm in the market for a laptop I may consider getting one of those instead. It sure beats trying to haul an Apple ][ around with me everywhere I go, or even the HP dv8 I just bought (it's nice, but it's not exactly compact).

What's this "final victory' horseshit? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761660)

From reading the article, I only see that the company moved into a different direction to a closed platform away from the hacker ideals of Woz. Big deal. How is that a "victory"?

Apple is a public company and they have to run it as a business to create a return to the stockholders. I don't know of any company that has been able to do that catering towards hackers.

Jobs is taller than Woz. That "victory" has as much validity and meaning as the changing ideals.

Not ANOTHER iPad related article! (3, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | about 4 years ago | (#31761666)

This ridiculous hype makes me want to throw up. Can we please introduce a rule where we can have only one article that mentions the iPad per day?

Re:Not ANOTHER iPad related article! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762162)

Apple are the masters of The Submarine [paulgraham.com] and have managed to create yet another self-replicating meme. Love or hate them, you can't deny they know marketing and PR like nobody else.

I disagree (4, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | about 4 years ago | (#31761684)

Jobs wants to make appliances. Woz wants to make computers. I think there's a real difference here; I enjoy tinkering with a lot of devices, but I'm not about to start taking apart my toaster or TV. That's what the iPad and iPhone are to me, appliances that are meant to be as reliable as possible as my toaster, and this is where Jobs' mantra of "It just works" is so key; you don't want your toaster to have problems, and more importantly, you don't want to need to get into the guts of a toaster just to make toast.

On the other hand, I love working on computers, both software and hardware. I've fried two Arduinos teaching myself how to make neat projects involving stepper motors, LEDs, etc. I accept that I may break this equipment, as I accept that I may lock my computer up because I'm overtaxing it. I accept this and try to not fry or crash the next time. A learning experience to be sure, and one that I enjoy having.

One aspect that always seems to be overlooked in all this discussion about "the future of Apple" is that Apple still makes a lot of other hardware and software; you still need to have a Mac with the developer tools installed to write anything for the iPhone/iPad. Apple gives away a lot of software for content creation as well as software creation.I don't see how they can let their other software and hardware fade away...they need people to create the apps and the content that is so readily consumed by the iPhone and iPad.

Re:I disagree (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 years ago | (#31761816)

As they mention in TFA, even toasters and other appliances have screws on the back; you can take it apart and do what you want with it. If you want to see how all your appliances work, you can take them apart and put them back together. Replacing parts in your toaster might be beyond most people, but for those few who can do it, they are able to. Desktops, laptops, and most mobile internet devices have screws as well. I can replace the hard drive and upgrade RAM even in my little netbook. Apple's products are pretty much unique in being completely locked down.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762160)

Right. There's being hacker-friendly, hacker-neutral, and hacker-hostile. We love hacker-friendly but are content with hacker-neutral. Hacker-hostile machines naturally drive away hackers, which, well, makes no sense. Why drive away the people most interested in pushing your device to its limits and discovering what its full potential is?

Re:I disagree (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#31761838)

Being able to install the video player of my choice on a Mac is not "tinkering".

This is the sort of nonsense BS mentality that the column was talking about. The Apple cult is in a rush to give up any sort of liberty for a little bit of shininess. It's not even any more shininess than they can get with any more open Apple product. They're just eager to buy into because it is the new and current thing. They're willing to throw out everything else in the process.

So now we have an interesting new definition of "geek".

Installing Plex or VLC doesn't make me any more of a "geek" than selecting the Facebook app in the app store.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762130)

Jobs wants to make appliances. Woz wants to make computers.

What? I think the only thing Woz wants to do is have fun with his life and his money. I'm pretty sure he stopped creating computers for the world a long, long, long time ago. How you could be so factually incorrect yet so self-assured is really disappointing.

Congrats... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761692)

Single dumbest post I have seen on slashdot in 10 years.

The appropriate bash.org quote (918519) (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761708)

Apple dumped the geek/hobbyist market to go after the highly profitable moron/trendy market.

Re:The appropriate bash.org quote (918519) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761826)

<Loonacy> Apple dumped the geek/hobbyist market to go after the highly profitable moron/trendy market.

Ah, HTML...

If slashdot had at least a max(words*0.2, 7) second window to edit after posting! Who reads previews anyhow?

This just in! (4, Insightful)

schmidt349 (690948) | about 4 years ago | (#31761710)

A personal computer is a computer that _does what you want it to do._ For a shockingly large number of people, Apple's present product line does exactly that, which explains their present high popularity and booming market share, especially among consumer media devices.

Back in Woz's day, it was important to have a BASIC interpreter on your personal computer, but not because it made the computer more "open" in some vague ideological terms. It was important because that was how a lot of useful computer software was transmitted. As a kid I remember typing in BASIC source listings from computer magazines for things like games and other cool stuff. Of course I also learned to write my own software, but nowadays there are about a million different ways of doing that. It sucks that Apple won't let you have a sandboxed Logo or Python interpreter on your iDevice, but it doesn't mean that the device is somehow not "personal."

For better or for worse, the walled garden is the future of consumer electronics. It's good for security, good for the consumer, and not so good for tinkerers. But don't make the mistake of assuming that means the computer isn't "personal" anymore.

Re:This just in! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761880)

The "walled garden" is only the future because of attitudes like yours. It's even worse, since you don't sound techno-illiterate, so you should know better. It's hard to blame the ignorant though, they will swallow whatever you throw at them, as long as it's properly marketed - which is Apples' real strong suit. Why else would everyone think that they "Just Work" when Apple has just as many issues as the average consumer electronics company? In the few days the ipad has been out, people (normal humans, not techies) have already discovered wifi and charging issues?

Re:This just in! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762072)

It's hard to blame the ignorant though, they will swallow whatever you throw at them

Why are Slashdotters so keen on calling anyone who isn't a Linux nerd 'ignorant'? Is it because of the enormous inferiority complex built up during all the bullying at school?

Anyway, I'll probably be buying an iPad when they come out in the UK, because I like shiny new technology and $500 isn't an amount of money I need to worry about spending on what is basically a toy. I'm also looking forward to porting my unfinished iPhone apps to it.

Creator of the personal computer? (5, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about 4 years ago | (#31761722)

Really? The first PC was the Altair 8800 (shipped in 1975 and ran Microsoft Software no less), the first fully assembled PC you could buy ready to run was the Commodore PET in 1977 (shipped in January - Apple ]['s shipped the same year in June).

But neither were made by a couple of hip guys from silicon valley named Steve - so it doesn't count right?

technological diplomancy sci-fi drama (1)

Lueseiseki (1189513) | about 4 years ago | (#31761730)

Sheesh, the summary of the article sounds like the intro to some Sci-Fi drama movie or something.

Is there an option to read Slashdot summaries in yellow roll-up text on a black background?

Re:technological diplomancy sci-fi drama (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 4 years ago | (#31761970)

In a galaxy far, far, away
A middle-aged tech geek has
stolen plans to the ultimate Apple
fanboi device, the IPad, capable of
mesmerizing its users for days. Its Reality
Distortion Field can destroy entire planets.
If the Rebel Free Hardware Alliance cannot
find a way to hack the Device, the Apple Empire
will achieve complete domination over the galaxy.

Sorry for not putting it the middle, but the lamenesss filter won't allow it.

Melodramatic (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | about 4 years ago | (#31761758)

Goals change, life goes on. Apple has been on this path since the original Macintosh. This is nothing new. I don't think an oversized iPhone warrants all the melodrama it's been getting.

Fuck Steve Jobs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761792)

He sucks my hairy balls.

At first all was good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761798)

I purchased my iPod a few years ago, and putting music on it was easy. I could buy the songs I wanted and all was well. The I wanted to do something else, I want to transfer the song;s off my iPod. I want another.. what?

What do you mean everything has to come from Apple unless I hack the damn thing?

I had ambitions of owning a Mac. This stopped imediatly and even after warning my friends about it they still purchased iPhones. Jail hell of Apple lockdown.

I'll pass thanks

Re:At first all was good (-1, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 4 years ago | (#31762148)

Have fun in your virus infested mobile world. Do you seriously believe that OS X is going away? It is the platform for developing apps for these other Apple platforms and it is the platform of choice for movie makers and musicians.

Mobile devices like phones are primarily supposed to be phones first so who gives a crap if I cannot load any random piece of software on it. It is popular because it is an appliance first and an computing device second. The app store approval process means that I don't have to worry about viruses, trojan horses or spyware ending up on my iPhone.

It seems to me that the people complaining the loudest either work for competitors of Apple or are "geeks" with jobs outside of the tech sector in the service industry. I'm a software developer for the windows platform and I used to work in tech support in a windows shop. I have no interest in futzing around with my phone and I expect it to work all of the time. People like me are not interested in taking their work troubles home with them.

The iPad, when it arrives in Canada, will not replace my iMac but it will replace my MBP which currently sits idle as I'll be able to play games, watch movies, surf the web, read/compose email and write the odd journal entry while I travel to exotic places or just hang out in my hotel room on a business trip.

_the_ home computer? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761800)

Really? No Commodore, Atari, Tandy? TI? Kaypro? Or others too may to mention? Apple invented the home computer? They invented the 6502? PCBs? Keyboards? Floppies?

ENOUGH with the fanboi revisionism! How come you technogeeks who can keep track of every new toy can be so innacurate when it comes to history?

And how impressive is Woz anyways? The guys who designed chips for the C64 did much more complex work! Why no love and respect for Charpentier or Yannes?

just plain BS (2, Insightful)

darkeye (199616) | about 4 years ago | (#31761808)

this post is just plain BS - Apple didn't 'create' the PC - the PC was created by Alan Kay.

Woz was pushed out by Jobs very early on, actually right after the Apple II. never since has he influenced Apple in any way.

Apple has always been a walled garden, built on hype & ignorance.

Black & White (3, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | about 4 years ago | (#31761836)

I love how "Apple's computer-accessory devices are fairly closed" is somehow the opposite of "Apple makes general purpose computers". As though it were impossible to make both a fully programmable, general-purpose, use-any-way-you-like piece of computer equipment and also make computer equipment that has a more limited function and is vendor-locked.

Seriously, get a grip. Apple isn't even pretending that the iPad is a replacement for a general-purpose computer, and more than AT&T is pretending their smartphones are replacements for general-purpose computers. Until someone suggests that Apple will stop selling general-purpose computers it's INSANE to say that the iPad represents a fundamental change in the way anything works. (And we'll totally ignore the relatively small portion of the general-purpose computer market that Apple makes up).

Heck, if you want to complain about vendor-locked, dumbed-down hardware you should take a look at the last 20 years of cell phones. Cellular providers have consistently killed features and interoperability on their handsets for decades and the show no signs of stopping anytime in the future. Compared to the rest of the mobile-data ecosystem the iPad is one of the most open platforms available.

Jobs always wanted to be Bill Gates (1)

C_Kode (102755) | about 4 years ago | (#31761842)

Steve Jobs was always obsessed with what Bill Gates had / was. Which is why Apple is what it is today. Closed and controlling.

I like Apples products, I just hate the dictatorship them impose on them. That is all a product of Steve Jobs. Once he is gone, hopefully Apple will become more customer choice friendly.

Re:Jobs always wanted to be Bill Gates (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 4 years ago | (#31761984)

Steve Jobs was always obsessed with what Bill Gates had / was. Which is why Apple is what it is today. Closed and controlling.

I like Apples products, I just hate the dictatorship them impose on them. That is all a product of Steve Jobs. Once he is gone, hopefully Apple will become more customer choice friendly.

He'd have been a happier man if he had followed Gates' other traits: being a nice guy and giving tens of billions of dollars to charity.

Re:Jobs always wanted to be Bill Gates (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 4 years ago | (#31762002)

Steve Jobs was always obsessed with what Bill Gates had / was. Which is why Apple is what it is today. Closed and controlling.

Pure nonsense. According to Steve Jobs, Microsoft/Gates have no style. Who is more successful?

Compare money: Gates has more than he can spend, Jobs has more than he can spend. That's equal.
Compare things created: Jobs: GUI, Macs, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Pixar. Gates: Windows. Guys, we have a clear winner here.
British friends: Jobs has Jon Ives. Gates has Toni Blair. Clear winner by a mile: Jobs.

Steve Jobs is not an engineer (1)

bigredradio (631970) | about 4 years ago | (#31761864)

I don't understand how the ipod, ipad, or iphone can be attributed to Steve Jobs. Yes, he is the CEO and ultimately responsible for the products they sell, but Jonathan Ivy is really the one who has spearheaded the design and engineering of these devices. If anything, it would be better to say that Jonathan Ivy has out-done Woz. Steve is just along to promote, market and evangelize.

I don't know who tagged that "zzzzz" (4, Funny)

godrik (1287354) | about 4 years ago | (#31761866)

but if I meet you, I'll offer you a beer.

Seriously, we have about 3 news on the iPad a day. Am I posting about the new pad my gf is using ?

(follows numerous post on the non existence of a slashdoter's gf)

Am I the only one who doesn't see a conflict... (1)

esme (17526) | about 4 years ago | (#31761872)

...between making general-purpose computers that are great for creating content, and creating limited devices for consuming that content?

Sure, the iPhone, iPad and AppleTV aren't very good general-purpose computers. They don't have the same keyboard and pointing devices. They are limited to the walled garden of approved apps. You have to buy in to Apple's other products to get the most out of them, etc. But they are great at what a lot of people are using their computers for these days -- watching TV, listening to music, browsing the web, looking at photos, etc., etc.

I don't know anyone who could have an iPad as their only computer -- even Grandma needs to upload her digital pictures somewhere, and the iPad doesn't fit the bill. But it strikes me as a great computer for hanging out and casually consuming email/web/video/photos/etc. while talking to people, watching TV, etc. This helps content creators by increasing the way people can consume their content. And that obviously helps Apple sell more MacPros.

So the whole premise of this story is bogus: why would Woz be disappointed that Apple was making devices for content consumption. How is that at odds with content creation, which was always Apple's focus?


It's more complicated than that (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 4 years ago | (#31761874)

As far as I know, Apple dropped "trusted" computing [osxbook.com] support in 2006. They dropped DRM for iTunes [pcworld.com] in 2009. And of course MacOS X is based on FreeBSD and major portions of the OS are open source.

So the fact that they make a few completely closed products doesn't fully characterize their entire culture of openness vs. closedness. The truth is more complicated. I am no Apple fanboi (I'm a Ubuntu fanboi) but I consider MacOS to be a lot more "open" than Windows, in some ways at least. For instance, MacOS ships with development tools.

Re:It's more complicated than that (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 4 years ago | (#31762096)

But if you support an idea you must support the idea taken to the (il)logical extreme! It's 0 (exclusive)or 1. Non-binary views are madness (and aren't as sensational and tend to confuse people).

Annual Report 2009 (3, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | about 4 years ago | (#31761890)

Apple's 2009 Annual Report [corporate-ir.net] shows that it sold $13B in Macs, $8B in iPods, $~7B in software, music and accessories, and $13B in iPhones and related services. I think they get a nice commission from AT&T for the 2 year contract. So, yes, they do indeed sell more peripherals and phones and "other stuff" than they do "computers". Not surprising since the iPhone is significantly lower priced than a Macbook, and the iPod as well. Both have mass market appeal. But computers are their core business--this is a nice bump but if you average it over many years you'll see that the computers are what's kept the company alive. They have $6B in annual expense around their retail stores. I think they need to be real careful about those because that could eat up their $33B in cash pretty quickly in the event of a downturn. "Looking" better than ever and that's why I'm short on Apple. Their share price is based on continued growth like they have had, possibly on a global basis, and I just don't see that's possible with what products they have. It's a classic bubble, get off the titanic, it won't get over $275...

I don't know about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761900)

Actually, there's a great comedy movie on the rise of the Steve's and Bill (Gates) It's called Pirates of Silicon Valley. Jobbs and Wozniak were all-American hippies.
Without Wozniak, there would be know beginning. Without Jobs (who dabbled with acid), the project would have had no ambition, and Microsoft would be even more dominant than today.
If you want someone to blame, blame Bill Gates. He copied Apples software, and made a platform independent version. This allowed the Japanese to learn how to make computers (just as happened with cars) without having to invent any of their own original technology. Jobbs was furious about this and rightfully vowed to keep hardware and software together and so not able to be ripped off by copy-cats, and he's only getting started.. For the Ipad, Apple are using their own silicon and I don't blame them. They own a semiconductor outfit now. I'm glad they're still doing what Apple have always done under Steve Jobbs - putting the technology into the "hands" of the people. He's still a revolutionary.

Computers are not for Computer People Anymore (4, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | about 4 years ago | (#31761974)

They are for people with other things to do.

The idea you need to be able to build or program a computer in order to use one is as dead as disco.

Nobody gives a flying flock of birds (1)

thechemic (1329333) | about 4 years ago | (#31762018)

Can we rename slashdot to appledot? Do a search for apple. There is an article about apple or the ipad or some icrap at least every day or sometimes multiple articles per day for the last week or more. Ridiculous! Go ahead, comment away about my negativity. There must be somebody out there that feels the same way?

Apple has, what, 9% of the market? (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#31762040)

So, it's significant how? Oh, right, everyone in the media owns one, and just can't stop yammering about how totally awesome they are for, like, media stuff and junk.

That's like Slashdotters declaring that this will be the year of Linux On The Netbook because we're all packing EEEs with Ubuntu remix. One swallow makes neither a summer nor a porn movie.

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ... (5, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 4 years ago | (#31762078)

...can we get some more histrionics?

Apple Inc. -- the creator of the personal computer -- is leading the effort to exterminate it.

WTF are you talking about? "Exterminate?" Apple is somehow preventing me from going to amazon and ordering the parts for a new gaming PC? Are they run by Daleks now? Or I could go to Xilinx and get a demo board with an FPGA containing PPC processors and Ethernet cores. Now *that's* hardcore, baby. ;-)

This all makes me want to buy an iPad to help the product line have a long life because the reactions it is causing amongst the self appointed Guardians Of Us All are absolutely hilarious.

While a computer you can modify might not sound so profound, Wozniak contemplated a nearly spiritual relationship between man and his machine.

I owned an Apple II. It was neat. There was, however, nothing religious or spiritual about the experience. It played games and I did some word processing and my first programming. It was a device. Period. Anything else is self important wankery by people seeking to fill a void in their lives by walking some imaginary One True Path of computer knowledge. Computers are handy state machines, not a relationship.

Seriously, the reactions of many guys like this is very religious. Oh no, our private club has been invaded by heretics and icky girls who break away from our precious canon and prayer books! Do they not tinker? Do they not want to spend their entire weekend setting jumpers and modifying power cables? What is this "life" of which they speak? Blasphemy!

... revolutionary... establishment... anti-establishment... counterculturals...

And on and on and on. Get out your buzzword bingo cards, Cartman- long haired hippy edition!

The company he once built now, officially, no longer exists.

Oh noes! You mean things change and evolve? Damn! And here I was hoping my fancy new HDTV has tubes I could take down to the corner soda shoppe and run through the tester. 2^5 Skidoo!

Poor Woz... (1)

VTI9600 (1143169) | about 4 years ago | (#31762142)

I'm sure he's crying himself to sleep every night with nothing to console him but his endless millions upon millions of dollars.


Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31762170)


Use this guide to write perfectly good Slashdot articles. Just replace the bracketed sections with whatever fits and the editors will put it up -- news or not!

LAMO!!! (1)

Slash.Poop (1088395) | about 4 years ago | (#31762182)

That is HILARIOUS. Like Jobs built anything involved with any of those projects.

Woz is God! Deal with it Jobs! You will ALWAYS be 2nd.

General personal computer (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 4 years ago | (#31762186)

I do not see the general personal computer as something that is sacrosanct. it is a solution to a problem. We might as well be crying that the car sells more than the carriage, or the laptop sells more than the desktop, or that the ice box has been replaced by the refrigerator. All of these went from simple open designs to more complex closed designs. We seemed to appreciate such a process because the products are cheaper and often more reliable.

I recall when I went from a radio kit I built myself to a store bought fully assembled receiver. Or when I went from a printer interface box I hacked to make work with my computer, to a plug and play printer. While I am as capable of as much romanticizing of the past as anyone else, there is always a new product to build, so I do not have to whine about how the good old days are gone.

In this case the GPC is evolving and there is no reason why it can't be replaced by something else. Many of us do not have stand alone Hi Fi stereos in our house, hand built of otherwise. Many of us do not have stand alone VCR or DVD players in our house. We might have one to rip DVDs, but generally the content is on a stream. The purpose of Apple was to replace old stuff with better new stuff, in the case at the time a terminal with a stand alone computer. Many people mistake this replacement for an open system with a closed system, and in part the power of Apple was that one had access to the CPU itself. But the real power of the Apple was that everyone could have a computer, even if they were not able to get a mainframe. The power of the Mac was that everyone could use a computer even if they did not know how to use a command line, though not everyone could afford it, but that is still the case. The Mac was 'closed', but that was not the point. If the iPad works, which I don't know if it will, the tablet idea has so far been a failure, it will be because hid even more complexity from the user, so that even more people can do what most people use a computer for, which is, of course, to look at p0rn, assuming the content is not in flash.

Openness (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | about 4 years ago | (#31762204)

Jobs' ideas have always been in tension with Woz's brand of idealism and openness. Crazy as it seems, Apple Inc. — the creator of the personal computer — is leading the effort to exterminate it.

The bulk of consumers expecting their computing devices to behave like appliances are leading the effort to exterminate it. Just switch it on and it works. It's not entirely Jobs' fault. He sees himself as giving the customer what he/she wants.

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