zahadum's Profile

  • Dec 20, 2007
  • 6
  • 0

Latest comments made by: zahadum

  • @ annon (#2) says that apple had a "STUPID, GREEDY, SHORT-SIGHTED pricing policy for the Mac at that time." the poster is confusing the pricing policy at the launch of the mac in 1984 with the subsequent positioning after in later years. the marketing goal at the inception of the mac was to have a machine that cost in the $2000 range (and it was a long struggle to get to that goal). but that pricepoint was not gouging in any way. subsequently after Jobs was forced out of apple, degasse (head of r&d;) did persue a corporate policy of maintaining artificially high margins in order to support his large & ambitious r&d;expenditures (ahh, those were the days when apple was still committed to investing in new breakthrough technologies - which is but a distant memory under Jobs 2.0 :-( in any case, let is remember the context: 1) when the Lisa was introduced as the most poweful business machine in the world it was sold to beat the compettion - which was $15,000 single-function wordprocessors (eg Wang) as well as the $70,000 _ensemble_ pricing of the xerox STAR (which included server, printer plus workstation). yet despite its price & its performance advatnages, the Lisa only sold modestly (maybe 50K units - cant recall exactly) .... one reason is that apple made the mistake of crippling its own innovative software in order to try & jumpstart the ISV market: with the result that the Lisa had an aenemic range of apps. 2) the Mac had always been conceived as a the consumer product, junior to the business class Lisa (so it was priced accordingly). however, when the Lisa was cancelled, apple was suddenly faced with trying to get the mac to perform double-duty as a business machine as well. it took several years until the end of the 80's, but apple did eventually grow out the 'baby' mac into a somewhat upgradeable workstation: the Mac II (which was a big box with lots of slots, reasonable memory, accelerated colour graphics, and a proper cpu - ie an mmu, an fpu, full 32bit-ness). These were $5000+ machine - which was a fair price for doing production work. apple kept the iconically classic AIO-style of mac for consumers; and yes it took longer than it should have for the AOI to be priced & featured in a way that could withstand the (unlawful) competion from wintel. Conclusion: i think the poster confuses two different periods when he attacks apple's pricing and value propositions - the 80's (not so bad) and the 90's (irrational). ___ A Digression :-) ... Some people think that apple's choice under Jobs 2.0 to stop developing its own hardware technology has been essential to its renewed sucess; commodity parts allow apple to focus its energy on delivering superior integration and better industrial design. The success of apple's commodity platforms seems to be "prove" this asssumption. However, the dominant reason behind the switch to commodity parts has been a function of the bountiful pricing of an out-sourced supply chain: when your competitors do not have to absorb ANY fixed costs (for technology) then it the *size* of apple's own fixed costs (in hardware design & plant) does become a stregic issue -- ine hat leaves apple no choice but to select a commodity business model, in the absense of any REAL product innovation that could segment out discrete components of apple's fixed costs into distincy and novel product categories. However, the itouch and appletv are steps in this direction (in the same way that the airport is not!) However this is a razor-thin game apple is playing! It is like trying to escape the cluthches of your persuing enemy ... while running on a treadmill! Yes, you might be able to do it but you must rely more on your competitors mistakes than on your own ingenuity. Apple has chosen to play a brilliant defensive game of living inside the box (as compared to its previous commitment to creating breakthrough technologies). The open question is whether 'he who lives by the commoditized platform will die by it'? At what point will it become *easy* for commodity players to add just enough value as to undermine large sections of the room for *growth* in apple's markets? example: HTC has a (poor) clone of the iphone ... but for many market segments it might be just "good enough". This aspect of technology cloning is a new phenomenon in the computer world: the cloners of the IBM PC were trying to go down market; now, 25 years later with nowhere else left to go, the cloners of the Apple mac-based products are left with nowhere else to go but up! Apple is used to having the premium end of the market to itself because nobody else wanted to compete there; 5 or 10 years from now - after the current momentum that apple has captured from the failures at micrsoft has disappaited - it will be an interesting question to see how apple will maintain its strategic advantage when the rest of the industry devotes its energies to imitiating apple not ignoring it! ... today, the cupboards at apple are bare ... here are 4 examples: * Jobs killed the first PDA (Newton); then he realized what a collosal strategic error that was so he tried to buy Palm - and was rejected; then he had to gear up for the iphone ..... the result is a decade of competitive advanage was lost -- now the iphone must succeed by exogenous factors not by being a brilliant pioneer ... apple gets to harbest the pent of demand created by the stupidity of the cell phone carriers as well as the inferior devices from the handset manufactuers (obviously it is a relatively easy to have a blow-out user experience if you are running an advanced desktop operating system - osx - on a mobile device ... the dumbed down emedded operating systems just cant compete with a generalized solution). if apple had spent the last decade in arational product plan - evolving the breakthrough PDA into a smartphone - it would not being playing catch up today (it will be probably get 20% marketshare but it might have had 40%!). lesson: if you dont make the current strategic investments then your are forced to leave money on the table! * Jobs is (still) playing catch-up with Quicktime ... multimedia is critical for the success at apple, yet apple has been NOWHERE to be found for a decade when it comes to MPEG7 (smart media). * Jobs orphaned firewire (which has tried to limp along anyways- next year merchant chip vendors will introduce silicon 3200 Mbps - five years late). Jobs made the bet the wifi would scale up (nonetheless, it would have been shrewd to have had a Plan B!) * Jobs has abandoned agents and agent-based languages ... apple was a pioneer in this reserach and now there is almost not a single scrap of AI anywhere in os/x (the only exception is the LSA - latent semantic analysis - engine used for the spotlight search system ... and even that is based on legacy technology from the mid 90's). --- think here is the simplest way to think about the distinction between - and the importance of - 'objects' vs 'agents': an object is passive (it only responds to an event, and even the highest amount of introspection only makes that process better NOT actually different); whereas, an agent is active (it posses autonomy so it can adapt itself to its environment in persuit of a goal). - objects emerged in the 70's and apple commercialized them with half measures in the 80's ... - agents emerged in the 80's and apple started to embrace them in the 90's ... in the interim the industry has seen two attempts at co-ordination: first, CORBA tried in the 90's to make distributed objects interoperate (eventually this became confined only to vertical applications; wide-spread horizontal integration of object standards dies when apple & ibm killed off opendoc). The emphasis was on having clear specifications for object methods (an interface definition language) - but binary compatibility (on the wire) proved elusive. second, SOA (and WSDL specifically) is trying now (a decade later) to create interoperable web services. These are based having a clear specification based on a well-defined data language -- XML. This data-driven approach might succeed where the method-driven did not. The upshot is that apple has not made any really built an value-added network platform (let alone actually contributed intellectual property!) to either CORBA or WSDL! ----- compare: notice how apple totally 'missed' he whole social networking revolution! (not only did apple fail to develop breathrough SNS cocoa/webobjects frameworks to drive sales on its server 5 years ago, it could not even see the obvious potential of SNS for its own closed portals - iTunes & dotNET - so stuff like YouTube or Facebook emerged as category-creators to fill the vacuum created by the lack of strategic planning by Jobs et al). Apple's missing the boat on SNS (as a product/platform/user-experience) is just a *SYMPTOM* of what happens when apple does not have any DEEP investment in network technology (whether that be consumer-oriented web services in WSDL or its business-oriented object servives in CORBA). But being caught flat-footed with social networking (not being able to tie together its own industry-leading assets) is just a blip on the radar compared to what is in next store for apple! Because without any REAL nexgen technology in development, apple is poorly positioned to deal with the next paradigm shift which will define the next 25 years of computing: namely, semantc web. Crucial knowledge representation stuff like DAML+OIL and KIF is _totally_ out of reach for apple because Jobs killed off Apple's investment in agent technology. Bottom Line: these four issues (pda, quicktime, firewire, agents) were all important developments at apple in the 90's -- and Jobs orphaned, ignored or killed them off without any other long-term plan for strategic advantage. Pig Picture: it is not possible to talk about the pricing of apple products without taking into consideration the context of costs (manufacturing methods), the positioning of the competition, and the internal re-investment in value-added technology (both of these are classic 'buy or build' issues). So I think the poster over-generalized his complaint about a certain (middle) period inthe history of apple when prices were (too) high.
    zahadum had this to say on Dec 20, 2007 Posts: 6
    December 19, 1983: 1984 Nearly Killed
  • att: webmaster where is the print command? when readers save an article, they need to be able to discard the non-editorial elements (navbars, adverts etc) ... and the print command is often the only effective way to strip out all the flotsom from the saved file that would otherwise pollute the (desktop/enterprise) search space with extraneious keywords. btw: please implement the 'print' view of the DOM with proper css3/xhtml2 or at least html5 .... NOT with javascript (many people now browse with jscript and actionscript disabled because they are usually buggy & also are a HUGE waste of cpu resources).
    zahadum had this to say on Oct 11, 2007 Posts: 6
    Image Editing for Power Users on the Mac
  • @ beeblebrox: (1) "I’m critical of Apple, so in your fantasy Appleland, that make me a Windows fan ... "But I dare you to find a comment in this thread in which I defend Windows other than to say it’s about the same as OS X" okey, how about this crazy-talk: "The only really tangible benefit is virtual immunity from particularly malicious virii and spyware. But I find Vista to be almost, if not as, secure. The rest is HIGHLY subjective." I call bull-shit. * If you _really_ knew anything about macs, then you would know that most of the benefits for macs are *OBJECTIVELY* quantifiable .... and this fact has been docmeneted in study after study for many years: it is the the bean-counters themselves who have demonstrated that the TCO (total cost of ownership) of a mac is *dwarfed* by the army of support costs required to baby-sit a wintel box in the the enterprise. Of course the technically defuddled CFO's usually never even think twice about asking for a ROI justification of the profilgate waste by the CIO -- so usually this crucial business case data is hidden from view (obviously the minions in MIS do not want to lose their sinecures). * the mac also exceeds the wintel fiasco in technical nuts & bolts terms (not just financial dollars & cents terms) .... whether it is the quicker pace of software development, the fewer number of bugs, the speed with which users can get tasks (ordinary or complex) done, the lack of lost time due to 'futzing', the integration of useful features and workflow, etc etc .... the bottom line is that the mac wins out in almost every concieveable metric. as a value-for-money proposition, there is almost no possible reason to be using a wintel box. they do less, cost more in the long-run, and just plain old _get in the way_ .... which is the exact opposite of what a good tool should do! If you dont _GET_ that then your either hopelessly dim or else you are just a troll! (2) as for your the gratuitious question you posted to my comment: NO, i am not going to make good -here- on that (implied) offer to list the many reasons why apple can be _rationally_ critisized ... because those (sublime) failings dont belong on the same plane as a discussion about the egregious failres of windows (and the trolls who love to defend them) ... serious mac users are reknowned for having a long list of complaints about what apple does wrong -- on the other hand, you will almost never see windows users develop a critique of microsoft's engineering philosophy because expectations are so low that windows users just assume that such mediocrity is the way of the world. the things that peeve mac users dont even RATE on the score-card of "reasons why windows users dont switch" -- they are incomeasureable, they are like - well - Apples and oranges. so it would not be germain for me to answer your question because what i was referring to was the CRITERIA that should be used to evaluate a claim, not the claim itself ---- ie: my comments about poster#30 were designed to set out, point by point, how linux (or windows) morons deserve the contempt they receive from mac users ... ie that mac 'arrogance' is often in fact an entirely vaild & almost inevitable responce to people who exhibit such reckless ignorance & stupidity when making technical comments that are simply Not True. it is not, logically speaking, necessary me make good on my aside -- that apple has lots of failures -- in order for my point (about "8 reasons") to carry the day. Moreover, if your *ONLY* question in response to my comment (about how technically incompetetnt ctiticism should be dismissed brusquely) is to task for a list of apple's failures, then you _prove_ that you missed the essence of attack on poster #30, and concommittently you also miss the thrust of my defense against one of the '8 reasons' (to wit: the arrogance charge is unfair on account of being provoked by the crazy-talk of morons). the only way that i would indulge you (beeblebrox) to go off on a tanget not directly related to the subject at hand - ie pro/con the '8 reasons' - is if you FIRST had already conceeded the point i was trying to make: namely that poster#30 is a perfect example of an ignorant, stupid fool who makes assertions about subjects he is not technically qualified .... after we had established that shared contempt for dumb comments about the mac as our baseline, then -yes- you would be entitled to ask me to amplify on my comment about apple's many flaws. but you (beeblebrox) did not satisfy even the minimal criterion for me to reciprocate - namely, you didnt acknowledge that one of the bloggers points (about *unbridled* arrogance) was not very strong claim .... thus you lose the right to be taken seriously when you can not even concur in whether poster#30 met crietria for being regarded as a silly vs a serious post. which makes your question to me disingenuous - and also makes you a troll. so nope, i will not elaborate (here) about apple's mistakes because it is not germain to my point.
    zahadum had this to say on Oct 05, 2007 Posts: 6
    8 Reasons Windows Users Don’t Switch
  • opps - an editing oversight in my intoduction somehow caused me to not lump 'linux' ludites together with 'windows' under the heading ludites. how could i have fogotten such as basic pairing? :-) it's like tweedledum and tweddledumber!
    zahadum had this to say on Oct 04, 2007 Posts: 6
    8 Reasons Windows Users Don’t Switch
  • @ 30 says "then all you have to do is convince me to use a non-open semi-unix like OSX and not Linux." sigh. the reason that mac aficionados despair at the dumb-ass criticisms by the windows/ludites is that they are generally speaking so technically ignorant -- and yet they dare to pass judgements about stuff they are totally unqualified to talk about. take this crazy-talk about os/x not being closed & not true unix .... sigh. 1) first, let us ignore the historical irony about the lineage of the true 'semi-unix' that is the pathetic history of linux .... FACT: linus torvalds has publicly admited that he created unix as a csi students because he didnt know that BSD - an opensource alternative to att's closedsource unix - already existed! what kind of mediocre pinhead even bothers contemplating creating a unix clone without first doing the basic research into the history of unix? .... BSD which was the GOLD STANDRD for unix had already been in existence for years & had delivered such important features as the TCPIP networking stack & a distributed filesystem - allthewhile tovalds was barely out of middle school! but that is neither here nor there :-) 2a) second, let us observe that os/x is the only opensource unix derivative to achieve "full unix" certification by the "OPEN" group (which legally controls the specification for the official "unix" brand). Linux isnt even on the "OPEN" group's radar! (I agree GNU is many good things: but a standardized API it is not). thus os/x (10.5) joins the three "big-iron" offical unix's ... SUN (solaris) IBM (aix), and HP (hp/ux). cf: cf: 2b) third, let us dispense with the canard that darwin (the opensource core of os/x) is "non-open". the ppc source-code has always been available; only the intel source-code was ever delayed .... on account of apple's oem mobo driver "AppleACPIPlatform" which is the DRM apple uses merely to confine buildable-ity/bootable-ity to apple's own hardware). * here are the darwin (intel) sources from apple's sponsored site: cf: * here is some industry press coverage which announces all of apple's opensource projects -including the intel update for Darwin's xnu kernel sourcecode: cf: Conclusion: this geek-wannabe probably wouldnt know how a microkenel's port architecture differentiates between IPC and RPC if his life depeneded on it! ... yet he has the gall to make such ridiculous, counter-factual claims about both "fullness" and the "openness" of apple's unix! Is it a wonder that the adults eventually lose patience with the temper tantrums of the script kiddies?! Sure, we are supposed to be patient & kind when dealing with dolts -- yeah, yeah I get it. But there is only so much a soul can bear with these self-satisfied pseudo-intellectuals ... eventually one has no choice: one must busrt their bubble, call a spade a spade, and just have out with it: linux fan-boys like poster #30 are ignorant fools who shouldnt be taken seriously .... and more important, mac users should havent to just bite their tongue forever in order to win some kind of false humility contest! There is no shortage of GOOD reasons to critcize apple .... but ignorance & stupidity dont count amoungst them!
    zahadum had this to say on Oct 04, 2007 Posts: 6
    8 Reasons Windows Users Don’t Switch
  • until your suggestion, i never thought of leaving open a filefault encrypted disc image where i vould just cumulatively toss confidential stuff! ... i had always (mis)imagined the chore of having to stop all my work, makle a dmg, then start adding files etc etc. i like the idea except i have two concerns ... first, backup software can NOT selectively (incrementally) archive the contents of an (mounted and unmounted) dmg, especially of it is encrypted by filevault. second, i presume there is a HIGH risk of data corruption to a mounted writable dmg (espcially if encrypted) - due to constant app-level or even complete system-level hanging that one must endure in os/x (seems more like sys 7.5 to me!). ... is this assumption about the risk correct? ... or does journaling protect the mounted dmg from corruption when there is a hang -> forced quit or -> hard restart?! ... also the aspect of encrypted virtual memory - does journaling protect an open (crypto) dmd from damage when its contents have been already paged out to (encrypted or non-encrypted) VM file? is there aperformance penalty to read/write into an encrypted (mouted) volume? is there spotlight plugin that will allow indexing of encrypted material? - ie demand a password before it accepted a search term on on an encrypted volume (dmg)?
    zahadum had this to say on May 18, 2007 Posts: 6
    Ways to Secure Files in OS X