STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Some brief follow up on last post

After posting my last post, and knowing how big of a deal this all is to the Mac camp, I thought I'd post some more of my musings on this topic. Why, after all, would I believe that Mac might move to Windows? Well, I'm not convinced of that, but here's what I am convinced of: One of two things will happen within the next few years - Mac hardware will ship with Windows, or OSX will be sold for non-Mac PCs.

Why am I convinced of this? Well, it starts with the article that prompted my last post. One of it's points that I sort of glossed over was that Mac had recently run a big ad campain that had failed miserably. Now, the Mac people all made comments along the lines of "So what? That's no big deal. It's just an ad campaign." But as I thought this through, I realised that it was far more relevant then I'd initially thought. The ad campaign was designed to convince people to "make the switch" from Windows to Mac. Apple invested a lot of money into it, and it failed miserably. They were unable to increase their market. And this is where I think it becomes critical. Apple are a business. If they sell Macs to the same people who always buy Macs, they're not going to increase their market, and their shareholders are going to become unhappy. I know I would be. So how do you increase in a market where people aren't willing to throw away what they're used to? They have to undo the lock between Mac hardware and Mac software. Push the line of either "you can now run OSX on your non-Mac PC!" or "Macs now run Windows!"

Now, the second one of these they've half-heartedly doing already. Contrary to Nathan's comments on my previous post, several sources have confirmed that Microsoft will be supporting EFI booting on Intel Macs with Longhorn/Vista. Check the title link for one such assertion. Apple have said all along "we're not going to stop you." How much trouble would it be for them to go "and now we'll support you doing it." Not much. Suddenly, their profits increase as all the people who like shiney pretty things in their living rooms but aren't willing to change OS go out and buy Mac hardware to run Windows on. Bundle the iStuff suite and a custom theme along with with Windows when you buy using standard OEM methods, and they still maintain the Mac "look and feel" while not having to shell out money for OS development of an OS that in it's current hardware-locked state is preventing increase in their market share.

The other option is of course to release OSX for non-Mac hardware. Personally, I can't decide whether this is a more or less likely scenario. "More likely" arguments include the fact that it would be fairly easy for them - however, with no 3rd party driver support they'd be pretty damn screwed. So scratch that. They won't do it. It would fall on it's preverbial ass. Microsoft already have all the peripheral vendors on board with long revision histories, so it makes much more sense for Apple to go with the previous option. Greater perspective for profit. Can you imagine Apple having to go to all of the chipset manufacterers for driver support? And then how buggy the first releases would be? They'd kill their "it just works" image (which was the first of their "10 reasons to switch, btw) in about 0.32 seconds flat. Besides, I think there are other pointers that it will be Windows on Mac, rather then Mac on PC.

I know all the Mac advocates would like to think that Apple will remain "loyal" to their existing Mac-otaku fanbase (which being a part of is aparently a good reason to switch platform - reason number 7, in fact) rather then doing something that would make them unhappy - but let's be honest here. Business is about money. New money, in particular. That's why sales representitives are so well paid. No new customers equals level cash flow. Shareholders are investors, and level cashflow is a bad investment. To bring the numbers down to a smallish example, if you were a company who bring out 1 new product every 5 years, and you have 1,000,000 loyal customers who you know will buy your new product, you will never make more then $200,000 p.a. I know it's more complex then that, but if you just look at Macs+OSX as a sales entity, that's pretty much it. People who have Macs, buy Macs. And that's about it.

Now for your reading pleasure, an article entitled "Why Windows Vista Won't Suck."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blog for lunch

Seeing as it's lunchtime here at my nifty new job, I thought I'd blog something quickly. Problem is, I haven't really got much to blog. I'll try, anyway.

I saw an article this week which suggested that Mac may be looking to ditch OSX as a product, and keep their focus on hardware, which (according to the article) is where they've always wanted to be. What would they replace it with? Well, this article suggested... WINDOWS! HAH! Now, while I know that the article is most likely just the opinions of the writer and not necissarily based on any solid factual evidence, he certainly made a convincing argument. Most interesting to me is the fact that Microsoft has announced it's ditching Office for Mac after the next version, and the new version of Windows will include native support for booting on Intel Macs. Oh yeah, and Mac have allowed and supported this move. Why? Well, they want to sell hardware. If you like Windows, but think Macs look snazzy, you'll buy a Mac and install Windows on it. Bill is happy, Steve is happy - everyone is happy. With this situation, why would Apple continue to pump money into OSX? Surely they're not making that much money off it. Why not let Bill's boys do all the hard work, and instead focus on making a packet of their lucrative consumer hardware and related services? I mean, with things like iPhoto's micropayment publishing options, why not release their iStuff suite for Windows? They'd make some more money with comparitavley little outlay.
CONCLUSION: In my opinion, OSX is a liability in the long term for Apple. They should ditch it, and I think there's signs that it may well already be happening.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Gaming keeps you young

Above link just goes to show what I already knew - gaming is w00t. And the more w00t, the better.

Vocation motivation

While I know that I really should be motivated to work for the sake of being productive and doing something worthwhile, the fact of the matter is that given the choice, I wouldn't work. The thought of doing whatever the heck I liked all day is really quite appealing. The thing is though, that I work so that I can provide for my wife and child, and make a life for us that keeps us happy, healthy and safe. Money is a big contributor to those three goals, so I work, and that keeps things good.
But recently, it's been a bit different. My wife is a stay at home mum by choice, but recently our son has become quite a handful. So she spends her days getting progressivly more tired and stressed, until I come home of an evening, which is a time she builds up in her mind as being her point of relief and respite. However, I come home tired myself, and would love nothing more then to sit down and have a rest. This makes her not happy. Meanwhile, valuable time I could be spending with my little boy ticks away while I try and recouperate from the days' work. Not that my job is particularly harsh - it's just a full day of work each day. My wife isn't interested in doing anything, because she's cactused from the day with our son, and so we all are generally unhappy until we go to bed. We then get up, and do it all again.
Why am I doing this? We were a heck of a lot happier when we were living off Centrelink while I was at uni. We spent most of our day together each day, and so I could help my wife through the tough spots. True, we didn't have our son then, but imagine if money was no object for a second. We could divide the stress of caring for an almost 2 year old between us, and get to the end of the day happy and not overly emotionally drawn. He'd be better off, we'd be better off, we'd just have a lot less money. Instead, I come home each day to a woman who would be happy to see me if she could muster the energy, and who is disapointed because she can immediatley tell that I'm not overly keen to spend the entire evening minding our son while she sleeps. I was alright when I was working a job with short hours, but now that I'm working a normal day, I just don't have the facility to come home and be our son's only source of entertainment. Couple that with the stress from a new job and trying to buy a house, and I'm just about ready to check myself in for a few weeks at the sanitarium.

Anyway, that'll do. I'm just having a smallish vocation crisis. I'll be OK shortly I'm sure.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Best. Quote. Ever.

Being an IT person, the above-linked quote makes me feel like I'm part of a group. A fraternity, if you will, of nerds, geeks, and the occasional rabid Mac user who understand that it's better to spend a lifetime automating a relativley short task as long as you know that next time you need to do said task, it won't take you any time at all...


Do you ever have those days where things are just wrong from the outset? Today is that day for me. It's weird, because a lot of good stuff is going on: house, job, etc. It's all fine and dandy. However, there's a couple of things that are not, and of most importance is the fact that I'm not fine and dandy. I'm kanashii. Sad. Miserable, in fact. I can't shake it, because there are a number of those not-good things around me which are imminent enough to bring me straight back into it.

So yeah, that's it. Justin is unhappy. I'm sure you're all excited to be in the loop.

Speaking of being in the loop - for those of you who may not have heard, I'm actually a home owner now. I've signed contracts and all that, and the only thing really left to do is hand over $250,000 odd on top of the $15,000 odd we've already left and we can move in. It's a tops house, I'm really quite happy with it - if only I could get back to "OK" so I could be happy about it. All in good time I guess.