I admit I sunk my teeth into the Mac very early on — in 1991, in Switzerland. In 1990, I was given a test drive on an old Apple (pre-Mac!) machine, where I completed this oddly-named course called Type to Learn. I was the first-ever student in the whole class to finish it in that year, which kind of made my Chinese parents happy (since the Chinese, Asians etc were supposed to be best in class, yotta yotta yotta…).
I remembered from very early on that this in essence gave me a “licence” to test-drive the Mac much earlier. I’m talking about the pre-Mac OS era: back in the day this was System 6.0.7. If you could imagine a compact, all-in-one Mac in greyish-platinum, capable of running only one app at a time in black and white, this was it.
The Swiss had some kind of nationwide obsession with the Mac, it seemed, even though Apple Switzerland (as in the office) wasn’t reality until 1995. It wasn’t like that made any difference, though: before the Wallisellen office was set up, the nation was already engulfed in Mac mania. I was invited in 1995 to an office which was completely run by Macs. ▶
Finally, expletive deleted hit the fan.
Tracy and I just got out of the Regent Street Apple Store as Apple was unleashing iOS 8 to all of us. Even those in the store knew: trying to update to the new OS at 18:00 BST would just be that — you’d have to wait ages.
Yes, I agree iOS 8 has some seriously cool features I’d give my right arm for. A smarter keyboard that’s smarter still per application, with app-sensitive auto-fill suggestions. A better design that allows you to literally fire back responses. The promise of Continuity (a major plus for me).
But the result will simply be the massive dumping of machines that can’t run the new system. ▶
The China Central Place Apple Store opened in late January — right when I was off to… I think it was Shandong again? Or was it Tianjin? Jeez, I always seem to miss these grand openings… not that I’ve been a fanboy of one: a rogue club in Beijing (apparently with “contacts in the store”) nixed any chances of the average commoner (or me) getting No. 1 at the Sanlitun store.
Still, the new China Central Place Apple Store was quite impressive — for a one-storey store, although the ceiling seemed to too tall. Whilst I’m not advocating for super-low ceilings, either, I supposed they could have used some of that huge, wide open space to store things — even a few iMacs would do.
The entrance to the store reminded me like the entrance to the Audi dealership by Wangfujing — well-designed. I was, in fact, quite happy to be served by an expat in town — apparently we tick much better in English. ▶
You know, I’m on no account bashing the iPhone 5. It’s got a fair bit of technical improvements, and that’s always good when something neat gets better. But there’s a problem: the consumerism.
I mean, seriously, go into any mall in and around Beijing — it’s now more European than a Swiss mall — like the country’s largest, the Glatt Centre just outside of Zurich. I know it has a few weird-looking bars or cafés, but oh well…
When you take a look at it, Chinese consumers — Chinsumers — are just totally mad on every last new thing. Look at the extents folks will go just get their paws on an iPhone — kidneys on sale, tyres swapped for hard, solid cash — and I’m sure we’ve not even seen the tip of the iceberg yet. This is just outright outrageous crass consumerism that makes the US go green with envy. It’s capitalism on steroids. It’s getting out of control. ▶
It happened again: total hell broke out as the iPhone 4S went on sale. Angered touts who didn’t get their phone pelted eggs at the Apple Store.
The problem: The whole system.
As of late, the world’s largest “migration” of sorts — the Spring Travel Peak Travel Season — is in full swing. Thankfully, photo ID is required to get a ticket. This means that those with legitimate needs can get around with a valid ticket. High speed rail has been doing exceptionally well this year, helping get riders to destinations faster and packing in far more riders than regular rail.
Apple needs a similar “real ID” system for at least select new products such as the iPhone. It needs to set up a blacklist (similar to that at the railways) of touts, and deny iPhones to them. It needs to give iPhones out to end users, not touts. Only a “real ID” system would work here. ▶