[SATLUG] Re: mobile devices with linux

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Tue Jul 29 16:51:41 CDT 2008

KC wrote:

> To keep it alive, though... you don't agree that if he hadn't been so
> damn expensive and closed source that his empire would have dwarfed Gates
> as his was built on a product that work far better and more reliably..?

Historically, Apple was more expensive in terms of upfront costs, but even 
back in the day they still had better TCO.  Now that they have been pricing 
systems more competitively, they're even better.  Apple works very hard to 
ensure that you can't buy a better equipped machine from a name-brand 
company for less money.

But Apple still refuses to just push low-end crap out the door just because 
they can.  So, if it's low-end el-cheapo crap that you want, then you will 
have to go elsewhere.

> Makes me wonder how the Japanese can force their tech companies to
> deliver the more advanced products to them... and what we should do here
> to emulate it to get the tech ball rolling...

That happens for the same reason as any other place where a company gets to 
squeeze their local populace at a much higher price in order to subsidize 
exports, because they control the politicians and guarantee that import laws 
in their areas are set so as to prevent anyone else from coming in and 

Japan also does this in their cars.  They forcibly remove all old cars from 
the streets, and make everyone stay on the constantly-upgrading gerbil wheel.

Of course, they also have real estate costs so high that you have to take 
out a 100 year mortgage that your great-grandchildren will still be paying 
on after you die, because otherwise you couldn't possibly afford to buy 

So, do you really want to be put on that forced upgrade gerbil wheel for 
everything?  Hasn't the fact that Microsoft has kept you on the forced 
upgrade gerbil wheel for so long been bad enough?  Do you really want the 
entire rest of your life to be handled the same way?

> I wish just Apple had been more competitive in the 80's and 90's... and
> even today, I wish they would play ball. Job's is grumpily sitting out
> the capitalist system...

No, he's deciding to play his own game his own way, instead of playing 
Bill's game.  Or your game, for that matter.

If you don't like Steve playing his own game his own way, then you're 
welcome to go buy products from some other company.  Of course, that other 
company would be much more likely to be firmly in bed with Microsoft, but 
that's your choice.

> you're right, the iPhone is great... but as a middle class consumer who
> tinkers for a living, I won't risk buying Steve's stuff... I have better
> chances finding a Linux phone from Motorola that Verizon encourages
> hacking on that will suit my needs and desires than with Apple
> products...

You can already jailbreak the iPhone.  You could jailbreak the iPhone within 
a couple of months after it first came out.  Very few other consumer devices 
have had this kind of exposure or open access by third parties, even if that 
open access is not explicitly condoned by the company.

Now, if you still want to avoid the iPhone, that's your option.  However, if 
you then decide to go with Google Android, I have to wonder why you would 
actively choose to use a product from a company that is known to be hoarding 
as much personal and proprietary information as they possibly can about the 
whole world, and risk exposing all that to any company that wants to come 
along and file a fishing expedition lawsuit against them -- like Viacom.

Failing iPhone and Google Android, what are your real alternatives?

> Oh, and one more thing... just because Stevie hi-jacked and waxed
> Linuxesque... is THAT why you back him like this? I hope not...

No, I've been an Apple fan since 1982, back when I was programming Apple ][ 
and Apple ][+ computers on my free time in high school.  I've been a 
MacFanatic since December of 1983, back when I saw an early prototype of the 
original Mac 128k, and before the big Superbowl commercial.

That said, I like to think that I'm pretty aware of their faults and 
limitations, and I criticize them as much as anyone -- when it is warranted.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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