Sunday, 17 August 2008

Eggs and baskets

Questions. Life is full of questions. Like if a vodka and orange is a screwdriver, is a vodka and pineapple a sonic screwdriver? Or what was the best thing before sliced bread? Or who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?

Another one, that I have thought about only in the last few weeks since an iPhone arrive int flat, is why are PC and Mac users so different? Or are they?

Bestest Flatmate has a swanky new iPhone. A done deal with 3 Hong Kong a few weeks ago got her a nigh-on free 16GB slab of technological perfection of which I am highly envious, but still deliberating over. And here’s the thing: syncing and sorting her new baby to import contacts, adjusting personal settings etc., we discovered the essence of what makes PC and Mac users different.

You get certain tricks, treats, bells and whistles on the 3G iPhone, sure, but the annoying thing is that you can’t import your own message tones. Neither can you use your own music from iTunes to create your own ringtones. No! Shut it, wait a minute, you can’t! Just listen for one minute, before you yell that you've done it and I’m mistaken.

You can open iTunes and click on anything you've purchased from the iTunes store and choose ‘create ringtone’. But this feature only works in the US right now, according to Tinternet.

So then, the crux of PC vs Mac users: PC users are perhaps happy that it just works, but Mac users take that as a given and want to know why they can’t do more.

I hope Steve Jobs realises what he has done in conquering the world with the iPhone. Instead of Mac users complaining that everything is PC orientated, now we have a Mac platform bit of kit made compatible with PC users of the world. We should be happy, we should be smug cos it’s our platform that’s the optimum home environment for arguably one of the most impressive amalgamations of phone and PDA ever designed.

But no. Whatever the iPhone can do, we will not be satisfied. We’ll piss and moan that there are a few items or settings missing, and third party tinkerers and putterers and fixers of incomplete packages will go ahead and set about writing the software Mac users feel is missing.

Those wonderful people at Adium are completely re-writing their spectacularly amazing messenger interface as we speak, hoping to make an iPhone compatible version soon. Why have MSN on your iPhone when you can have the infinitely better Adium X?

I’m slowly over-coming the eggs and baskets thing - ironic coming from a nearly four year Mac convert. Not because I don’t believe in putting all my eggs in one basket, but rather that I don’t normally trust the bottom of the basket not to fall out. So instead I have an iPod Touch and a separate phone. If I had everything in one big basket, and I took every precaution but the bottom still fell out, I’d be mightily pissed off. Mostly because this should never happen to a Mac user.

But I’m slowly coming round to the idea of having everything in one place. Perhaps I will just pop into my local 3 shop and see what the deal is on these things. Next month.


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