[NTLK] iPhone is not the new Newton (& announcing a Newt sell-off shortly)

Riccardo Mori rick at poc.it
Wed Dec 30 08:54:24 EST 2009

quoth Lord Groundhog:

> I was glad you mentioned it; it grouts my rat to be told
> that I can't treat MY gizmo, paid for with MY cash, as MINE.

I don't follow, sorry. I have paid my iPhone with my cash and I'm using and treating it as mine, like every other object I own. No one tells me anything. I don't feel anybody intruding with my usage or experience of the iPhone in any way.

> My second biggest beef is with any technology is that kind of arrogant
> know-it-all paternalism to which you also make reference.  No, King Steve,
> you DON'T know what I want to do with this or that object, and if you come
> at my battleship with your car keys I'll break your fingers!

I really think that all this 'paternalism' you and others see is truly in the eye of the beholder. You see, every device out there (in varying degrees) is the product of a series of design choices. Behind every device out there, someone (a person or a group of designers/engineers) has 'decided' how users may use and manipulate it. The Newton included. Therefore, a more reasonable position, in my opinion, would be along the lines of "I find device X to be designed in a more compatible way with my habits or needs, while device Y works in ways I find more complicated, more user-unfriendly, more whatever".
> Having said that, I have the tiniest of reservations about Big Jobs' motives
> for killing Newt.  I'm happy to accept that it was done for ego *as well as*
> business, but I'm not quite convinced that even King Steven would've
> indulged his narcissism if it wasn't justifiable as a business move -- it
> would hurt his ego to be such a bad businessman as to let techno-xenophobia
> overrule his business acumen.

Look, a decision was made almost 12 years ago. Not a happy one from the Newton community standpoint, I concur. But that's it. Enough talking about Jobs, his motives, his attitudes, his allegedly secret agenda, his tastes, his feelings. Do we really know all that? It's speculation, it's a dead horse being beaten over and over. I think it's time to leave it alone. 

In all these years, the number of people I have met online and offline who personally *hate* Steve Jobs is appalling. They stubbornly refuse to buy newer Apple products because of their blinding hate towards the man and his 'attitudes'. I've always found *their* attitudes, and this position, to be... funny. And I never really understood the reason of taking these things so personally, as if Jobs personally offended or hurt them. 

I think I already mentioned my point of view. I'm a Mac guy because of all the computers and devices I have used so far, Apple hardware and software have proven to be the best for me. The Newton is the best in its category. That's why I sought it and happily still use it. And when the iPhone was introduced, and I understood its capabilities and its wonderfully conceived user interface, every other mobile phone suddenly looked obsolete to me; so when the iPhone 3G was finally available in my country, I bought it without thinking twice. And, to this day, I never regretted that choice.

I still use the Newton for its strengths. Taking notes and portable writing-without-distractions are both great features for me. But the iPhone comes very handy for all the rest, because it features more modern technologies which, for example, make surfing the Web and reading/writing emails an effortless affair. Best of both worlds, in a nutshell. With the iPhone and the Newton, it doesn't have to be an either/or process. 

(Also, I have no problems with the fact that Apple filters what gets in the App Store and what doesn't. I think that such an important mobile platform has to be 'protected' and maintained as stable and as crap-free as possible. Sometimes the process isn't smooth and strange rejection episodes happen, but considering the astounding amount of apps they have to evaluate, some bumps on the road every now and then are to be expected.)

Does all this makes me an Apple fan? Perhaps, but if tomorrow a better product comes around, I will use it. It doesn't have to have an Apple logo on it. But it *has* to be better and *has* to fulfil my needs in a better way than any Apple product. Tough job. 

Cheers, and a very happy, very green New Year :)

System Folder - The Platinum Days

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