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2007 06 11

native works both ways… or does it?

So, in the young years of OS X, thousands were complaining that Office and other mac ports of Windows software didn’t look native enough. There is even a vocal group advocating native Aqua controls for Firefox on OS X.
Now, Apple just released Safari for Windows, complete with Aqua scrollbars and widgets. I’m waiting to read the rants of those pro-native users, about how Cupertino’s team could and should have made Safari fit in on Redmond’s desktop. Oh that’s right, not their problem.

(I’m going through the “mild hate for hype” part of my love-hate relationship with OS X, and software in general. Among my drafts is a rant on the annoyances in Coda…)

2005 07 27

perils of the evil french Apple keyboard

⌘Q is just left of ⌘S.
⌘W is just right of ⌘</⌘>.

Over the last five days, I lost a total of three hours of work at home.

There must be such a thing as location-based muscular memory: losing work like that only happened once at the office, where I’ve been using a Mac for over a year. Yet once I get home, hitting the Apple key just isn’t natural anymore, as I fumble, grumble and close windows.
Damn you, command key place of interest sign!

2005 05 10

on corporate blogging and Apple

Hugh MacLeod makes some good points on why corporate blogging works (likely everywhere but France — the case is completely different here), but I just have to disagree about the example chosen to illustrate the alignment of A (the company’s speech) and B (the customers’ opinion).

Point 11 brings us to the need for a porous membrane between A and B, which looks like some different way to express the need for transparency. But then the example of Apple’s success just doesn’t fly.

In Apple’s case, the membrane is porous in two straight ways:

  • from A to B: when Apple issues a new product and immediately showers its customers with coolpaganda so much that they think it’s unnatural not to think the product is cool,
  • from B to A: in a much slower way, when customers blog so much that is perfectible in Apple’s product, or that they just desire from Apple; and then they wait and speculate.

There is no two-way conversation going on.
There is no transparency involved, the membrane between Apple and its customers is but a cliff.
In short, Hugh’s demonstration holds true for myriads of successful companies, but I don’t consider Apple one of them.

2004 11 24

Apple uses WordPress

This is just grand. Apple picked WordPress for their Student Blog on education.apple.com! (via crw)

The result feels a little rushed and unpolished though, like Apple wanted something out the door quickly.
There is no reason for an Apple product to feel so awkward done, so let’s highlight some issues that Apple could easily fix in the next days to improve the Student Blog.

First the layout issues:

  • “– Dave @ time” doesn’t look very professional.
  • The calendar, not only being useless by essence, is practically negated by the absence of dates in the template.
  • Links to RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds stand below the disclaimer, without any heading or indication of what the hell they are. Keep in mind apple.com’s audience most likely comprises many non-bloggers… even many bloggers don’t know what RSS and Atom are.

Then the rest:

  • The blog claims to be “a community site for students”, yet there is little to no indication of it, and one is left wondering: who is Dave? where are the others in the community? how do I join? can I only join?
    In the purest “let’s ignore corporate bullshit when skimming through posts” manner, I had purely ignored to read the very first post by ‘blog admin’ (whoever that is). The information therein ought to be part of the template, albeit in a slightly refactored form.
  • Dave posts about Apple’s laptops’ wireless abilities, then casually says he’s going on a business trip. Then the blog goes idling, after three posts. Couldn’t Apple wait for Dave’s availability, or recruit other bloggers to fill the void?

Nevertheless, I’m curious to see where this experiment is heading in the next weeks… About time Apple leverages blogging as more than just convenient word of mouth PR, don’t you think?