Sticks And Stones

We survived the first day of school! After busting our butts to get everything ready in time, the boys woke up this morning to a nice breakfast of waffles and scrambled eggs. After eating they got dressed for school and wasted no time getting down to the classroom.

After a quick “computer class” from dad, mom spent the rest of the day getting them acquainted with the new classroom, lesson plans, BrainPop, and more.

She did something right. By 4:00 I had to make them stop school for the day, so they didn’t overload or anything.

I spent this evening re-arranging my office area (about 1/5 of our living room). I like that “cockpit” feel when I am sitting at my desk(s) and thought I could make the area a bit more efficient for my needs, and I was right. It took me several hours to get it all worked out, but it’s got the right feel now and I have access to all four systems. Yes, four. I have the Desktop PC, MacBook, iMac, and the Linux Box. I run the old iMac and Linux box as web servers and test beds for development purposes. Hey, if they work, why not use them, right?

There’s been a lot of arguing going on this week, still, about Apple, the iPhone, the App Store, and Google. Many people are calling for government intervention saying that Apple is violating some sort of anti-trust laws, and they are being anti-competitive.

Excuse me?

First of all, anyone who claims that Apple is violating anti-trust laws needs to step back and slam their face with a two-by-four or at least sit down and read the definition of anti-trust.

Second, how does manufacturing the best music player (by far) and then creating the best online store to fill that player make you anti-competitive? Sure, there is no rival to the iPod. That’s not Apple’s fault. If other companies actually made a decent product, with decent support, people would buy them. Believe me, I was not always an iPod owner (or fan).

My first mp3 player was a Creative Zen. It’s as big as small book. Sure, it holds 30GB of music, but carrying it around just doesn’t work for me. It was clunky and it was a pain in the ass to work with. It was like carrying a brick around the house. I still have it. I use it as a USB hard drive now, for backups. When it came time to get the kids their first mp3 players, I bought them the small Zens. Yes, I was stuck on Creative, because of cost. Then I got my first iPod. A 3rd generation Nano. Holy smoke.

I don’t have a single complaint about the Nano. Not one. When I had the Zens, I downloaded music from a variety of places, none of which made it as easy as Apple does. In fact, I have spent more money at the iTunes store since I got my Nano a little over a year ago, than I had on all the digital music I bought previously.

People are complaining that Apple should support other products with the iTunes store? Why? If people want an alternative, develop one. Build one. Why don’t they get off their butts and create and develop something people want to use? How does their laziness translate into Apple being anti-competitive?

Oh that’s right, the whole Google Voice App thing still gets on people’s nerves. You know what? I agree, it would be nice if the iTunes store carried the app, but truth be told, it’s their store, why should they be required to carry it?

If you walk into Sears, do you expect to find items from JC Penney on the shelves? Can you find Target branded items at Wal-Mart? Should McDonald’s be forced to sell Whoppers just because people demand access to all products at one location? That’s ridiculous.

Far be it from me to step on the toes of anyone who feels otherwise, and my history shows I have not always been a huge fan of Apple or their products, but you cannot deny that they make excellent products and when it comes to selling the products themselves or the stuff you want with them, no one comes close to matching Apple’s standards. It’s that simple.

If you don’t like what they’re doing, don’t buy their products. Don’t use the iTunes store. Buy a substandard MP3 player and buy your music from the Amazon MP3 Store. You have a choice. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to use Apple products, so just go. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be rockin’ along with the latest innovation and style, while you play catchup with your bricks.