Thursday, January 8, 2009

Apple deception

I've been using Apple products since 1981. In general, I've always looked forward to product updates, because Apple's new hardware and software are inevitably better, often in subtle ways, than what existed beforehand. Well, for the first time ever, I've experienced a reversal of this situation.

For the last couple of years, I've been using an excellent Macintosh word-processing tool named Pages, designed and sold by Apple. At the Apple Expo that has just taken place in California (which will go down in history as the last one at which the Apple company participated directly), many observers were shocked to discover that there were few announcements of new products from Apple. Personally, I was nevertheless happy to learn that an update to Pages had appeared. Last night, I downloaded a trial version of the latest version of this word processor and started to play around with it. I had imagined that, after testing the updated product to make sure that everything worked as indicated, I would purchase it immediately. Well, surprisingly, this is not going to be the case. There is nothing whatsoever in the new version of Pages to justify my paying 79 euros.

The most disappointing thing of all is a new Apple-hosted website service called The basic idea is that, if an author uploads his Pages files to this website, then his friends can view his writing, make comments about it, and keep copies of the files. On the surface, this sounded like a great idea for both my genealogical documents and my ongoing autobiography. The nasty truth of the matter is that the proposed service is incredibly slow. Besides, it doesn't really solve any problems that I haven't solved already by means of the nice technique of PDF files. On the other hand, there are new gadgets for Pages users who want to create cute newsletters with illustrations and gimmicky layout. Meanwhile, the glaring weaknesses of Pages still persist: namely, the impossibility of creating indexes and cross references to figures.


  1. You should have a look at this. Might make you smile.

  2. That's great. Apple's iWheel is surely the greatest invention since their iBread (already sliced and wrapped in cellophane) and the extraordinary iWire for cutting butter (which doesn't seem to exist yet -- check with Paul -- in the English-speaking world). All that remains to be invented is iGod... unless, of course, that's a synonym for Saint Steve.

  3. "Everything's just a few hundred clicks away" I love it. Onion is a great organisation and Doyle Redland's Onion Radio News is great fun.

    I recall iWires for cutting iCheese...