INDUSTRIAL DESIGN | The Mac Turns 25

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, MACINTOSH!

It took WIRED magazine to remind me of the passing of time: the Apple Macintosh turned 25 in 2009.

I guess I was an early adopter; Apple seems to have been part of my life for such a long time.

I can’t believe that back then I thought the above computer looked cool, but I guess compared to what else was available at the time, it was.

I’ve been using Macs for years. They just make sense to me (I hate it when an inferior product becomes the dominant one).

Having said that, Apple’s quality control isn’t what it used to be.

I believe that quality goods (the ones you’re willing to pay a premium for) should last — at least until you decide to upgrade or otherwise replace them. That’s not the case any more with Apple products.

Since they  started offsourcing their manufacturing to China, I think there’s been a real decline in quality.

Here’s the iMac we purchased in 2007, fresh out its box:

I think that this (late-2006) version of the iMac is the quintessence of excellence in industrial design. It’s as pure as snow, and form definitely follows function. I loved this machine.

However, three months before its extended (i.e. “paid for”) warranty expired, so did the machine.

I spent the better part of two months this past summer dealing with Apple. It stressed me out.

Eventually I got a replacement, but by then the design had changed to resemble a gigantic iPhone. Who wants a metallic front and a black plastic back? I’m still not convinced that the shiny screen is a great idea, either:

iMac (24” Mid 2007)

Anyway, in my dealings with the customer service reps at Apple, I accused them of producing machines that turn into e-waste before their time. I wish that quality was still part of the Apple cult. If Steve and his company were really concerned about the environment, they would build enduring machines; the company is now part of the planned obsolescence culture that has gripped our planet.

I continue to think that Apple has the best customer relations, but their products are little better than the rest of the junk filling our landfills (or being shipped to China for “recycling“).

FedExing our old machine back to Apple broke a little piece of my heart. I still miss its purity on our desk.

P.S. A word to the wise: if you don’t have a backup disc, you’re playing with fire. Please, please, for your own peace of mind, get a Time Capsule or some other gizmo to back up your files. You’ll never regret the decision to fork out the extra  bucks. Trust me, I know.

File:Ad apple 1984.jpg

RIDLEY SCOTT, WHO HAD JUST FINISHED BLADE RUNNER, DIRECTED APPLE’S “1984” COMMERCIAL FOR THE FIRST MACINTOSH (WEREN’T THE ’80s STRANGE?):

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