Friday, November 25, 2011

Things I am not thankful for - Apple stupidity

Time for a post about the company I have had a love-hate relationship with since the mid-80's (the relationship is older than that but prior to the mid-80's I found nothing to hate about Apple). So many irritations lately that I have to vent. I suppose it would be different if I were a heavy Windows user, but would it be better? Sometimes I am so tempted by their stupidity to make the switch.

The 2011 Mac Mini - no internal DVD drive. Really? Great if all I want to do is stream content from the web but woefully inadequate for anything else. My guess (and I'm not the first to guess this) is that earlier versions with a built-in DVD, Front Row, and HDMI output were cutting into their sales for the 2 generation Apple TV. So they eliminated the DVD drive and removed Front Row from Lion just to increase sales of a lower profit margin streaming device. Stupid.

The external Apple iSight microphone does not work properly with FaceTime 1.1.1 although it worked with earlier versions. No explanation given by Apple. I've asked for a refund on FaceTime. If Apple had an iSight 2 then that would be fine, but to break backwards compatibility with Apple products for no reason and with no alternative product is just stupid. [Update: Reportedly this is fixed in the 10.7.3 update.] [Update: It took over two months to get it fixed, but it was fixed in 10.7.3.]

Crippling the power output of the iPad via software. The iPad camera connection kit allowed many USB keyboards to be connected to the iPad directly, including older Apple keyboards. This was handy when the iPad was being used in flight. Then Apple lowered the power output in an iOS update without announcing they were doing so breaking this capability. This could easily have just been implemented as a power setting but no. Apple breaks it with no valid reason. Stupid.

Magic Mouse disconnects with Lion. You'd think that a recent OS version designed for touch should work with recent Apple hardware like the Magic Mouse also designed for touch. But it doesn't. The mouse disconnects all the time. I never noticed this on Snow Leopard. Sometimes the scrolling stops working as well until you reboot. Apple's QA testing is definitely inadequate these days. I have to have a USB mouse connected just in case the Magic Mouse stops working. Stupid.

Lion drops PPC apps and Front Row. Again, there is really no good reason that Rosetta couldn't continue to be supported in Lion. And certainly no valid reason to drop Front Row except to break something that competed with another product of theirs. Just entirely stupid.

Of course these pale compared to the monstrous stupidities of the past such as killing the Apple IIGS, the Newton (yes, Siri, the artificial intelligence introduced with iPhone 4S finally after 15 years allows something similar to the Newton Assist feature without requiring the stylus that Steve Jobs disliked), and Hypercard. Sometimes Apple can be insanely stupid about killing off products that were insanely great.

And then the straw that broke the camel's back in this case is that they rejected with no reason given a perfectly good post I made in the Mac App Store about Neverwinter Nights 2.  Stupid. Here it is:

Great to see a fully patched no-CD version available for Mac OS. Though this understandably does not include the expansions or Adventure Pack, if you have access to Windows via Bootcamp or a VM and also purchase the Windows versions (current best buys are NWN2 Platinum on Steam which includes both expansions or Atari's Neverwinter Nights Collection which also includes both the expansions and also the Mysteries of Westgate Adventure Pack), then you can install the Windows versions and then copy over the appropriate files to run them natively on the Mac. Instructions have been posted on my blog ( and both the and NWN2 forums. The NWN2 forums at Bioware are the most active community support forums for NWN2.

While the base game has many hours of play and an almost infinite variety of races and classes to choose from for your main protagonist, the real strength of NWN2 is with the completely free access to Persistent Worlds hosted online and the large amount of community authored custom campaigns that can be downloaded for free from the Neverwinter Nights Vault ( Many of which rival or surpass the campaign that comes with the game. Installation of custom content on the Mac App store version is made slightly more complicated because the place to install such content is now the hidden user Library/Application Support/Neverwinter Nights 2 folder. Navigating to this folder can be done by running and typing the command "open Library" (without the quotes).

If all you do is download this game and do not avail yourself of the community forums and custom content that is freely available then all you will get is a good D&D 3.5 based game that lasts 20-40 hours. If you start installing custom content, playing free campaigns, and using the free Persistent Worlds then the entertainment is endless.  If you like playing in Bootcamp then a better buy is the Windows Steam NWN2 Platinum or the Atari NWN Collection because those include the two expansions.

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