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Roger’s Rules

A Bite at the Apple: Thoughts on an ‘Unmitigated Disaster’

October 28th, 2013 - 4:40 am

apple-iwork

Even as the world careens from crisis to crisis—will Iran get (and use) The Bomb? Will the euro finally fail? Will ObamaCare put the nail in the coffin of the U.S. economy and America’s tradition of self-reliance and individual liberty? No one’s crystal ball is sharp enough to say. But even as the world conjures with these and other pending catastrophes, there are still local tempests to conjure with. In the somewhat rarefied world of word-processing software, the corporate giant Apple has precipitated a category five storm in the teapot inhabited by users of its iWork suite of software: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, the Word, Excel, and Powerpoint of the Apple eco-system.

Last week, in the course of a big Apple event in San Francisco, The Corporation announced, to considerable fanfare, new versions of iWork. There were smiles everywhere as a couple of Corporate officials took to the stage and demonstrated that, at long last, users would be able to collaborate on the same document simultaneously over the internet, on their Macs and/or their iPads and iPhones, even on PCs. This is a feature that Google has offered for some time, but Apple’s implementation was supposed to be more elegant (if less robust technically). The software had been rewritten from the ground up, they announced, adding many new features. It was a particularly welcome announcement for those who use the software because the last major update to the iWork software was in 2009, eons ago in the chronology of software. Patience was about to be rewarded. A new Apple triumph was about to be born. The new software, which Apple was offering for free, would make serious inroads into the hegemony of Microsoft’s Office suite, which is a de facto world-wide standard.

The celebratory mood lasted for about 15 minutes. Then a few people downloaded and started using the software. Uh oh. In its effort to make iWork compatible with the version that runs on the iPad and iPhone, Apple decided to neuter the desktop version of its software. “Big deal,” you say. “Use Microsoft Office.”  More and more people will do just that, I suspect. But in the meantime, there is high drama at the Apple support site and App store, where the hostile comments about the software vastly outnumber the positive comments. One independent reviewer summed up the verdict: “Pages 5: An unmitigated disaster.”

I’ve been using Pages myself for a couple of years. I’ve never liked Microsoft Office, and I’ve always harbored a particular dislike for Word, which I find bloated and unwieldy. Before using Pages, I wrote using a DOS- and then Windows-based programmer’s editor. It was a bare bones approach, but I liked the simplicity of the software and the control it offered over text manipulation. Together with a DOS-based PostScript layout tool, I was good to go.

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All Comments   (31)
All Comments   (31)
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my buddy's step-sister makes $71 hourly on the computer. She has been fired for five months but last month her check was $17864 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try this out.....www.Bay95.com
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
On the very rare occasions I need to fire up a word processor on my Mac, I use LibreOffice (which has the benefit of working on my Linux boxes and being compatible with Word/Excel etc on my Windows machines.) I use emacs or TextWrangler for command line programming, Xcode for Cocoa stuff, and TeXShop if I need to do anything serious, typesetting-wise. The thought of using a phone to do word processing is bizarre.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
guess Obama was right, he is like apple
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Apple and Microsoft are, to me, like the Democrats and Republicans. There are things I love and things I hate about each, and no area of overlap.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger, you must adapt to Apple's products; they do not adapt to you. Apple is about Apple, not about its user base. Apple is a status symbol, a sign of sophisticated sophistication.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
.....and also add :

.....pretentiousness. Apple is all about corporate, circular, self-centered-ness.

They excel [punning opportunity!] at marketing.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Former Apple drone here: when discussing Apple these days one shouldn't fail to mention that after updating an iphone 4S to IOS 7, a lot of folks lose their wi fi connectivity for good, myself included. It's a well known manufacturing flaw so hard to fix that Apple will offer a replacement, but for $199. Hence you pay $199 for a fix to a defective device after it gets terminally screwed by a software update issued by the same company, all this just a year and so after you purchased it brand-new.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another 25 year user of Apple products. Your "It Just Worked" statement is only true for a limited set of operations. As long as you are doing exactly what Apple thought of, you are fine. However, as a co-worker said, if it didn't, you have't even started. If something doesn't work immediately, it generally will never work. I have found that problems that would drive someone away from Windows will be tolerated, or proclaimed a feature, by Apple users. Generally, Apple makes good entertainment devices, but my iPad reboots at a rate that would be unacceptable in any other device. Find something that works for you and stick with it regardless of what the latest fad is.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's repeat your, " Find something that works for you and stick with it regardless of what the latest fad is."

Excellent summation. It's Windows 7 for me via Dell and a favorite five year old HP "laptop" which is a gleaming stainless steel beauty and weighs a ton.

It just works.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
For those of us who use NeoOffice (freeware version of Office) on their iMacs, this is a non-starter.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember when Final Cut X was released and people wailed forever about how Apple Hated The Pro Market And Final Cut Was Worthless Forever?

And then Apple re-added the actually important features over time, making it pro-grade again.

"Never remove features" means your software ends up horribly bloated and horrible.

"My new free software is crippled compared to the old version it didn't uninstall and I can still use" is ... not a significant complaint, I think?

(See Office - and note that every time Microsoft has come close, like with the actually excellent ribbon UI redesign, people cry bloody murder.)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you're looking for a tool for writing, try Scrivener. Its drag and drop reorganization abilities make it vastly better than anything else for book length documents. It runs on Macs, Windows and (soon) iDevices. It synchs using Dropbox. I can write at the library on my MacBook and take up the writing again at home of my Mac mini with no bother about file synching.

Get it direct here: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

There's a free demo version. Or download it from Apple's App Store.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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