Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!

“I’m the air you breathe, food you eat, friends your greet in the sullen street,” from The Changeling, written by Jim Morrison.

If you’re a regular reader of Brainiac On Banjo, you might be aware of my affection for the computing products sold by Apple. Those buggers brought ease of use, intuition, logic, and a common interface to personal computing, advertising their stuff as “for the rest of us.”

On Super Bowl XVIII Sunday, 1984, Apple advertised their new Macintosh computers with a Ridley Scott commercial they paid to run only once, although the spot received a great deal of free play in news items and on talk shows. The theme was copped from George Orwell’s novel 1984, but it was a response to 1984 with an athlete destroying the soul-sucking machinery that was controlling the masses. Back then, computers did not control our lives the way they do now.

That was then.

Sadly, “artificial intelligence” is not as dangerous as the artificially intelligent. Programmers seem to be associating only with other programmers, creating things they can brag about over a beer. For a decade now Apple, the people who made computing personal and who coined that phrase have produced a growing amount of crappy whiz-bang and dysfunctional hoohah, both in its hardware and its software.

Apple upgrades their operating systems about every 10 weeks, but I no longer approach computing wide-eyed and eager to try the new stuff they’re giving me. Now my first thought is “what did these assholes break this time?”

To my recollection, the first major break came with their music management software. They made it hard to maneuver and maintain. They have become exceptional at making it worse with each upgrade. Like most fan-addicts, I’m glued into the whole Apple ecosystem so moving away from Apple software can make things inconvenient or even useless on my other Apple devices.

Safari, their web browser, has a lot going for it that is not to be found in other well-known browsers, so changing software to better fit my needs is merely a matter of trading frustrations. I’ve tried a lot of alternatives and right now I move between Safari and Chrome, despite my belief that Google is a front for a predatory version of the Illuminati. Both browsers suck, and switching back and forth for my “convenience” exacerbates that suckiness.

And why do I have to remind Apple that I do not want websites to track my location each time I go to a new site? The word “privacy” is unknown to the computing industry, but Apple loves to talk the talk.

Evidently, Apple no longer wants left-handed people to use their products. I can’t speak for their goggles or their imitation Alexa home utility as I do not own that stuff, but their iPads and their iPhones and some of their software do not work well for us lefties. Some functions, particularly with my beloved iPad Pro, have become maddening.

Their computers have gone downhill. The last two I purchased — I’m presently on a Mac Studio — have been prone to malfunction. If I wanted that shit I would have purchased a Windows device. Apple’s nifty keyboard that recognizes my fingerprint does not work with some Apple software. I understand two-factor identification, but if they think somebody can use my fingerprint to log into my machine they should be telling the FBI.

Last week Apple came out with a sequel to their 1984 spot, one that works 180° in reverse. When they announced their brand-new line of dramatically overpriced but very nifty iPads, they put together a commercial so scary it pissed off people. Apple had a bunch of tools and machines put between two massive metal platforms and compressed them to shreds. Think “crushed car in Goldfinger.”

Given our present concerns regarding artificial intelligence and deep fakes, this most certainly was the wrong message delivered at the wrong time. The reaction was so loud and so swift Apple removed the commercial within hours.

These cloistered programmers need to get out in the real world. The platform advertised as being “for the rest of us” hasn’t been for a long time. Apple has been taking us for granted ever since we became completely dependent upon our computers.

I tolerate Apple because I must. I am not going to be well-received at my local Apple coven, am I?

2 thoughts on “Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!

  1. I think you’re speaking for the rest of us. But it was only just a little longer in time that Ford owners who loved their Model T grew to hate their LTDs.