I’ve been a devout user of Apple computers and products since 1995, which began with a Macintosh Classic as my primary computer throughout high school. Today, as a self-employed HD video producer, Apple products are just as vital to my workflow as ever. But I’ve decided to stop waving the flag of devotion for Apple. I now use Apple products because I have to, not because I feel like I have a choice. Where did my disgruntled feelings come from? Ahhhh, sit back kids and let me tell you the story of how Apple sold out.
Apple began as an innovator, the Little Guy, the computer for the individual, and I’ve always respected them for that. I need a computer that’s intuitive enough for me to jump right into my projects without a lot of time spent “figuring it all out”. But Apple, wanting to be everything to everybody, has now started creating products that are supposedly eco-friendly (or friendlier) without mercury and other nasty toxins that will enter the soil and water once they become e-waste. Here’s my problem in a nutshell: their products are designed to become obsolete within 1-2 years, so all their talk of being green is void, bamboozlement, greenwashing… They are intentionally making products that are not backwards compatible, meaning, if you don’t have the latest computer or iPod or monitor, you won’t have much luck getting everything to work together.
Exhibit A: the 24″ LED Cinema Display. I bought this display to work with my laptop and desktop computer. After it arrives, I found out it doesn’t work with my laptop (MacBook Pro) because the laptop, which I got 8 months ago, doesn’t have the Mini DisplayPort. So, I try using the display with my Mac Pro ($4000+ desktop computer with 8 processors inside and purchased about 15 months ago). Again, it won’t work. This time it’s not because of the computer, it’s because Apple doesn’t make an adapter to connect the display to my top-of-the-line desktop computer.
Exhibit B: I install the new Operating System, OS X Snow Leopard and suddenly, my computer no longer likes my peripherals. My Canon scanner and Epson printer no longer work, making them obsolete. SO much for everything being plug-and-pla. Now I’m finding myself scanning through forums to figure out which products still work with my Mac and, if not, is there any hope of saving it. My bottom-line solution? Buy all new hardware.
Thank you Apple for your amazing innovation, but shame on you for calling yourself green. With all the e-waste your hardware is creating, you hardly deserve any kudos. Now, if you can make your products backwards compatible so they’re not altogether obsolete — then we can talk about making amends.