Nobody Ever Got Fired For Buying Apple

The MacBook is the new ThinkPad.

There was a time when “laptop” and “ThinkPad” were practically synonymous. Whenever you saw business people or students pull out a computer in a meeting or classroom, it was almost certainly going to be a thick, black chunk of plastic emblazoned with the colorful IBM logo and a trademark red nubbin nestled in the keyboard. Today, though, when you think of a laptop, you probably think of something different. You probably think of a thin, aluminum-clad machine with a chiclet-style keyboard and a glowing Apple on the back. The MacBook is the new ThinkPad, having invaded corporate conference rooms and college classrooms across the nation (not to mention your local Starbucks). There’s a good reason for this: Apple makes damn fine notebooks, while IBM no longer makes them at all. It’s interesting, though, to ponder on how we got to a place where the once-scrappy underdog of computing became the industry default. Continue reading “Nobody Ever Got Fired For Buying Apple”

Some Quick Thoughts on a Silly MacBook

An expensive, slow, highly compromised, likely very buggy piece of the future.

My initial reaction to Apple’s recently announced MacBook was, like many in the tech enthusiast community, one of visceral rejection. The idea of a machine that scarified performance, keyboard quality, and any expandability whatsoever in the pursuit of being absurdly thin seems at first blush like a fool’s errand. And in many ways, it is – there’s simply no denying that this new MacBook is a severely compromised device. But it isn’t alone among first-generation Apple products in that regard. So having had a few weeks for the news to stew, I thought I would go back and take another look at this latest fruity endeavor. Continue reading “Some Quick Thoughts on a Silly MacBook”

Apocalypse Never: The PC Market In Perspective

The third-quarter sales figures are out from the usual suspects at Gartner and IDC, and they show (as was expected) a dip in sales from almost every major PC manufacturer in the US – even Apple, who have until now managed to continue selling more units despite an industry-wide slump.  This time, only ThinkPad manufacturer Lenovo and famed king of reliability ASUS managed to keep their heads above the waterline – and did so spectacularly, with Lenovo moving up to 4th place behind Apple in the US, and taking the number one spot worldwide away from HP.  Despite Lenovo’s successes, however, the industry as a whole declined for yet another quarter.  The question on many people’s minds is obvious: why?  Computers are faster and cheaper than ever, so why aren’t they selling as well?  As it turns out, it’s actually a fairly complex answer that can’t be easily boiled down to something pithy like “iPad sales,” no matter how hard some members of the tech press might desire to do so.

Continue reading “Apocalypse Never: The PC Market In Perspective”