Is Apple Worth the Price?

by HSG on Jul 23, 2012 in Articles from Software Fans

The short answer is, yes and no. It depends upon who you are. The purpose of this entry is to help you determine, yes or no.

Full disclosure. This entry is created on a Mac mini. And doing so on Windows 8 (Release Preview). If you are a developer, in my humble opinion you need to test on all platforms you expect your app to run or you are not much of a developer.

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To be successful you need to leave politics in geographical territory known as Washington DC. My definition of that is: 14 mi.² of real estate surrounded by reality.

Only in politics can we afford to take sides. Those of us in IT, especially developers need to do our best to be all things to all people. Certainly this is a technical impossibility. However in our game we can get some points for at least being serviceable if not outstanding.

Just look at Adobe's history. They started as a Apple platform and grew to being a par with both OS X and Windows.

Let's take a look at this a little more thinly sliced. Years ago I clearly remember one wag saying: "Apple don't make Chinese junk. They make high-quality Chinese junk." And that statement is difficult to argue with. It is also difficult to argue with Apples profit margins, which are the envy of the rest of the industry.

Take for example the new MacBook Pro. If you were to order one of these with the fastest Intel iCore 7 with a maximum capacity 3/4 TB SSD drive you are plunking down north of 3 kilobucks. At approximately 5 pounds were really stretching the imagination of Intel's trademark of ultra book.

And let's look at what you're getting for all that money. The majority of the real estate inside that laser carved aluminum chassis is lithium ion battery. Enough to run a video editing station supporting upwards of nine HD video segments, all day long without power.

Throw in another six grand and you have two Black Magic Cinema cameras, which gives you an expenditure of $10,000, or the equivalent of what it costs to run one 35mm film camera or film, processing, and cutting - for one hour.

Given the creativity I have seen in the young all I can say is, Hollywood Inc. looks like a dead man walking.

So what about us mere developers?

If I am willing to speak from a simple lead theoretical standpoint, the answer is clearly no. Yes, I need to test my work to make sure it runs on the land of Cupertino, California. Yes, I am happy with the born-again OS from Redmond, Washington (Windows 8).

Using Oracle's Virtual Box I can use Windows (or anything else) as my host operating system to run on the metal that I bought from Dell, HP, Fry's, MWve, Amazon, NewEgg or Joe's RE-PC and put OS X in as a guest. Certainly this is against Apples license agreement. Doing so and flaunting it like a Hackintosh is only asking for trouble from The Man.

Given that, for the record I am not suggesting you do that.

And as a researcher I am pointing out a copy of OS X sandboxed inside Virtual Box running on Windows or whatever allows us to test our work on a variety of platforms without buying the all aluminum bodied container holding an Intel IvyBridge.

For me personally, it is worthwhile to pay to Cupertino the price they ask for their hard work and hardware. WWMV.

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