The return of TheBigO

Posted on July 14, 2012


Back in the late 1990’s I started a blog of sorts as a Mac user / guru under the title ‘TheBigO’. Critiquing Apple products and posting solutions to problems – as we are talking about a time when Apple was literally on it’s death bed and almost ready to bow out, before Steve Jobs stepped in and saved them.

Since the release of OSX, there was less and less to write about, I was busy with other things and the Apple products under Jobs were getting increasingly better, so was the support, especially with the new Apple Stores.

Back to today, and Steve Jobs is no longer, Apple – I fear – are losing their vision for what is right, with today’s u-turn being proof of it. Never in a million years would Jobs have admitted to making a mistake this quickly. Of course it is the u-turn on the EPEAT that I am talking about. And most grating of all is that this announcement effectively states:

Hi! We at Apple thought we’d carry on creating products that can’t be easily recycled – and in order to keep you happy have decided to rejoin EPEAT while at the same time pushing for EPEAT standards to be changed to fit in with our new direction. Oh and here is one of our outgoing members of staff to tell you about it. Call it, his retirement present!

Now I am all for the thin and shiny, however I am not for it at the expense of recycling companies being unable to remove batteries and components easily. I am not that happy about the new MacBook Pro not having upgradeable parts, like batteries, and SSD drives (from what I understand the batteries are glued in so hard that they can only be removed by destroying them in the process, and they don’t use normal SSD drives, but banks of flash ram [I could be wrong – but to me that’s what it looks like]).

Needless to say that pressure should be applied on Apple over the matter – as this would to stop any infection from spreading. I thought Apple was rotten and misguided before Jobs, is it heading back that way?

Jony Ive shouldn’t concern himself with ‘the thinnest, strongest and lightest’ any more. He should be concentrating on the ‘whole life’ of the products he designs and their impact not just post-production, but even pre-production. How many components use precious metals bought from sources where thousands of people were massacred in the fight to control the rights to the land for the mining of them? Once discarded, how easily can the components be broken down for recycling? But wouldn’t it be better to design a product where the recycling process was delayed by many years? Replacing memory here, a battery there, allowing for a screen that can be replaced without having to take the whole laptop to pieces.

This is the new challenge Jony. Design not just for the 2 year cycle, but the 10 year cycle. And then you will have earned my respect. Because your current thinking is irresponsible and a step in the wrong direction IMHO.

In the meantime, please make noises, adds pressure where you can and help shape the future of Apple for us and not just for the Apple shareholders. Apple has proved in the past that it can overcome design challenges when there is someone at the helm who is willing to challenge them and make them think different. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be anyone who can do that right now. Woz?

Posted in: Apple