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Rotten Apple

iPadIt is with some regret that I form today Apple Haters International. I will be the interim president until the thousands of prospective members from all around the world come, as I suspect, within the next few hours, and we can democratically elect a Board of Trustees, militant variety.

There is, of course, a reason for this dramatic move.

I have an Apple iPad which I got last spring. I bought this damned thing because I wanted to have a small computer into which I could dictate articles like this.

I must say, that I am not what you would call computer friendly. I have used one since 1984 and have always fought them. I have no instinct for the things. I am no better with TV sets or any other mechanical object.

I hold the view, however, that it is people like me who need tender, loving care from computer manufacturers. The geeks need no help – my sort of which there are hundreds of thousands, nay millions, do.

I have been inspired to form this society for two reasons – first of all, I am having a hell of a time with my iPad and simply cannot make it work properly most of the time.

Second, I am sick to death of iPad users who are charismatically in love with Apple. Apple can do no wrong! Notwithstanding these pleadings of loyalty, none of these people can explain to me why certain things happen with my iPad that clearly are not supposed to happen. Even my grandchildren can’t help. In fact, the same things happen to them but since nothing could possibly be Apple’s fault (so they have been brainwashed to believe) they pretend that all is well and suffer in silence.

I have a computer helper. He is a good friend and a very patient man indeed. I will simply call him CE for “computer expert”. He, like the guru on the mountain top, has comforting platitudes but few answers.

Let me start at the beginning.

Email is a nightmare. Just one example will suffice.

Suppose I get an email telling me someone is following me on Twitter. I go to that email but cannot return to the email list no matter what I do. Whenever I try to do so by hitting the little arrow on the top, it takes me to some ancient Internet document I had almost forgotten about accessing. I must to go back to email by starting all over again. The same thing happens if I go to an email and open an attachment or follow a link.

Using the Internet is just as bad – worse, actually because my work requires quite a bit of research.

For example, if I google “British Columbia” I will, naturally, get a considerable list of things about this province. If I click on one of those things and bring it up, I cannot go back to the beginning. When I do click the “return command”, it again takes me to some ancient document I had used sometime before. As with email, there’s no going back.

The dictating function presents it’s own set of piss-offs and violence producing reactions.

For example, if I happen to use the same word that’s in the menu, say “pages”, it is capitalized. It often transcribes what it thinks I really meant, not what I clearly said and meant – it evidently wants to be helpful which it would be if it did what it’s told. Every time a word begins with the letters A or I, it is capitalized. It spells American style.

I expect that the machine will not get my dictation right every time – I must admit it’s getting better as time goes on and I learn to articulate more clearly and more slowly. Still, some of the things it reproduces are amazing! At one point, it ordered a pizza for me! Considering that we don’t have such a service in Lions Bay, God only knows where it got this line from.

Quite frequently it will transpose a paragraph two or three paragraphs later. Because of my ineptness, this is not something I could do on my own if I wanted to – having it done for me magically, when I don’t wish it to be done, is a damned nuisance.

Even more annoying – as you can imagine – is that often whatever I have done simply vanishes into thin air never to be seen again no matter what I do. This means that every paragraph or two I must send it to my email since I don’t trust the “save” function.

Let me close with this amazing example of how Apple, the technological wizard of the world, handles a problem of being unable to charge the machine. The charging process is pretty simple. There is a wire which goes into the iPad which wire is attached to a power plug. That’s all there is to it.

But, sometimes it just won’t charge. God only knows why not but after jiggling the plug, checking the power bar, threatening to throw the lot into the garbage bin, it still won’t charge!

This is especially annoying if you’ve brought the power down to, say 10 or 15% and you want to charge it overnight.

I have learned that if the charge is in fact working, a little green light comes on. This has helped me considerably but has not solved the frequent problem of being unable to make the charge work.

I contacted CE about this who informed me that the high-tech way of dealing with this was to take the plug out and turn it around and plug it in the other way! Be damned if that didn’t work!

Here we have Apple, this high-tech company which blows it’s own horn ad nauseum about its technology superiority, having as it’s solution to the power not working, turning the plug around! I’m surprised they didn’t suggest that I hit it with a crescent wrench which was how I made my outboard motor work when I was a kid

When I contact CE about this and the other matters I have raised, above, and ask him why they are happening the consistent answer is “I don’t know”.

Being a sensitive chap, I take this to mean that somehow I am screwing up. I’m quite prepared to plead guilty to that but I cannot for the life of me figure out how it is happening. I keep my fingers carefully off the screen at all times and do nothing out of the ordinary. CE is no help on specifics.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have an Apple, but a Lemon. Notwithstanding this, CE tells me nothing is covered by warranty. In other words all of the things that I have mentioned above, are not at all considered out of the ordinary by the super, high tech, much loved Apple Corporation. What the hell is? I ask?

The last time I wrote about this, I received quite a bit of mail from Apple users who have the same opinion of the company as I do. I don’t think that all of this would bother me quite so much if Apple wasn’t consistently bleating about its superiority, considering itself incapable of fault, on the cutting edge of all that is technologically possible, and infallible.

With all that, if they had not brainwashed people into this loyalty and dedication bordering on charismatic evangelism, I would just soldier on.

In fact, Apple doesn’t care what happens to the likes of me and I will simply have to keep on fighting until it is time to change computers at which time I will be back to Microsoft in a flash.

If you are one of the long suffering users of Apple and are too embarrassed to admit it; if you get blank stares from your CE when you ask questions; if you are made to feel it would be easier to be an outspoken atheist shouting your views from a soap box than dare question the divinity of Apple; then join AHI and we can tackle the beast together and achieve justice instead of smashing our bloody computers against a wall.

3 Responses to “Rotten Apple”

  1. Peter Miller says:

    Hi Rafe:

    While you’re working on one app (say e-mail) and you need to refer to another (say a Google search), you only need to press the home button twice to show you the most recent apps that you have used and by touching the previous one (say the e-mail) you’ll be taken right back to where you were last working in that app.

    I hope that this helps.

    If you have any questions or need any further information, please do not hesitate to ask.



  2. Rafe Mair says:

    That’s not the problem, Peter.

    I’m reading your email to me which has a link to a addendum you want me to read. I follow that link, read your addendum, click the arrow to return and get a baseball score I googled last week.

    When I google, say to get a baseball score, and click to return, I get something else I googled in the distant past.


  3. jer frank says:

    i also don’t know how peter says, maybe i can not read the email.

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