U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Mac OS X Leopard (Re: new problem)

Re: Mac OS X Leopard (Re: new problem)

----- Original Message ----- From: "Judy Seigel" <jseigel@panix.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 7:08 PM
Subject: Re: Mac OS X Leopard (Re: new problem)

On Tue, 5 Feb 2008, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

I just think Apple shouldn't put out anything until it's ready; I don't like being a guinea pig for them (unless I'm being paid to do so). Apple should tell you that their OS updates don't work with some printers, some scanners, and that you might lose other functions on your computer as well. If they did, I missed the memo.
Ah, Diana... you remind me of a line I quoted in Post-Factory #1: page 31, quoting Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future, Menlo Park, CA (circa 1998):

" I would fire the CEO of any company that held its product until it was ready."

My son ran into this problem in the early days of his company. He was OF COURSE waiting to put his software on the market until it was "perfected." A well-meaning expert from an allied business advised him that if he kept that up he'd soon be out of business. (I haven't asked him if he followed that advice, tho he's still in business, so who knows?)

But, Diana, you pique my curiosity (I'm still back with tabby cat): What is the promise of Leopard? Was it a particular feature (or features) that drew you? When you get it going, will you share the verdict?


A lot of companies use their customers as the final QC inspectors. While this policy can give some companies a head start over competitors I know of at least one case where it put a company out of business. That company was Ampex. Ampex was the originator of commercialized magnetic tape recorders, at least in the US and at one time held an enviable reputation for quality and reliability. They goofed at twice in their history: The first time was in the early 1950s when they designed and released a machine called the model 400. Very attractive at first glance and had very good audio quality but, it was arranged in a way that made it useless for editing. Ampex withdrew it and replaced it with a different model within a year. The second time was more serious. This was in the late 1980s when they released two designs of recorders, both of which _ should_ have been the best on the market. In both cases the control circuits were very unreliable and caused the machines to be rejected. Ampex fixed the problems with both machines but by that time had lost the market. They went out of the audio recorder business. Ampex did about the same thing with video recorders, releasing a potentially superb machine with very unreliable control circuitry. Again Ampex had originated the magnetic tape video recorder and put itself out of the business by being careless of design. Again, they fixed the problems and many VPR-3 recorders were used in the industry, particularly by editing houses, but the bad reputation Ampex got from this adventure destroyed them in that business.
I think, to be serious about it, the kind of advice given to your son is just plain wrong and is the sort of thinking done by business types who are more concerned with short term gains in the stock market than with long term profits from pleasing customers.
The basis of this thread makes it sound like Apple is doing the same thing that got Microsoft a bad reputation (and which they are still doing). One day a third competitor will enter the operating system market with something that really works and blow both Apple and Microsoft out of the water. Microsoft survives and prospers mainly because of superb marketing and lack of real competition.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA