Tag: Mac OS X

Apple’s Big Failure

Everyone who knows me, knows I love everything Macintosh, and even in the dark days of Classic MacOS, I still did not give up and praise WindowsNT as the greatest of operating systems. The truth is that Apple makes great consumer products. The iMac was about packaging and catering to the consumer and since then Apple has excelled at giving consumers what they want in nice shiny products like the iPod and MacBook. However, after being in the business world for ten years, I have picked up a thing or two about the business world and just how this particular market segment works, and I must admit that Apple just does not get business users.

When I read statements about how Apple is poised to take over and reach critical market share growth, I cannot help but think these columnists are simply deluded. Apple will never reach a major market share without giving business users the solutions that they need. As much as I love the new Black MacBook, it is not a good business solution. In the world of business, you do not buy a laptop based on what color it is or how cool it looks, you buy it because it fulfills your needs and is cheap. Toshiba, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all have business class laptops that can be had for $699. Sure these laptops are not as nice as the MacBook, but in the business world, the boss does not care. In business, the boss gets a great MacBook Pro, and the rest of his staff will have to do with Dell Latitudes.

Being more expensive is just one of the problems Apple faces in penetrating the business world. The main issue boils down to complete solutions. Business needs reliable support, planning, and software.

With Windows, you can get support everywhere and anywhere. If you run Mac OS X, most support technicians will recoil in ignorance and question why you even have a Mac. This is a huge problem for businesses who take it for granite that they can hire or farm out support to almost anyone, since everyone knows Windows. What Apple needs to do is to really offer business users separate support and asure them that they can get on-site support if they need it. This is easier said than done.

The next step is better planning. There has to be better and more frequent documentation of Mac OS X and Apple hardware. While Mac OS X gives users plenty of powerful tools like PHP, Apache, MySQL, it has also given users, programmers, and companies plenty of problems. Like the way SMB Shares work differently on each version of OS X, or the way OS X has developed with some APIs changing throughout the process. Apple needs to be consistent and help their customers plan for these changes.

Last we have software itself. Even with the abundance of OS X apps, OS X still does not have adequate business software. What Apple needs is really iOffice, a suite of applications focused at helping business users. For example, maybe Apple could take a clue from Microsoft on this one. Why not make a professional version of OS X that includes Pro versions of applications needed only for business? The issue is that Apple really has not thought about what small business users really need? Office management, accounting, scheduling, are just some of the areas that come to mind. I would think that if there was such a thing as a $600 iOffice that would handle just scheduling and simple entry accounting, that the small business market would break down the doors to switch. My own personal experience with QuickBooks was trying and I know if Apple could come up with a simplified QuickBooks they would more than save me countless hours, they would get my praises as well.

But all of this would have to mean Apple would have to change, from being the cool consumer oriented Apple to a solutions oriented company. Most of all it would mean Jobs would have to devote some actual talented people and plenty of resources to a market that would not yield immediate profits and which could possibly damage the company’s consumer popularity. I still think Apple iOffice would be a great idea and maybe perhaps Apple could actually help all us QuickBook users who have no clue what double-entry accounting is.

Filed under: AppleTagged with: , ,

WebDeveloper Toolbars II

Last month I wrote about how useful I found the Firefox Extention Web Developer, and how even Microsoft had gotten into the act with their own IE Web Developer toolbar, which was still in beta (and which was just updated on 10/31/2005). This time around I’ll point out that Apple’s Safari and Opera have web developer tools of their own.

Opera 8-9:

Web Developer Toolbar & Menu are based loosely on Chris Perderick’s Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox, and adds more features and references. You must install both the Web Developer Toolbar and Web Developer Menu. There is also a Micro Web Developer Toolbar with less features.

Safari:

In Safari’s case, I can’t find an actual toolbar, but Safari WebAdditions is a plugin which adds a menu. Safari WebAdditions enables disabling (hiding) images, showing table structure, blocking level elements (divs, paragraphs, forms), displaying diverse image properties (size, path) and links. Les Nie has made separate versions for Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4. You can download Safari WebAdditions from Les Nie’s Download Page.

Part 1 of Web Developer Toolbars covered Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Filed under: SoftwareTagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Flushing DNS Lookups

Every now and then I run into a situation where I need to clear my DNS cache. This is sometimes needed when there are negative DNS values, meaning incorrect IP addresses on my computer for certain internet sites that I want to connect to. You can use the following commands to flush DNS and see if this allows you to reach the site.

Mac OS X:

For OS X, Lookupd takes care of cached DNS entries. You will need to open a Terminal session and type the following command:

lookupd -flushcache

On Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you no longer have the lookupd command. Use the dscacheutil command instead:

dscacheutil -flushcache

Windows:

For Windows, the IPConfig utility serves as an easy way to view TCP/IP settings and as a utility to flush DNS. You will need to open up a prompt and type the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

Windows2000 & XP save negative DNS entries by default, so you might want to try disabling negative DNS caching to get a more responsive internet connection.

Microsoft has some notes on DNS settings in Windows too that you can reference.

Filed under: NetworkingTagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,