Apple Shafts America; or, The Computer For the Rich of Us

Author: cs4911ay@unm-cvax.UUCP
Date: 18 Sep 1984 1:21 pm

[It is pitch black.  You are likely to be eaten by a -- ]

       The following is a massive diatribe levelled at Steve Jobs and his
band of merry highwaymen down in Cupertino.  Apple fans with sensitive  
constitutions, consider yourselves warned.

       I just received news concerning the Fat Mac, of which we have all
heard so much: the Macintosh, with 512K.  It has been released and is  
on its way, delivery date approximately three weeks (or thereabouts;
delivery dates haven't been Apple's strong point lately).

       I also received news about its price.

       Brace yourselves.

       $995.  Yes, you read right: that's nine hundred ninety-five big ones,
to be removed deftly from your wallet and placed just as deftly into theirs.
All that on top of the $2495 (or $2195, if you happened to get it in one
of the recent sales that have started to spring up here and there) which all
us Macfans have already shelled out.

       [Background:  My friends and I who purchased Macs are not the
businessmen-types that the Mac seems to be aimed at.  We are but simple
college students, not fortunate enough (or rich enough, as the case may be)
to attend one of the schools in the Apple University Consortium, and get
our Macs for dirt cheap.  No, we go to the University of New Mexico, in
the Land of Enchantment (Land of Enchantment? You've got to be kidding.
Do you know what it feels like to live in one of the few places in the  
civilized world where you can still catch the bubonic plague?  The PLAGUE,
for God's sake!!!).  Therefore, we had to spring for the big bucks, and  
don't get off on this account.  OK, back to righteous indignation.]

       They have got to be kidding!  When the Mac was first announced, the
price was $1995; not bad, considering what you get in a Mac.  Then, when it
finally saw the light of day, filtered through display windows, the price
had somehow escalated to $2495 -- for the bare-bones system, of course.
Steep, but still within the range of those of us fortunate enough to have
that kind of cash handy or to have a sympathetic loan officer.  This, of  
course, was the 128K Mac; the fully-realized Mac was on its way, by
the end of the year, just hang on, we'll get it to you, 512K, Real Soon  
Now, wow, gosh ...

       Well, they sure got it to us, all right.  For the measly sum of  
damn near a thousand bucks extra, we plebes can get ourselves the system
that should have come out in the first place.  So now Apple has us all
over a barrel.  We all sprung our $2995 for the Mac and the printer, and  
shortly afterwards realized that the thing was absolutely useless without  
the second disk drive.  So, another $495 went down the drain.  Next comes  
the realization that with the basic 128K, the user is left with too little  
memory to accomplish anything significant.  So, another $995 down the tubes.
Thus Steve Jobs' vision of the computer that anyone can use has become the  
computer that no one can afford, because a workable system sells for $4485.  
What a bargain!  

       Looks like Steve & Co. are standing by to rake in the big bucks; The
Rest of Us can all bend over and grab our ankles.  It's coming in dry, folks;
no Vaseline on this one.

       Now, damn it, I really like the Mac -- I really do.  It's got a few
rough spots, but nothing a little software and minor hardware changes  
couldn't fix.  That's what the Fat Mac was supposed to be all about, at least
as far as hardware went.  I, personally, wouldn't own anything else, certainly
not another faceless, amorphous blob from the IBM PC CloneMakers.  All in all,
I think it's the best thing to hit the market since -- well, since the
Apple II.  And buying Apple is like buying Hewlett-Packard: once you buy one,
you tend to stick with it.  At least, I do, and I'm sure there's a lot of
people out there like me.

       But pulling little stunts like this is not going to earn old Stevie
Boy any new friends.  I can hear Jerry Pournelle cackling away in the  
depths of Chaos Manor now, chortling, "I told you so!"  Oh, sure, eventually
the price of the changeover will probably drop -- maybe to $500.  The point
is, however, that it shouldn't have to.  $500 is the price they should be
charging now -- and even that's excessive.  They should properly be giving
the damn thing away for the price of labor, since the price hike in the  
beginning covers what the upgrade should be costing now.  But they won't.
And by delivering yet another shaft to the long-suffering-but-loyal followers
of the Macintosh, Apple has shown that, in the end, they're not that much
different from any other computer company, that they don't really give a
damn about the end-user, and that the final arbiter is, as we all suspected
but hoped against hope was not true, the bottom line on the ledger books.

       I guess 1984 is a little more like _1984_ than we might've hoped.

       From The Rest of Us to Apple: one extremely loud and heartfelt Bronx  


Mike Conley @ University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.


Apple Shafts America; or, The Computer For the Rich of…
118 Sep 1984 1:21 pmcs4911ay@unm-cvax.UUCP
Apple Shafts America; or, The Comput
218 Sep 1984 10:58 pm|- spector@acf4.UUCP
320 Sep 1984 11:08 am|  \ Mike Ward
423 Sep 1984 9:28 am|     \ John Bass
Apple Shafts America; or, The Computer For the Rich of…
520 Sep 1984 11:43 am|- Sunny Kirsten
721 Sep 1984 12:44 pm|  |- Michael Eve
822 Sep 1984 11:55 pm|  |  |- Mike Ward
924 Sep 1984 1:05 am|  |  \ A.Freed
1021 Sep 1984 11:57 pm|  \ Mike Ward
1122 Sep 1984 11:53 am|     |- ron@brl-tgr.ARPA (Ron Na…
1224 Sep 1984 11:36 am|     |- DJ Molny
1325 Sep 1984 11:21 pm|     |  \ Mike Ward
1424 Sep 1984 4:01 pm|     |- Ray Simard
Apple. The computer company that does not shaft USA
1525 Sep 1984 3:17 am|     |  \ Orion The Hunter
Apple Shafts America; or, The Computer For the Rich of…
1625 Sep 1984 3:07 am|     \ Orion The Hunter
1720 Sep 1984 1:52 pm|- Kenton Lee
1821 Sep 1984 1:04 pm|  \ Andrew T. Schnable
1921 Sep 1984 6:05 pm|     |- Andrew Koenig
2026 Sep 1984 7:58 pm|     |  \ Russell Shilling
2103 Oct 1984 7:25 am|     |     \ Tom Haapanen [DCS]
2222 Sep 1984 7:19 am|     \ gwyn@brl-tgr.ARPA (Doug …
2321 Sep 1984 9:20 am|- Mike Nelson
2423 Sep 1984 8:54 am|- John Bass
2524 Sep 1984 3:14 am|  |- Phil Ngai
2624 Sep 1984 12:21 pm|  |- Toby Farrand
Apple Cores America
2724 Sep 1984 10:29 pm|  |  \ John Gilmore
Apple Shafts America; or, The Computer For the Rich of…
2826 Sep 1984 12:12 pm|  \ Wayne Knapp
2928 Sep 1984 7:53 am|     |- John Bass
3028 Sep 1984 6:22 pm|     \ hlb@loral.UUCP
3124 Sep 1984 3:01 pm|- Ray Simard
$995 is a rediculously low price for the memory upgrade
3228 Sep 1984 12:00 am|  \ Brad Templeton
3328 Sep 1984 8:28 pm|     \ Jan Gray
3403 Oct 1984 9:34 am|        \ Bernie Roehl
3515 Oct 1984 10:37 pm|           \ Jonathan Shapiro
Apple Shafts America; or, The Comput
3624 Sep 1984 3:55 pm\ spector@acf4.UUCP