It Really Is A Strange Fruit

As readers now, the Pod is firmly in Mac-land.  But that's no excuse to pretend that Apple is some sort of paradise where everything is perfect.  We have a long-ish, proud tradition of exposing the bizarre and stupid aspects of our favorite computer/media device/telephone manufacturer.  This year's Macworld expo certainly provides us with yet another occasion for such activities. The event, formerly a showcase for the company, but soon to be an afterthought was typical of Apple's current modus operandi.  A whole lot of speculation (this time, made all the more urgent by louder-than-normal rumors of Steve Jobs' imminent death), followed by almost nothing new and some real puzzlers.

Music on iTunes is apparently losing its copy protection.  This should profoundly affect the three people that I know who actually buy music from iTunes, at least as far as thier future purchases are concerned.  iWork (which iFound to be more bother than it's really worth) and iLife get middling tweaks.  And the 17-inch macbook pro (aka the "Mercedes-Benz" of the Apple laptop line) get's the same design that the other laptops got a few months back.

This last note is where the bizarre/stupid part comes in.  The new laptop will not have an end-user removable battery.  It's a special battery that supposedly will give the machine longer time between charges (8 hours according to Apple--read 5), but when it dies you will need to take it into a mac store or send it to Apple to replace it.  Being that laptop battery issues are no stranger to the Pod, I would certainly think twice about paying for a top-of-the-line laptop without a removable battery.  I mean it's a laptop, not a cellphone.  Then again, only a company with a serious ego would make a cellphone without a removable battery.

Macs are great.  They are easily the smoothest computers around.  But don't ever forget that as a mac user, you are just as firmly subject to the whims of Apple as all of your silly, PC-bound friends are to their own particular computer Christ.