An Open Letter to Apple

Macintosh, Social, Technology Add comments

If people mention my name, Adinoto a.k.a Macnoto, they’ll have different reactions. Some people would say, this kid is really make us a lot of trouble, the other would say hey aside of him making us a lot of trouble, he really means it. Other would see me as they see ghost. Or seeing a Steve himself! In short I do have influence in the Mac community in Indonesia. Lots Apple resellers here trying to pursue me to collaborate. For sure, none of them satisfy my hunger. I want to run a big business. Apple in this case! If not sorry guys, your business offer just don’t fit my profile. I also run and own my own consulting firm. Why would I limit myself working with limited budget with you? No offense.

I did things in the past that help Apple to make inroads in Indonesia. So far, none of them works. Apple Cupertino still believes in their regional decision, and regional says, we’re not ready yet in Indonesia, Adi. Well, what could we say?

Aside to the business prospects that not work (yet) in Indonesia, I still have lots of thing in my minds about helping Apple and Mac OS X to be a better platform especially in enterprise. Before I forgot, check the list (written in random priority):

1.Bring us PUTTY, Bertrand!
Sure Apple has a built-in ssh-aware terminal, but for sure it’s no PUTTY. The best remote terminal out there (IMHO) is PUTTY. And PUTTY developer already makes the source available, and need help from Mac developer. Why don’t you give him a little help, Bertrand. And make our day.

Apple built-in terminal is not MC (midnight commander) aware. It’s difficult to work on remote machine while most of IT admin still rely on pico/nano and mc. I guess, I and thousand developers out there still love mc. (And why no built-in mc on every Mac OS X? please say no to mc Fink nor mc Darwinport).

2.Overhaul the Finder
Apple’s own Windows Explorer sibling called, the Finder. Well of course the Finder works (for some tasks), but believe me, I’ve put Mac on some of my clients and they easily lost in the Finder. The Finder is not easy enough for ordinary people. Two-panes style like Explorer would help their lives better. Of course you can manipulate or innovate to make it looks better. But please make it work for the rest of us.

3.Build Apple Global Services!
One of the things I have in mind if I have to run Apple division is to build An Apple Global Services! Goshh I’m sure it will rocks. IBM did well with their IBM Global Services, and why not Apple?? Even better Apple has their own UNIX to explore, can work with enterprise partners much better by offering this route (no more orphan Oracle on Mac OS X). Tim Cook came from Compaq to built Xserve. Xserve now still install in lowly volume on corporate space. Why? Apple still not perceive as a computer for Enterprise. It’s that simple. No matter how good and more competitive the next generation Xeon based Xserve, corporate still not see it as a solution for their business. Weird doesn’t it? No if only you know the reason. Apple perceived as a platform for creative people, and still has a problem penetrate the corporate space. Apple Global Services would certainly help corporate to change their mind.

Even better, we got lots of UNIX/Linux geeks who are willing to join the line if only Apple keen to tap this opportunity. Even in Indonesia we got tons of highly dedicated linux geeks. Just make them the offer and you’ll get an instant dirty dozen.

4.Copy the T4x Keyboard (Give us Insert Key)
I should say, Apple keyboard is one of the most convenience and consistent on the market. But I should say IBM ThinkPad’s keyboard layout work much better! Give us an Insert Key and a standard PC layout, Steve. It would ease our day. Working on remote terminal on Mac machine just add us additional problem that we not needed. Make a poll and you’ll see yourself how many switchers will find themselves in unnecessary problem that they should faces with the no right-click button on TrackPad (please please, break the button into two. We need traditional right click instead of double-tap things). It works on some software or emulation mode. Please.

5.Apple is Heading Into Wrong Direction with iWork!
Of course the Keynote’s effects awesome, but I have to admit, Apple is the kind of company that loves to oversimplify things. I’ve done some tests myself with ordinary PC users and switchers, they found that Inspector is awkward to work with since they are accustomed with Windows Office style for so long. Why don’t you at least give them an option to pick the interface they want?

6.Why setting up Postfix is So much easier using Postfix Enabler?
I know that Apple drums the song “Open Source Made Easy” all the time. Mac OS X built on the top of UNIX and Open Source applications. Mac OS X Server even bundles things in order to help administrator easily work on the things. But why I found setting up Postfix is much harder on standard Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server instead of using Postfix Enabler? I don’t have idea. So why don’t you concentrate to make the things much more easier on forthcoming OS X?

7.Give us a Built-in Squid Server (on OS X Server, or available via Download)
I worked on squid optimization lately. I use lots of hardware such as IBM, SuperMicro, and non-branded mobos. I use lots of distros to help me optimized the machine. Fedora, Slacks, Gentoo, Mandriva, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Ubuntu, and I found none of them work out the box with optimization in minds (Mandriva works with 4 processors out of the box, and high mem supports, but it dns client crashes every weeks of so on heavy loads). In short none of them satisfy me out the box with optimization and newer hardwares. Some got problems with gigs Ethernets and some behave strangely in some occasions. Don’t ask me to do kernel compilation and tweaks. I did! It would be nice if Apple got a Mac OS X Server that have a build-in Squid server with the nice interface to work with. I now even use Squidman for some squid server backup and it work nicely. Easy setup and durable. It would be better if it has a consolidate web interface instead on rely on VNC or Apple Remote Desktop for remote access.

8.Work and Enhance the Webmin
Tons of Linux and UNIX distro work out of box with plain or tarball Webmin. I mean it really works! Mac OS X is an orphan to this fancy utility. While we can make this thing works by following this instruction, I found some of the operant won’t work properly on OS X. Squid start button, and there no stop button, so on so on. Why don’t you help this developer Bertrand and make your own fancy Apple-style webmin? Ask Jamie Cameron. I’m sure he will delight.

9.How about the WebObjects? Still people remember it?
First thing I remember about NeXTStep (Mac OS X ancestor) is WebObject. It used by Toshiba and many other companies and costed 10,000 US dollar. Now it bundles on every Mac OS X Server. But how many people embrace it? Lost battle with Java and PHP, guys? Find a way to embrace it. Apple Global Services will surely be one of the solution. The other solution you should think yourself. The problem is Mac is not a major platform, so how could people remember as a solution. Got a clue?

10.Challenge me! Build an Apple Indonesia’s Office!
Why it so hard to make a decision that Apple should exist in Indonesia? Keep saying that you would work thru your retail partners in Indonesia. This is ridiculous; don’t you see how big the Indonesia is? We are bigger than US coast to coast and how many of non-Indonesian knows that some of Indonesia regions are much richer than their own countries! Some produces a million barrel oil and gold. Some are abundant resources. Do you know where now Apple retailers lies is? All retailers are mostly in Jakarta and some big cities. It is nowhere you can say already penetrate Indonesia. Way beyond!

11.Bring Us Back the PowerBook 12 successor a.k.a MacBook Pro Nano!
The MacBook is nice. It sold millions. But who want to use a joe-or-jane laptops? Nobody. Everybody purchased a MacBook. Some people want something different. Bring us back the aluminium-case MacBook Pro Nano!

12.Apple Is Not Ready For Enterprise Business If It still work this way.
You’re pretty much a Retail Company today.
I should say now that you’re pretty much a retail company. This is not very compelling in some partner’s view. Why should I sell a computer that has 10-15 dollars margin while I have to spend COGS 1,000++ and support it for a full year! (Of course your direct partner can get 100+ margin by importing stuff directly from Apple), but let’s face it, they sometime battle on the market and willing to lower their margin as low as 10-15 dollars, what about the second layers partners who got the stuffs from them? Apple’s products are one-unit package, so there’s no way to resell it as a different configuration as PC business. People check price on the web, and expect to buy the stuff lower than that. Even tough it is ridiculous, because the units have to be travels around the globe before came down here. But, even worse, new product launched and all stocks have to drop their prices. It’s not happening on PC side. You can actually reconfigure the machine to each components have their own margin.

Apple even has no or little incentive on corporate or enterprise market. Sun is the example on how they can protect their price and give the third parties a suitable margin to develop a good business.

Myself for example, just got a contract for hundreds unit of MacBooks for January deployment. It was based on my recommendation. Now I have to reconsider the plan whether I should go with Apple or PC laptop brand (plus battery spare as I owned tons of it! :P), why? Simply I have to calculate the cost should I damage myself dealing with newbie corporate to use Mac instead of using Windows they already knows! Give me an incentives Apple, or it will never work out as for other corporate users.

13.Acquire Merlin!
The nice thing about Mac platform sometime comes from third party developers. ComicLife, Encidia, lots of them and of course Merlin! Merlin is a great Project Management for Mac that Mac users lost decade ago. Microsoft Project was on Mac platform first (version 4), and now nowhere helping out Mac user work on their corporate. It has Mac in minds. It works like a Mac. It’s awesome in short. Why don’t you start thinking acquiring those great products? *Hey Merlin, give me a dime if you got acquired ok hehehe.. 😀

14.Bundle more Softwares! (I give you clue. Endicia. MySQL and Entropy PHP)
You need to bundle more software and little games if I can suggest you. Why? Because ordinary people usually laggard, some even said, hey I didn’t know that there’s a little game for Mac? *Check out there’s a lot game you can download for sure. Why not bundle it? Other thing is I found that working with MySQL and PHP on standard Mac OS X cause a little headache for a first timer. Even I encountered the problem at first. MySQL binary won’t work with PHP on the standard path that Apple defined. But it works with Entropy PHP. Why don’t bundle Entropy PHP as they comes with latest PHP and easily work with MySQL binary distribution found on

15.Why No Standard UI? A Unified Look or Brushed Metal? No standard behavior for Maximize button? Arrrggh. On Your Own Safari and iTunes?
The few things that make me wondered is how come Apple does not meet their own UI guidance they wrote for developers? Finder has Brushed Metal, while now iTunes comes with Unified Look. Even worse, the Safari does not have Maximize button? I can’t maximize the Safari windows by clicking the green button that it should to? That’s why I prefer Camino over Safari. Camino works like Apple’s Mail. Come on Apple, makes up your mind.

16.Build iChat that also works with other IM like Adium!
iChat is good if I have to work from some of client site. They blocked GAIM and of course Adium won’t work. So I’ll use iChat protocol (read: I actually run Adium but using my iChat account), why? Simply because of Adium has a tab chat. Now the forthcoming iChat will sports tab chat, too. But the problem is you can’t define on what people use for their IM. Some has Yahoo, Singapore and some countries has strong MSN based chat. So we need an open chat client. If you want iChat would be a preferred chat client you should let iChat able to add other protocols as Adium does.

Our hope in seeing Adium will has a video chat would never come true, since we are all knows that is a corporate conspiracy out there, no support for gaim-vv or others, as commercial company would like to keep people in blindness.

17.Bundle SnapzPro. Or Acquire AmbrosiaSW!
If you’ve seen SnapzPro maybe some of you will remember the Lotus ScreenCam. It was the best screen recorder out there. Circa 1997. It worked well on Windows 95, then 98, but Microsoft keep find a way to make it work like a dog on their new release of Windows. It stopped working on Windows 2000, until Lotus gave up the product. De ja vu doesn’t it, remember Lotus-1-2-3 version 5 hard to install on MS-DOS 5 😀

SnapzPro is the great thing ever comes to Mac screen recording. It will use by millions of people daily if they comes as a standard. And I know, Andrew Welch is one of the person that dedicate his life on Mac platform. He even built his own Sound studio to produce a great mac specific utility.

18.Bring Back The Fun Steve, Bring Back the Sound and Theme!
Would you use a same dress everyday? No, of course. Even Steve stops using the same black-turtleneck in his keynotes. People want customization, Steve. It was there on Mac OS 9, but I still found none on Mac OS X, except what Unsanity brings to the crowd. I wrote this thing once, and I guess you should think it over.

19.Build Your Software Business!!
One thing I have in mind if I have to think about Apple is.. Apple is now pretty much a retail company. You sell iPods. More iPods. Next iPhone. Next iTV. Next what? While you actually produce decent softwares like Mac OS X, FinalCut Studio, iLife and iWork, it actually never sells well. Why? Because of your business today is never ready for a software business. Microsoft relies heavily on software business. They have reps office everywhere, strong legal and strong government relationship. You? Never. Not yet. That’s why you’re never ready to license your hardware business. Because of everybody will rip your softwares. Time to think it about it Steve. It’s Time.

20.License the Board. My idea of $199 board + pro, $399 Dual Pro + Board Still Valid!!
I talked to some of Apple executives on US$199 board + processor G4 and $399 board + dual G4 sometime ago. You said, you have other plan, then came up with Mac mini. Of course Mini is a compelling offers as it the only sub $1,000 Mac people can buy. But let’s face it. Let’s face consumer’s behavior. How many Mac mini did you sell? It’s not much. Why? Again, because of people need personalization Steve. They need customization. Mac mini won’t fit everybody’s profile. You need to offer them a barebone machine that will allow them to play with Mac. The cheapest way to bring to the party is to bring to live the Board+Pro project. BYOCHC. (Bring Your Own Casing Harddisk and CD-ROM)! Believe me guys; people would embrace the new Mac.

Well that’s for today. Let’s the crowd talks. Well some people maybe will grab the idea and think it as his own. Well just don’t forget if you see one, that you read it here first 😀 hehehe. Do you think that I take the whole time to think about it? No. It took me only 2 hours of my time writing those things. Why? Because I live breathe Apple. I got faith in you, Apple. Now you can imagine what this cowboy can bring to the party if I’m part of the legion.

Call me Steve at +62 855 218 1888. And let’s discuss further!

56 Responses to “An Open Letter to Apple”

  1. kemal Says:

    wah, kalo saya sih word processing & spreadsheet pake Open Office atuh..enteng, ga kayak MS Office for Mac, lambat (ane pernah mikir, ini word processing app ato image processing sih?)..tapi saya cuma butuh satu nih..

    C++ IDE yang lebih bagus dari Xcode dan sudah bundlingan sama compilernya!

  2. Malinda Legro Says:

    hmmm…wow… good link this is all articles good

  3. wifirobin Says:

    I had a Samsung BDP4600, costing twice as much, that I returned to the factory once and worked intermittently since receipt of it over a year ago. I disposed of it! This unit boots MUCH faster and has performed flawlessly since receipt!

  4. pakar seo indonesia Says:

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think
    I would never understand. It seems too complicated
    and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post,
    I will try to get the hang of it!

  5. deni Says:

    wow! pikiran yang menarik Mas… apple sepertinya memang berusaha untuk mencari medan pertempuran yang lain: “end user” dan kill the pro soft and product… lihat aja final cut pro jadi punya UI yang ga lagi garang, mac pro ga bisa di “custom” lagi… hehe… X Serve udah jadi legenda.. mac mini server bentar lagi mo….

    kenapa end user? karena end user ini banyak banget di banding developer, geek dan sebangsanya (nature nya gitu)… dapet dulu uang banyak dan terus menguasai pasar end user… biarkan kaum yang sedikit lama kelamaan hanya gunain platform tertentu… tetep aja gue lebih kaya (apple said… worth 200 billion cash) … and then, dikit-dikit mulai masuk ke wilayah pro and bussiness… tapi melalui device end user yang lagi trend (iOS) dengan musuh awal mereka IBM… sedikit demi sedikit bunuh pangsa pasar desktop… dengan impian post pc era (entah kapan…) …. meyakinkan publik bahwa desktop bukan lagi personal computer yang “asyik” digunakan dan it just work…

    coba langsung kirim ke t*** … orang kemaren ada yang ngadu beats gara2 bocel sedikit … apple representatif nya langsung nelpon ke kita apalagi klo surat begini.. mereka bisa kirim agen… hahahaha… keep posting ya… oh ya thanks juga kiriman donatnya… i value it…

  6. ??????? Says:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should publish more on this subject, it may
    not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t talk about
    these issues. To the next! Kind regards!!

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