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July 17, 2007 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Maddox on iPhone
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (92 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not funny. Maddox used to be funny.
posted by sveskemus at 8:03 AM on July 17, 2007


It's been quite awhile since Maddox was funny.
posted by Industrial PhD at 8:05 AM on July 17, 2007


Funny. Maddox is used to being funny.
posted by davey_darling at 8:06 AM on July 17, 2007


Quite. Maddox is funny awhile.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:08 AM on July 17, 2007


No, actually, this is pretty funny. I particularly enjoyed his use of Shaft as well his reference to L'Hôpital's rule. I believe he presented his case clearly and persuasively, with just the right number of citations to pirates and celebrity sexual arousal vis-a-vis SSH.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:09 AM on July 17, 2007 [5 favorites]


Fine. I laughed. +1.
posted by spoobnooble at 8:12 AM on July 17, 2007


Funny. Even very funny.
posted by MarshallPoe at 8:13 AM on July 17, 2007


So will this e70 work on Verizon then?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:14 AM on July 17, 2007


I have an SPV M3100 that does all sorts of things an iPhone won't do, as well.

Do I get a prize? No?

Well, I don't need a fucking prize. I've got an SPV M3100.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:14 AM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know what rules over all of the cell phones in existence? Not having a cell phone. Toss *that* salad y'all!
posted by NoMich at 8:18 AM on July 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


extremely funny. anyone who doesn't think so must be regretting their $600 purchase.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 8:18 AM on July 17, 2007


I've got a Subaru Legacy L station wagon. Been driving it for years. I'm pretty happy with it. It can do all kinds of things the iPhone can't do.

But I'm not making crap animated GIFs and dick jokes about it, because they would be only slightly more funny than this, which means it still wouldn't be funny.
posted by ardgedee at 8:20 AM on July 17, 2007


Wicked funny. Maddox is still funny.

I considered an E70. Sweet machine, beautiful keyboard and screen. Ended up with the n800, which does everything an iPhone can do except make cell calls, for which my awesomely rugged Nokia 3160 works perfectly. But if you want an actual keyboard and a phone as opposed to a fully capable pocket computer, the E70 rocks.

You couldn't give me an iPhone right now, if I had to pay AT&T for the privilege of letting them record my calls for the NSA, anyway.
posted by spitbull at 8:23 AM on July 17, 2007


extremely funny. anyone who doesn't think so must be regretting their $600 purchase

It's not available here yet, unfortunately, so no.
posted by sveskemus at 8:27 AM on July 17, 2007


Maddox is not funny, at least in this instance. Venom, profanity, and hyperbole is not funny unless it's done with panache. No panache here. Though, the E70 is one cocksuckingly fantastic fucking phone.
posted by absalom at 8:28 AM on July 17, 2007


This post was deleted for the following reason: maddox? really?
posted by prostyle at 8:32 AM on July 17, 2007 [7 favorites]


it'll stick around because it passes the iPhone test.
posted by boo_radley at 8:33 AM on July 17, 2007


It's sad that I first thought this was Angelina Jolie's son with an iPhone. I need to step away from "oh no they didn't."
posted by spec80 at 8:35 AM on July 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


I didn't even remember what kind of phone I had until I just looked at it. I could have sworn that I had an audiovox but it seems to be an LG. I can use it to call people and they can call me. I think that it has some sort of texting ability and maybe even some sort of internet features but I've never bothered to find out.
posted by octothorpe at 8:35 AM on July 17, 2007


maddox has more panache than absalom does.
posted by shmegegge at 8:39 AM on July 17, 2007


Funny Funny. Not Maddox used to be.
posted by subaruwrx at 8:43 AM on July 17, 2007


I liked the shaft bit.
posted by OmieWise at 8:56 AM on July 17, 2007


THANK YOU, prostyle.
posted by ORthey at 9:01 AM on July 17, 2007


I suspect that most people who think Maddox isn't funny anymore never really thought Maddox was funny in the first place but felt obliged to state they thought he was funny so that they could feel better about themselves.

I divide the world into three types of people using the Bob Saget gauge:

Type A: People who thought Bob Saget was hilarious in Full House & America's Funniest Home Videos

Type B: People who think Bob Saget's stand up material is hilarious

Type C: People who hate Bob Saget's comedy period

While the majority of folks would outwardly claim to be Type C, in reality they are either a Type A or Type B.

And that's where my train of thought ended. Just there.
posted by analogue at 9:06 AM on July 17, 2007


I think people who rushed out to buy an iPhone are funny.
posted by Joeforking at 9:12 AM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


This Maddox, it rants and bitches and fails to be funny once every 4 months?
posted by Mikey-San at 9:25 AM on July 17, 2007


Maddox? Really?
Tired/ Boring/ Unfunny
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 9:26 AM on July 17, 2007


He sure took a lot of verbiage to basically say "your favorite smartphone sucks". I just can't get that worked up about these things.
posted by TedW at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2007


Not funny, Maddox phoned this one in.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:35 AM on July 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


As was proven with absolute certainty in the Ralph/Viking post, MeFi members have no sense of humor.
posted by Muddler at 9:36 AM on July 17, 2007


Read his posts on critique of children's art and then skip the rest.
posted by junesix at 9:38 AM on July 17, 2007


I suspect that most people who think Maddox isn't funny anymore never really thought Maddox was funny in the first place but felt obliged to state they thought he was funny so that they could feel better about themselves.

I don't know who the hell Maddox is and I've never thought that white (much less rainbow) text on a black background was funny, except in extreme irony.
posted by DU at 9:47 AM on July 17, 2007


I liked it. I always enjoy Maddox. His kind of hyperbole must appeal to my warped sense of humor.

That, and nobody bought me an iphone.
posted by misha at 9:49 AM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


"The website you are trying to access has been blocked by the Barracuda Web Filter because it is in the Tasteless & Offensive category."

Can't really argue with that.
posted by graymouser at 9:50 AM on July 17, 2007


Pepsi brown.
posted by srboisvert at 9:59 AM on July 17, 2007


Maddox doesn't give a flying fucking shit whether you find him funny or not. Neither does the iPhone.
posted by spicynuts at 10:13 AM on July 17, 2007


I thought it was funny, but I still like the iPhone.

Moreover, I like my Nokia 2128i even more. It has one key feature I use more than I would anything on these phones: a built in flashlight.
posted by Arturus at 10:15 AM on July 17, 2007


I'm not an Apple fanatic, but anyone who thinks the iPod is just a hard drive that plays mp3s doesn't know much about interface design and why it's important.
posted by QuietDesperation at 10:18 AM on July 17, 2007


It's sad that I first thought this was Angelina Jolie's son with an iPhone.

It's even sadder that I looked at this and thought, "Huh, isn't Lester Maddox dead??" Sad, and a sign of how very old I am.

I found the piece amusing, but then I am easily amused.
posted by Kat Allison at 10:19 AM on July 17, 2007


I found it extremely funny.
posted by RenMan at 10:22 AM on July 17, 2007


I'm not an Apple fanatic, but anyone who thinks the iPod is just a hard drive that plays mp3s doesn't know much about interface design and why it's important.

Actually, the touch wheel is one of the worst things about the ipod. Its neat when you first use it, but actually trying to select things with it is a pain in the ass unless you are staring at the thing the whole time. Hey, its sorta like an iPhone in that way.

(I used an ipod for two years, just switched to a Zune. Love the hardware, but the syncing software is balls.)
posted by hellphish at 10:34 AM on July 17, 2007


I'm not an Apple fanatic, but anyone who thinks the iPod is just a hard drive that plays mp3s doesn't know much about interface design and why it's important.

Agreed. I love my iPhone, and not for what it does as much as HOW it does it. Also, free software updates are going to add a bunch of those "missing" features shortly anyway.

It was still mildly amusing, I suppose.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:34 AM on July 17, 2007


I got an iPhone for free. Plus one year of free service. I can't complain about that. Should I switch back to a Nokia?

What?

Sorry I couldn't hear you? No. My iPhone works fine.

It's that I can't understand you with my thick purple veiny cock in your mouth.

Hey. Was that funny? Will somebody link to me now? No? Oh. I get it. I'M SUPPOSED TO CAPS LOCK AND BOLD!!!!!
posted by tkchrist at 10:35 AM on July 17, 2007


...anyone who thinks the iPod is just a hard drive that plays mp3s doesn't know much about interface design and why it's important.
There's a certain class of engineers, who are very smart, clever, and analytical, but seem to lack the part of brain that can judge interfaces. Maybe it's because they can't make checklists about interfaces, or maybe they think human-computer interfaces are completely non-measurable and thus irrelevant. Maybe they had that part of the brain at birth, but shut it off in order to get where they are; becoming an engineer requires learning many difficult mental tools, and these are often fitted onto the brain through discipline and pain. Computer tools and gadgets fit into this same category of tools; why shouldn't they be difficult and complex. What benefit is ease of use? Anyone who would complain or not devote the time to learning the tool is a wimp/stupid/undeserving!

This is why no computer programmer should be allowed to touch user interfaces unless they have shown that they can be humble regarding human factors. Since we don't have a complete theoretical framework for reasoning about and designing user interface, we must use the objective function of how long it takes the general population to perform a task. Engineers like to optimize for the case of humans that are like them, but tend to ignore the average case. When a product is made for the general population, this is less than optimal.

So this is really just a long, overly-serious explanation of why I can't find this Maddox post funny. His humor requires identifying with him, and feeling superior to whatever he's mocking. Here, I just pity him because he's missing the UI part of his brain, and he will probably never understand.
posted by Llama-Lime at 10:46 AM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


shmegegge : You are correct, and I really wish he'd used some of it.

I'm actually more of a chutzpah man, myself.
posted by absalom at 10:47 AM on July 17, 2007


Maddox is right, you're all wrong.
This isn't about user-interface design at all.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:56 AM on July 17, 2007


I don't think Maddox stopped being funny, I just stopped being fourteen.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:57 AM on July 17, 2007 [6 favorites]


spec80, i thought the exact same thing. Maybe we should form some celeb gossip blog withdrawal group?
posted by ukdanae at 11:00 AM on July 17, 2007


Hey. Was that funny? Will somebody link to me now? No? Oh. I get it. I'M SUPPOSED TO CAPS LOCK AND BOLD!!!!!

You're missing the all-important animated gifs.

There's a certain class of engineers, who are very smart, clever, and analytical, but seem to lack the part of brain that can judge interfaces.

No, they simply measure the utility of an interface by how wel it works for them, just like everybody else outside the field of interface design.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:16 AM on July 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


So this is really just a long, overly-serious explanation of why I can't find this Maddox post funny. His humor requires identifying with him, and feeling superior to whatever he's mocking. Here, I just pity him because he's missing the UI part of his brain, and he will probably never understand.

I guess reading comprehension is above most engineering types too. His main complaint is with function, not UI. If you'd like to argue the touch-screen keypad is more efficient than the 60wpm some button-texters are capable of, that's your thing.
posted by Mach3avelli at 11:21 AM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here, I just pity him because he's missing the UI part of his brain, and he will probably never understand.
So you disagree with his points regarding tactile feedback and ease of typing? The UI parts of his brain seem to be working just fine.
posted by pantsrobot at 11:43 AM on July 17, 2007


I thought he was dead.
posted by klangklangston at 11:48 AM on July 17, 2007


His main complaint is with function, not UI.
You can't have functionality without UI, just as you can't have a communication channel without an encoding. If the encoding sucks, so does the communication channel. It's not hard for an encoding to be so bad that no communication is possible at all. That is the state of most cutting-edge consumer gadgetry: the UI is so bad that there is essentially no functionality for most people.

I totally understand that these devices work very well for people with a lot of time to devote to them, or enough relevant experience such that the time commitment is small. Maybe I've just encountered too many people defending crappy interfaces, who refuse to recognize the UI as anything other than a waste of time, and maybe that's why I can't sympathize with Maddox's complaints.
posted by Llama-Lime at 11:49 AM on July 17, 2007


But he's not knocking the UI, he's knocking the function.

I feel like we're two cars on the same turnabout, so we'll just have to agree to disagree here.
posted by Mach3avelli at 11:56 AM on July 17, 2007


Man, talk about over thinking a plate of beans.

It's maddox. He's an asshole, on purpose. What, did you expect him to like the iPhone?
posted by fungible at 12:12 PM on July 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


Llama-Lime: When, oh when will these blasted software engineers like Maddox realize that having to press nine tactile-response-free "buttons" just to make an ellipsis is more optimal for the general population than pressing a period key three times without obscuring the screen!
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:21 PM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's an asshole, on purpose. What, did you expect him to like the iPhone?

Around these parts, if you like an Apple product, you would be considered to be an asshole anyway.

It would be a tough spot for Maddox to be in, except he would be an asshole in either case, which would in all likelihood suit him just dandy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:41 PM on July 17, 2007


just switched to a Zune

That's funnier than the entire maddox article.
posted by justgary at 12:45 PM on July 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


One thing I learned from reading this: the iphone has the full-stop behind a fucking shift function. What the hell, Apple? I know most people writing text messages/e-mails have given up on proper punctuation, grammar and legibility but damn.

Full disclaimer: I like my ipod and I like Maddox.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:55 PM on July 17, 2007


having to press nine tactile-response-free "buttons" just to make an ellipsis

unless he was being hyperbolic, that's just ridiculous. you have to do no such thing to make an ellipsis. one extra keystroke is all it takes.

attention iphone critics: a list of "features" does not a good product make.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:12 PM on July 17, 2007


I fucking hate my Nokia N70. Piece of slow-arse toss. This is quite funny but I still want a properly designed phone. Maybe an iPhone next spring...
posted by i_cola at 1:22 PM on July 17, 2007


Apparently, you can type a period with just one tap.
posted by sveskemus at 1:27 PM on July 17, 2007


Metafilter: We will not only stomp your colon, but the colons of distant relatives of the human species such as lagomorphs, and hypothetical colons of children you haven't even had yet.

(PS- I don't really think rabbit punches are fair, BTW.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2007


the part with the sine x over x... was pretty funny.

Maddox's humor is usually hit-and-miss, but it has its place.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 2:12 PM on July 17, 2007


I'm not trying to say that the iPhone is without major flaws or that it wasn't completely overhyped. (Double negatives, bitches!) It's just that I couldn't concentrate on the funny because of the thunderous whooshing sound as the point sailed over Maddox's head. Perhaps I shouldn't have said that anybody was missing part of their brain, that sounds kind of trollish to me now. I simply meant that I've never seen it successfully explained to an engineer who didn't already understand.
posted by Llama-Lime at 2:17 PM on July 17, 2007


I see. He hates it becuase he can't text message.

Okay. Valid I suppose.

I never have nor will I ever text. Me not being a fifteen year old Japanese girl and all (But, oh, how I have tried). So for me it's not a problem.

The iPhone does everything I want very well. Seeing as I got it free I can put up with all the flaws. Most of which are software related and easily fixable.

He wasn't very funny, though. And I laugh at anything. I can watch an entire hour of Benny Hill slapping that old bald guy on the head and become hypoxic.
posted by tkchrist at 2:19 PM on July 17, 2007


ukdanae: "i thought the exact same thing. Maybe we should form some celeb gossip blog withdrawal group?"

That would be as futile for me as sending Blohan to rehab and then partying in Vegas... oh wait...

I am too entrenched. Save yourself.
posted by spec80 at 2:28 PM on July 17, 2007


Usually I find this Maddox kind of think kind of tedious. Maybe I'm just tired, but I started laughing out loud. It's just so fucking over the top.

Though the very idea of getting Madonna "moist" kind of makes me shudder....
posted by lodurr at 2:40 PM on July 17, 2007


lodurr, that would be Scarlett Johansson (though I, too, thought it was Madonna at first blush).
posted by retronic at 2:54 PM on July 17, 2007


I don't think Madonna's blushed in about forty years.
posted by speedo at 3:01 PM on July 17, 2007


I laughed. Not the funniest thing I've ever read but certainly the funniest thing that's happened at work all day...and then I caught up on all the crap I'd missed since I stopped reading Maddox because he updates so damned infrequently.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:13 PM on July 17, 2007


It's my understanding that the iphone CAN text. In fact, I used my friend's to text one of her contacts just the other day. Sure it looks like ichat, but I believe it's still sms. is there something I'm not getting?
posted by shmegegge at 3:15 PM on July 17, 2007


He says "instant message", not "text message". IM != text message.
posted by threetoed at 3:37 PM on July 17, 2007


It's my understanding that the iphone CAN text.

You can send/receive SMS, but not MMS. There are no IM clients on the iPhone, either, although there are some web-based IM clients that may work with the iPhone - not meebo apparently, though.

The iPhone does everything I want very well. Seeing as I got it free I can put up with all the flaws.

Would you pay $600 for it? Because most people don't get them for free.

attention iphone critics: a list of "features" does not a good product make.

Nor does a lack of features a good product make. For $600, I would expect a lot more than what you get with the iPhone.

You can't have functionality without UI

No, but you can criticize the functionality (or lack thereof) without discussing the UI. The iPhone interface is slick - very slick, I think - but there's just not a whole lot of "there" there.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:41 PM on July 17, 2007


He says "instant message", not "text message". IM != text message.

and therein lay my confusion. thankee.
posted by shmegegge at 3:51 PM on July 17, 2007


I never have nor will I ever text. Me not being a fifteen year old Japanese girl and all.

Yes, well, there are a few nations and generations of people that might want to be told that. Here in Europe text messages are an extremely cheap way of communicating. Without it, I doubt I'd communicate as much to most of my family and friends who live in two different countries from where I am. Hell, my grandmother uses text messages. Not that I'm disagreeing with your points as such (and I'm glad to see you can add a full-stop with a single button press), but to assume your own phone-using habits are universal is being deliberately obtuse. Then again, when it comes to mobile phone usage, America is pretty much in the dark ages. Almost all of the people I know (in 4 countries) have a landline simply for xDSl connections these days. A mobile phone is very rarely simply a portable phone anymore.

From the wiki:
Today text messaging is the most widely used mobile data service on the planet, with 72% of all mobile phone users worldwide or 1.9 Billion out of 2.7 Billion phone subscribers at end of 2006 being active users of the Short Message Service (SMS). In countries like Finland, Sweden and Norway over 90% of the population use SMS. The European average is about 85% and North America is rapidly catching up with over 40% active users of SMS by end of 2006.

Yes, I take this quite personally. In Finland we're indoctrinated to obey the whims of Nokia from an early age (though I still remember when they were known for making rubber boots and tyres).
posted by slimepuppy at 4:08 PM on July 17, 2007


I love Apple. I love Macs. I'm typing this on my Macbook Pro. I have an Ipod Shuffle. And if someone gave me an Iphone, I would shower him with shameless, slavish adoration, and sing its praises all over the known universe.

But I still thought it was funny. Because, really, if you charge more than anyone else charges for a product, people expect that product to seriously kick ass. And the fact that (no matter how much you like your Iphone, you have to admit this) it doesn't kick serious ass all over the place makes me happy in a smug, gloating, sour-grapes way, okay?

Yes, that makes me juvenile and petty. Tell me something I didn't know.
posted by misha at 4:17 PM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


He says "instant message", not "text message". IM != text message.

Oh. I won't ever do that either.
posted by tkchrist at 4:22 PM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, that makes me juvenile and petty.

Nooo. Your not juvenile and petty. Your juvenile and PRETTY.

(blushes)
posted by tkchrist at 4:24 PM on July 17, 2007


Then again, when it comes to mobile phone usage, America is pretty much in the dark ages.

We prefer to think of it as the Absence of Light Ages. You all need those gadgets and gimmicks becuase you can't have guns to shoot each other.

For the life of me I can't fathom why I need so many options to communicate to people. I'm working hard to limit the options I already have.
posted by tkchrist at 4:32 PM on July 17, 2007


Oh. I won't ever do that either.

Lots of people do, though. It also seems like a curious omission on a data device. Personally, not having an instant messaging client of my choosing, with no locking in to a specific network like iChat (iChat is garbage for Google Talk, in my experience), is a dealbreaker.

Then again, I don't know all that much about wireless technology. Is it true that the iPhone can only handle data or voice, not both at the same time? I thought I read that somewhere. Perhaps Apple will bundle IM when the 3G refresh rolls out.
posted by threetoed at 5:25 PM on July 17, 2007


Count me in, spec80 and ukdanae.

I thought it was kinda funny, though. Then again I used to think his Crappy Kids Art thing was hilarious, and I just reread it and barely cracked a smile. Except for the Rachel/racist thing - that still gets me.
posted by naoko at 7:30 PM on July 17, 2007


For the life of me I can't fathom why I need so many options to communicate to people. I'm working hard to limit the options I already have.

Many people use SMS exactly for that reason - as a substitute for more intrusive communication.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:52 PM on July 17, 2007


Thank god, I was beginning to think I'd actually have to check massively popular websites by myself!
posted by oxford blue at 9:38 PM on July 17, 2007


I never have nor will I ever text.

You too will convert. It is inevitable. You will be assimilated.

There are times that text messaging is simply indispensable.

My wife was at the airport once and it was so noisy no matter how loudly she talked I could not hear a damn word she was saying, and it was something important I had to know.

So, hung up on her and text her, and she text me back.

Simply, fast, easy, and it defeated the insurmountable environmental problem we were facing.

It's kinda like sex. Once you break your texting Hymen, it gets much easier. C'mon tkchrist, email me your number and I'll break you in nice and gentle. It's okay, don't be afraid. Shhh, shhhh. Just relax.

Also, for the iPhone "haters" out there, unless you have actually used one and spent some significant time with it, you don't know what you are talking about. It's pretty clear Maddox didnt' spend any time with a real iPhone. I doubt he's even seen one.

I stood in line and got my wife one that fateful Friday. Of course, living in the sticks I only had to stand in line about an hour. The phone works exactly as advertised. It is so intuitive and simple that there is not even an instruction book. Anything you might not pick up on intuitively (like the swiping for delete) you learn in the little 5 min video on their site.

Basically, the phone has a 15 minute learning curve for the non-technologically advanced, and an almost 0 learning curve for the true geeks and nerds.

The screen is simply beautiful. It does not even look "real" when you hold it. The unit seems very well made, has the right heft in your hand, and as I said before, the greatest praise I can give it is that it works exactly as advertised. No muss, no fuss, easy, first time, every time.

The integration with Google Maps is the killer app, and it works just like it did in the demos. Extremely intuitive and efficient.

Or you walk into a coffee shop with free wi-fi, and the phone automatically notices, builds a connection, and then is ready for the data. You either do nothing, or click one "ok" button, depending on if the connection is "new" to you or not.

Yes it is expensive. Sometimes good things cost more than shitty things. Is the iPhone 5 times better than some of the old LGs or Samsung $99 phones I've had in the past? No. It is 20 times better. Maybe 50 times better.

The only reason I've not bought one for myself is because I have become hooked on my Treo 700w's ability to wirelessly sync with my Outlook at anytime. My phone is primarily a business tool, and having had that functionality I just don't think I can do without it. The iPhone, unless I have missed something, has to sync with Outlook via the cradle.

If they get over the air syncing with Outlook, I will buy an iPhone for myself that same day. I will tell you there have been several instances already where I wished I had my wife's iPhone with me instead of my Treo.

Disclaimer: I am not an Apple evangelist. The iPhone is our household's first Apple purchase (I have an iRiver CLIX for mp3, and all 4 of our computers are PC). So I'm not an Apple fanboi, I'm just a very satisfied customer.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:53 AM on July 18, 2007


Sometimes good things cost more than shitty things.

And sometimes people avoid excluding the middle by lumping things into binary bins like "iPhone" and "shitty things".

Simply, fast, easy, and it defeated the insurmountable environmental problem we were facing.

Texting is 'simple, fast, easy' if you have experience using the numeric pad to text with, like my stepkids, who send an average of one text message every 90 waking seconds that they're not explicitly barred from doing so, such as while working their cash registers.

But I digress. Texting on a numeric pad phone is easy if you're experienced at texting on a numeric pad phone, which you get to be if you have an incentive to do so -- such as the incentive you have if texting is useful to you for business or social reasons. It's not, either, to most adult Americans.

Texting on an iPhone would, in principle, be easier. But while I haven't held one, I did make the effort to draw a picture of one and test how easy it would be to fit my fingers on the iPhone's QWERTY. It wouldn't be. Hell, I can barely work the buttons on a Treo, and I have to use my fingernails for that.

This isn't really an iPhone problem; the iPhone (and HTC Touch and LG Prada) all deal with the problem in a new way, that might be an improvement (though that's hard for me to imagine with them giving up tactile feedback), but is clearly no panacea. It's a touch-screen problem, and more generally, a UI problem. I doubt I'll be doing much but numeric input on a phone-sized device until I can either get reliable voice transcription or something that doesn't require cramping my hand(s) into claw-like contortions for the duration of the 'conversation'.
posted by lodurr at 12:25 PM on July 18, 2007


You know, the iPhone and the Mac have a common heritage. They are both used by people who are miles behind the wave, who then discover the wave, think they're the first to discover the wave. and say their wave is the best wave. Mac users discovered the Internet around 1997 (Bill Gates might have been slow to appreciate the Internet but he was way ahead of Steve Jobs) and the current generation of Apple fan-boys have now discovered the mobile Internet - albeit a full generation (2G instead of 3G) behind most Windows Mobile devices.
posted by bobbyelliott at 12:35 PM on July 18, 2007


Also, for the iPhone "haters" out there, unless you have actually used one and spent some significant time with it, you don't know what you are talking about.

I'm not really a "hater" - I think it's a very nice consumer phone - but it's not $600 nice unless it can actually replace some other consumer gadgets. Can it replace my iPod? Not with 8 GB. Can it replace my laptop? Not by a long shot. Can it even replace my current phone? No, not quite. It does what it does very well - often better than other devices - but it doesn't do all that much. Right now, I'm using my phone as a Bluetooth modem; if I had the iPod, I wouldn't be online right now.

I have spent enough time with it to identify what I like and dislike about it. Several coworkers have them, and I bought one to raffle off for a promotion we're holding.

It's pretty clear Maddox didnt' spend any time with a real iPhone. I doubt he's even seen one.

It's pretty clear that what impresses him about a phone is not necessarily what impresses you about a phone. He wants a phone with an SSH client. Most consumers probably don't care too much about that, but on a high-end phone, I expect to be able to run SSH, VNC, RDP, etc. I want to be able to install applications. I want to be able to synchronize files I use a lot - spreadsheets, for example.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:10 PM on July 18, 2007


Nooo. Your not juvenile and petty. Your juvenile and PRETTY.

Aw, shucks. Thank you, sweetie.
posted by misha at 6:20 PM on July 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


As for what impresses Maddox, it's pretty clear to me that it's whatever he can work up a good head of rhetorical steam about. If he could think of a way to talk about cabbage making Madonna moist (shudder, redux), I'm sure that cabbages would be smashing the colons of other life forms in a 50 mile radius. (Which they kind of are, I suppose, but let's move on.)


bobbyelliot: Mac users discovered the Internet around 1997 ...

While I agree with most of what you say, I feel compelled to be literal man and point out that this is not strictly true. It's true enough that Mac users didn't have a decent browser until around '98 or so (but then, did any of us, really?), but in the strategic bedrock of Apple market share, the Universities, Macs were right on the bleeding edge. I worked in 1992 with guys who were mounting their unix accounts as desktop volumes in System 7. It was a no-brainer, we could teach total noobs how to do it in 30 seconds.

There was a real lag in commercial internet-focused applications for the Mac, though, and to some extent there still is. (Now at least it's about on par with the lag in other areas between Macs and PCs. OS X helped with that tremendously, since Unix is so fundamentally Net-focused.)
posted by lodurr at 4:06 AM on July 19, 2007


So, me & my monkey -- I don't suppose you could tell us what you use for a phone? [Hoping desperately that it's something with buttons a normal-sized thumb or finger can press...]
posted by lodurr at 4:09 AM on July 19, 2007


bobbyelliot got me thinking, though. Apple (it seems to me) tends to be a generation behind and a half-generation sideways. That usually means they're out of step with everyone else; sometimes (only sometimes) it also means they're cutting the angle toward a place the Windows market is going to end up at, anyway, after it makes a few course-corrections.

But sometimes (more often, IMO) they end up looking as though they're just being different for difference's sake. The whole obsession with "Fittism" among Apple UI people has been a huge drag on them for a literal generation, now. But I digress.

iTunes is a good example. In one sense, it's way behind the curve. It's a dedicated application in an era where the prevailing wisdom says that dedicated applications are dead, we should all be looking at widgets and other browser-centric ajaxy web apps. But (while I loath iTunes at a UI level) iTunes works really well for its primary purpose, which is to drive revenue from music listening, and it does that in ways that would be difficult to do in a browser-enabled service.

So, what's the lesson? Probably none, really, except that sometimes it pays to examine closely the ideas everyone else has discarded.
posted by lodurr at 4:22 AM on July 19, 2007


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