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Thursday, 6 October 2011

So what are they going to say when Don Estridge dies?

Having spent all day listening to people blubbing about the newly iDead Steve Jobs, and how he "literally changed people's lives", although he "never actually met them", I despair of the tiny minded piss-poor lives that some people must lead.

I am not one of those Apple-haters, in the same way that I am not a Mercedes driver. I simply have different tastes, and my tastes in technology aren't really apple flavoured. I have never owned anything made by Apple, although I did work briefly for a Californian-based investment bank that used Macs for word processing. iPods have never produced a better sound than any other box of electronics with a $5 Digital-to-Analog converter, and the iPhone is just a phone, and probably not as good a phone as the competition - certainly not for the price.

I did have an i-thing once.  But it was an iPaq, a PDA from HP, and a useful thing it was too, doing most of the thing an iPad does now (web browsing, WIFI, reading documents, streaming video, bluetooth, MS Office applications etc) on a hand held device, only I bought this in 2003 for about £300.  Fast forward 8 years, and Apple gives me not much more on an iPad for 50% more price.  Where is Moore's law when you need it?

The truth was that since the early 1990's Apple has been less of a technology shop than a design shop with a less-is-more visual appeal.  While the rest of the world tried to cram as much technology into its boxes,. Apple's designs were nothing special tech-wise, but their look and feel gave them an edge with some buyers. Which is why, when IBM, Motorola, HP, Samsung and the rest have cupboards full of patents, Apple chooses to sue their competitors for selling rectangular boxes with rounded edges.

Still, if a man in black turtle neck jersey can cause such a stir, what are people going to say when Don Estridge goes to meet his maker?  Mr Estridge, after all, led the team that built the IBM PC.


Not a sheep said...

I too had a HP iPaq that filled the gap between my Psion 3c and first HTC. The iPaq was a wonderful device; way better than the HTC for most things and better than my current Galaxy IIS for some. To be honest though, the Psion 3C had the best keyboard of all, and as for the battery life!

Petr said...

Sorry, he already left the building.
Quote from Wikipedia:
Estridge and wife Mary Ann were killed when the plane they were traveling on, Delta Air Lines Flight 191, crashed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on August 2, 1985