The Big Think

May 24, 2010

Okay, DON’T Take My Money

Filed under: Apple,Business,Computing,Mac OS X Problems — jasony @ 9:51 am

We skipped the series finale of Lost last night due to a work party, so we were going to do what we always do and catch it on abc.com. Instead, we decided to ante up the three bucks for the full HD iTunes download so we could get it without commercials or without annoying stream pauses at critical moments (something that’s happened a lot in the past).

So I open iTunes on the mini downstairs and try to buy the last episode of Lost. Sorry, you must be upgraded to the latest version of iTunes to download content. Oh, okay. Twenty minutes later I’ve installed the newest iTunes and try to buy it again.

Sorry, you must have version 4 or greater of Safari to use the iTunes music store. Huh? The ITMS doesn’t even open Safari, and I use Firefox anyway. Grr…. So I go online again and update Safari. Whew. Okay Apple, here’s my money.

Sorry, this version of Safari does not work with your version of OS X. Please update your OS. AARGH!

I’m loathe to update the OS because the home automation software that runs the house on that computer works great, and doing OS updates has tended to make things unreliable in the past.

Look, I understand that you want to keep the user experience reliable, Apple, and one of the ways you do this is by making sure people’s software is up to date. But I seem to be running into this sort of thing a lot more lately, and I can’t help but wonder if there’s something else going on. Why all of a sudden have your engineers lost the ability to make stuff work well across a couple of different iterations of the software?

And before you think it’s because Apple just wants to stick me with a paid update to the OS or something, in fairness I have to say that all the updates I’d be required to do would be free inter-version updates (4.5.1 to 4.5.4, for example). Still it’s a hassle to have to keep all this stuff current across three machines. I would set stuff to auto update, but I’ve been burned in the past when a machine has updated software and broken a current application (Studio Vision Pro, Finale, etc) that I rely on absolutely for my income. I’d rather have control over my system, get things functioning smoothly, and then leave it alone until my season ends.

There’s got to be a better way. Maybe Virtual Machining is the answer?

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