Sunday, October 07, 2007

Why does Apple have a better quality reputation than Porsche?

I created a trivial Automator script today. It's supposed to add any images added to a folder to iPhoto, it's part of setting up a scanning work environment for my 8 yo. He wants more another Lego model, so he needs the money.

I opened the script to edit it, while noting that OS X doesn't provide an intuitive way to edit or remove Automator scripts -- one must read the manual.

Automator crashed.


I wasn't surprised. Whenever I touch parts of OS X that aren't routinely used by millions I find big chunks of dysfunction. OS X Services are another large example, though they tend to simply be unsupported.

XP and Office are no different of course, but Microsoft doesn't have a reputation for quality. Strangely, Apple does.

So, given Apple's Quality Problems how do they keep their rep? It's long puzzled me. Apple is inventive and elegant, but not reliable. Sort of like Porsche, but Porsche doesn't have a reputation for reliability -- quite the opposite.

Perhaps it's just a matter of time before reality settles in. Personally, I'd trade a significant chunk of elegance for more reliability, but no Product Manager is going to build anything for my "N of One" market.

Really, most people would be better off if I ran the world ...

Update 10/8/07: More on Automator abandonware. I like the term "abandonware" to describe OS X services, AppleScript and Automator.

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