Sunday, October 04, 2009

The software Apple can't do

All I wanted to do was get my son's school account working. They use Google Apps, so it should have been trivial.

Except every browser I tried gave me the same meaningless error "unable to establish a secure connection".

It worked fine from my account, so I had a pretty good idea this was yet another Apple screw-up.

I turned off the Parental Control feature that's supposed to automatically block "adult" sites and it all worked. This is not a new bug of course. It reminds me of another Parent Control related bug ...
Gordon's Tech: Can't select Jabber or Google Talk for iChat? Here's one reason.

...If you enable parental controls, even if all you're doing is protecting the Dock from changes, then iChat can't use Google Talk...
Definitely not new. Apple's messed up on Parental Controls and Simple Finder since the day they were first added to OS X.

These aren't the only things Apple can't execute on. Here's my personal list of failures that extend through multiple releases and many years ...
  1. Parental Controls and Managed Accounts
  2. Simple Finder
  3. File Sharing - due to an obsolete UNIX-style file based permissions model
  4. Remote desktop - VNC is pathetic compared to Microsoft's terminal services
  5. Calendaring
  6. Remember what was great about Mac Classic. (Metadata model, links that auto-opened files on servers, etc)
Of course the interesting question is why Apple can't do these things. I assume they have a finite supply of talent, and these items are handed over to trainees, interns, and outsourced resources.

I really hope Windows 7 is absolutely stupendous. I need Apple to feel more fear.

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