Welcome to Lov-e.com "MacInJapan" An Apple Computer Link Page for English Speakers Living in Japan.
An Introduction to Mac in Japan Today
(Circa June 2005) an Editorial
Nothing echos the sound of one hand clapping more than the computer biz. And when it comes to innovation and corporate cultural revolution, Apple is a classic study in hyper-active chaos. MacInJapan was once about keeping older Macs running the latest software... about running with the wolves on street dog legs. Now reality and corporate policy dictates you leave your computer maxed at the operating system for which it was created, collaring your speed lust until you can afford the appropriate 'latest and greatest' hardware... presently at G5 and counting, with OS X+ pawing along behind.
Once Mac was made to last, now Macs are made to sell, and us to buy. Macs were once designed to last forever, now Apple Company has received her degree from the school of hard knocks. To survive today, Macs are designed to be replaced, often. Truth be told, a computer can do whatever it was designed to do for near forever. Unfortunately the latest developments in storage, speed, multi-media presentation, sex appeal, and, most important, corporate profitability dictates your computer is becoming passe as we breath into the moment.
All MacInJapan can suggest is find solace in your local Users Group and ride your own wave for as long as your current mother board holds. You can gripe like me but in the end, evolution wins, and people make do. We find friends and fun, amongst the carcasses of our hacked-out gray and white boxes, getting by the best we can. So let me express my opinion, and then let us get on with the mouse race, and the wrist pains, of modern i-living.
My gripe with the grip of the legal beagle bean-counters at Apple:
In a recent tour of Europe I tried to score some Apple OS software. In this day of globalization and internet connectivity, why would I need to travel to Europe from my home in Kyoto Japan to buy software? Well... it seems Apple, Adobe, and every other big company has a contractual agreement with Japan. Only Japanese adopted ware is sold here, i.e. only Japanese language variations of the original English goods marketed by a few well entrenched distributors.
Since no one will ship me the English version software I needed, to either my physical or digital address in Japan, off I went... on a Euro Apple tour of disgruntled past-tense Mac fans to find my GoLive update. Why are the Europeans grunting, you ask? And why are honest folk being forced to the darker corners of LimeWire and Acquisition to acquire what they once bought locally? Apparently Apple Inc. has swept away the sales agreements from all their mom and pop Apple shops in every national capitol I visited from Switzerland to Sweden. Is this designed to force all us devotee to buy through the funnel of Apple.com or to assure MacDonald-like consistency? Only corporate headquarters knows for sure, and they're not saying why to anyone I met.
Everywhere I went were the boarded up shops of once thriving Apple suppliers and this same litany of unhappy customers. These were the graphic pros and architects who once swore allegiance to the rainbow Apple, now mumbling curses as they skim flinched through their Linux 'How-to' manuals. The rich kids had their iPods, the affluent movers-and-shakers their chic Apple gear, but the lump and proletariat keyboarders had only the quaint view from their provincial but well-designed workstations.
A little New Age history for a parallel:
Once Bhagwan Rajneesh (later called Osho) had mini centers in every medium sized city from Sapporo to Barcelona. When he went into silence and turned the management of his energy field over to Sheila, his infamous inner-circle disciple, she ordered the shutting down of all the little grass root communes and centers out there in their great expansive gurudom.
Establishing one center in each capitol city, she consolidated the community to death. Instead of a direct connect to the life blood of her organization, all those working stiffs on farms and in factories throughout the hinterland were left stranded. This wicked witch of the East created an unsupported elite of urban kow-towers and deserted the home-bound sannyasin.
Like Apple today, if you wanted service you needed to ship to the center. No longer your friendly little community shop but a mega-system of hip insiders. Where there was once a familiar face serving you with patience and compassion, there is now an over-taxed anonymous entity via a digital connect.
"We are sorry but we do not ship outside the US." "We are sorry but we are no longer authorized to make small repairs." Between you and me, buy new, it's cheaper. Your beloved has her eyes on the elusive exclusive fad marketplace and has no time for the humdrum world of corner code cobblers.
Buying new on-line is cost effective. Remember Bill is the enemy. Trust Steve. He knows what he is doing. Besides, you have invested so much already anyway, why change now? Apple will never forget us foot soldiers. How can it? Apple needs the market share we represent. That's how democracy, capitalism, and computing thrives these days. Surely we are not making a mistake by pledging allegiance to the almighty Apple with our scanty token from the household budget. We still love Apple, we just call it 'hard love' now and sway with the punches.
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