Anxious but optimistic

I’m kind of anxious about the whole feedback from my old job given that I had a chat to my old boss and she said that no one had contacted her yet however the company doing the background check said that they did get in contact with my old employer. I’ll find out on Monday what the story is but at least now I have an ace up my sleeve so if the outcome is less than desirable I’ve got something that I can throw right back at them. I am hoping that my old employer has done the right thing and were not vindictive but having heard rumours of their behaviour in the past when giving references to fiends who have also left the organisation I’m being careful – “just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean there aren’t people out to get me”. I’m sure I’m just being overly concerned given that there are legal implications for past employers to make false statements or questionable judgement calls that are not backed up my evidence which could lead to legal troubles hence I’m going to assume they’re not stupid and said that I started 16 January 2011 and resigned with the last day at work on 3 January 2016.

I’ve said good bye to a long time friend I’ve kept in contact within who lives in China – we’ve shared many things even over a long distance but having never met other than sharing photos and chatting via WhatsApp and Skype. We had been drifting further apart and the new job necessitated me having to deregister a business had I had registered around two years ago that I was hoping to build, with his help, into an organisation that would generate sufficient enough revenue to be able to employ me. Yes, it was very much a ‘pie in the sky’ idea but it never actually got off the ground because between me working graveyard shifts and then completely buggered by the week end and he having his own commitments the dream never got off the ground. I guess in the case of me I never really had my heart into it because I’m conservative by my very nature – I’m adverse to taking on risk and prefer to have the stability of a full time job in a large company. The differences between him and I become as such as that we grew further apart until tonight that we both agreed to part ways – I’m hoping that in the future we can make contact again but I guess we’re two very different people than when we first met over 5 years ago.

Looking forward to the 10.10.4, Safari 9.1 and the rumour that there is a refreshed iTunes on the way after complaining about iTunes that seems to go back almost a decade. When all comes through in the AppStore I’ll probably do a clean install to get rid of some of the cruft that has built up as I have installed/uninstalled random applications. I’ve sorted out my Microsoft Office 365 subscription so I’m all set for another year – mum and my sister uses three of the installations and I have the remaining two – I’ll probably install it soon as I might need it for work or some other reason that I can dream up in justification of installing it on my computer. With the more civilised hours I’ll start teaching myself programming in C so it at least keeps my brain ticking over rather than vegetation at the end of each day – my brain seems to be like an energiser bunny that keeps ticking over at full speed where as this blog gives me an opportunity to do a brain dump.

Just reading through more people whining about OS X then some bozo comes out of left field and gives the quote “If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth” (Steve Jobs, Fortune, Sept. 18, 1995) whilst that it ignores the fact that it was said almost 18 months before the buy out of NeXT by Apple was even formalised and even then his position at Apple was going as an interim CEO rather than a permanent position. I always find it funny how people select quotes and divorce from their original context given that when he became CEO he also said that for Apple to succeed there was no requirement for Microsoft to fail (the infamous presentation when Microsoft came out to support Mac OS 9 and X with Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer etc) – this was almost 5 years before the iPod was released so for 5 years Apple was turned around, made profitable and computer shipments growing along with a stable operating system (Mac OS X) in development which would be released in October 2001 (10.1 was seen as Mac OS X being mature enough for third parties to start targeting the platform).

What Apple did was move away from the ‘bottom of the barrel and volume at all costs’ to a situation of high quality products sold at a mid to high range pricing which would avoid the death spiral that the PC industry has gotten itself into. A heathy, growing and sustainable business model that has been growing for 20 years with a loyal base is something that – most OEM’s would sooner have that scenario than dealing with the millions of units that swing from one extreme to the other along with razor thin margins and a price war that makes the market so unsustainable that we’ve seen a huge effort to consolidate just to make the business viable in the age of computers being held onto for up to 5 years before getting upgraded. For the Mac business to succeed it doesn’t need to ship millions of units, it just needs to make a tidy and sustainable profit with some growth.

Going back to the original point I made in the last post (Declining sales does not equal declining installed base) it was written in the context of a forum post where the individual concerned didn’t actually read what I wrote. Apple has the capacity to grow Mac sales are in niche markets; creative, scientific, engineering, developers and so forth – these are market that are NEVER going to be replaced with tablets or phones and will always require workstations and laptops to do real work so this idea of ‘desktop computers are dead’ reminds me of the rant put out by Larry Ellison about Cloud computing and how it was being sold not too long ago as the magical elixir to solve all of life’s problems ( link ). Mainframes are still here, UNIX is still here, the proprietary non-x86 UNIX servers are still here and guess what, traditional desktop and laptops are still here even if the technology hipsters have almost a ‘hate boner’ for the traditional IT industry. Apple would do well to carve out that niche and hold onto it by providing hardware, software and services as well as catering for end users willing to pay a premium for a quality product – there is still a lot of life left in the Mac business.

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