The Macalope Daily: Discipline

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There continues to be a lot of passionate discussion about whether the iPad is a PC or not. Frankly, the Macalope doesn’t really care what we call it, as long as it’s given its due.

Humans (and sometimes part-human mythical beasts) spend a lot of time trying to classify things. But sometimes things (and part-thing mythical beasts) avoid classification. Think of how weak the “smartphone” classification is for what your iPhone actually does. And yet we all still call it that for some reason.

Shawn Blanc and Federico Viticci at MacStories both have a couple of nice roundups of the arguments about this pressing issue of the day.

Viticci links to this tweet by Frederick Jacobs, noting that Apple had conceived of how a tablet should work at least as early as 2002.


And it didn’t introduce the iPad for eight years after that.

You could argue that the company’s development cycle is really slow, or you could see it for what it is: discipline. It’s the same discipline that keeps a company from releasing a crappy “me-too” netbook while everyone screams in your face about how “APPLE NEEDS A NETBOOK RIGHT NOW OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO EAT LUNCH START MAKING THAT NETBOOK BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE AAAIIIIEEEE!!!” (That’s a direct quote, by the way.)

According to Steve Jobs, of course, the team set about making the tablet first and switched gears when they realized that what they were making would make a great phone OS. So, you could argue that Apple actually only waited five years instead of eight.

But still, even waiting five years shows a level of discipline way above the industry average.

Which, admittedly, is pretty low. OK, ridiculously low. Too low to even register on any of the discipline meters that today’s modern science can provide us, which have been thoroughly tested by today’s modern porn industry.

Some of that discipline is owed to the guy who famously made a deal with his own personal devil back in 1997. Jim Maiella provides a nice post (tip o’ the antlers to Dan Frommer) about how hard it must have been for Jobs to swallow his pride and make a deal with Microsoft to keep Apple afloat until he could grow the company to a level Redmond barely dreamed of.

To paraphrase Maiella—and steal from the Klingons—revenge is a dish best served cold.

So is gazpacho.

That’s got nothing to do with anything except the fact that the Macalope should not write these columns while he’s hungry.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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