Sunday, December 31, 2006

Apple Wannabes

I've noticed this scenario a few times in the past, but now I've decide to [web] log it. Companies that use Apple products in their advertising when they make products that aren't aimed at the Mac.

A "customer research" (read: tell us your interest and well push targeted ads at you) site pureprofile recently had a survey question with the following illustration of a screen, keyboard and mouse. The base of the screen is straight from the current iMacs but the bevel width would make it represent an Apple Cinema Display. The mouse could not be confused with anything other than a Might Mouse, while the keyboard must be an after-market job as I've never seen a Mac keyboard look so ugly.

Screen grab of a pureprofile illustration

Now I'm not against businesses using Apple's products (and if you needed to illustrate a computer why would you use anything else, 'cept maybe a Sony Vaio) but what errks me is when they don't follow-through and make their products work equally on a Mac as they do for a PC.

Back to pureprofile; admittedly their new site is under development and more and more things work under Safari each time I go back, but there are still many times I have to dock-bounce Firefox to get a JavaScript/CSS heavy page to a work correctly (such as next time manager). Now they could gain some kudos points by running there systems on Mac, but by the the dirty .aspx file-extensioned URLs I can see that they are not. And a blog post by their tech guy proves it.

pureprofile is not alone in using Apple's image but locking Apple's users out; for a long time there we many Aussie banks that restricted access to their online banking sections to IE (PC version) while using PowerBooks in their TV commercials. Still, today, Westpac's Visual Demos fail to load in Safari (and I know that there are still sections within the password protected pages that still annoy me with errors offering me to download "IE 5.5 or higher")

Away from the online example are just plain funny images I've seen a couple of times where PC manufacturers have a staged shot of a non-Apple computer with an Apple OS on-screen.

When I decided to start this log I had a quick look through my one remaining APC mag looking for an ad for a Panasonic Toughbook I clearly remember. It was taken behind a "female explorer" sitting on a rock looking out across a plain of orange dust, looking over her shoulder you could see the Toughbook in it's element while running the unmistakable candy interface of Mac IE. What the?!? Unfortunately I couldn't find that particular ad, but I did find this:

Asus Advert

This ad was scanned from page 43 of December 05's APC Mag for an ASUS W6 which comes pre-installed with "Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional" however, look closely, and you will see what looks like some word processor (MS Word or maybe Apple Works) running on OS9. The giveaway is the right aligned desktop icons and global menu bar across the top of the screen.

Either this is intentionally done as a joke or a lazy designer, on a Mac, has just done a screen grab of their own desktop and "photoshopped" it in. Either way, surely someone else in these big businesses would have had to approve these design/ads before they get made public???

P.S. If anyone has any other "Apple wannabe" examples, please let me know.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Stand clear doors closing"

Over the past few months I've noticed that CityRail has installed orange flashing lights above each of the external doors on the older silver double-decker passenger carriages. These lights flash as the doors are closing. I'm a bit miffed on the purpose of these lights as they a fair way above the centre of the doors, so it's not like you would look up at a small flashing light when there are two big bright yellow doors siding shut at eye level. I could understand it if the lights started flashing before the doors started closing, sort of like an amber traffic light, it would act as a warning to hurry up a decide if you on or off the train. But they don't they start flashing as soon as the doors start closing.

The other possible use is that they are there for the guards to use, but I don't know how. Maybe they stay flashing if the door doesn't close properly?

Does anyone know what these new lights are for and why have they only been added now (when we are been told that there's going to be a heap of new trains to replace these trains over the next few years)?

Update: 29 May 2008

I was waiting for a train the other day in Strathfield and noticed that the lights tell the guard when the doors are stuck open.

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