I’m Not Paying $20 for My OS X Upgrade

THIS is for all the times you followed me round in stores….
And THIS is for the times you treated me like a nigger….
And THIS is for G. P. – General Principle…..
– Nate McCall, Makes Me Wanna Holler

It makes me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands….
– “Inner City Blues,” Marvin Gaye

One hundred damned dollars!
– David Letterman, American late-night talk-show host

Things Macintosh

Make that twenty damned dollars.

Power Mac G4 CubeMac OS X 10.1 PumaTwenty damned dollars is Apple’s asking price to upgrade my OS X-ed G4 Cube to version 10.1. Add to that the standard retail price of OS X 10.0, and we’re talking $150 after all’s said and done – here in the good, ole USA, anyway.

One hundred and fifty damned dollars. Makes me wanna holler and throw up both my hands.

Well, let me bring you in on a secret: I’m not paying $20 dollars, and neither should you. We should explore our options. We should either:

  1. download the upgrade from Apple’s servers via Version Tracker and burn it to a CD for future use
  2. download the upgrade via Software Update, burning it to CD for future use
  3. or get a copy from a friend who has burned it to CD for our future use

Plan B

If none of these options are available, we should not upgrade at all. Why, you ask? Well, back in “the hood” we used to have this saying called “G. P.” – General Principle. We should protest on the principle that we’ve already paid full-price for OS X 10.0. We should not have to pay anything for this upgrade, because it shouldn’t have been an upgrade. Read on, brother. Read on, sister.

Q: When is an upgrade not an upgrade?

When I bought OS X 10.0, I assumed that, featurewise, it was well above and beyond the Public Beta that we paid for last year (waitaminute; shouldn’t we add that to the current cost of OS X as well?). Anyway, OS X 10.0 should have been a finished product – and don’t give me that talk about Apple having to meet its self-imposed deadline; that’s not our problem. OS X 10.0 was an unfinished product, plain and simple. (If you want to take that argument to its logical conclusion, it is disingenuous and untenable that Apple didn’t release any, say, new iMacs at Macworld, just because they “weren’t ready.”)

Again, OS X 10.0 is an unfinished product. Even today, at version 10.0.4, it is an unfinished product. Hence, Apple should fulfill its obligation to ship a finished product and charge us nothing in September when OS X “Complete” ships – when it finally ships.

A: When it’s bigger than the original application that it’s upgrading.

Now there’s another line of reasoning in this rant as well.

I’ve heard people say that we have no choice but to pay $20 for the upgrade, because the upgrade will be too large for anyone, even for us well-heeled surfers with broadband connections. Scuttlebutt is saying that, for this reason, Apple will provide no upgrade option other than the CD purchase program. Actually, rumor has it that there will be three CDs for purchase: OS X 10.1, updated Developer Tools, and OS 9.2. (This makes no sense, because the OS 9.2 updater shouldn’t be much of a download, and who cares about upgraded developer tools? Developers have their own place to download stuff. As for the three CDs, leave that for those who’ve never purchased OS X yet.)

There are two responses to this too-big-to-download argument.

Response Number One: If the download is too big, stage it to the Apple servers anyway! It’s nothing for the Linux community, for example, to provide big-assed OS updates via FTP servers. If Apple is a bona fide Unix contender. Well, when in Rome….

I suggest that Apple allow others to host the update on their servers, making it a “community affair.” I understand that this may not happen, because Apple management is control-freakish and wants the ability to do things like make last-minute changes and rearranges to the downloads servers, and it goes against Apple’s paranoid modus operandi to involve servers owned by non-Kool-Aid-washed Mac fans and Unix geeks.

Response Number Two and parting shot: If the upgrade is the rumored 500+ MB mutha that people are whispering, I say that that isn’t an “upgrade.” That is a friggin’ full-sized release, and the label “10.1” becomes more than just a misnomer; it is an out-and-out marketing-inspired lie. If the “upgrade” is as big as the rumor mongers say that it is, then Apple never should have released OS X 10.0 in March; the company should have saved those three CD-ROMs and continued providing updates to us who were gracious enough to give Apple money to participate in the early adoption process known as the Public Beta. Either that or (retroactively) call OS X 10.0 what it really is: Beta 2.0.

Finally: If the download is hundreds of megabytes, as many claim, then there isn’t any difference between the Public Beta period and what most of us have been participating in since late March, since, come September, we will be getting a brand new OS compared to what we’ve been running since March.

Well, there is another difference between the Public Beta and what we’ll be (finally) getting in September – about $130-150 worth of difference. And no Reality Distortion Field known to man can distort those facts.

Are you listening, Apple? Are you listening, Steve?

Keywords: #osxpuma #osxupgrade #rodneyolain #rodneylain

searchword: osx101upgrade