Sometimes, Apple Doesn't "Just Work"

I was at a presentation this morning where the presenters were discussing research opportunities at MIT (called "UROPs" (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programs)). The presenters showed a video about UROP that was put together last year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the inception of UROP.
Before I continue, I would like to mention that at MIT, almost all of the school run computers (in the "Athena clusters") run Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS, which is really cool. In fact, the Athena software is optimized to run on Ubuntu 10.04. Weirdly enough, I can't run the Athena software on my computer even though I run Linux Mint 9, which is basically Ubuntu 10.04 with some theme and included software changes. That said, I have exclusively seen Apple MacBooks used at presentations like these at MIT. This presentation was no exception.
The lady who started the presentation said a couple of things in general about UROP before showing the video. The video was on a separate DVD, and I saw her insert the DVD into the laptop. What happened next surprised me. There was no dialog upon insertion of the DVD asking what to do. She had to manually open the DVD's contents folder and search for the correct video. Even when that was done, she wasn't entirely sure which program to use (I suspect this is her first time using a Mac, considering that she struggled a little even to open the contents of the DVD); despite there being VLC Media Player on the laptop, she wasn't sure whether to open the video with iMovie, iDVD, DVD Player, or VLC. (She eventually picked DVD Player, and it worked.)
Macs are supposed to be easy to use and they are supposed to "just work". Then there's this. Your move, Apple.

I wanted to end this article by expressing by deepest thanks to the huge flood of visitors and commenters on this site. I never thought my article on KDE distributions would make it to Linux Today's front page; I feel extraordinarily lucky that it did. I also want to add that if you like any of the other content on this site, please sign up for updates through RSS or email; both options are pretty high up on the sidebar. I may even have an article exclusively for subscribers (at least initially) coming up, so that should be an incentive to sign up. If you haven't done so, please do it now! Finally, the next article (which, incidentally, is not that exclusive article I just talked about) should address the concerns of many of the commenters on the KDE comparison article. That should be a big hint as to what it is.

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