Addendum to the Mac user sanity question

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,56749,00.html

I just don’t know what to say. I have gotten into console and OS wars before but never as far as a lot of Mac users seem to go. Hell, if it was cheap enough and all the games I wanted were on Mac I might try, but right now it’s not the case. I also get pissed off with the whole elitism attitude a lot of Mac users seem to have:

God, I love the Mac community.

First the author does a piece where he collects a bunch of opinions from psycology and consumer behavior experts that all basically say Mac users are loyal beyond reason. Then they go and prove him right by flooding his mail with insults, suggesting he’s in league with Microsoft, etc. Which is funny, because the author is one of them - a Mac loyalist.

But what I find particularly amusing is the completely blind quality of the Mac religion’s faith:

Mac zealots believe PCs are unfriendly and hard to use, and suggest that PC users who don’t like Macs just haven’t used them lately. But most of the time, these same people haven’t used a new PC. Case in point - my mother, a long-time Mac user (they use 'em at the elementary school she teaches at, which is something I don’t agree with but won’t get into), had to give some seminar on something or other since she’s the school’s technology liason or something. She had to learn to use a PC (back in the Windows ME days). She called me up to say how suprised she was that it was easy and fast, and not hard to learn at all, and not anything like she’d been led to believe. And maybe when she retires she’ll get a PC for home instead of a Mac. (I don’t know if that will ever happen)

Mac zealots also love Apple because they believe that Microsoft is a controlling monopoly that dictates everything PC users do, limits their choices, incorporates software into the OS that makes products from other developers obsolete, and so on. But while it’s a much smaller company overall, Apple actually has a much bigger monopoly over their computers. There’s LESS choice in hardware and software (no clones for starters), they build MORE into the OS than MS does (iPhoto, iTunes, iEverything), and Mac fanatics seem totally willing to take and LOVE whatever Apple throws at them, regardless of its competitive quality. Like the original iMac.

Oh, and Apple charges more and maintains a higher profit margin than most other computer manufacturers - around 30%. Compare that to Dell’s 18%, or Gateway’s 16-18%

Then there’s the whole “Bill Gates is evil and mean and doesn’t care about anybody” thing, to which one only has to say: Steve Jobs.

Now don’t get me wrong - I’m not saying Macs are bad machines. Overpriced, yes, but not bad. They’re not for me, more because of software availability than anything else. And I think some PC companies could learn a lot from Apple in certain specific areas. But I think the fanatical devotion of many Mac users is just absurd.

It’s a great machine for writing, if you have one of the early 6.x versions of Mac Word.

But for gaming, a Mac doesn’t make much sense. While there is some very respectable shareware, the last remants of the Mac-specific commercial game market (never a great force even in its heyday) vanished in the mid '90s.

You can even play the Marathon games under Windows these days.

I can’t see getting obsessed about technology, period. A computer is just a means to an end, not a political statement and not an end in itself.

Peter

Good lord, Peter, I’m going to call the Commodore Cabal and have your membership in the Amiga Alumni Association revoked after that statement! :-)

I picked up the latest MacAddict in the airport a couple of weeks ago just to have something to read on a plane flight, and there’s a rather hilarious article in there about how to convert Windows users. The gist of it is this mysterious “Macs crash less.”

Since I installed Windows XP last year, I think I’ve had my system crash once, perhaps twice.

And as the default tech guy in most offices I work in, I’ve done lots of Mac troubleshooting. Lemme tell you, when you start getting stuff like Init conflicts, etc. – startup apps that only play together nicely when loaded in a certain order – the Mac can be so inscruitable you end up desiring things like registry or .ini files. I can’t imagine it’s much better under OS X, where suddenly there’s an entire underlying Unix to deal with.

Macs have their place, and I don’t dislike them at all. But claiming stability or ease of use vs. the newest versions of Windows as a reason to switch is disingenous at best.

I’m a dual user… AthlonXP/WinXP desktop (and most of my other computers in my household are PC’s), but I do own a Pismo PowerBook.

And, honestly, I’ve kinda of regretted the PowerBook. Not that I was looking for a gaming machine to begin with, but the choices on Mac suck. A fraction of PC games get ported over to Mac, usually 6 months after the fact. Which means I’d have to buy two copies of my game if I wanted to play it on my PowerBook and my PC.

General software choices also suck. At least with Office, MS allows you to install a single copy on a desktop and a laptop. But since OfficeXP is a no go on the Mac, I have to buy a mucho-expensive version of Office v. X, which I won’t do. (The price on that is more MS’ than Apple’s fault, but still…)

Still, Macs are insanely overpriced, especially for the performance. Have you seen the latest test results?

http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/2002/11_nov/reviews/cw_macvspciii.htm

A top-of-the-line Dell kicks all sorts of ass on a top-of-the-line Dual PowerPC Mac… and it costs $630 less! But you just can’t imagine how the Mac folks are trying to spin that… “But the Mac OS allows you to do multiple things at the same time, Windows doesn’t!” “But MacOS doesn’t crash, not like WinBlows!” Etc, etc, etc. It’s just galling the amount of lies they throw out there. And being the owner of a Mac, I can tell you that the damn thing crashes like you can’t believe. Have they forgotten about the little bomb icon that means “Your fucked, hit the power button and start over.” I even tried OS X at CompUSA, and I managed to lock it up on my first try.

I will admit that in laptops, the PowerBook is a great deal for the hardware. It’s comperably priced to everyone else for the amount of horsepower you get, and the design is to die for. It’s why I got one.

But my next laptop will probably be a Tablet PC, mainly because I’m intrigued with the idea of being able to lie sideways on my couch and read an ebook like you were meant to… not sitting at a desk but just lounging in a chair.

The vehemance of hate Mac folks have toward MS is uncalled for and unjustified. If Apple had come up with the TabletPC, you could bet they’d be touting it as the next great thing and demonishing MS for not having the balls or the brains to do something like that. But the way they spin the Tablet PC hate is just mind-boggling denial on their part.

Frankly, it does bug the hell out of me, and that’s also another reason why I’ll switch back to the PC when I upgrade my laptop.

The College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at RIT has all-Mac computer clusters (well, except for the all-SGI cluster), which I used exactly once for one of my Digital Art labs. After my machine crashed three times (the second time, I lost data), I gave up. Now I bring my laptop (Inspiron 8000) with me on lab days. So much for the Mac’s fabled stability.

My current installation of Windows XP has been on my machine for about a year, and it has crashed exactly zero times. Not counting three crashes last week caused by user error (word to the wise: don’t install the new Radeon control panel software without uninstalling the old version first). Likewise, I’ve owned my laptop for a year and a half now, and I can’t remember it ever crashing (though I do use it a lot less often than my desktop, which I pretty much never turn off). In fact, this is the thing that most impresses me about XP (and it’s really a carryover from NT): programs crash just as often as they always have, but they almost never bring down the OS with them.

I’ve got nothing personal against Macs. I used to be an Apple user, back in the Apple II/early Mac era. As Jason said, however, their current hardware is overpriced and doesn’t support most of the software (particularly games) that I use, so it’s not really an option for me.

"Mac zealots believe PCs are unfriendly and hard to use, and suggest that PC users who don’t like Macs just haven’t used them lately. But most of the time, these same people haven’t used a new PC. "

Because if they did then they would see it with with own eyes that the one last big thing that they think they can hold over MS(the better/easier to use OS) is a myth now. This would crush their little “Mac heaven” they have built up.

From the article:

"The stories were described as a “lot of rubbish,” “a crock,” “pointless twaddle” and “bad journalism.”

Rubbish?!? Derek’s a Mac fanboy! :lol:

Good lord, Peter, I’m going to call the Commodore Cabal and have your membership in the Amiga Alumni Association revoked after that statement! :-)[/quote]

What can I say, Denny? I’m a computing atheist. :)

Peter

Used to be a Mac lover, now I can’t stand them.

But they sure to look purdy. I would KILL for one of those flat-screen iMac’s with PC guts. Those things are just works of art.

And that titanium Powerbook? Simply the best looking laptop on the market. I want a widescreen display on my Compaq laptop, dammit!

Yeah, but so’s my PC. Computers of both types have been “great machines for writing” for years. And email, and web surfing. I’ve used my mom’s Mac quite a bit, and I would not pay the higher price for it because it’s “a great machine for writing.” Especially not when I can’t appreciate a real superiority between the Mac version of Word and the PC one anymore (the Mac version was better like 3-4 years ago, for sure).

For the record, I grew up with Apple. Had an Apple II. Not a II+, not a IIe…an Apple II that you had to add in an 80-column text card! Migrated to the IIe, and even owned a IIgs (what a wonderful machine that never went anywhere).

I’m with Adam - the Titanium Powerbook is a laptop done right. I ask every laptop manufacturer I meet with why they can’t do that with PC guts. First they tell me they do, and talk about their latest model. Then I point out that the Titanium Powerbook is literally half as thick, three pounds lighter, and gets an additional hour of battery life. Then they run out of answers. To date, nobody has given me any sort of reasoning at all behind why there is no PC equivalent. It’s not like it’s a slow Mac, either…fast processors, great video chips (for a laptop), big screen… It’s easily the best product Apple currently makes (maybe tied with the iPod). Too bad it’s still a Mac and still costs too much and won’t run the software I want to run. :(