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Apple Myths:
January 31, 2002 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Apple Myths: Over the years, there have been more than a few misconceptions about Macs. Now Apple take's a look at some of the most popular ones.
posted by riffola (64 comments total)

 
My personal favourite is Myth #5 :)
posted by riffola at 9:26 PM on January 31, 2002


Some person: People still buy Macs? :P
Owillis: Stick to design, Steve.
Some other person: Hm, no mention of price. That's because they know their pricing structure doesn't match the candy-coated lumps of plastic they produce.
Someone else: Bah. No thank you. After the Lisa, they sold out.

I figure we should just get that out of the way now.

Anyway, good for Apple. They're notoriously cautious with their advertising, so an aggressive move like this is welcome.
posted by jragon at 9:36 PM on January 31, 2002


Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!
posted by owillis at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2002


riffola, I'm as big a Mac fan as you can get, but I don't read this as much more than a glorified press release. You're asking for it. ;)
(or is this a troll to call SDB back?)
posted by darukaru at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2002


(damn itchy trigger finger)

No, this isn't really aggressive, but I meant the jabs at MS. The print isn't as understated as usual.
posted by jragon at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2002


I'm just glad I was Singled Out (no "some person" here). Now where's Jenny McCarthy?
posted by owillis at 9:39 PM on January 31, 2002


No not a troll, I just found the aggressive stance funny. Not starting an OS war, just found it funny. :)
posted by riffola at 9:41 PM on January 31, 2002


darukaru is right, I should just appologise and hope this doesn't turn into yet another train wreck.

Sorry folks, I just thought it was nice to see Apple try to win some Windows users over.
posted by riffola at 9:47 PM on January 31, 2002


I wonder how a Windows user would make it to the Apple website to read the myths in the first place? It does say, after all, "A Special Message To Windows Users" not a "A Special Message to Users considering purchasing a computer and are doing some consumer research"
posted by olav at 9:55 PM on January 31, 2002


I have a mac os x machine now, in addition to my 3 year old pc running xp (slowly). The interoperability is fantastic. I'm writing book stuff on both machines, using office xp and office x, and there are little differences between them. I still work faster on the pc, but os x is incredibly easy to use.
posted by mathowie at 10:07 PM on January 31, 2002


I just thought it was nice to see Apple try to win some Windows users over.

But it's so very, very lame! They could do MUCH better.
posted by rushmc at 10:09 PM on January 31, 2002


I'm adding one:

Myth 7: That Photoshop will come out for OSX real soon.
posted by panopticon at 10:15 PM on January 31, 2002


Myth 6: Macs are far easier to use than PCs. Guilty as charged.

er..... not in my experience, no.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:20 PM on January 31, 2002


I'm curious to see what happens thirty or forty years from now when Gates and Jobs are retired and we have new CEOs at the helm. Olav, I wondered the same thing. I wonder if aggressive TV and print adverts will follow, and if they do, I'm going to observe how my day-to-day Windows-using family and friends react to it. Most people I know use Windows, but MS really doesn't advertise pervasively as far as I can see.

What do you think of MS v. Mac advertising? I use both platforms and am comfortable with both, but it seems like Mac ads stick better than MS or the IBM clones'.
posted by Modem Ovary at 10:26 PM on January 31, 2002


After the Lisa, they sold out.

NeXT power!
posted by j.edwards at 10:37 PM on January 31, 2002


Modem Ovary: what I will say is that the 'Digital Hub' ads aren't half bad. The non-sequitur of the iTunes/iPod ad is enjoyable and funny, because you either are or know someone who acts like that when they're listening to music.
The iPhoto ad (where the geek photographs his wife giving birth and shows the photos to the baby minutes later) is kinda corny, but it's sweet (and it made my SO go 'aww' when she saw it, so...)
posted by darukaru at 10:43 PM on January 31, 2002


Perhaps they are subtler and more subversive than they seem. Although a PC user since the days of Tandy (OK, a pre-PC user, I guess) I had seen this already. A Mac guy I work with and travel with slipped the link into an email the other day. He's a music guy and I'm a gaming guy, we have our respective laptops at all times and don't make nasty cracks about each other's OSs'. Truth is, I have often admired the ease of use of his Powerbook and outright lusted over the IPod.

And now a sly Mac user has dessiminated the link here, maybe no more aware of the infection he is spreading than a humble anopheles is aware of malaria. Wait, that came out an insult and I didn't mean it that way.

Sly advertising or not, I am seriously considering a Mac for the road, so maybe it works on the less astute of us.
posted by umberto at 10:45 PM on January 31, 2002


but it seems like Mac ads stick better than MS or the IBM clones'

For a reason, when I saw the first XP ads (the TV is on mute during commercials as always) I rolled my eyes and wished apple would stop making the same cheesy commercial just showing their widgets until I realized this was an MS commercial. The tip off you ask? The big XP logo right at the end.

Cute list, but are these really myths? To me it looks like Apple is doing its best to distance itself from the popular and headline grabbing Linux. "Doesn't run MS office? That's that other OS. Not us. No way."
posted by skallas at 10:46 PM on January 31, 2002


I don't own a Mac btw, all I've got is a Dell from '98 running XP.
posted by riffola at 10:51 PM on January 31, 2002


Ah, so you're not even a proper anopheles.... curiouser...
posted by umberto at 10:56 PM on January 31, 2002


We bought an ibook last year to have at least 1 mac around to convert the file we'd get from artists every so often that wasn't in pc format, and didn't convert well with software solutions. Apple does indeed produce some sexy gear, and my business partner wanted an ipod so bad that he bought it and an imac, just so he could transfer files to the ipod.

As a die-hard pc user, I think the mac vs. pc arguments have grown tired. Use the tool that works best for you. I know mac folk who swear they could never live without the key combo shorcuts, and I know pc users who would die without thier right-click.

I have at times lusted over the titanium notebooks, or g4 cubes, but the reality is that even if I found something in the OS that made me fall in love with it, the sheer cost of replicating the massive amounts of legally purchased software and peripherals over the past couple of years for a new system would kill me.
posted by nwduffer at 11:06 PM on January 31, 2002


I wonder how a Windows user would make it to the Apple website to read the myths in the first place?

Well, that entire web page has also been included in Apple advertising inserts over the past couple of weeks that have been glued into Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and I'm sure plenty of others. That might help get the word out...

Oh, and of course it was linked on MeFi.
posted by spilon at 11:11 PM on January 31, 2002


Myth 7: That Photoshop will come out for OSX real soon.

I've seen and used a beta of os x photoshop. It's great, and I would guess just a few months away from release.
posted by mathowie at 11:24 PM on January 31, 2002


Oh owillis, the Lisa. Sniff. Oh, I yearn for a Lisa. It looked like the future, that is, the 1980's version of the future.
posted by kittyloop at 11:42 PM on January 31, 2002


It can’t be denied that Microsoft has made a good business out of copying the innovative Mac OS.

You mean like iPhoto, iTunes, iTaskbar, iStartMenu, the equivalents of which were in Windows well before MacOS?

(puts away petrol can ;)
posted by helloboys at 11:47 PM on January 31, 2002


I don't think the word "equivalents" means what you think it means...

And thank Ganesh that we Mac users still don't have to suffer with a Task Bar or Start Menu.
posted by nicwolff at 11:55 PM on January 31, 2002


Amen, nicwolf. Approach Apple's products with an open mind, put them through their paces, and you'll walk away converted.
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:08 AM on February 1, 2002


Apple usually has beautiful advertising, but where is it? Every time I turn on the TV, that fucking "dude, you're getting a Dell" guy is on, but I've seen one Apple ad (the tail end of an iPhoto commerical) since MacWorld.

One of my close friends, a longtime Mac user, just bought a PC laptop. Apple needs to show commercials with people taking their laptops, plugging them into a Windows network, and connecting without a hitch. (And this needs to be an actual feature, not a commercials-only thing.)
posted by kirkaracha at 12:21 AM on February 1, 2002


actually, i do that every day. OS X uses windows filesharing protocols, so we got no problems.
posted by patricking at 1:06 AM on February 1, 2002


{sigh} that dell dude is from my home town....I apologize to all of America. He's just another preppy idiot from a private school in the south.
posted by mkelley at 4:32 AM on February 1, 2002


[Approach Apple's products with an open mind, put them through their paces, and you'll walk away converted.]

I disagree. A few years ago I shared an apt with a friend who was a diehard mac user. I had always been a PC for a while. After 6 months I liked his Mac, enjoyed working with it and found it very usable especially for graphics work.

When I moved out and shopped for a PC I had no interest in going to a mac at all. Use what you like...

God I miss SuperPaint though. It's not available anymore and no other graphics program makes sense to me.
posted by revbrian at 4:34 AM on February 1, 2002


Approach Apple's products with an open mind, put them through their paces, and you'll walk away converted.

Where's Madden? I ask: where. is. madden? I'm sorry, but every August I have to have Madden. Hell, Madden is the benchmark I use nowadays for when to upgrade my PC...
posted by owillis at 4:40 AM on February 1, 2002


Myth 6: Macs are far easier to use than PCs. Guilty as charged.
er..... not in my experience, no.


I actually own both a mac and a pc and am using my pc now because it is faster for what I need it to do. But in general, I found that using my mac easier. Take away all the basic apps that are the same for each program and all you are left with is installing hardware/software and rebuilds.

Installing hardware is easier on the mac because the force it to all be external. Good/Bad, I don't know, don't care. But it is all plug and play. Pc, more than likely unless it is self powered USB or Firewire, it won't just be straight up plug and play.

Installing software is equal in my opinion. Insert CD, wait for pop up window, then click the icon to install. Not to hard.

Rebuild. This goes to the Mac. The time for me to format and rebuild my mac is roughly 3-4 hours with full installation of all my software (Adobe PS, IL, GL, Acrobat, SoundJam, Office, icq, aim, toast) unless something doesn't install. My PC on the other hand requires at least 8 hours (pre-xp) to do the same stupid thing. Why? Because I have to install driver after driver. Granted XP is treating me real nice, but it still took me just under 6 hours to install all the same software minus toast. That is why they say macs are easier to use than pcs. Or at least that is my experience why.
posted by thebwit at 4:45 AM on February 1, 2002


The Myth abouth attorneys is not a myth. 25% I doubt it's 1%. If you fall into this category, please contact me. Lawyers are, in effect, accountants with words, and I've NEVER seen a Mac in a law firm.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:36 AM on February 1, 2002


I'd guess attorneys buy macs for the same reason they buy the fancy photocopiers that sit up in the front of the office without actually being used. They look pretty cool. It's more like art that's there to impress clients.
posted by jeffhoward at 7:21 AM on February 1, 2002


Click, click.
posted by sudama at 7:29 AM on February 1, 2002


You mean like iPhoto, iTunes, iTaskbar, iStartMenu, the equivalents of which were in Windows well before MacOS?

iPhoto in its early form was called Image Viewer, which is just a chuck of Quicktime, which has been around forever. The Mac was easily editing graphics before Windows had a start menu.

iTunes in its early form was called the Quicktime player. No, it wasn't designed specifically for MP3s, but it played audio, and was out far before WiMP.

The taskbar and start menu are called "the apple menu" and "menu bar" on the MacOS, and again, the Mac did them first. But Windows invented the idea of taskbar clutter when they decided to give every single window its own flashing taskbar rectangle.

0/4, I'm afraid ;)
posted by jragon at 7:40 AM on February 1, 2002


I agree about that 25% of lawyers using Macs. That's just nuts. 25% of lawyers still use WordPerfect, for God's sake!

I could believe -- maybe -- that 25% of law firms have >at least one< Macintosh, of the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of computers owned by the firm.
posted by MattD at 7:45 AM on February 1, 2002


They concentrate so much on word processing. But if you're a gamer, at least my perception is that the Mac isn't the place to be if you want the new titles. Or cutting edge stuff. I really can't figure out why someone, aside from looks, would buy an Apple? Any superiority they have over the PC is short lived (save for the interface... that took a while to dupe).
posted by jmccorm at 7:59 AM on February 1, 2002


Apple's claim is thus: 25% of lawyers use Macs.

That's probably false (IMO).

What might be true is that 25% of law firms use macintosh. That's because we assume (see above) that law firms are big, with hundreds or thousands of computers. These firms almost certainly do not use macs. But lots of law firms are one or two man (or womand) operations, so they're much more likely to use macs. Small businesses love macs, or so apple likes to claim. It is true, in my experience, that an office full of macs takes less technical support than an office full of pcs.
posted by zpousman at 7:59 AM on February 1, 2002


and I know pc users who would die without thier right-click.

You mean like this?


posted by schlaager at 8:09 AM on February 1, 2002


accountants

Speaking of accountants.....one of the predecessor firms of my company used Macs. When the merger happened they had to decide whether to go Wintel or Mac...of course, since pretty much every client used Wintel, guess which way they went. In any case, it still took 5-6 years, according to one of my bosses, to convert about 5-6,000 users from Mac to Wintel.

And tech support still has an SE/30. That still works.
posted by PeteyStock at 8:23 AM on February 1, 2002


helloboys:

You mean like iPhoto, iTunes, iTaskbar, iStartMenu, the equivalents of which were in Windows well before MacOS?


The Macintosh has always had the apple menu at the top of the screen, and although I'll admit that MS has had Paint, the media player, and a taskbar (starting with Win95), the applications are not even comparable. The "taskbar (dock)" in OS X offers much greater funcionality, and i that's a small thing to complain about considering MS has been copying the Mac since before it was ever released to the public in the first place.
posted by schlaager at 8:25 AM on February 1, 2002


I am so disappointed. I was hoping the "myths" they were going to explain were things like the meaning of August 27, 1956 and whether the bite out of the apple really is a tribute to Alan Turing.
posted by edamame at 8:30 AM on February 1, 2002


Here, here, schlaager. I replaced the god-awful ProMouse with a two-button wheel mouse. Now I, too, can right click. It is a bit of a guessing game whether the wheel will work with any given application, though.
posted by jeffvc at 8:44 AM on February 1, 2002


Here, here, schlaager. I replaced the god-awful ProMouse with a two-button wheel mouse. Now I, too, can right click. It is a bit of a guessing game whether the wheel will work with any given application, though.

Don't worry, it's the same with PCs. :)

I find that the mouse wheel sometimes is backwards in Netscape.
posted by schlaager at 8:49 AM on February 1, 2002


schlaager: have you tried USB Overdrive? It might give more control over the wheel.

Mac OS X uptime sound-off! My G3 PowerBook: 37 days and counting.
posted by nicwolff at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2002


Although I'm a PC man, as someone whose been playing with computers since he was 11(my old Commodore Vic-20), Apple does get props for it's innovations.
That said there are a few myths not mentioned in the article, like the long-standing attitude that Macs are somehow less "corporate" than PC's. Did I miss something here or did the Apple Corproation become a kibbutz?
As far as Apple lifting ideas from the PC folk, how about their recent ventures into retail outlets, an idea Apple took from Gateway, which Steve Jobs has publicly admitted.
posted by jonmc at 9:02 AM on February 1, 2002


That's probably false (IMO).
What might be true is that 25% of law firms use macintosh.


Straight from sudama's link:
When asked which hardware brand of personal computer is most widely used by the firm, Apple computers ranked an amazing second with 23 percent of the firms responding that Apples were the dominant brand.
Quite shocking that Apple would be a dominant platform so often, but it comes from the mouth of the American Bar Association.
posted by Llama-Lime at 9:32 AM on February 1, 2002


yah, proprietary products always work out in the end. Hell look at the sucess of Real Audio compared to Mp3s!

blah
posted by Satapher at 9:42 AM on February 1, 2002


Right, because BSD UNIX is so amazingly proprietary compared to the WinNT kernel.
posted by darukaru at 9:52 AM on February 1, 2002


I reboot out of habit; my OS X uptime knows no bounds.
posted by sudama at 10:09 AM on February 1, 2002


every day i use NT4, WIN2000, OSX, and OS8.3. I don't care anymore.

my dream for computers is this: I turn it on, it works, and i don't have to know a single thing about how, it should work without fail. I don't want to know the OS version, i don't want to know how much ram, or how fast the ram is, or if the hardrives are fast or really really fast or striped together or anything. I just want it to work, like my toaster or microwave works.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:17 AM on February 1, 2002


As far as the attorney bit goes, these sites will insist upon the Mac's superiority in the law office:1, 2.

(Although, in general I've found that whenever anyone has to create a web site to insist upon anything, they're engaging in an uphill battle. "Protesting too much" comes to mind.)

thebwit: I couldn't agree with you more. The ease-of-use differential these days comes down to how difficult it is to do a complete rebuild and re-install. Since Apple "controls the whole widget" there are less drivers/variables with which to be concerned. More often than not, a complete re-install is the only sure-fire troubleshooting method, and on a Mac this can typically be done in less that 90 minutes total. And OS X is stable as a rock -- I imagine my uptime would be 6 months at this point, if only I didn't have to restart when I downloaded an OS update! (The apps are another story, and they're being released/upgraded steadily.)

helloboys: Comparing iTunes to to Windows Media Player begs clarification. Okay, so we're over the fact that Microsoft "borrowed" shamelessly from Apple. It wouldn't bother me if they did it better. But they don't. They rip concepts off merely to boost their feature list, but their products lack any of the elegance or essence of the original. Compare iMovie to Windows Movie Maker to illustrate this point. At first glance it looks like iMovie, enough to fool an ignorant consumer ... but using them for 2 minutes will illustrate the worlds of differences between the two.

Does Windows have an equivalent to iPhoto? I'm not aware of one. A picture viewer/converter, perhaps... but iPhoto is much more. It has excellent photo organizing and cataloguing features, easy one-click printing (at home or via oFoto.com) bound book printing via mypublisher.com, slide show/web site creation and more.

Quite honestly, I don't mind when Apple responds in turn by "borrowing" from Microsoft... because in their rendition it's improved!

jragon: Actually, iTunes in it's earliest form was Casady & Greene's SoundJam. Apple bought it, unified/ prettied up it's interface, and repackaged it as a free entrant to their "digital hub." If you're saying that Apple brought multimedia and video to desktop PC's by way of QuickTime, well then I'd agree with you. But Apple was admittedly late to the MP3 game, with QuickTime not supporting it until after a few months of it being on the radar. I needed MacAmp for a while.

In any event, Apple's pulled themselves together quite well in recent years. (Remember the dark Amelio days? The Wired cover article with the bleeding Apple logo and the headline "Pray."?) It's speaks well of Apple's products that their customer base is as fiercely loyal as it is, and of their strategy that they've been able to succeed against such immense market (and yes, monopolistic) pressures. I just wonder how long Steve can last... and who possibly could fill his shoes when he steps down.

Until then at least, I have and use both platforms -- but my OS of choice in every aspect is the Mac.
posted by Fofer at 10:20 AM on February 1, 2002


change MAC to Linux and you got the same argument. SO What? Anything you can do in Windows/MacOS you can do in Linux, Weather or not you can do it better is a matter of personal preference
posted by LouieCypher at 10:29 AM on February 1, 2002


Wow. More idiotic Apple propaganda willing decimated by their fans. It's not like this wasn't happening 6 years ago or anything like that...
posted by delmoi at 11:54 AM on February 1, 2002


Myth 3: The software I need isn’t available for Macs

3dsmax? nope, nope, and nope.
posted by tomplus2 at 12:41 PM on February 1, 2002


And tech support still has an SE/30. That still works.

Mine makes a great print and network server! Now if I could just find a use for my old Apple //+ - it runs but there's only so much a 1.2Mhz processor can handle...
posted by RevGreg at 1:49 PM on February 1, 2002


My Beige G3: up 15 days.
posted by sudama at 10:52 PM on February 1, 2002


More idiotic Apple propaganda willing decimated by their fans.

I generally try not to be a grammar nazi, but I'm getting really tired of this one. It's DISSEMINATED, folks. To "decimate" means "to reduce to a tenth of its former numbers."

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:35 AM on February 2, 2002


itunes just "seems" way better than windows media player when it comes to playing music. but then again, windows media player for music? any self-respecting pc user would immediately switch th winamp. if not for the speed, then for the anime skins.
posted by lotsofno at 5:06 AM on February 2, 2002


Actually, Mars, it originally meant to reduce by a tenth, i.e., to kill every tenth man.
posted by kindall at 10:05 AM on February 2, 2002


"I reboot out of habit; my OS X uptime knows no bounds."

I run Win98SE on an AMD 750, and I haven't rebooted in months. I have a core suite of applications that I use, and they all work flawlessly.

But the next computer I buy will be a Mac. The last time I sat at an Apple keyboard was in junior high (IIc, anyone?) and it's high time I reacquainted myself. Not because I think Macs are better (or worse), but because in the IT field the more you know, the better. A friend of my mother called me yesterday for help with his computer, and I was all rarin' to go until he said "It's a Mac". Sorry, Alan, can't help you. Not yet, anyway.

And the next time I reformat or install a new drive on my Windows PC, it will dual-boot with Linux. Right now I know just enough to get myself in trouble. But this too shall pass.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:01 PM on February 2, 2002


I'd love to switch to a Mac. The G4 tower looks like it'd be lovely to upgrade. And all of the apps I use run just as well or better on a Mac.

But I'm cheap.
posted by Ptrin at 5:25 PM on February 2, 2002


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