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June 10, 2002 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Switch. Apple launches its first major ad campaign since "Think Different". Rather than preaching to the converted, it's gunning for the other 90% -- the unhappy Windows users. Can Apple double its marketshare to 10% as Steve Jobs is hoping? Does this represent a less smug, more aggressive Apple? Are you considering switching, or have you switched already?
posted by jragon (132 comments total)

 
I'm primarily a PC/windows user and I've been seriously considering getting an iBook. They're pretty spiffy. I think the fact that I use Macs at school has greatly influenced this desire.
posted by ODiV at 8:17 AM on June 10, 2002


I switched back to a PC after fours years of Macs. After seeing the 333MHz Win2k PC my sister owns run better and crash less than my 333MHz iMac with OS X I figured it was time to go back. I've been very happy since. For me Windows XP is a much better fit.
posted by @homer at 8:19 AM on June 10, 2002


it's gunning for the other 90% -- the unhappy Windows users.

that, of course, assumes that all Windows users are unhappy, which, zounds!, is not the case at all!
posted by BlueTrain at 8:23 AM on June 10, 2002


I've been using windows exclusively for about six years. Prior to that I had a mac at home. I'm switching to Mac OsX in the near future because a) someone else is paying for it, and b) I want unix with a very nice, no hassle interface.

I guess I also want to use a machine that feels like someone cared about usability. I have yet to experience that with windows (which I don't mind that much).
posted by mecran01 at 8:26 AM on June 10, 2002


We've got a Mac in the lab for testing out web designs. I haven't used one since college, and I have to say this one drives me insane. Despite all the bragging from the faithful about how much better the interface is, I can't figure out where anything is, much less how it works. And what is up with the task bar (?) zooming up and down?

The new mouse is another problem (for me, at least). I am used to clicking with just one finger or the other, but having to push the whole mouse down gives me a quick pain at the base of my wrist (on top).

(quick derail of my own post - is there a name for that part of my hand? it's the last inch of what would be my palm if it weren't on the top of my hand.)

My non-flame! and casual user opinion is this: like so many other things in our marketing driven world, the concept of "New!" has been substituted for "improved". I have no need and no desire to switch, now or in the foreseeable future.
posted by Irontom at 8:28 AM on June 10, 2002


i have been using (and supporting) the windows platforms for 8 years i guess.

I have been using *nix variants for about 10.

I have engaged in platform wars with my MAC zealot cousin for years.

I have never been happier with a hardware/os combination than my iBook/osx 10.1.
posted by das_2099 at 8:29 AM on June 10, 2002


A few more products on par with the iPod and I'd be willing to make the switch.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:32 AM on June 10, 2002


To clarify, we're referring to Steve Jobs' quote:

"The great thing is when you have 5% market share, all you have to do is convince another five out of the other 95% to switch and you have doubled your market share."

Keep in mind, BlueTrain, that jragon didn't say "all," he just said "the unhappy" ones. (Okay, so 5% of Windows users might be happy, I'll give ya that.)
posted by Fofer at 8:33 AM on June 10, 2002


Irontom, your response is sure to provoke the Mac faithful, so I may as well start.

You'll find out where everything is with increased use, the "zooming taskbar" can be configured to "not zoom", and you can always use another mouse if you so wish. Like an MS Intellimouse Explorer, for example.

My own personal motto in this isn't "Switch". It's "Use both, because both platforms have some really great things going for them, especially if you're a developer".

Hey, I never said it was a catchy motto.
posted by SiW at 8:40 AM on June 10, 2002


@homer: You were actually crashing the OS? I have not been able to take it down once yet. I am so loving OS X.
posted by thirteen at 8:40 AM on June 10, 2002


someone tell Jobs that what's not so great is even if you manage to double your market share you'd still be getting crushed.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 8:41 AM on June 10, 2002


Games.
posted by straight at 8:49 AM on June 10, 2002


sigh...

ok, without going into it too much....

if the personal computing market is a ...oh..i dunno.. 10 billion (easy round number) market...and you get 10%...how are you getting "crushed?" I amnot saying it isn't apples goal to be the "biggest"...but the idea that you have to be the biggest, end all-be all monopoly of computing seems a little too black and white

There is a prize for coming in second place.

And don't even get me into the quality vs sales argument.
take a look at the folks topping the record sales weekly, and talk to me about quality music.

sorry...uncalled for blathering...but the whole "you are losing man!..you only hold X% of market share" is tripe...
posted by das_2099 at 8:49 AM on June 10, 2002


straight:

Word.

Why do you think i still have that PC in the den? i gotta get some Jedi II lovin every once in a while, right?

ds
posted by das_2099 at 8:50 AM on June 10, 2002


i bought an apple laptop back in november. it's a titanium iBook, G4 450mhz processor loaded with Mac OS X (now upgraded to 10.1.5). i like it a lot. i've used the macintosh interface when it came out, and OS X is a bit different.

i have to disagree with Irontom; i found the interface very easy to get used to, and i prefer several points. i like how the arrows on scroll bars are beside each other; the placement they have in windows are such that i would almost never use them. i don't know if tom means the dock when he mentions the task bar. some people don't like the dock, but i think it's pretty good for a few applications you often run.

the nice thing about macs is that you aren't chained to their mouse or their keyboard, but that's kind of a useless point since on first impression (which is what will count for the casual user) the apple versions are what you get. i've used the all-button mouse, and liked it fine. i do like how the bottom uses infrared to locate its position, since you don't have to worry about cleaning the track ball or the rollers inside the mouse in that case (for there aren't any). i will say that on my laptop i am still using the track pad, which is operated by finger sense.

My non-flame! and casual user opinion is this: like so many other things in our marketing driven world, the concept of "New!" has been substituted for "improved". I have no need and no desire to switch, now or in the foreseeable future.

macs are improved from their earlier incantations, i would say. prior to OS X, macintosh systems could not have more than one running process on top of the OS at a time if the running process chose not to volunteer its CPU time via sleep when it was idle. also, being based on FreeBSD, the system is much more stable. i have yet to crash my laptop, in fact. i think some mac users are upset with interface changes. i don't know. i think the varied musings of jef raskin gave mac users a sense of elitism which was bowled over by the new look. personally i like the interface.

i'm definitely recommending macintoshes to friends and family in need of computers. it's linux and macintosh for me: i won't go back to windows.
posted by moz at 8:51 AM on June 10, 2002


I used Windows for 8 years and switched to OS9 in february and OSX a month ago. I will not go back......

I run OSX on an old Wallstreet and it has been the most stable computer I've owned.....
posted by mkelley at 8:52 AM on June 10, 2002


even if you manage to double your market share you'd still be getting crushed

Yeah, and Apple has been "getting crushed" for fifteen years or so now.
posted by kindall at 8:54 AM on June 10, 2002


Macs never impressed me that much, but I guess that it's due to the fact that they cost so much here in Brazil. I can get a top of the line PC for about US$1300-1500, while the new iMac would cost me US$ 4000.

Since I'm work with business software (ERP, databases, etc), Macs never had me even curious as they would if I worked with art, visual design or something like that.

But I got really curious recently. And what got me was not the new iMac (nor the old, nor the cube, nor the titanium powerbook). It was the new OSX system.

I suppose I can go on using windows, but I sure would like to try the OSX... I see Apple gathering some new users if they promote their system well. I don't want to learn how to install and do things in a Linux box, because I've already learned the tips and tricks for one system (windows). But I'd love to get Unix with a nice interface and no trouble installing (I've recently watched as a friend of mine did a OS9/OSX install and was really impressed).
posted by rexgregbr at 8:57 AM on June 10, 2002


I can build a brand new AMD Athlon 2000+ based machine with a 40GB HD, 512 MB RAM, 32MB GeForce 4 Vid Card, SB Audigy Sound, DVD/CD-RW drive and Win XP for ~$1000 (no monitor). I could buy one already made for ~$1200. If I could find a Mac that powerful and that cheap I would switch in a heartbeat.
posted by internal at 8:57 AM on June 10, 2002


Hey das_2099? Check it out....Jedi II is coming for mac. *grin*
posted by borgle at 9:03 AM on June 10, 2002


If I could find a Mac that powerful and that cheap I would switch in a heartbeat.

*cough*

Onboard video ain't as good, and it doesn't play DVDs but it's $100 less and comes with an integrated 17" CRT. No bloody knuckles from Taiwanese pot-metal PC cases either.
posted by machaus at 9:09 AM on June 10, 2002


There's an Apple store at the local mall... and everytime I go in I just want to take something home with me. That and my 5 year old PC is starting to do those 5 year old PC things that I simply attribute to my Windows scapegoat. I'm certain I'll own a Mac someday.
posted by dopamine at 9:11 AM on June 10, 2002


As a person who is fluently bi-operational (Mac at home, PC at work) I can honestly say that my allegience lies with neither OS. Both have their good points, both have their annoyances, and both have been known to crash in the middle of long unsaved documents.

The point is, is that everybody has their favourite and it's based on their personal history with whatever machine they've used. Some of my co-workers have iMacs they would love to toss out the window. Other co-workers wish the same fate for their PCs.

People are quick to forget that computers are not like a toaster. You can't just press a button and expect it to work perfectly 100 per cent of the time. A computer is doing a billion complex tasks at once. Throw in a few software conflicts and a virus or two and voila -- your machine is screwed up.

As a sidebar, it is interesting to note that most Mac users have this sense of immense loyalty to Apple. Apple has done great marketing to perpetuate this. Or perhaps this loyalty stems out of an anti-Gates movement combined with a love for the quirky underdog? Regardless, not too many PC users (that I know anyway) are this devoted to their machines. Really, it's kinda like being fanatical about your fridge or something. :)
posted by quietfish at 9:11 AM on June 10, 2002


Jobs is such a piece of shit he makes me want to scream.

If he really wants to double Apple market share, all he has to do is release a version of X that will run on Intel chips.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:13 AM on June 10, 2002


Every year I administer a speed/performance test to my PC to see if I need to really upgrade it. It's called Madden Football. Forget all the other games. When you can see this on a Mac, they'll break that 10% ceiling. And not those Gap-esque Apple stores (has anyone see someone actually buy something from an Apple store? All I ever see are browsers.)
posted by owillis at 9:17 AM on June 10, 2002


one love. use both. amen.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:19 AM on June 10, 2002


Im a DIYer. been building my own computers since i was 18.

I love how i just spent about $500 on my machine and now own a top of the line 2000 xp machine.

Best yet is in 2 years when i need to upgrade again i will do the same thing and spend about the same amount.

Macs arn't aimed at the tech-head/gamer people.

Its too bad too...since people like me spend a good amount of money annualy on their computer.
posted by Qambient at 9:21 AM on June 10, 2002


The key to comfortably using the one-button mouse is simple: put the mouse under your palm, not under your fingers. Yes, your fingers may dangle over the front a bit. Get used to it. The mouse will properly support your wrist as your fingers click, and be much more comfortable than those mishapen blobs attached to PCs.
posted by junkbox at 9:21 AM on June 10, 2002


Microsoft came out with XP about the time I decided I needed a new work computer. What I read about XP convinced me that I definitely needed to re-think my decades of contempt for all things Apple and look into an iBook. Then I bought one.

I gotta say, OSX is more than I ever hoped it would be in terms of stability. I've made it do things that my Windows boxen just can't do without blue-screening.

The only real frustration I've come across is making the Macs and Windows units talk to each other, and that's mostly due to my own failings as a network administrator. It's supposed to be a lot easier than I'm making it but it's just not been too high on my priority list.

Although I plan to keep the Windows boxen around for a while, my next computer purchase will almost certainly be another Mac.
posted by mikewas at 9:22 AM on June 10, 2002


@homer: You were actually crashing the OS? I have not been able to take it down once yet.

I was just using IE and Omniweb. They would die and lock up the whole system. Ok so I wasn't killing the OS itself but when the machine locks up and I have to find a paperclip the computer is dead enough for me.
posted by @homer at 9:24 AM on June 10, 2002


Really, it's kinda like being fanatical about your fridge or something. :)

Right, if you're a chef. Or your car, if you're a racecar driver. I work on computers, and I play on computers, so I guess I'm a fan of high quality. (shrug)
posted by jragon at 9:26 AM on June 10, 2002


Despite all the bragging from the faithful about how much better the interface is, I can't figure out where anything is, much less how it works.

I always love it when someone cites their lack of experience with an OS as a design flaw. I work with both MacOS and Windows machines on a daily basis and, yes, I *know* where everything is and how it works. It just infuriates me that it take so much more work to get anything done on a Windows machine. More clicks, deeper nesting, less logical organization. If you're used to it, great, continue to use it - but don't knock my favorite OS for not duplicating the "errors" of yours!

The new mouse is another problem (for me, at least).

Well, if you're getting pains in your wrist from it, you need to alter the angle at which your arm rests on the desk surface. Of course, the mouse that came with my G4 is sitting snug in the box while I use a Logitech three-button scroll wheel wireless thumb mouse...a much superior option IMHO.

someone tell Jobs that what's not so great is even if you manage to double your market share you'd still be getting crushed.

Crushed? By who or what? Apple is a VERY financially sound company with fantastic hardware, great software and a fanatically loyal user-base. Hell, two years ago Compaq was a huge PC supplier and now they are in the dustbin of history along with many other huge PC suppliers from the past. Volume of sales doesn't mean shit if you aren't making money and, like it or not, Apple is making money.

I was just using IE and Omniweb. They would die and lock up the whole system.

I have to agree with thirteen on OS X since it is easily the most stable OS I've ever used. The only boots I have done are to turn the system on or after installing major upgrades - it has been rock solid otherwise. I'd suspect a hardware problem (specifically a bad RAM module) is the cause of your problems, especially since my personal experience, the experience of prominent OS X users and what I've seen in forums around the net is very contradictory to your experience. I am currently using Omniweb to create this post and IE is also running (since Blogger Pro doesn't work well with Omniweb.)

I will also say that most of my friends who are Windoze users are very happy with XP's stability - but I guess if you want to trade a reasonably open OS for one which is moving towards more and more proprietary standards, that's your problem, not mine!

If he really wants to double Apple market share, all he has to do is release a version of X that will run on Intel chips.

Not going to happen because it's absolutely pointless for Apple to do so. The big mistake in your logic is that you're equating Apple with Microsoft - and they are not very similar. Apple's bread-and-butter is hardware sales, not OS sales. Why would they want to invest in the HUGE amount of R&D required to support all of the shitty PC components available on the market only to gut their income? Do you even realize what sort of increase in customer service issues would be involved in such a move? It's not even worth consideration...
posted by RevGreg at 9:28 AM on June 10, 2002


I've always made my platform choices based on convenience, or what I can get the most components and software for at the least cost. That's historically been a PC since I could cobble together a working box from hand-me-downs and sale items, and most people have discs of the more popular software lying around.

A few months ago, when I decided to make my living as a freelance writer, I figured the time was ripe for a new, working computer that I could call tech support about if something bad happened instead of opening the case and staring helplessly at the innards while meanwhile deadlines pass and money is not made. So I bought a TiBook, which came with OSX.

It was honestly a "vote with my dollar" decision (although going to SxSW and seeing all the pretty Powerbooks in action helped some), since I just don't like the way MS is handling licensing on XP, plus I think there needs to be viable consumer options out there. I'm not as good with Mac OS as I am with Windows, but I'm getting there, and I'm very pleased with my decision. (The only thing that I'm sad about is that Office X has no database ap included with it. I like to maintain client databases and damned if that POS included with Apple Works is any good.)

My free tech support is getting ready to run out and I'm debating whether or not to shell out the additional bucks for the extended Apple Care plan. Any advice?
posted by jennyb at 9:29 AM on June 10, 2002


I used mac's in the 80's and early 90's, then cost and software availability swayed me over to the dark side...but I have so much capital invested in software that won't run on macs, that I can't imagine having to re-purchase all the code. (yes, I know about emulators, but good lords, trying to run intensive apps under an emulator is just asking for trouble)

Mostly 3d stuff, graphics, and games are the apps that keep me from switching. Many of the games aren't coded to work on anything but intel-based systems and the 3d software is way too expensive to replace...and in some cases is no longer being made and was never designed for the mac chipset. And apps like Photoshop, which run stunningly well on Macs are also just too expensive to rebuy. Once you have an extensive software library, you're pretty much committed to the systems which will run that software.

(And I can build a screaming PC/Linux box for under 2k...which can't be said for Mac.) That said, the Powerbooks do call to me from time to time...and will probably be my next notebook purchase.
posted by dejah420 at 9:39 AM on June 10, 2002


owillis, Madden football came out for Mac back in 2000... sadly that was the last version. I don't think it sold too well. [generalization] Maybe Mac users don't like sports? [/generalization]

Nah, I'm pretty sure most Mac users interested in games just end up doing the smart thing and get a PS2, XBox, or GameCube. That's what I did and I feel like I've got the best of all worlds. My WinXP box is very lonely, only gets used once in a blue moon...

jennyb: I'd recommend you go with the extended AppleCare for that TiBook. Especially for a laptop, where anything can happen when you travel. I've assisted many friends, family members, and clients in dire situations, and every time Apple has pulled through for the AppleCare holders. Just last week, my sister suffered a dropped iBook (airport x-ray handlers.... grr...) and Apple had it back to her within 3 days. Totally fixed, spruced up, no problems whatsoever. Without AppleCare it would have been a least a $900 repair.

zoopraxiscope, 10% of the PC market, and you'd say Apple was "still getting crushed"? Please, inform yourself. Do some math. Any idea what Mercedes-Benz's market share of the auto market is?

I don't need Apple to dominate, I just want to see them survive ... and keep on keepin' on. So that I, and my kids, and my kids' kids, can continue to enjoy using cool technology tools.
posted by Fofer at 9:39 AM on June 10, 2002


Not bad machaus, but with 512MB RAM the price skyrockets $225 up to $1324.
posted by internal at 9:41 AM on June 10, 2002


I've got a pc that hardly ever crashes and when it does, its usually just the app and doesn't require a reboot. On the other hand, my Imac crashes all the time (still using 9.1) and not only do I have to restart the damn thing each time, I have to stick a straightened paper clip into that tiny hole on the side. Who's idea was that and are they still working?

So, my question to OSx users, if the app crashes do you still need to restart the whole computer or just the app?
posted by gfrobe at 9:47 AM on June 10, 2002


Expect more. Both XP and OSX are still crap compared to what they could be. Both crash for me with pretty equal ease during normal use. Both are much, much better than what came before them.

The same will be true ten years from now with whatever operating systems are the latest and greatest. And ten years from then. This is technology, folks, not religion.

Expect more. Demand more.
posted by rushmc at 9:47 AM on June 10, 2002


It doesn't crash.
Yes, it does. I can do it in three clicks.

A lot of the other claims are questionable, too. Can your PC laptop go to sleep just by shutting the lid? My crapass 9lb Toshiba from 1994 did. I hate the fact that the Mac interface only lets me at a very limited number of menus/options in most programs by using the keyboard.

Macs and OSX do have some nice stuff, but they're not nearly the revelation this campaign is making them out to be. I pretty much use both Windows and OSX now, and they both have high points. I like switching between them.

Sidenote: Are true PowerPC/Macs made anymore? All the new Macs are called PowerMacs, but someone's told me they won't actually load Windows.
posted by Su at 9:49 AM on June 10, 2002


So, my question to OSx users, if the app crashes do you still need to restart the whole computer or just the app?

No. You can "force quit" an application, just as you would with NT/2K/XP and the task manager. If the offending application is actually the Finder (akin to Windows' Explorer) the option is "relaunch".

Of course, if you have a terminal window open you can use kill -9 ;)
posted by SiW at 9:51 AM on June 10, 2002


Uh yeah, I sure read the question right. I meant to say "Just the app", not "No".

Also the paperclip thing.. is this just a G4 issue? I can reset an iMac without a paperclip..
posted by SiW at 9:53 AM on June 10, 2002


Hey, check it out, it's Liza Richardson from KCRW! And Mark Frauenfelder from Boing Boing!
posted by jjg at 9:54 AM on June 10, 2002


The thing with Apples market share, is that it is their's. Who are their competitors? The 90% PC market is split between how many vendors? Apple owns their 5% and is staying alive with that 5. If they double to 10, it can only mean good things for them.

I myself built an Athlon XP 1900 system recently as my new gaming flagship. Running WIN XP Pro on it, and it is rock solid. My previous machine (PIII 800) running 2000 pro was also very good. I did bluescreen it, but that was usually a result of my own doing.

Saying one OS or platform is the best, or better than another, is merely an opinion, based on requirements of the user. Different strokes for different folks. It is very nice to have the choice be yours, to choose which OS/platform suits your needs best. No?
posted by a3matrix at 10:00 AM on June 10, 2002


gfrobe: In my experience, just the app. But it doesn't happen often.

Su: Sure, you can *make* it crash, but how often does it crash when you're not trying? I noticed a huge difference between OSX and Win98. Not a fair comparison, true, but my wife has had her share of frustrations with Win2000.

Owillis: I bought my iBook, Airport card, and Airport hub in the Clarendon Apple store, got good tech advice in theTyson's Corner Apple store, and whenever I was up at the register, there was always someone else buying something.

Also, because I was a "switcher," I went ot the Clarendon store to "browse" many times before I finally plunked down the cash. I could have saved a few bucks ordering online, but I felt better about picking it up in person.
posted by mikewas at 10:00 AM on June 10, 2002


Can your PC laptop go to sleep just by shutting the lid? My crapass 9lb Toshiba from 1994 did.

I assume you mean "Mac laptop"? Yes, it can (FWIW, my Powerbook 520c from 1994 could as well). Actually it's amazing- under OS X, the wake-from-sleep is pretty much instantaneous.

I hate the fact that the Mac interface only lets me at a very limited number of menus/options in most programs by using the keyboard.

Yeah, I agree, it's kind of annoying, but that's part of Apple's "we know better than you" mentality. Fortunately, there's shareware to do that.

Sidenote: Are true PowerPC/Macs made anymore? All the new Macs are called PowerMacs, but someone's told me they won't actually load Windows.

Yes- all Macs use the PowerPC processor, but they don't call them "PowerMacs" anymore. If what you're referring to is that old legend about the PowerPC chip being able to run Windows, then no, it's not the case. Never was, really. The PowerPC was originally *capable* of running Windows, and MS did, briefly, have NT for PowerPC, but it was for servers and not compatible with the chips used in consumer Macs.
posted by mkultra at 10:01 AM on June 10, 2002


Not bad machaus, but with 512MB RAM the price skyrockets $225 up to $1324.

You cite a "build-your-own" computer price in your initial post and yet you would give Apple $225 for RAM? What's up with that?! For $225 I could max the sucker out with two 512mb DIMM's and still have almost half my cash left before I sold the 128mb DIMM that came with it on eBay! I'm running 896mb of RAM on my G4 Quicksilver and I have less than $125 invested in RAM other than the 128mb that came with the system...
posted by RevGreg at 10:04 AM on June 10, 2002


Not bad machaus, but with 512MB RAM the price skyrockets $225 up to $1324.

You cite a "build-your-own" computer price in your initial post and yet you would give Apple $225 for RAM? What's up with that?! For $225 I could max the sucker out with two 512mb DIMM's and still have almost half my cash left before I sold the 128mb DIMM that came with it on eBay! I'm running 896mb of RAM on my G4 Quicksilver and I have less than $125 invested in RAM other than the 128mb that came with the system...
posted by RevGreg at 10:05 AM on June 10, 2002


Incidentally Su, what are the 3 magic clicks to crashdom?
posted by SiW at 10:06 AM on June 10, 2002


gfrobe: In my experience, just the app. But it doesn't happen often.

whether or not the app crashes ought to be no reflection on the operating system. an application crash is the sole responsibility of its authors and their suckitude. just in case someone makes CoolPhotoShop for apple tomorrow, which crashes a zillion times and causes prospective buyers to think "what! apple programs crash all the time! fuck that!" i know i can crash with the best of them.
posted by moz at 10:09 AM on June 10, 2002


Anyone else notice the bizarre homogeneity of the people in the new Apple commercials? Doesn't take a genius to figure out their target demographic...
posted by krunk at 10:20 AM on June 10, 2002


Anyone else notice that those "testimonial" pictures on the Apple Switch page really look like actors--bad ones at that. They all appear to be trying too hard to look ordinary. Creepy.
posted by mooncrow at 10:24 AM on June 10, 2002


I can build a brand new AMD Athlon 2000+ based machine with a 40GB HD, 512 MB RAM, 32MB GeForce 4 Vid Card, SB Audigy Sound, DVD/CD-RW drive and Win XP for ~$1000 (no monitor). I could buy one already made for ~$1200. If I could find a Mac that powerful and that cheap I would switch in a heartbeat.
posted by internal at 8:57 AM PST on June 10


I can stick a v8 in a 1989 Ford Escort. It's still a Ford Escort.
posted by mecran01 at 10:25 AM on June 10, 2002


krunk: They all look like dorky IT professionals. *ducks*
posted by insomnyuk at 10:25 AM on June 10, 2002


I have been a 5+years Mac user, but have had to deal with "the dark side" everyday at work so I have acquired a good idea of how is it like on both sides of the fence. Now, I love my Mac, but it would be bogus not to recognize the leaps and bounds Windows has made in terms of system reliability and stability, a point Apple has been missing as of late in favor of "eye candy". Sorry but still can't love eject buttons that don't work or systems that crash on your face at any moment, no matter how hard Apple tries to. I use a Win2000 install at work and needless to say I have been greatly impressed with it. (still not into WinXP). And for much less dough, for sure.

Switching? Maybe... but the other way around if Apple doesn't get its act together for me.
posted by betobeto at 10:30 AM on June 10, 2002


People are quick to forget that computers are not like a toaster. You can't just press a button and expect it to work perfectly 100 per cent of the time.

Damn! I wish I had a toaster that worked that well! Or I wish my Mac could make toast.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:35 AM on June 10, 2002


I started on an XT.
Then I was on a MacPlus.
Later it was a 386.
Then a 486, a 586, and now an Athlon.

I stopped buying Macs primarily because their system got clunkier, their hardware got pricier, and the games, those wonderful games, disappeared.

When Apple decided their computer was for professional who did nothing but do design work and appreciated aesthetic, and dumped those of us who enjoyed playing Dark Castle, Crystal Quest, Uninvited, The Fool's Errand, and all those wonderfully superior to PC games -- that was when I welcomed the PC market, which decided to get it's act together and develop 256 colors and white sound synth cards that today has spawned the 3d accelerator and 5.1 surround capability.

I still like the Mac, and I'd like to own one, particularly since its system is now FreeBSD's child Darwin (which runs on Intel chips, but sorry, it's just bare Unix for now) running underneath OS X. But I can't justify it. All the applications that run on Macs also run on PCs... and there are no games.

Buying an Xbox or PS2 being the "smart" thing? The PC and console gaming worlds are two different places. Your basically bringing up the same argument of PCs versus Macs on that one.

In the end, it's just what you need and what you want... and what you can justify to buy for yourself.
posted by linux at 10:37 AM on June 10, 2002


All the apps that I used, I meant to say.
posted by linux at 10:38 AM on June 10, 2002


I support 12-15 Macs at work. Too damn easy. (Which is prob. why it's only 1/3 of my job description!)

I had an interesting weekend setting up a new PC at home. (Have a revB iMac but the PC was built by my brother-in-law so I could run some PC-only music software for a project I'm part of).

Hooked up the broadband - pretty easy altho' every time the PC boots it asks for the install CD because 'something //..VWXYZ.exe blah' is missing. Insert CD & it tries to install from scratch again.

Iomega USB Zip & CDW (which were attached to iMac) installed nicely.

Canon PowerShot S20 USB - not liking that. Maybe I'll have another go tonight. Maybe try the RS232 route - how 80s ;-)

Epson USB printer - yeow! Not having fun there...

I saw lotsa blue screens but as I'm starting out - and learning as I go - I'm not about start cursing the hellspawn of PC or whatever. I'm dead chuffed that I can finally use this music software.

Macs just feel a hell of a lot more solid both in build and in the way the software fits together. And they look & feel soooo much better.
posted by i_cola at 10:46 AM on June 10, 2002


Yeah, I switched. I'm doing pretty well with a PIII system I built from scratch. It runs Mandrake Linux. The whole thing cost about three hundred bucks with the new hard drive and RAM I dropped in.

As soon as Apple starts selling its ridiculously overpriced hardware for cheap, I'll give it a shot. Say what you like about PCs, but I agree with Neal Stephenson: PCs are the machines for true hackers, not Apples.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:00 AM on June 10, 2002


This is my first mac and my ibook made computing fun again. So much fun that I ebayed me an old powermac 7200 running ol' mac 8.6 that's running as an email server and, in the future, a web server. Thinking of installing linux on my other ebayed 7200 and even considering turning the Dell desktop into a dual boot system (win98se crashes at least twice daily, will not use xp because of that stupid licensing deal and microsoft likes to peek into your searches.) Linux doesn't seem so scary anymore... don't know why but there it is.

I'm having fun and feeling creative with a computer again, just like when my folks got me a //c. Dos/Windows, with all its crashes and idiosyncracies, never made me feel like this.

Use whatever works for you. I can get work done on both platforms, but I prefer the mac os, both classic and X. Games are plentiful on the pc side though I wouldn't say they are better. Best selling games usually get ported to macs eventually.

Oh yeah, I've used a lot of notebooks in the past and the iBook is the best of the lot. Small, elegant, and fun. And no stupid manufacturer's stickers all over the blasted thing.
posted by Tacodog at 11:07 AM on June 10, 2002


I can stick a v8 in a 1989 Ford Escort. It's still a Ford Escort.


Poor analogy.

I know my system that i have been building on for years will smoke any prebuilt comprable speed system.
posted by Qambient at 11:08 AM on June 10, 2002


PCs have become the new hot rods. I don't think it's that poor of an analogy. Who cares how fast your system runs, if using it is irritating and unsatisfying? (Mac or PC?)

One of the "actors" in the switch commercials is Mark Frauenfelder at http://www.boingboing.net . I think he's real, but don't have proof, other than the books he's written, assorted web pages, etc.
posted by mecran01 at 11:14 AM on June 10, 2002


BoingBoing home of apple marketing droid Mark Frauenfelder.
posted by mecran01 at 11:15 AM on June 10, 2002


Doesn't take a genius to figure out their target demographic...

It's about time someone targeted the "doughy white person" market.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:16 AM on June 10, 2002


I like Macs, always have. I had a Mac IIsi that my parents gave me, back in the day, and I loved it. I squeezed every last drop of functionality out of that thing. Of course, it came to a point where I couldn't do anything new with it (like surf the web, for example) because it was too old and slow. And so ended my career as a Mac user, because I couldn't afford new hardware.

And there lies the problem with Macs. How do I upgrade? I'm not talking about a tiny little processor upgrade...I'm talking about a full system upgrade. It would cost me in the thousands to switch over to Mac. That's a lot for a struggling student like me.

I AM getting tired of Windows, but right now I don't see a viable alternative. Linux is not bad but not all the way there yet. I've used it as my main OS before and it was okay. BeOS is sweet-ass, but it's dead now. So I'm stuck here in Microsoft-ville, until either Macs become more affordable (and no, I'm not particularly interested in an iMac), or I get rich off the dot-com boom. Wait, isn't that over? I dunno.
posted by Succa at 11:16 AM on June 10, 2002


Switch? Nah, I figured out a long time ago the answer to the inevitable platform wars that every conversation seem to turn into: own both.

I have a G4 DP/500 that I used for creative work (Flash, Photoshop, etc.) and a Pentium 4 2.53Ghz for play (Internet, games, compatiblity testing of said creative work.)

Seems to work for me, but isn't necessarily the cheapest solution in the world.

Of course, I also own a Playstation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, PSOne, N64, Saturn and two Dreamcasts. Perhaps I just have non-commital issues and too much disposable income.
posted by robbie01 at 11:22 AM on June 10, 2002


Incidentally Su, what are the 3 magic clicks to crashdom?

Windows: Start > Programs > Crash
Macintosh: Option + Crash
Linux: echo "on" > /dev/crash

Computers are lame, I hate these things. I wish I learned how to play the guitar instead.
posted by Eamon at 11:25 AM on June 10, 2002


Mkultra: About the sleeping. No, I mean PC laptop going to sleep. It was a comment under one of the Mac wonderful-ness claims. My old POS laptop went to sleep the same way.

Mikewas & SiW: It's not a question of "making" it crash or magic clicks. I can just cause anything crash(often spectacularly), given a little time, and have proven it repeatedly. I would kill for a job as a beta-tester.
posted by Su at 11:30 AM on June 10, 2002


Regardless of what you think about windows or the mac, these ads are well done and will be effective.
posted by stevengarrity at 11:30 AM on June 10, 2002


All the price comparisons between hardware are missing a huge point. You don't have to buy a brand new Mac. Do your homework, figure out what model you need and then pay attention to used stuff available.

I bought a year-old, dual 533 processor G4 tower with 512 ram and a monitor for $1100. Runs like a champ. OS X has not crashed once.

The year before, I built a PC with a pile of parts for about $700 (w/o monitor). That extra $400 is worth it.

I am in the middle of making the switch. (can't fully switch mid-project) However, I do need both for what I do, but the Mac will be my primary machine shortly.
posted by billder at 11:42 AM on June 10, 2002


I wish I could switch back to my Amiga.
posted by muckster at 11:52 AM on June 10, 2002


SU:
>It doesn't crash.
Yes, it does. I can do it in three clicks.

It's not a question of "making" it crash or magic clicks. I can just cause anything crash(often spectacularly), given a little time, and have proven it repeatedly. I would kill for a job as a beta-tester.

--backpedal and misdirect much?
: P

posted by das_2099 at 12:01 PM on June 10, 2002


http://www.linux.org
posted by Satapher at 12:08 PM on June 10, 2002


It's "Test Drive a Macintosh" for the 21st century. It sold a lot of Quadras back then, and it will probably sell lots of G4s now.

There will be a place for Apple in the computing universe as long as they want to claim it.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:09 PM on June 10, 2002


robbie01 - can I stay at your house tonight?
posted by SiW at 12:09 PM on June 10, 2002


Not bad machaus, but with 512MB RAM the price skyrockets $225 up to $1324.

Ramjet. Never buy RAM from Apple, too expensive.

Billy Graham said on Larry King the other night that the greatest form of prayer is praise, so I must chime in with praise for holy Apple. Apple, the fruit that led Adam and Eve to defy the will of God, that led them to self-knowledge and self-determinism. You too can defy the will of the all-powerful Microsoft and reach for that Apple. Eat of it, and be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

Ahem. I have to add that I OSX has never crashed since I installed 10.1+. In fact, the only program that regularly crashes is- you guessed it, IE 5 from our friends at Microsoft. I don't want to gripe about that too much, since, overall, it's a terrific browser and Microsoft Office X is, overall, a great set of programs. Adobe GoLive 6 crashes a lot as well, but none of them have ever brought down the system. I even zeroed my hard drive and reinstalled everything from the ground up, and it only took an hour to get everything back to normal (or better than normal). I hated OSX in its initial incarnation. It was really awful, worse than the buggiest beta. But now, at v. 10.1.5, I've been fully converted. I haven't restarted in OS 9 for months, and use Classic for only one app. (Photoshop 7 is still a bit too much for my budget.)

As for aesthetics, many Windoze users carp on Apple and Apple users for being concerned about aesthetics. Perhaps being and artist and a homosexual (let's massage two stereotypes here) I'm more sensitive to aesthetics than the average "doughy white person". But I think there is a link between refined aesthetics and intelligent software interfaces that no one has really talked about. I think a sensitivity to aesthetics makes Apple more sensitive to the greater issue of usability, not just in terms of the hardware, but the whole of their interface design. They still have occasional problems, but on the whole seem much more receptive to change than our pal Bill.

And I can't wait for Jaguar.

Praise be to Apple. Hosanna in the highest.
posted by evanizer at 12:15 PM on June 10, 2002


whenever i think of the MacOS or macintoshes in general i think of QuickTime.

Macs are QuickTime

and I hate QuickTime.

oh and read In the Beginning... Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon etc)

anyone else get a really wierd feeling whenever reading anything written by Apple?

i hate reading text that you know has been studied, and had people making bazillions of dollars to read over it and refine it to be scientifically sound and coax you and soothe you and....

those commercials are really lame btw.... ooh a DJ! how fucking hip.... bass snare bass snare bass snare bass snare bass snare bass snare.....
posted by Satapher at 12:18 PM on June 10, 2002


I agree with Neal Stephenson: PCs are the machines for true hackers, not Apples [rakDaddy]

Uh... you're a couple years out of date there. "In The Beginning... Was the Command Line," while a fun read, was written before OSX existed. The mac, if you hadn't noticed, now has a command line. And is immensely hackable. Even the developer tools are available as a free download, which is a lot more than you can say for the PC world.

Personally I'm in love with OSX, if only because it means I now only need two computers on my desk (OSX for development, design, and webserver; Win95 laptop for bugtesting and email) instead of three (OS9, PPClinux, Win95).
posted by ook at 12:18 PM on June 10, 2002


Hmm.. Anyone want to drink some Blue Pepsi or Vanilla Coke?
posted by crunchland at 12:26 PM on June 10, 2002


i still want a titanium powerbook tho =)
posted by Satapher at 12:31 PM on June 10, 2002


Macs are QuickTime

and I hate QuickTime


Apple is switching to Mpeg4.
posted by mecran01 at 12:43 PM on June 10, 2002


Wow, so much FUD. This is quite literally worse than slashdot posts re: OSX. First, if you haven't used OSX you and these ads are not talking about the same thing at all... and it is you that are ill informed. The ads are right... a big change has occured. You may find yourself in love with this computer if you check it out... and what would be wrong with that?

OSX is as different from OS1-9 as an OS can be. Nothing that was true about the old OS is still true. If you liked the old UI you might hate this one. If you hated the old reliability problems you'll love OSX, etc. And you can code your Apache/Perl-Python/MySQL web applications on your dekstop. It is a great consumer OS that is also a fantastic hard-core OS. Windows might have a command line, but everyone ought to know that a UNIX command line is the one true tool of the (good-type) hacker.

But it's just so depressing to read folks spout off about things that they know nothing about. I wish I spent less time with computers (usually 12+ hours/day), so maybe I'm the Snobby Simpson's comic book store owner of this thread, but so maybe of these posts just make me want to scream "Get a clue! Check it out! It is possible for great things to be done and this might be one -- isn't it worth checking out before you dismiss it?" Maybe it is far too geeky to cry about a bunch of folks beating the table and complaining about something they obviously haven't even seen, but It sounds like so much "I love Big Brother." Where's the lady in the tight tank top with the javelin when you need her?
posted by n9 at 12:43 PM on June 10, 2002


All of this, and I still see no good arguments to switch. Sure, your tastes may differ towards one or the other, but why does anyone really need to switch from one to the other?

Any competent user should be able to run any OS normally without crashing it. It this just a question of which makes up for user incompetence better?
posted by Hackworth at 12:47 PM on June 10, 2002


A hammer is a hammer is a hammer. This Holy War mentality is so 1980's.
posted by crunchland at 12:48 PM on June 10, 2002


Apple is switching to Mpeg4

Actually, it's the other way around. MPEG4 is based on QT.
posted by mkultra at 12:48 PM on June 10, 2002


Macs are QuickTime

and I hate QuickTime

Apple is switching to Mpeg4.


MPEG4 is Quicktime

I love Quicktime

...and the leader
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:54 PM on June 10, 2002


Doh!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:54 PM on June 10, 2002


It's about time someone targeted the "doughy white person" market.

Worked on me!
<trots off to Apple store...>
posted by krunk at 12:54 PM on June 10, 2002


A hammer is a hammer is a hammer. This Holy War mentality is so 1980's.

You don't understand! Windows is the holiest of all OSes.... security holes, that is...
posted by insomnyuk at 1:10 PM on June 10, 2002


I hate the fact that the Mac interface only lets me at a very limited number of menus/options in most programs by using the keyboard.

Mac OS X brings much of that to the Mac platform, finally.
posted by kindall at 1:11 PM on June 10, 2002


Thanks for the link on Jaguar evanizer. I like the sound of this :

Quartz Extreme takes advantage of the OpenGL 3D graphics engine to make the entire desktop a fully accelerated OpenGL scene. A supported* video card can then render the drawing of the desktop, just like it would a 3D game. The main CPU chip(s) can then focus on application-specific needs, making the whole system faster and more responsive.

posted by MiddleSea at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2002


I wasn't saying that Windows is bad, but that the comments on this board sound like kinds college classes panning books they've never read. It just makes you sound dumb.
posted by n9 at 1:16 PM on June 10, 2002


Ok, I was a diehard apple person. Since the time they came out with the Mac Classic. Then when I switched my major, I had to work with PC's. No big deal, I adapted quickly. Yes I have both machines, and yes I use my pc more than my mac because my mac is a g3 laptop that can't do near as much for me as the PC can due to age.

But that isn't what this is about. Recently in one of my classes we had to design our own computer network from the ground up. We went with an Apple Server over the PC server because of cost. With a PC Server running Windows 2000 Server, the software alone would cost us $1,200 for the W2k Server then an addition $20,000 in licenses for all the desktops to talk to the server (we have 500 machines in our network). The apple OS X Server costs $999 and has unlimited licenses and all computers, Apple, Windows, Linux and Unix can talk to the server and use it for server stuff (file sharing, licenses, web server...).

Simple cost cuts like that is amazing to me, and I am sure once Apple starts to push their Server stuff, they can get more of the Business market share. Even using the cheaper priced PC's for everyone's desktops, but just simply using a Mac server saves a huge amount of money for a business.

So for Apple to try to double their market share by going after the individual users, I think they may be wrong. Do what IBM did, and switch to servers, and take away the server market from Microsoft instead of the desktop market.
posted by thebwit at 1:38 PM on June 10, 2002


I haven't owned or used an Apple product since my II+, but OS X and VirtualPC have got me tempted. I like the idea of being able to test Web pages on multiple browser and operating system combinations on one box. And OS X sure looks purty.

I'm a bit worried about speed, though. I don't care about games, but has that slow browsing OS X situation reported by Wired improved in the latest OS X releases? (I know there was a MeFi thread on this but I can't find it.)
posted by timeistight at 1:44 PM on June 10, 2002


All of this, and I still see no good arguments to switch.
The argument that made me switch 14 months ago runs something like,
"Mac OS X runs these two things natively:
1) Standard Unixy applications: tcsh, emacs, make, grep...
2) Microsoft Office"

That's all I needed (I was going to buy a laptop anyway, and Apple's price is comparable to other laptops of similar quality). After I switched I discovered other goodness:

1) Absolutely NO futzing necessary. Not that I mind futzing around. Heck, I use linux and I've been building computers since 1997. But it's nice to be able to get right into work when I need to, and leave the futzing to when I have time to thoroughly enjoy it, which leads me to...
2) Cocoa. It's a travesty that NEXT failed, but OpenStep lives on in Mac OS X. This immensely hackable framework is to Windows as bash is to DOS.
3) iTunes. How is it possible that no other mp3 player makes it as quick to rip my CD's and then browse and create playlists?
4) and on...

I speak from the vantage of a programmer that used to despise Macs until I bought one. That programmer in the commercial got it exactly right.
posted by Llama-Lime at 1:46 PM on June 10, 2002


Also the paperclip thing.. is this just a G4 issue? I can reset an iMac without a paperclip..

he's talking about the first imacs that came out, they changed that later, certainly the slot-loading don't have it, i think they changed it even before that. (so he's using a very old imac, with old operating system...)
posted by rhyax at 2:01 PM on June 10, 2002


All of this, and I still see no good arguments to switch.
The argument that made me switch 14 months ago runs something like,
"Mac OS X runs these two things natively:
1) Standard Unixy applications: tcsh, emacs, make, grep...
2) Microsoft Office"

That's all I needed (I was going to buy a laptop anyway, and Apple's price is comparable to other laptops of similar quality). After I switched I discovered other goodness:

1) Absolutely NO futzing necessary. Not that I mind futzing around. Heck, I use linux and I've been building computers since 1997. But it's nice to be able to get right into work when I need to, and leave the futzing to when I have time to thoroughly enjoy it, which leads me to...
2) Cocoa. It's a travesty that NEXT failed, but OpenStep lives on in Mac OS X. This immensely hackable framework is to Windows as bash is to DOS.
3) iTunes. How is it possible that no other mp3 player makes it as quick to rip my CD's and then browse and create playlists?
4) and on...

I speak from the vantage of a programmer that used to despise Macs until I bought one. That programmer in the commercial got it exactly right.
posted by Llama-Lime at 2:06 PM on June 10, 2002


Sorry about the double post... must have done a page refresh.
posted by Llama-Lime at 2:08 PM on June 10, 2002


I'm a bit worried about speed, though. I don't care about games, but has that slow browsing OS X situation reported by Wired improved in the latest OS X releases?

OS 10.1.5, with IE 5.1.4, doesn't seem slow to me. Certainly the older build of OSX (pre 10.1.4) were a bit slower, but not noticably slower than XP (which I'm occasionally forced to use). And I even have a G4 at the low end of the processor speed/RAM spectrum (533mHZ/256 K). More RAM seems to help.
posted by evanizer at 2:09 PM on June 10, 2002


has that slow browsing OS X situation reported by Wired improved in the latest OS X releases?

Welll, Wired unfortunately used the slowest browser for Mac OS X (Internet Explorer) for its comparisons. Mozilla is much faster (although still a bit slower than its Windows counterpart), and Chimera, although unfinished, is faster still.
posted by gyc at 2:12 PM on June 10, 2002


Oh dear, these threads are always a bit silly. My qualifications: I'm a graphic designer with 2 Macs who enjoys tinkering enough that I recently built my own Athlon XP/80GB/512DDR/GeForce3/blah blah blah with Win2k Professional (mainly due to XP's licensing scheme). The Macs are a 6 year old PowerComputing clone that continues to be my primary desktop machine (4 processor upgrades, more RAM, faster CD, juicier ATX power supply, etc. etc.) and a new TiBook.

I love the Macs on a level that's frankly....a bit disturbing. I love the PC because I built it. The Athlon seems to surf the web more quickly, and likes sites with Javascript a lot more than the Macs. Games on the GeForce are cool. The Macs are better at color management, fonts, having things plugged into them, etc. I find Windows frustrating but mainly because I'm on the Macs 80% of the time. None of them (Mac or PC) crash that often. I won't claim to have the expertise to judge the platforms against each other.

But I was fascinated by my wife's response. 100% Windows and she took the TiBook on a business trip and fell in love. I doubt if I took a ThinkPad on a trip I'd come back sounding like she did.

So of course the bottom line is use what you like, but as a designer I value form....not form over function, but form and function. I would not own a machine that didn't do what I needed, but I would not own a machine that didn't move my soul a bit. As long as Apple continues to create machines that are beautiful, I'll be a Mac head. And in the name of knowledge and personal growth I'll continue to wrestle with my PC until I figure the damn thing out.
posted by jalexei at 2:37 PM on June 10, 2002


evanizer: Apple, the fruit that led Adam and Eve to defy the will of God, that led them to self-knowledge and self-determinism. You too can defy the will of the all-powerful Microsoft and reach for that Apple. Eat of it, and be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

I KNEW IT!!! Bill Gates is GOD. And Steve Jobs is a snake...
posted by rexgregbr at 2:45 PM on June 10, 2002


I know my system that i have been building on for years will smoke any prebuilt comprable speed system.

what is this, a race? did you put one of those big-ass tailpipes on your computer? most of us use our computers to do things, not to smoke other computers.

you should check out "the fast and the furious" - it's got a scene where a dude soups up his toyota supra, paints it orange, slaps some sweet stickers on it, and TOTALLY SMOKES a Ferarri. I bet you'd dig it.
posted by chrisege at 2:51 PM on June 10, 2002


Apple generally get it spot on with a nice combination of form and factor - why can't Windows boxes look that nice? Even the Solaris/other *nix boxes I use at work kick the PCs in terms of looks..

I'll get myself an Apple computer once I've forgotten the horror of carrying out system tests on Mac IE/Netscape JVMs back when I was a Java developer. There's a little green iMac that somehow avoided being thrown out of the window. Just. And a white one too - unknown error my bottom.. But those TiBooks sure do look purdy.. Mmm..
posted by Mossy at 3:07 PM on June 10, 2002


Mossy: I've done all my work for the last year on a TiBook. It really is as nice as it looks.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:41 PM on June 10, 2002


I heard a rather implausible rumour the other day that MS is toying with the idea of releasing .Net on OS X. Apparently the BSD crowd doesnt particularly like Linux (the thinking is: they resent Linux because they have been around for much longer and dont have the kind of recognition that Linux has). It would give MS a broader platform, undercut the Linux juggernaut and expose the huge gap between what MS offers and where SunOne currently is. It does sound unlikely, but it came from someone who is kinda clued in on how Microsoft thinks. If something like this does happen, then MS and Apple may not work as much at cross purposes after all.
posted by justlooking at 3:54 PM on June 10, 2002


I'm bilingual when it comes to Win/Mac OS's. I started troubleshooting PC's from 286's on, and I've been working with Apple's OS from Lisa on. (no I certainly didn't shell out 10k for it, but my Dad's employer did. I was pretty stoked to discover at age 10(?) or so that "3 page Report" can mean whatever you want when you can change font size and line spacing.)

I agree with the 'use the right tool for the job theory.' And sometimes the right tool is a Mac and sometimes a PC, (and sometimes a *nix box, but I don't get those jobs.) But I have to say I wish my Apple tools didn't have to be so damn expensive, and that I could roll my own Apple tools.
posted by MiddleSea at 3:59 PM on June 10, 2002


has that slow browsing OS X situation reported by Wired improved in the latest OS X releases?

I'm running IE 5.1 under OS X 10.1.4 (yeah, yeah - I'll download the update when I'm good and ready) and I have never experienced any "slow browsing" problems, even back when I had plain, old 10.1 installed. I must say though that except for some incompatibilities the Omniweb browser beats the pants of IE any day!
posted by RevGreg at 4:26 PM on June 10, 2002


unhappy Windows users

I am a very happy windows user.
posted by Bag Man at 5:22 PM on June 10, 2002


I've spent the last 10 years using(and selling) DOS and Windows boxes and software. I used to say that I liked Windows cause it forced you to get under the hood and learnsomething about computing, where Apple didn't seem to.
Now rather than seeming exciting, Windows is more and more seeming like an inscrutable pain in the ass. On the one hand Mac is appealing because eventually you wanna get out from under the hood and just drive. On the other hand, I could go whole hog in the other direction and slap some flavor of linux on one of my machines and build my own dragster. In either case I'm sick of my damn hatchback.

Still thinkin' though.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on June 10, 2002


*strokes G4* You want this, don't you? Take your Gateway. strike that freakin' cow down with all of your hatred and your journey toward the Mac side will be complete!
posted by evanizer at 6:38 PM on June 10, 2002


And there lies the problem with Macs. How do I upgrade? I'm not talking about a tiny little processor upgrade...I'm talking about a full system upgrade.
I'm using a four-year-old beige G3. I have replaced every piece of equipment it originally came with, except for the floppy and Zip drives. New RAM, new processor, CDRW to replace the original CD, added USB, added a video card (Voodoo5 I got for a song... pity OS X doesn't support it). My machine is an evolutionary dead end, unfortunately; for a variety of reasons, it's doomed to be a second- (third, once Jaguar ships) class OS X citizen. However, I don't see any reason why a NewWorld Mac with AGP couldn't remain useful (and supported by the OS) for at least as long, if not longer, than mine.
posted by darukaru at 7:21 PM on June 10, 2002


Apparently the BSD crowd doesnt particularly like Linux (the thinking is: they resent Linux because they have been around for much longer and dont have the kind of recognition that Linux has). It would give MS a broader platform, undercut the Linux juggernaut and expose the huge gap between what MS offers and where SunOne currently is. It does sound unlikely, but it came from someone who is kinda clued in on how Microsoft thinks. If something like this does happen, then MS and Apple may not work as much at cross purposes after all.

having been into both BSD and Linux communities, i can say this has not been my experience. some people have preferences about their OS: it's common to say "i like BSD because it's a real Unix." but that's because it's the truth: linux is a clone of unix, built from scratch, whereas BSD is based on the original Berkeley Software Distribution of Unix, which itself was based on the original AT&T SysV release of Unix. i have never detected any resentment of linux, however, because there isn't much that one lacks over the other functionally speaking.
posted by moz at 8:09 PM on June 10, 2002


moz - Linux is for Bitches
posted by SiW at 9:07 PM on June 10, 2002


Does anyone know where the cheapest country/place to buy a TiBook is? Mmm, slim n sleek..
posted by Mossy at 4:49 AM on June 11, 2002


When I first started using a fast PC I thought that it would be great if I could automate launching all of these programs I start everyday, and if I could write programs to do all of these repetitive tasks I need to perform in various software.

Turns out, Applescript came installed with my Imac, does all that stuff, and it looks incredibly easy to program. I got the machine to do computer music, but I think Applescript will be the key to making me an enthusiastic mac user.

Now, I just need to write a script for building links in Metafilter.
posted by mblandi at 8:11 AM on June 11, 2002


Does anyone know where the cheapest country/place to buy a TiBook is?

I used this Titanium Powerbook price tracker and it worked pretty well for me. You can also try Deal Mac.
posted by laz-e-boy at 8:51 AM on June 11, 2002


thanks laz-e-boy :)
posted by Mossy at 12:30 PM on June 11, 2002


mblandi: Here's a great script from Jerry Kindall. Select text in BBEdit, click control-L (or whatever key you assign) and it will link the highlighted text with whatever is in your browser's front window.

http://www.jerrykindall.com/2002/january.asp#25

It's my #1 must-have applescript.
posted by jragon at 12:52 PM on June 11, 2002


Thanks, Jragon. Hurray for applescript.
posted by mblandi at 6:51 PM on June 11, 2002


Nice script! I don't use IE or BBEdit but it should not much effort to alter it to work with Omniweb and TextEdit...
posted by RevGreg at 8:06 PM on June 11, 2002


AppleScript is really, really cool. I post to my blog by writing stuff in BBEdit, then running a "post this" script I wrote which modifies local copies of the files and then tells Interarchy to synchronize the local mirror with my Web server. Today I wrote some AppleScripts that let me read my mail (stored in Microsoft Entourage) from the Unix command line. I'm having some trouble getting those to work remotely, but it works fine in the local terminal so I'm sure I'll get it eventually.

You can do a lot of the same things using VBA on Windows, to be fair.
posted by kindall at 9:37 PM on June 11, 2002


Mossy, if you happen to be in higher education of some kind, Apple gives pretty nice educational discounts. Unfortunately they're not quite as nice on the TiBook as on other models.
posted by darukaru at 9:55 PM on June 11, 2002


"The great thing is when you have 5% market share, all you have to do is convince another five out of the other 95% to switch and you have doubled your market share."

Incorrect. You have to convince 5.263% of the other 95% to double your market share to 10%. That's because 95% is not 100%, so you need to convince comparatively more to get 5% of the 100%.

5 / 95 = 0.05263 * 100 = 5.263%
posted by wackybrit at 5:32 AM on June 12, 2002


oy...
posted by crunchland at 5:38 AM on June 12, 2002


I heard a rather implausible rumour the other day that MS is toying with the idea of releasing .Net on OS X.

This wouldn't be such a bad thing for them to do.

.NET is, at its core, just a virtual machine that could be ported anywhere. This is evident from Ximian Mono, running on Linux. I definitely think that in the future, the OS isn't going to be so important, but whose virtual machine you use..

I'm a VM developer, and that's my take, but hey, I could be wrong!
posted by wackybrit at 10:27 AM on June 12, 2002


If Microsoft doesn't port .NET to X, someone will surely move Mono over. But if the future's going to be a matter of whose VM you use, then I'd expect to see .NET not only on X but also on Linux. Why use an open-source knockoff of .NET when you can use the Real Thing, at extremely attractive licensing terms?
posted by kindall at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2002


kindall: Interesting points, but this is one of the only times when Microsoft has openly released nearly all of the technical details and specs regarding a new technology. The Mono guys are doing a great job, and they're mostly working off of the Microsoft released specs!

Believe it or not, Microsoft even released the source code for a FreeBSD implementation of .NET! (It's called Rotor, learn more here.) Now that's saying something! This reminds me of the early 80s. Back then, Microsoft couldn't give a care about hardware, and they were just concerned about getting their apps out there.

Now, however, Microsoft is interested in hardware and architectures. They've realised that not everyone will be using the same hardware, the same architecture, or the same OS. Linux has eaten into their market.. this is why the .NET VM becomes very very important.

The .NET VM is basically free, so it doesn't harm Microsoft for people like Ximian to create their own compatible versions. What's important to Microsoft is that the software houses will keep using their dev tools, and will make .NET the most supported VM in the world. On top of that, all of Microsoft's software will be on .NET too.

Microsoft have realised that operating systems only go so far. In the old days you could either control a) the hardware, b) the OS, or c) the software. Now there's another layer.. the virtual machine. You could end up with Linux people buying Microsoft Office, and it'll run native! Mac people will be able to buy almost any software developed for the PC.. and so on! That's the beauty of the virtual machine.

Operating systems in the 80s and 90s were somewhat monolithic. They took up loads of space, controlled lots of functions, and provided the entire interface between user and machine. Things are changing. The operating system will simply become a kernel, handling all of the device drivers and so forth.. and then with a VM on top. The VM will have class libraries to handle all of the windowing via whatever window manager you want (Mono is using GTK+).. and you develop for the VM, and not for the operating system anymore.

This is a very smart move on Microsoft's part. If, and this probably won't happen, Microsoft is forced to do something about its OS monopoly.. as long as it has its VM, it's not such a big issue! Linux and Mac heads will eventually be able to buy Microsoft software, Microsoft will have control over the VM standard (it developed, and can change, them), and Microsoft will rake in the big bucks from its software.

And, sure, this might be a good move for Microsoft.. but in the end, I think it's a good move for everybody (unless you're developing a competing VM ;-))
posted by wackybrit at 4:09 PM on June 12, 2002


Yeah, Microsoft's applications are extremely profitable and I think Bill has pretty clearly fathomed that the days of being able to charge money for an operating system are numbered. Many classes of applications are quickly becoming commodities and it is inevitable that the OS itself will eventually follow. The .NET strategy might well accelerate the commoditization of the OS, while preserving and even expanding Microsoft's application market, especially in the enterprise.

I can imagine the .NET strategy as being like a more ambitious version of Apple's QuickTime strategy. Yes, QuickTime is cross-platform, but it works better on a Mac which means that a lot of multimedia applications also work better on a Mac, which means that if multimedia is important to your business you get a Mac. I can see .NET serving as the same wedge -- sure, you can run .NET apps on Linux, but wouldn't you (as a system architect for a Fortune 500 company) rather get a complete solution -- OS, database server, and .NET apps -- from a single vendor for interoperability purposes? Sun apparently lacked the wit to make this happen with Java, but it's the same sort of thing IBM has done in the past on their big iron.
posted by kindall at 4:43 PM on June 12, 2002


Yep, you've hit the nail right on the head! Thanks for a far more elegant version of what I was trying to say ;-)

The problem with Java, IMHO, is that it wasn't ambitious enough (overly limited in GUI and system interaction) and it lacked backing in markets with many users. Sun might be a nice company, but they don't have a critical mass of users to keep their ideas going for 5/10 years. Microsoft does. Your 'complete solution' idea is also extremely likely. Sun relied on the community too much, rather than building complete solutions for itself, and then waiting for people to catch up.
posted by wackybrit at 4:58 PM on June 12, 2002


Yes -- Sun has no RDBMS of their own, for one thing. Thus Sun customers rely on Oracle. Which makes Larry Ellison very rich but doesn't do much for Sun.

Odd to see vertical integration making a comeback...
posted by kindall at 5:58 PM on June 12, 2002


BTW, kindall, quite by coincidence, I've sparked off a very similar debate on this topic at Slashdot. Incase you're interested..! Quite a few responses.
posted by wackybrit at 6:20 PM on June 12, 2002


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