Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Apple just keeps on amazing us
January 12, 2005 2:09 AM   Subscribe

More incredible stuff from MacWorld!!! Extra little bonus item announced!! Weeeee! I'm sure you all can't WAIT!!!
posted by jimjam (107 comments total)

 
clever.
posted by andendau at 2:30 AM on January 12, 2005


spot on
posted by mr.marx at 2:36 AM on January 12, 2005


Whatever...true but i still love iProduct
posted by Kifer85 at 2:49 AM on January 12, 2005


iLaughed.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:50 AM on January 12, 2005


Not that clever, just going for the trivial, obvious joke.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:55 AM on January 12, 2005


Ha. Just perfect. Actually I've been warming considerably to Apple in the past year or so and to my own amazement I've been seriously considering buying a Mac (for video editing). My brother has been an iCultist for many years now and would never let me live it down--our ongoing PC vs. Mac debate is legendary.

But still. That was just perfect.
posted by zardoz at 2:59 AM on January 12, 2005


It was pretty good. The idea is sound and the presentation is solid, but I thought the actual text could have used some drastic comic revision.

C+ (but I score it higher for the personal satisfaction--so we'll say B)
posted by The God Complex at 3:14 AM on January 12, 2005


AppleHaters.jpg image

Gizmodo offered space for a rebuttal, so it's only right that MeFi should as well.
posted by barkingmoose at 3:54 AM on January 12, 2005


yes but you see, that is not spot-on. what the Applefreaks never seem to realize is that this isn't about Apple vs Microsoft. it's about Applefreaks kneeling down to a brand like it's a god.
I don't hate Apple. I hate Applefreaks.

and most pc users fucking hate microsoft anyway.
posted by mr.marx at 4:09 AM on January 12, 2005


Look, people who worship the Apple brand are mostly folks who, like 90% of Windows users, used Windows for years because of its ubiquity. Then they made the switch and realized that they didn't have to live like that.

Thus, most animosity against Apple idolotry is waged by those unable to make the switch, or who lack the imagination to contemplate life beyond the Start menu, and who secretly envy the rhapsodic departed.

None of this is new. It's literally ten years old.
posted by squirrel at 4:18 AM on January 12, 2005


Garamond? And a translucent Apple logo? How very early 2002.
posted by cillit bang at 4:27 AM on January 12, 2005


Then they made the switch and realized that they didn't have to live like that.

they were, like, born again?
posted by mr.marx at 4:33 AM on January 12, 2005


Wow...was this like a huge, sarcastic, mean spirited troll attempt, or am I really misreading the reason for this FPP?

Please correct me if I'm wrong....
posted by HuronBob at 4:39 AM on January 12, 2005


Lame.
posted by absalom at 5:01 AM on January 12, 2005


Squirrel: It's like twenty years old.

The anti-Mac jihad started long, long ago. Long, long before the Start Menu was even an onanistic fantasy in Bill Gates' sordid little head. Long before Windows 2.0.

People hated Apple/Mac because it was a closed system, from mainboard to firmware to OS. It had warning labels on the case that said stuff like 'Do not open' and 'No user serviceable parts inside' and 'Authorized technicians only!'.

This was entirely unacceptable.

Compare that to the philosophies of the Apple ][, ][+, and //e series computers. The Apples had comparatively open systems. You didn't even need a tool to open it up and poke at the insides. Published mainboard schematic diagrams were included in the user manual for hardware hackers. A hexadecimal programmer's patch was built right in to the firmware of the mainboard. The original Apple computers were affordable compared to IBM PC/XTs, and a home computing hacker's soupiest wet dream to boot. (Pun most certainly intended.)

The Mac comes along. "Hey, that's pretty!" some folks say. "Hey, where the fuck is Lisa?!" some others say. "Hey, where the fuck is my command prompt?!" a few others say, "And what the hell is this closed system bullshit? And why is it so damn expensive?"

The original Mac haters are the totally manic Apple freaks Apple Corp. turned off and turned away by completely abandoning Wozniak's dream of free, open and pervasive computing.

It's taken Apple 10-15 years to even start regaining that, and it took a major injection of NeXT, Jobs, and LSD-induced BSD to get there - slick marketing besides.

But, hey. I bought a Mac.
posted by loquacious at 5:10 AM on January 12, 2005


what the Applefreaks never seem to realize is that this isn't about Apple vs Microsoft

C/Wouldn't have said it better.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:20 AM on January 12, 2005


Since I just bought a Mac, which replaced a previous Mac, and I have been using Macs since 1985, does this mean I'm an Applefreak?

Just trying to understand. Because the fake ad doesn't seem to be joking at the expense of Mac zealots and Mac evangelicals, just Mac users in general. It seems to operate on the assumption that the Jobs/Apple RDF works on anyone who buys Apple products. And no one here who has expressed appreciation for this joke has disabused me of this impression.

And that makes me wonder. Do you Apple haters hate anyone who uses Apple equipment? I figure that would be as bad as what you hate in these Applefreaks, right? Or do you just lash out after regularly scheduled MacWorld events?

Seriously, if you have issues with the Pepsi Blue earlier, wouldn't it be more appropriate to bring it up in MeTa rather than post a troll FPP?
posted by effwerd at 5:49 AM on January 12, 2005


that made me laugh. and I'm writing this on an iBook I really like. and I have two iPods.
but that still made me laugh.
posted by matteo at 5:56 AM on January 12, 2005


jimjam: a sincere thank you for this.
posted by DuoJet at 6:01 AM on January 12, 2005


I don't see the post as a troll. Just a lame attempt at humor. Whoever made the page was trying to be funny... or at least trying to veil their anger/jealousy in humor. But it didn't come across as all that funny. It was pretty mean spirited. I've seen funny parodies, but that was not 'funny.' Maybe 'humorous', but not funny.
posted by evoo at 6:08 AM on January 12, 2005


I have to say: this is funnier, and more spot-on. Surely you Apple Haters realize that your anti-Apple obsession is just as embarassing and adolescent as the obsession of the Apple Freaks?
posted by josh at 6:09 AM on January 12, 2005


This MeFi thread only serves to transform the slightly funny "I'll chuckle and forget I read it by the time I get home" link into a cold, stark reality.

Get the hell over yourselves, people.
posted by dvdgee at 6:14 AM on January 12, 2005


The best strategy for being an Apple freak is to offset the price premium on the hardware by buying some Apple stock when the stock is cheap. If you were lucky enough to grab some in the mid-late 90s at the $15-$20 a share it was at the time, the uptick to $65ish a share it is today would have more than covered the price difference between your Macs and any PC you would(n't) have bought.
posted by eatyourlunch at 6:15 AM on January 12, 2005


and I have two iPods

Wanna give me one? Grad student = no funds for fun
posted by LunaticFringe at 6:17 AM on January 12, 2005


Since I just bought a Mac, which replaced a previous Mac, and I have been using Macs since 1985, does this mean I'm an Applefreak?

I dunno, are you convinced that your machines are without fault (or do you gloss over those faults for seemingly no reason?). Do you have a brand loyalty that borders on the obsessive? Do you get wildly defensive when someone points out a weak point a Mac may have? No? Then no, you aren't.

Seriously, you don't think this pokes fun at Mac idolatry rather than Mac users in general? FWIW, I'm typing this on a Powerbook, listening to my iPod, and I'm not the least bit offended. In fact, I'm sitting here nodding, thinking "hmm, a lot of Mac users ARE a little over-obsessive with their Macs." Was it mean-spirited? I dunno, I guess most forms of humor are, this may be too.

Thus, most animosity against Apple idolotry is waged by those unable to make the switch, or who lack the imagination to contemplate life beyond the Start menu, and who secretly envy the rhapsodic departed.

"You're just jealous."

Please.
posted by Tikirific at 6:20 AM on January 12, 2005


And while I'm thinking about it, of course it's not Apple vs. Microsoft. Microsoft=Apple=Microsoft. According to my quick calculations, it looks like MS owns about 2.5% of Apple. As you'll recall, in 1997, MS invested $150 million in Apple, along with some licensing and technology sharing deals, including Apple's promise to include IE as its default browser for what was it, 5 years? That $150 million in stock is worth somewhere around $600 million today, and I'm sure the help squishing Netscape plus all the advance Apple info MS gets is worth way more than that.
posted by eatyourlunch at 6:20 AM on January 12, 2005


Troll or not troll... The answer to that really isn't in the content of the link (I'm a Mac user and posted it over at Monkeyfilter myself before I saw it here, thought it was very funny and on target)... the troll factor is determined by the poster's remark "More incredible stuff from MacWorld!!! Extra little bonus item announced!! Weeeee! I'm sure you all can't WAIT!!!"

nasty sarcasm or healthy humor... you be the judge...
posted by HuronBob at 6:26 AM on January 12, 2005


There is NO Apple-hating going on here. The source of the friction is the weird, baseless euphoria that occurs EVERY TIME Apple releases a new product. The yammering about the MP3 player in the other thread is madness and especially maddening. There is nothing new or wonderous about that player. Nothing. 'Shuffle' has been around since the first compact disk player, and is an extremely popular feature. The lack of LCD is NOT a feature, but a cost-cutting measure and a real drawback. Better, more feature-packed players can be had at similar or lower cost. Please let me know if I am mistaken on any of these counts.

I am interested in Apple products but find the fanclub off-putting to say the least.
posted by DuoJet at 6:54 AM on January 12, 2005


I find Macs kind of annoying. They hide the system tools like command prompts, etc, and their interface is overly simplistic. If I had a kid I would not get them a Mac, because the OS and interface seem designed to prevent people from learning how to use their computers in more sophisticated ways. It's kind of like they want their users to remain novices forever. To me that's bad usability.

Also, if you have ever used anything else using a Mac can be really frustrating. I doubt I would ever get over my desire to right-click occaisonally.

That said, my friends who have them love them.
posted by xammerboy at 6:54 AM on January 12, 2005


Also, if you have ever used anything else using a Mac can be really frustrating. I doubt I would ever get over my desire to right-click occaisonally.

Common misconception. Nowadays, this works just fine (well, provided you don't use Apple's awful mouse). In addition, I would say OSX hides system tools about as much as XP boxes.

Mac idolatry bothers me precisely because the two platforms have become very similar in terms of usability and price point... irrational Mac hatred bothers me too, but I don't think the above represents that.
posted by Tikirific at 7:02 AM on January 12, 2005


And while I'm thinking about it, of course it's not Apple vs. Microsoft. Microsoft=Apple=Microsoft. According to my quick calculations, it looks like MS owns about 2.5% of Apple. As you'll recall, in 1997, MS invested $150 million in Apple, along with some licensing and technology sharing deals, including Apple's promise to include IE as its default browser for what was it, 5 years? That $150 million in stock is worth somewhere around $600 million today, and I'm sure the help squishing Netscape plus all the advance Apple info MS gets is worth way more than that.
posted by eatyourlunch at 9:20 AM EST on January 12


I was wondering who else was thinking that...
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:05 AM on January 12, 2005


Let's not waste time arguing over whether this is an obvious troll FPP or merely a lame attempt at humor. Folks, truly, it's both!

Like TGC, I was primed to laugh when I saw the page, but the "funny" text was really poorly done. And duh, the wording of the FPP leaves no doubt as to the troll factor.
posted by soyjoy at 7:13 AM on January 12, 2005


Now this is funny.
posted by papercake at 7:19 AM on January 12, 2005


Thus, most animosity against Apple idolatry is waged by those unable to make the switch, or who lack the imagination to contemplate life beyond the Start menu, and who secretly envy the rhapsodic departed.

Right, "unable to switch". get over yourselves. I've used Macs, mostly in the pre-OSX days and they were horrible. Crashed all the time. The fact that OSX is Unix is kind of nice, but I just don't see myself spending so much money for a computer that, when you get down to it, isn't that much different then a PC.

When I was younger, I loved computers I wanted to know everything about them, take them apart, find out everything there was to do on them, and the PC offered a much deeper challenge for me at the time. The Mac just sat there, and the PC was this crazy, complicated beast with DOS, Win95. It was just a lot more fun to use. The Mac just sat there and ran your programs. (and crashed due to it's non-protected memory)

That's not true of me anymore (if it was, I’d be using Linux), but that's not true of windows or MacOS either. Windows 2000 and XP pretty much just work, they're thoroughly modern operating systems which don't crash.

And explorer works fine as far as managing files, which I don't really do that often anyway.

All I want to do on the computer is: surf the web, maybe use some content creation apps like Word, Photoshop, etc, host websites, and write software in java, preferably with Jbuilder.

Can anyone tell me why my life would be quantitatively better using a Mac then a PC? What, exactly does the Mac have that windows doesn’t?
posted by delmoi at 7:22 AM on January 12, 2005


This is trollific.
posted by fungible at 7:32 AM on January 12, 2005


I love my Mac. Love this joke. True happieness is being able to laugh at yourself while still feeling superior.
My favorite ever is still this switched parody.
posted by cccorlew at 7:41 AM on January 12, 2005


For me the Mac became tolerable with the introduction of OSX. Finally an OS that made sense. OS 9 used to get me extremely frustrated, from a support perspective.
Now the Mini Mac has arrived, and I am thinking of buying my first Mac. That thing is super cool.

As for the Mac/PC warring, I have never bothered to pay attention to it. Accept that each system has its strengths and weaknesses and let it go at that.
posted by a3matrix at 7:44 AM on January 12, 2005



That said, I'm thinking about buying a mac. Sorry for the image, I try to keep it to a minimum.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:45 AM on January 12, 2005


They hide the system tools like command prompts...

Another common misconception. I'm assuming you've not touched a Mac since the Dark Ages of OS9. I wouldn't consider "includes on every machine in the Applications directory" hidden. When you do start a terminal, you get bash(1) by default. And as command line shells go, if you prefer c(omman|m)d.exe to bash, you're just not paying attention.

Here in the 21st century, the Mac is an (admittedly slightly quirky, though no more so than the wide variety of Linuxen) UNIX box without all the abortive cruft that is X11+GNOME/KDE for a UI.

It's kind of like they want their users to remain novices forever. To me that's bad usability.

Here we have an interesting debate. Again, prior to 1999 this was absolutely true. And I agree with you that even in modern times a fair amount of the Mac UI in particular is an Apple's-way-or-the-highway sort of proposition. Several things mitigate this, though.
  1. A surprising number of parameters not controllable by the UI are accessible through the defaults(1) facility. This is a direct consequence of the fact that Apple's development environment makes user preference management so easy - there's less of an excuse for developers not to make their applications highly configurable at the low level. (Yes, user preferences are kind of like the Windows Registry, but they lack the cruft, corruptibility, and scalability problems that plague the Registry design).
  2. It's a UNIX box. You can completely circumvent the UI if you want to. Don't like the way personal web sharing is configured? Stand up your own Apache.
  3. I personally find that Apple's way is generally less wrong than Microsoft's or that of the KDE or GNOME developers. I'm fully cognizant of the fact that this is probably a matter of personal preference.
So yes, the Mac has usability flaws. They're just less legion than those of other platforms.
posted by Vetinari at 7:50 AM on January 12, 2005


The post wasn't all that funny, but I understand the impulse. People in all camps (Mac, Windows, Linux, whatever) take their computer fashion choices far too seriously.

If you're looking for a computer, shop around, ask your friends, read Consumer Reports and other non-aligned magazines, and then choose the platform you were brainwashed to buy.

Don't completely ignore the debate between fans of different platforms -- there are differences between one platform and another, and there are reasons for buying one or another, all depending on who you are, what you do, how much money you have, and whether you suck -- but don't get caught up in the debate and risk sounding like a Star Trek fan bickering with a Lord of the Rings fan over which series offers the best pointy ears.
posted by pracowity at 8:10 AM on January 12, 2005


pracowity: LOTR, hands down.
posted by papercake at 8:12 AM on January 12, 2005


the two platforms have become very similar in terms of usability and price point

Compeltely agreed. Even the much-touted widget dock in the new Tiger release is just a rip-off of StarDock's DesktopX, which probably stole the idea from somewhere else.

I personally find that Apple's way is generally less wrong than Microsoft's or that of the KDE or GNOME developers.

Microsoft I'd disagree with. But KDE and Gnome, absolutely. I just wish either group would put in some serious thought into usability and interface. Right now, every other windows manager for LinuxBrand makes me wretch; Apple has shown that it's perfectly possible to have a fancy-as-hell, easy-to-use WM.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:25 AM on January 12, 2005


People in all camps (Mac, Windows, Linux, whatever) take their computer fashion choices far too seriously.

really?
I must say I have never heard anyone describe Windows as "a way of life"

whatever. iMouttahere
posted by mr.marx at 8:25 AM on January 12, 2005


Vetinari, thank you for that concise and much-needed update for Apple-phobes in the dark about command line access and the full range of mousing options. Fer pete's sake, do they think we're still using 8-bit graphics? xammerboy sounds like, "yeah, I heard a Sony when I was a kid. Played something called an 8-track. Sounded terrible. This Toshiba I have now plays CDs, yo." Perhaps the need for a clue is universal.

BTW, I was tit-for-tat-trolling with my comment about PC users being jealous--that is, I was joking for a rise. Fuckin' a, that comeback is as old as the joke this thread is based on, but I still got y'alls hackles up.

Both platforms certainly have their strengths and weaknesses; they're good for different sorts of tasks. I used to have an NT4 box that was like a toaster, you know... solid and always ready. Feeling OSX's sweet, stable BSD purr under my GUI sure is a smug ride, though.

C: Enjoy_your_DOS!
*heh heh... fish in a barrel!*
posted by squirrel at 8:28 AM on January 12, 2005


From now on, I am only going to wear a black mock-turtleneck and jeans.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:28 AM on January 12, 2005


Meh. OSX is about as stable as my XP installation. I do keep both pretty well maintained though...
posted by Tikirific at 8:33 AM on January 12, 2005


Christ, people have some thin skins around here.
posted by m0nm0n at 8:47 AM on January 12, 2005


OK, even the Mac fans should be able to acknowledge, with a grin, that this is a bit silly.
posted by twsf at 8:57 AM on January 12, 2005


I think the WinTel peeps are feeling the heat.

Once you've had Mac, you'll never go back.
posted by keswick at 9:11 AM on January 12, 2005


From twsf's link:

"Anything he says, everybody buys it," Scalia said. "I just wanted to run out and get one even though I'm on a tight budget.... I'm a die-hard Mac user, and basically, everyone's going to have one. I need to have one."

That is kinda frightening. It's like iProduct is always the new Reebok Pump. My question is: will there ever come a time when the newest iProduct is no longer immediately cool among hipsters?
posted by crazy finger at 9:13 AM on January 12, 2005


I'm surprised to see something so Fark oriented on Metafilter, although I guess it is recently much more common.

I would much rather see links from plep and homunculus.

It's as if this community is sinking under the weight of an increasingly heavy lowest common denominator.
posted by four panels at 9:26 AM on January 12, 2005


My choice of a personal computer product is superior to your choice of a personal computer product.

Funny idea, so-so execution.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:26 AM on January 12, 2005


I think I'm going fishing... doesn't take much bait to get a bite around here.......

/looking for some dead worms or something.....
posted by HuronBob at 9:40 AM on January 12, 2005


Made me laugh.

That makes it good.
posted by Frasermoo at 9:45 AM on January 12, 2005


I think the ellen fiess " I could buy mad weed for $129" is appropriate, because honestly Macs do cost more for less hardware. That hardware may come in a cool white polished case that will make your friends go "ooh" but when i could have spent half the money on a computer i built myself, it is small consolation.
posted by sophist at 9:49 AM on January 12, 2005


Check this thing out.

Live the digital life in stylish simplicity. Just 6.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall, Mac mini provides what you need to have more fun with your music, photos and movies — right out of the box. And it boasts a miniscule price to match: Mac mini starts at $499.

Price is becoming less of an argument, though to be truthful, after applying some desireable upgrades, the cost does head north a bit.

But look at that thing! I want one, and I have been an avid Mac hater forever. Only OSX has made it a possibilty for me. Not going to be much of a game box, but that is where the PC does its job(in my house)
posted by a3matrix at 10:25 AM on January 12, 2005


I think the WinTel peeps are feeling the heat.

I think you mean "hot air."
posted by Foosnark at 10:25 AM on January 12, 2005


Yawn...

What started as a moderately funny joke has turned into the typical "My Dad can beat up your Dad" argument.

Computers are screw drivers with benefits based on their "form" factor to the needs of the user.

Perhaps we could argue next about which is better, phillips or standard heads. Hey, my Jensen 9J64172J will kick your ass, etc etc ad infinitum ... But wait - what about torx!
posted by somnambulist at 10:31 AM on January 12, 2005


Oh dear. For 10 years I've been saying that both Macs and Windows are for people who can't figure out Linux -- like it's been all that hard to figure out since the graphical distros caught on back in the late '90s. As for KDE & Gnome, of course they're usable -- I'm using KDE right now and I'm not technically a technical genius. And hey, you can still download many Linux distros for FREE.

What I sometimes get pissed off about is software bloat, which seems pretty common to all platforms/OSes, and which seems meant to sell more "up-to-date" hardware to run it. Sometimes I even think I might downgrade to Slackware 3 -- it worked just fine in 1996 and should run like blazes on this 2002-vintage pieced-together machine.

As for any Linux/BSD/Solaris/whatever unix religious wars, whatever. Linux is easier to get and I've been using various distros of it for 10 years, bu I could adapt to any unix -- even MacOS X if somebody gave me one of those ridiculously expensive things.

Be that as it may, I still get amazed people still get sucked into these "holy wars." Some folks are TOO easy to troll. (Has anybody bothered to parody Linux in the style linked to here?)

But on preview, somnambulist, I've noticed philips screw heads are too easy to fuck up leaving one with a big hole in the middle, and besides they're impossible to open with a dime or a spoon if that's all you've got handy. Phooey, I say!
posted by davy at 10:40 AM on January 12, 2005


OK, even the Mac fans should be able to acknowledge, with a grin, that this is a bit silly.

I'd say probably not, given the reaction to this post.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:49 AM on January 12, 2005


But you get more torque from a Phillips head, dammit! Just use the right size head!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:55 AM on January 12, 2005


iThink therefore iAm.
posted by spock at 10:56 AM on January 12, 2005


Pfeh. My Allen Wrench is 20 times better than your Phillips or Flatheads. Plus it's open source!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:06 AM on January 12, 2005


The yammering about the MP3 player in the other thread is madness and especially maddening. There is nothing new or wonderous about that player. Nothing. 'Shuffle' has been around since the first compact disk player, and is an extremely popular feature. The lack of LCD is NOT a feature, but a cost-cutting measure and a real drawback. Better, more feature-packed players can be had at similar or lower cost. Please let me know if I am mistaken on any of these counts.

The often interesting website Daring Fireball, who's professed mission is "Mac Nerdery, Etc.", had an interesting article on the clear advantages of the iPod over other MP3 players called: Why 2004 Won't Be Like 1984, that is worth a read for the unconverted heathens out there...
posted by fairmettle at 11:12 AM on January 12, 2005


Check out this cool guy. He's got 2 iPod Shuffles. One to listen too, and one to permantly place in his ass.

And, yes I am a Mac user, but this Apple idolatry stuff is just silly.
posted by jefbla at 11:21 AM on January 12, 2005


Also, isn't Apple fanaticism so 1990s? I thought that the current fashion was to drool over every little bit of vaporware produced by Google even in cases where other companies did it first and better?

I think the large part of the backlash is not against Apple products themselves, but with the voluntary hype machine that surrounds them. Every single technological fart uttered by Steve Jobs to a magazine or at a convention must be repeated with gushing comments about how the product line is just so darn cool on every weblog and online community. (*) And then, there is the rather disturbing social aspect about how voluntary Apple marketing zombies will frame their choice in computer platforms as fashionable independence from corporate hegemony, because after all, they are the cultural creatives who prefer herbal tea over Coca-Cola, and would be embarrassed to be seen with the Nike logo.

Having said that, I suspect that my next computer will probably be a Mac. (An interesting little bit of branding there, I initially dictated "Macintosh" then realized that it sounded a bit odd because that is no longer the brand name.) However, as a old-style UNIX user, there is a lot about the OSX interface that drives me up the wall. For example, I have not yet figured out how to get the taskbar to list open windows rather than open applications. Being a literate person, I'm perhaps overly fond of having text labels I can read rather than ambigous icons to roll over.

(*) to be fair, the Linux world is about the same way. Linus Torvalds can say absolutely nothing worth listening to and still manage to fill about half of the RSS newsfeeds that I watch on a daily basis.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:35 AM on January 12, 2005


From this previously linked article:

Stefano Scalia, who was standing in line to buy one, said the whole experience was an exercise in being a part of what he called "Steve Jobs' reality-distortion field."

"Anything he says, everybody buys it," Scalia said. "I just wanted to run out and get one even though I'm on a tight budget.... I'm a die-hard Mac user, and basically, everyone's going to have one. I need to have one."


Proof that you don't need photoshop to make fun of fanboys, just a tape recorder.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:43 AM on January 12, 2005


eatyourlunch: Microsoft's $150 million purchase of Apple stock in 1997 was really just a token, for a variety of reasons:

1) They were non-voting shares, so they had no (direct) influence on the direction of the company
2) Apple's market cap was several billion, even then, and they had far more than $150 million of cash on hand.
3) It was part of a larger deal, to settle a variety of legal disputes between the two companies (including MS stealing code from Apple's QuickTime).
4) Microsoft sold the stock years ago. They aren't currently listed as a major holder of the stock.
posted by xil at 11:58 AM on January 12, 2005


I have an iPod, and I listen to music on iTunes, but on a PC. Does that mean I'm going to hell?
posted by vraxoin at 12:13 PM on January 12, 2005


KirkJobSluder: you can't (as far as I know) list open windows in the dock. it's a design choice, one that i kind of agree with, of making the dock a high level view of what's currently running (plus easy access to other common actions). the taskbar on my XP machine at work always makes my eyes glaze over when i'm trying to move from app to app (yeah, there's ctrl-tab, but i haven't trained my fingers to do that yet).

anyway, clicking and holding on an app icon in the dock usually brings up a menu of the open windows for that app. oh, and minimizing a window puts it in the dock, too.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 12:35 PM on January 12, 2005


Default mac mice, at the very least as recently as 2004, STILL had just one button. I imagine they still do now. You can buy a better mouse and use it, but it ain't coming with your mac standard.

Sorry, but that's ridiculously stubborn and stupid. There's 8 million uses for the new buttons and scrollwheels etc that are perfectly worth "complicating" the device.


I like OSX, I like macs. However, I get way more bang for my buck with a PC, and cannot justify spending all that extra money for less power in a prettier box. I'm not a mac hater... I'm just not a mac buyer.

I will say I hate that stupid iShuffle thing though. $150 for a flash based player that doesn't even allow me to choose the order of my songs -- and that's sold as a "feature"? No thank you.
posted by twiggy at 12:39 PM on January 12, 2005


acid freaking on the kitty: KirkJobSluder: you can't (as far as I know) list open windows in the dock. it's a design choice, one that i kind of agree with, of making the dock a high level view of what's currently running (plus easy access to other common actions). the taskbar on my XP machine at work always makes my eyes glaze over when i'm trying to move from app to app (yeah, there's ctrl-tab, but i haven't trained my fingers to do that yet).

I'm not saying that Windows XP does it particularly well either. One of the things that I find frustrating with Windows XP is that at a certain threshold that I don't quite understand, it starts stacking related Windows, thus eliminating all the functionality that I expect from the dock. I think you also demonstrate a problem where Macintosh usability is sometimes not as brilliant or beautiful as people would like to claim. At my last job, I spent six months working primarily on Mac computers, (usually with just a Web browser and three terminal screens editing web pages), and in six months of using that blasted dock, I never discovered this feature, and never discovered a hint that the feature you mentioned existed.

My sweetie just pointed out that the concept that you can right-click on things and get a context menu is also not something that is indicated by the interface. Which in my mind points to a way in which all of the existing computer interfaces suck. It's just that the Mac interface sucks in a way that is perhaps more pleasing to the eyes than many of the alternatives.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:15 PM on January 12, 2005


Twiggy: I'm pretty sure you can set song order - you do it on your machine via iTunes. I haven't looked closely (not in the market), but there is a slider that essentially allows you to switch paly modes between shuffle and other-than-shuffle.
posted by mwhybark at 1:20 PM on January 12, 2005


From store.apple.com I see the new Mac mini is only 6.5^2", barely bigger than a CD. That's the good point. But with a smaller hard drive and less RAM than this two year old pieced-together PC here, and an equivalent processor (only a 1.24Gig CPU), and with the iMac's noted lack of an internal floppy drive and reliance on external USB devices, it's overpriced for what it is. ("Ah, but it's a Mac!") I could do more for less than $499 (plus tax), though I'd need a bigger box than 6.5 square inches. ("But it won't be a Mac!") As a spare terminal in the spare room (I already have two old monitors) it'd do fine, but as a sole p00ter it'd frustrate me.

How can people do without floppies anyway? I could fit all of my even marginally important digitized documents on maybe three of 'em (uncompressed), costing less than a buck each, and carry them around in my shirt pocket if I wanted to. And if I needed to I could physically destroy the damn things easily thus protecting what few secrets I might have -- and because the only hardware loss would be the pennies-a-piece floppies I wouldn't have to think twice. (Can you unrecoverably delete all the data from a USB flash pen?)

And like I said, you can't use a dime on a philips or allen head. Making do with less is often important.
posted by davy at 1:38 PM on January 12, 2005


All I can say is that I sill love my Apple llgs Woz edition more than just about anything.
posted by Lizc at 2:04 PM on January 12, 2005


Does that mean I'm going to hell?

Worse, it means you are already one of Satan's minions.

How can people do without floppies anyway?

Most modern BIOS's can boot off of all sorts of things--CD's, DVD's, ZIP drives, USB drives soon enough. Just about the only good thing going for floppy disks is that it takes up room in the case and doesn't produce much heat, thereby creating an enforced air gap that most case designers would sooner leave out to make smaller, hotter-running boxes. But even that's a stretch. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:09 PM on January 12, 2005


Kirk: amen to the random threshold when XP starts stacking windows. i find myself sometimes opening fluff windows to force a certain app to collapse, because i found that there's an equally random downward threshold when it expands back out again. that's the sort of maddening thing that irks me about the proverbial "look and feel" of win boxen.

as to unindicative interfaces, i think it's more of a tradeoff between advertising a use case and cluttering the interface with a million different indicators of what you can do at any one time. OS X takes a baseline standard of what the user will want to do at any one time and makes it available and obvious (mostly), and makes the less common tasks available but hidden. windows is getting better about this (truth be told, both platforms are approaching decent implementations of the same GUI features), but the mac nerd in me says, nay knows that it's more than just looking pretty while sucking.

the only longstanding gripe i've had with OS X is the lack of virtual desktop/workspace support, something that developed into a crutch back in my solaris, and later linux, days.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 2:56 PM on January 12, 2005


the only longstanding gripe i've had with OS X is the lack of virtual desktop/workspace support

Desktop Manager works great for that.
posted by boaz at 3:08 PM on January 12, 2005


KirkJobSluder: you can prevent the grouping of taskbar buttons through its preferences, right-click the taskbar.
posted by modofo at 3:20 PM on January 12, 2005


Kirk: amen to the random threshold when XP starts stacking windows.

Using REGEDIT:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
New DWORD Value: TaskbarGroupSize

Value = 0 (default)
Windows groups task buttons by age

Value = 1
Windows groups task buttons by size

Value = 3 or more
Windows groups tasks on number of open windows (minimum of 3).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:33 PM on January 12, 2005


thanks C_D, that rules (but doesn't it kind of suck to have to go through the registry editor to control that?).

boaz, how long has desktop manager been around? i've tried out a few different third party virtual desktop apps, and they seemed to crash every so often, or develop weird quirks after a while. the 0.5.2 version level makes me wary for hidden bugs like that, but i'll give this a try on my powerbook. thanks!
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 3:51 PM on January 12, 2005


I kinda remember it showing up not long after Panther came out; it uses some private Panther API IIRC. I used it for about a week (when it was at 0.5.1) before it got on my nerves. There were no crashes or oddities that I recall; it just didn't feel as natural as having all my window on one screen.
posted by boaz at 4:59 PM on January 12, 2005


KirkJobSluder: you can prevent the grouping of taskbar buttons through its preferences, right-click the taskbar.

Yeah, I was going to say that. That's the first thing I turned off. Well, the second--first I had to eliminate that god-awful interface they put with XP. XP is far more asthetically pleasing once you skin it with something less... Microsofty.
posted by The God Complex at 5:53 PM on January 12, 2005


Just about the only good thing going for floppy disks is that it takes up room in the case and doesn't produce much heat,

I wasn't talking about the drives, just the disks. You know, little flat plastic-encased things, $7 for 15 at Big Lots or something, that the data goes on. But anyway.
posted by davy at 7:00 PM on January 12, 2005


Desktop Manager reminds me of the "clip" that WindowMaker has had since at least 1998. And it has an Application Dock too.
posted by davy at 7:06 PM on January 12, 2005


but doesn't it kind of suck to have to go through the registry editor to control that

Oh yeah, it sucks hardcore. But I like that the option is available, even if I have to dig a little.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:16 PM on January 12, 2005


not an evangelist, but this is just ridiculous on top of ridiculous... davy, is this post some kind of joke?
an equivalent processor (only a 1.24Gig CPU)
i can assure you that the processor in that Mac is not equivalent to the Athlon or Intel running in your old computer, if you're comparing clock speeds. not by a long shot. clock speed means next to nothing when comparing different chip architectures; look at IBM's new POWER5 chips, for example.
I could do more for less than $499 (plus tax), ... (I already have two old monitors)
what you're saying is that you have most of the components you need already (monitor, keyboard, 2-button mouse) and you would only be replacing your box. $499 is actually quite competitive, in terms of hardware, with what you could get building an equivalent PC, and that's saying nothing of the form factor.

i actually think this is the most brilliant aspect of the mini; PC users can migrate over much of their old hardware.
How can people do without floppies anyway? I could fit all of my even marginally important digitized documents on maybe three of 'em (uncompressed),
but no digital camera images, no music, etc etc etc... no PDFs in all likelihood...
And if I needed to I could physically destroy the damn things easily thus protecting what few secrets I might have -- and because the only hardware loss would be the pennies-a-piece floppies I wouldn't have to think twice. (Can you unrecoverably delete all the data from a USB flash pen?)
if this is actually a legitimate concern, then you need a USB key. you're not gonna be "unrecoverably deleting" anything unless you habitually tote around a large electromagnet in addition to those floppies. it would be significantly harder to recover data off of a thoroughly smashed USB key.

additionally, many USB keys have standard encryption as well, which would make your data more safe by a few orders of magnitude at no extra time cost.

mac vs. pc debate aside, you really are living in the dark ages w/r/t floppies. for the price of one box of disks you could save yourself a lot of time, clutter, and grief (your observation that floppies are less common is correct -- however, if you need to transfer documents in a pinch, you can be as or more confident in USB ports as long as you're in a first world nation) by switching.

as far as macs, they may or may not be for you, especially if you're able to subsist with floppies, but if you were considering an upgrade, i don't think that any of your arguments should cause you to ignore a mac as a viable option.
posted by spiderwire at 8:36 PM on January 12, 2005


i can assure you that the processor in that Mac is not equivalent to the Athlon or Intel running in your old computer, if you're comparing clock speeds. not by a long shot. clock speed means next to nothing when comparing different chip architectures; look at IBM's new POWER5 chips, for example.

So what DOES clock speed mean, if 10.25 GH on one ain't 10.25GH on another? I don't get it. What could I do with the Mac mini's chip that I can't do on this 10.25GH Athlon thing here?
(If I were trying to send a quarter back in time I'd go massively parallel too, not one superchip; a roomful of 486s ought to work.)

And I said "important documents", not Ashlee Simpson at the Orange Bowl. Text files mainly, or DOCs or small PDFs. And I'd like to see 'em try to recover my letters to my Mom after I've busted open the plastic case and taken a Zippo to the medium inside. As for encryption and password protection, there's gpg and/or pgp if I ever wanted to store anything I wouldn't post all over the Net under my own name. So floppies do fine, as long as there are 3.5" floppy drives around.

So anyway, I preach Linux on cheap hardware (when I bother to participate) out of altruism ("You don't have to spend a month's pay on this shit to read my words of whatever!"); are youse advocates of one platform or OS or the other developing, making, or selling any of it, or is it just profitless dicksizing? I never could quite get that.

Speaking of which, which may or may not have a damn thing to do with anything even f I weren't tired and half drunk, we had a saying in the old days: "Unless you're a porn star anything over 7" gets wasted."
posted by davy at 11:19 PM on January 12, 2005


So what DOES clock speed mean, if 10.25 GH on one ain't 10.25GH on another? I don't get it. What could I do with the Mac mini's chip that I can't do on this 10.25GH Athlon thing here?

first of all, if you're sporting a 10.25 Ghz anything, you're far ahead of the rest of us. as in, the rest of the planet.

second, the answer to your question is: everything, faster. the mini's G4 is comparable to a pentium or athlon running at twice the clock speed for most applications. $499 at dell gets you a 2.4 Ghz celeron (read: gimped pentium.) the mini will blow that thing out of the water.

(and yes, you can still run photoshop on a pentium III. the question is whether or not you want to. i couldn't be running all the apps and the hardware and the resolution that i am at this moment without a good CPU, among other things. i'm not about to wait 15 seconds for every web page i want to load. your mileage may vary, but most people's doesn't.)


(If I were trying to send a quarter back in time I'd go massively parallel too, not one superchip; a roomful of 486s ought to work.)

that's asinine. if there weren't significant transaction costs involved in distributing and executing "parallel" operations then every supercomputer in the world would be built out of massive stockpiles of legacy chips. do you really think that's the case? (hint: no.)


So floppies do fine, as long as there are 3.5" floppy drives around.

...which won't be the case for long, as the mini makes clear.

look, a 128 Mb USB key costs about 40 bucks. that's about 80 floppies worth of storage at a lower price, plus the benefits of compatibility, portability, better organization (i.e., not having to lug around/organize a shitload of floppies), and being able to load something besides text files and .docs. floppy disks boast zero advantages over USB drives. zero.


are youse advocates of one platform or OS or the other developing, making, or selling any of it, or is it just profitless dicksizing?

i have no idea how to parse that clause, unless you're asking if any of us have helped to develop OSX or WinXP, in which case, i doubt it.

but to respond generally: OSX, while not perfect, has a number of advantages over WinXP (better registry; better interoperability; no viruses; no spyware; better stability; unix foundation; much easier to develop for OSX ... just to name a few) whereas WinXP boasts very few advantages over OSX outside of compatibility, and even that gap is closing fast.

OSX also accrues many of the benefits of unix/linux by virtue of its NextSTEP foundation while avoiding many of its drawbacks (no decent GUI; too many flavors; a significant compatibility gap; no central support; little to no vendor support; etc.).

again, i'm not a mac evangelist, but i'm not a luddite, either. if you want to run an Amiga or a Commodore 64 as your main box, go for it, but for god's sake, shut up about it. it's not a viable option for 99.9% of us. the only salient point here is that OSX is a good option for most computer users, casual or serious, and worth considering.

and no, your athlon thunderbird cannot hang with a 1.25 Ghz G4.


which may or may not have a damn thing to do with anything even f I weren't tired and half drunk

i never would have guessed.
posted by spiderwire at 1:27 AM on January 13, 2005


Class dismissed, suckas; Dr. spiderwire has done schooled your sorry asses. Take yer flunkies and dangle.
posted by squirrel at 1:42 AM on January 13, 2005


"worth a read for the unconverted heathens out there..."

You're kidding. Check it- go buy your Apple stuff, collect it and trade it, dress it up, write fanfic about it, I don't care. But when you suggest that I'm ignorant for not buying into same, I'm inclined to tell you to go fuck yourself.
posted by DuoJet at 1:46 AM on January 13, 2005


No one called you ignorant, DuoJet; it's called irony. Put down that pie spatula and let's talk this out. Coffee?
posted by squirrel at 1:55 AM on January 13, 2005


and no, your athlon thunderbird cannot hang with a 1.25 Ghz G4

S-money, you be comparing apples and orange drink.

A 1.25 G4 is about equivalent to a 2200 AMD (the AMD would be slightly faster, but just for the sake of comparison). That $85 for the processor, $35 for the motherboard. $30 for 256 MB of RAM. No floppy needed. Built-in 5.1 sound and all that jazz. Case and power supply will tack on another $75.

Don't get me wrong, the G4 Apple's selling is a decent deal... for an Apple. But there's always been an AppleBrand premium for hardware over Wintel machines.

There's already a virus out for OSX (Switchback), but Windows has inherit security flaws (that are easily overcome, by the way), and a much larger installation base, but right now there's simply no competition for the virus market. We 0wn it. :)

Usability is a wash. I'm trying to be fair, because I simply hate the way every mouse click has an almost impercetible, irritating lag, and the way the windows don't contain their own menus (that is, the top changes with each program focus instead of having the menus attached to their respective windows). Given enough time, I could probably get used to it. There are tiny annoyances (dragging a drive into the trash can... how is that intuitively obvious?) but Windows has more than enough of its own. Context menus are brilliant, and I'm glad to see Apple implementing them, even if most of the Mac users I know still refuse to use them.

Overwhelmingly in Apple's favor is the Unix base. If I could get OSX on the PC, but could hack a few changes into the WM, I'd do it in a heartbeat. XP blows hard, oddly-shaped chunks.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:40 AM on January 13, 2005


If I could get OSX on the PC, but could hack a few changes into the WM, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

But how much would you pay for that copy of OS X on the PC? Assuming it was priced at the exact same amount as XP Pro, $279, then those cheap PC components you just threw together to run it suddenly become not such a great deal compared to the Mac mini.
posted by boaz at 6:54 AM on January 13, 2005


Why, I'd pay exactly what I paid for my copy of XP Pro. And 2000 Pro. And Win 95. And 3D Studio. :)

(cue death threats from software publishers)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:14 AM on January 13, 2005


if you're sporting a 10.25 Ghz anything, you're far ahead of the rest of us. as in, the rest of the planet.

I was tired and typed in unnecessary zeroes. Obviously.

look, a 128 Mb USB key costs about 40 bucks. that's about 80 floppies worth of storage at a lower price, plus the benefits of compatibility, portability, better organization (i.e., not having to lug around/organize a shitload of floppies),

And being unable to take a zippo to 1 meg of data without fucking up all the rest of it. That's the point you're missing: if I have all my bank records on one floppy and all my obscene limerics on another, I can destroy one without destroying the other.

and being able to load something besides text files and .docs.

Again: I said important documents, and included small PDFs.
The Gutenberg's complete Zola would fit on a handful of floppies uncompressed, and I simply see no reason to carry Doom 4 around in my pocket.

I'm not saying USB pens are useless, just that I don't need them, and that I do see a damn near irreplaceable need for floppies. (And if nobody includes 3.5" floppy drive on new computers the library's 2 year old machines will take them for several years yet, in the even that these things here die or vanish.)

floppy disks boast zero advantages over USB drives. zero.

Either you make lots of money off making or selling this hardware
or the marketing wogs have you whipped. Whipped.

As for CPU issue, I defer to C-D. (I'm a whole nuther kind of geek.)

And as for one OS over another, don't forget that that MacOS X is basically a unix with a GUI on top, like Linux with X plus KDE or whatever. For me whatever minor disadvantages KDE has to MacOS -- and the have to be minor because KDE works fine -- are ovverbalanced by the fact that I can download my OS & GUI for free, or buy it for $1 per CD from some guy on eBay with a faster line and a huge stack of blanks. That's another point you're missing: is MacOS so much better that it makes sense to pay literally hundreds of times more for it, and for other software to run on it, than I do for my Linux distro and its free stuff?

If you think the Mac mini is such a great thing I'll be happy to accept one as a birthday present; I'm sure it would make a better second p00ter than my 1996-vintage 586. (And if somebody sends me a non-obsolete machine with a windows OS on it I'll nondestructively repartition that drive so Mickey gets a smidgen just in case it ever does come in handy, and install Fedora on the rest of the drive.) It's just that if I had $499+tax to spend on a computer the Mac mini would not give enough bang for my buck.

Do Macs still come with those stickers "warning" you not to unscrew the case?
posted by davy at 9:36 AM on January 13, 2005


Yeah, okay, davy, you're the king of tiny files. I don't even keep images smaller than 1.4 megs anymore, but whatever.

You know, punch cards burn faster than plastic floppies, and you can throw away just the bytes you don't want, and keep the rest. Ever thought of that?

You sound like you unscrewed the case, but it was your head, holmes. Follow the sticker next time. ;^)
posted by squirrel at 10:28 AM on January 13, 2005


Okay, so WTF is this about? Anybody? (via Waxy)
posted by fungible at 8:24 AM PST on January 13

Now that was fucking awesome, fungible.

See folks, it was actually "funny" and "original." Shouldn't you be writing this down?

I'm an Apple lover who thouroughly enjoys seeing Apple get the piss taken out of it... when it 's done well.
posted by squirrel at 10:36 AM on January 13, 2005


Mac, schmak. We all know Microsoft Windows Rules the Universe.
posted by fixedgear at 1:10 PM on January 13, 2005


A 1.25 G4 is about equivalent to a 2200 AMD (the AMD would be slightly faster, but just for the sake of comparison).

that's a highly debatable claim -- in fact, spurious -- and dependent on the task at hand.

but regardless, i said athlon thunderbird. the 2200 uses a palomino or a thoroughbred core.

That $85 for the processor, $35 for the motherboard. $30 for 256 MB of RAM. No floppy needed. Built-in 5.1 sound and all that jazz. Case and power supply will tack on another $75.

have you even built a computer before? you forgot the cpu fan, video card, hard drive (SATA), CD-RW drive, and you're also talking about parts that aren't comparable to apple's. PC2700 RAM will run you more like $60, for example. also, i defy you to find a $35 motherboard that incorporates a built-in sound card, a video card comparable to a 32MB 9200, network adapter, firewire, 2x USB, DVI-out, and a modem, all of which come standard in the mini and at higher quality.

also, let's not forget that on the mac, the OS comes standard. whereas if you build your own PC you'll have the pleasure of dropping another $180 on WinXP, as well as programs to replace the other standard apple software -- and none of it will be integrated.

and, lest we forget, the PC you build will be a hulking beast, whereas if you'd spring for the mini you could pick it up and put it in your pocket.

try again. by my math, you're still way, way behind on this one. even dell can't beat a mini and they get all their software for free.

because I simply hate the way every mouse click has an almost impercetible, irritating lag

... i'm typing this from my powerbook and i honestly have no idea what you're talking about. i just checked, in fact.

the way the windows don't contain their own menus

i have no idea why this annoys you, especially given that it saves valuable screen real estate. as far as usability, OSX actually has a standard menu for each program that contains a predictable set of options (preferences, recent docs, etc), which is included in the development suite, which you can't get on windows.

dragging a drive into the trash can... how is that intuitively obvious?

have you ever used OSX? there's an eject hotkey, an eject button in each finder window, it's in the contextual menu, and you can do the trash thing.

If I could get OSX on the PC

incidentally, my understanding is that this does exist, at least for intel's instruction set.

XP blows hard, oddly-shaped chunks.

if this post is the sum total of your complaints, or even some of your big ones, i would seriously consider giving apple another try. i've been using DOS and Windows machines since i was 18 months old (22 years total, if you're counting), and last year i gave it all up for a 12" powerbook G4 and a 2x2.0Ghz G5 and never looked back.
posted by spiderwire at 1:39 PM on January 13, 2005


I was tired and typed in unnecessary zeroes. Obviously.

three times?

no reason to carry Doom 4 around in my pocket

are you posting from 2010 or what?

is MacOS so much better that it makes sense to pay literally hundreds of times more for it

it comes standard, but: yes.

my 1996-vintage 586.

also known as a pentium.

Do Macs still come with those stickers "warning" you not to unscrew the case?

well, no, but the cases don't have screws anyway, so i wouldn't recommend it in any event.
posted by spiderwire at 1:45 PM on January 13, 2005


I'm just replying to Davy's - justified, IMO - defense of floppies, but not any of the other seriously random stuff.

One of the reasons that OS X doesn't need a floppy drive is that it's much easier to get it on a network and keep it there more reliably. Besides the OS X's unix-flavored role in that, Apple machines have a closed hardware source, making the interplay between hardware, firmware, and software much smoother.

XP approaches this compared to 98/ME and previous, but XP blows - as C_D said - hard, oddly-shaped chunks. Large, moist ones. I had my GFs card on encrypted wireless, but put it back on wire, but the encryption key is still being used for the wired connection, which for some reason prevents her from seeing any network shares. WTF? 10/100baseT doesn't even have a layer for that, does it?

Floppies still save my butt all the time in the Windows/DOS realm. But I keep a lot of old tech around, and when you're scrapping slightly older stuff together, drivers and whatnot vanish into the ether with disturbing speed.

Old tech is useful as long as it still functions. The fastest processors in the house here are a 566 mhz Celeron and a Pentium3 mobile 500 mhz.

But I've got three machines and monitors on my desktop, and they're all controlled by one keyboard and mouse via Win2VNC.

It's amazing and delightful to me even still. I'm pretty sure I get more useability out of this rig then I could out of one multi-ghz high-end current rig, even with multiple displays.

If I had the spare cash laying around, I'd buy one of the minis, just to have it on the network and available for file/web/ftp/mail/archive serving, multimedia, streaming, SSHing into for shell access, and more. I could add it as a fourth desktop, while still having it over by the TV and DVR for sound/video stuff.
posted by loquacious at 4:42 PM on January 13, 2005


Spiderwire, it is in no way, shape, or form the summary of my complaints, but I was trying to be civilized and not turn what was the dying ember of a thread into an all-out flame-war.

Since you've thrown some gasoline on the coals, I might as well respond.
but regardless, i said athlon thunderbird. the 2200 uses a palomino or a thoroughbred core.
So you said thunderbird. Big deal.
have you even built a computer before?
Several since 1982. And I was actually able to lift the screwdriver when I started (18 months old! Who's a big boy!)
you forgot the cpu fan
OK wiseguy. Here's a 2700, WITH fan AND heatsink for $20 more
video card
Built-in video.
hard drive (SATA), CD-RW drive
Yes, I did forget the drives. So sorry. $40 and $38.
PC2700 RAM will run you more like $60, for example
This is getting a little childish, isn't it? I told you, $30. Read.
also, i defy you to find a $35 motherboard that incorporates a built-in sound card, a video card comparable to a 32MB 9200, network adapter, firewire, 2x USB, DVI-out, and a modem, all of which come standard in the mini and at higher quality.
You're right. It was $40. And firewire is mac-crap. We use USB 2.
whereas if you build your own PC you'll have the pleasure of dropping another $180 on WinXP
Let's look at it another way. If I get a Windows box, I'll have an absolutely dizzying amount of warez-sites where I can get it for free, whereas you poor, slovenly Mac-heads have to scrounge around for your free software or actually buy it.
as well as programs to replace the other standard apple software -- and none of it will be integrated
Integrated? Great. Like how Microsoft integrated Internet Explorer? Lemme thwack you with the clue-stick: integrated software in the OS == bad.
and, lest we forget, the PC you build will be a hulking beast
My computer is a tool, not a piece of art. And have fun replacing any components when they go bad or you want to upgrade.
try again. by my math, you're still way, way behind on this one.
Try again yourself. With the new 2700 CPU I completely annihiliate your G4, and I'm still cheaper.
i'm typing this from my powerbook and i honestly have no idea what you're talking about. i just checked, in fact
So we've got two data points here. I say there's a lag. You say there's not. I guess people will just have to test it out for themselves. I can't not notice the lag--it's absolutely, mind-bogglingly irritating, like the Mac has to think for a second before giving you, say, a context menu.
i have no idea why this annoys you, especially given that it saves valuable screen real estate
Well, you wouldn't, would you? Screen real-estate? Dude, I'm operating at 1856x1392. You think I give a shit about screen real estate?
as far as usability, OSX actually has a standard menu for each program that contains a predictable set of options
Yes, I guess it would just confuse you poor, simple children too much if the menu options were different. So Apple has to hold your hand, while at the same time tying the hands of developers.
have you ever used OSX?
Unfortunately, quite a bit.
there's an eject hotkey, an eject button in each finder window, it's in the contextual menu, and you can do the trash thing.
Way to go! See what you just did? That's called missing the point entirely. The default behavior of dragging something into the trashcan should not be "delete" for files, but "eject" for CD's. It doesn't make any sense. I'm glad the new Macs have an eject key on the keyboard (oh, you forgot that one), but this has only come after many, MANY people screaming at Apple because it was a stupid idea to begin with, and it lasted far longer than it should have.

As for the OSX-on-Intel, it will never be released as long as Apple makes their money on the hardware. And that's precisely what they do, which is precisely why a PC is a better bargain and cheaper to upgrade.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:42 PM on January 13, 2005


Am, Civil_Disobedient, I'm a little afraid to mention this less you start foaming at the mouth and jerking on the floor, but in OSX, when you drag the disk to the trash can, it changes to eject sign... Honest.
posted by c13 at 7:14 PM on January 13, 2005


[foams]

I don't want to give off the impression that I hate Macs or something. Like I said before, OSX is just a better constructed operating system than Windows, any day of week, any month of year. There are foilbles about it that drive me batty, but Windows makes me swear like a sailor. The thing that I like about Windows, however, is the control I have. Reinstalling the entire operating system is cakewalk. Booting a Knoppix distro to recover data is a wonderful feeling.

With a Mac, there's so much trust you have to have that it won't fuck up, because if it does, there's not a whole lot you can do to fix it yourself. I don't like that lack of control. Why not Linux, then? Because all x86 windows managers suck hairy balls, that's why. The font subsystem, the OS configuration, the sound, all this shit should be integrated. I don't want to have to think of the hundred some-odd problems that require a careful choreography of installation to get the system dancing right.

The problem I have with OSX is Apple. Apple is a hardware company. They get you hooked on the OS-crack, then hit you for $475 to upgrade to a gig of ram. That's fucking bullshit and they know it. A gig of PC2700 RAM costs $154. A CDR/DVDR +/- drive shouldn't be an extra $100 when you can get a 16x dual layer DVDR for $59. Wireless keyboard & mouse for $99? How about $18 fucking dollars, buddy?

So great, they give you OSX for free, then you've got to bend over when you want to upgrade. No thanks, I don't need a hardware pimp.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:52 PM on January 13, 2005


*sigh*...

So you said thunderbird. Big deal.

it is, actually, since there's no such thing as a 2200 or a 2700 thunderbird.

Let's look at it another way. If I get a Windows box, I'll have an absolutely dizzying amount of warez-sites where I can get it for free, whereas you poor, slovenly Mac-heads have to scrounge around for your free software or actually buy it.

so ... so far you've spent $350 on a PC with inferior memory, a useless integrated video card, no DVI, no modem, no firewire, and it's populated with illegal software. real winner you got yourself there. you should run, not walk, to bring that sucker to market.

Lemme thwack you with the clue-stick: integrated software in the OS == bad.

right, but interoperable software based on open standards (e.g., all programs being able to access address book contacts) == good. you're talking about winXP, not OSX.

So Apple has to hold your hand, while at the same time tying the hands of developers.

hm, yes, clearly you've written a lot of software. the OSX development suite has protocols for creating standard program menus (so that you can go to the 'Safari' or 'Photoshop' menu and see a standard 'recent docs' or 'preferences' option) without the development overhead, and to create a more standardized interface for the user, which is a good thing. apple doesn't force developers to use these options, they just make it easier to do if they so choose.

With a Mac, there's so much trust you have to have that it won't fuck up, because if it does, there's not a whole lot you can do to fix it yourself. I don't like that lack of control.

right, and monkeying with hidden registry entries and entirely closed-source software is a heck of a lot easier than just popping open a UNIX terminal window and fixing it yourself, which you almost never have to do -- since OSX is actually a well-designed OS and doesn't break every 24 hours.

look, you have an antiquated notion of how apple develops and deploys software and hardware. their development suite is in a completely different universe from winXP. their software standards and suites are interoperable and independent (meaning, for example, that safari integrates well with the OS, but you won't suffer a penalty if you uninstall it and use firefox instead). moreover, given the nextstep base, you're free to do a whole host of things you could never do on a windows machine, and the damn thing never breaks, either.

in terms of hardware, sure, you're welcome to overpay for components and installation (which most people can't do themselves), just like you would at literally any other hardware company on the planet. but if you want to install your inferior winmax RAM in your mac mini, you can do so. if you want to hook up your shitty 18-dollar bargain-basement wireless keyboard (assuming it's not using an obsolete PS/2 port), you can do that, too. if i want to swap out the video card on my G5, it's just as easy as if i were to do it on my athlon. the extra SO-DIMM in my powerbook definitely didn't come from apple.

can you customize everything? no. but the parts you do get are high quality (not winmax RAM, for example), and there's often a reason for the premium (the mini superdrive, for instance, is a custom form-factor built for the mac mini). you can add a lot of off-the-shelf parts to a mac, and when you can't, it's often for a good reason. many of the PC standards that apple breaks, it breaks for a good reason. the internal design of the G5, for example, is a work of art, because it was designed from the ground up, so that the airflow works properly, and as a result it's whisper-quiet. because of obsolete design, you can never achieve this result in an ATX case without blowing an absurd amount of money, heat, and power on silent components.

your complaint is analogous to bitching about not being able to swap out the hard drive on your laptop with ease. well, there's a reason for that. moreover, 90% of the population has just as much ease repairing a mac as you do repairing your laptop: that being the case, it's highly advantageous to have decent-quality parts in the first place.

regardless, i'm still not certain what all your kvetching is intended to demonstrate. so far you've admitted that apple has a superior user environment, and the only substantive objection you've raised is that the hardware is overpriced, which is either (a) true for a good reason, as in the case of the G5's internal design, or (b) not true at all, as in the case of installing your own RAM.

getting back to the original point: given that for -- at most -- $150 more than your shitty PC, you could have a mac mini that also has (a) a superior OS and software suite (b) a decent video card (c) the ability to output HDTV, replacing your DVD player (d) a form factor such that you can carry it anywhere, running noiselessly, and (e) no illegal software necessary to run, what's your argument? what conceivable reason is there to opt for the shitty PC?

i'm in agreement that macs are often fairly expensive -- although, unlike you, i think that's the case for a good reason -- but i'm still finding it hard to argue against the mini. it's a really good deal for what you get in terms of power and quality in such a small package.
posted by spiderwire at 7:42 AM on January 14, 2005


spiderwire: (and yes, you can still run photoshop on a pentium III. the question is whether or not you want to. i couldn't be running all the apps and the hardware and the resolution that i am at this moment without a good CPU, among other things. i'm not about to wait 15 seconds for every web page i want to load. your mileage may vary, but most people's doesn't.)

And you say you are not an evangilist. I run a 800MHz VIA EPIA (was going for low noise and low power consumption) with FreeBSD and render time for just about every web page I hit is limited by the badwidth rather than the CPU. (Except for 200+ response long threads on Metafilter, but I suspect that was a Firefox bug.) Quite seriously, processor speed is less a limitation for most people than the marketing hype would have one believe.

getting back to the original point: given that for -- at most -- $150 more than your shitty PC, you could have a mac mini that also has (a) a superior OS and software suite ... (e) no illegal software necessary to run, ...

No illegal software is necessary to run on the X86 hardware. And in my experience, Evolution, Epiphany and Nautilus stand up quite well with the Macintosh OS and bundled software.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:44 PM on January 14, 2005


« Older Another working blogger bites the dust - "This was...  |  Boycott... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments