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February 5, 2007 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Charlie Brooker hates Macs. They are computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.
posted by RichLyon (337 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
"...And the more deftly constructed and wittily argued their defence, the more terrified and wounded they secretly are." But don't let that put anyone off defending them here.
posted by RichLyon at 8:50 AM on February 5, 2007


Wow, someone hates macs. Is this really the best of the web? Its just someone's rant against other people's choices in computers, which really is pretty lame in and of itself.
posted by anansi at 8:51 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I like cake. With ice cream.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 8:53 AM on February 5, 2007


At least he was more coherent than Bill Gates' defense of Windows. Though I suspect he's taking the piss out of PC users' stereotypical defensiveness moreso than simply attacking Macs. This is my bias talking, he's a good writer so he must be intelligent enough to dump his PC.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:55 AM on February 5, 2007


Haven't we already establised that Charlie Brooker is a worthless tosser?
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:56 AM on February 5, 2007


So how come Nathan Barley didn't use a Mac? HOW COME CHARLIE?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:56 AM on February 5, 2007


The first person to do a point-by-point rebuttal loses.
posted by Luddite at 8:57 AM on February 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


So Charlie Brooker is kind of a British John Dvorak, then?
posted by keswick at 8:59 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mac, PC... who cares. People who use any computer are assholes.
posted by iconomy at 9:02 AM on February 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


SLOE GYOB
posted by Plutor at 9:02 AM on February 5, 2007


And the more deftly constructed and wittily argued their defence, the more terrified and wounded they secretly are.

Using a Mac really is terrifying. I'm terrified that I get to use my computer while you reinstall Windows after another spyware and virus fest. Scary stuff, truly. I'm shaking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:03 AM on February 5, 2007


He put way too much thought into this. Somebody light Charlie Brooker a joint and show him Electric Sheep.
posted by baphomet at 9:03 AM on February 5, 2007


I like cake. With ice cream.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:53 AM EST on February 5


I don't. I like them separately. Let's pretend this actually means something in regard to character, intelligence, taste, creative ability, etc. and so forth.
posted by juiceCake at 9:03 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can we talk about circumcision instead?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:03 AM on February 5, 2007 [6 favorites]


did you see that the first comment on the article was the author criticising the editor the article? priceless.
posted by shmegegge at 9:04 AM on February 5, 2007


He has a point with the Feng-Shui. I know of one rich guy type who has had intel iMacs installed around his house simply because they look good. He is booting them into Windows
posted by Gungho at 9:06 AM on February 5, 2007


It's a well-known fact that Macs run by having tiny little Critical-Mass riders smoke severed foreskins as they take their even tinier dogs to the tiny little bar in the computer.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:10 AM on February 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


Bah, he's just provoking the kook wing of the Mac community to give his page views a spike. Yawn.
posted by Scoo at 9:11 AM on February 5, 2007


Yawn. I had this debate in CS courses 10 years ago. Everything was settled when Macs moved to UNIX and then PCs were stomped on when Macs went Intel. Nothing to see here...move along.
posted by christopher.taylor at 9:12 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


LOL xtians
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:13 AM on February 5, 2007


ROU_Xenophobe:

Dude, you're just gross. Little tiny dogs indeed.
posted by Mister_A at 9:13 AM on February 5, 2007


It looks like you're trying to post a comment to a website.


Would you like help? [CANCEL]

posted by digaman at 9:13 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


LOL digiman
posted by The Deej at 9:18 AM on February 5, 2007


The best invective I've read in days. Thanks.

Doesn't hurt that most of it is true.
posted by koeselitz at 9:19 AM on February 5, 2007


What anansi said. Those "I'm a Mac" ads are pretty awful, though.
posted by brundlefly at 9:19 AM on February 5, 2007


From the comment:

And the reason there are far more games available for PCs than for Macs is because Mac users have better things to do with their time that fannying around getting some unfeasibly-breasted posh totty to another level, while making her flash her arse at the same time, then stropping when their Mum comes in to ask if they want an eggy and some soldiers.



Man, I love the English. I really need an unfeasibly-breasted posh totty. And when I find her I WILL take her to another level.
posted by spicynuts at 9:19 AM on February 5, 2007 [10 favorites]


I am working on my post about a Fundie Christian super-conservative Mac user who drives a Humvee (NOT a Hummer, a Humvee) and supports the war in Iraq, and has solid PROOF that global warming is a communist hoax. Oh, and he reads Fark.

I hope this FPP hasn't ruined it for me.
posted by The Deej at 9:20 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Flagged as "whining blogger trash."
posted by drstein at 9:20 AM on February 5, 2007


Hey, Rush Limbaugh is a big mac fan, or was in the past. But yeah, Hardcore mac fanbois are pretty easy to hate.
posted by delmoi at 9:24 AM on February 5, 2007


Stop objectifying Mac users please.
posted by Mister_A at 9:24 AM on February 5, 2007


OH MY SHITTING CHRIST WHAT AN ASSHOLE THIS GUY IS. PC'S BETTER THAN MACS?

First of all:

1) Macs never crash...

2) PC's on the other hand, well let's just say BSOD, AMIRITE?

3) PUTTY COLOR IS A BAD COLOR...

4) I'm just fucking kidding I don't give a limping purple shit what kind of computer any of you use or like, mostly because no one has caved in the side of my forehead with a rusty iron frying pan.



I'm typing this on a giant dusty Wang.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:27 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Of course, that hasn't stopped me slagging off Mac owners, with a series of sweeping generalisations, for the past 900 words, but that is what the ads do to PCs.

And we all know the best way to counter argue a fallacious argument is offer the identical argument with the parties reversed.

Whatever. I'll keep my pretentious ass hole Mac Charlie. I've just decided that, in fact, yes, it does make me better than you.
posted by smallerdemon at 9:27 AM on February 5, 2007


Jesus - I've loved Macs since OSX, but I loved this too. What a great rant - how can you not enjoy:

you have inadvertently put your finger on the dark fear haunting their feeble, quivering soul - that in some sense, they are a superficial semi-person assembled from packaging; an infinitely sad, second-rate replicant who doesn't really know what they are doing here, but feels vaguely significant and creative each time they gaze at their sleek designer machine.

[...]

Myst, the most pompous and boring videogame of all time, a plodding, dismal "adventure" in which you wandered around solving tedious puzzles in a rubbish magic kingdom apparently modelled on pretentious album covers, originated on the Mac in 1993. That same year, the first shoot-'em-up game, Doom, was released on the PC. This tells you all you will ever need to know about the Mac's relationship with "fun".


Hah!
posted by freebird at 9:28 AM on February 5, 2007


I think he's really complaining more about the ads than the computer itself. I can't entirely blame him, either, but annoying stereotypes or no, they ARE pretty funny.

Anyone could play Mac Guy, but John Hodgman is awesome. I don't think they'd work without him.
posted by Malor at 9:28 AM on February 5, 2007


I'm typing this on a giant dusty Wang.

I'm convinced most MeFi posts are typed with a wang, small w.
posted by spicynuts at 9:30 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mac users just wish they were Canadian.
posted by srboisvert at 9:32 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not sure that I care a bit about the perpetual question of Mac v. PC, but I switched this year, first with a purchase of a Macbook, then when our desktop dropped dead after three years of frequent glitches, bought an iMac. My sense is that, in a perfect alignment of fortune, one could do as well as a Mac if one bought a PC, assuming the OS functioned properly, and that whatever bundle of parts in the box actually was designed to do more than break down after a year. PC's are sold because of an intimidation factor about learning a new OS, from what I can tell, and little else.

And yes, they do work better. By a long shot. And yes, they are beautiful to look at. Which may be shallow, but apparently there are millions of people who actually feel that an object that consumes a significant portion of on'e assets and takes up space in one's home ought to look reasonable nice.

And they are incredibly quiet.
posted by docpops at 9:32 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


If Bono would just pay his fookin' taxes, we could buy Macs for everybody!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:32 AM on February 5, 2007


Anyone could play Mac Guy, but John Hodgman is awesome. I don't think they'd work without him.

Malor: well, he's writing from the UK, where they got diffrent actors to play the systems. "David Mitchell and Robert Webb".
posted by delmoi at 9:33 AM on February 5, 2007


I use both. Every day.

A Mac is like a Hoover. A PC is like an Electrolux.
(They both Suck.)

A Microsoft mouse plugged your Mac=
Right-click Goodness.
posted by squalor at 9:34 AM on February 5, 2007


your favorite operating system sucks.
posted by empath at 9:36 AM on February 5, 2007


I think my favorite part is the first comment on the article.
posted by moss at 9:37 AM on February 5, 2007


*sigh* Again? Ok, here goes.

Macs are for people who don't want to (and shouldn't have to) learn to use a computer. Like my mother.

Windows is for people who have to use some windows-only piece of software. Nobody chooses windows because it's better as an OS, they choose it for the apps.

Linux is for people who need their computers to be tools above all else.

Are we done yet?
posted by Skorgu at 9:38 AM on February 5, 2007


10 Print "your favorite operating system sucks."
20 Goto 10
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:39 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


A single link post on the topic of Mac Vs. PCs. This thread will possibly be a contender for most comments ever.

Shame it wasnt a single link post on the topic of Mac Vs. PCs to a You Tube Video.

"Mac, PC... who cares. People who use any computer are assholes."
Iconomy I agree.

Infact. Everyone is an asshole. Useage of computer format aside.
posted by 13twelve at 9:40 AM on February 5, 2007


I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did

Ouch.

Come on, this was a funny article and more than a little bit true at the same time. I don't use a Mac but he described the part of me that wants one pretty much perfectly.

He needn't have bothered with the played-out one mouse button thing though.
posted by teleskiving at 9:41 AM on February 5, 2007


Methinks the man doth protest too much.
posted by Mr Pointy at 9:44 AM on February 5, 2007


My sense is that, in a perfect alignment of fortune, one could do as well as a Mac if one bought a PC, assuming the OS functioned properly, and that whatever bundle of parts in the box actually was designed to do more than break down after a year.

Macs and PCs are made out of the same "bundle of parts" Literally the exact same components. In almost all cases, whether or not a PC goes all glitchy on you won't have much to do with the actual hardware.

The thing is, some PC makers make crap, and some PC makers spend the time to make things work well. People are going to associate the crappiest E-machine or Compaq Presario or local shop slap-together with the best put together DELL as if they were made by the same people.

And yes, they do work better. By a long shot. And yes, they are beautiful to look at. Which may be shallow, but apparently there are millions of people who actually feel that an object that consumes a significant portion of one's assets and takes up space in one's home ought to look reasonable nice.

Well, that's a mater of opinion, obviously. You can buy PCs with lots of different case designs.

And they are incredibly quiet.

Dells are also very quiet.

But yeah a big problem with the PC was all the spyware and garbage that accumulates under windows. If you know what you're doing, it won't be a problem. I've never once had an issue with spyware, but I never download any software unless I'm certain it doesn't contain any. But obviously most people are not computer experts.

The thing is, though the reason Macs don't have this problem isn't because they're "just better" but because they don't have the same market share and are not targeted. Yes, you don't run as "root" on Mac OS, but you don't need to do that on windows either.
posted by delmoi at 9:44 AM on February 5, 2007


Most people, here and in the article comments, don't seem to realize it's satire. Which is understandable because it's not very good satire. Charlie Brooker is often devastating when he's using humor as a blunt instrument, but here he aspires to subtlety and can't bring himself to commit to it and the result is wishy-washy. It's completely kneecapped by the note at the end, too.

Still, a few classic lines here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:45 AM on February 5, 2007


If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that "says something" about your personality, don't bother. You don't have a personality. A mental illness, maybe - but not a personality.

I think I'm in love.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:46 AM on February 5, 2007


Bought an Intel Core Duo based mini and now run both Windows and OS X.

I have half a mind to take it back.
posted by hal9k at 9:47 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Looks like Mr. Broker's piece struck a nerve.

The fact that there is such an outcry over this opinion speaks volumes for his case.




(Ice cream with cake? Overkill.)
posted by wfc123 at 9:49 AM on February 5, 2007


Heh, I loved it an a Mac user. But unlike most of the metafilter herd mind I actually read it all the way through to the money shot in the last paragraph, where he opens up the curtain and reveals that it's all a put-on.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:49 AM on February 5, 2007


Brooker
posted by wfc123 at 9:49 AM on February 5, 2007


Man, I love the English. I really need an unfeasibly-breasted posh totty.

I can't help you with that, but can I introduce you to my friend, Buster Gonad?

From the article:

"Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work."


Or alternatively, computers for people who want a reasonably priced Unix workstation, with a very nice GUI.

But I guess Charlie Brooker doesn't know enough about computers to know anything other than what Bill Gates tells him.

God, why am I even bothering to respond to this sort of trolling? It's like wrestling with a pig.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:50 AM on February 5, 2007


Windows is for people who have to use some windows-only piece of software. Nobody chooses windows because it's better as an OS, they choose it for the apps.

I would say that people who use windows are people who don't care what OS they use. Nothing I do on my computer couldn't be doneon Linux or OSX, I just use it because it's easy to use and hassle free (compared to Linux) and it will run on a PC I put together myself.

I've tried Linux a few times, and it's always a been a kind of a pain to configure. Maybe it's made great strides lately, but yeah. I'm really lothe to get Vista though, unless all the DRM crap can be stripped out. So I may switch to Linux.
posted by delmoi at 9:53 AM on February 5, 2007


I truthfully have not seen the Apple Macintosh campaign and don't know who David Mitchell and Robert Webb are.
Should I? Is it worth following up on?

For the record, I hate Macs but love Mac users.
posted by MtDewd at 9:53 AM on February 5, 2007


Haha, apparently Mac users don't have a monopoly on irritating snark anymore. Suck it, PC haters!
posted by Afroblanco at 9:56 AM on February 5, 2007


Are we done yet?
posted by Skorgu at 12:38 PM EST on February 5


No. Macs, PCs, etc. are for a wide variety of users and individuals and their computer of choice is subject to any number of preferences and needs.
posted by juiceCake at 9:56 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mitchell and Webb (who have done much good stuff, such as Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Sound) have really let themselves down with this Mac/PC stuff. Just thought that they had enough credibility not to take on someone else's roles.

As for Brooker, he makes money from hating on things. Sometimes he hates on things I like (Macs, cricket), sometimes he hates on things I hate (Pop [American] Idol, etc.). It's what he does.

And Nathan Barley did use a Mac "shaped like a fucking lampshade" - can't remember on which TV Go Home it was, but one of them.
posted by athenian at 9:57 AM on February 5, 2007


The fact that there is such an outcry over this opinion speaks volumes for his case.

I happen to be typing this on my main desktop, which is a PC

A PC with both side panels off, and the fourth hard drive located outside the main case, beneath a small mountain of cigarette ends -- as it has been for the past nine months or so.

You can tell that my belief in Feng Shui is strong...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:59 AM on February 5, 2007


I don't think I could love Charlie Brooker more. But, having read this, I want to.
posted by terpsichoria at 10:01 AM on February 5, 2007


blah blah blah its Unix, bitch.
posted by four panels at 10:02 AM on February 5, 2007


this guy is like maddox, only he takes himself seriously.
posted by mosessmith at 10:05 AM on February 5, 2007


Sigh. CakeAndIceCreamFilter again?
posted by Kwine at 10:06 AM on February 5, 2007


I guarantee you I know more about bit-twiddling with computers than this author. I own and use a Mac, and don't know a damn thing about feng shui.

Hmm...

I also happen to think that iMacs are damn beautiful. So appreciating beauty makes me shallow? Give me a fucking break. My iMac is also a damn functional PC. My wife is a damn functional mate: I don't find any problem or shallowness in also finding her beautiful. Fuck, appreciating and creating beautiful things is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Utilitarian concerns need to come first, but once you can afford to think about more than that, beauty is not at all a "shallow" way to spend your energies.

Idiot. I have a home-built Wintel machine running XP, and a Dell laptop too.

I came to the Mac from Debian Linux after 8 years (Win95 was just too much broken-ness to bear).

This author doesn't have a clue about what has happened to Macs in the last 5 years. With OS 9, he still would have been wrong, but at least a little less wrong. Today, with the 4th major iteration of OS X out, the guy is just fucking stupid.

If you're going to dog on Macs, at least pull your head out of your 1999 ass first.
posted by teece at 10:09 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yet another debate that is argued almost exclusively from one side of a fence.

Complaining about a one-button mouse on a Mac is sooo 1999. Plug in ANY third-party mouse and enjoy total left-click, right-click functionality.

Also, I run a Mac and a PC, synched together to make one giant audio workstation. The Mac rarely crashes, while the PC is being reconfigured after a VERY nasty hard drive meltdown. Mileage varying and all that...
posted by tantrumthecat at 10:10 AM on February 5, 2007


YHBT YHL HAND.
posted by Olli at 10:11 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Good thing he wasn't slagging off Mac users for not having a sense of humor! :-)
posted by facetious at 10:13 AM on February 5, 2007


Ya'll DID see this part at the end, yes?

This week: Charlie watched some episodes of Larry Sanders (on his PC). He played the customised Fawlty Towers map for Counterstrike (on his PC). He listened to the Windows startup jingle every 10 minutes as his PC repeatedly rebooted itself.

He's clearly in the closet, with a shiny new iMac.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:13 AM on February 5, 2007


Didn't Charlie Booker make Johnsonsville Brats?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:16 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


he's a good writer so he must be intelligent enough to dump his PC.

Charlie Brooker worked for many years as a journalist on the PC games magazine "PC Zone". Regardless of his brainstuff quotient, he is unlikely to buy a Mac because they suck giant hairy bollocks for gaming.

But I guess Charlie Brooker doesn't know enough about computers to know anything other than what Bill Gates tells him.

Charlie Brooker worked for many years as a journalist on the PC games magazine "PC Zone". He has probably spent enough time around Windows -- and has certainly complained about its foibles enough in that time -- to be able to see around the life-size effigy of Bill Gates that doubtless adorns his desk.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:16 AM on February 5, 2007


To quote keswick, you are all dorks.
posted by Mister_A at 10:19 AM on February 5, 2007


And yes, they do work better. By a long shot. And yes, they are beautiful to look at. Which may be shallow, but apparently there are millions of people who actually feel that an object that consumes a significant portion of one's assets and takes up space in one's home ought to look reasonable nice.

Experiences differ. I've had as many problems or lack thereof wth Macs as PCs over the years, which is to say, very little. As for the interfaces I find they each have their strengths and weaknesses each of which, in turn appeal more or less to any number of individuals.

As for looks, subjective of course, but I find most of my computer time is made up of looking at the monitor(s) and what's on them (and that too has a degree of flexibility, ave my Windows desktop is Aqua themed.) I rarely see the case(s). But I loved the look of the Cube with a large LCD. But the features (and price) were nonsense (for me.)

I work everyday with people who use a mix of platforms and I have to say none of us quite understands how that ever becomes an issue outside of what you like to work with. But we all have differences and maybe a computer can define peoples' personalities and what is important to each of us varies greatly, as do our interests.

That said, I'll never buy into the reductive Macs are for this type of person and PCs are for this type of person argument. Frankly, I believe they're used by a diverse set of people. For me, the person is the key, not the tools they use or the shoes they buy.

And this piece, obviously, is just having fun with that.
posted by juiceCake at 10:24 AM on February 5, 2007


Well I for one had fun lawling at people who haven't read the article all the way through. Thanks for ruining the dumbass watching fun.
posted by Suparnova at 10:25 AM on February 5, 2007


The beauty of the U.S. Mac vs. PCs commercials is that John Hodgeman is far more interesting and fun than the bland hipster that personifies the Mac. I would be far more inclined to buy a John Hodgeman than I would a generic Mac hipster actor guy whose name I don't know, so, for me, the commercials do the exact opposite of what is intended.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:25 AM on February 5, 2007


the ads he is talking about.
posted by kolophon at 10:28 AM on February 5, 2007


Wasn't there a (USian) Mac ad with a walk-on by Unix? I seem to remember that being kind of funny.
posted by Mister_A at 10:30 AM on February 5, 2007


I meant Linux.
posted by Mister_A at 10:30 AM on February 5, 2007


The only practical difference between Macintoshen and Windows machines for most users is whether they're more familiar with one or the other. They're both computers and for most people they do the same damn thing.

Tech heads can get all up in arms about this that and the other difference under the hood, but it doesn't really matter to most people.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:32 AM on February 5, 2007


Just a minor pet peeve-
"PC" stands for "Personal Computer," not "Windows."
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 10:32 AM on February 5, 2007


A spoof.
posted by Mister_A at 10:32 AM on February 5, 2007


Charlie Brooker worked for many years as a journalist on the PC games magazine "PC Zone".

I didn't realize playing video games made someone a fully competent computer scientist.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:45 AM on February 5, 2007


Hehe, this is becoming one of the best trolls since the Bonsai Kitten outrage.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:45 AM on February 5, 2007


Just a minor pet peeve-
"PC" stands for "Personal Computer," not "Windows."


GM stands for "general motors" but it dosn't refer to motors in general. The term is generally used to refer to "decendants" of the Origional IBM PC. Of course Macs are now based on that same descendant architecture, but for a long time they were not. Words are defined by how they are used, not by their etymology.
posted by delmoi at 10:46 AM on February 5, 2007


PCs are better than MACs.

That is all.
posted by tadellin at 10:46 AM on February 5, 2007


The only practical difference between Macintoshen and Windows machines for most users is whether they're more familiar with one or the other. They're both computers and for most people they do the same damn thing.

I use both. I started with a PC. I would classify myself as "power user" for what I do. So I am not most people. But I would rather have a Mac if I HAD to choose only one. Because for what I do they just DON'T do the same thing. Not reliably, anyway. But that is me.

As for average users. I think of my parents. The entire idea of a computer frustrated them. They are in their 70's. My dad had a Dell Laptop that was so over run with the typical Windows XP problems he simply stopped using it. It sat for a year literally unused.

So we bought them an iMac a couple of years ago. Total sea change. These crazy old people are sending me slide shows and movies and shit now through .Mac. They do not experience problems. There is no impediment to doing what they desire on that machine. My mom spends eight hours a day on Wikipedia now. So. Please won't you think of the old people.

BTW. Doesn't John Hodgman use a mac?
posted by tkchrist at 10:48 AM on February 5, 2007


Charlie Brooker is funnier and smarter than you. Official.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on February 5, 2007


I didn't realize playing video games made someone a fully competent computer scientist.

Are you a "fully competent computer scientist"? And how would you determine if someone was, some kind of turing test?

Ignoring someone's opinions about Macs vs. PCs biased on their grasp of "Computer Science" makes as much sense as dismissing someone's opinions on cars based on their grasp of quantum thermodynamics.
posted by delmoi at 10:48 AM on February 5, 2007


The only way to have fun with a Mac is to poke its insufferable owner in the eye.

Funny.
posted by ND¢ at 10:52 AM on February 5, 2007


Is there such a thing as quantum thermodynamics? If there is then I have a Ph.D. in it.
posted by tkchrist at 10:53 AM on February 5, 2007


PCs are better than MACs.

PCs are better than network card address protocols? If you say so.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:54 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Macs can run linux now, right...

Why are we arguing?
posted by phrontist at 10:55 AM on February 5, 2007


If you can't run a PC without it becoming virus infested, or crashing you either shouldn't be using a computer, or should get someone in to set it up properly for you in the first place.
posted by lilburne at 10:56 AM on February 5, 2007


Are you a "fully competent computer scientist"? And how would you determine if someone was, some kind of turing test?

I'll bet our video game expert would know.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:56 AM on February 5, 2007


Linux is for people who need their computers to be tools above all else.

Nope, Linux is for people who enjoy spending their lives making their computers work, or are paid for it.
posted by Skeptic at 10:57 AM on February 5, 2007


I use both, a lot, I'd have to say that while some of the usual contrasts are true, the standard "Mac is more stable" position is absolute bullshit. OS X gives me the spinning beachball of death far more often than XP gives me any equivalent, and with less reason -- my OS X machine is more 'stock' than the PC, with a lot less third-party stuff. And I haven't seen the BSOD in years, whereas I see the polyglot system crash notice on OS X about once a month. OS X is also an irrational pig for memory.

But overall I generally still prefer OS X for its ease of use and approachability, comprehensible software installation process (installshield is a horror, OS X's "just drag the image to the Application folder" is a dream by comparison) and the ability to open a terminal and have a full unix is really nice.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:58 AM on February 5, 2007


Funny article...but what's even funnier are the mac users lining up to prove his point.
posted by rocket88 at 10:59 AM on February 5, 2007


FWIW I had my *first* BSOD on my Windows 2000 Pro machine the other night. The thing is that I've had this box since October 2002. I've had unspectacular crashes before but this one was kind of scary; came right back when I re-booted though. [NOT MAC-IST]
posted by Mister_A at 11:04 AM on February 5, 2007


Linux is for people who need their computers to be tools above all else.

There, fixed that for you.

Actually, I use Linux most of the time, but it was too easy to pass up.
posted by davejay at 11:04 AM on February 5, 2007


Hoo hoo hoo! I wouldn't want to be a Mac user after that article!
posted by mazola at 11:06 AM on February 5, 2007


Macs can run linux now, right...

I bought my first PC because I got sick and tired of all of the apps that wouldn't compile under MkLinux DR2.

That's over ten years ago now.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:07 AM on February 5, 2007


I thought it was funny.

Cue 10 years of nasal bleating from Mac-likers who profess to like Macs not because they are fashionable, but because "they are just better".

Yeah, I don't get it. How are they supposed to be better, anyway? Because you can make movies on them? Well... sure... that just takes software. It seems like the things they mention in the commercials are all concerned with software. ::shrug:: I'm content with my PC.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:08 AM on February 5, 2007


Metafilter: a giant dusty Wang
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2007


I don't have a strong position on MACs.

However, I've got a desktop PC and a Dell laptop at home, and we just recently added a used eMac that we got for free about a month ago, and whenever I just want to use a computer for something, I almost always use the mac instead of the PC, even though it's older and slower than the windows box.

There's just something about it that feels better. I can't put it into words why, but it's true.
posted by empath at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2007


Right on with George_Spiggott. I use all three (mac/win/*nix) platforms mentioned here pretty regularly, because of work I do in two different fields. The thing that drives me nuts about these futile arguments (which, at root [Hah!], are not about computers at all) is how they conflate two separate things: hardware and OS.

I've seen mac and pc hardware go futsy at roughly comparable frequency, which makes sense because as has been pointed out, it's pretty much the same stuff. I have yet to see an OS that handles hardware problems truly gracefully. They all suck at it.

Without question, the one truth that must be applied across all boxen, regardless of OS and hardware, is that a working configuration is something to be valued. That's the thing that people just don't get for some reason.

"Oh, a downloadable exe of 'new smileys'! Huzzah, I must have it!"

"This box is reliable, let me add a cheap-ass tuner card and use it as a PVR!"

"Oh, this 'pro applications patch' must be something safe I should install or it wouldn't be pushed to me, right?"

Reliability != funness, but unreliability == unfun
posted by Pliskie at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]



Is there such a thing as quantum thermodynamics?

well, sort of - one might say that statistical mechanics using b-e or f-d statistics, as opposed to a classical distribution function, might constitute "quantum thermodynamics".

but ya, if you called it that, you might as well claim you have a degree in technical computerology, or computational macintoshery, or whatever.

posted by sergeant sandwich at 11:11 AM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Windows lets you do a lot more than mac. Of the set of things that windows allows you to do that mac does not many of the things are very stupid. Windows is like a myspace page in that you can do a great deal of things most of which you probably shouldn't. Mac's are like face book in that you can't do manythings that are all that stupid and it is easy to do most of the things that you might want to do, but there are somethings that maybe you'd like to do that you won't be able to do. And of those things many of them... you probably shouldn't do.
posted by I Foody at 11:13 AM on February 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


Macs never crash...
posted by Divine_Wino

that's what i always tell my mac using co-workers when their macs crash!
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 11:17 AM on February 5, 2007


Just wanted to pop in and say:

I like PCs because, unlike Macs, they allow me to use open-source software like Linux rather than the extremely closed-source operating systems that Microsoft and Apple have thrust upon us.

Carry on, now.
posted by koeselitz at 11:18 AM on February 5, 2007


My Windows users are constantly breaking silly shit on their PCs that usually takes a few minutes to repair.

My Mac users rarely break shit, but when they do it's really broken.

I suppose that means something.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:20 AM on February 5, 2007


Do you read a lot of Gertrude Stein, I Foody?
posted by cgc373 at 11:21 AM on February 5, 2007


Oh, to stay on topic: I use an iBook for personal stuff and a desktop Dell for work stuff. Mac do I love; PC do I tolerate, at best.
posted by cgc373 at 11:22 AM on February 5, 2007


Indeed, I Foody. Some years ago, a friend of mine opined that as time went on, the Mac vs PC debate would cease to have any real significance—network requirements were continually driving the two operating systems to greater compatibility, and soon the choice would come down to a Chevy vs Cadillac situation, rather than a Chevy vs Ford decision. Linux is Dodge, of course.

That was in 2002, as the friend in question was assembling my then-overbuilt, now-adequate Windows box. I'd say that recent events, like the advent of dual-bootable Intel Macs, support his prognostication.
posted by Mister_A at 11:23 AM on February 5, 2007


You know who else hates Macs?

Osama bin Laden.

(Is this thread Godwinized yet?)

Oh yes, vi users are knuckle-dragging troglodytes.

And dog owners are emotionally needy saps.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:26 AM on February 5, 2007


koeselitz writes "I like PCs because, unlike Macs, they allow me to use open-source software like Linux rather than the extremely closed-source operating systems that Microsoft and Apple have thrust upon us."

Uh. Uh. Ummmm.

Nevermind.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:27 AM on February 5, 2007


I like PCs because, unlike Macs, they allow me to use open-source software like Linux rather than the extremely closed-source operating systems that Microsoft and Apple have thrust upon us.

Ahem, Yellow Dog linux?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:28 AM on February 5, 2007


Why are you going on about dogs, KirkJobSluder? ARE YOU ANTI-CANINIST OR SOMETHING
posted by Mister_A at 11:29 AM on February 5, 2007



The fact that there is such an outcry over this opinion speaks volumes for his case.


*heh* You say that almost with a straight face, as if you weren't aware that this discussion has been going on since 1984.

Other Mac vs PC types of "arguments":

•Abortion vs Choice
•God vs Atheism
•TOS vs TNG
•Picard vs Kirk
•Coke vs Pepsi
•Nike vs Reebok (if you're from the 80s)
•Ford vs Chevy (if you're from the 60s and 70s)
•Marlboro vs Winston vs Camel
•Episodes I-III vs Episodes IV-VI
•Freddy vs Jason
•Ash vs Anything Supernatural Inhabiting A Human Body
•Lotus123 vs Excel (from the 80s and 90s)
•Folgers vs Maxwell House (if you're from the 70s and 80s)
•Starbucks vs That Coffee Shop Down The Street (now)
•Burger King vs McDonalds
•HD-DVD vs BluRay
•3.5" Floppies vs 5.25 Diskettes
•ATI vs GeForce
•XBox 360 vs Playstation 3 vs Wii
•XBox vs Playstation 2 vs Gamecube
•Sega Dreamcast vs Playstation

You get the idea. You know what wins these arguments? Time. After a while nobody fucking cares that much. Or they buy what works best for them. As long as someone can make money from one or the other, nobody really cares about what's better. It's all mental masturbation, and nobody bothers cleaning up after themselves.
posted by smallerdemon at 11:32 AM on February 5, 2007


*cough*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:32 AM on February 5, 2007


I spent the last few months writing a book on my Mac. Didn't talk about it. Did it. And I've got a publisher. If I'd done it on a PC it would have been rubbish.

Article [and comments - over there and here] made me laugh.
posted by meech at 11:37 AM on February 5, 2007


Metafilter : You are Wrong ! No, YOU are Wrong !
posted by elpapacito at 11:37 AM on February 5, 2007


How can I tell which kind of computer I own?
posted by Postroad at 11:38 AM on February 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


I can no longer differentiate between those of you who are being subtly sarcastic by pretending to miss the fact that the article is satire and so posting fanboy commentary based on decades-out-of-date or counterfactual premises just to carry on the joke, and those of you who are idiots.
posted by ook at 11:40 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


the good doctor would not run windows. (freebsd maybe?)
posted by Dr. Boom at 11:41 AM on February 5, 2007


Macs are [...] computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work;
[...]
"Why has this rubbish aspirational ornament only got one mouse button?"


Stopped reading there. Maybe this dumbass should start taking his own advice, and learn something.
posted by triolus at 11:41 AM on February 5, 2007


I, sir, am an idiot. I take offense that you would think otherwise.
posted by smallerdemon at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2007


ook, we're all idiots here. When you find yourself unsure how to respond, feel free to deploy one of the old reliables. This will only embolden the idiots and cause us to embrace you as one of our own.
posted by Pliskie at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2007


Postroad:

As with many animals, simply look under the tail. If it's a Mac, you will see a smooth white plastic pip. If it's a PC, there will be a huge glowing cock.
posted by Mister_A at 11:50 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I didn't realize playing video games made someone a fully competent computer scientist.

No, but writing for a PC games magazine -- and playing PC games extensively -- from the days of DOS to the early 2000s means that someone likely knows enough about all flavours of Windows, PC gaming hardware, and the PC "scene" in general, to make an intelligent decision about whether they want to use Windows or OSX.

I would have thought this was implied by that much shorter sentence I wrote up there, but apparently not.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:50 AM on February 5, 2007


•Starbucks vs That Coffee Shop Down The Street (now)

I currently fret over the "This Starbucks vs The Starbucks a Block Away" argument.
posted by peeedro at 11:51 AM on February 5, 2007


Been using computers for, oh kill me now, 30 years or so.

Had an Apple II originally. Great, expandable box, lots of cool apps, Mountain Music system, Decillionix (sp) sound sampling card, lots of other coolness. Softalk Apple, best computer magazine in history (besides Byte).

Had an original IBM PC, and I loved the keyboard, though not as much as the one that came with the DEC Rainbow. DOS sucked, a little more than Apple DOS.

Got a Mac 128 in January of 1984, and though it only shipped with MacPaint and MacWrite, it was superb. Telos Filevision made my brain implode, I must have been up for 4-5 days in a row, making crazy linked graphic madness. I took a copy of "The Way Things Work", and started making Filevision renditions of ball point pens and nuclear reactors.

I've been using this stuff far too long to want to even remember, and I can tell you this:

The Mac, with all it's issues and Apple's weirdness, has always been a better creative platform. Period. There have been times that I've wanted certain apps on the Mac that were simply never going to migrate over - 3D Studio Max stands out as the best example - but for the most part, I've always turned to the Mac first for most of my work. I have a Windows box on my desk - yeah, a Dell my brother put together for me, customized blah blah blah - but it's the Mac that gets pushed to the wall.

And I'll share a little something with y'all - the sensitivity and responsiveness of the mouse are non-trivial, qualitative aspects of the different platforms.

Let's take the simple example of Photoshop. Use the rectangular marquee tool to make a pixel-precise selection.

Click the Mac mouse, drag, select. Pixel-level precision, no problemo.

NOW, do it with a Windows box and ANY mouse.

Jumpy BS, yeah, try to position the mouse over a specific row of pixels, press down Cap Locks for that crosshair in Photoshop (yours truly spec'd that feature out for Photoshop 1.0), and go ahead, MAKE THE FUCKING SELECTION.

Bingo.

Can you get Artmatic Pro, Studio Artist or Metasynth for Windows?

Nope. Not now, probably not ever.

Some folks are more than happy to drink that Lipton's teabag full of dirt. Me, I'll choose the loose, luscious Red Fruits black tea, steep those leaves in a teaball, nice ceramic teapot, a touch of honey and some fesh lemon. FUCK the Equal and reconstituted lemon juice drink shit.

You live once, make the most of it.
posted by dbiedny at 11:54 AM on February 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Episodes I-III vs Episodes IV-VI

Dude. There is no debate surrounding this. Anyone who chooses the prequels over the Originals is mentally ill.

Thank you.
posted by grubi at 11:54 AM on February 5, 2007


FRESH lemon, dammit.
posted by dbiedny at 11:56 AM on February 5, 2007


Or this Starbucks vs this Starbucks.
posted by Mister_A at 11:56 AM on February 5, 2007


Oh yes, vi users are knuckle-dragging troglodytes.

while emacs users can't drag their knuckles because of carpal tunnel from all the key combinations
posted by pyramid termite at 11:57 AM on February 5, 2007


vi. cats. That is all.
posted by everichon at 11:59 AM on February 5, 2007


I take it back. In some cases, I can differentiate.
posted by ook at 11:59 AM on February 5, 2007


> Oh yes, vi users are knuckle-dragging troglodytes.

esc:wq to you too.


Oh, and Mac zealots are such nouveau come-latelys. There hasn't been a real Apple since the ][. Apple lost its soul completely when they decided they were too hip to have a rainbow logo.
posted by jfuller at 12:01 PM on February 5, 2007


If it's a PC, there will be a huge glowing cock.

Huge and glowing because it's infected.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:02 PM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't use a PC or a Mac. I do all the math in my head.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:03 PM on February 5, 2007


•Choice
•Atheism
•TNG
•Picard
•Coke
•Nike
•Ford
•Camel
•Episodes I-III
•Freddy
•Excel (I know some of the guys who developed Lotus, and theyre giant assholes)
•Folgers
•That Coffee Shop Down The Street (now)
•McDonalds
•BluRay
•3.5" Floppies
Wii
•Playstation 2
•Playstation


There. Solved 'em.
posted by klangklangston at 12:03 PM on February 5, 2007


My first computer was an Apple ][. First machine I used in college was a Mac Classic. Then the next year my friend got a copy of Doom running on his 386. I learned my first DOS commands to make that game go. Now I play around with Linux and have owned Windows machines since Win95 came out.

Would I buy a Mac? Not sure. Vista seems a bit like a pig, given the DRM issues... I don't know that it is enough to make me switch at the moment. I couldn't seriously move to Linux, not yet anyway. My wife would be frustrated by a lot of things.

Hell, the primary reasons I won't go to a Mac right now are (a) the hardware issues - I do not like to have my OS be tied to any specific company's hardware, and (b) those smarmy ads piss me off.

Plus, I'll just come right out and say it: I do not want a PC that looks like a shiny plastic toy. Really. I don't want a beige box either, but I really just do not at all like the standard "Mac look". I do not want to think differently just like everyone else. The Mac look does not fit my personality. With a non-Mac system, I can actually buy or build a computer that has some of my own personal tastes reflected. How many people build extravagant case mods for PCs? How many elaborate case mods have you seen for Macs? And here I thought that Macs were for creative people...

(John Hodgeman is pretty funny though.)
posted by caution live frogs at 12:04 PM on February 5, 2007


Nope, Linux is for people who enjoy spending their lives making their computers work, or are paid for it.

I.e., people who need their computers to be tools?

You use whatever system you like, whatever one gets your work done, whatever IT makes you use. You want Windows? OS X? BeOS? IE 5.0 on Mac OS 9? Knock yourself out.

But for those of use who work on computers, not with them, computers need to damn well do what we tell them to do, now. We need Hole Hawgs, not Hello Kitty plastic drills or re-badged yum-cha imitation crap.

My entire family uses mac laptops. If anyone asks me, as they do, what computer should they get, I reply with "Apple." Because I charge to deal with Windows.
posted by Skorgu at 12:04 PM on February 5, 2007


I don't use a PC or a Mac. I do all the math in my head.

wait until you see him do flight simulator x in his head
posted by pyramid termite at 12:04 PM on February 5, 2007


klangklangston: You forgot Ash. Other than that I am amazed to find myself pretty much in agreement with you on nearly all counts.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:06 PM on February 5, 2007


My entire family uses mac laptops. If anyone asks me, as they do, what computer should they get, I reply with "Apple." Because I charge to deal with Windows.

Skorgu, that was perfect. Thank you.
posted by dbiedny at 12:07 PM on February 5, 2007


Yeah, but I prefer the Stones to the Beatles (and the Kinks to both).
posted by klangklangston at 12:09 PM on February 5, 2007


Is there such a thing as quantum thermodynamics?
well, sort of - one might say that statistical mechanics using b-e or f-d statistics, as opposed to a classical distribution function, might constitute "quantum thermodynamics".

but ya, if you called it that, you might as well claim you have a degree in technical computerology, or computational macintoshery, or whatever.


Well, it has a Wikipedia entry. It means trying to combine Quantum Mechanics with classical thermodynamics.
posted by delmoi at 12:11 PM on February 5, 2007


NOW, do it with a Windows box and ANY mouse.

I have pixel-perfect precision of this kind on my Windows PC, but I did buy a nice £40 gaming mouse; I'd be disappointed if I didn't :)

Since everyone in this thread is under contractual obligation to post their opinion on Windows PCs vs Macs, here's mine: now that they can run Windows (and therefore games) I'd be interested in a Mac if you could buy one cheaply that was upgradeable. As it is, all but the most expensive lock you into one screen, or one graphics chipset, or one... etc. To get a Mac that would offer me the same upgrade options as my current PC (which cost maybe £600, although that doesn't include the RAM, the screen, or the drives, which came from my previous PC) I'd have to pay £1700 for a Mac Pro, which just isn't happening.

PC gamers upgrade their CPU and GPU frequently, their motherboards and RAM less often, and their case and screen every few years. I wouldn't want the pace of my screen and case upgrades to be forced by my CPU and GPU upgrades, and I wouldn't want to struggle on with a PC with unsatisfying performance because I didn't want to upgrade my screen just yet.

I don't really understand the zealotry that seems to surround the Mac platform, nor the insistence that anyone who computes without the aid of OSX is some kind of artless spreadsheet monkey. I find the Mac vs PC adverts mildly perplexing: why insult the people you're trying to sell to?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:11 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


No, but writing for a PC games magazine -- and playing PC games extensively -- from the days of DOS to the early 2000s means that someone likely knows enough about all flavours of Windows, PC gaming hardware, and the PC "scene" in general, to make an intelligent decision about whether they want to use Windows or OSX.

Theorem: When I want to know something about how a computer works, a video game-playing monkey is probably least qualified to speak to that subject.

Lemma 1: It's called "Mac OS X", not MACs, nor MACS, nor MACOSX, nor MAC OSX, nor even OSX. It's hard to take someone seriously when they can't communicate properly.

Lemma 2: Driving a Hyundai doesn't make someone capable of driving or even knowing anything about a Porsche.

Proof: Watch any show on G4. QED.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 PM on February 5, 2007


Yes, you don't run as "root" on Mac OS, but you don't need to do that on windows either.

I envy you that you've not run into this problem yet. It does exist, however. Lots of software requires (stupidly, yes) that you run it as an Administrator.

Particular scanner drivers and, strangely enough, lots of different accounting software, requires that you be Administrator while using it.

This makes it all but impossible to set up someone's computer with an Administrator and a Power User, then try to have them only use the Administrator account for special things.

Believe me, I've tried. It would really simplify a bunch of the spyware/adware problems, but it simply isn't a workable solution yet. Vista may fix this, but I guarantee it will bring with it horrors we haven't even imagined yet. So, that's cool.
posted by odinsdream at 12:19 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm typing this on a giant dusty Wang.

Get your fucking hands off of me.
posted by loquacious at 12:26 PM on February 5, 2007


klangklangston:

•Episodes I-III

This may sound judgmental, but people like you should go live on that creepy island in Papillon. [NOT LEPER-IST]
posted by Mister_A at 12:29 PM on February 5, 2007


Theorem: When I want to know something about how a computer works, a video game-playing monkey is probably least qualified to speak to that subject.

Okay, here it is, really simple:

1. I need to make a decision about which platform I prefer.
2. I like to play Windows games.
3. Can everything else that I would do under OSX also be done under Windows?
4. If the answer to 3 is yes, I should buy a Windows PC. If the answer is no, I need to decide whether games are more important to me than the applications that are only available on OSX.

Charlie Brooker, like many people, has decided that the answer to 3 is yes. He is now being called a joyless idiot by the Mac adverts, and so he writes a humorous rant about it.

You don't need to be a computer scientist to play Windows games. He probably knows as much as I do: how to build a PC from off-the-shelf parts, how to install Windows, how to keep Windows clear of horrible pathogens, and how to stick a game DVD in the drive and run it. He knows exactly as much as he needs to to make his decision.

Lemma 1: It's called "Mac OS X", not MACs, nor MACS, nor MACOSX, nor MAC OSX, nor even OSX. It's hard to take someone seriously when they can't communicate properly.

HALP
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:30 PM on February 5, 2007


And I'll share a little something with y'all - the sensitivity and responsiveness of the mouse are non-trivial, qualitative aspects of the different platforms.

Let's take the simple example of Photoshop. Use the rectangular marquee tool to make a pixel-precise selection.

Click the Mac mouse, drag, select. Pixel-level precision, no problemo.

NOW, do it with a Windows box and ANY mouse.


I've never had any problem doing that, and I have the mouse speed turned up pretty high. I know on really old macs I would have to move the mouse over a larger distance then the size of the pad, while on PCs I can usually just twist my wrist to move all over the screen. Still, mouse speed is adjustable, and like I said, I've never had a problem selecting a single pixel in Photoshop on a PC.
posted by delmoi at 12:33 PM on February 5, 2007


I need to decide whether games are more important to me than the applications that are only available on OSX.

cough
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:35 PM on February 5, 2007


Well, it has a Wikipedia entry. It means trying to combine Quantum Mechanics with classical thermodynamics.

Then call me DOCTOR TK, from now on if you please.

The idiotic "If you can't deal with virus, crashes and installs you shouldn't own a Computer" thing aside, the main debate between PC's and Macs seems to boil down, yet again, to this hipster hate thing. A substrate of the tiresome Meta-Taste "get yer hate on" threads.

I must ask. What is a hipster? And why do we all hate him, and everything he uses, so? Is it a class thing?


I find the Mac vs PC adverts mildly perplexing: why insult the people you're trying to sell to?


Most ads are insulting, right? At least on some level. I mean they are claiming: you smell; or you can't get laid; or your car is for poor people; or your tits or dick are small; or your fat; or you eat food for pussies.

An agency is essentially an insult factory.

PS. I really love my G5 and Mac Pro. On the Mac Pro I can run Apache and Windows and OSX. I have never had a single serious crash on either - when I did IT for the Agency I never had a single serious crash on any of the 15 or so OSX machines. I use my PC laptop for testing and for Office products. And it's fine. But I won't pretend the Windows machine is as simple to update, back-up, restore, and maintain as the Apple machines. It's just not.
posted by tkchrist at 12:37 PM on February 5, 2007


When I want to know something about how a computer works, a video game-playing monkey is probably least qualified to speak to that subject.

However, apparently, when I want a relevant response to an article, a 'computer scientist' isn't particularly qualified either.

Nobody - if they were addressing the article, and not chugging happily away into a circular argument with themselves, which I realise is an ever-present danger around here - was talking about how computers work. If you bought an Apple computer because of some superiority in the hardware identified by your mighty computer-sciencey brain, good for you. You are categorically not the brand-focused, learning-averse, evangelising Mac 'lifestyle' zealot Brooker is ranting about in this article, and nor are you the target of Apple's vaguely obnoxious marketing campaign. Although you might want to get that persecution complex looked at.
posted by terpsichoria at 12:37 PM on February 5, 2007


Theorem: When I want to know something about how a computer works, a video game-playing monkey is probably least qualified to speak to that subject.

Lemma 1: It's called "Mac OS X", not MACs, nor MACS, nor MACOSX, nor MAC OSX, nor even OSX. It's hard to take someone seriously when they can't communicate properly.

You knew what he meant, didn't you. Plus, I still don't know what you mean by "competent computer scientist" which you seem to think someone needs to be in order to have an opinion on Mac vs. PC.
posted by delmoi at 12:42 PM on February 5, 2007


Most ads are insulting, right? At least on some level. I mean they are claiming: you smell; or you can't get laid; or your car is for poor people; or your tits or dick are small; or your fat; or you eat food for pussies.

Agreed, but I think these ads go further than most. Your average advert (on British TV anyway) tries to suggest that you will be sexier/more popular/etc. if you buy [product]. These ads specifically say, "You are a complete prat. You're dorky, you're unpopular, and you're no fun. If you buy [product] you will become young, attractive, etc." It feels like a step further to me. It's like a car advert that says, "People who drive Vauxhall Corsas, like you, are wankers. They should buy Ford Fiestas instead!" That doesn't feel like a successful ad; I wonder why these Apple ads succeed (if they do).
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:43 PM on February 5, 2007


Grr!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:44 PM on February 5, 2007


Boot Camp is stupid fresh, at least in theory. I am considering buying a Mac since my Windows box is nearing the end of its operational life; I would not have considered it prior to the advent of the dual-boot capability if the Intel chipsets.

One nice thing about consumer-level Macs is that you get some cool stuff bundled (video importing and editing, etc.) that you have to pay for (hardward and/or software, depending what you buy) on a Windows box. A big knock, though, is the lack of a "consumer"-level desktop box between the iMac and the zillion dollar Mac Pro workstation. I suspect that the iMac is virtually impossible to upgrade, as with previous iterations. The MacBooks look kinda cool, but they probably have upgrade issues too.
posted by Mister_A at 12:44 PM on February 5, 2007


Nobody - if they were addressing the article, and not chugging happily away into a circular argument with themselves, which I realise is an ever-present danger around here - was talking about how computers work.

What, you didn't figure out that this thread is a big circle-jerk response to a troll by about 12:30*? And it's not obvious from the last paragraph of the linked article that Brooker is just trolling in response to the Apple advertising campaign.

* Not to insult circle-jerks by unfavorably comparing them to this metafilter thread. I'm certain that most circle-jerks are perfectly well adjusted group activities.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:48 PM on February 5, 2007


This looks like a winner to me. I'm no dummy [NOT TRUE], but I do not have the time nor the inclination to figure out the best way to set up a home network. I need to set up an easy-to-build, easy-to-use home network; this looks like just the thing.

Smart of Mac to produce hardware that'll run with the other 94% of the market.
posted by Mister_A at 12:49 PM on February 5, 2007


The apple ads have been very successful... when you look at them in the perspective of an augmentation of the iPod.

Here is what Apple did. The iPod was released at a time when the MP3 market didn't really have a solid dominant player. Maybe Rio? Certainly not one with the design and marketing muscle of Apple. But the iPod's (and iTunes and the Music Store) popularity caught even Apple a bit by surprise.

What they found was Windows users found the iTunes interface attractive and much easier that other MP3 software for Windows. But there were bugs. Bugs not found on Apple hardware.

The iPod came out when Windows was getting a great deal of negative security publicity and at the end of the typical Pentium life cycle. So a small percentage Windows users who had iPods were looking to maybe switch desktops and laptops.

So that's why the Apple ads are the way they are... Lifestyle users are the future.

Apple didn't have time for subtlety seeing how Vista was coming out soon. They had to nab these potential switchers fast. And surprisingly they did. Not that many. But enough to buy all the other Apple stuff like the video iPod, etc.

It was a smart move.
posted by tkchrist at 12:53 PM on February 5, 2007


Boot Camp is stupid fresh, at least in theory. I am considering buying a Mac since my Windows box is nearing the end of its operational life; I would not have considered it prior to the advent of the dual-boot capability if the Intel chipsets.

Naw man. Use Parallels Desktop for Mac. It is the SHIZ-nit! You can then use it with fast user switching and not have to re-boot!
posted by tkchrist at 12:58 PM on February 5, 2007


(with apologies to The Shaw Report)

OUT: Mac users

FIVE MINUTES AGO: Linux users

IN: People who are comfortable with any platform, depending on the application.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:02 PM on February 5, 2007


So if I got my mother a Mac, would she then not have to print out and immediately delete every email for fear of using up the 40 gigs of free space she has on her PC?
posted by maxwelton at 1:02 PM on February 5, 2007


Man, this is a funny thread. The funniest posts come from people who take it seriously. It would be even funnier if we could still post images, but the serious people ruined that for everybody.

(they probably all use macs)
posted by CCBC at 1:16 PM on February 5, 2007


I became a PC user the first time I shut down the Mac I was using, then tried to eject my floppy. I had to reboot the computer to eject the damn disk and I missed my bus by twenty seconds. Between that and the single mouse button thing I decided I liked the customizability and rawness of the PC better.
posted by autodidact at 1:24 PM on February 5, 2007


Here's the only worthwhile part of the article [placed appropriately at the end]:

Ultimately the campaign's biggest flaw is that it perpetuates the notion that consumers somehow "define themselves" with the technology they choose. If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that "says something" about your personality, don't bother. You don't have a personality. A mental illness, maybe - but not a personality. Of course, that hasn't stopped me slagging off Mac owners, with a series of sweeping generalisations, for the past 900 words, but that is what the ads do to PCs. Besides, that's what we PC owners are like - unreliable, idiosyncratic and gleefully unfair. And if you'll excuse me now, I feel an unexpected crash coming.

I hate the notion that someone would buy a certain brand of computer solely because it makes them look more professional or arty, and unfortunately i've come across this enough that Macs have this stereotype in my mind attached to them. So Steve, suppose it's time to make a clunky beige edition Mac and sell it solely for 5 years. Or open the market up completely [yeah right].

Personally i've been a pc person because the apparent aftermarket upgrades available always seemed quicker to market and a bit more affordable. Now that Intel is providing on the CPU end, i don't know if this complaint is still valid or not.

Can i, for instance, install a Geforce 8800 onto a new Mac?

The philosophy behind a closed-vendor platform most likely leads to a more stable system overall, curious if Apple maintains this position of primary vendor now that they've gotten Intel to provide the CPU.
posted by phylum sinter at 1:28 PM on February 5, 2007


Why do Macs feel better to use than PCs? And why can't most people put their fingers on why?

The Apple Human Interface Guidelines spells out the little tips and tricks to app design that gives Macs that feel. Little tricks like the infinite border (that PCs didnt have for a while) and others. Macs are better (yes, I use both) because the operating system, in so many ways, is designed better. Like any product, the more attention and thought put into the overall design of the product, the better the product is. It's why iPods are superior too.

By the way, whichever side of the argument you are on, if you "hate X users" then you are a hater. Useless and cruel. Stop hating.
posted by Dantien at 1:31 PM on February 5, 2007


autodidact: isn't using a bent paperclip to eject a floppy from a drive 'raw' enough for you?
posted by mazola at 1:32 PM on February 5, 2007


Boot Camp is stupid fresh

Just for using that phrase, then you, sir, are stupid fresh. And I mean that in the spirit you meant it.

Now onto the breakdancing!
posted by grubi at 1:33 PM on February 5, 2007


I became a PC user the first time I shut down the Mac I was using, then tried to eject my floppy.

I'm sorry, but did you say "floppy"? Really? People still use those?

:-)
posted by grubi at 1:36 PM on February 5, 2007


Mazola, it's just dumb, I wasn't aware I could do it, and I didn't have a paperclip on me...
posted by autodidact at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2007


Hmm as far as my upgrading worries go...
I guess with 8 cores and 4 MB cache I wouldn't have to upgrade CPU anytime soon.
posted by Mister_A at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2007


Um, I'd like klangklangston to explain his "Episodes I-III" preference.
posted by papakwanz at 1:40 PM on February 5, 2007


Um, I'd like klangklangston to explain his "Episodes I-III" preference.

These are not the Episodes he thinks they are...
posted by mazola at 1:46 PM on February 5, 2007


the first time I shut down the Mac I was using, then tried to eject my floppy.

Only a PC user could achieve this. The Mac ejects all non-startup disks on shutdown.
posted by bonaldi at 1:46 PM on February 5, 2007


"•Episodes I-III

This may sound judgmental, but people like you should go live on that creepy island in Papillon. [NOT LEPER-IST]"

Hah. I'm not enough of a dork to instantly remember that the prequels were released after the sequels. I just thought "Yeah, the first three. The ones that just came out sucked."
posted by klangklangston at 1:48 PM on February 5, 2007


Mister_A:

That's good, but i was talking more about the things that people upgrade much more often than CPU's -- soundcards, videocards, etc.

Also, quad cores are available for both platforms aren't they? I mean, since both Mac and PC are Intel-powered?
posted by phylum sinter at 1:48 PM on February 5, 2007


Mister_A writes "I guess with 8 cores and 4 MB cache I wouldn't have to upgrade CPU anytime soon."

Have you priced one of those fuckers on the Apple store web site? It's fun to just play around with the customizer, pick some upscale options, and wind up with a computer that costs more than a nice used car.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:49 PM on February 5, 2007


Only a PC user could achieve this. The Mac ejects all non-startup disks on shutdown.

Your method of 'power down' is obviously not ripping the power cord out of the wall when you're done.
posted by mazola at 1:52 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Have you priced one of those fuckers on the Apple store web site?

Compare it with a Dell or HP, you might be in for quite surprise how much less it costs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:54 PM on February 5, 2007


Ah we cool then klangklangston.

*dons, doffs dork derby*
posted by Mister_A at 1:55 PM on February 5, 2007


"Your method of 'power down' is obviously not ripping the power cord out of the wall when you're done."

When you do this, you must also shout "I AM THE KING OF COMPUTERS!"
posted by klangklangston at 1:57 PM on February 5, 2007


I don't know whether the quad core CPUs are available yet, and yes they will be stupid expensive. I also don't think the Mac Pro will take aftermarket (PC) video cards, and the available options totally blow. So yea, this box is not an option; as I said earlier, I wish there was a consumer-level Mac desktop to which one could make quick, easy upgrades to memory, graphics, and sound.

But if I had a zillion dollars I might get one of these. It's the best at running OS X, and pretty darn good at Windows XP.
posted by Mister_A at 2:00 PM on February 5, 2007


I became a PC user the first time I shut down the Mac I was using, then tried to eject my floppy.

Congratulations, you've just hit on the only complaint dumber than "only one mouse button". To see how dumb this is, just substitute two words, as follows:

"...the first time I shut down the PC I was using, then tried to eject my CD".

Oh, also I'm pretty sure that your anecdote is made up. The "missing your bus by 20 seconds" detail is a little too convenient, quite apart from the fact that, as was pointed out above, Macs did eject floppies on poweroff, just as they do CDs now. Unlike PCs, I might add.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:04 PM on February 5, 2007


I might be stating the obvious here, however I think that a lot of the backlash against Apple is coming from users more or less content with Windows who have somehow managed to get that productive/creative/"does what I want with no fuss" functionality without any help from steve jobs. It's a fair reaction to the hype and spin of apple, which is totally over the top as always. But you know, I think those Apple execs actually believe their own hype, which helps me to believe it, which is what makes it so effective in general, and it does result in some industry leading innovation.

Apple products really are suited for people who don't really care how computers work, or don't want to figure out how to upgrade a soundcard. Their products, at least the ones I'm familiar with, are vastly superior to any in the "PC" world in terms of functional design of hardware and software. Mac's are computers for people who don't care about computers. PC's are more about technical concerns, more flexibility, but also more complexity. Apple's most notable problem is that you can usually do about 90% of what you want to do, whereas on the PC you can usually get to 99% or 100%. And I foody's comment is 100% spot on!

Myself I started on apple ][ when I was a kid, and I loved apple basic, ProDOS, apple works, etc. however after this idyllic childhood, no doubt similar in many ways to Rudyard Kiplings formative years, I spent a tortuous adolescence and early adulthood immersed in a Microsoft universe. I have never, since my first exposure to MS windows, ever once thought that it met my personal aesthetical standards (it's not worth talking about, if you couldn't imagine what I might be talking about then its probably not important to you anways). Apple for me is a bit closer to my personal standards, but they still piss me off and I am not fooled into thinking they are somehow a more altruistic company than Microsoft.

The killer now however is that Apple has actually combined "simplest for my grandmother to use" with a decent unix-based environment which is great for programmers. Windows will continue based on momentum, but in my mind MacOS is clearly the superior operating system right now. Windows doesn't really offer any strengths other than its ubiquitousness, and the execs at Microsoft still believe that holding onto their desktop supremacy is enough to ensure a future in the marketplace, whereas all signs are pointing to decreased importance in platform, and empahsis being placed on things like web-based apps, java, xml, rss, open standards. etc. Microsofts horrendous forays into these areas, .NET, live.com, msn.com, internet explorer, all of these attempts to smother and extend seem ultimately doomed to failure so long as they don't maintain a monopoly, which is less and less the case.

As time goes on just proves more and more that what steve jobs said was correct, that microsoft is simply not innovative.
posted by ryanfou at 2:06 PM on February 5, 2007


> Compare it with a Dell or HP, you might be in for quite surprise how much less it costs.

I would be comparing it to something like this. I can't build a Hackintosh without using any Apple-brand parts.
posted by jfuller at 2:07 PM on February 5, 2007


It's been a while since I've used Macs on a regular basis, but when I did I had to resort to the paperclip a number of times.
posted by Artw at 2:11 PM on February 5, 2007


I would be comparing it to something like this. I can't build a Hackintosh without using any Apple-brand parts.

True, but there's usually no build warranty or tech support with DIY. Or, rather, you are the tech support and the open wallet when a part fails. Good luck getting warranty support from AOpen (been down that road).

You can't build a Dell from off-shelf parts, either, but you can beef up Macs and Dells with off-shelf memory, graphics cards, sound adapters, etc. The comparison is on that level.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:14 PM on February 5, 2007


"autodidact: isn't using a bent paperclip to eject a floppy from a drive 'raw' enough for you?"

Someone still uses floppy drives?

on preview: grubi, ARGH!

I'm gonna buy a MacBook Pro this year. It's gonna cost me about $4,000. That made me say GAH, until I thought about it.

But see, I'll be saving quite a bit because I'll probably never buy a Win machine again. Also, I generally get about 3 years of usefulness out of a PC, more like 6 out of a Mac.

So, that $4,000 is going to take me a long way, same as the $3,000 I spent on my current Quicksilver 2002 dual G4, which is just turning 4 years old and still functioning perfectly. I'll be switching it from my primary work machine (I'm an artist) over to my music recording machine, which is currently a 400MHz blue G4. I'll probably get at least another 3 years out of the duallie. The only problems I've ever really had with Macs were hard-drive failures, but once I figured out that hard drives only live for about 3 years at most, I just automatically put a new one in every 3 years. And yes, I back up everything important, so I haven't lost anything in a long time, at least 8 years now.

The only app I use that doesn't have an exact equivalent for both PC and Mac is Quicken Premier Home and Business. So I'll have Parallels for that, and everything else will be OS X.

I actually did the numbers of owning and using Macs vs. PCs, since I've owned and used both for more than 20 years now. In terms of unit cost over time the Macs have been about 25% cheaper - and that's not counting that I work faster and more efficiently on a Mac, which may represent a lot more savings.

All that said, I like Win XP Pro, use it at work. It's pretty damn solid, I haven't had a blue-screen yet - although I always shut the machine down every day, unlike my Mac which has sometimes run for months without a crash, I just put it to sleep when I'm not using it.

"It's been a while since I've used Macs on a regular basis, but when I did I had to resort to the paperclip a number of times."

Well sure, we all did, but that was back in the OS 8.x to 9.x days or before (I go back to System 6), and happened when you had a hard crash to where you had to pull the power cord to shut down the machine (not as rare as we would have liked, to be sure). I don't think you can even order a Mac with a floppy drive now. My G4 has a Zip drive, which I only used to dump everything off all my Zip disks and then burn to archival CD-R - but they don't offer them anymore either. Portable disk media is going the way of the dodo, with these neat little USB 2.0 thumbdrives, I have one that's 2GB!
posted by zoogleplex at 2:22 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm sorry but, no matter how cool your laptop is, those girls in the cafe only bang the Mac guy. Yes, style is important.

I even bought the silly looking BlueTooth MightMouse because I knew it'd look better in the cafe. I had zero expectations for the MightMouse since Apple never understood mice before, but its actually quite cool: four buttons and the scroll ball does both vertical and horizontal.

Mac OS X ain't bad but I'm mostly typing LaTeX. So I'd happily buy a Linux laptop if I find a pretty one who runs Linux well. But I hate Windows.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:24 PM on February 5, 2007


> Myself I started on apple ][ when I was a kid,

Likewise. It was such a farking OPEN system. I loved all those open slots for aftermarket cards. I loved What's Where in the Apple, which listed and discussed absolutely every interesting address and call in the entire system ROM. I loved the miniassembler. You not only couldn't expand the first Mac (unless you count "plugging peripherals into the SCSI cable" as expansion) you couldn't even open it up. I started building PC-clone white boxes in the 286 generation and ran, successively, Minix, Xenix, Mark Williams Coherent (Unix System 7 clone, $99), Unix System 5 release 3.2 from Interactive, and umpty Linux versions (first being Slackware, kernel version 1.0.13, current being Ubuntu Dapper Drake.) I note with affection that my ][+ has functioned as a command-line *nix terminal for every one of these later systems, courtesy of a serial cable, App][ Kermit VT100 emulation, and a long sequence of hacked-up getty entries. ]['s rock! Actually, if I could get an OS X command prompt blinking on my ][ I might even consider getting a Mac.
posted by jfuller at 2:31 PM on February 5, 2007


10 PRINT "A is the best."
20 PRINT "No, you're wrong."
30 PRINT "B is the best."
40 PRINT "No, you're wrong."
50 GOTO 10
posted by Señor Pantalones at 2:36 PM on February 5, 2007


Did macs eject floppies on power off in 1994?
posted by autodidact at 2:39 PM on February 5, 2007



"...the first time I shut down the PC I was using, then tried to eject my CD".

Oh, also I'm pretty sure that your anecdote is made up. The "missing your bus by 20 seconds" detail is a little too convenient, quite apart from the fact that, as was pointed out above, Macs did eject floppies on poweroff, just as they do CDs now. Unlike PCs, I might add.


This was 1994 and it was an old Mac in a campus computer lab... I can't really remember if I shut it down for certain. Maybe I just logged out, which mean you had to log back in to get to the OS to get your disk out.

Why the hell would I make up the bus detail? That's why it sticks in my head... it was Friday night in September of my first year at Uni. I wanted to go party but I had to wait for the next bus because I was unfamiliar with Macs.

And to the guy who compared no eject button on a floppy to no eject button on a CD. You are dumb.
posted by autodidact at 2:48 PM on February 5, 2007


Did macs eject floppies on power off in 1994?

They did if you shut down from software. If you shut down by throwing the 'power off' switch things pretty much stayed where they were.
posted by mazola at 2:52 PM on February 5, 2007


In any case, it's not made up. I feel so petty and lame posting yet again to defend this, but seriously. Whether I shut down or just logged off, I did miss the bus because I didn't know how to eject my disk, and I became a PC user because it just seemed logical that something physical like ejecting a disk should have a physical interface... it's not a vast insight or some high-horse I currently ride, it's an example of the simple, not-so-obvious reasons a lot of people have for choosing one platform or another when they are still noobs.
posted by autodidact at 2:57 PM on February 5, 2007


I remember them doing it in 1992 (in the computer lab at my college)
posted by athenian at 2:59 PM on February 5, 2007


I can't really remember if I shut it down for certain. Maybe I just logged out, which mean you had to log back in to get to the OS to get your disk out.
What multi-user system was this on a 1994 Mac?

If you shut down by throwing the 'power off' switch things pretty much stayed where they were
Can't really call that shutting down, though. Though it explains why all our Computer Centre Macs had disk problems.

And to the guy who compared no eject button on a floppy to no eject button on a CD. You are dumb.
That's not what he was doing. He was comparing complaining about no eject after power-off on both.
posted by bonaldi at 2:59 PM on February 5, 2007


I apologize. It sounded a little convenient. (I'll defend the comparison with CDs, though; More than a few times I've had to power on a PC because I realized too late that I'd left the CD in. In its defense, though, the CD eject button does work almost as soon as the power is applied; you don't need to wait for it to boot up before getting your disk back.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:01 PM on February 5, 2007


Bonaldi: I don't know what system it was. It was the Natural Sciences internet lab at UWO. Back then you could pay $100 to have dial-up access and access to internet-enabled computers on campus. You had to log in at the labs because usage time was reserved restricted. Logging in meant swiping your student ID through a reader and then typing in a password to get off the blank splash screen. Half the time it wouldn't log you in and you'd have to go get a tech because you weren't even allowed to switch to a computer without booking it beforehand.

Thinking back I'm pretty sure I didn't power off, but logged out.
posted by autodidact at 3:05 PM on February 5, 2007


Can i, for instance, install a Geforce 8800 onto a new Mac?

This is what bugs me the most about anti-Mac folks.

GO. USE. A. MAC.

I used to think just like you. The Mac is not in any way a "closed platform" (unless you are talking about Macs that are now 20 years old). Assuming, you bought a PowerMac or a Mac Pro, yes, you can install any damn video card you want (will it have a driver? I dunno. It's like Linux, when it comes to hardware, in that respect. The hardware will work fine -- the kernel may or may not know how to deal with what you plug in).

You could install any other PCI card you want in a Mac, and have been able to for quite some time.

Now, if you buy an iMac, you're giving up the "PC Modder" convenience for a brilliantly designed machine. These consumer PCs have no PCI slots.

So what? The only thing that is even mildly troubling about that is the lack of graphics card upgradability. For everything else, it's a non-starter.

RAM in an iMac -- as upgradable as any consumer-oriented PC motherboard, using the exact same RAM technology of PCs. Ditto hard drives. Ditto CD drives. What you lose in PCI expandability, you can easily make up with USB 2.0 and Firewire (in every case in which I have thought, "I wish I could upgrade my Mac" I can, either by replacing an internal component, or by getting a 100% functionally equivalent external bus peripheral. The only exceptions are graphics cards, and CPUs [on PowerPC Macs. You can upgrade the CPU Intel Macs, but upgrading CPUs is a pointless waste of time, for the most part]). Well, and you can't upgrade the monitor on an iMac, but again, that's a feature, not a bug. See the Mac Mini or the Mac Pro if that's your gig.

And let me say as someone that's been building Wintel PCs for years: upgradability is a red herring. The few things that are worth upgrading in an iMac's (or any computer's) usable life (RAM, hard drive, optical drive) are completely upgradable. The one thing that isn't (graphics card) is a non-starter unless you're a gamer or graphics pro (in which case, you either buy a Wintel machine, or a Mac Pro).

Again: GO. USE. A. MAC.

And no, "I turned on a school lab Mac once, and it ate my floppy and the mouse was slow and only had one button" does not count; neither does reading columns from know-nothing (when it comes to Macs) tech journalists. It's amazing how many paid writers are willing to go on and on about a platform they've obviously never used.

I've administered, programmed for, and used: a TI-32, a Commodore 64, some ancient incantation of VMS, Solaris, DOS (both MS and DR, of many versions), Windows of all flavors, several flavors of Linux, FreeBSD, and now Mac OS X.

The latter is by far the most interesting of those platforms, in terms of hardware, design, development, administration, and user interface. If you're at all a computer geek, do yourself a favor and go try the best platform that is available right now. At the very least, the next time you come to one of these threads, you can have real reasons to bash Macs, rather than fantasy ones.

If you're not a computer geek, well, why the hell are you reading this thread?
posted by teece at 3:06 PM on February 5, 2007


"Actually, if I could get an OS X command prompt blinking on my ][ I might even consider getting a Mac."

jfuller, given the rig you've got now, you should be able to do it pretty easily; all you have to do is get them connected. I'm gonna make a wild guess that you're using the modem port on the PCs and some wacky adaptery to connect the ][ to that port; if so you should be able to "dial" into a Mac with a modem port and do the same terminal access. You should be able to log on as root or you can create an account for the ][ if you want.

Just because OS X has a flashy GUI doesn't mean you can't telnet into it, you can. There's even an app called "Terminal" that comes with OS X that puts you right to the *nix command line, and all the Unix utilities are there for your command-typing pleasure. I use it fairly often for local admin stuff and some old-school work on my websites. :)

Technically, you don't have to use the OS X GUI at all. You can just command-line away.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:07 PM on February 5, 2007


I became a PC user because it just seemed logical that something physical like ejecting a disk should have a physical interface

So, 13 years later you stick with your choice because of this? Seems weird to me. I'd figure that after a decade, you might see if things changed.

Especially since Macs stopped shipping with floppy drives a mere four years after your experience.
posted by grubi at 3:08 PM on February 5, 2007


I remember way back in '94 shutting down my Mac (via software) in the computer lab, having the disc automatically eject, catching my bus -- WITH 30 SECONDS TO SPARE -- and getting to the party at just the right time to make out with all the hot chicks before autodidact schlepped his half-hour too late butt there.

Lesson? Read the manual bruddah.

And yes, Macs did ship with manuals back then.
posted by mazola at 3:10 PM on February 5, 2007


I couldn't watch The Peep Show because it's just too damned uncomfortable (funny, but... omigod embarrassing), but I really loved these ads.

As much as I love John Hodgman, the American ads just don't have the same special... I don't know... they just don't make me go all fuzzy in the brain like the British ones do. Maybe I just really like it when people talk about computers in British accents.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:12 PM on February 5, 2007


grubi, I became a hardcore PC gamer, which pretty much rules out Mac use.

Oh and I had a 1GHZ G4 in 2000. Call me crazy but I was happy to get rid of it for a 1GHZ P3, which was in theory supposed to be slower, but "felt" faster to me.

I also like to upgrade a lot, and buy and sell parts a lot. That's just harder to do with the smaller Mac market.

Finally, I hate Apple's design and I just don't believe the hype.
posted by autodidact at 3:13 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ahhh, RTFM. Oh you got me good Mazola. Because there are always manuals sitting right in front of you for all the equipment you use at school...
posted by autodidact at 3:16 PM on February 5, 2007


Plus I didn't even know it was going to be a Mac!
posted by autodidact at 3:17 PM on February 5, 2007


metafilter: drag it to the trash can

I'm one of those guys who thinks that mac software is something people write so that a 4-year-old could use it, but still can't decide whether or not that's a bad thing.

Oh, and my PC doesn't do any of that "omg spyware omg crash omg nothing works" shit, but my friend's mac does. I guess I'm living in the wrong universe.

posted by tehloki at 3:22 PM on February 5, 2007


Plus I didn't even know it was going to be a Mac!
You could have looked at it when inserting your disk and noted the lack of eject button, like.
posted by bonaldi at 3:24 PM on February 5, 2007


I'll give one thing to macs: they're way prettier than I'll ever be.
posted by tehloki at 3:24 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


autodidact: all I'm saying is that your life would have been verrrrry different had you only ejected that disc properly.

It's a shame, really. It didn't have to be this way.
posted by mazola at 3:26 PM on February 5, 2007


GO. USE. A. MAC.

No. I don't feel like it. Isn't that enough?

DONT TREAD ON ME
posted by papakwanz at 3:29 PM on February 5, 2007


Man, missionaries are annoying.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:31 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey I did eject it properly after about one minute of poking around. You're right though, if not for that one minute, I'd probably be driving a "new beetle" to Starbuck's every day.
posted by autodidact at 3:35 PM on February 5, 2007


tehloki! That's not true. You're every bit as pretty as a Mac! Let's not hear that kind of talk again.
posted by tkchrist at 3:36 PM on February 5, 2007


Oh now youz iz bashing the New Beetle!?! You have gone too far sir! CAGE MATCH!!!!
posted by tkchrist at 3:38 PM on February 5, 2007


I gave up macs when they got rid of the Patchouli holder.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:40 PM on February 5, 2007


Hey don't be offended. I don't like them but I think they're suitable for Mac users.
posted by autodidact at 3:41 PM on February 5, 2007


No. I don't feel like it. Isn't that enough?

You do what you want. But did you read the rest of the post? Was I even talking to you? Are you a computer geek that bashes the Mac, in spite of obviously having never used one?

I tend to reserve judgement on things I know nothing about, which is really my point. It's just plain as day that so many people that "PC fan boys" (to use the vernacular), have spent a grand total of 10 minutes using the things, and base their opinions on stuff that is mostly nonsense.

I know, I used to be one of those people. Now, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X all get along in peaceful harmony in my home. I'm a fucking Coke commercial, teaching the world to sing. (I'd add Solaris and FreeBSD and BeOS and Mac OS 9 if I could afford the machines, space, and power bill).
posted by teece at 3:51 PM on February 5, 2007


My steam-powered difference engine is superior. When it ejects a CD, it'll take your freakin' head off, man!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:54 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a giant dusty Wang

MetaFilter: typed with a wang
posted by bwg at 3:56 PM on February 5, 2007


teece, I think your evangelism is a bit on the strong side.

First: I'm typing this on a Mac Pro so I'm not speaking from ignorance. Further, I'm typing this on on a Mac Pro running Windows at this exact moment. Had it been yesterday, it would have been OS X. Tomorrow, who knows?

The Mac Pro is one of the nicest-designed computers I've ever used. It's extremely powerful, easily expandable, and is dead silent with the stock equipment. (the x1900 video card option is kind of noisy, but you can add an aftermarket cooler to quiet it back down again.) I love the thing to death. It is also ridiculously overpriced for normal users. $1K is about the normal price for a computer these days, not $3500-after-the-expensive-RAM. For the hardware you get, the Mac Pro isn't overpriced, but it's insanely over-specced for normal users.

For the last several years, the two things that have been moving faster than anything else in computers have been A) amount of RAM, and B) speed of video card. In all the lower end Macs, where are they most limited? A) RAM, and B) video card. In other words, if you want to take advantage of newer stuff as it comes down the pipe, you have to buy a new Mac. You can't put more than 2gigs in any consumer level Mac, and none of them have replaceable video cards at all. (and come with cards that are rather weak.) Consumer Macs are good at driving lots of external storage, but that's all.

Apple needs to ship a modern version of their G4 Mirrored Drive Door machine... slots, lots and lots of room for RAM, lots of bays for hard disks. (but quieter, the MDD G4 was a freaking turbine.) The modern equivalent would be four slots for RAM, supporting up to 8gb (16 if it's doable, but I don't think it is with current chipsets), a couple of x16 slots, a couple of x8 slots, and one regular PCI slot. Core 2 Duo, x1600 or so base video card, 200 gig hard drive, gig of RAM, $1500. They would sell these things like crazy, because they'd be awesome machines for either Windows OR OSX.

You'd pay more than the $800 or $1K for a decent PC, but it would have some real legs... you wouldn't have to buy another machine for a long time. You could just piecemeal in upgrades as individual things got slow. Lots of people can justify an extra 50% for something that's built well and will last. Not many people can justify going to a machine that costs three to five times as much.

This mythical beast is commonly called an xMac on the Ars Technica boards, and it remains a continuing sore point in that community that one doesn't exist. It's not like Apple didn't sell this kind of machine; they were made up until fairly recently. It's just post-Intel switch that they haven't had anything in this market, and it's very annoying to the serious user crowd that they don't exist. There's LOTS of people who don't want to live with a particular performance problem for two years and fix it by buying a new machine. They would rather spend $200, fix it now, and keep all their other parts, which still work just fine.

Just outright dismissing this market because you think these people are wrong is just.... poor thinking, IMO. The Mac has no mainstream equivalent to a PC. There are, believe it or not, people who like PCs in the world. Deliberately crippled machines aren't that attractive to them.

Blazecock Pileon says: Lemma 1: It's called "Mac OS X", not MACs, nor MACS, nor MACOSX, nor MAC OSX, nor even OSX. It's hard to take someone seriously when they can't communicate properly.

What a fucking tool you are. I hope you also refer to X as "The X Window System" and Windows as "Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition", or "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition"? Obviously you couldn't just say Windows.... we wouldn't take you seriously, because you couldn't communicate properly.

Comments like that make me think the original author of this piece has a pretty good goddamn point sometimes.
posted by Malor at 4:07 PM on February 5, 2007


autodidact: Could have been a beret wearer...
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on February 5, 2007


The Mac has no mainstream equivalent to a PC. There are, believe it or not, people who like PCs in the world. Deliberately crippled machines aren't that attractive to them.

Malor, I agree with you here, so I'm not sure what the problem is. I've built many PCs. Not building a Mac is what makes it great. I agree that there is an annoying gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro, but I don't think it is at all a lucrative gap for Apple to fill. The video card and RAM are more than adequate in the iMac's target audience, and the folks that would feel heat there, but NOT buy a Mac Pro, are not a market that is all that big or lucrative.

"Deliberately crippled" misunderstands Apple's business model, i think. And I say this as a once ardent free software advocate: I'm not one to apologize for corporate malfeasance, but I don't think that is what drives Apples hardware decisions. They sell hardware that a) makes them money, and b) satisfies the overwhelming majority of folks that were going to consider Macs at all.

The "lack" of upgradability in the iMac is a feature, not a bug.
posted by teece at 4:22 PM on February 5, 2007


You know, I would "Go. Use. A. Mac." In fact, I have tried, many times, because they are sprinkled about my work environment attached to things I have to use periodically. And every time (this is not true of PCs, where I occasionally have difficulties) the machine has either locked up, refused to do what I wanted it to do, or been balky and slow at what it did to the point of driving me mad. Now, I could be the unluckiest guy in the world, like some poor shlemiel who busts on 13 every time in 21, but I would never take a chance on one of these machines. Macs and I just don't get along. They do look great and are quite tantalizing, but no thanks.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:23 PM on February 5, 2007


If they (Apple) made the kind of machine that Malor describes, I would buy one.

They don't, so I probably won't.
posted by Mister_A at 4:23 PM on February 5, 2007


I've come into this late, and haven't read all the comments, but here's the gist of the thing:

He's making fun of those ads. Those well-produced, attractive, but oh-so condescending "Mac vs. PC" ads, which have been already discussed here and elsewhere ad nauseum. That's it. If all read down to the end, you'll see how his tongue is firmly placed in cheek:

"...of course, that hasn't stopped me slagging off Mac owners, with a series of sweeping generalisations, for the past 900 words, but that is what the ads do to PCs."

It's satire, folks, no need to get your panties in a bunch.
posted by zardoz at 4:25 PM on February 5, 2007


> I'm gonna make a wild guess that you're using the modem port on the PCs and some wacky adaptery to connect the ][ to that port;

Not anything spectacular, it's just a standard Apple ][ serial card, once upon a time used to talk to a 2400bps modem. I just wired up a null modem cable to go from the Apple serial port to the PC serial port. The Apple does standard VT100 terminal emulation (boot ProDOS, run Kermit, a pretty well known free comm program.) The only tricksy part, my preciouss, is to make the *nix box understand that there's something on the serial port that would like a login prompt, please. getty issues the login prompt, but it needs to know what port to issue the prompt on, the speed you want to communicate at, and the capabilities of the thing (modem or terminal) it's supposed to talk to. This is all explained for Linux systems in the Remote Serial Console HOWTO (which I really wish I had had the first time I tried this stunt.)

Linux, being from the more System V-ish end of things, keeps its terminal and modem information in /etc/gettydefs. OS X, being more BSD-ish, probably uses /etc/gettytab, though that's a guess and I've never seen this file--don't know if its format differs from gettydefs radically, a little, or not at all except for the name. The actual content of the gettydefs (gettytab) entry is what has to be put together with string and duct tape. I've never seen a system that came out of the box with an entry for use with a "terminal" consisting of an Apple ][ running a term emulation program. Heretofore I always started with the entry for a real VT100 -- every system has this entry -- and just make random mods to that and keep trying it until SHAZAM, there on the App][ screen, a $ prompt. Heretofore that strategy has always worked.

You know, though, what would be uber-cool would be to find that Apple has already thought about ][-to-Mac connectivity and has the appropriate gettytab entry already in place. That would make me forgive them for all the wretched ads. I could even (maybe, sorta) forgive Jobs for not being Woz.

P.S. I am actually a very artsy-craftsy sort of guy, a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators off and on for 20-odd years, and thoroughly sympathetic to your standard creative-hipster Mac users--even the ones that don't bang out naked dhtml in emacs. But the fact remains, real artists paint with oils and swap out their own motherboards.

/geek out
posted by jfuller at 4:34 PM on February 5, 2007


"The killer now however is that Apple has actually combined 'simplest for my grandmother to use' with a decent unix-based environment which is great for programmers. Windows will continue based on momentum, but in my mind MacOS is clearly the superior operating system right now."

Yep.

I don't know why this is debated much anymore. Seems to me that there's a firm consensus that pre-OS X Macs were inferior in some ways to post-Win 95 with regard to core operating system, but that the Mac UI has always been superior, and still is.

But the important differences today are far fewer. With a UN*X core, today's Macs have the superior OS. On the other hand, post-Win2K Windows is a big step forward in the core OS. (In my opinion, though, Microsoft is fighting a losing battle here in terms of quality, if not marketshare.) The Mac UI is great, always has been great, and remains great. On the other hand, Windows has gotten much better. But Microsoft is still lagging here, too, and probably always will.

So on technical merit, today's Mac wins. Not by as big a margin as some think, but even so.

Speaking personally, I'm still a PC user. That's really just habit. It has a lot to do with the fact that I build and rebuild and upgrade habitually. Also that I used to be a gamer. But I professionally worked with the major flavors of UNIX for a number of years, as well as having first installed Slackware on my PC in 1994. I love UNIX. I'm sure I'd be very happy with a Mac.

But I bought Vista Ultimate the day it came out. (It's working fine, by the way. But there's some problems with applications.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:57 PM on February 5, 2007


"In fact, I have tried, many times, because they are sprinkled about my work environment attached to things I have to use periodically. And every time (this is not true of PCs, where I occasionally have difficulties) the machine has either locked up, refused to do what I wanted it to do, or been balky and slow at what it did to the point of driving me mad."

Sounds like the problem is most likely with your IT staff. This is understandable, as most of them are not Mac-literate to the degree they are about Windows, which is also understandable given the generalities of IT in America.

"Not anything spectacular, it's just a standard Apple ][ serial card, once upon a time used to talk to a 2400bps modem. I just wired up a null modem cable to go from the Apple serial port to the PC serial port. The Apple does standard VT100 terminal emulation (boot ProDOS, run Kermit, a pretty well known free comm program.)"

Given your technical expertise, you should have almost zero difficulty doing the exact same thing with an OS X Mac, assuming it's got a modem (they are often optional these days). It does indeed use gettytabs as part of the system, from BSD of course. I'm not sure about the ports but it's a *nix system, it's probably a standard layout.

"You know, though, what would be uber-cool would be to find that Apple has already thought about ][-to-Mac connectivity and has the appropriate gettytab entry already in place."

Well, I'll try to remember to take a look in the appropriate directory and see what's in there. You could always Google, there's probably some other madman out there who's tried it. I know a guy who's got his Amigas on his network, still uses them for some kind of 3D rendering... :)

"But the fact remains, real artists paint with oils and swap out their own motherboards."

I prefer gouache! (And Painter IX.5, which is much faster and I get less paint on my clothes.) But I have done lots of hardware tinkering, both PC and Mac. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 5:02 PM on February 5, 2007


Malor: This mythical beast is commonly called an xMac on the Ars Technica boards, and it remains a continuing sore point in that community that one doesn't exist. It's not like Apple didn't sell this kind of machine; they were made up until fairly recently. It's just post-Intel switch that they haven't had anything in this market, and it's very annoying to the serious user crowd that they don't exist.

Well, as a fellow denizen of the Ars Technica boards, I think that population needs to be slapped silly with pasta any time they start thinking of themselves as more than a small minority of computer-buying population. That isn't to say that I don't long for a $1500 headless Mac, but I'll agree with teece that the population here who wouldn't put out for a Mac Pro is fairly small. The current generation of iMacs are more than beefy enough to handle current software, and projected software coming down the pipe for the next few years (predominantly, CS3 and Office 200[789]).
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:04 PM on February 5, 2007


Perhaps it was inevitable, but I find it hilarious that people are still actually debating this topic... and not only in long, humorous rants on a website, but then again here at MeFi. It warms my little heart that people still are so passionate about inanimate pieces of metal and plastic.

If only you had the same passion for things in life that *actually* mattered.
posted by docjohn at 5:10 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


So, judging from the reaction here, the author hit a bullseye?

(I'm considering going back to Apple--I got my start on a ][ and then a Lisa, before several Macs--but the hardware costs and the...smugness...get me every time. In ye olde days, you'd dump $7500 into something like a Mac IIx and then three days later it was hopelessly outdated. 20 years later that STILL sticks in my craw.)
posted by maxwelton at 5:12 PM on February 5, 2007


teece, I used 'deliberately crippled' and I probably shouldn't have. From Apple's point of view, they're providing an all-in-one solution. You're correct that, to them, it's a feature. It lets them make a very quiet, very small computer that fits well into nearly any workspace.

But I think both you and Apple are badly underestimating how well an xMac would sell. I think they'd sell more of that model than any of their other desktops. It probably wouldn't ever sell like their laptops do -- even PC desktops are now being outsold by PC laptops -- but I bet it would move far more units than any of their other desktop choices. There are several hundred million PC buyers in the world, and they don't want to take a step backwards. The consumer-level Mac desktops primarily appeal to people who either A) already have a Mac (very small market), B) don't have a computer at all. (small and getting smaller by the day) or C) "Lifestyle" computer users (unknown size; it's the size of that market that will determine how well their systems sell.) Most people -- the vast majority -- have a PC already, and an xMac would fit into their existing peripheral and monitor structure better than anything Apple currently offers. And they'll just laugh at you for suggesting a $3500 machine.

It strikes me that appealing to niche markets can and does work, but when entering the much broader xMac market would cost, relatively speaking, so very little, why not go after it? They've done a good chunk of the work already with the Pro; they just need to cut out a processor, rework the memory system (FB-DIMMs cost way too much), and add a PCI slot. Externally, it could be the exact same size, or maybe a little smaller.... whatever is cheaper to make.

I bet they'd move those things by the truckload.
posted by Malor at 5:19 PM on February 5, 2007


Ethereal... OSX is probably not technically superior to Windows in essentially any way at all. Seriously. The system is a weird mix of Mach, BSD, and something else I forget offhand. Windows, on the same hardware, is virtually always faster, and definitely handles heavy I/O loads much, much better. OSX chokes badly on I/O.

Where OSX is demonstrably better is in interface; the system just hangs together better. Once you understand how it works, it's simply more elegant to interact with on a day to day basis, and it's fast enough to be comfortable.

But down underneath, at the nuts and bolts of the hardware, NT is just as robust, runs faster, and offers far more features. The interface stinks, but the kernel itself rocks. When Linux is working properly, which is not as often as one would hope, it's about as fast as NT, faster in some cases, and is a heck of a lot more tweakable. It doesn't, however, offer NTFS, which is one of the NT system's big, big wins.

In comparison to both, OSX is kinda slow, ungainly, and a bit ugly down deep. It's perfectly reliable, it's just... kinda crufty. Mach isn't all that great, and everything else has been glued on top. They're steadily improving its performance, but I don't think it's ever gonna be as efficient as the monolithic kernels.

But I bought Vista Ultimate the day it came out.

Ooh, bad call.
posted by Malor at 5:29 PM on February 5, 2007


If they (Apple) made the kind of machine that Malor describes, I would buy one.

there's even more to it than that ... i can buy a low level pc and do some upgrading to it, including video and sound cards, that will turn it into a machine that meets my needs

can't do that with an imac

I'll agree with teece that the population here who wouldn't put out for a Mac Pro is fairly small.

well, i can't ... period ... and if an equivalent pc is less money, guess which one i'm going to buy? ... (assuming the day ever comes when i can buy such things)

more bang for the buck is a concept that the mac doesn't fulfill
posted by pyramid termite at 5:33 PM on February 5, 2007


Kirk, but what about virtualization? Biggest reason I put 4 gigs in the Pro here was to let me run Windows with a good chunk of RAM under Parallels. 2 gigs is really not enough to fully use both OS X and XP at the same time. Yeah, it can be done, but if you really use either system, you're probably gonna be hitting the swapfile.

At least for the last several years, whenever a computer started feeling slow, throwing RAM at it usually fixed the problem. I'm extrapolating that this will continue to be the case for several more years. All of the current consumer desktop Macs stop dead at 2 gigs, and that's not enough even right now, much less 3 years from now.
posted by Malor at 5:40 PM on February 5, 2007


Seems to me that OS X is the most interesting part of today's Mac, and OS X has been, uh, liberated and is now running on ordinary white-box intel-clones. The last time I looked into building a Hackintosh you absolutely couldn't do it without buying actual Apple-brand ROMS, but that appears no longer to be the case. My interest in this project warmeth apace. malor, maybe you can have your xMac--or better--without going through Cupertino.
posted by jfuller at 5:45 PM on February 5, 2007


caution live frogs: Would I buy a Mac? Not sure. Vista seems a bit like a pig, given the DRM issues...

You clearly should be using Linux.

And anyone who buys a Mac to run Linux on it clearly has too much spare cash, and should be sending it to me. Apropos of nothing in particular...
posted by lodurr at 5:55 PM on February 5, 2007


But down underneath, at the nuts and bolts of the hardware, NT is just as robust, runs faster, and offers far more features. ... When Linux is working properly, which is not as often as one would hope, it's about as fast as NT, faster in some cases, and is a heck of a lot more tweakable. It doesn't, however, offer NTFS, which is one of the NT system's big, big wins.

So, MS killed NTFS on Linux? That's too bad.

I dunno about this reliability thing, unless it's changed a lot since I admin'ed NT & Win2K webservers. The Linux boxes needed to be restarted because you shut them down to move them or install hardware; the Windows boxes had to be restarted once a week to be sure they wouldn't lock up.

As for OS X stability... OS X 10.4 itself seems to be pretty solid. But Finder is flaky as shit. And I don't know how they managed to do it, but OS X Finder is every bit as slow and flakey as Mac OS Finder ever was.

That said, our OS X fileserver crashes randomly about once every three weeks or so, and our backup server about once a month.
posted by lodurr at 6:01 PM on February 5, 2007


Even though I'm a big Mac fan I'd love to see Apple sell a version of OS X for non-Apple machines.

The problem with that is that then Apple gives up "responsibility for the user experience," as Jobs put it, in that suddenly all the hardware weirdness of the PC world would be added to Apple's technical support workload.

Apple really runs on a different philosophy about that, which is definitely at odds with the manufacturing philosophy attached to Win boxes, and even in a way at odds with "free-market" capitalism. They keep as much control over the hardware and software as possible in order to try to provide the best user experience they can - as they define a user experience, of course. There's obviously some debate as to whether the Apple definition of "user experience" is the best one.

However, after a couple decades of using both platforms to do everything from game programming (in BASIC, hahaha) to digital matte painting, I think Apple's got it right, for me at least.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:08 PM on February 5, 2007


pyramid termite: well, i can't ... period ... and if an equivalent pc is less money, guess which one i'm going to buy? ... (assuming the day ever comes when i can buy such things)

Well, when you start comparing the two it becomes difficult to buy an equivalent MSWin system for much less money. You can build it yourself for quite a bit less money by taking advantage of differences in prices from vendors. But Apple's pricing is often pretty close to what you can get in a box from Dell.

Now the flip side to this that you can certainly build a custom MSWin system around your priorities for quite a bit less. For example, if you want a less-than 1 ,000 box and emphasize video over cpu, you need to go to a vendor other that apple.

malor: Kirk, but what about virtualization?

Virtualization is a geek thing. Seriously. Just for the software, you are talking $300+ (perhaps more if Microsoft's restrictions on Vista pan out) on top of licenses for all the software run under the guest OS. Most people will either stick to MSWin or put that money into OS X native software.

I use guest operating systems and Remote Desktop, but outside of the rather vocal weblog echo chambers on these issues, I'm the only person who does. Let's be blunt here, 90% of the people who buy computers today will use a very basic set of communication and productivity software that is usable on computers with system specs going back three years. 95% of people who buy computers will never crack open the case.

All of the current consumer desktop Macs stop dead at 2 gigs,

Not true.

and that's not enough even right now, much less 3 years from now.

I don't think that word enough means what you think it means. But what do I know, I'm happy hacking and writing books on a G4 with 512M.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:20 PM on February 5, 2007


If only you had the same passion for things in life that *actually* mattered.

As far as inanimate objects go, my PC platform is pretty fucking important, given that it's in my face, oh, about 75% of my waking hours.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:26 PM on February 5, 2007


LOLZ PC!

NO, LOLZ MAC!
posted by Kwine at 6:58 PM on February 5, 2007


kirkjobsluder: Virtualization is a geek thing.

Weelllll..... It's also a biz thing.

$300 ain't shit when it's somebody else's budget. And it's still at a minimum a couple hundred less than what it would cost to buy the hardware, with less carrying cost (and less disposal cost, for what that's worth), and taking up a hell of a lot less space (as in, zero) on your physical desktop.

And some virtualization works pretty darn well and is pretty darn seamless, now. Parallels, for one, works just fine. I don't do anything really demanding with it, that's true, but I've yet to see a problem.

Virtualization is pretty significant. It's not going to do anything but get more seamless, and I think it's eventually going to force some pretty significant changes to the Mac as a platform. Of course, that won't affect those of us still plugging away on G4s...
posted by lodurr at 7:20 PM on February 5, 2007


... oh, and: The fact that someone I would regard as reasonably intelligent can, without apparent irony (and with no small justification), speak of 2GHz as 'not enough speed' is an amazingly sad state of affairs.

Unfortunately, it's also not a new state of affairs.

I use a 1.3GHz G4 and a 1.5GHz or so Core Duo, and I can recall getting similar performance out of the 125MHz P4 that I used to run Win95 on back in '97. Mayhap I'ze markin' myself as a fogey, but something jes ain't right there.
posted by lodurr at 7:27 PM on February 5, 2007


I had to forcibly restrain myself from commenting in this thread - that's how backwards it all is.
posted by 31d1 at 7:32 PM on February 5, 2007


Virtualization can be free in many cases. MS's Virtual PC is free, as is a version of their Virtual Server. VM Ware's base Virtual PC and server are also free. They work great for a standalone desktop if you don't want to fuss with a dual boot.

Macs can be nice and socan some PCs. Why the binary ass pinch about it all?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:39 PM on February 5, 2007


Malor said: At least for the last several years, whenever a computer started feeling slow, throwing RAM at it usually fixed the problem. I'm extrapolating that this will continue to be the case for several more years. All of the current consumer desktop Macs stop dead at 2 gigs, and that's not enough even right now, much less 3 years from now.

Then Mini does max out at 2 gigs, and I absolutely agree. Rosetta, Parallels, or even the native Adobe CS3 apps will eat 2 gigs of RAM by 10 AM every day. I limp by at work on a Quicksilver with 1.5 gigs, and crap pages out all the time. If I don't use Photoshop for 15 minutes, it beachballs for 30 seconds whenever I switch back to it. The iMac, however, can handle 3 gigs, which really should be quite sufficient for a consumer. I've got 3.5 gigs in my G5 at home, and run Photoshop, Logic, and all sorts of other crap without really ever running out. The Mini is not for Photoshop users-- it's for email, the web, and the iApp suite. I wouldn't ever buy one, either. But the new iMacs kick ass from all the reports I've heard. I know pros who do DTP work on them and are quite content.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:40 PM on February 5, 2007


I use to be a mac hater before switching, so I'm all for poking fun, but this was drivel. One button mouse? Fisher price? All old, stale mac jokes.

*sigh* Again? Ok, here goes.

Macs are for people who don't want to (and shouldn't have to) learn to use a computer. Like my mother.
posted by Skorgu


Like matt haughey?

The thing is, though the reason Macs don't have this problem isn't because they're "just better" but because they don't have the same market share and are not targeted. Yes, you don't run as "root" on Mac OS, but you don't need to do that on windows either.
posted by delmoi


Not the thread to debate it, but that is absolutely false delmoi. The 'market' is one reason, but there are many others. There have been many articles written making just that point. You're either simplifying due to your bias or you're ignorant on the topic.

Finally, I hate Apple's design and I just don't believe the hype.
posted by autodidact

Which is insulting to everyone in the thread who uses a mac. Honestly, not using a mac because you don't believe the hype is just as embarassing a thing to say as those that use macs to 'be different'.
posted by justgary at 7:46 PM on February 5, 2007


Malor, I'm not an OS internals guru, so I'll just have to accept your judgment as that of someone with more chops than I have. I don't know almost anything at all about OS X other than that is was based upon the Mach kernel (inherited from Next?). I do know that the original NT was a pretty good core OS, although that's been disputed here, too, by people who seem to know.

I'd guess that at this point, the difference isn't that great between properly configured Windows and OS X machines in terms of core OS function and reliability.

On the other hand, for me a big win is having the typical UNIX toolset and capabilities available. I love the display client/server architecture, too. For me, having these things under the hood is a big win. As long as I've been using NT I've been using things like cigwin and David Korn's stuff.

Furthermore, my professional experience at the enterprise db-backed web services level was that NT and 2K were far less reliable running our software (I worked for Vignette) than the UNIX platforms. A lot of that could be at the application level—but you'd have to work very, very hard to convince me that NT doesn't fail much more quickly and gracelessly under heavy mutitasking loads than does any variety of UNIX. Of course, that's in the realm of server performance, not desktop performance, which really can be apples and oranges.

Anyway, I think my main point stands. There's just not the large difference there used to be. To me, the OS wars are even more uninteresting to me now than they used to be because it's become more about marketing than technicals.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:06 PM on February 5, 2007


Get off your high horse justgary. I don't think it's insulting to Mac users nor embarassing for myself to say I don't believe the hype.

There is a lot of hype, as TFA was pointing out for those who caught the satire. For instance, my computer hasn't crashed outside of a 3D game yet this year. I run BF2 and several other games at 2560x1600 and task switch out to check my e-mail. Can't do that on a Mac as far as I know. Maybe I'm just embarassing myself though.

I think you fail to recognize that PC is an acronym for "personal" computer. There are several things I do with my computer that I could not do, or can not do as efficiently effort and money wise. It works for me. If I ever find that Mac suits my needs better, I won't avoid buying one.
posted by autodidact at 8:32 PM on February 5, 2007


oops... "and money wise, on a Mac."
posted by autodidact at 8:33 PM on February 5, 2007


I must ask. What is a hipster? And why do we all hate him, and everything he uses, so? Is it a class thing?

Presuming that wasn't sarcasm...yes of course. Apples were more expensive than the average PC owner could afford when OSX came out. You could easily piece together, or even purchase a shoddy PC for about 300-400 dollars if you just spent the time to get some background. Not until very recently have many people had thousands to put towards a computer when realistically the majority of computer owners get little more use out of one than looking up things online, doing their taxes, and e-mailing friends.

Even with this though, Apple hadn't yet gone from the little guy against the giant behemoth that is microsoft, to the ones engaging in class warfare. After all, people can't generally afford, or use, a sun machine, but there can be no question that they have an important role.

But then, they began to lead the path to a major shift in the mentality of the tech world. It used to be the current of the culture, that reason and knowledge were applauded above beauty and vanity. The archetypal nerd could be found there and would find a welcome host of people that would engage in debate above power struggles, where merit played a larger role than social whuffie. Now they're giving us this idea that technology is nothing more than an adornment, a matter of fashion. Someone pointed out up a ways, how only the boys with the macs get laid in the cafe or something of the sort. Likely as a joke, but true to the new mentality that now the one with the coolest gizmos achieves social success with capable usage or noble purpose well down the list.

Now we hear people call themselves art nerds, with no concept that the word nerd had arisen as a smear for those who did not comport according to the social standards of pettiness and vanity, absorbed in the true message of Epicurus...where "to know" was divine.

From the faux glasses fashion of the early 90s, to postmodernism's struggle to feed guilt into the minds of those who created, this sole remaining element of rational minds has been whored by an aesthetic culture lacking in any moral scope or even comprehension of the nerd mentality.

Apple's commercials hit one step further, because it WAS a good product in many ways when they returned heavily to the scene. People were purchasing them, spending the extra when they had it, because it was stable, and reliable, and microsoft was a recognizable threat to the free flow of information and technological competition. Between the iPod and these commercials, though, Apple has moved from what once may have appeared to be a recherche corporate model that was above marketing as propaganda (unless I'm truly being naive and they were always amoral) to the progenitors of the destruction of the hope for a new enlightened thought.
posted by kigpig at 8:48 PM on February 5, 2007


Well I for one think all PC users should be eradicated, but try and put that in a 30 second spot.
posted by mazola at 8:49 PM on February 5, 2007


Why can't we be friends,
why can't we be friends,
why can't we be friends,
why can't we be friends?

2nd verse, same as the 1st!
posted by furtive at 9:05 PM on February 5, 2007


I run BF2 and several other games at 2560x1600 and task switch out to check my e-mail. Can't do that on a Mac as far as I know. Maybe I'm just embarassing myself though.

Yes, you are. The only thing hindering gaming on the Mac is a (relative) lack of games -- something which is primarily attributable to DirectX. There are state of the art OpenGL games which run fine enough for any gamer on the Mac. The lack of games is a serious problem -- but it has absolutely nothing to do with the performance of the OS, and everything to do with MS lock-in in the form of DirectX, and just generally economics. It's not a technical issue at all.

OS X will push pixels just as well as Windows. In all reality, better.

Vanilla, run-of-the-mill 2D graphics effects in the desktop are hardware accelerated on a Mac, for crying out loud, and have been for a couple of years now. Windows is trying to play catchup there with Aero. Etc., etc.

Shit, some of the best spec'd machines for Vista right now are iMacs from Apple.
posted by teece at 9:39 PM on February 5, 2007


Oh. my. god. kigpig. Are you high?
posted by teece at 9:41 PM on February 5, 2007


autodidact said: Hey I did eject it properly after about one minute of poking around.

Sounds like when I lost my virginity.
posted by papakwanz at 10:29 PM on February 5, 2007


The thing is, though the reason Macs don't have this problem isn't because they're "just better" but because they don't have the same market share and are not targeted. Yes, you don't run as "root" on Mac OS, but you don't need to do that on windows either.
posted by delmoi
Not the thread to debate it, but that is absolutely false delmoi. The 'market' is one reason, but there are many others. There have been many articles written making just that point. You're either simplifying due to your bias or you're ignorant on the topic.


It would be better if you could link to these articles, rather then simply claiming they exist. But it seems like a good reason to me. That said, I think Microsoft's approach to security in 2000 and XP was pretty brain dead, and it wouldn't be hard to do better. I wonder how good security is in Vista, but it wouldn't surprise me if it did a much better job of protecting the user from themselves then OSX.
Finally, I hate Apple's design and I just don't believe the hype.
posted by autodidact
Which is insulting to everyone in the thread who uses a mac. Honestly, not using a mac because you don't believe the hype is just as embarassing a thing to say as those that use macs to 'be different'.


What he said wasn't insulting to anyone; it was a statement of personal preference. But that cuts to the core of the issue for me. The idea isn't that macs are better then PCs, but that mac users are better, more artistic, more in love with their computers then PC users. BMW's ads claim their cars are better, not that their drivers are better people. But Apple has always had this incredibly insulting marketing strategy where people who buy PCs are just lower class then Mac users. That's what really bothers me about the company.

Windows and OSX are very, very similar these days. The both have protected memory, they are both Unix compatible, I mean other then the interface and such there is hardly any difference. The UI in OSX might be smoother then XP, I don't know about Vista and I really want to avoid that DRM shitball. But it's not about technology, it's about this incredibly insulting attitude given off by Apple fanbois for decades.

I don't like Microsoft, I run Windows because I'm too lazy for Linux and to cheap to buy a whole computer (rather then parts)
posted by delmoi at 10:32 PM on February 5, 2007


Wow, anyone with a pulse can write for the Guardian, apparently.
posted by oaf at 10:42 PM on February 5, 2007


I run BF2 and several other games at 2560x1600 and task switch out to check my e-mail. Can't do that on a Mac as far as I know. Maybe I'm just embarassing myself though.

Yes, you are. The only thing hindering gaming on the Mac is a (relative) lack of games -- something which is primarily attributable to DirectX. There are state of the art OpenGL games which run fine enough for any gamer on the Mac. The lack of games is a serious problem -- but it has absolutely nothing to do with the performance of the OS, and everything to do with MS lock-in in the form of DirectX, and just generally economics. It's not a technical issue at all.


You are embarassing yourself with the cult-like devotion you've put on display. If I can't play the games I like on a Mac, and can only play games written in OpenGL, I don't care whether the reason is technical, economic, or even religious. I will stick with gaming on the PC where I can play the games I want to play.

OS X will push pixels just as well as Windows. In all reality, better.

Except for, you know, the pixels comprising the vast majority of PC games out there, which it will not run at all.
posted by autodidact at 10:45 PM on February 5, 2007


If I can't play the games I like on a Mac

COUGH!
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:12 PM on February 5, 2007


"The only thing hindering gaming on the Mac is a (relative) lack of games -- something which is primarily attributable to DirectX."

teece, if I may be so bold... what you're trying to say is more precisely that the major, mainstream developers aren't writing games for Macs. The reason for this is of course that Macs represent a tiny, tiny fraction of the PC-based gaming market, so that makes sense in the business. A notable exception: WoW has a perfectly good Mac-native version. With 8 million subscribers, it probably makes sense to do that...

"Except for, you know, the pixels comprising the vast majority of PC games out there, which it will not run at all."

As I said, that's a function of the install base - or at least, the perceived install base.

The hardware is certainly capable of handling it, if a game was written as OS X native. Macs all come with ATI or NVidia graphics cards these days, my 4-year old dual G4 has a GeForce4 MX with 64 MB VRAM, which was still a hot PC gaming card at the time this computer shipped.

Actually, now that the Mac hardware is the PCI/AGP/Intel, it's nowhere near as hard to code a game native, but most developers just don't have the Mac experience and/or have trepidation about working that platform. I think this is silly, because a lot of developers (including my employer) are doing multiple games for multiple platforms simultaneously, some of which are fiendishly more difficult to code on - we're doing games for 360, Wii, PS3, PS2, PSP, DS and PC right now - one of them is for 5 out of 7 of those! Adding an OS X dev path would hardly cause a blink in that mess... :)

So, if they would actually bother to code stuff up for OS X, this discussion would be moot. Perhaps Microsoft would be nice and deliver a DirectX version for OS X, hahaha... Those guys at Bungie probably still know how to code for Mac... ;)

Thing is... I think PC gamers are gonna find that in the coming years they also will be running short of games to play, since the consoles are getting more and more and more powerful. The 360 is a rather formidable machine, and there will be tens of millions of them out here pretty soon. With a market that size, the PC market is likely to become less attractive to game developers - this is already happening, actually. Even though Win and 360 games are both based on DirectX, the beauty of the 360 is that there's only one hardware target to develop for - no extra time futzing around with different GPUs and other hardware quirks, no extra time making sure the game runs on "low-end" machines, etc. Not having to do any of that means substantial savings in development.

There will always be that hard core of PC gamers, but it's going to shrink at an accelerating rate. I switched away from PC gaming on purpose (I was a combat flight sim junkie) when the XBox came out, because the cost of constantly upgrading a PC for games AND a Mac for art/publishing/recording was just way too high.

As the consoles keep improving, that trend will continue.

Heywood, bootcamp will not guarantee that a Win game will play on a Mac, even if it's running Windows. There's usually a crapload of code-tweakery going on inside the guts of a game, often trying to hit the hardware in unusual ways, which the Mac won't swallow. The hardware is "the same," but there's enough little differences to potentially cause problems.

Old DOS games probably run fine tho! :D
posted by zoogleplex at 11:18 PM on February 5, 2007


Yeah, I'm being silly. Obviously I should get a Mac, and OSX, then install Windows on it. That makes much more sense than using my PC with Windows on it.
posted by autodidact at 11:19 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


But Apple has always had this incredibly insulting marketing strategy where people who buy PCs are just lower class then Mac users

From ca. 1986 - 1999 this was pretty much the case. No way in hell I was going to use Windows 286 or 3 when Apple had the finest GUI -- and more importantly to me, set of APIs -- I could lay my hands on.

With Win2k Microsoft had undeniably technically surpassed the classic MacOS on nearly every level, but by then the company had gone evil and IMV one supports that kind of BS at one's peril.

I am not an Apple fanboy in the sense that I will stick with them for life; should a superior, non-evil alternative appear I would be more than happy to support it.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:19 PM on February 5, 2007


That makes much more sense than using my PC with Windows on it.

if you like Windows XP, go for it.

Me, I find it a pile of crap -- 10.4:XP :: MacOS7:Windows3.

But you probably found Windows 3 tolerable, too.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:21 PM on February 5, 2007


The hardware is "the same," but there's enough little differences to potentially cause problems.

Not really. Apple is shipping ATI's COTS graphics drivers, USB is USB, and same thing with the sound drivers.

Think Intel reference design ;)
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:23 PM on February 5, 2007


if you like Windows XP, go for it.

Weren't you the one who told me to install XP on a Mac if I want to play games on it?
posted by autodidact at 11:30 PM on February 5, 2007


Heywood, I'm with ya, it should work, but reports from the field are not encouraging.

Maybe I'll take a crack at it when I get my MacBook...
posted by zoogleplex at 11:31 PM on February 5, 2007


But you probably found Windows 3 tolerable, too.

No I hated Windows 3.1 with a deep passion. I liked DOS for gaming and freeware\BBSing though.
posted by autodidact at 11:32 PM on February 5, 2007


Weren't you the one who told me to install XP on a Mac if I want to play games on it?

I boot into XP to use XP-only software (mostly SOFTIMAGE, VisualStudio right now).

I bought 3 XP Pro SP2 licenses last year for my 3 Intel Macs, and I use them about 0%, 20%, 60%, time-wise.

No skin off my nose if you think XP itself -- the file system layout, cmd.exe vs. terminal.app, etc etc is more usable than 10.4. My experiences so far with 10.5 is that it's a minimally improved UE, but mebbe Apple's saving the Aqua2 stuff for the final releases (he hopes vainfully).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:44 PM on February 5, 2007


Who has to eat the cracker?
posted by The God Complex at 2:19 AM on February 6, 2007


Dude, 1995 called. They want their village idiot back.
posted by polyglot at 2:42 AM on February 6, 2007


I think Charlie Brooker would love this thread.
posted by jiroczech at 2:58 AM on February 6, 2007


Oh, yes. He'd be chortling with glee.
posted by lodurr at 4:22 AM on February 6, 2007


The idea that OS X's relative freedom from spyware and viruses is "just false" is really very odd. I'll be among the first to point out that there are most likely more exploits possible for the NT/2K/XP/Vista core than for the BSD+Darwin stack, but I've been working in computing long enough to know that it's just plain silly to suggest that there won't be exploits of a popular OS.

It's also true that MS has a much more aggressive patch policy than Apple, who have a history of letting known exploits linger for weeks before they deign to patch them. So to people who keep up on these things, it's relatively easy at any given time to crack a stock-configured Mac. If you don't keep them secure, in other words, they're just as unsecure as a Windows system.

By the way: If you take a few basic steps (hardware and software firewalls, don't use Outlook, don't use IE), you're largely safe from exploitation on a Win2K/WinXP box. The same is more or less true on a Mac. So all things being equal, your theoretical vulnerability is really about the same. What does make the difference is market forces, which make it much more cost effective to learn to hack Windows boxes. This is open-source microeconomics 101; it's really not open for serious debate.

Overconfidence breeds vulnerability. I suspect Macs get owned all the time, and people just aren't aware of it because it's being done for money, not infamy prestige.
posted by lodurr at 4:33 AM on February 6, 2007


klangklangston, did you mean to indicate the first three movies released—i.e. Star Wars, Empire, Jedi—by I-III? Otherwise, please see grubi, above.
posted by cgc373 at 5:31 AM on February 6, 2007


While I do concur with grubi on the sentiment, I must aver that I find the term 'mentally ill' to be a tad excessive. Unless, perhaps, the mental illness alluded to is Asperger's Syndrome.
posted by lodurr at 5:44 AM on February 6, 2007


Haha! Yeah, I already answered that. But now I'm thinking that I should go around saying that I like the new ones just to get a rise out of people.
posted by klangklangston at 5:54 AM on February 6, 2007


lodurr: Weelllll..... It's also a biz thing.

$300 ain't shit when it's somebody else's budget. And it's still at a minimum a couple hundred less than what it would cost to buy the hardware, with less carrying cost (and less disposal cost, for what that's worth), and taking up a hell of a lot less space (as in, zero) on your physical desktop.


I don't buy the idea that it's going to have a high penetration into business either. Businesses that have standardized on a "must-have" MSWin application are going to buy and support commodity MSWin boxes. The obvious exceptions to this are cases where people are doing cross-platform development, and server virtualization.

Burhanistan: Virtualization can be free in many cases. MS's Virtual PC is free, as is a version of their Virtual Server. VM Ware's base Virtual PC and server are also free. They work great for a standalone desktop if you don't want to fuss with a dual boot.

The virtualization software is sometimes free. If you want to run WinXP as a guest OS you need a separate license.

I feel the need to point this out into just about every discussion about this topic. Plopping down money for parallels and a guest OS ONLY makes sense if your work involves cross-platform development, or if the costs of replacing the guest OS software is going to be considerably more than the costs of installing that guest OS.

EB: On the other hand, for me a big win is having the typical UNIX toolset and capabilities available. I love the display client/server architecture, too. For me, having these things under the hood is a big win. As long as I've been using NT I've been using things like cigwin and David Korn's stuff.

Definitely, but I didn't switch to OS X from WinXP either. I have more experience with UNIX than with either Mac or Windows.

atodidact: I run BF2 and several other games at 2560x1600 and task switch out to check my e-mail. Can't do that on a Mac as far as I know. Maybe I'm just embarassing myself though.

Yes, you are embarrassing yourself. If you want to play WinXP games or run other WinXP software, then for pete's sake just go off and do it rather than continue to make silly claims about something you don't understand.

And while regular ars technica readers need to be beaten with pasta every time they pretend to understand technology markets, gamerz should be punched in the face with a set of brass knuckles.

zoogleplex: So, if they would actually bother to code stuff up for OS X, this discussion would be moot. Perhaps Microsoft would be nice and deliver a DirectX version for OS X, hahaha... Those guys at Bungie probably still know how to code for Mac... ;)

Well, at least one developer is marketing tools to aid the translation from Direct X to Open-GL. The intel switch seems to have made Aspyr's job of porting games from MSWin to OS X a bit easier. So it's possible we might be seeing more games ported over in the future if the technology pans out.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:09 AM on February 6, 2007


Nerd that I am, I'm sitting here thinking of what you could do with a character who liked eps I through III. posted by lodurr at 6:20 AM on February 6, 2007


Ah, okay then, klangklangston. I missed the clarification upthread, but I was concerned about your sanity, man! I had to speak up!
posted by cgc373 at 6:23 AM on February 6, 2007


... a high penetration into business either.

You misunderestimate me, or I don't speak clearly, one or the other. For shops that use Macs, virtualization is ideal -- that's all I meant to imply. Case in point: Most of the good SEO/SEM software works best on Windows, but it's a pain to switch back and forth to use it. Considering the time we can bill for SEO/SEM, it's well worth $300, not even counting the necessity for a Windows browser-testing environment.

It's niche, I'll grant, but for the niche, it's a no-brainer.
posted by lodurr at 6:23 AM on February 6, 2007


teece:

no. Would one need be high to have a passionate view that vanity is repulsive? If, instead of Mac, it was about the recent flood of Pharmaceutical ads aimed at people's insecurities, would you be as quick to dismiss?
posted by kigpig at 6:36 AM on February 6, 2007


Vanity is, at worst, a minor annoyance. Hannity is repulsive. Why don't you instead take a passionate stand against Sean Hannity?
posted by Kwine at 6:58 AM on February 6, 2007


I'm honestly baffled at the eps I-III hatred. I mean, yeah, they were campy, corny, and better watched in a foreign language, but so were eps IV and VI. The Empire Strikes Back is the only member of the franchise that is not a funny exercise in watching young, unseasoned, and possibly drugged-up actors trying to make the best of gawd-awful screenwriting. (Lucas invariably hides his best actors behind prosthetics, or gives them bit parts of crap.)

At the very least, I have to give Eps I-III credit for the effort of having a vision. That puts them head and shoulders in the rubbish pile above Star Trek's descent into fan-service and scriptwriting by committee, or the sheer awfulness of Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:07 AM on February 6, 2007


Vanity is, at worst, a minor annoyance.

with this I must vehemently disagree. When it becomes an encompassing principle of a populace, fact takes a backseat to beauty.

Hannity is repulsive.

and this I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, the success of such monsters is a reactionary consequence to a vain society.
posted by kigpig at 7:18 AM on February 6, 2007


KirkJobSluder, I think I haven't watched the same eps 4-6 that you did. AFAICs in 4 and 5 Ford, Fisher and Hamil looked like they were conscious. In 6 Hamil is clearly spaced out on painkillers most of the time and worried that his face will crack if he uses it for anything the rest of the time.

All that said, the only performances I enjoyed in 1-3 were those of Temuera Morrisson (Boba Fett) and Christopher Lee (which is always a given). I wanted to slap MacGregor awake. And I just wanted to slap Christenson.
posted by lodurr at 7:37 AM on February 6, 2007


... on postview, the kid who played Boba Fett (I meant Django Fett for MOrrisson) was pretty fun.
posted by lodurr at 7:39 AM on February 6, 2007


kigpig: no. Would one need be high to have a passionate view that vanity is repulsive? If, instead of Mac, it was about the recent flood of Pharmaceutical ads aimed at people's insecurities, would you be as quick to dismiss?

No, but one might need to be high in order to address this issue using the type of extended buzzphrase free-association as you did.

It is interesting that both Apple and Microsoft appeal to the vanity of potential users through their marketing. But for some reason Microsoft's upwardly-mobile uberemployees and uberstudents don't seem to get the same level of criticism. Few accept Microsoft's implicit marketing images of its customers magically leaping to the top of their profession as statements of reality. But it seems that many are willing to accept Apple's implicit marketing images as a descriptive claim that their customers are concerned with style over utility.

I can't claim to be overly fond of Apple's marketing, but I also don't find to be exceptionally worthy of criticism.

Between the iPod and these commercials, though, Apple has moved from what once may have appeared to be a recherche corporate model that was above marketing as propaganda (unless I'm truly being naive and they were always amoral) to the progenitors of the destruction of the hope for a new enlightened thought.

Um, 1984 (youtube)? The Mac was released with a barrage of marketing as propaganda. (Which probably contributed to its success over technically similar systems at the time.)

On preview:

with this I must vehemently disagree. When it becomes an encompassing principle of a populace, fact takes a backseat to beauty.

Thanks for making the point for me.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:48 AM on February 6, 2007


lodurr: Oh, I agree that everyone was (unfortunately) conscious in Episode 4. It's just that the dialog and performances come off as stilted and dated. And by dated I don't mean, "1970s." I mean imitating low-budget B-movie serials from the 30s and 40s. Lucas managed to pay homage to his childhood dreams, but did it by stripping away almost every bit of nuance, subtlety and acting craft.

Empire fared much better because of the script-doctoring, and Fischer and Ford getting their legs. Oz and Prowse save large chunks of the movie from the sheer dramatic awfulness that is Luke Skywalker.

Revenge has its moments. Prowse and McDiarmid save the film from the dramatic black hole that is Luke, and Kasdan's Han+Leia moments would be good if Lucas would let them play without a dated puppet or ewok. But those moments are a bit too thin.

I realized after watching eps I-III that Lucas has a problem with tragic heroes. Just about anytime a young Skywalker opens his mouth, I want to fill it with a sock. It's not (entirely?) an actor problem, it's a writer/director problem. I'm only a defender of Eps. I-III in that I don't think they deserve the level of hatred directed against them. A much more worthy target of that hatred is Michael Bay.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:21 AM on February 6, 2007


I am completely in agreement with Malor re: the "X Mac" $1500 desktop. The reasons have been pretty well laid out here, but I will add another:

In 2000, I bought a nice l'il iMac. It was blue, and I named it Herb. Came with 64MB RAM, 450 MHZ G3 processor. It was great, ran OS 9.x (never installed OS X for reasons that will become apparent). The reason I sold it after only two years was that the onboard graphics memory made it obsolete in two years. It started crashing when I ran certain programs, even though it technically met the listed minimum specs for the software. The processor, RAM (I added 128 MB RAM for a total of 192 MB, and could have bumped it to 512, though it was quite expensive), etc. were fine, but there were things I just couldn't do with crappy 32 MB on-board graphics memory.

If I could have installed an upgraded GPU, I'd have used it for at least another year or two. I couldn't, so I got a PC. That PC, built in 2002, is just now starting to show its age, but still getting the job done. I have about $1400, counting GPU and RAM upgrades, sunk into the thing.

Now, if I was sending a kid to college, I'd give him/her an iMac; it makes sense, and the kid can buy whatever computer he or she wants after graduation; but I do not want to buy a new computer every couple of years; nor can I afford to sink $5000 into a Mac Pro (which would certainly do the job for many years). I think there are many people like me who would jump on a Mac box with easily expandable RAM and upgradable GPU.
posted by Mister_A at 8:30 AM on February 6, 2007


That isn't really a different reason than those previously listed; it's a personal anecdote. Feel my pain, send $$.
posted by Mister_A at 8:31 AM on February 6, 2007


> Star Trek's descent into fan-service

The Star Trek movies do panty shots?
posted by jfuller at 8:54 AM on February 6, 2007


Needs more IMG.
posted by cgc373 at 9:56 AM on February 6, 2007


Last year I bought a Dell laptop. Hi-res screen, fast processor, pretty pimped out. It set me back $1400.

Later that year I bought a MacBook. The low-end one. With extra RAM, it came to $1200.

Now I use the MacBook all the time, while the Dell sits unused in a bag. (PS. Anybody want a lightly used Dell Inspiron 6000?)

I could make a bulletpoint list of the pros and cons of each, but in the end the difference is ineffable. I like working on the Mac. The Dell is, well, meh.

I think that Mac users come in two types: those who don't care at all about computers, and those who really love computers.
posted by bjrubble at 9:56 AM on February 6, 2007


bjrubble: How much you want for it?

Wait, Inspiron 6000... OK, forget I mentioned it. A bit large for my tastes.

(Seriously, the Inspiron 6000 is a beast. It must weigh twice as much as the MacBook and be almost twice as thick. And it's loud. It's no wonder you don't like working on it. We've got one here that we use for some stuff, and it's annoying as hell.)
posted by lodurr at 10:16 AM on February 6, 2007


Yes, you are embarrassing yourself. If you want to play WinXP games or run other WinXP software, then for pete's sake just go off and do it rather than continue to make silly claims about something you don't understand.

Ok Mac guys, WHAT is silly or false about the claim you can't play most PC games on a Mac without booting into XP?

If you're running XP on Mac hardware, that's pretty much a PC...
posted by autodidact at 11:36 AM on February 6, 2007


"Well, at least one developer is marketing tools to aid the translation from Direct X to Open-GL. The intel switch seems to have made Aspyr's job of porting games from MSWin to OS X a bit easier. So it's possible we might be seeing more games ported over in the future if the technology pans out."

Hooray! But I'd still rather see native co-development rather than ports...

"I think that Mac users come in two types: those who don't care at all about computers, and those who really love computers."

You get the prize, Barney! :)

Meanwhile, my girlfriend just got a brand new Dell laptop with Vista on it. She bought it through her job, which has a great program where they pay for most of their employees's laptops. Pretty awesome, huh?

It has already reduced her to tears, in less than a day, because Vista's security settings are apparently set to "Utter Overwhelming System Domination" by default, and she can't even get the damn thing to let her install the software she needs for work - Office and AutoCAD. And though she's not a power user, she's not computer illiterate, she uses XP at work with no problems. She's had the computer for less than 24 hours and she already HATES it.

Broken, broken, BROKEN.

I don't wanna touch the damn thing, but at some point I'll have to in order to set her up to use my wireless access at the very least. The IT department at her job doesn't know Vista at all yet, they're just now getting thru updating everyone to XP Pro. So I guess probably I'm going to become a Vista admin expert whether I like it or not. Great.

So someone else's purchase of a Windows machine is going to wind up costing me hours of my own time. I love my girlfriend, but I'm not looking forward to it.

Eh, most likely what will happen is that her employer's IT department will wipe the hard drive and put XP Pro on it instead, and then install her work software. Then it will probably work! Maybe.

I should have bought her a MacBook for Xmas instead of a piano...
posted by zoogleplex at 12:23 PM on February 6, 2007


autodadict: Ok Mac guys, WHAT is silly or false about the claim you can't play most PC games on a Mac without booting into XP?

If that is what you were claiming, you should have said so without going into some silly nonsense about not being able to switch out of a game to check email as if OS X was some single-threaded console from the 1980s.

And wow, you know what, I can even run a database, a web server, a web browser, and photoshop at the same time! Will miracles never cease?

And if your point is just that you need to boot WinXP to run software built for WinXP, I'm sorry, but why are you even saying something that has been obvious since the mythic vacuum-tube age of computer science? What revelations will come from your golden keyboard next? Water is wet? Snow is cold?

Those who care about running WinXP-only software buy, beg or borrow WinXP (or struggle with an emulator.) Those of us who don't care about WinXP-only software, don't. If using WinXP-only software is necessary to your essential happiness, then why are you not going forth and being happy rather than whining about the obvious fact that software will only run on WinXP?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:12 PM on February 6, 2007


It's so obviously simple to me that I don't know why there is contined debate:

If you need WinXP, WinVista, Visio, MSAcces, ActiveX, or that hot game that is built on DirectX 10, then buy/download that software and the hardware needed to run it.

If you need Linux, Gnome, KWriter, or Beagle, then buy/download that software and the hardware needed to run it.

If you need Mac OS X, AppleScript, DevonOffice, Mellel, or any of the OS X-only games that are produced (and yes, there are more than a few). Then buy/download that software and the hardware needed to run it.

If you need Zelda Windwaker, Beyond Good and Evil, and Super Mario Dance Cart Party House, then buy that software and the GameCube or Wii needed to run it.

Of course the obvious superiority for Macintosh hardware right now is that you can reliably boot into OS X, WinXP, Linux, and FreeBSD. It's not clear as to whether you can reliably boot into OS X from a greybox, Dell, or HP system.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:35 PM on February 6, 2007


KirkJobSluder you lost the plot. I'm not complaining about having to use XP. I'm complaining about the people who said I was embarassing myself by saying I mainly stick to PC because I'm a hardcore gamer.

I can't blame you for missing it, but I did explain that the disc-button anecdote was what formed my impression of Macs way back when I was a noob.

If that is what you were claiming, you should have said so without going into some silly nonsense about not being able to switch out of a game to check email as if OS X was some single-threaded console from the 1980s.

The game I mentioned was BF2. You can't task switch out of BF2 on a Mac unless you run XP on it, which means you're running it on a PC. I suppose it's a semantic argument, but if Mac hardware is the same as PC hardware, and you need XP to run BF2 and task switch out to e-mail, then you CANT DO IT ON A MAC.
posted by autodidact at 1:46 PM on February 6, 2007


... you know, semantically. It's sort of a zen koan to mull over.
posted by autodidact at 1:51 PM on February 6, 2007


I mainly stick to PC because I'm a hardcore gamer.

So the best reason to not buy a Mac -- for you, I'll grant that -- is that it isn't as great a toy?

Gotcha.
posted by grubi at 2:51 PM on February 6, 2007


So the best reason to not buy a Mac -- for you, I'll grant that -- is that it isn't as great a toy?

Isn't it fun to belittle people?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:58 PM on February 6, 2007


autodidact: KirkJobSluder you lost the plot. I'm not complaining about having to use XP. I'm complaining about the people who said I was embarassing myself by saying I mainly stick to PC because I'm a hardcore gamer.

If you just said that you stick to WinXP (avoiding the whole PC definition snafu) because you are a hardcore gamer, then I don't think that anyone would particularly care. You can stop embarrassing yourself by going forth and getting your essential happiness by playing hardcore games.

But, you never stop there and need to invent silly stories about floppy disks, and task switching, and yelling you CAN'T DO IT ON A MAC.

Just go forth and play games on WinXP. Do you think anyone really cares what games you play? Just quit embarrassing yourself with statements like this:

The game I mentioned was BF2. You can't task switch out of BF2 on a Mac unless you run XP on it, which means you're running it on a PC. I suppose it's a semantic argument, but if Mac hardware is the same as PC hardware, and you need XP to run BF2 and task switch out to e-mail, then you CANT DO IT ON A MAC.

I'm still not certain what this is supposed to mean. Macintosh and Mac are primarily trademarks for a hardware platform similar to Vaio, Dimension, or Area-51. PC means "Personal Computer" and probably should not be used in this context because it is ambiguous. A Macintosh doesn't suddenly become a Vaio, Dimension, Area-51, or grey-box computer if you dual-boot into a Linux, FreeBSD, WinXP or WinVista.

Are you saying that you can't context-switch within WinXP on Macintosh hardware? I've never heard any reports on that. So if it was essential that I check my mail from within a dual-boot WinXP, I'd probably have Thunderbird for WinXP to check IMAP, or Firefox for WinXP to check gmail.

Of course if you wanted to context-switch from a WinXP application into something like Mail.app or Mailsmith, you would need some form of virtualization, which is projected to have full graphics and sound hardware support by the end of the year. Tools that will automate porting of software between WinXP and OS X might make this a moot point.

So I'm not certain exactly what you are talking about that I CANT DO IT ON A MAC. I certainly can't figure out what context-switching has to do with anything in this discussion.

I don't know if your parents ever explained this to you, but shouting the same thing over and over again doesn't make it true, unless you have the ruby slippers on your feet. And your garbled mish-mash of ambiguity, factual error, and non-sequetor seems much more like you don't know what you are saying, rather than some profound zen koan.

And again, since playing games on WinXP seems so essential to your happiness, why is it that your are continuing to waste keystrokes trying to justify badly-informed claims about what you can or can't do on Mac hardware?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:17 PM on February 6, 2007


PC means "Personal Computer" and probably should not be used in this context because it is ambiguous.

Is that what it means? This from the guy who said "I'm sorry, but why are you even saying something that has been obvious since the mythic vacuum-tube age of computer science?"

I custom-built my computer. It's not a Mac or a Vaio or any trademarked form factor. What else should I call it but a PC?

Are you saying that you can't context-switch within WinXP on Macintosh hardware?

/plonk
posted by autodidact at 3:37 PM on February 6, 2007


Christ, how sad am I to still be here? I don't even care that much about this issue. I'm just happy with my PC and am annoyed by the Mac guys who look down their nose at me like I've made an ignorant decision. Sorry but you just come off as brand whores and\or marketing victims.
posted by autodidact at 3:46 PM on February 6, 2007


I make 25% more money using Macs rather than PCs. My books over the last 17 years prove it pretty straightforwardly.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm a marketing victim, but I've used both systems for all that time and it's clear which one is more effective for me. I sure as hell wouldn't spend $4,000 on a laptop if I wasn't positive I'd get my money's worth!
posted by zoogleplex at 5:25 PM on February 6, 2007


autodidact, it's interesting that you would refer to Mac users in that way; a significant fraction of the Mac users I know, and knew prior to switching to the platform myself (relatively recently) are computer scientists -- there's a higher fraction of Mac users in CS than there is in any other segment of society I've seen, arts included.

Would you characterize computer scientists -- undergraduate, graduate, professor, and researcher -- as brand whores or marketing victims?
posted by ChrisR at 5:26 PM on February 6, 2007


Hey ChrisR, nice reading comprehension. The ads suck. The article sucked. This thread sucks. I suck. Your reading comprehension sucks. You suck.

Mac and PC are equally good. I'm going to go play Call of Juarez now.
posted by autodidact at 5:47 PM on February 6, 2007


Call of Juarez sucks. I'm going to go play World of Warcraft now. Or maybe Guitar Hero II.
posted by shmegegge at 6:01 PM on February 6, 2007


People are forgetting the most important point. Go into a drab chain coffee shop full of unattractive dullards who wear clothes with prominent brand names showing and don't talk to each other. What brand laptop do they all have? Dells. Dells, Dells, Dells. Go into a cool local coffee shop with its own decor and people wearing weird-ass clothes that don't say Hilfiger on them anywhere and who'll meet your eyes and smile and don't act like you crapped on their shoes if you sit at their table because it's crowded. What kind of laptop do they have? Mac, every time.

More seriously: as I mentioned above, I use all three. I recommend PCs only to people who have to use theirs for some kind of office related work that involves specific PC applications. For people who want to write, have fun, do email and web browsing, fiddle with music and photos, I recommend a Mac because it's approachable, effectively immune to zombifying worms, and specifically made for people like them.

And one other unscientific thing, not kidding this time: everyone I know who hates their computer owns a PC. Everyone I know who loves their computer has a Mac. Personally I'm not amazingly fond of them, but that's because I can fix a busted computer. But if I couldn't, I'd be one of them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:21 PM on February 6, 2007


Sorry for saying your reading comprehension sucks and "yelling" what I still say is true from one point of view, that being the technically incorrect one that Mac = OSX and PC = Windows. I wasn't trying to generalize about Mac users, I was adressing the guys who think being a hardcore PC gamer is an "embarassing" reason to stick to my PC for now.

I have a Compaq R3060 laptop, which has served me well and will soon be replaced by something most likely from Apple. I have a personal policy about displaying logos, to the point that I cover up the Dell logo on my monitor. you can see my workstation at the following link:
Autodidact's Friggin Awesome PC, which he loves a little too much
posted by autodidact at 7:06 PM on February 6, 2007


I've been programming on all the major platforms long enough to know the benefits and drawbacks inherent in each. In all cases, it is a balance between functionality and security. To date, this pattern has not changed.

Macintosh is by far the easiest to use of the three main systems. It is elegant and beautiful, and the default is for the exterior to match the same philosophy. Its point in the balance is that it has given up user options n the name of both ease and stability. Say all you want for nifty features, but if it doesn't have enough of those features for serious power use beyond a small, predefined set then all the elegance and beauty in the world falls severely short.

Windows is much less elegant, in large part to the market force of Microsoft. Being in control of most of the sector has stifled the drive to become better, and the Windows interface lacks the simplicity of Mac. Their point in the balance allows for significantly more functionality than a Mac, and if you say different you are merely being apologetic. You can simply do more with a Windows machine in the world today than with a Mac. The price that they have given for this functionality is security, and through it stability as well.

Linux took a different pattern. Instead of sacrificing security, they sacrificed ease of use. There are very few things that cannot be done on a Linux system, but trying to get them done can easily be infuriating. This is where its greatest strength comes in, in the form of an open community always contributing new features. Over time the rough edges are being cleaned up without a sacrifice of security or usability, making it the first and (so far) only OS with the power to change the supposedly static formula listed in the first paragraph.

For what it's worth, I use all three of these OSs for different functions. In my day to day affairs I consistently play to their strengths because I know enough about them to be cautious of their weaknesses.

Also, Mac users should never herald the move from RISC architecture to CISC (often referred to as "moving to Intel hardware"). It is not a great new advance for the OS, but rather a response to a Market Failure on the part of the company. Besides, even with Boot Camp you won't get Windows to run properly on the IntelMac hardware, although Mac will lead you to initially believe it will.
posted by mystyk at 7:51 PM on February 6, 2007


You are embarassing yourself with the cult-like devotion you've put on display. If I can't play the games I like on a Mac, and can only play games written in OpenGL, I don't care whether the reason is technical, economic, or even religious. I will stick with ming on the PC where I can play the games I want to play.

Oy. I understand full well why you have a Windows machine if gaming is your thing, autodidact. There is not a huge selection of games for the Mac.

But you were implying this was because Mac hardware/OS could not handle games. That's 100% bollocks. If you want to play games, uy a machine that can boot Windows (which now includes all Intel Macs, most of which make fine gaming rigs, although they wouldn't make much sense if you only intended to run Windows to play games).

But don't fool yourself into thinking the Mac is no good as a gaming platform for technical reasons. That ain't the case.

So who's looking down their nose? Like I said, I own Windows PCs..., and I'm not bashing 'em any where in this thread (read my comments if you don't believe me).

I don't particularly like Windows, but it's made great strides with XP (and, maybe, Vista). That's not enough to make up for the abomination that was Win95/Win98/WinME for me, but whatever. Those were some putrid operating systems, and I doubt I'll ever trust MS again, after getting screwed so badly by them with those OSs. (Now I've bashed Windows). I've never bashed a Windows user in my entire life, and I never will.

I prefer the Mac right now. For a lot of reasons, this is a matter of taste. But it is most emphatically NOT only a matter of taste. As a Windows user, you're living a fantasy land if you can't admit that there are several, significant areas in which a Mac is "better" than a PC.

Gaming isn't one of them. Neither is PC modding. More power to you if you want to do those things, Windows makes more sense there: it's "better" than the Mac on that front.

But, you really ought to reserve judgement about platform you obviously do not know all that well. I've rarely ever met a Mac user that doesn't end up using Windows a hell of a lot -- many (most?) of us own Windows PCs. The same is not true. Most of the Windows users I meet know diddly about Macs. But they sure can tell my why they suck.

And about that looking down your nose thing: let you who is without sin cast the first stone...
posted by teece at 8:33 PM on February 6, 2007


There is a lot of hype, as TFA was pointing out for those who caught the satire. For instance, my computer hasn't crashed outside of a 3D game yet this year. I run BF2 and several other games at 2560x1600 and task switch out to check my e-mail. Can't do that on a Mac as far as I know. Maybe I'm just embarassing myself though.

For the record, this is what I was responding to, autodidact.

You said you might be embarrassing yourself. It sure as hell sounded to me (and others) like you were saying a Mac could not task switch out while playing a intense game (which, I assume, BF2 is. I don't know or care what that game is).

If all you were trying to say was "I can't play BF2 on OS X" or "I don't want to dual boot to check my email," that's fine, but and I'll take you at your word. But I think you expressed yourself very poorly. I can run UT2K3 and Halo (the only 3D games I have) simultaneously, and task switch into Mail.app to check my mail or check something in Safari (and have my iMac running as an Apache server, etc.). I don't know why the hell I would, but I could. That's what I was saying. If you were really just saying "I can't play BF2 on a Mac" OK, but if you choose your words that way, don't be surprised when your misunderstood, especially in a non-verbal forum like this.

You're not being insulted here by me. I'm not entirely sure I can say the same thing in reverse: I have a "cult like" devotion and buy into "hype."

My main point is simple: if one has never owned a Mac, one needs to reserve judgement. It's just that simple. It sure sounded like you were falling into the typical role Mac-basher that is unaware of Mac reality (as others in this thread have). If that's not the case, sorry.
posted by teece at 8:55 PM on February 6, 2007


I did express myself poorly more than once. It was, uh, low blood sugar. We all must love computers or we wouldn't still be here arguing about it.

The task-switching comment was meant to show that PCs have all the performance and stability of Macs if they are configured properly. 2560x1600 is an insane resolution for 3D gaming, and task-switching in and out of it is a pretty demanding task which you would expect to slow down or crash your computer. I use two cards, the X1900XTX and X1950XTX in Crossfire mode, which I think is actually not possible on the Mac. Forgive me if I'm wrong.

I had a G4 in 2000. It was leased for me by a client and I had the option of taking over the lease at the end of the project, which meant getting to own the thing for a significant discount. I opted to buy a tricked out PC, and the upgrade path has kept me on that platform ever since.

I have no problem with Macs or Mac users. I'm not a computer scientist, and I make no negative generalizations about them. I majored in "Media and Infoculture". I think all things Microsoft and Apple are fed from the same wellspring of genius mixed with avarice, and to have some allegiance or to identify with either one, as pointed out in the article, could mean you have no real personality.

From what I'm hearing about DRM issues under Vista, I very well may switch to Mac if DX10 will run under Bootcamp.
posted by autodidact at 11:22 PM on February 6, 2007


zoogleplex: I sure as hell wouldn't spend $4,000 on a laptop if I wasn't positive I'd get my money's worth!

Wow, now this is a phrase that blows my mind.

Not the cost-effectiveness part. The $4000 part.

That's a car, man, not a laptop.

Seriously, it takes some work to even get a MacBook Pro up to $4K. I'm not sure whether I'm shocked or in awe.
posted by lodurr at 5:59 AM on February 7, 2007


... as for the whole "crashing" thang...

I've had Windows boxes that NEVER ("well, hardly evAAAHHH!") crashed. OTOH, my Mini crashed (usually hard) about once a week on average the whole time I had it running Panther. I also ran my Powerbook on Panther for several months. No crashes at all. On Tiger, Finder crashes on the Mini about two or three times a session, but OS X holds firm. On the Powerbook in Tiger, which I use a lot more, I've never had a problem with Finder and have crashed the OS maybe two or three times in a year and a half or so.

I had a WinME box that would run for weeks without slowing down. It was a stock off the shelf HP. I had a homebrew Win2K box that would crash every couple of weeks. My last Win2K box (a Shuttle XPC) never bluescreened (that I can recall) in Win2K -- but I managed to crash it hard in Linux on a number of occasions.

These things, these inconsistencies, should not be true. But they are. As the man said, sometimes science ain't such an exact science...
posted by lodurr at 6:06 AM on February 7, 2007


I use a Mac Mini at work, and have a four-year-old PC at home. The thing that will probably keep me in the PC camp the next time I buy (dear god let it be soon), is that I can start cheap on a PC and add on as I go. My home PC is configured much differently than when it started, with far more firewire ports, and no modem.

One thing that frustrates me to no end about Apple products, is the tendancy to take elegance over usability. For example, the G5s that only have 1 USB port or Firewire port on the front. With the way I normally have my computer set up, that situation is amazingly impractical (I use several USB devices at once, and often have to switch). Instead of their pretty single front port, they could easily cover it with a simple panel, and allow a few more front connections.
posted by drezdn at 2:14 PM on February 7, 2007


"That's a car, man, not a laptop."

Heh... well it helps that my car and motorcycle are both paid off...

"Seriously, it takes some work to even get a MacBook Pro up to $4K. I'm not sure whether I'm shocked or in awe."

That price is a top-end 17" Pro with maximum RAM (2GB) installed and the largest hard drive, the 3-year AppleCare agreement, shipping and California sales tax included. Yeah, it's expensive.

Also I'll be getting Parallels Desktop and a new Wacom tablet with it, so it's more like $4,750 investment all told. Yikes, right? Oh, crap, I should upgrade to Adobe CS3 too. Heh...

But see, it's replacing two computers, both of which I use for work. After I buy this I won't be buying another PC for the foreseeable future, so knock off at least $2,000 there, just for argument's sake. Since this machine is yet another major quantum leap over my dual G4 desktop, on which I already can do my artwork at my maximum speed without the computer slowing me down, I may use the Pro for 5 or 6 years, maybe even more, to do my work.

It's also a tax writeoff for me, because I am a sole-proprietor business and it's my primary tool. However, I expect to make about $10,000 with the Pro in the first year, so it will pay for itself very quickly.

I actually don't "need" to replace my dual G4, really. I could just keep using it as it is, I haven't hit its performance ceiling yet for my work. Also, it has long since paid itself off, I paid about $3,000 for it and over its lifetime have made something like $30,000 using it.

However, I have other reasons to switch to the Pro; (1) I want to get the huge computer workstation setup out of my living room and (2) my recording studio G4 (which I got in trade for consulting, whee!) has gotten too slow to handle my music hobby production needs. The dual G4 will handle this nicely, and the studio is not in my living room, so I will soon have a much nicer living room and a recording deck that doesn't slow me down. I'll be able to work in the living room on the Pro without having all that infrastructural crap laying around.

I'll probably wind up installing my recording software on the Pro, too, so I can mix and edit no matter where I am.

All in all, it should work out pretty well. In the time I'll own the Pro I should pull in somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000 with it, so the up-front expense isn't something to worry about.

I'm not just buying it to run iTunes and play DVDs, y'know? My computers aren't toys or appliances, they're indispensable tools. PC Gaming is a really expensive pastime! That's why I switched to consoles instead.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:42 PM on February 7, 2007


But see, it's replacing two computers, both of which I use for work.

Ever since I got a job where I was paid enough that I could afford to have two computers, I've been a big beleiver in having a "backup computer" -- something you can go to when (not if) your main machine fails, in whatever small amount of time it takes to make your files available.

This has saved my ass twice -- both times I was making whatever money I was making by working at home as a freelancer, so we're talking about work, not pleasure or inconvenience.

Back in '02, I was relying on the HP WinME machine I alluded to earlier. As a result of boot-switching WinME and Linux, my hard drive got sufficiently trashed that there was no hope of recovery. So for several months I was forced to rely exclusively on my Sony Picturebook as my only computer.

About 14 months ago, the hard drive on my Powerbook died. Because I had made a habit of regularly backing up all my work files to my Mini, I could just literally switch to the other machine until I could afford to get a new hard drive.

Ideally, your backup is something close enough to the same that you can just switch over. E.g., PowerBook and PPC Mini. But you could still use the dual G4 as a "backup" as long as you're using Universal apps. I understand the desire to get a dual G4 tower out of the living room (the things are like vacuum cleaners to my ear), but you only have to turn it on once a week or so, or you could put it in some out of the way spot with no monitor and boot just VNC in.

Just a thought...
posted by lodurr at 4:48 AM on February 8, 2007


"But you could still use the dual G4 as a "backup" as long as you're using Universal apps. I understand the desire to get a dual G4 tower out of the living room (the things are like vacuum cleaners to my ear), but you only have to turn it on once a week or so, or you could put it in some out of the way spot with no monitor and boot just VNC in."

Yeah, exactly. I have a big fat USB 2.0 external hard drive on which I've got a backup of the entire G4 hard drive right now, and I update my work files to that and also burn them to DVD-RW regularly as a secondary backup. I'll be using the G4 for my recording studio so it will have monitor etc., but it will be perfectly suitable as a backup machine.

The Pro will be replacing the G4 and the Dell as my work machine, but both of the older boxes go to the studio. I'll still have 3 computers, you just won't see anything but the MacBook in my living room.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:45 AM on February 8, 2007


I was buying a PC recently but the mini-Hitler behind the counter at The Apple Store didn't recognise the portabella mushrooms I had on it.




/me crosses fingers for killing this unholy thread.
posted by polyglot at 5:25 PM on February 11, 2007


so how's everyone doing? everyone okay?
posted by shmegegge at 1:18 AM on February 12, 2007


... killing this unholy thread.

Are you trying to kill it with dada?
posted by lodurr at 6:04 AM on February 12, 2007


I was trying to kill it with Godwin and the magic portabella thread that lived forever.
posted by polyglot at 3:13 PM on February 12, 2007


Too obscure for my tastes. I would have gone for something more like: "Boy, that Steve Jobs sure does wear the same uniform all the time. You know who else dressed in a uniform without being in the armed forces? That's right: HITLER. And I bet he loved portobella sandwiches, too."
posted by lodurr at 7:52 AM on February 16, 2007


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