Archive for June, 2011

My final argument on this issue.

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

   Okay maybe this isn’t really important, not in the overall scheme of things anyway, but it’s just something that bothers me.   Apple and their cult-like following of fans, that seem to think that Mac’s are so superior to PC’s. 

   Exactly why it bothers me, I’m not sure?   I suppose there are many reasons.   One reason could be a deep down resentment for failing my first computer class in 7th grade.   The class was stocked with Apple II computers, and bored me to tears.  Yeah, sure, I can make it repeatedly draw a line in a star pattern, 1 billion times.   “Great, Zzzzz… Can it play Tempest?   How about Moon Patrol?”    But as much as I was put off by computers at an early age I was at least able to recognize their place in this world, and the very important roll they would soon play.  

   Another reason for my distaste for the Mac might be the “Mac Fanboy”.   Keeping in mind, I have a lot of friends that use Macs, and I love my friends dearly.   But there’s just something about a Mac that makes a person, who buys one, a little smug.   Those that haven’t bought into the hype yet call it, “Drinking the Kool-Aid”.   Drinking of the Kool-Aid, usually happens just after buying into the hype (the purchase).   I have yet to figure out what actually occurs…  But, I’ve figured it’s one of two things.   It’s either buyers remorse converted into a deep seeded attempt to justify the purchase of a lesser machine, or it’s a sophisticated subliminal pacifier hidden within the refreshed frame rate.  

   This theory completely dismisses the possibility that they could actually be better, of course, and is based loosely on psychology and not technology.    However, given enough leeway and creative freedom (aka. free from factual restraints) I think I’ll be able to make a pretty compelling case to support my theory. 

   And of course, my biggest gripe with Apple:  I feel like they are ripping people off, and nobody seems to care.  Or they do care, but are too embarrassed to admit that they just paid way too much for a computer.

   First, let us take a look at what Apple customers are buying.   Your basic Mac priced at $1,000 will have components equal to that of a $500 PC.   The price increases exponentially with each upgrade. So that by the time you reach a machine’s performance equal to that of a $2,000 PC ($3,500 fully loaded with monitor and OS. DIY system), you are paying close to $15,000 or more for the Apple.  It doesn’t take a financial wizard to figure out that this is a ridiculous Price to Performance curve.

   As any dyed-in-the-wool Fanboy will tell you, “It’s not the hardware, it’s the OS.  It’s worth the extra cost.”  And frankly it’s the only argument they really can make based on the information above.   To their (Fanboys) credit, they make a good point.  You can have the best hardware in the world installed on your PC, but if your OS isn’t up to snuff, sticking your finger in a light socket, might be more exhilarating.  You Vista owners know what I’m talking about.   But is it worth an extra $11.5k?   To find out, I decided to take on a few of their (Fanboys) most favorite arguments.

   “It just works.”  Anyone ever confronted by a Fanboy has heard this statement, probably repeated over an extended period of time.   For the most part, this statement is not incorrect.   The OS is smooth and silky.   No driver issues for most part and the plug and play is King of the hill.   Why does it work so well?   Well, it’s Unix based for one, but the other reason is:  Apple doesn’t let it play with others.   Apple keeps such a tight grip over how that OS is used, it doesn’t let it fail.   Apple doesn’t let you put your own hardware in their machines, or allow you the opportunity to seriously test its OS by sheltering it from third party software.   Essentially they are removing the freedom of choice from their customers, hence removing the likelihood or possibility of OS failure.   Smart really.   Less choice means easier to use.   Apple counts on their customers not knowing or caring about what they’re using, as long as “It just works.”    As a business model, it’s brilliant.   But for those of us that care, and like the freedom to change our hardware or running operations, we find the oppressive dictatorship that is the Apple EULA, to be an unfriendly environment.    And for those of you keeping track, Windows can be installed on the Mac.   Why would they allow that you ask?   Because even with all its faults, most Mac users will turn to Windows when they seek a little freedom from confines of the narrow usage of the Mac OS.   It’s Apples way of pacifying the power users.   Apple however, will not allow their OS to be installed on your PC.   Why?   Perhaps it wouldn’t perform so well in an uncontrolled (un-sanitized) system, exposing weakness in normal conditions.    That being the case, I offer up the possibility that Windows 7 may even out perform or be better than that OS X.   Just a thought.

   Another favorite of the Apple Fanboy, is, “At least I don’t have to worry about viruses.”   Although Apple has enjoyed a long abstinence from falling pray to the hacker community, those days are now over, and  OS X has proven to be just as full of holes as Windows.   The big difference between Windows and Apple, is that windows users have never denied the issue with security.   Where as Apples official response to security breaches, has always been to ignore the existence of Malware and viruses, and just let the users rely on “TimeMachine”.    NOTE: until recently, when Apple was forced by their customers to address an issue and release an “OS update” (patch).   Welcome to the club.

   In conclusion, those are the main arguments you’ll find in any Fanboy manual.   But that doesn’t mean Mac’s aren’t nice.   After all I suggested one for my own mother.   I was sold on the hype that it would be easy to use, and ready to go, “right out of the box…”   And it was, for the most part.   I hope she finds it easy to use, and has everything she needs.   It is after all, marketed for her user level.   She just “Wants it to work.”   J