Windows Desktop with BlackBox circa 2003

What’s With the 1997 Again???

Anyone else notice the idiotic Mac v. PC flame wars going on again? I don’t want to add to it–in fact, I didn’t even want to pay notice to it at all. But people are dumb and I’m tired of them being so.

Disclaimer: I’m a Mac user. But I’m sure you knew that.

I must say though, Windows 7 is looking mighty nice. I’m excited to play with the next release candidate. But will it make me switch back to a Windows PC? Probably not. I’ve chosen my plight in life and I’m much more content now, using OS X on my MacBook Pro, than I ever was using a PC.

Windows Desktop with BlackBox circa 2003

Windows Desktop with BlackBox circa 2003

In high school and first three years of college I was a total PC guy. I built computers quite often, went down the computer fair in Pomona, CA, overclocked… all of it. Even dual booted Linux a few times, trying to get used to Slackware and Dropline. I did a lot of open source, used various shells (I loved blackbox for a while), blah blah blah. I was a PC nerd.

But I always liked Macs. Junior year of high school was my first significant introduction with the platform. I had a video editing internship at the local megachurch and we used a Media-100 editing rig with a PowerMac. At school, in computer graphics class, we had the first and second series of iMacs to do editing, photoshopping, etc. on. And I loved them. In fact, the more I used those Macs, the more I liked them. Especially after OS X released.

When I worked at a camp we did our video editing on a PowerMac as well, in Final Cut Pro 2 (horrible software!). So I used the tool fit for the jobs. I built my desktop PCs, but after working at our college’s IT Helpdesk on so many Dell laptops I quickly decided that I wouldn’t by a name-brand Windows-based laptop. Too many problems with them. But I’ve had minimal problems with my Macs.

So the point: Stop Hating! It’s a computer. Just because someone has a different preference than you doesn’t make it bad. Macs are not inherently better than PCs or vice versa. Macs are better for me and the way I use a computer in the same way the Windows PCs are better for some programmers. Design-wise, Apples locked that objectively. But if you don’t care about design or UI, it doesn’t matter.

This isn’t 1997. The flame wars are done. No matter how much Microsoft or Apple are trying to make you believe they aren’t, the simple fact is that it doesn’t matter. You buy and use what you buy and use, and you are not obligated to justify it.

Leave a Witty Remark

9 Responses

  1. Matt Good says:

    I would also like to just get on with life. Though I might undermine my own point here by noting that Apple thrives on being “better” and keeeeps running those Mac v. PC ads (if it weren’t for Jon Hodgeman, Steve Jobs would have a letter on his desk from me right now). But mostly, I’d just like to get on with life. Or see a really nerdy Linux show up in the Mac/PC commercials one of these days.

    • joel says:

      hah! But you’re right. The marketing is really what makes it “better”. I kind of wish that Microsoft hadn’t decided to stoop as low as they have with their new campaign.

      I mean, their viral efforts for Win7 have impressed me. Just making it open for public beta, even on into RC… that’s been great for their rep. If they would just make a product that is good enough to stand on its own merit, I think Microsoft could lock it up again. But maybe they aren’t creative enough to see that?

  2. cory says:

    I’m a Linux fanatic to the core; that said, i keep windows around for specific windows-architecture programs.

    I’m also fairly familiar with Mac, though not to the extent that I am with PCs.

    What kills me about the whol argument between Window$ and Makingcash is that they’re essentially driven by market interests rather than by development. So, they release buggy software at high cost and a lack of user-friendliness. Granted that Linux isn’t considered user-friendly to most, it is on the basis of familiarity with either Win or Mac that that claim is made.

    So here’s my take: They’re all useful, even if some are corrupt and whorish and others snobby and boorish. Like religion, mythology, and science, they are ONLY tools to be used, and have their own expertise for solving different kinds of issues (explaining “the world” from different angles) for different users. In the end, preferences that are adhered to with no rational backing are adhered to with IRrational backing, making the fanboys of anything particularly colatile and stupid.

    • cory says:

      not colatile, volatile*, and im sure there are others. sorry for DP, don’t see an edit function.

    • joel says:

      Agreed. The only reason I’m not Linux fanatic is my own understanding. My first distro was Red Hat 6.1 and then I’ve gone on to try tons of flavors. But it’s my own lack of understanding that makes me not able to wrap my head around it. That or I have more of a need to not face the learning curve. Either way, no excuse.

      Also, I liked your rhyme :)

  3. Hmm. I fear this post may have been inspired by me, at least partially.

    One thing you said, I feel the need to comment on.

    “But if you don’t care about design or UI, it doesn’t matter.”

    Stating Mac has better designed machines than PCs is a bit like stating Chrylser has better looking cars than Japan… Alienware and some other companies make some sharp looking machines. I won’t deny that Apple makes great looking machines.

    I personally find the UI of the Windows environment much easier to use. Some find the OSX UI easier to use.

    I still agree with your point. You purchase the tool that works best for you, and it may very well not be the best tool for someone else.

    I’d love to see this argument in a different environment…
    “Hi. I’m a Nike.”
    “And I’m a Reebok.”

    • joel says:

      No, don’t worry. It’s not you. You have sane reasons for choosing the tools you do. There are other people I know who behave like children in trying to feed a stupid flamewar. But that’s not you.

      On the design front, Alienware and some other companies make sharp looking machines for a specific niche. I’d argue that Apple design is more solid and far more universal. But maybe that’s the design snob in me. I think minimalism is far more “basic” or “pure” I guess than a gaudy blue and green glowing rubberized monster with fins on it. And again, I used to be a modder that did those exact things to his machine (just ask @matthewgood).

      And you may be right on the UI front. I just don’t hear about many noobs sitting down and finding the Windows UI easier to use than the Mac OS UI. And also hear a lot of stories of Windows users getting hooked on Mac OS X because of accidental forced usage for work and things). UI is somewhat subjective, but I think also relates strongly to what I said above with design.

  4. “I just don’t hear about many noobs sitting down and finding the Windows UI easier to use than the Mac OS UI.”

    Very true. I’ve noticed Macs are great for the beginner or the pro, while Windows machines are great for the mid-range user or the pro.

    • joel says:

      Excellent way to put it. It really just depends on what you’re doing with it. Macs aren’t good for everything but do some things (like video / graphics rendering) better. Same thing with Windows, I’d say. Both have their strengths and weaknesses directly related to whatever task you’re giving them.