This is a piece written by a friend of mine, since she felt like ranting about Macs. Not to start a Mac v PC debate (there are enough of those elsewhere on the internet), but its a pretty interesting read from the perspective of the average computer user. -- Vivek
Now, I'm no Vista-hugger. I don't wear stickers on my forehead that say "I'm a PC." I'm also not a techie. I don't code. In fact, I think the only kind of coding worth really having is color-coding (or color coordination, because there are too many colorblind geeks in the world). So if anything I say is wrong, the TechniMaster will correct it. [You know, I think I like this new title, TechniMaster....I wonder if I could get people to refer to me as that in real life -VG]
Macs, to me, are like indie music (hordes of over-metaphored, over-cliched blog-readers, shut your tender ears). They were awesome before your little sibling started using them. Before the world realized that alternative meant "mainstream in a few years." That, my friends, is where PC and Mac differ. Not in the shiny software or build or whatever. In their marketing... and, to be honestly mainstream and cliched again, consumption. What is with the economy obsession...?
But let's be real. Admittedly, I bought a Vista-toting Vaio because my XP-toting Toshiba was, frankly, toting XP. I had the choice to endanger all those aging files by sticking them on another outdated computer, to render them useless by my media-changing unsavviness, or to use Vista. Vista, bubbly, happy, cute Vista. But hey, at least all the icons on the start menu looked the same. Unlike on those Macs in the UW computer labs, where contorted W's denoted Word (how convoluted is that, please?) and that demented smiley face was staring at me as though it were a program -- by way of update, the TechniMaster informs me that the smiley face meant Finder in OS X. Isn't that so.... intuitive? I really want to click on happy faces when I'm madly searching for something. I'd prefer to click on evil faces, ala Cyanide and Happiness.
Let me give you an anecdote. Over the summer, I tried to put some lovely old Abba tracks on my Sansa e250... from a Mac. I can handle media messiness in Windows and in Ubuntu-like things, but I couldn't even find the Music folder on my mother's friend's Mac. I couldn't even find something vaguely like "My Computer." I love "My Computer." It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, as though I were really keeping track of everything I possess (don't I wish?). But I was telling a story. I couldn't figure out where exactly I'd attached my Sansa and I was seriously confused. Even in front of some non-techie forty-somethings, I felt so inadequate. I even googled (yes, I google with an uncapitalized g) "how to get mac to recognize and show me where my Sansa is." Inane thing about that... Google told me that it was a problem with my Sansa. Because-- guess what-- my Sansa was formatted for Windows and things of that ilkage, and I should have changed the setting before blindly stabbing it into the Mac and hoping for a familiar window to pop up.
Right now, that should just tell you that I don't know much about my Sansa. But it also says that Macs really are alternative music. The minute you start paralleling pop/rock and alt/indie, you're going to have to codeswitch. Okay, I used the word code for something other than computer-lingo and color-coordination. I'm a linguist, and the TechniMaster knows that. The analogies are on his head. [...good to know -VG] PCs and Macs are prettymuch dialects with little inter-intelligibility, talking to some poor sap with native fluency in PC and second-year level in Mac (in case you need help with random analogies, I'm that poor sap. Pity me).
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Macs are not my computers of choice. When it all comes down to brass tacks, I'm technologically a bit racist. I choose my native technology. Although, if indie's mainstream now, and pop rock never stopped being mainstream, doesn't that mean...they're just one lovely inter-musical couple? I'm perfectly happy streaming Matchbox Twenty and Regina Spektor at the same time.
Oh, yes, I'm waiting for a technologial lovechild (would that be the AnthroPC?). [or Linux.... -VG]