Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another Horrible, Divisive Debate

iMac Vista

"Elbog, how could you defile your Mac with Vista?

That’s like eating Chinese food with a fork."

Diversity. It's appalling to me that, even those in our community could project such a jaundiced and callous view such as this. Can you believe that someone would say something so spiteful, when we're all trying so hard to support each other?

Well, TOM, I'm going to tell you why. I eat Chinese food with a fork, too. I'm not Chinese. I've learned to cook Chinese food, and using a fork is the most economical way that I've learned to shovel it into my mouth (and after all of that chopping and wok-ing over a large flame, I'm pretty stinkin' hungry). I feel that I have gained an appropriate appreciation of Chinese culture by this means, and I certainly have and can use chopsticks, and certainly would if I were a guest in a Chinese home, but I gain no sense of world-citizenessness or edumacation dining at home with them. It's a tool. That's answer #1.

#2> It runs GREAT. There's nothing wrong with Vista, they just pooped in their own messkit by not being clear about what hardware it would run on. I've read that it runs better on an iMac than just about anything else. I'll testify to that.

#3> I do because I can. I earned free, legitimate copies of Vista and Office 2007 at about the same time that my old PC, cobbled together/upgraded/etc. since 2000 was showing some strain. I was frustrated by the fact that PC pieces don't always fit together so well, anymore, and the cost of a new machine with the specs I wanted faced me with some complicated choices. Mac, of course, solves that by controlling the process and also more than doubling the price. My way, the highway, and thanks very much. It's very much like many other religions I've seen. The iMac was a generous Christmas gift this year; the timing was right, and the Boot Camp software made it easy. I took the road less-traveled.

#4> I'm a guy who's known DOS, Novell, Arcnet, token-ring, the command-line. I saw the original Mac, it was cute, but I like taking the back off stuff and making it better, you know, the smell of burning silica. My only complaint about my current Mac is that I can't upgrade the video card. That's whining, and I won't do it again. I currently have 3 drives, 2 keyboards, an extra monitor plugged into it and enough wires strung around to keep me happy and busy. It's workin' out o.k.

#5> There's always been a Mac in the house, and I've gained an appreciation for it's ease of use, sometime's obtuse but simple-minded interface, and plain reliability. I have OSX installed on this baby, too, so I get the advantages of both platforms - goofing off in Garage Band and IMovie, although, due to my lack of constant practice with Mac commands, they often prove to be just as frustrating as any other software I've ever used. No faster.

I think that the competition has really brought these software giants to a point where there's not a whole lot of difference in how the average user interacts with it to do stuff. That leaves the specialties to divvy up the rest, depending upon certain preferences, features and hardware/industry history. I spent a couple of weekends with Ubuntu, last year, too. I found it to be just as challenging to set up and use as Windows, albeit for free. I somehow would rather pay for that pleasure, kinda like you eating Chinese food with chopsticks, Tom. Sorry, that was a cheap shot.

I'd add that, for example, neither platform has provided an easy way (read free/cheap/tweakable) to integrate the home network to my television set. They both approach this from annoying, proprietary angles that, well, annoy me.

In summary, I'm a PC. And I'm a Mac. And I'm proud to be both. I'm not here to judge any of you inferior, I'm just asking that you please re-consider your old ways, fueled by multibillion-dollar corporations and perhaps your own pride. If you can't, that's o.k. I admire your French-film watching, knees-bent, running around maneuvers and such; if you require a sense of superiority, then so be it. I'll still be your friend.

And that's how I like satire. If you're not laughing, then I've gone horribly wrong.