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A Mac Owner’s Lament
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ^ | June 16, 2005 | Pat Lynch

Posted on 06/20/2005 8:42:07 PM PDT by quidnunc

Not since Walter Mondale suggested that he might raise taxes have I had such a terrible, sick, sinking sensation deep in the pit of my stomach.

Things like the Michael Jackson verdict, using Christina Aguilera’s music to torture prisoners at Gitmo and the rising cost of gasoline are inconsequential compared to Apple Computers’ abrupt surrender to Intel.

This is serious business. To put things into perspective, my devotion to the Macintosh is of an intensity similar to Paul Greenberg’s feelings for "the South."

This has been going on since 1987. I think my first Mac was called an SE, and it had one full MB of RAM and two floppy disk drives. There was no internal hard drive, so you had to save whatever you did on floppies.

Of course, there was a keyboard and the trademark mouse. IBM people just detested the mouse. Somehow, using that thing made traditionalist computer geeks feel less professional and superior, but Mac people never cared. We just wanted to get our work done.

I paid $3,400 for that first system, and that was in 1987 dollars. We’re talking real money, folks. There was not much software for the Macintosh, but Mac-Draw and MacPaint made ordinary people into (drum roll, please!) MacArtists. The word processing program was known as—what else?—MacWrite, and it set the standard for a decade.

All the while, IBM folks were scrambling to learn weird and incomprehensible codes. Life was good.

After awhile, I decided to add on a 20 MB external hard drive. That cost $400, but it was so much more convenient than shuffling all those dadgum floppies. I vividly recall the serene sense of empowerment derived from possessing such unprecedented storage capacity. The 10-inch screen and processor fit in a case, and the display was black-andwhite.

Mac users become personally involved in the life of their computer and are always trying to improve its operating environment. In due time, I also expanded the RAM to 4 MB, and that probably cost $300.

When you pop open the case of one of those old Macs, the signatures of the original design team are represented on the interior surface, including that of Apple’s founder, Mr. Steve Jobs, the traitor.

Jobs may someday be excused for crossing over to the dark side, but those of us who have come up through the ranks are not happy people. While we were paying more for a more stable and useful operating system, those rascals on the other team were stealing the clever desktop analogy. They even added a mouse.

We went through a lot to stay loyal to the superior computer. My present iMac G3 is the first Macintosh I have ever owned that had an internal modem. Friends, this little puppy has a 500-MHz processor, which was scalding hot when it was new three years ago. If you watched the Apple commercials, you know that it was registered as a national defense secret or something like that. That is one reason this switcheroo is so bewildering.

The iMac G5 desktop computer is a thing of beauty. Its PowerPC processor is an engineering triumph, except for one little thing. It’s too darned hot. That really matters on laptops, which are supposedly the biggest selling models.

Macintosh has been held back one full generation with a G4 PowerBook, which is just a cat’s hair slower.

It is a business decision for Apple to make nice with Intel, but I don’t have to like it. Usually, when I am informed that some action was purely a "business decision," I have just gotten the shaft, so excuse the skepticism.

When you think about brand loyalty, remember Macintosh, "the computer for the rest of us." Its superior operating system and amazing stability have far outweighed the expense and inconvenience, but it would be nice to see the corporation display a tiny bit of sensitivity to the folks who consistently give this company a 3 percent share of the personal computer market. That may not sound like much, but Steve Jobs seems to be doing OK.

We mere customers are now left to wonder about whether our software will work on the next generation. Should I buy a Mac to replace this aging G3? These are also provocative business decisions.

Memo to Mr. Jobs: Change is always bad. Uncertainty is worse.

TOPICS: Editorial; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bluescreenofdeath; dosdeathofsystem; slowerandhotter; toolazytolearndos; waaambulance; winblows
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To: derllak
If the design is proprietary, then Apple is dead...

That question has already been officially answered. Mac OS will not run on PCs.

At least until someone rigs a workaround.

61 posted on 06/21/2005 6:19:01 AM PDT by js1138 (e unum pluribus)
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To: Yehuda

His wrist must of slipped.

62 posted on 06/21/2005 6:20:21 AM PDT by deadrock
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To: DB

Apple is in no position to deal with things like "backward compatibility", hardware components people buy from the Wal-Mart electronics section, no-name motherboards, etc.

I'm not a Mac fan, but I'm not a detractor either. Apple shouldn't enter the commodity PC market because the resultant hardware and driver problems would damage Apple's brand.

63 posted on 06/21/2005 6:25:12 AM PDT by Doohickey (CO during fire drill: "Are we conducting a training evolution or porpoising for the hell of it?")
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To: quidnunc
"It is a business decision for Apple to make nice with Intel, but I don’t have to like it."

Funny, he spends the first half of of his column making swipes at IBM, which just happens to manufacture the current chips used in the Mac. So why is it so heretical that Apple move to Intel, given that IBM has been dragging its arse on upgrades, particularly for low-power chips, and has thus placed Apple at an emerging competitive disadvantage in laptop performance? Don't get me wrong, I love the current PowerBook, but it's (still) a G4 for a reason.

And obviously the guy is totally clueless about one of the signature benefits of Unix: only kernel-level code modules need to change to adapt to different hardware environments. This is why Linux runs on pritnear everything-- some geek has sat down and ginned up a kernel for that platform.

Moving to an open-source Unix-based platform was a brilliant move on Apple's part. Among other things, it means they can do MacOS on whatever hardware they want. And it'll still be a Mac.
64 posted on 06/21/2005 6:25:49 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast (You're it)
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To: Reactionary
"I mean, if you go with Windows you get Microsoft along for the ride. You also get an amazing variety of hardware and software. If you go with Apple you get fewer options all the way down the line."

1) Your first sentence makes no sense at all.

2) Your second sentence could also be written, "You also get an amazing array of hardware and software crashes due to poorly-written drivers running on top of an insecure system.

3) Your third sentence would more accurately be stated as "If you go with Apple you'll not only partake of beautifully designed, fully-featured and rock-solid hardware but a booming third-party market, including all manner of whiz-bang capabilities churning out of a vibrant and vital open-source community, with stability and security assured by the industrial-strength Unix underpinnings of today's MacOS."

In other words, you're uninformed. Changing to a microprocessor family which has accelerated ahead of all others is good for users and for Apple. The PowerPC had its day, but the latest generation of Intel processors is superb. The "Centrino" (Pentium M) architecture out of Israel is just a stunner, and exactly what Apple needs for the next generation of PowerBooks.
65 posted on 06/21/2005 6:31:59 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast (You're it)
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To: js1138
derllak wrote:
If the design is proprietary, then Apple is dead...

and js1138 replied:
That question has already been officially answered. Mac OS will not run on PCs.
At least until someone rigs a workaround.

I think that Apple is worried about maintaining compatibility with all sorts of 3rd-party PC concoctions, as well as protecting their own interests in hardware sales at first.

Once someone _does_ rig up a "workaround" - and I have no doubt that it can, and will, be done - Apple may have to throw in the towel and consider licensing other PC manufacturers to produce hardware platforms "certified for the Mac OS". The guy who owns Dell has already stated that he would like to sell Dells equipped to run the Mac OS - and I'm sure he could sell a LOT of them.

Apple tried "licensing" once before, and the cloners almost killed them - by offering computers that were _better_ than Apple's products at the time. I still have a SuperMac s900 clone that was perhaps the best Mac I ever bought. Keep in mind, however, that _this_ time, Apple will have a native OS running on the same platform as Windows. I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually see Macs that can run Windows programs directly from the Mac OS, without switching to Windows.

It has been one of Apple's secrets that, for years now, they've had the Mac OS running on x86 processors. Something folks [like us] on the outside disputed and discussed, but never a breath of confirmation from Apple.

Although Steve Jobs has stated that there is a timetable for the migration to x86 processors that is 1-2 years away yet, I have absolutely no doubt that he would not have gone public with news this earth-shaking (in the computing world, at least) unless x86 development inside Apple is much farther along than it appears. Indeed, they may have a whole suite of software applications that are running _now_ (iLife x86?).

- John

66 posted on 06/21/2005 6:49:31 AM PDT by Fishrrman
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To: NCSteve
To be honest, Macintosh and Windows both stole the "clever desktop analogy" from X.

I wouldn't say that - both X and the Mac came out in 1984, and the first version of Windows was only a year later. Pretty much everyone "stole" it from Xerox around the same time ;)

67 posted on 06/21/2005 6:50:09 AM PDT by general_re ("Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith, but in doubt." - Reinhold Niebuhr)
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To: Fishrrman
I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually see Macs that can run Windows programs directly from the Mac OS, without switching to Windows.

It will certainly be easier to emulate Windows on an Intel platform. I would expect to see hacks in both directions.

Dongles and hardware locks have been around for years to prevent software piracy. They work only to the extent that the programs they protect are used by people who can afford them and who need the support of the publisher. Anyone can download a hacked version of AutoCad.

68 posted on 06/21/2005 6:59:07 AM PDT by js1138 (e unum pluribus)
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To: Ichneumon

I have to say, tho, the only place I encounter the same kind of bitterness, sneering elitism and boorish behavior of the anti-Mac crowd is with liberals.
Actually, to find "the same kind of bitterness, sneering elitism and boorish behavior" one needs to look no further than the Mac snobs.

Heck, just look at the article which started this thread, for example.

I'll agree with you, there are many suspects on the Mac side - to have a war, you need two or more players. I've read things from Mac users that make me cringe, like claimng they "never" crash, or things along those lines.

However, I'll stand by what I said, examples of the behavior I refer to is everywhere you look these days, even here at FR, where I hoped to get beyond this kind of things - how many times are Mac users accused of being homosexual on these forums? How many other products are used as a basis of attacking anyone, exept possibly French products? "Oh, man, you bought a Sony TV? You're a fag!" No, it just doesn't seem to happe, does it?

Computers are just tools. Yet people think that just because someone uses a Mac, that it gives them license to insult them in ways that would start a fistfight in real life. I'd expect that kind of behavior on DU, or anywhere else liberals gather, and it's a great disapointment to see it here.

69 posted on 06/21/2005 7:00:02 AM PDT by ByDesign
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To: quidnunc

MACINTOSH is an acronym for: most applications crash; if not, the operating system hangs.

70 posted on 06/21/2005 7:01:06 AM PDT by Taft in '52
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To: js1138

Sorry PC people...but the New OS X TIGER eats anything and everything a PC has to offer for lunch....

71 posted on 06/21/2005 7:02:10 AM PDT by Republic Rocker
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To: ByDesign

Macs are perfect.

72 posted on 06/21/2005 7:10:43 AM PDT by js1138 (e unum pluribus)
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To: Nathan Zachary
Mac's suck. Folks who keep the company on life support with a mere weak pulse of 3% of a nornal 100% are just asking to be left out in the cold in the software availability world. Developers don't like to waste there time on a limited market.

You are misinformed. Here are the latest statistics -

The Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16% of computer users are on Macs.

According to the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), Macintosh software comprises over 18% of all software sold.

According to US News and World Report, Macintosh owners buy 30% more software than Windows owners.

A key reason for the discrepancy between Mac's large installed base vs. relatively low market share is that high-quality Apple computers don't need to be replaced as frequently as Wintel junk. I have a 27-year old Apple computer that still works, and I expect that my PowerMac G5s will have a longer userful life than your low-quality crap computer.

73 posted on 06/21/2005 7:21:53 AM PDT by HAL9000 (Get a Mac - The Ultimate FReeping Machine)
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To: ByDesign
What's that? Macs suck? What do you do with your computer? Surf the web, answer e-mail, play games? Sure, Macs suck, buddy. Now go away, and come back when you can DO something with your computer.

What did you say, and who did you say it to? That vitriolic, hateful, boorish, bit of puerility, was seemingly directed to someone that cares what you think. I addressed a boor, and another Mac user.

Get your meds lined up, take a breath, and re-read what I posted, please. Then, drop off the face of this thread... or wherever!

74 posted on 06/21/2005 7:23:09 AM PDT by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: quidnunc

My son installed the new Tiger OS on his five year old Mac and it runs like a top...amazing! He is an evangelist for Apple!

75 posted on 06/21/2005 7:26:24 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Nathan Zachary

To put the "mere" 3% in perspective - that is more than the entire capitalization of all the cable companies in the U.S. combined...

76 posted on 06/21/2005 7:33:52 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Conservatrix
My father is 82. My brother is a pc guy. He got my dad a p2 some time ago, that just died. The p2 had replaced an apple IIe, that my Dad prepared his sermons on, and could print his bulletins, with "Sideways", a print utility.

I have Macs laying around here. My Dad sends email every morning and evening to all of us on the list. Many email him back. We like to stay in touch, but he doesn't use it for anything else.

To make a long story shorter, we went to Sams, and bought an HP for $550 with a 17' CRT. That was two weeks ago. I set it up on returning back the the AFRH.

I got an email yesterday, telling me that a guy had finally come by to help him fix what was not working. It wasn't hardware problems...

It kept misplacing things , Pop said.

I'll keep my Macs. Pop can use anything I take him. But, he's stuck with his Windoze... because it was "familiar".

Tthe funny thing is that my brother advised me to buy a Mac in the first place... in 1984... because I didn't want to bother learning all that c> crap, and didn't want to go to school for a month to learn AutoCad!!! Of course, now AutoCad is a degree program, and us Mac users have Jaguars and other fast cats...

77 posted on 06/21/2005 7:34:54 AM PDT by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: Petronski
>I think without Apple there would be no Rush Limbaugh

It's one of those starts
Apple owners can complete
in zillions of ways:

I think without Apple there would be ...
... instant heat-death of the universe.
... more Jessica Simpson news.
... rap stars running NASA.
... more terror attacks.
... XFL games still on TV.
... fewer Britney clones.
... more Britney clones.
... fewer muskies in Wisconsin.
... Anna Kournikova brand computers.
... a moose in everyone's shower.
... etc.

78 posted on 06/21/2005 7:35:40 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: quidnunc

Sometimes I think Apple is changing processors just to scare away these kind of freaks.

79 posted on 06/21/2005 7:38:16 AM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: DB
It wasn't a choice. The Power PC chips are at their end.

PowerPC are and will be used in all IBM computers.
Apple Mac PowerPC's are modified by IBM with altivec.
It is too small a market and it did not pass the business plan at IBM.

80 posted on 06/21/2005 7:39:46 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Y'shua <==> YHvH is my Salvation (Psalm 118-14))
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