Skip to comments.A Mac Owner’s Lament
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 Aguileras 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 Greenbergs 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. Were 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 aswhat 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 Apples 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. Its 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 cats hair slower.
It is a business decision for Apple to make nice with Intel, but I dont 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.
Yep, that's actually more accurate. Xerox was a technology leader back then. My how far they have fallen.
At that time, I was building my own PC clones for under $1,000 and running Wordstar or Word Perfect (WP 5.0 for DOS was the best ever). They worked great. I didn't even try Windows until version 3.0. The DOS machines did the work they were designed to do for a third the price of a Mac. I think that pretty much explains the failure of Mac to gain market share.
My post, which was simply a mini-rant at a hypothetical Mac-basher*, was not directed at you - my apologies if you took it personally! I enjoy writing, but nowhere do I claim skill at it. :) (which is why I get paid to make pictures, not prose)
*(Proto-typical Mac Basher - 30-something, bad personal hygeine and social skills, wears unwashed MS product launch t-shirts or Everquest gear, ever-present chip on shoulder, never kissed a girl, like to walk by the Mac section at Fry's and bellow "Macs SUCK!", so he can bask in the twitters of his less-brave Fanboi brethren, aspires to actually do something with a computer someday, but right now is so mired in online gaming, can't quite get the motivation to take classes or a better job...)
I still don't get what Apple is doing. What can they offer that Microsoft can't on the Intel platform? The answer? A snazzy GUI on top of BSD subsystem?
Rush was talking about this a couple of weeks back. His opinion (which makes perfect sense to me) was that it has to do with music and video licensing. The record companies and movie studios need a standardized operating system to be able to prevent internet piracy.
While I prefer PCs, I think bashing on either side is silly.
Do none of these engineering programs run on Unix? Are they Windows only? Since my 'engineering programs' consist of a compiler, linker and text editor you'll have to be a little more specific.
I suppose it makes sense. I don't know. Somehow, Apple Computer becoming the Big Brother of Internet media doesn't seem like enough, either, unless their idea is to cash in on the revenue stream from digital music and video.
There's a lot of money to be made, certainly. But I can't help but think that consumers of digital media will balk at the idea of having a hardware-level ID tied to the reproduction of music and video.
I've used it. I administer a number of OSX servers. I have hundreds of clients.
I'm not saying OSX isn't well-designed. I'm not saying it isn't stable. I'm not saying the GUI isn't a pleasure to use. I'm saying that, in the real world, no one wants to deal with OSX when it's much easier to run Microsoft software. Tech support issues alone make the decision an easy one, I'm afraid.
Now it may be that Jobs wants to corner the market on home entertainment and digital media. In that case, I think the idea of a hardware-level ID is a bad one. People don't want the entertainment industry intimately involved in their computing experience, and they certainly don't want to deal with the possibility of mortgaging their homes when Junior decides to download an unlicensed copy of Lethal Weapon III.
Sure, we love Hollywood. We even indulge the idiocies of the entertainment elite. Whe won't, however, tolerate Jobs and Hollywood poking around our home networks so they can find a way to haul us before the courts.
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.
Dude, you ought to come up and visit my house on Russian Hill in San Francisco, paid for, by the way, by what you call 'marginal' software.
I guess that's why you drive that Yugo instead of a Benz.
What a stupid article. The guy is b1tching and moaning about something that he wouldn't even notice if he wasn't told about it. Did he similarly whine when Macs moved from 68k to PowerPC? No, he's just mad because they're moving to a processor that the "bad" side uses. He also has some Apple marketing hyperbole bouncing around in his head: "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." Whatever.. like this guy would ever notice the difference in performance running Microsoft Word or whatever.. I take that back.. If he's using a powerbook, he'll notice that a Pentium-M powerbook runs faster, cooler, and has better battery life
What can't cell phone do these days?
Complete a phone call most of the time.
In the long run it seems they must be considering licensing the OS to others and switching to mainly software and entertainment. They used to have that "more powerful processor, better software" thing going now all they have left is the software.
Ipods are riding high right now but the competition is heating up and the day will come when there is the inevitable reaction to this success and Ipods will no longer considered to be "cool" by the hip yoot market, and their share will plummet. Have you seen the new Creative 20gb that is only slightly larger than their Micro 6gb player? Apple will to have to come out with an expanded mini pretty soon.
Here's two that I use often:
The Xilinx Foundation FPGA engineering programs will run under Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000, HP Unix workstations and Sun Solaris workstations (Sol 2.8, 2.9 & Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (32 and 64 bit)). Xilinx is starting to support Linux on the PC/workstation platform but isn't there yet. This costs a couple $k a year in maintenance.
Mentor Graphics Expedition PCB runs under Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 and Windows NT4. This is a $40k+ program. 15% in maintenance costs per year per seat...
Well I can say is if you're doing as well as you say, I'd be living somewhere else than San Francisco.
Man, I lost my "all"...
Exactly! best move apple made, heck they could proba bly port it to my toaster oven..
That being said I just got a mac mini for fathers day and I am thrilled..
I thought you already had a Mac.
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