Entries Tagged as 'Apple'

An open letter to my dad about my relationship with Apple Computer

When I showed you my Ubuntu-based netbook and the CAD software I was running through WINE last summer, you almost seemed hurt when you asked if I had given up on Apple. At the time I quickly dismissed the possibility but looking at the intervening months (even as I compose this on my venerable MacBook Pro) I think the honest truth is a little less shiny.

We got that Apple IIgs in ’87 or ’88. Its capabilities were broad-ranging and we used it in every way possible short of compiling new software. Looking back now, though, its most compelling feature for me was its ability to accept and run BASIC programs, even without disk drives connected. Like the old Sinclair computers in England, there was an understanding that the most basic function of a computer was to run user-created code.
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What’s another War these days anyway?

Originally I was enjoying an Io9 post earlier with classic scenes from H.G.Wells’s War of the Worlds portrayed in a contemporary context (i.e. TrIpods, heh.). But after going through the site they referenced, I think I still much prefer the Edward Gorey version.

war-of-the-worlds-by-gorey

No matter how creepy design and social media get over the next few years, you still can’t beat the old primeval effect of drastic pen lines.

Robots in Disguise

Ok, so in light of my last couple posts I simply couldn’t pass this one up. Honest, I swear I’ll stop with the whole “Mac vs. Windows” thing; I think I just needed to hemorrhage all the comment troll mojo. But this, my friends, was simply awesome and potentially far far better geek-centric marketing than I’ve seen from either camp. I’m really, really hoping someone runs with this production from Nick Greenlee and Dan Chianelli.

Behold, the awful truth no one wanted to confront, and the most contrived eternal struggle the world has ever known…

Found via Laughing Squid

~Oooooo….I got that Windows feeling….~

windows_7

Go figure, as soon as I do a Mapple post XKCD comes along and makes the whole Windows 7 thing ever so much funnier! Guess we all have a little CES fever this week.

By the way, CTRL+ALT+DOWN makes his mustache twitch.

Mapple

I have the unfortunate tendency to get myself personally involved in debates that actually don’t concern me much. In this case I’m referring to the age old and oft-fought Mac vs. PC. For me personally it started two years ago when I was in the market for a new laptop; it was going to be the single most expensive item I’d bought myself outside of a car, so naturally I did some pretty extensive comparison shopping and researching of specs. Now, needless to say this was just after windows Vista had been released, so pretty much every forum I visited was ablaze with fanboys and self-proclaimed technical gurus from both camps tauting the superiority of one or the other. I was amazed a the sheer vehemence and indignation; it was like somebody had kicked these people’s puppies while simultaneously stabbing their mothers with tuning forks.

Now with the beta release of Windows 7 and a pushed forward timetable to market, I’m seeing the same strife, and once again the self-righteous and ragers are girding their loins for battle. It got me thinking though, in this whole debate that’s not really what’s going on. Mac describes both a specific hardware and OS, while PC is really just a catchall term referencing a computer of any flavor whose size and sale price make it useful for individuals. In point of fact the original IBM PC was actually predated by the Apple I, so it could be argued that Apple WAS the original PC. And it’s not often you hear a straight debate between OSX and a Windows version in a closed environment, it’s always tempered by variations in hardware and marketing. That’s the real difference. Any discussion of Apple vs. Microsoft is pretty much cantaloupe vs. grapefruit. Microsoft makes software. That’s their thing. Then they license it out to whoever wants to put it on whatever kind of hardware, and hoover up the fees while hardware vendors compete over pricing. They’re not in the business of making something tangible. Apple is a computer manufacturer. That’s their calling. True, they write brilliant software (like OSX), but they do that to sell more hardware. They’re not licensing the iphone’s OS, they’re selling the damn handset. And they can charge as much as they do because they make sure that their code will only work on their hardware.

The fact of the matter is that both business models have a well earned placed in the gadget ecology. MS’s is designed for scalability, ubiquity, and market penetration. Apple’s is designed for per unit profit maximization and a narrow but deep slice of the pie.

As it happened I ended up getting a mid-range laptop running Vista, because I really couldn’t justify the price of a Mac. Just like I wouldn’t buy a new game console for the sole purpose of playing one game (no matter how awesome). And to be honest I haven’t had a lick of trouble with it. Well, excepting IE 7 (Goddamn you Bill Gates!).

A computer, like so much else in our lives, is a means not an end. A tool to be used however one may need, and no amount or marketing or branding will ever really change that.

Now stop stabbing my mother with that tuning fork!

Trolling and fanboyism can be found here, here , and pretty much everywhere else you might care to look.