Saturday, April 14, 2007

When Will Apple Grow Up?

Art: Choices by Bryan E. Hall
"Hello, I'm a Mac," says the guy on the right (who is much younger and dressed in jeans). "And I'm a PC," says the guy on the left (who wears dorky glasses, ill-fitting khakis, and a jacket and tie). The two men discuss the many advantages of using a Mac and seem to agree that Macs are "better" than PCs. (Click here to see the ads.)

For years now, Apple has depended on a naivete and youth appeal that frankly borders on religion. Nothing against religion, but it reminds me of the dedication page of the most used textbook on Logic by Hurley in which it quotes W. K. Clifford: "It is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." He was the first to suggest that gravitation might be a manifestation of an underlying geometry. His philosophical writings coined the phrase "mind-stuff". I am also reminded of a quote of Nicola Tesla: "Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance."

It is with both of these considerations that I challenge Apple to begin to appeal to us with logic instead of a high school popularity dream. As an owner and avid user of Apples and DOS products since 1980 (yes, I even had Commodores) and as one who now uses them interchangeably, I find the current ads to be insulting not only to PCs but to intelligence.

Anyone who uses both, knows the limitations of either. Frankly, I would be hard pressed to find a reasonable selection of VOIP products for my Macs. In fact, the proprietary microphone on the Mac outright inflames me. True, Apple has both style and substance, but for them to play a psychological game tantamount to calling PCs "Fatty" is entirely too much like a time we would all like to forget.
Click to see Mac Ads

To play on the the imagery of teen rebellion against adults is counterproductive and may very well contribute to the very thing that causes young American workers to be easily outsourced by people with a good attitude.

The current Apple campaign plays on an ignorance that stems from pissing contests and comparison of penis size. I once asked a student in Japan to logically explain what the real differences between Mac and PC are; he began to explain to me that he wanted to "lick his Mac" that the PC didn't taste good.

Frankly, women don't fall for such silliness, and older men, who do make decisions in the business world may, in fact, backlash, which is neither good advertising nor true.

Anyone who uses both will tell you that Video capabilities of the two are comparable when properly configured; Audio of the Mac is great but isolated and unattractive to developers; and computing speed--- well, unless you are daisy chaining multiple Macs and trying to create a Supercomputer, dollar for dollar, PCs far outperform. The initial price tag of Macs have come down for their entry level products, but when you hit the mid-range and up, PCs leave them far behind.

The operating systems may be cheaper for the cutting edge product among Macs, but the availability of excellent Freeware for PCs far outpaces Mac by a 10:1 margin, disproportionate to the market share.

We Mac and PC users need to pull together and demand that Apple respect our intelligence as we have grown up, and we need to demand that our children be encouraged to think logically.

Steve J, I challenge you to present intelligent reasons to buy your products and you will fairly reap benefits and avoid insulting those of us who have grown out of our faddish phase.

Buyers, I challenge you to make substantial arguments about why I should replace my multitude of cheap, dependable, fast and relatively maintenance-free PCs with machines that require that I buy other Apple products ad infinitum and fail to maintain backward compatibility. (Note: I love my Apples, but I am glad someone else is paying for the software. And, no I don't lick mine.)

Other's reviews to get you started:
As usual, Apple hopes to shift the debate away from a battle over specs and value and toward a battle we can all understand: cool kid versus nerd. But these days, aren't nerds like John Hodgman the new cool kids? And isn't smug superiority (no matter how affable and casually dressed) a bit off-putting as a brand strategy? --Seth Stevenson -


These mac commercials are pretty sad !!!!

This once again proves that macs are for soccer moms and old people.

I work part time as a graphic designer while I'm in college, and guess what, all 15 of us complain to the “old guy”, our boss.

Many of these machines have to be reformatted multiple ties during the course of the year by Applecare.

They should really tell people the truth about mac…

Here are the awful truths that the commercial FAILS to mention when you actually try to work on a mac.

The Mach micro kernel makes the Linux under mac unbearably slow. So slow in fact, that graphic design is unbearable. I had to install yellow dog Linux and run gimp because it was so unbearable.

Windows 2003 Workstation is the fastest OS on the market.

Where the hell is the eject button. It doesn't work.
Yes, ejecting the CD stops functioning completely if you keep a disk in there too long. This is true for zip and CD. Manually ejecting will eject the disk, but you will have to reboot the unit.
In windows and in Linux, the eject button works and is never unnecessarily locked. Only when something is being written to a CD is it locked on a windows machine. Zip is always left unlocked.
In a normal day, i have to reboot the mac 12-20 times, since a lot of our templates are kept on DVDs[we make vehicle decals]. Sure we’re paid by the hour, but now we can show him that we cant work very fast because of the macs.

They have the audacity to compare plug-n-play. I'm sorry, but this is just false advertising. For all you novices, that means that the Japanese camera has to speak English. Windows and Linux will ALWAYS detect the camera as a removable drive.
What mac wont do using their magically crappy plug and play is detect controller cards, initialize foreign hides, foreign sound cards, or any other non-mac hardware.
Both [Debian-my flavor]Linux, and windows have plug-in-play systems much much much much much more developed than mac. If you have a piece odd and new, or specialize hardware, i guarantee that it wont work on a mac even if mac.
NOW, if you install yellow dog Linux, then most of the crazy hardware, like a sound card, will work.

Crashing !?
Even funnier. As i said already, most of us have to reboot these macs 12-20 times on a good day!!!
Macs can crash predictably !!!
Why don't they show safari loading eBay !!!
OK, now lets talk about crashing in general. We generally have our entire adobe ad Macromedia packages crash regularly. The crashes occur WITHOUT ANY NOTICE.
Macs never crash because they never tell you they did, so you’ll be wondering if YOU closed the app accidentally.

Finder ?
Finder is terrible.
Try searching multiple files, multiple times when recompiling freehand files and converting them to pdfs and AIs. Ive already mentioned how bad finder is on removable drives. Adding to that, why do you have download tinker tool to actually see ALL the hidden files.

Jumping from MAC OS 9-10.
Fonts are totally messed up.
Narrow helvetica was NHelvetica on mac os 9
Helvetica \ Narrow is actually the STANDARD font, and they’ve started to use this standard on newer versions of x. We found this out when we upgraded Tiger.
Also, mac keeps generating XF exception errors on loading a converted freehand file. Being the only one studying computer science, i had to crazy things to find out that it was actually a missing font. In windows IT ACTUALLY TELLS YOU.

Mac modularity is terrible. switching between apps is horrible, especially trying to multi task.

For some reason, mac likes print cmyk pantone previews as ghostly images. Mac actually directly tries to mix the pantone colors, when we don't have pantone specific cartridges. On a windows or Linux machine, since we are only printing previews, they actually adjust to print the closest color possible, unlike mac.

Instead, they should really be airing
To save professional from making a mistake.

Mac is not for professionals.
If your a novice, otherwise, don't know how a computer works, then mac is for you.
I repeat, macs are not for professional.
Mac is the least technologically advanced system on the market. It uses BSD Linux underneath.
All there really is, is a shiny GUI, nothing else.

I repeat again, if your gonna do professional editing, like vector graphics, raster graphic, web sites, or even professional video, DON'T choose a mac. If your going to host sites, don't choose a mac.

If your looking for a professional setup, use windows workstation, with a 1 Linux firewall/router/Norton anti virus corporate server[this is all on one machine].
Basically, all windows machines interface with the Linux machine. They are all behind it. Norton updates itself automatically on the Linux machine on wine, and then automatically updates the windows workstations.

Notice, I didn't mention anything about gaming.


Okay. I have both a PC and 2 Macs.

The commercials are not saying that PC’s suck. MAC is trying to let everyone know that PC’s are made for mathematical, etc. type work and Macs are made for graphics and so on. They are trying to let you know that the MAC is just better systematically for the various “fun” things people use a computer for.

If you think I’m wrong, call any media artist, graphic designer, or web designer.


The ads are self-congratulatory, condescending and silly. Who in their right mind would actually believe such obviously lame marketing ploys? Um, would that be the same folks who believed that Mac processors were way faster than PC processors… before Mac decided to go Intel and now *those* are faster?

As has been said many times, vulnerability to a virus, attacks, etc are more related to open ports and services on your machine, regardless of platform. Firewalls prevent problems, but only if enabled. Admin passwords are the most powerful protection you can have.

There may be something to be said that the mac system is based on open-source software that has been heavily scrutinized for vulnerabilities - but the biggest single advantage that hackers have to the windows platform is the idiot operating it. That, and that there are SO MANY MORE of those idiots.

not an idiot your platform = safe computer


Gail, I’ve been both a print and web designer and developer for over 10 yrs. I’ve used both (windows and mac) and even started with macs (OS7). I own both, but more windows than mac.

A tool is a tool. I don’t care whether it’s a chainsaw, software or a computer - 9/10 of all problems are operator errors. Granted, there may be some correlation between price and quality.

Someone once said to me: when making a purchase, you generally have 3 options: fast, cheap and light. Pick 2. I don’t find many things in life that don’t conform to that saying, frankly. And computers are no different.

but getting back to your general assessment that somehow designers realize that ONLY macs are OK for their work: poppycock.

What do YOU think? Of the Ads, their claims and their approach?


Paul said...

About the commercials: get over it. No, seriously, get over it, they're just commercials and they're not aimed at you. They're for people who don't read tech blogs or know that you can get a computer without Windows.

As for some of you other claims, I call bullshit. The cheapest Macs are more expensive than the cheapest PCs, but your claim that mid and high end Macs are more expensive has been disproven several times. Yes, there is more freeware for Windows than OS X, but most of it is crap or riddled with malware. You also ignore the fact that Macs can take advantage of Unix and Linux software, which Windows can't.

Cheap, dependable and maintenance-free PC's? I don't think so. My PCs are reliable and relatively maintenance free because I build them myself using high-quality parts. DIY computers are invariably less expensive than a vendor's similar offering, but no computer I've made has ever been cheap. Those cheap PCs are the ones that get tossed out after a year or two.

If you need to get your intelligent reasons for a computer purchase from a TV commercial, then you probably shouldn't own a computer at all. There are many reasons to choose a Mac over a PC, but man up and do your own research.

Editor said...

Paul, you make some good points, but as a business owner and one who uses every platform, especially in the earlier days in newspapers when Apple was the only option for GUI/desktop publishing, I have to say I have been very unimpressed with the willingness of Apple to give NO regard to backward compatibility, forcing me to rebuy software many times over.

As for dependability of off the shelf units, I still have IBM Thinkpads from 1995 that run like a champ, great internet workstation and terminal.

As someone who learned on DOS in the early 80's, I have come up and down the Apple trail, and now is the time for them to start focusing on yes, capturing young users, but addressing REAL business users too.

BTW, I build my own too and the day Apple makes it possible for me to so easily work with a variety of third party hardware providers is the day I will say the eulogy for Steve Jobs.

For an Apple to work is no big deal, its proprietary and matched. For PCs to work is a miracle of coordination of standards.

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