Menagerie of Macs #7

I have a confession to make. I’ve been faltering. Yes, the die hard Mac user who has spent a good amount of time saying how much PCs suck has been peeking at what IBM and Compaq have to offer.

I like what they have. A PC computer will let me get on the Internet and send email, write assignments and reports, do work with Photoshop, and play lots and lots of games. But there’s more. It’s incredible cheap. In Canada a blueberry iMac with an Epson 740 will cost me about $2,200. But I can get a 366 MHz Compaq with a 4.3 Gig hard drive, 64 MB of RAM, a 56 K modem, and a printer for $1,495.

So lately I’ve been asking myself some questions. Why don’t I go for the cheaper system? Why don’t I go with the accepted standard? Why don’t I choose the platform that nobody will scoff at (except for 50 million Mac users)?

Then I remembered something. I like what they do – but I hate the way they do it.

Everything about the way a PC works bothers me. The close box is on the wrong side, right beside the resize box. The file names are messed up.

One of the most personal things about a Mac, the way you set up your hard drive, is virtually nonexistent. Every Mac user does it a little differently. Some like folders categorizing everything, others leave everything on the root level, while still others have folders for the kinds of files. A peek at a PC desktop and you’ll probably be faced with fifty shortcuts. The start menu is filled with things that the user might not even want there. The files for a program are all in one generic folder for Word or Excel, etc. It is possible to make a folder for, say homework, but in my experience that is done. But who can forget Windows Explorer? A program that is used to look at the contents of your hard drive. Bravo Microsoft, you’ve outdone Apple yet again.

Ah yes, now I remember. The hardware isn’t bad, if a little slow, but it’s the OS that gives me the trouble. Yup, it’s all coming back to me. Microsoft makes a slow, buggy, inelegant pile of code that I wouldn’t trust to clean up the dust that a Mac leaves behind. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m cured!!

My advice to you is that if you falter just spend some time with a PC. It’ll be a scream.

Brad Harrison,
Editor of the Menagerie of Macs

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