The Lite Side

Categories of Switchers

- 2002.12.03

Switches come in all shapes and sizes. Any electrical engineer could rattle off a dozen different types in no time flat.

Now that Apple has gotten so many switchers posted, it's time to classify them. We here at the Lite Side are doing our part by giving you the classification categories: It's up to you to sort all the little bits into the little boxes, n'kay?

Get ready, because it's time for

The Electrical Engineers' Guide to Mac Switchers

Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) switcher: This type of switcher has never used a computer before. The first time they buy one, they get a Mac. You know what they say: Once you go Mac, you never go back. (Note to editor: there's a Bumper Switcher in there somewhere, if you can find it.)

Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) switcher: This type of switcher is the one Apple is targeting. One switch position is PC; the other is Mac. To go from PC to Mac requires a simple flip of the switch. To return requires being hired as a tech writer by Microsoft and a good set of CD-ROM stock photography.

Double Pole Single Throw (DPST) switcher: This is where a power user swaps in both computers in the family, usually without consulting the spouse/companion, and switches from PC to Mac. Requires one person to be technologically subservient to the other. (Hey, I think I just invented a new techno-babble term. Technological subservience. I like it. Someone work that into a dissertation, okay?)

Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) switcher: Like some cosmic balancing act, this sort of purchase or exchange can happen in a large company or school. Basically, you trade an unneeded PC for an unwanted Mac. The PC is usually newer than the Mac, so both parties feel like they came out ahead.

Rocker switcher: A rocker switcher uses a PC at work but a Mac at home.

Momentary switcher: A momentary switcher uses a Mac only while shopping at CompUSA.

Push-button switcher: This person selects a computing platform based solely on the number of buttons on the included stock mouse.

Dimmer switcher: Obviously, someone who switches from Mac to PC is fairly dim.

Debounced switcher: Someone who has thrown a PC out the window to see how well it will bounce, then out of necessity goes and buys a new Mac.

Optical switcher: A person who buys a Mac based solely on its appearance.

Solid-state switcher: This kind of person orders a Mac online and waits until it is delivered. Thus, they have no moving parts.

Touch-sensitive switcher: Doesn't allow anyone to move their mouse.

Optically isolated switcher: Everyone you know uses a PC, but you bought a Mac anyway.

As you can see, there's a lot to be learned from studying switchers. Have any others, just send 'em over.


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