My Turn

Rage Against the Macintosh

MindTrip - 2002.02.13

My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

We're not quite sure why "MindTrip" sent this in to My Turn, but it's always interesting to read a rant from someone who actually has a working knowledge of the Mac. Besides, we get a kick out of being called a "slave to Apple site." dk

I've worked on both ends of the spectrum. I used to sell Macs to publishing houses for desktop publishing. Later I moved over to the PC world, due to the large number of programs available and, at the time, the flexibility of system configuration that just didn't go with Macs.

Over the years I've worked in research labs using Macs, PCs, and Unix. I have experience in many realms, and can say quite firmly that Apple will never win me over.

I've always hated the way Macs hide things from the user to "protect" people who know nothing about computers. I can't find where all files get installed, I don't have the option of restoring or replacing individual files to fix something broken, and I don't get a command line. I can't examine the properties of devices to figure out why it's not working, and every time I've ever used the Help feature of a piece of Apple software, the lack of useful information has me seeing red in less than 10 minutes, as the solutions offered never seem to work.

I recently bought an iPod and have slowly been making progress in getting it to work with my PC. Would I consider switching to a Mac to make it work? I've had friends suggest just that, but, quite frankly, I'd much rather sell my iPod and get a PC-knockoff.

What really pisses me off is all the people who claim that Macs are "crash proof." I can't tell you the countless times I lost research data due to Mac crashes. Integrating the hardware and OS does not result in a more stable system; it just creates a monopoly that is profitable to the seller and frustrating to the user. I have not observed more stability in Macs; they crashed just as much as the PC systems next to them - and they cost three times as much.

After reading several articles on the Low End Mac website, I can see that this really is just a rabid slave-to-Apple site.

Am I a slave-to-Windows? No. I continue to run a Windows machine (for access to the wide range of applications available) as well as a Unix box (for greater security, control of the environment, and the great joy it gives me to not be a slave to Bill Gates).

Would OS X change my mind? It might. But I hand-build every system I own, and that option simply isn't available with a Mac. I've never seen a Mac system that is exactly what I want - just like I've never seen a boxed PC that is exactly what I want.

That's why I spend a little more and build my own. But a kick-ass custom built beauty I've made myself is still half the cost of an equivalent Mac system, and regardless what you might think, that matters to me - along with the other 85% of home computer users in the country.

If I can't get my iPod to work, I'll chuck the the iPod, not the PC.

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