Things Macintosh

'The Mac Is a Toy'

Rodney O. Lain - 1999.12.30

Oh, the Mac over there? Macs are only good for graphics.
  - an Intel rep, overheard at CompUSA

The Mac is toy. They're only good for games.
  - the average PC user, overheard at CompUSA

I'm sitting here, fiddling with my new Blue and White G3. I just got around to testing one of my Christmas presents: Star Wars Episode I Pod Racer.

Yosemite designI double-click the installer icon. A message window comes up, saying that I need to upgrade to OpenGL 1.1.2. I do so.

Now my computer crashes. I'd heard that the OpenGL upgrade wasn't any good, so I downgrade back to the previous version.

Frustrating with silly games, I get back to work. Games are kids, anyway.

And they say Macs are toys?

I always hear PC users downtalk the Mac, saying they're only good for graphics. In the past, many said they were only good for games.

But guess what I hear PC users talking about all the time? How to play some game. All the Mac users I know spend their time creating software, work projects, novels, etc. Heck, I didn't start playing games on my Mac until I hooked up with CompUSA last year. That and the fact that the product reps give me free software.

Until then, I didn't care about 3dfx's Voodoo cards. I cared just as little about joysticks and gamepads. John Carmack meant nothing to me (he still doesn't).

But if you listen to PC users, we do nothing else with oour Macs but play games.

The most disparaging remark I hear our local Intel rep say about Macs is that they're only good for graphics. I like to say they're only good for graphics professionals, emphasis on the word "professionals."

Professional means serious, productive, contributive to society. Games means recreation, no value added, childish. Do I have to point out the obvious.?

Let them talk

There will always be an argument against our choice to use the better machine. Remember when the first Mac was introduced, PC users said that the mouse was a toy. They said that the Mac's graphical-user interface was a toy.

I don't need to point out what's obvious about this, either, do I?

No matter how much the Mac evolves, there will be detractors. The point is to never listen to them. They want time to stand still. They are satisfied with the current state of the computer. I'm not. Apple isn't, either.

That's why I'm not too keen on playing games. What evolution and growth is in that?

Back to my game....

To each his own

I still haven't gotten my game to play, but I don't really care, either.

If I were a PC user, time would probably stand still until I got that game to play properly, but I'm not a PC user. I've got work to do.

Rodney O. Lain (1968-2002) called himself a fashion victim: He liked wearing socks with his sandals. When he wasn't dispensing fashion advice, Rodney wrote for Low End Mac, The Mac Observer, Applelinks, and many other websites. Rodney lived in Minnesota. His own website was, and we have collected as much of his writing that has since disappeared from the Web as possible in The Rodney O. Lain Archive.

The most widely read Things Macintosh columns:

  1. Apple is a company, 10/4/1999
  2. The main difference between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, 1/17/2000
  3. The $600 iMac, 12/24/1999
  4. Apple will rule the computer world, 11/17/1999
  5. I'm not paying $20 for my OS X upgrade, 2001.07.25.
  6. A Mac is like Prozac, 10/13/1999
  7. I'm a drop the funk bomb on ya: Milking the Macintosh for all it's worth, 2001.03.20.
  8. More links and links to memorial articles in the Things Macintosh index.

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