[TriLUG] Macs ... I just don't get it
07 Jul 2002 10:04:59 -0400
Here's my $.02:
On Sat, 2002-07-06 at 22:10, Chris Hedemark wrote:
> I know there are a number of Mac fans here, so I'm hoping they might
> tell me what I'm missing.
> I'm in the market for a laptop pretty soon, and will have about $1500 to
> $2000 to spend. I went to the Apple Store today to check out the
> various portable Mac offerings and left very disappointed. The fastest
> one I saw was only 800MHz. I know, I know, 800MHz on PowerPC cannot
> directly compare to 800MHz on Intel. Or so the argument goes. I left
> tonight feeling like an 800MHz Duron (which I do have here) is a faster
> processor than an 800MHz PowerPC. Nothing scientific, just the
I used Macs for many years, all through college, before switching to a
PC out in the world. I muddled my way through Windows, and am really
probably what one would call a Windows power user by now. I did the
same with Linux when I finally got the hardware to install it. But
through it all, I never lost my admiration for the Mac OS and its
beautiful UI. Speed on this is very subjective.
> The web browser on the first Mac I touched crashed hard bringing up
I've played with those boxes at the Apple store over there. Don't
underestimate the ability of several thousand store patrons a day
destabilizing a machine.
> Other tasks on other Macs took some time to get started. Even on the
> $3,000+ titanium mac laptops the overall feel was sluggish and
Again, those boxes have probably been running for days, being pounded
mercilessly by Joe Tobacco who thinks that that thar Intarnet thang is
> The user interface was unintuitive and in some cases pretty inconsistent
> (like the iMac that was running Photoshop and had no clear way out).
> Yes, a familiar UNIX prompt was available if you dug for it and some
> familiar applications were there. But all in all this did not feel as
> nice as running KDE or Gnome on similarly clocked x86 hardware.
Actually, I disagree here completely. I started off on Linux using
Afterstep. That's all I still use. The Mac interface is similar in
many respects. I find that all the apps are easily reachable and easily
managed. Don't underestimate the baby bird syndrome here. You probably
started out on PCs. KDE and Gnome emulate Windows PC operation and
function. Mac is a complete departure from that. Its fluidity,
heirarchy, and general feel make perfect sense after just a little time
spent using them. Honestly, they do.
> I'll never get used to the one mouse button thing either.
Easily fixed. Apple has USB down pat. Get a 3 button USB mouse, and
viola'. You're good to go. A good USB keyboard too. That's what I'd
do. The OS is great, but those little Mac keyboards and mice do bug me
> What am I missing? What is the justification for spending twice as much
> on a computer that is half as fast? I'm very open minded to non-x86
> hardware, as evidenced by all the sparc stuff surrounding me at the
> moment, but I'm not going to buy it just *because* it is not x86.
Bottom line, Chris, is if you don't want to spend the time getting to
know the UI and playing with it, if you just want it to work and be
comfortable right out of the box, don't buy a Mac. You're putting on
the new wool suit after wearing the comfortable cotton ones you've had
for years, and it'll take some time to break it in, or break yourself
into it. But I honestly believe that most folks would really enjoy a
Mac if they just give it time. It's not a matter of open mindedness.
If you didn't have that, you wouldn't have been in the Apple store in
the first place. But it's not an overnight transition.
> The guys at the Apple store kind of shrugged off my observations and
> didn't care to show me what I was missing.
You know, they might be an interesting speaker for a meeting one night.
Not the store sales guys, but maybe some sort of Apple spokesperson.
Somebody (from Apple) who would come in an talk about how OS X compares
to Linux and BSD, and the OSes that we've all be using and loving for
years. Plus, maybe they'll sponsor a meeting and give us free schwag.
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