Off my definitively unturtlenecked chest…

As in, I’m going to have unload, before I explode. So, please be aware this is a (very rare for me) rant, pure and simple.

It’s about Macs.

I don’t like them. Or rather I don’t like the idea of owning one of them, or being associated with the company that makes them. I’m sure, as many friends have assured me, that they work supremely well, are quick and relatively trouble free, but JESUS CHRIST TO FUCK do Mac owners have to be so spew-inducingly, smugly supercilious about owning them?

Really? I mean honest to God, so they’ve got a nice bit of kit that the hackers haven’t troubled to find horribly destructive viruses for (and why is that by the way? If I were a bored superintelligent Siberian teenager intending to cause as much Western angst as I could I’d devote my life to the challenge), but what’s the big deal with taking every opportunity to dis people who just want a computer that does a job? Why this licenced smugness? Apple’s own marketing supports this – what was that online campaign with Mitchell and Webb (you know the dorky one and the cool one – I’ll leave it for you to guess which represented which type of computer) all about if the point wasn’t – “own a Mac and look down on boring people”?

Get this though. It’s a computer. It’s a tool. It does a job, and that’s all most people want from it. PC’s are functional and they’re cheap. What’s so wrong with that? Maybe that says a lot about my attitude to material things – I don’t buy stuff for associated cache. I don’t do labels. My VW is reliable and has a big enough boot for my piano. Sorted. But do you know what? I don’t see many Porche owners overtaking me, leering out the window and making wanker signs just because the bought a nice bit of kit and I chose not to.

So what is it with this egregious snobbery? Answers on a very small postcard to Steve Jobs please. And not the “fake Steve Jobs” either. Apparently a lot of people find him amusing, but I found this unfunny and insulting.

Here’s a question that’s been sort of circulating in my head. If Macs are so superior to PCs, why don’t they outsell PCs by a factor of thousands? I find the Microsoft operating system lock-down conspiracy argument facile. Isn’t it more because by keeping the product “exclusive” they keep offering their customers the licence to be snide?

Rant over.


9 thoughts on “Off my definitively unturtlenecked chest…

  1. I’m a Luddite, but if you’re referring to hardware here and not the software running on it then frankly I don’t get it either: I’ve got a Dell monitor, Motorola modem, Compaq keyboard and what appears to be a generic tower as I can’t see any branding on it. Like you say Neil, it’s a tool – as long as it gets the job done who cares!

  2. My sister has a Mac (she’s a graphic designer). Hard-drive failed and it took her about six weeks to get it fixed (repeated calls to *official* service centres being the main problem) whereas any self-respecting PC owner would have just nipped down the local hardware shop, bought a new one, installed it in minutes and restored from the latest backup. Job done.

    Macs are for luddites (which is vaguely ironic, somehow…) who don’t have the guts to tinker in their machine’s guts.

  3. Perhaps, more charitably, Macs are good for people who don’t want to *have* to even worry about the contents of the box. They’re supposed to be reliable and designed well for the purpose for which they’re intended. And I’ve no doubt that in many cases they’re a dream to use (except for having no right click on the mouse).

    But I’m old school too. I like knowing that I can by another gig of memory and upgrade my box with fifteen minutes of footering about. Or replace my CD writer which has just stopped writing. Horses for courses – we all have to find something that suits our requirements.

    Like I say though, it’s not so much the computers themselves, it’s the attitude among a certain portion of the ownership that gets my (usually quite hard to get) goat.

  4. I like ’em. I don’t like Windows. It’s crap. Lots of other bestsellers are crap too. I’d rather read Neil Williamson than crap bestsellers and I’d rather use a Mac. I guess I’m a snob.

  5. It’s not about Mac owners liking Macs over Windows, Robert. It’s just about the lordly attitude assumed by a vocal percentage of Mac owners at any opportunity.

    I’d not dream of accusing you of snobbery. As I’m sure you know.

  6. But I am a snob! Don’t go accusing me of not being one! Okay, I’m silly too, and clogging your blog with blather.

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