Thursday, January 12, 2006

Where's the start button?

Mmmm, the Macbook Pro sure is shiny, and i am loving that intel chip, but... it's not worth dealing with MacOS. Just... not.

Ok, before all of you explode with your 'Mac vs MS' theatrics: I know a lot of you out there hate windows, although i can't really understand why, it's like saying you hate qwerty keyboards just because the majority of the world uses them and you like using dvoraks. It's not an issue that should inspire extreme emotion. windows is a tool that does what the majority of users want it to do, and if you're not that user then you have other options like Linux and MacOS.

But from the other side, i have to say that i like windows. I don't love windows any more than i love qwerty keyboards - it's just the standard i'm used to. I wouldn't switch to Linux or MacOS any more than i would suddenly start using a dvorak configuration. I type fast using qwerty and i can do it without looking, because i've been using qwerty forever, just like i'm fast in windows. It's not laziness - using an unfamiliar operating system slows down productivity, and i don't have the time to waste trying to figure out how to do something that i already know how to do on an MS system. So yes, i'm sure if i took the time to become proficient on MacOS i would discover how great it is. but i don't have that time, anymore than i have the time to learn to touch type all over again.

And believe me, i'm not talking without experience. I wasted spent three years of my varsity career using Linux machines because UCT was too cheapass to fork out for a non-free system. It was awful. I went back to MS with great joy. I was not converted to Linux in any way. Sorry.

Conversely, of course, i don't expect anyone to suddenly start using MS. Different strokes for different folks.

Anyway, the point is no matter how stylish, i wouldn't buy the thing because its operating system is not what i'm looking for. it would just be an attractive ornament. but if you like macs... damn, it is sweet.

In local news, my response to this article is: honey, maybe it's you.


Anonymous dystopia said...

i have also just read that penny arcade. the mac ithing does look nice, but i, like most people, have baby duck syndrome too. i have an almost irrational prejudice against against those fuzzy computers. i know i could learn to like them, but i have no urge to.

i agree that people get really weird about these things and get all worked up about things that are really just tools that are prefered or not.

memes are a hoax, pass it on.

January 12, 2006 4:56 PM  
Blogger kleinbaas said...

MacOS was quick to learn. I expect coming via Linux means you'd automatically be more comfortable (with say, the fact that it's called "Home" rather than "My Documents").

But I'll bet it's switching from MS Office or Visual Studio that has the major effect on productivity you're suggesting. You'd waste time learning new apps. On Windows you'd waste time defending against malware and dealing with buggy drivers, though you've less control over that.

The way I see it, there comes a point where you're as productive as you can possibly be with your preferred tools, yet you still need to do more. At this point the cost of retraining is irrelevent. Building houses with plastic hammers and all.

Windows is likeable. And there are certainly PC lovers (IBM Thinkpad users are a good example), though they'll still not admit loving Windows. Mac+MacOS users love their Macs. I don't believe this is the result of some communal Mac-user persecution complex ("Yeah I mean YOU! Pansy designer fag-boy! Come here so I can bash you with my practical plastic Dell!"), or arrogant elitism ("I blow my nose at your silly solitaire-playing silicon turd you plastic peasant person!"). OSX is friendly. It's so nicely integrated. Apps to do stuff come with it, are preconfigured and actually work. It's endearingly easy. But it doesn't let Joe Schmoe feel like a compuuutor god because he finally worked out how to get VoIP working, or fixed his TV-out by being leet-sneaky and installing the pre-Macrovision video drivers from 2003. "Mac users don't know shit about computers." It's how things should be though, isn't it?

Linux, *sigh*, at the time it wasn't easy-to-use. Flexibility before user-friendliness. And the former isn't important when you have a thesis to write. I enjoyed learning and tinkering, the sense of achievement (however pointless) in getting the sodding TV/monitor spanning to work at last. But hey, 6 months ago I installed Ubuntu as my first Linux desktop system with which I had NO intention of tinkering. Did CVs, fiddled with CLAWmarks, played DVDs and internet radio, installed apps, upgraded the entire system (every bit of software on it), blah blah ... with not a single hour wasted. I'm pleased, and relieved.

Lastly, just for interest's sake: it takes massively more effort to learn to touch-type than it does to learn a key layout. Learning the Dvorak layout was three-weeks of agony. Three months down the line it takes 5-10 minutes to mentally switch between qwerty and dvorak. I didn't need to switch, but it wasn't hard, and maybe it'll stave off the arthritis a few years more.


January 12, 2006 8:30 PM  
Blogger totalwaste said...

that was all very insightful.

i find it interesting that you're as uncomfortable in a mac environment as i am. i doubt i'll be switching to linux anytime soon - i actually -like- playing computer games, and quite frankly i have yet to use a linux-based system (incl. mac) that will let me do the do's, not the nots, shag some sheep, etc.

as for linux itself - fun, yes, but by no means civilized.

w00t! i finally quotes gremlins 2 in context!!

January 12, 2006 10:09 PM  
Blogger totalwaste said...


whoops. damn qwerty layout.

January 12, 2006 10:09 PM  
Blogger totalwaste said...

*news flash*

"from the small town of Nababeep in Namaqualand"

good lord. i wonder what we'd find if we did some research into the lives of the other villagers.

'nuff said.

January 12, 2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger moonflake said...

kleinbaas: the thing with MS is it's made for the average person. If you want to use it to hook up your entire house, fly the space shuttle, paint a masterpiece and make toast, you're going to be shit out of luck. Then maybe Linux or MacOS are the systems with the applications for you. But i am the average person. I have never found anything in windows that made me think even for a second 'i need to find something that does this better/ faster/ easier/ with less hassle'. My plastic hammer works really really well for me, because all i'm doing is hammering toothpicks into jelly.

and as to *loving* your OS - it's a little creepy. To quote PA, it's just a tool. It would be like *loving* your philips screwdriver.

January 13, 2006 9:42 AM  
Blogger moonflake said...

tw: to be honest i've only ever looked over the shoulder of a mac user. but it's like peering at an alien landscape. Maybe my experiences with Linux unfairly prejudiced me against other OS's, but really, MS works for me so i don't feel any strong need to go through the hassle of changing. Any conceivable benefits (conceivable by me anyway) do not outweigh the pending frustration.

January 13, 2006 9:43 AM  
Blogger totalwaste said...

erm... or loving a blow-up sheep? just a thought.

January 13, 2006 9:46 AM  
Blogger moonflake said...

at *least* that creepy :)

January 13, 2006 9:46 AM  
Blogger schpat said...

Where's the start button?? More like where's the rest of the feed??? C'mon moonie, I've even gotten TW to "increase his output" (if ya know what I mean), don't go back on me now. :(

January 13, 2006 10:51 AM  
Blogger moonflake said...

dude, the feed is set to full. If it's only giving you 255, there's nothing more i can do.

January 13, 2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger kleinbaas said...

People develop this kind of attachment to their tools all the time. Cars, musical instruments, iPods, TiVo (so I hear) ...

January 13, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger moonflake said...

yeah, you're right that people obsess about all sorts of stupid shit, but people are broken.

January 13, 2006 2:03 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

My take as a user of the dirty macs.

First, their purdy. There's no getting away from it. Put an ibook next to any other laptop and you'll see how little actual thought goes into designing laptop PCs.

Second, they mostly work. I say mostly because they use half a tonne of memory, and are no-where near as stable as they boast. (Well, at the 3rd party software isn't as good).

They're designed to used frequently. These are machines for people who tinker occasionally on Tuesdays. All the menu setups and all that lend themselves to you knowing which programs you'll be using, and making them accesible.

They have fuck all good games. Sad but true. I can play WoW on it, but I don't bother. Last year people in my office were playing Wolfenstein. It's sad. But then again, in another attack of the trendiness, I have an Xbox, so who cares.

Overall I like the Mac. I wouldn't say I love it, but I do have a rather unnatural attachment to my tiny laptop.

January 16, 2006 9:46 AM  

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