Hardware &Software Steven Kippel on 16 Nov 2007

Why I don't like Apple

Why I don’t like Apple

Let me begin this whole posting by making some things clear. I am in general fed up with the entire computing industry. I feel like I’m being forced to walk the line of mega-corporations. I’m OK with industry standards and change, but too many times companies would rather go it alone and that bugs me. Yes, there is a place for proprietary software, but where standards work across multiple platforms and multiple applications, there’s something to say about about.

A little back-story: I’ve had computers my whole life starting with Basic on the Atari system. I’ve been on the internet longer than that name even existing. Remember the bulletin-board days? My first x86 PC had 500MB of storage. I’ve used pretty much every main-stream operating system from Apple II, Windows 3.1 up to today’s systems from Microsoft, Ubuntu and Apple. Several years ago, I was learning desktop publishing on PowerMac machines. This is where I developed such a distaste for Macintosh. I would spend hours working on a project just to have the system freeze and die on me (yes, I save and I use autosave). This happened so frequently and on several different PowerMacs that I would save my files on a ZIP disc to make sure I wouldn’t lose anything. This may not be the typical user experience, but it was mine.

Since then I have been a pretty big “hater” of Apple. Mac wasn’t good enough to be a door stop.

Apple

But something happened. Apple moved to Intel processors and essentially made their computers PCs running Mac OS. Microsoft also decided they wanted to move to Vista.

The last couple years I have been trying to move away from Microsoft and have been looking at different Linux distributions. I have Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and Windows XP as a dual-boot at home. I really like Ubuntu, but I also like Adobe software. I do quite a bit of graphic design and when I work on a project I know anyone I send it to is going to be working with Adobe so I can’t use a random open source solution. Add to that the fact that I despise Vista and I have a problem.

This year, I needed a laptop. I was going to need a mobile design studio basically. Dell has Ubuntu laptops, but that wouldn’t do the trick for me because I need this laptop to design with. At the time I would have had to go with an older laptop or get a new laptop loaded with Vista. Did I mention I despise Vista? So I did what I thought I would never have done, I bought a MacBook.

This is where I wanted to start my post, but I got a little distracted telling the back story.

It’s funny because Mac has this myth about it amongst the population that it’s a better product than any other computer. Apple has done a marvelous job marketing Mac as an elite system, and the high prices also help with that concept. When any of my friends or co-workers saw my MacBook (or random people walking by when I’m out in public) they immediately beam about how cool it is and gush about how Mac is so much better than Windows. I keep getting asked if I’m in love or if I’m going to drop Windows and never look back. The answer is, “No.”

This MacBook I’m typing on right now is no better than a PC.

Strong words, yes? But it’s true. Mac guys might talk about how it’s virus free. That’s true, but so is my Windows machine at work and my dual-boot computer at home. They might say it’s more stable than Windows. That’s yet to be seen. I don’t have many crashes on my PCs, but I do have my MacBook freeze on me frequently sometimes requiring a hard reboot. Does it crash more? No. I probably have more software issues on Windows, but I haven’t had to reboot in quite a while on them either.

I do like OS X better than Vista, but really that’s just an operating system giving access to applications. There are some things about OS X that annoy me, but Vista annoys the hell out of me. Some Windows guys might say you can get rid of all the annoying features of Vista. That’s true, but why not run XP instead and not have to worry about it? Or get OS X which is closer to where I’d be if I were to modify Vista anyway.

And now what you’ve all been waiting for: Why I don’t like Apple:

I don’t like the fact that you have to be in the Mac club. I don’t like the arrogant attitude of Mac owners which has found its way into prime-time commercials featuring a smarmy college student being sarcastic. I don’t have to live the Mac lifestyle, I don’t want to be part of the elite club. I know this is a generalization, but it is a perception based on the most vocal supporters. It’s probably the same reason I don’t like being associated with any group with really vocal idiots that make the rest of the group bad. It’s like Ann Coulter is the image of conservativeism. Huge Chavez is the image of socialism. Osama bin Laden is the image of Islam (somehow). James Dobson is the image of Christianity. You get my point? “Smarmy college student” is the image of Apple.

Further, looping back to the opening, Mac OS X is “smooth” because it comes with a bunch of applications pre-installed. Windows can’t get away with that (they’ve tried) because Microsoft gets sued by third-parties. It’s nearly as if the Mac platform is entirely proprietary because of it. It adds to the “club” feel and turns me off as well.

And that’s a brief summary of why I don’t like Apple.

17 Responses to “Why I don't like Apple”

  1. on 16 Nov 2007 at 10:38 AM 1.Jerry said …

    You don’t have a technology problem; you have a psychological problem. If you met a jerk driving the same make and model of car as you, would you denounce your car on the Internet?

    In a reverse way, you’re just as bad as the Apple club. The Mac fanboys think the computer they use defines them and they think they’re cool. You think your computer defines you and you hate yourself and your fellow computer users.

  2. on 16 Nov 2007 at 11:07 AM 2.Chuck said …

    Agree with Jerry. Dude, get a life, or stop watching TV and stop reading Mac-centric blogs.

    How does any of this prevent you from doing any work on your Mac? You don’t have to fall into the same category as the fanbois just because you use a Mac. I have been a Mac user for 20 years, and although I have a deep affection for Apple and Macs in general, I am not a fanbois who foams at the mouth when someone disses a Mac or Apple.

    Don’t you think it’s possible to fall somewhere in the middle? For the most part most Mac owners don’t blog and have never been on a Mac-centric blog site. Doesn’t stop them from enjoying their Macs.

  3. on 16 Nov 2007 at 11:49 AM 3.cesjr said …

    I find that when someone offers a reason for doing something that is so insubstantial or nonsensical (as the reason you offer for not liking Apple), there’s usually some real, deeper reason. Figuring out what the real reason is – well you just have to think a little and be a little more self aware.

    But let me take a guess. A lot of tech-oriented people attracted to Apple’s products ultimately have mixed feelings about them because Apple, in pursuit of a great easy to use product, often takes control and flexibility away from the user. Many techie users don’t like that – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe you have mixed feelings about Apple’s approach, for similar reasons or some other reason.

  4. on 16 Nov 2007 at 11:54 AM 4.Mick said …

    I’ve run both Mac (since 84) and Windows machines (since 95)and with the exception of one orphaned windows box and perhaps the autostart virus I’ve been virus free for 99% of that time.

    I enjoy both systems and prefer a GUI to the command line for most tasks. But honestly the only reason I ever considered running windows at the time was for hobby purposes. Windows permitted me to build my own box around the best video card I could buy for the games I wanted to play.

    Today most of my gaming is done on consoles and my windows box hasn’t been on for at least three months and even then it was for bit of surfing, trying Amazon Unbox, and listening to iTunes over the network.

    That leaves most of my remaining time on my Mac laptop. Most of that time is spent surfing, doing email, listening to music and watching TV captured by my Eye TV tuner. In past years it was my main work machine but now my employer provides a windows box and I spend most of my time in MS Word (which, though perverse, is throughly familiar after more than 20 years with the various versions).

    I have to say the least reliable component in all of these systems has been the hard disc drive. They either fail out right or get corrupted or slow the machine to a crawl as it pages out to virtual memory.

    I have to say also that I sympathize with the whole smarmy college student thing, but I also resist the geeks who insist that real mice have three buttons while in the same breath saying REAL computers have a command line, and control freak sysadmins on power trips getting back at others cuz they didn’t make it to prom.

    Although I don’t hate Apple they do often leave me scratching my head. No 3G on the iPhone? That’s not a complaint that’s the market describing a business opportunity.

    If you are Amana and customers want a turntable for their microwave, do you argue with them and grumpily remind them that your is the only oven with a rotating antenna that doesn’t need one? Or do you nod your head and add a useless turntable because that will make the sale?

    I like my Mac better for most things and I think it’s loads of fun. But it is just a collection of parts as prone to failure as anything else coming out of a Taiwanese contract manufacturer’s doors.

    I like my Windows box because Windows XP is good enough to do the odd thing I can’t on my Mac and if it breaks I can fix it because I assembled it myself. I have no need to upgrade and probably won’t unless Vista comes with a replacement machine.

    I think you are way too emotional about the whole issue.

  5. on 16 Nov 2007 at 12:00 PM 5.MrHelpful said …

    Steven

    Quit wasting bandwidth with this mindless dribble and get a life.

  6. on 16 Nov 2007 at 12:28 PM 6.PFFXV said …

    I’m an Apple “hater” also. I have four Macs in my home along with two iPods. Love them. Apple, on the other hand, is an arrogant company. I tell friends to buy PCs because I don’t want them complaining when they buy a defective Mac that Apple delays fixing — if they fix it at all. Pure Arrogance! Apple gets the highest customer service ratings, but I suspect that is only because of Macolyte devotion, which requires uncritical mindless loyalty. My problem is, I can only wish I could find something better for my work. I guess it’s like loving a bad woman.

    BTW, my first PC had a 10meg drive. When that blew a gasket, I upped it to 20meg, which cost over $300. The computer guy told me, “You’ll never fill this thing up.”

  7. on 16 Nov 2007 at 12:48 PM 7.Steven Kippel said …

    You see how that works? I never said I hated Macs, and in fact I use one daily as my personal laptop. I also don’t hate PCs. I put them on an equal plane, they’re both flawed machines to get your work done.

    Yet here we have Apple guys who claim they’re not “fanbois” insulting me and claiming I have psychological problems. I guess they proved my point.

  8. on 16 Nov 2007 at 1:19 PM 8.Weili said …

    Who said you HAVE to be part of the “Mac club”? I have been using Macs for almost 18 years now and have known and still know many other Mac users. I would say majority of them do not belong to the “Mac club”. They simply enjoying using Macs and would care less about the whole silly Mac vs PC war…

    As for the “Smarmy college student” being the “image of Apple”, if you were an uneducated, minimum-wage-earning, blue collar, then I wouldn’t blame you for stereotyping. However, please correct me if I’m wrong but I think you’re just a little above that.

    In the end, computers are just tools, if one doesn’t work for you, get another, it’s simple as that. If NOTHING works for you and it bothers that much, make something yourself.

  9. on 16 Nov 2007 at 1:38 PM 9.Steven Kippel said …

    Weili, I agree with you. Computers are a machine to get things done. That’s my point. Windows PCs get things done. Mac gets things done. There doesn’t have to be an emotional connection to them.

    I don’t think of Mac users with the stereotype, I was just identifying why I don’t like Apple. I don’t hate Apple, I’m not selling my MacBook, but I know why I’m so turned off by them.

    Another commentator said I have problems for evaluating and thinking about my feelings. Not sure why that’s a problem, more people should evaluate why they think the way they do or why they feel the way they do. I think it took Vista and my purchase of a MacBook to make me realize why I was against Apple. Now I’m cured.

    Of course people like me who don’t hoist Apple onto a pedestal but feel PC and Mac are but equals take a lot of crap from a lot of Apple guys because we’re obviously too stupid to see Mac is far superior to PC.

  10. on 16 Nov 2007 at 1:47 PM 10.Weili said …

    You’re right that there doesn’t HAVE TO be an emotional connection between a user and their computer, and most people don’t, but some do, it’s a fact, we just have to accept it. I personally LOVE my computer because of many reasons, mostly because it does what I need it to do. We are humans after all and therefore are emotional beings.

    So you’re “turned off” by Apple because of the stereotype held by those who are ignorant and don’t know better? Again, I’d think you are above that.

    “Of course people like me who don’t hoist Apple onto a pedestal but feel PC and Mac are but equals take a lot of crap from a lot of Apple guys because we’re obviously too stupid to see Mac is far superior to PC.”

    You can replace “Apple” and “Mac” with any other operating system and/or platform and that applies to everyone.

    Please don’t forget there are fanboys of all products.

  11. on 16 Nov 2007 at 3:19 PM 11.Louis Wheeler said …

    Okay, you are written out of the fan club. Just tear up your membership card. No one will expect you to have another opinion on the Mac. We don’t need your sort.

    LOL

    I just having a little fun at your expense. Where did you get the idea that anyone expected anything from you? All you have to do is repeat the magic words.

    “It’s just a computer.”

  12. on 16 Nov 2007 at 4:07 PM 12.Steven Kippel said …

    Haha, thanks for the laugh, Louis.

  13. on 16 Nov 2007 at 6:15 PM 13.Art said …

    I have no problems with anyone who says Macs are better. I run XP Pro, Vista and OSX and it’s fairly obvious which one is better to me.

    It’s a personal judgment. Someone else might appreciate other qualities.

    Apple engenders this type of loyalty, just like Lexus. In fact, you can’t even talk about how you appreciate and enjoy driving your Lexus without sounding elitist, something Apple users are often accused of.

    More than half the time, someone will take the opportunity to explain that their car gets them from point A to point B just as well as any Lexus.

    Fine. I still love my Lexus and fine engineering. To me, Macs are the Lexus’s of the computer world. I enjoy aesthetics and fine engineering and a finely tuned OS that helps me get my work done.

    You enjoy different qualities. Big deal. No one thinks less of you.

    Buy whatever works best for you and forget about who also uses the product. Lastly… it’s ok to state a preference. We’ve become so PC (no pun) that we catch crap from the other side for stating what we prefer. It’s nuts.

  14. on 16 Nov 2007 at 6:20 PM 14.Steven Kippel said …

    It’s fine to state what you prefer and talk about how you like something but it’s different to look down your nose at someone else who doesn’t feel the same way. I’m reminded of the South Park episode where hybrid cars owners were elitist.

    Honestly, Art, I don’t prefer any of the different operating systems. If all applications ran on all of them I’d probably pick Ubuntu because it looks great, runs great and has great features none of the other systems have. If it was between Vista and OS X I would chose OS X (as I did).

    Whatever gets the job done.

  15. on 17 Nov 2007 at 1:07 AM 15.John said …

    I’ll take slight issue with your point about Apple including applications with the OS. First, only a few applications such as a text editor are included with the OS. The iLife applications and the iWork applications are purchased separately.

    Second, I would be happy to see other corporations step up and make apps like Apple does. However, I suspect that Apple has the edge because for Apple these sales tools and not revenue generators. These two suites have been a kind of insurance that if you bought a Mac you would at least have this software.

    It seems that more good software is starting to come out for the Mac. Pixelmator comes to mind. I’m not commenting on it’s abilities, just the overall look and feel.

  16. on 17 Nov 2007 at 4:26 PM 16.David H Dennis said …

    Well, the Mac’s better than a PC if you would select it instead of a PC.

    You rule out Umbutu since it doesn’t work with the software you need, and you rule out Vista because you just don’t like it and so the Mac is the only option left.

    I guess what you don’t like is that many Mac users treat their computer as a religion and look breathlessly forward to whatever else Steve has in store for us.

    Still, it’s healthy to strike a balance. Be happy Apple exists because otherwise you would be really and truly stuck with Vista. Or the GIMP.

    D

  17. on 18 Nov 2007 at 8:04 AM 17.Steven Kippel said …

    John, iLife comes pre-loaded with every Mac purchase.

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