But Charlie, Do You Like Mac-ites?

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In a classic case of link-baiting and a blatant attempt to rile the disciples of Steve Jobs/Mac, the Guardian’s Charlie Brooker has an amusing opinion piece entitled “I Hate Macs” – inspired by his distaste the Mac vs. Windows advertising campaign now appearing on British television. Here’s a statement that will enrage Mac enthusiasts:

“I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don’t use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are
glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.”

“PCs are the ramshackle computers of the people. You can build your own from scratch, then customise it into oblivion. Sometimes you have to slap it to make it work properly, just like the Tardis (Doctor Who, incidentally, would definitely use a PC). PCs have charm; Macs ooze pretension. When I sit down to use a Mac, the first thing I think is, “I hate Macs”, and then I think, “Why has this rubbish aspirational ornament only got one mouse button?”

Charlie, you are about to learn an important lesson about people who love Macs and idolize Steve Jobs: anyone who dares to criticize the Mac or suggest it’s inferior to Windows in any way will be inundated with comments, e-mail and letters about their ignorance. As a reporter, I toiled away with little or no feedback from readers except when I wrote anything that could be construed as less than positive about the Mac. Charlie, you’re not just dealing with a product; you’re dealing with a religion.

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  • http://bloggingmebloggingyou.wordpress.com Ed Lee

    do you think the “MSM” will start to write more inflammatory features such as this as an advanced form of link/digg bait?

    could this be another big change in the role of newsrooms beyond the ways you’ve already proposed?


  • attemptedreason

    I am a mac fan. It isn’t a religion, and I am not deluded nor ignorant.

    3 years ago i was building my own PC’s, overclocking processors, running 2 OS’s on those machines (linux and windows) and generally doing everything a classical PC geek would do. I was even getting a tech degree. And I enjoyed it but i was beginning to grow tired of the inefficiency of the windows platform.

    Sure i could have ignored the crashes, had a bunch of security security software slowing it down – sparing me the trouble of manually running the scans in AV & spyware apps. I could ignore the fact that i had paid for a bunch of features on my video card that at times worked right but at other times didn’t. It concerned me that there were soo many security flaws. The application interfaces were cumbersome – ever try using the driver utility that comes with wireless cards? Tired of software that just sucked because a million companies can compete for 5% marketshare and turn a profit so the apps aren’t that great.

    I began messing around with linux, looking for a better way. Linux wasn’t ready. When i discovered that OS X was built on a variation of BSD, I thought i would look into it. I attended the 10.4 Tiger release party in Toronto. Talked to one of the actual developers. Learned about how OSX works, about spotlight, dashboard, keychain (a very overlooked app), the services menu, i threw unix commands at the demo and felt like i was in linux. It was a great OS.

    So I bought one and never looked back. The operating system stays out of your way, while providing a myriad of features that dramatically improve your efficiency. Sure, you can achieve pretty much the same results in windows (more so now in Vista with their addition of some of the new features) but why deal with with dozens of different interfaces that each have their own overhead.

    In regards to software. Software written for the mac is better. The community has embraced the functions provided by the OS as well as adopting the same approach to software design that apple uses. Open source software is fantastic too. I only use about 3 non open source apps on my mac.

    But why does any of this make me a fan rather than just a satisfied customer? It is because Apple does provide such a vastly superior experience that leaves you wondering why things aren’t done this way in every other piece of technology. This also leads one to look forward to future apple products, because often they do improve the computer experience.

    Apple is by no means perfect. OSX has problems like every other piece of technology. But it certainly is the best OS out there. You cannot tell from just using it a few minutes.. or a few days. But if you really utilize the features OSX provides for a while, the net effect is a much better experience and a lot of saved time.

  • http://blog.istudio.ca/ Neil

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate all things Mac – I have an iPod and use a Mac on occasion like everyone else – but I can relate to Charlie’s point. Macs do kind of “ooze pretension”, but why?

    Most of the hardcore Mac users that I know pride themselves on being a free thinking “damn the man” bunch. But every time I get into a casual discussion about the merits of Macs with one of these so-called free thinkers, I only ever hear word-for-word repetition of Apple marketing messages. I would argue that it’s not so much a “religion” as a brilliantly effective marketing campaign… if there’s a difference.

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    Ed: I’m not sure the Guardian is trying to link bait as much as do something other than just report the “news”. To stay relevant, the MSM needs to offer perspective and insight because news is becoming a commodity.

  • Hockey hacker

    A brilliant marketing message does not overcome a basically flawed or ordinary product. A product needs to be head and shoulders above the competition and then an effective message will result in the kind of buzz that Mac has.

    There is a difference with Macs. They are easy, simple to use, intuitive, and the way computers should work. You plug them in and they operate. Imagine having to know protocols and download drivers in order to make a long distance phone call? You don’t…you pick up the phone and dial. Same should be for computers…and the Mac is further along that path than the PC.

    Apple has their issues…namely lack of mainstream penetration for a variety of reasons…but their advantages are NOT based on a “brilliant marketing message”…there is substance.

  • Secular

    The really cool aspect of the Mac religion is that the true believers have so fully rationalized their views that they don’t even recognize that they’re members of a cult. A couple of the comments here seem to witness this. Now that’s great marketing!

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