27 thoughts on “The Cult of the Mac Leave a comment

  1. This post is rubbish!! comparing OS X to Windows 95 and saying Win95 had certain features before os x? bloody hell!!?? would you mind elaborating o that?

  2. I always find it amusing that when a new version of OSX comes out you get all the blog posts from Mac fans where they talk about the new features and there is generally at least three or four ‘new features’ that have been available on the PC forever (well since windows 95).

    I’m sorry but I find this a hilarious remark. Quite the opposite is true. Microsoft has continuously been ‘borrowing’ features from Apple.

    The Windows 95 desktop, when it came out, was exactly what Apple already had for ages. In fact, since 1984.

    The most recent example are the ‘widgets’ that will appear in Windows Vista.

    I’m not a zealot myself. If people want to torture themselves by using Windows they have my blessings and I’m not gonna complain about it but this ‘fact’ is flat out wrong 😉

  3. I didn’t actually compare windows 95 with OSX. When I mentioned new features I was referring to actual reviews I had read, although perhaps I should have looked them up and linked through to them as some sort of proof. I’ll see if I can do that now.

    The features I was talking about were small things to do with the way things work rather than the bigger features.

    The post wasn’t meant to focus on OSX though as my knowledge of it is limited. I was talking more about the mindset of people who use Mac’s and fawn over every little thing Apple creates. Sure they’re nice looking but are they the best? Not necessarily.

  4. Something else I should have mentioned is that I don’t think Windows is the best by any stretch of the imagination. I realise Windows has faults, and I realise a lot of the ideas in it are clearly stolen from OS X.

    I’m beginning to think the windows 95 thing was a little out of place. I’m not in the habit of editing though so it’ll stay.

  5. Did you read my comments before you posted? I realise Microsoft copied lots of things from Apple but that wasn’t the subject of the post.

  6. Well, if your knowledge of OS is limited, how can you compare things?

    I’ve used in years Unix (SGI), Linux (different distros), Windows (all of them except ME), and recently I have bought a Mac Mini – just to taste what the whole fuss is about.

    And to say fairly – I get it. I’m kinda advanced user, so I have some concepts of computing, and when OS X behaves differently – it irritates me. But given few weeks by now, I’m more or less adapted to their concepts (which now I think are much simplier to a newbie than other OSes) and I find it pretty usable and I actually like it (I’m already dreaming of a new Intel Core Duo apple laptop).

    I personally don’t like Windows, I prefer using linux instead. So, comparing all the systems I would only suggest to anyone to use Windows in case that there’s no other alternative (for example, my dad have to use some website which works only in IE). For new users that use computer for simple things such as Email, Internet, Photos, Music, Videos and IM/VOIP – Mac OS X is really rules (and its memory management sucks, I know).

  7. The issue I have (apart from the fact that it’s not a myth – Macs ARE overpriced) is the reasoning.

    Well, the reasoning is perfectly vaild, and no, the mac isn’t overpriced. Try to assemble any top of the line PCs from any company, the costs are more than a comparable iMac. And, that is sans the simple clutterfree design of the Macs. Of course, I won’t say anything about the design of the Macs, as you aren’t a fan.
    Another thing with a Mac is that it is rock solid. No matter how many PC users shout that XP is the most stable, the fact remains that OS X is the most stable.

    Of course, I wanted to test this out myself before commenting. So, I went to Dell.com and built a PC myself with similar configuration to a 20 inch iMac. The cost came to $1900.

    Hence proved, Mac’s aren’t overpriced.

    By the way, hope I didn’t say anything offending, as this is just my first comment, and I would love to make a great first impression.

  8. I can’t really decide. I like Windows because it is compatible with practically anything, but I think Macs have better multimedia functionality. For example, although Front Row isn’t original, I think it is the best multimedia option available.

    Of course, Macs are so expensive, which is the only reason I don’t have a Mac. It would be useful to have both, because I would be able to make programs for both platforms, use iLife for all my pictures, movies, and music, but run games and Windows-only applications on Windows.

    So both are good for different reasons, and if the new laptops run both, then that would be the best solution yet. Or you could just get a Mac emulator for Windows, but then you have to split your hard drive up and that takes up tons of space…I could go on.

    My main point is simply that the best option would be to have both, because there will never be a point where everything is compatible with everything. The huge corporations would never let that happen.

  9. Alex – So what do you play your video games on then? I’m a video game developer which limits my choice.

    Tom – ah… sorry.

    Indranil – It’ll take more than a few comments to upset me 🙂 I’m not going to argue about the price. I went to Dell and couldn’t find a computer slow enough to match the iMac – and before you say anything the iMac is 2Ghz and the slowest Dell was 2.5Ghz (for $299). You can’t compare like with like between PC and Mac since they’re very different internally, although I guess now Apple uses Intel a fairer comparisson could be made.

    Steven – it’s like comparing Apples (quite literally) and Pears. Like I said in the post…

    you should use whatever you’re happiest with

  10. OK, you obviously wanna pick a fight.
    I’ll help you out. 😉

    These discussions are always the same. They ignore one basic fact: It’s only a small percent of the world’s population that can afford any computer at all, PC or MAC, especially those top-of-the line jobs. So, these discussions are usually a bunch of rich kids screaming their heads off about their $2800 MAC kickin’ a comparable PCs ass. Then they show off images with one, two or three widescreen displays attached and have long debates as to how totally unintuitive the GUI is or isn’t, usually with IPOds or other junk strapped to their bodies, stuffed with so much music that it would take them years to listen to it all (and the kids I watch usually spend most of their time skipping here or there because they don’t know which of the 6 trillion tunes they should listen to. If you then want to help them out with a suggestion or two, they can’t understand a word you’re saying because their hearing is shot to hell).

    It does make for good (albeit very limited) entertainment.

    I recommend trying pencil and paper.
    They’re about as intuitive as can be.


  11. Glen – 🙂

    Volkher – Whilst I agree with what you’ve said, I’d just like to point out that my computer was mid range when I bought it. I stopped buying top of the range computers a long time ago, they’re too expensive and don’t last any longer than ones half the price, especially now that computer speeds have pretty much stabalised.

    Also I did try to point out that I don’t really have anything against Mac’s – I just don’t think they’re as good as the zealots make out, but I guess that’s to be expected.

    Anyway – you’ve got 38 meters of cd’s (must take a long wall to hold all them 🙂 ), surely you have the same problem with choosing what to listen too?

  12. Yeah, I got your point.
    I just wanted to fan the flames a bit. 😉

    The 38 meters aren’t all on one single shelf … You actually don’t need that much space with shelves holding either 4 or 9 rows of 80 centimeters each (you do the math).

    I have no problems selecting something I want to listen to. It’s just too difficult to explain here. Suffice it to say that it involves a rather akward traditional Native American dance, spewing small amounts of Cuba Libre into all four heavenly directions and tossing up 12 coins into the air and only catching one predetermined one.

    Simple, really.

  13. The 38 meters aren’t all on one single shelf …

    Gah – That’s just boring.

    Suffice it to say that it involves a rather akward traditional Native American dance, spewing small amounts of Cuba Libre into all four heavenly directions and tossing up 12 coins into the air and only catching one predetermined one.

    Sounds like an average night out to me 🙂

  14. hardware: the powerppc has held the mac platform back for several years compared to advanced in the wintel space. It’s good to see the Mac finally catch up, and be competitive again in price/performance.

    feature borrowing: The Mac has always lead in terms of software design excellence from day 1. However, the basic operating system itself had been lagging for years…remember OS9? It wasn’t that long ago. Windows 95 was kind of a kludge of GUI concepts that can trace a lot of ideas to the Mac.

    Under the hood Win95 had three that were really important for inherent speed and stability: pre-emptive multitasking, hardware memory protection, and fast virtual memory. The 68K and PPC processors had for an entire decade supported these features in hardware, but the OS didn’t make use of them because of legacy issues. OS X addresses this by making everyone change, and with the Intel Macs running at modern speeds we can finally compare OSes head-to-head. That’s very exciting.

    A lot of the modern Mac guts comes from the PC hardware side anyway, though the Mac has always helped drive adoption of the user-oriented technologies. The Mouse. CD-ROM. USB. IEEE1394. Wireless Networking. Video Conferencing…all made useful and ubiquitous on the Mac before it migrated over to the PC. It goes on and on. But there are a lot of hardware features: PCI, Hardware 3D Acceleration, DDRAM, and even big chunks of OS X can trace their roots back to the PC industry.

    Incidentally, I use PCs almost exclusively because a cheap PC outperforms a more expensive Mac, runs more games, and has more software. However, I’m typing this comment on my Powerbook 12″, which I use to keep up with what’s going down in OSX-dom.

  15. hmm. I’ll just comment on the GUI. I use Linux / OSX / and Windows XP on a daily basis, and have used Apples, Macs, PCs, Commodores, and UNIX systems. Linux is my preference. Why? The GUI has aspects of both OSX and XP and some features that aren’t in either. I can configure things the way I want, which isn’t really an option at all in OSX, and not much of one without third party software in XP.

  16. Hmm, my iPod will turn off after a few minutes if I’ve pressed pause – don’t know why yours didn’t. Though sometimes it will get turned on accidentally in my purse, so I try to remember to switch it to “hold”. BTW, I really love the iPod’s interface. So much cleaner and less clunky than the Creative I tried out first.

    On the subject of Macs, I haven’t gotten past the annoying differences in how certain things work. I hate that menus aren’t attached to individual windows, but to the top of the screen. It took me way too long to figure out how to close a window. And I’ve had many problems with machines crashing over and over again. Those experiences were with older models of Macs (that I didn’t own, but were just using for classes and such), but suffice it to say, I’m not terribly inspired to go out and buy one.

  17. Marco:

    The most recent example are the ‘widgets’ that will appear in Windows Vista.

    It should be noted here that Microsoft has been working on the Windows Sidebar for Vista since PDC 2003 (look at the Sidebar video in the PDC 2003 section of the right-hand column), long before Tiger came out. Half the time, the features Microsoft ‘steals’ from Apple are features that Apple stole from Microsoft’s long development process. Apple has an advantage in that it releases major OS updates far more often than Microsoft does, and hence can claim to be the creator of features which have unclear origins.

    Anyway, Windows Sidebar will be far more flexible than Dashboard. It’ll be visible at all times, if you wish, and you’ll be able to spread your gadgets (as MS calls them) over the desktop, instead of only having them in an overlay display.

  18. If it took you 10min to figure out how to use the volume control on the iPod, then hmmmmm… maybe you shouldnt be using technology.

  19. Dave – Lots of info I wasn’t aware of there, cheers.

    Erik – There’s aspects of both OS’s that I like and aspects I dislike (never used Linux so can’t compare).

    Jennifer – maybe I knocked it when I was getting it out of the little pouch thing, but I am generally pretty careful with putting it on hold.

    Fipe – Interesting, thanks for pointing that out.

    Brian – Thanks for that. Very constructive. You’ve clearly had no problems using anything, ever, and are far more intelligent than I.

  20. This is one fascinating discussion! I think I can add a few things.

    Jennifer: the creative Zen Vision M is possibly going to be the first real iPod killer, I imagine it would have an OK interface, at least I hope so. My friends enjoy their zen micros a lot.

    OSX vs Windows: I haven’t gotten a chance to work with a Mac, and I do hear great things about them, but what scares me off is the compatibility with the real world. Also, I am aware of the speculation that vista is basically a rip-off from OSX, and I say I’ll wait and see. Windows has been successful for a while, and I tend to believe it’s not just because of lack of alternatives. What really scares me off though, is the really low clock speed. 1.8 ghz? Are you kidding me? That’s the fastest they got?

    Ben: it’s not a surprise that you had trouble with the wheel, in fact when a friend showed me that on their ipod I was really surprised. It’s really one of those things that are out of normal, so it’s hard to guess that it’s there.

    P.S. I love your site, I love Regulus and I love binarysun.

  21. Yes MS always rips off Apple. Basically Apple are innovators MS are copiers and destroyers, even to the extent of changing software meant to be cross platform, i.e. Java.

    The really cool think about it though, is that MS are signing their own deathwarrant by making vista so similar to OSX, because with OSX running on dual core…..the very next step may be to sell the operating system for ANY platform..

    Microsoft would crash and burn then.

  22. I don’t think you’ve ever actually used a mac at all! Macs are definitely faster than any pc ever made, no matter how much RAM is in it. And there’s no way you just compared Win 95 with OSX! Holy crap! And you accuse Apple of copying Windows features, yet windows have tried (without much success) to copy everything that Mac has ever done! ie. their version of the iPod, whatever that piece was called. And I admit that Macs are more money than the average pc, but there’s a reason for that. Its because MACs have more to offer than any pc, OS Tiger is a million times better than the recently released Vista, and Mac is now releasing Leopard which won’t be matched by Windows until fifty years from now if they’re lucky. Oh and by the way, there aren’t any viruses that can affect a Mac, yet there are more viruses for pc’s created everyday.

  23. Well thanks for the rant on a post that is now nearly 2 years old. I’m sure there will be plenty of equally balanced responses.

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