Since I've already been accused of being a hater by one of my mac-loving friends (I knew there was going to be fallout for remotely even questioning the Almighty Apple), I wanted to set the record straight:
I DO NOT HATE APPLE. Jesus, people, I don't even dislike them. Up until very recently, I owned stock in the company. I only even sold that because I moved to things not dependent on the US economy as a precaution.
Just because I don't go batshit everytime they release a two-button mouse or some mildly updated mp3 player != hate! In fact, if the Apple cult didn't go crazy everytime they announce every mediocre thing, maybe I wouldn't have dreaded the 50 or so posts (and climbing) cluttering up my f-list feed! Excitement can be fun.
Now, I should also add that despite liking some of their products (yes, I said some
), I don't trust them either. Then again, I don't generally trust any company whose CEO announces that they're going to be on my desktop, in my living room, on my phone, on my tv, and up my ass. That's a little too reminiscent to a little company in Redmond that's currently sitting on my desktop, on my phone, on my TV, and on my bank's ATM machines.
Of course, truth be told, I probably don't really trust any company. I'm skeptical and cynical that way—you know, sort of the way I'd kind of wish the geek media would always be. Instead it's cluttered with glowing
press releases masked as news stories. One article even just posted a picture showing the iphone replacing 3 devices (an mp3 player, wifi enabled micro computer, and mobile phone). Well, I recognize the phone they chose to use. It's the HTC Wizard, which is actually a small wi-fi enabled computer, mobile phone, and mp3 player in one device already
. Argh! I have no doubt the iphone interface will boast a much better-designed interface (it quite frankly took me quite some time to get my Wizard the way I wanted it). Then again, this is the same publication that a day ago accused NetGear of copying Apple because they made some of their devices white (never mind that many futuristic visions of the future in the past included all white rooms and all white devices).
This is where brand loyalty turns into fanaticism.
You can't simply buy a Mac. You "convert" or "switch." Jobs even used that language this morning. "Switchers," he called those who bought Macs. Why does this feel more and more like a religion? I hope I wasn't counted among the newly converted with my recent MacBook purchase. I'm not that psychotic (well, at least in this instance). My MacBook joins my ThinkPad as one of my two preferred notebooks. It also joins a Windows Media desktop, a Linux rig, Server 2003 Domain Controller, and my regular Windows XP (soon to be Vista) desktop. Guess what?? As any good father should, I like them all. AND... I like them working together.
*sigh* I just don't get it.
Maybe I'm too cynical. Or maybe I'm just jealous?? Because I have to tell you, neither my MacBook nor my iPod came with the Kool-Aid that seems to get everyone else rock hard when Steve Jobs preaches. Seriously, that shit's stronger than ecstasy.
The friend who called me a hater is someone I consider a good friend—someone whose opinion I deeply respect. He's a very intelligent, well-read person. I consider his opinion very highly when it comes to just about everything—everything except Apple, however. A couple of my friends just seem to lose all grasp of reality when it comes to that company.
Suddenly, people who I've just joined in arguing the dangers of Microsoft and MPAA/RIAA dominance can't understand why I would ever criticize a noble company like Apple. I don't even think I'm criticizing them by saying I'm concerned about a company that controls 85% of the downloadable music market!
I don't think it's unhealthy to consider buying something other than an iPod so I can get out of their proprietary iTunes-walled garden. What floors me though is that the people who should be watching what's going on are too enamoured to do so. Despite Apple's use of open source and some open standards, Apple can be very proprietary and that me no likie. You may not like Windows, but at least it runs on multiple brands of hardware. Last time I looked OSX only runs on Apple-made hardware. The iPod is pretty much an iTunes delivery system, as I've no doubt the iTV box is destined to become.
Don't get me wrong, as a for-profit company, that's what they should be doing. I would just like the same people who are needfully critical of Microsoft to be as judicious when it comes to Apple. I would also like the Apple fanboydom to stop taking everytime someone does dare question the Almighty Apple as a personal afront or attack. Honestly, my last post was in jest, but I actually rarely take my MacBook out of the house. I'm so afraid someone is going to see that glowing Apple and think "he's one of them
." When did Apple become the new Scientology or Kabalah? Ctrl-Alt-Del
is one of my favorite comics. They make fun of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and, yes, even Apple. There were a couple of occasions where they made fun of Apple that I seriously LOLed but never posted here. Why? Because I was actually afraid I'd offend someone (yes, I do actually care from time to time) or someone would think it was some vast Microsoft conspiracy. Honestly, why should making fun of a company offend anyone?!
I almost didn't even post this or my last post (the last one really was just to be humorous). I disabled comments because I didn't feel like getting either flamed by random strangers or it turning into some Mac vs. PC debate. Truly, I cannot adequately express to you how OS neutral I am. When did not being up Steve Jobs' ass become equated with anti-Apple?!
I personally think we are best served when we have CHOICES. I like being able to choose between Windows, OSX and Linux (although I'd like OSX more if I could install it on the computer of my choosing, but I digress).
This is turning into quite the rant, but it's been a long time in coming (and really has little to do with iPhone, iTV, or iButt other than timing). I just can't help but think of the day I was working on the G4 PowerBook we have in the house when an acquaintance came in, saw me working on the Mac, got all excited and glassy-eyed, and said something to the effect of, "OMG! You switched! Don't you just LOVE your Mac?!" That's not the exact quote, but it's pretty close. After saying my roommate used it most of the time, he was shocked. He demanded to know why. I told him I liked my ThinkPad better (Honestly, I love my ThinkPad. It's, imho, better-designed in many ways than even my MacBook.) At this point, he (I swear to the gods) got nearly belligerant. He actually called me an idiot (I'm not kidding; ask my roommate). At this point I just chuckled. Now, I'm a pretty insecure guy when it comes to most things—my knowledge of computers and the size of my hard drive are not among those things. The incident was nonetheless alarming. How can ordinarily rational human beings turn into mindless, drooling servile beings? (Let's leave last week with the go-go dancer out of this.)
Anyway, I've rambled long enough (I should probably proofread this, but I'm not gonna). Before anyone who may actually have read this entire ramble, understand (again) I DO NOT HATE APPLE. So if you read this tirefully long post as such, please go back and painfully reread it with that in mind. Honestly, who knows? If I can manage to not OCD over the greasy finger prints on the touchscreen, I might one day add the iPhone to my arsenal of cell phones.
In the meantime, Apple, PLEASE do us all a favor and cut the childish Mac vs. PC bullshit (technically speaking, a Mac is a personal computer, is it not?). It was cute at first, but now you should really be able to stand on your own. The apple.com site is so full of it that I can't go to the site without rolling my eyes so much that I get dizzy. Owning a Mac doesn't make you a better person, and it really shouldn't turn you into a condescending prick either!
I have a dream that one day people will be judged, not by the operating system they choose to use, but by the content of their character set and that one day Mac, Windows, and Linux computers will be able sit down together at the subnet of brotherhood.
(with apologies to the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr.).
(okay, that was nerdy even for me.)