Jan. 9th, 2007
First Kabalah, then Scientology, now this!  

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 articles 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.)

Mood: nerdy
Listening to: Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
( Post a new comment )
Jonjeepskank on January 10th, 2007 - 01:33 am
eh, just use what you prefer and dont let the zealots get you down. i love apple products -- i like the way they work and how they look, but that's my own personal opinion.

i think the mac vs. pc stuff originated from the fact that some "ibm compatible" users used to make fun of the mac, call it a toy, and regard anyone who used one as stupid.
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Buggering the Massesyaksha2 on January 10th, 2007 - 01:52 am
Not so
While littered with PC (ha!) references, your anti-fanatic behaviour is well suited to a discussion over the religiousity an increasing amount of tech corporations use to distinguish themselves to the masses. In the same way PBS defined "The CoolHunters", integrating personal ideologies into a techocracy is saavy marketing disguised as corporate empathy. When you have Bank of America goons earnestly singing "We are one (bank)" to U2's beats, with no sign of cynicism or satire, you can begin to understand how moral and identity based brainwashing works wonders in a capitalist environment when instead of producing cosmopolitan citizens with a critical understanding of an increasing international consumer society, we have "fans" or followers of psuedo-religious brand loyalty that blatantly follows the imperialist traditions of the three religions of Abraham, to be perfectly sensational.

Also, living and breathing in one organization's ALL IN ONE products!!111!!eleventy worries the shit out of me. It's definitely like "I am the only true path...", blah, blah, blah, bullshit! Apart from the fact that more than one technological saavy country (read: Japan) frequently affirms in its decision making (though not its marketing) that when you overspecialize, your weaknesses are jarring obvious. This is classic Windows boo-hoo'ing in terms of virus applicability and OS problems.

The whole point of increasing technology is to make flexible accessories for an increasingly diverse and integrated international community. The problem for companies is how to include efficiency in that equation without the expense of individuality and consumer choice. Ta-dah Walmart. Convienence is the opium of the masses.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on January 10th, 2007 - 02:17 am
Re: Not so
I'm not entirely sure what you're disagreeing with, as I agree with you (plus I rambled quite a bit). So, I'll just note the following:

> While littered with PC (ha!) references

See? I would say they are more "computer" references. Apple tries to distance itself via marketing to separate themselves (now) from the personal computer market, but they're a key part of it. No amount of sophistry is going to change that. I mean they can hide what goes on beneath the hood from the user with cute words, but it doesn't mean the same things aren't going on. An "airport" is still an 802.11b/g wireless access point. If airport makes it more palatable to the end user, then so be it, but mocking another company for calling it what it is, in my opinion, trying to make yourself out to be something you're not. Of course, that's really what marketing largely is.

> This is classic Windows boo-hoo'ing in terms of virus applicability and OS problems.

Windows has had quite a few security holes and is a hodge-podge of spaghetti code, which no doubt has made exploitation easier. I'm not an MS fan (aside maybe from my xbox, but if PS/3 had kicked its ass, the xbox would be on the curb).

I think, however, it's a huge mistake for people to assume that only Windows products get viruses. There's big money in writing viruses now, and as security holes are patched, they are very quickly beginning to spread via social engineering rather than just using security holes. Windows is still the target, because they're generally easier targets, and are much more plentiful. When Apple's market penetration reaches critical mass, I think you're going to see them start targeting Apple as well. There's just far too much money involved now for them not to. I think that's just a sad reality that we have to face with most of our technological gadgets now.

Re: the rest of the second paragraph, I couldn't agree more. I don't want Apple on my desktop, in my car, on my phone, on my TV, on my bathroom. I want a hodge-podge of manufacturers (including Apple) there, and I'd like them communicating with each other through open standards and protocols. Companies are of course not incentivized to do that, and unless people demand it, it won't happen. I fear a lot of that momentum that we were gaining with the anti-MS movement is becoming lost to people who are becoming lulled by Apple's Siren Song. I just really want to keep that going. The Linux movement gave me a lot of hope, and the love affair with geeks to Apple's OSX because it's Linux-based, feels as if it's killing that whole drive.
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baltpup25: rockfishbaltpup25 on January 10th, 2007 - 02:26 am
Look, I hate computers period because they are the source of frustration for me most times. (Though, of course, I love computers and what I'm able to do as a result.) So, I'm not getting in on any pro- or con- argument at all.

however ...

Yeah, I agree. I get annoyed in any case when all this hype is made over a mediocre nothingness. I can't stand how they want 500 clams for that phone. Yeah, it looks GREAT and its functionality seems cool. But, I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid as it were.

I don't hate Apple either, I just can't afford them. lol

I loved how you mentioned the "little company in Redmond that's currently sitting on my desktop, on my phone, on my TV, and on my bank's ATM machines." That was too funny because it is so damn true.

Instead it's cluttered with glowing articles press releases masked as news stories.

This is exactly why I don't let my site send breaking news e-mails about these and publish these dumb things prominently. My cohorts (though few) and I agree that its such a sellout of our news product. So, I enact what little control I have over my one news domain. lol

Nice job pointing out that Apple wasn't the first to offer such a product, but it's all in the marketing, which they seem to do well.

I used to be so smart with computers, and then, I let it all pass me by. I'm just going to have to check out that comic.

LMAO!!!!!! iButt! HA!

I heart iDavid. ;)
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Milambermilamberrex on January 10th, 2007 - 02:47 am
methinks i will wait for the iCock to come out before getting to excited!
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NCSUJncsuj on January 10th, 2007 - 05:30 am

As long as it's attched to the "apple" guy from the commercials.
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Milambermilamberrex on January 10th, 2007 - 12:36 pm
LOL -- hell yeah!
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Gantrioch: Made in China.gantrioch on January 10th, 2007 - 03:13 am
That's ok. I hate Apple enough for two people.


Been out about a year or more. Looks familiar, eh?

"It also has, and this is a shocker, DivX support. Sony would be the second to last company we would have thought to enable DivX support on their products. The last, Apple." - Gizmodo.Com.

All right, I'm done.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on January 11th, 2007 - 06:14 am
Re: Crapple.
yeah, it's a little annoying to see them announce something like Apple TV (iTV) and everyone gush over it, when devices that do that have existed for quite some time. NetGear even announced one a couple days earlier. The Apple device will of course hook into iTunes so everyone will be waiting in line to hand over their money.

It's truly fascinating to watch the company work. Jobs is like the Pied Piper. I kind of wish I were still in school. I'd just love to do a research paper on this.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on January 11th, 2007 - 06:17 am
Re: Crapple.
...if I had to do a research paper, that is. I mean, Apple's ability to engender such, let's be polite and call it "fierce," brand loyalty would make a good case study.
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Gantrioch: Made in Japan.gantrioch on January 11th, 2007 - 06:53 am
Re: Crapple.
And as much as I think Apple "electronics" are of horrible quality, I have to admit that it does very well with brand loyalty. I don't know why but it is something Apple is good at.
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eviltickles on January 10th, 2007 - 03:20 am
i am a mac hater and i am willing to admit it. but the iphone still looks like an orgasm in phone form.
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NCSUJncsuj on January 10th, 2007 - 05:32 am
I ♥ you so very much.

Nothing annoys me more than applenerds getting all joygasmic about every little new upgrade and new product they put out, like it has just cured cancer, and insiting that THIS is why they are so much better than microsoft.
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Zmrezkill on January 10th, 2007 - 05:42 am
I own a PC AND a Mac...there's pleanty of love to go around for both lol...that being said, Macs are cuter, I can't deny that.

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erikelo_sf on January 10th, 2007 - 05:48 am
(1) Apple isn't really selling computers, they are selling peace of mind

(2) Given (1), it isn't about technical merit and choice and it becomes more of a "religion" thing because it is about passion and belief not clear evaluation of choices.
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Jaimieobsidian_heart on January 10th, 2007 - 06:05 pm
I <3 you.

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Davidthisisdavid on January 11th, 2007 - 01:03 am
Hi David. I added you because I saw you on a friend's page and also because you have a cool name! *grins*
But I also want to ask you what does that public key thiny on your profile page do?
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on January 11th, 2007 - 02:06 am
Re: Hiya!

The PGP key is for encrypting stuff, primarily email really. If you wanted to encrypt something and send it to me, you would encrypt it using my public key. The only way it can be decrypted is with my private key which, in theory, only I have access to.

To be honest though I haven't even reinstalled the open pgp program since reformatting my laptop. Then again, I'm really not sending or receiving anything that really needs to be encrypted!
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Markmahka42 on January 11th, 2007 - 05:39 am
Thanks for a well-thought out, rational post, about Apple, FROM an Apple user. I see the benefits of Mac, and do like their design, but I'm still using a PC.

This reminds me of a comment Adam made once to me while we were at a coffee place doing work. He said something along the lines of "I wish I could do my work on a Mac...then I might seem more interesting." (his work computer's a thinkpad) I asked why, and he said that people who own Macs tend to give off a perception that they're more interesting. I failed to grasp the logic behind it. And then he was gushing over the iPhone (and how it runs on OSX) and apparently already put in an order for it last night. And of course, he continuously bashes his thinkpad as being windows-based, but I usually point out that it's probably an age/hardware issue, and that corporations sometimes put a ton of shit on there that just screws up its ability to run properly, since I've never really had problems with my Windows-based machines - the only major problem I ever had being a result of Quicktime/iTunes...which forced a freakin reformat.

Maybe at some point, I'll "switch" to a Mac in the future...but considering I'm still paying this one down, it'll be a while. And by then...I have a feeling Windows will have innovated again, resulting in another OS that provides power while still allowing individualization (which is one of the things that scares me about a Mac...I started using iTunes, and I'm a little annoyed at how it took over my music management, and won't let me do certain things.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on January 11th, 2007 - 06:09 am
heh, perhaps this explains it.

but, yeah, if a computer does the applications you need it to do, that's pretty much all you need. There are things about the Mac I like better; there are things I like about my ThinkPad better. Likewise with the OS, prefer a lot of things about OSX, but then some prefer some things about Windows. My biggest complaint about Mac is how proprietary it is.

I'm all about being an early adopter, but, yeah, even I can't imagine ordering a cell phone sight unseen.
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