30 November 2005

The War for your Computing Soul

Mini-Me with non-Apple stuff
If you are an iGeek, you won't like what I say here. If you are a PC snob, you won't care. And that just about sums up the whole war of PC vs. Mac.

Mac is the downtrodden, the Avis of the personal computing world, the second child. No matter how good it is, it is not No 1, and this drives its fans nuts. They are underappreciated and misunderstood, and if only the world would listen to them, they are sure that everyone would join them. Sound like a weird new religion? Call it the Cult of i, or iCult for short.

The most rabid of the iCult factions is the FUndamentalist Mac usERs. FUMERs worship Apple, but they realize that Apple is an imperfect diety, especially since the company began "catering to Switchers." Switchers are, of course, Windows users who have Seen The Apple. FUMERs still use 1980s-era Apple technology (e.g., a one-button mouse) "because the old ways are best and no self-respecting real Mac user would have that newfangled crap near their computer."

In many Christian religions, being 'born again in Christ' means relinquishing your past life of sin. You are generally allowed to retain the unsullied parts of your Self. In the iCult, being 'born again in the Apple' means not only relinquishing the bad parts of your past Windows life but also the good, useful parts. Because under iCult teachings, nothing good ever came from Microsoft (e.g., Satan).

The non-Apple PC world is more like one of those new non-religions where you can wear jeans to church and hear uplifting sermons with lots of bullet points saying that it's ok to be rich and skinny and even covet the preacher's beautiful wife, as long as the church gets its cut. On the Windows version, they basically say "We don't care whose computer you use, or what other stuff you plug into it, even Apple stuff if you want, as long as we get our cut." It's sort of an uber-tolerant way of accepting individual needs/wants. Not much religion, but whatever works.

The Cult of i, on the other hand, is intolerant. They pretend to be tolerant, offering Microsoft Office for Mac, but Mini-Me whimpered when we installed it. "Are you sure you want to put that ...that... serpent on this pretty, unsullied machine? [pout] You didn't even try the nice AppleWorks suite that we installed for you!" And don't even ask about plugging in my multi-button, scroll-wheel mouse or my Microsoft keyboard: Oh, the wailing!

I am happy with the Mac, really. I had one 20-ish years ago, and I liked it then, too. But in the end of the day, it's just another tool. Not much different from my Dells, really. And although I have chosen to use the Mac tool over the Dell tools for the bulk of my computing activities, I don't consider it vastly superior. And that's why most switchers will always stand on the outside edge of the iCult, looking in.

2 comments:

Astaryth said...

iCult ::LOL:: Lovin' it! This is so true. My PC friends are whatever, but the Mac people -refuse- to consider that any computer works as good as a Mac.
http://journals.aol.com/astaryth/AdventuresofanEclecticMind
http://adventuresofaneclecticmind.blogspot.com/

Terre d'Esprit said...

I loved your post! : ) I am a mac user myself... but then again, you knew that, because the cool people are. -T