Spilled Koolaid Might Ruin Your Mac

Over the past few weeks, I have been using my freshly installed Ubuntu almost every time I power up my computer. In fact, the only reason I have been using Windows is so that I can sync my iPod with iTunes (Banshee won’t work with the Classic). Feeling the frustration with Apple’s limitations on software use and compatibility, I felt a short article was needed, explaining my problems, not entirely with Apple, but with its customers.

I have absolutely no problem with Apple, Macs, iPods, or iPhones. In fact, I like almost everything about them. Apple is an excellent example of a company that understands usability, design, and features. The look of something has a great psychological impact on the performance. Because of their attention to detail, design, and usability, Apple has become known for having computers that yes, look good, but most importantly, computers that work. This creates a comparison and sense of superiority that Mac users typically form over Windows or Linux users. My claim that Apple electronics are the “Koolaid Computer” is based simply on the fact that they are the most expensive and best looking computers on the market, though users often pride themselves on having the best performance or most innovation while this is often not the case.

I am not going to defend Windows in this article. While it can be done, the argument has been made, fights have been fought, but in the end, Mac users will stay Mac users and Windows users will slowly become Mac users. I have (almost) no problem with this, though it simply shows that usability and frustration eventually outweighs all other factors. In short, Windows should focus on the basic complaints they have heard for years.

Now to my two main points. First, Apple electronics simply do not have the best performance of anything else on the market. Software included on their computers is excellent, but open-source Windows software, or a quick search in Add/Remove in Ubunutu, can easily get the same job done (albeit with less design) for free. My iPod tends to crash anytime I try to use it for “Disk Management”, and I cannot take my own songs (songs that I have paid Apple for) off of my own iPod (an iPod that I paid Apple for) to create a CD in iTunes (software that, finally, Apple gave me).

Secondly, though it has been said before, MacOSX, while not identical to Linux (Ubuntu in this case), is strikingly similar. If my memory serves me correctly, Apple used FreeBSD to create their OS, though they did not credit it at the time. It seems too that many of Apple features that have derived since then have been spin-offs of Linux features. Mounting hard drives, command line, and the “force quit” command are much alike in Ubuntu and OSX. Minimizing windows to the OSX dock is reminiscent of “wobbly windows” in CompiZ.

So, basically I don’t like it when Mac users get too caught up in an operating system (or device), claiming it is innovative and unlike any other, without knowing the facts, history, or ideas behind the product. Would I use a Mac? Yes. But only because I see how Apple has made usability even better, because I like the design, and of course, because I will be taking it with a grain of salt.

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