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Article: Grumblings of a Mac User

by on September 9, 2004

Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard a few things that have been quite annoying, but I’ve let slide. Well, I decided to write a few of these things down to prevent, paraphrasing Lewis Black “blood from shooting out of my nose”. Anyway, here are just some random rants and observances that I’d just like to throw out there…

My Computer [an iBook] Sucks!

Usually this is coupled with no reason, except that the person in question cannot seem to operate the machine. When asked why it sucks, there usually are no specific reasons. As much of an effort as Apple puts into making the manuals have a lot of pictures and easy-to-read steps, people still don’t read them. Most of the problems can be cured by looking it up in the manual or the Help menu.

The other reason, as I’ve found is that people insist on using programs that they’re familiar with on the Windows platform. The official AIM client and Internet Explorer come to mind, although Apple does provide Safari and iChat as defaults. Safari is a perfectly capable browser, as is anything but Internet Explorer, just for the fact that IE isn’t updated anymore. If people find iChat limiting, Adium is an excellent choice.

Solution: Read the manual, or at least look at the Cliff’s Notes known as the Help menu, and lose the badly ported and outdated software.

If You’re a Mac User…

The special instructions for Mac users are annoying, especially when they’re pure garbage. Most of the time, people assume that they’re helping, but they’re only helping with the misconceptions about Macs. Just today, I heard on two occasions that Mac users have to download Acrobat Reader to open certain PDFs (they’re just your run-of-the-mill variety, nothing protected or special). These people use PCs on a daily basis. What they don’t know is that OS X uses PDFs natively, and Preview (especially on OS X 10.3) is a perfectly viable option for PDFing.

Solution: Macs have their own way of doing things, but Apple does a good job of making things work well with standard file formats.

iPods Are Made by Another Company

As if the big Apple logo flashing at the end of every iPod commercial isn’t enough, people still don’t seem to realize that Apple, makers of the iPod, also make computers. This is bad for Apple, in a business sense, as Macs still are a considerable part of their customers. The iPod alone cannot keep them afloat. The other interesting thing is that everyone wants iPods, but when asked about their computer siblings, a childish “those are crappy” idea is heard.

Solution: Stop the presses! The company that makes iPods is actually a computer company? Either that or this is the biggest trademark violation in history.

iPods Limit Choice

I swore I wasn’t going to comment on the Real vs. Apple events, but I think that something needs to be said. The argument that Apple is limiting choice is crap – you can buy these nifty shiny things known as CDs from almost any store and put that music on your iPod! And sometimes, it’s cheaper than any music service. Who’da thunk it?

Solution: Do we really need a solution here?

Mac Users Like Their Computers No Matter What

I choose to use my Mac because I like the way the original hardware, software, and all of my accessories work together. I like the fact that Apple seems to care enough about its users to keep OS X secure, as well as highly-customizable. I like the fact that I can use my computer to actually get work done, rather than dealing with its problems first.

However, my job consists primarily of dealing with defective iBooks and supporting them, and I’m not afraid to point out when there is a problem. Even with my own, I called Apple out on a problem, although overall, I still find the whole experience to be far better than the other computing choices.

I do like my Mac…a lot, but I’m not going to hide the fact that sometimes it misbehaves, due to poorly written software or something else, but at least I can figure out why, and not deal with adware, spyware, worms, and viruses.

Take care and have a great weekend.

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