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I’m a PC, and we need to talk

12 Dec

Oh...me. I've been dining at the all-you-can-eat software buffet.

Hello, I’m a PC. MAC, come here a second we really need to talk. I’ve had enough of your uppity hipster attitude. So let’s talk a little bit and see if we can’t come to some sort of understanding, maybe even, become friends.

Look, we get it, you think you’re pretty special. We’ve heard all your arguments time and again about how you’re so much better than me. For a long time I just kept my mouth shut and played along. I even participated in those stupid commercials with the awful music generally reserved for children’s programming on PBS. But what the hell is this…

Um.....

I ran into this while someone was remotely controlling me from a MAC, did you think I wouldn’t find out. I wish I could say that this was a result of your ignorance, but instead it looks like a sign of your arrogance. I’ll be running Windows for our conversation today, since you seem to think that’s all that PCs are capable of running. How old do you think all of us PCs are? Manufacturers are still building new ones, and they’re not beige. What’s with the yellowing old-fashioned CRT monitor? A majority of us have flat panel monitors these days you know. I know you like to pretend the past never happened, but…you used to use these things as well, and I’ve sat next to my fair share of yellowed MACs.

I don’t even know what to think about the screen’s image. Given the apparent age of the monitor, and the fact that I haven’t utilized BSODs like that since Windows ME (I know, I know, I’m ashamed of that one myself) ten f-ing years ago, it’s like looking at a human’s picture from when they were a greasy teenager in middle school. What kind of skeletons were in your closet ten years ago MAC, huh?

Yeah, that's what I thought!

I know, I know, we’ve all heard the arguments, “Well…it didn’t happen as much as it did on Windows!” I don’t care, it was inexcusable for either of us, but it happened, regardless of frequency, it happened. Here’s what our respective “serious error” screens look like today.

BSOD on XP/Vista/7

Kernel Panic on OSX

So we’ve both grown up since then. Mine, nowadays, contains information that might be helpful to a technician trying to resolve an issue. Your’s is…well…its pretty. Let’s talk about frequency though, the fact that you put an outdated BSOD on my icon implies that you think that I’m displaying this crap all the time. In reality, a majority of my users never see this. I can’t speak for your Kernel Panic screen there, but I’m sure these days its quite infrequent as well.

Both of us, in many cases, rely on 3rd party developers to create software for us that allow our users to get the most out of us. I know you’ve got all those pre-installed apps that Apple gave you but those aren’t always going to be all a user needs. Since these developers are, well you know…human, they make mistakes. Most of the time we can handle these mistakes without bringing the entire computer down, but sometimes they’re just too much for us. Other times these screens might be shown because we’re not feeling well, bad memory, bad CPU, these things happen.

So…what else have you got against me?

Magnetic Power Cords on the laptop
I’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty cool trick you’ve got there. I’m sure if my users didn’t mind spending multiple times over the cost of a PC they would love to have that to.

Windows Vista sucks
Yeah, when it came out, Vista was pretty awful. But you know what, Vista included a lot of new technology and a complete rewrite of the underlying kernel to fix some of Windows’ most serious problems. Seems there were a lot of similar complaints regarding OSX back when it first came out, it was new technology then to. But like any new things, the longer it was out, the better it got. Following subsequent service packs (just like new releases of OSX) Vista became as stable as Windows 7 is today. And that’s not a joke, I’ve found Windows 7 to be very stable.

You’re better at “life stuff” like music/photos/videos
By better do you mean, you just have software pre-installed that some people really enjoy to use. That’s awesome, but what about the users that don’t particularly care for the pre-installed software? PC (and MAC) Users enjoy access to a wealth of varying software applications, each suited to a particular user, many of which are free. Windows has done the pre-installed routine, regardless of the effort put forth, there are always users that don’t like it. It’s easier to just let them find what works best for them. Consumer choice is a wonderful thing, and a driving force behind their economy. How can you blame Microsoft for wanting to avoid putting pre-installed apps in Windows, they’ve gotten their hands slapped all over the world for what others referred to as anti-competitive practices. The only reason you’re getting away with it right now is because of your smaller market share, but that’s likely to change as time goes on.

Viruses/Malware, Whatever it’s called this week
You say you can’t get viruses? That’s pretty ballsy, have you given any thought as to why you’ve been so lucky this far? Windows PCs have a huge share of the personal computer market, obviously that makes us the perfect target for malware writers. MAC on the other hand, currently, holds a much smaller share, less attractive to the malware writer. If this were to flip, and we know you’d love it if it did, you would become the targets. Don’t even think for a nanosecond that you would be immune to a full on attack, they are persistent, they always find a way in. You can’t make anything hacker-proof, it’s never been done, you can’t possibly think of everything they’ll think of. Windows may have had a rough time with this, given that many uneducated users were being very careless. But after every attack, we get a little more secure and a little more smart about securing ourselves. Humans are the same way, if they protect themselves to heavily from exposure to infectious diseases their immune system get’s lazy and can’t fight back against even the simplest of infections.  Today, using a combination of protection and safe browsing habits, a Windows user can easily avoid most infections with very little effort on their part.

MACs are simpler and more intuitive
According to whom? MAC users, the ones that are…used to them. My user says Windows is more intuitive and simpler, but guess what, he’s not right either, he just says that because that’s what he’s used to. This is an entirely subjective argument and depends entirely on who you ask. If you’re talking about easier to hook up, well it all depends on what systems they’re buying. Many manufacturers offer all-in-one PCs, similar to the iMAC line, with only a keyboard, mouse, and power to plug-in. Apple sells full-size towers as well, with as many connections as any other PC out there. Sorry buddy, this argument doesn’t cut it.

Software and Hardware from a single source
While the hardware side is mostly true, excluding 3rd party peripherals, I really don’t see how this makes any difference. If anything it shows how limited your software is as it can only run on one device, yourself. My software is capable of running, quite reliably I might add, on a multitude of hardware combinations. As for the software, this is true only up to a certain point. Once you get past the pre-installed Apple software, what would you call the other applications (i.e. anything Adobe makes, Office, Avid) these are from other sources and are capable of causing the same types of problems (and I’ve seen them) on your platform.

MACs Don’t Get Cryptic Error Messages
You know what, you’re absolutely right. As evidenced by our latest “serious error” screenshots above. You’re pretty serious error screen simply hides the “cryptic” message. But that cryptic message could have been used to help fix the problem at hand. I’m sure that information is stored somewhere, accessible only to those nerds at the Genius Bar, heaven forbid Apple allow your users to remedy problems themselves. Just because Apple says you don’t get cryptic messages doesn’t mean you don’t have the occasional error.

I could go on for days MAC, the list of your MAC vs. PC ad topics seems endless. I realize that you no longer utilize this ad campaign, but the damage is done. Your users, and your creators, have carried the attitude within those commercials into the real world and it’s getting old. Some of your arguments are valid, some are not. Likewise any arguments I could produce might be valid or might not be. So, in the interest of teamwork let’s call a truce, we each have our strengths and weaknesses. However, it should be up to the user entirely what platform they choose. And I’m not talking about the perceived choice they are given that has been influenced by your lies and prejudices. If you don’t see any reason to change your perception of me, well, I shall be forced to change any icons I have pointing towards you to the following.

Uhhhh

I’m sorry that I had to be so harsh, but something needed to be said. Tell you what, let’s lighten the mood with this. This video is a parody of the MAC vs. PC ads and pokes fun at both of us, which I think is more than fair.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id_kGL3M5Cg

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2010 in General

 

2 responses to “I’m a PC, and we need to talk

  1. Ryan

    January 19, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    My trusty Commodore 64 trumps all.

     
    • Nick

      January 20, 2011 at 8:05 AM

      Agreed.

       

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