In the article on the Sydney Morning Herald website, they seem to be grasping at straws on how to describe the cult-like following of Apple’s Macintosh computers.
As a very happy Mac owner, I can explain it in the following way:
You will never understand it until you are part of it, when you are part of it you won’t know you are.
My Macbook Pro is the most beautiful laptop I have ever owned, and aside from the superior 17″ Macbook Pro, and some of the high end Sony Vaio’s that cost twice as much, it is one of the best laptop’s on the market.
One thing from the article that is particularly relevant is this:
“He said most Macheads volunteered “ease of use” and “design” as reasons for their devotion but this did little to explain how a subculture could develop around a computer.”
These things are very true, but until you own one, you cannot truly appreciate this.
I have been involved in discussions and heard the point of view that Apple products are a status symbol, and are desired for their perceived coolness. I would say, sure, this is all well and good, but, there is more to it than that. I know I have been caught hugging and stroking my Macbook on occasion when there have been threats of taking it away, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I won’t deny that Mac’s are awesomely cool and in some arena’s are a status symbol, however, they are in general far better.
One example that is painfully prominent to me running Vista on my desktop Quadzilla with 4gb of RAM. Idling with Firefox open with 20 tabs, Outlook, and Photoshop CS3, it sits on around 1.8gb of RAM used.
My Macbook Pro with 2gb of RAM running OS X 10.5 Leopard, with Firefox open with 20 tabs, Entourage, and Photoshop CS3, it sits on around 1gb of RAM used.
That’s a massive difference, regardless of the fact that Quadzilla has more RAM to use, there is 800mb extra being used somewhere there.
So either OS X uses much less RAM than Vista, or there is significantly better memory management. I would say both.
Then there is CPU management (probably RAM related as well). I find Vista often lags with things it shouldn’t. When the CPU is sitting on about a quarter usage, RAM at around 2.5gb used, typing on MSN will sometimes lag, music will sometimes skip, simple things like that.
OS X will almost always be smooth. With the 2gb of RAM completely full and switching data between the RAM and swap space, it never has any problems like this. The only times I have ever experienced any of these problems on it are when I am running Vista or XP under emulation on it. As far as I can tell, they are the cause of it, particularly Vista.
Just to point out something else here, the Macbook Pro RAM is DDR2 667mhz, Quadzilla is running DDR2 800mhz which is faster and has lower latencies.
I won’t deny, that when I’m working in both Photoshop and Illustrator, Quadzilla is better for it, but that’s understandable, simply because it is quad core, compared to dual core, and has twice as much RAM. That is not the point of this though.Then there is how smooth the interface is, Microsoft tried to copy it with their Aero theme, but it doesn’t come close to just how smooth and clean OS X is. I’ve heard people argue that it’s not copied, but to say that they have to be very ignorant and never have used OS X.
The whole transparent zoom in and out when you minimize or maximise windows from the taskbar, or when you close a window or open a new one, straight from OS X.
The new Explorer interface has become remarkably similar to Finder in OS X as well. It retains things from XP, but if you have used OS X, you can’t deny the similarities in new features, like the new address bar functions and the new file information section at the bottom of an Explorer Window.
Anyway, the point is, Apple has done something very right.
To summarise, I love my Mac, and if you try and steal it without leaving me a better one, I will find you, and it will not be pretty. However, if you wish to leave me with a better one, please, go ahead.