Just As I Thought

In defense of Macintosh

Jann sends this obnoxious opinion article–which I won’t reproduce in quantity here; but you can be sure I’ll post my response. ::grin::

No wonder people don’t buy Apple Macs
Why people don’t switch and how to entice them?

It reminds me of the nasty articles written by people like Ann Coulter – right from the first sentence it has such a mean tone that you automatically are put on the defensive and it doesn’t matter what the article says. This guy is a very poor writer – he comes across as someone who ignores facts and twists the truth to fit his agenda. It’s like reading an article by a right-wing nut. And he needs some grammar lessons.

Demonstrating a P4 3 GHz running a Radeon 9800 Pro as pulling only 275 fps in Quake 3 also didn’t help matters, since recent P4 reviews show the CPU easily capable of exceeding 500 fps in 640x480x16.

I think this whole benchmarking thing is getting ridiculous. He complains about frame rates in Quake – well, it doesn’t matter if the P4 can do 275fps or 500fps, because the human eye can’t distinguish anything more than, say, 80fps. So, what does it matter?

For the DIY / enthusiast user that depends on benchmarks to offer at least some idea of representative performance, Apple’s numbers are unacceptable, and the fact that the company twists them to such a degree makes people wonder just how badly Macintosh systems do perform in neutral tests.

“Apple’s numbers are unacceptable.” To whom? Except for incredibly intensive operations like rendering a dozen layers of video, my Mac is completely acceptable to me. If I had a faster Windows machine, I’d waste all that extra speed on trying to figure out how to get my work done and through interruptions from crashes.

The zealots who defend the platform as God’s gift to the computing world don’t do much to help on this score either.

And from the pot calling the kettle black department: Mac fans are “zealots?” Gee, that’s like the fundamentalist right screaming about a “homosexual agenda” while they themselves push a far more dangerous agenda. People who write things like this are invariably hypocrites.

Given that Apple only holds 1.9% of the current worldwide market, the vast majority of potential Mac users have probably never used one extensively (if at all) and may not know someone that owns one, or, even if they know someone who owns one, there’s no guarantee that the person owns a new Mac running OSX 10.2 or later on a fast enough machine to really show the OS off.

Talk about massaging numbers: he says that Mac is down to 1.9% market share. He cheated us out of .1%. smile Again, a misleading number, because that figure refers to SALES, not installed base. Macs have a MUCH longer useful life than PCs, so there are plenty in use. (And that’s a pretty good run-on sentence there.)

Apple’s return policy isn’t exactly comforting either-you have the right to a return if unsatisfied with the product, but only if the product is unopened in the box. Hard to tell if you’re unsatisfied with the product if it’s still in the box, isn’t it?

I don’t believe that is true. Nonetheless, he talks about Apple policies such as right of return, but doesn’t say a word about the same policies from PC manufacturers, thus giving the impression that PC purchases can be returned for a refund after you’ve opened it, set it up, played with it for a month, and poured Pepsi on the keyboard.

There is, however, another potential option that might boost sales significantly. I’m not claiming that the following idea is fool-proof or ironclad, but I think its an avenue Apple might do well to consider-namely, offering first-time customers a free 30-day test- drive on a Macintosh system.

This guy is proud of himself for coming up with a great new way to entice people – a 30 day test drive.
Well, hate to disappoint him, but Apple invented and ran that program that a decade ago. (A friend of mine still displays the bumper sticker promoting it.) Once again, a PC “zealot” thinks he thought up something new years after Apple did it first. A final example of a clueless pundit who didn’t do any research before writing a misleading screed. The whole thing reads like one of those hateful and poorly-researched articles in The Weekly Standard. Why has the computer community become so polarized? What in the hell does it matter so much? Use whatever computer you like!

1 comment

  • LOL.

    Gene, Gene…. take a deep breath. I’m quite sure my blood pressure jumped dramatically just reading this; I kept fearfully imagining your own face turning an apoplectic purple as you wrote it.

    Heed the wisdom in your own question, “What in the hell does it matter so much?” and just walk away.

    From my own perspective, though, I tend to find significantly /less/ polarization among computer users than I recall fifteen years ago, when the Mac/Wintel war seemed to be the topic of every computer magazine and countless USENET flame wars. These days, with the very occasional exception of articles like this (and hidden in his unfortunate rhetoric are, I think, some valid issues about picking and choosing comparison points, but both sides of the debate have been guilty of that; it seems to be the nature of our Madison Avenue society), I find a pretty broad understanding among both the general public and computer professionals of the relative merits of Macs and PCs and acceptance that both have their pros and cons.

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