My life is a lot like West Side Story. Even if you take away my constant dancing and occasional problem solving knife fights, it’s still pretty much West Side Story. Well, actually, I’ve never assaulted a police officer or had any reason to mess with the Sharks, but I did briefly date a Puerto Rican woman in college. I’m getting off topic, hold on, my original thought about West Side Story was that I use a PC at home, and Macs at work. And it tears my life apart! I’m in a constant struggle to maintain some sort of peace between the people I know, because I’m always in a state of betraying the other. My friends are all 100% Windows users, I don’t have a single Mac using friend. But at work I see the power of the Mac, something they do not see. To my friends, whenever I talk about Macs I’m pretty sure they just envision the uber-simple 1993 Macintosh computers that we used to play Oregon Trail II on in elementary school and think that Apple products are for the “slower” folks. And at work when I mention my Windows machine, I’m pretty sure everyone just imagines some horrible flurry of files scattered everywhere in all dark corners of the hard drive, a virus-ridden plague of a device that can only be turned off each night with a blue screen of death. The truth is, I use both, and when I look at them, all I see is a couple of computers…
Now I know that there are drastic and bold arguments out there for each, probably in the programming world, I mean EVERYONE knows that Neo never would have entered the Matrix on an iMac, and I guarantee that Jeff Goldblum could never have launched a virus into the mothership of those alien bastards in Independence Day without his suped up Powerbook. The infinitely advanced aliens were expecting Windows 95, but instead they got the wrath of Mac OS 7! Bwahahaha!
A lot of the argument lies in the functionality and aesthetic differences between the two. But I don’t think they are all that different. I mean they are both computers, they both do the same things with the right software. These childish comparisons are the equivalent of making fun of your fifth grade classmate for having braces. They aren’t even all that different at the most shallow level. Prepare to shield your eyes, Mac users, AS BEHOLD, I GIVE YOU THE NIGHTMARE THAT IS WINDOWS VISTA!
I haven’t updated my anti-virus software on my PC yet. That whole virus argument doesn’t mean much to me. I know this annoying security risk stuff is for preventing the INEVITABLE viruses that ALL PCs get, but I don’t really understand that fear of computer viruses on your personal computer. My McAfee virus protection software stopped being on my computer when its 3 month out-of-the-box free trial ended. Hmmm, I still don’t have a virus on my PC…!
My PC tends not to have viruses, without needing working anti-virus software, typically because I do not download Russian-made Photoshop imitation software from shady torrent sites. I also don’t open e-mails from people like “Da3uinis Mcshul0r” who are giving me the subject line “Clixk hre for ultim0te party; girrlz aR the teen0age” CHANCES ARE that is POSSIBLY a SPAM message. I mean, I have a friend from college named Da4uinis Mcshul0r, but NOT Da3uinis Mcshul0r… NICE TRY INTERNET, YOU ALMOST GOT ME!
And I don’t like the argument that Macs are easier for beginners to use than Windows, or vice versa. If you sit my Grandpa in front of a computer, he won’t know what the hell is going on, regardless of the operating system. I built a PC in high school (for an electronics class semester credit nonetheless, why hello ladies!?) and when I went to college and had to do all my video work on Macs, it’s not as if I set myself on fire in protest. If you know things about computers, then you should be able to find your way around on the opposing operating system, and if you don’t know anything about computers, then you should equally hate ALL computers.
I don’t want to turn this into a Mac vs. PC bullet pointed comparison, there’s plenty of other places to see that. I want to take the journeyman’s approach, and go right to the source, find out what I can about the actual companies that make them. So I called Microsoft first and asked them if I could have a tour of their factory. The man on the phone was kind of grizzled sounding, which was odd, but he sent me a one way plane ticket to Harbor Canyon, Mississippi, so I could see where Windows was born.
Me – “Yes… Yes I am Mr. Bob.”
Billy Joe Bob – “Actually, it’s Mr. McMuddberry. Billy Joe Bob is mah first name. Billy Joe Bob McMuddberry.”
Me – (looks around for possible exit strategies) “I see…”
Billy Joe Bob – “Come ohn intah mah factoray” (points at silver coated log cabin)
Me – “That’s really shiny BJB, what’s your house covered with by the way?”
Billy Joe Bob – “Dat’s alluminum foil. Dat’s so da government can’t access da chip dey put in mah brain back in Nam. And dat ain’t mah houze, yankee, dat’s mah factoray where I build custum Windas computahs. Dat’s why I intercepted yer phone call, I heard you was writin’ an innernet article discussin’ why Windas is the superiah computah. I brought ya hea, so ya could help start up da revolution wit us! We need mo’ proud Windas born Americans in ah organizatun.”
Me – “Wow, I don’t know how to react to this, I’d be honored, but you seem absolutely insane. I’m actually writing about how PCs and Macs are sort of similar.”
Billy Joe Bob – “WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, NAH! What did ya just say to my listin’ holes? You talkin’ ’bout MACS??? In frunt of meee??? You ain’t no… MAC LOVER are ya?!?”
Me – “Well, I actually use both and I – “
(Billy Joe Bob pulls out enormous hunting knife)
Billy Joe Bob – “I can’t believe I let some NO GOOD, MAC LOVIN’, LEOPARD HUGGIN’, DOWN-AND-DIRTY APPLE EATIN’ SON OF A GUN IN MAH FACTORAY!!!! NAH YA GONNA DIE!!”
(I start running)
Me – “NOT COOL! NOT COOL!”
Billy Joe Bob – “Git ’em boys!”
I’m now running through the woods of Mississippi, a gang of Windows enthusiasts with pitchforks and torches chasing me. I dodge between the trees, only thinking in my head “What the hell is going on with these people?” I enter a clearing, oh no, it’s on the edge of a cliff! I’m doomed!
So this is how I meet my end, at the hands of rednecks…! Then a flash happens to my left, almost blinding me momentarily.
I look over at the hillbillies and realize that crazy teleporting future woman is the better option, so I grab her hand, she types in something into her watch we jump into some sort of Kubrick-esk black hole!
Me – “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… Did you say traveled TO Earth, implying that you aren’t actually FROM Earth…?
Tarmacia – “That is correct, Scott. In fact YOU are no longer on Earth. You are now aboard the Apple-9 Millennia, a floating space station in which all Apple products are developed.”
Tarmacia – “We heard about your internet article on the Macintosh system, and were watching you closely.”
Me – “Why does everyone care so much about my internet article?”
Tarmacia – “Apple follows all news about Apple, regardless of importance. The fact of the matter is we value your stance, and would like to introduce you to Emperor Jobs.”
Me – “Well, I’d kinda rather just go back to Earth, I’m not really in a state of mind to-“
Tarmacia – “And I find you very attractive.”
Me – “OK, I’ll follow you.”
(as she leads me down a hallway, a man forcefully pulls me into an adjacent room)
Me – “What’s iTravel, I’ve never heard of that?”
Hermac – “It’s an Apple brand time-travel machine, it won’t be released to the public until 2052. Apple develops all of their products decades in advance, but deprives the awesome technology to the public until Emperor Jobs feels they deserve it. The iPod was actually created in 1963, but an early model got leaked by accident to one John F. Kennedy during a routine Earth mission, by a developer working here on the Apple-9 named Lee Harvey Oswald. But Emperor Jobs declared the public wasn’t ready for it yet, so we, well, we did what we had to do…”
Me – “I feel like you had to tell me something about my current situation, and you’re wasting a lot of time with this boring story.”
Hermac – “Right! You’re in grave danger, we have to get out of here!”
Me – “What?! No way! I’m about to meet Steve Jobs, and I’m pretty sure that that Tarmacia chick has the hots for me.”
Hermac – “The Great iCouncil of Elders know that you’ve been to the Windows development facility, they’ve been trying to penetrate it for years, but the Windows developers can smell a pure blood Mac user from a mile away!”
Me – “Whoa, really? That was the ACTUAL Windows development facility? That tin foil covered log cabin with Billy Joe Bob?”
Hermac – “Indeed it was, and now the Elders will use an iScrambler to reduce your brain to pure information to be dumped on an iBrain for visualization. They want your knowledge of the Windows factory. They don’t really care about your internet article.”
Me – “But I was planning on writing a clear, focused blog post this time! I wasn’t going to go off into any bizarre tangents full of nonsense, they should be interested in it for once! Wait, why should I trust you anyway? Aren’t you one of these people?”
Hermac – “Tomorrow is my 27th birthday, after that I will no longer be cool enough to develop products for Apple. They take everyone older than 27 to the iShrine, for which they supposedly go to iParadise for an eternity of iRelaxation, but I learned the true secret, do you want to hear it?”
Me – “Not really, maybe we should go…”
Hermac – “They convert us into iPhone Apps. They melt us down with an iMelt, and turn us into iPhone Apps! THE APP STORE IS MADE OF PEOPLE!”
Me – “Yeah, whatever, I believe you, blah-blah-blah, let’s just get out of here, alright?” (I start to run away with Hermac)
Hermac – “QUICK SCOTT, GET IN HERE! IT’S AN iTRANSPORTER, IT WILL TAKE US BACK TO EARTH!”
Me – “OK cool I guess, let’s do it!”
Me – “Yeah, what was with those people? They were really freaking out back there…”
Kimoto – “Yes, your journeys have shown you the real truth. It is not one or the other that is better, both Windows and Macs are equally crazy in their genius. They both create great products, but their insanity towards one another will only lead to a path of utter destruction.”
Me – “Yeah, great message Bono… But what are you all about? Why do you know so much?”
Me – (gulp)