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Anna Murray

Anna Murray
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New York, New York, USA
Birthday
July 25
Bio
Anna Murray is a writer and resident of the Upper East Side.

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Salon.com
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AUGUST 2, 2010 4:46PM

I Hate Apple

Rate: 23 Flag

Not just hate: despise.

Loathe.

Actually, I can remember an even stronger word from SAT vocab books. Here it is: execrate – a word for what you feel when someone you trusted, even loved, has betrayed you profoundly.

Until now, hating Apple was my deep, dark secret. The rest of the world seems to be in love. You’re supposed to love Apple these days. It’s a requirement. I checked with the media.

In my case, admitting all this is a professional liability. I’m a career technology consultant; I’m supposed to be impartial. “Technology agnostic” is what we call it in the biz. But even we professionals can have our emotional baggage.

It all started in 1984, in high school, when I got my first Mac. How I loved that little machine, with its boxy body, post-card-sized screen, and pebbly, putty-colored skin. Suddenly computers, which had previously seemed so cold and alien, were cute, approachable, even vaguely human. Owning a 1984 Mac was like having your own personal R2D2.

Over the next ten years, I would own a grand total of six.

Then Apple hit the skids. I felt like the child of parents making really bad decisions and being stubborn about them. Apple’s addiction to producing hardware married to an operating system put the company at the competitive mercy of the Evil Windows Borg. Soon, Apples were disappearing and you could not get along in any corporation unless you learned Windows.

Windows? Come on! Why couldn’t the anti-trust judges see through the cheap ruse of Microsoft having ripped off the Macintosh OS? And why didn’t Apple do something? Any screenwriter worth his salt could have easily dictated the most righteous plot: Underdog Apple would retaliate by concocting a brilliant plan to best the borg beast. But somehow Apple missed that storyline.

The switch to Windows was painful. How painful? Remember Windows 3.0? The only thing worse than that Frankenstein mashup of DOS and a graphical user interface was Windows 95. You had to install thirteen disks—and a lot of the time the process would fail on disk twelve and a half. And how about the Windows mouse? “Right click”? What the hell is a right click? Then all the close buttons were in the wrong place. I had to re-learn file naming: Eight plus three. No spaces. No special characters. File extensions. File extensions were very important. For me, that was the absolute limit. If, as we were constantly being reminded, these new machines were as powerful as the computer that got us to the moon, why couldn’t it tell the difference between a document and a bitmap without my help?

The patient developers at the educational software company where I worked helped me through my grief. There would no longer be open-Apple anything. Fumbling along in Windows with my pitiful Mac skills, I felt like a city slicker recruited to work on a hardscrabble dude ranch. Eventually, though, the saddle sores went away. I even got to like it. What choice did I have? It must be said: Windows was there for me, like the guy who shows up after you’ve been dumped.

Imagine my surprise and pique when Apple came roaring back with those pelvis-gyrating iPod commercials. It was sort of like the storyline I had hoped for all along—but too little, too late. The iPod was “revolutionary”! An MP3 player? Revolutionary? Hadn’t they been around for like 10 years already? Oh well, okay. The scroll wheel was cool. 

For support of my Apple cynicism, I had always turned to the techies and developers among my colleagues. Software guys, hardcore geeks who prefer their gadgets and programs complicated, were the most stalwart of Apple critics—that is, until the oughties. Now they wanted Macs, too! They said the operating system was better. Well, duh. Of course it is. We’re talking Apple here. But that is so not the point. The point is that when the ex-boyfriend shows up, glamorous and gym-pumped with a rippling six-pack, you are supposed to defend Mr. Reliable, the one who picked you up off the floor when you were dumped.  

But Apple was back and it was hip and “subversive.” But are you really “subversive” if you have high price tags, slick commercials, retail outlets that look like futuristic movie sets, and fawning media? I sure hope the folks responsible for the Apple 1984 commercial—the one that positioned the original Mac against Orwellian Windows—are getting good residuals on this one, because the image they invented stuck but good. These days, Apple is no more “alternative” than Target or Walmart. Yet we think they are. How Orwellian is that?

As long as I’m taking off the gloves here, let’s talk Apple’s reputation for quality. Recently, they can’t get something as simple as an antenna right. Antenna technology—how long has that been around? I seem to recall a guy named Marconi. Moreover: far from the company’s crunchy, free-thinking reputation, Apple is now the purveyor of one of the most closed and proprietary systems in the modern technology landscape.

And then there’s the way Apple has taken on the Kindle. Opening the Amazon box containing my first Kindle took me right back to 1984, down to the putty-colored plastic and smack-your-head simplicity. The Kindle does one thing and it does it right—in black and white, just like the Mac. Because, if we’re honest here, what the Mac did—what it really did—was to make word processing simple and available to the masses. For my money, the Kindle is the real keeper of the 1984 flame. And Apple has gone up against it with its ridiculous, heavy, status-symbol iPad. Incidentally, anyone who says he can type on the on-screen iPad keyboard is lying.

If you criticize Apple these days, you are regarded as the worst of bad sports. You are branded as someone who just doesn’t get the cultural Zeitgeist, the profound wonderfulness that is Apple. The business media constantly cries “buy-buy-buy.” They don’t even question the fact that the whole company seems to be poised on the shoulders of one (albeit brilliant, and visionary, but still singular) guy. If GM’s future hinged on such a strategy, would the press be so supportive?

Every Apple move screams “over-confidence,” from its commercials to the premature release of the iPhone 4. Yet it seems Apple can do no wrong. I remember a time when the company displayed similar hubris. And that storyline ended badly. 

Anna Murray is a principal in technology-consulting firm tmg-e*media, inc. (www.tmg-emedia.com), and currently serving as Acting CIO of Time Out New York.

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This is cute,
curmudgeonly,
smart,
funny,
misguided.

In that order. Enjoyed and rated.
Moreover: far from the company’s crunchy, free-thinking reputation, Apple is now the purveyor of one of the most closed and proprietary systems in the modern technology landscape.

Reputation aside, keeping tight control over hardware and system software is a good part of what made Apple successful. Just for what it's worth.
Very entertaining! But, really have you tried Windows Vista? My laptop died weeks ago and I'm still trying to resusucitate it. Meanwhile, the Apple lovin' chorus is taunting me for not buying a Mac.
I could not be happier with my Apple MacBook and I-phone and how they work together almost seamlessly.
My Apple products work great and I highly recommend them.
Preciously, I was on Windows. Blech.
Until now, hating Apple was my deep, dark secret. The rest of the world seems to be in love. You’re supposed to love Apple these days. It’s a requirement. I checked with the media.

What are you, twelve?

Recently, they can’t get something as simple as an antenna right. Antenna technology—how long has that been around?

Yep, you are. And credulous. Do you just read sensationalist headlines? Or do you just like to boil things down to atoms so simplistic that they end up patently false?

You're certainly allowed to your own opinions, but you're not allowed to your own facts.

I wonder how much business you're going to lose as a technology consultant when you appear to do nothing but react to others' opinions, which you in turn appear to obtain from canards from the competiton, scurrilous skimming and jejune jackassery on your own part.

You can't even manage to set yourself apart from any petty Fandroid out there.

Believe it or not (and you won't), most people buy things because of what they do and how they work.

Apple's UIs are the best, and this something you can put up against cognitive psychology and against human-computer interaction theory.

Remind yourself that opinion is different to fact or even theory.

Start with that next time. And as you write, also END with it.
As Rob said: Reputation aside, keeping tight control over hardware and system software is a good part of what made Apple successful. Just for what it's worth.

Windows sucks partly because Microsoft is trying to ride hard on the developers to 'get religion' and stop making crap software. Remember the old DOS days? (You probably don't, but many do) The memory was limited to 640K. That was it. You could put a gig in, but all you could use was the 640, and usually not even that much of it.

Windows has been hog tied by its past. Apple dumped what was it, System 6 going to System 7 and left a whole lot of people, and programmers, in the dust. Nearly everything changed. Many programs wouldn't run on it at all, period. THAT is what Microsoft needs to do. They almost did it with their change to 64-bit.

I am a consultant and support a whole bunch of different clients (I also do service work too) and I carry a MacBook Pro. Why? Because it's (so far) immune to the viruses and other badness that some of my client infect themselves with. It just works, every time... Some clients were surprised, and a few inquired and some of them now sport MacBook Pro notebooks.

I do try to keep an open mind. I had a Mac friendly client recently ask about doing POS (Point Of Sale, cash registers) with all Macs. Uh, I surprised them by saying that it's not quite there yet... Close...

I recommend the best tool for the purpose and the user. Apple has their problems, but at least it's not because there are three or four companies products involved and everything has hit the fan (and the fingers are coming out pointing at everyone else).

I like the iPhone and iPad. They work. The biggest issue that I've had with any Apple product is due to third party programs that misbehave. In the Windows would, that's a song I'm all to familiar with... It's singing the blues...

So far, the only companies that I've loathed and hated with a passion are Dell (support? What's that?), Novell (dumped Netware after screwing it up beyond hope), Red Hat (long story), HP (Off and on. For Mac compatible products that aren't), Cisco (another long story), and AMD... yet, we still sell HP and Dell for people that just have to have those four letters on their junk... ;-\
FWIW: I can reproduce that 'antenna thing' on my 3GS. I had a Motorola early digital phone that I swear to this day had flaky reception that now I think was due to the way I held it...

You kind of have to take the latest firestorm about Apple with a grain of salt. So much of it is just someone trying to grab some sensationalistic headline and put a chink in their holster. Apple seems to be a favorite target of people that really have never used a Mac. Ran into a sales person telling some outlandish lie at the Best Buy: "We get most of the Apples that we sell back because people end up not liking them" the idiot says. "Oh really?" says I. How many have you sold? says I. "None" says he, adding "I can't stand them and turn people to one of the PC clones we sell"... 'Oh, I see' says I. "So because you 'don't like' Apple products, you steer people away from them. How sad and juvenile." as I lung for the kill... "Just because you are ignorant does not mean that everyone you interact with who asks about Macs is in the same state as you. I own both, and find the Mac OS very easy to use and actually use it more than my Windows systems".

Sometimes I get the 'well the files aren't compatible' argument to which a showing of the box for Microsoft Office for the Mac shuts them up. On one particularly evil night, I actually sold someone an iMac in spite of the thrashing of the salesman! He was pissed and pouted the whole time as demonstrated the iMac and I loaded the customer up with software and accessories and walked them to the register. They still love their Mac and were glad they ran into me...

Not preferring Mac's isn't a crime. Limiting yourself to only one technology when you are in a position where others rely on your opinion is 'unfortunate'... But sometimes Macs aren't the answer. Many time they are...
See Bonnie, from someone who always talked in code with his wife, I see nothing wrong with that commercial (although I've never had kids either). I always hated people listening in on my calls and gossiping about them later. Plus, I think it's a cute way to take the drama out of the moment...

Whatever...

I've always found it interesting how things play differently off different people... It's quite amazing sometimes. Nothing wrong with it at all... Things just resonate differently with people sometimes...
I use Linux and open source software, which is free. And I don't have to deal with Windows or Apple.
Here's why I hate Apple: "The Genius Bar." You have to make an "appointment" with one of the "Geniuses." Give me a f**king break. If they're "geniuses," then so was Einstein's dog. I took my daughter's laptop there twice. The last time, we had to wait 30 minutes after the Mac rebooted because our "Genius" was somewhere in the back room, rethinking the theory of relativity or something. And he still didn't fix the problem.

In a couple of cities, like Boston, they've ruined the character of a neighborhood by building their all-glass palaces in among the brownstones. But Apple knows better.

And I want to punch that smug "Mac Guy" in the mouth.

Absolutely RATED.
agree with everything written.
a lot of this is related to Jobs personality. egotistical virtuoso that he is.
Fucking brilliant. I hate Apple, too, for many of the same reasons and my own, special bitterness. I bought one of their desktops in '02, two months before they went to a new generation. I didn't know they were going to do that, or I would have waited two months. Or else, I would have expected a discount. Full price, and the thing was top of the line for two months. It's a typical Apple fuck-you to customers. We can do what we want, charge what we want, because we're cute and cuddly. A lot of computer companies are evil. Apple is just a hypocrite about it.

I remember those horrible years, late 90s, when we all got sucked into the Windows vortex, screaming, grabbing at tree branches, but there was nothing that ran on Apple anymore. My company stopped making their database for the Apple platform. FrameMaker quit being written for Mac, and that's what we had to use. I got my first PC laptop, and I succumbed to carpal tunnel.

I've never had technical problems with my Dells like my sister has with her Macs. The Macs do not have discernibly higher quality, they have better interface design (hence easier on the user) and that gap is closing. The thing about Windows is nobody expects to love it, which is good. It's a tool, not a relationship or way of life. Just a machine.
They are monopolistic and greedy. Id they love their customers, why do they screw them on price with such a high profit margin. Microsoft beat them out taking the Ford approach. High volume low profit margin. The reason it was shaky was because two teams were developing NT and Windows seperately and it was converging around 200 almost perfected by XP. As for Mac, they stole most of their ideas from PARC. Xerox was making modern dektops in the mid 70s. But getting back to the greed and monopolistic practices, everyone uses MP3s, but no, who uses M4As to monopolize players. Once you upload stuff you're stuck. And good luck with the $100 battery when it runs out. As for bringing word processing? You mean with Microsoft Word for mac? Adobe Pagemaker? Quark Xpress? How did Mac create them?
as an old journalist, i still want a blackberry with a keyboard, and i don't think like a mac. party on windows.
It really is quite a phenomenon how emotional we all get about various technology platforms. It's not just business practices and all that -- it's a sense of loyalty and betrayal that's not all that dissimilar to th
e relationships people have with various sports franchises . . .
In other words, it's completely irrational.

I'm not sure if this was your (humorous) intention, but I read this screed as that of a jilted lover. You fell for the cuddly Mac of 1984 and invested your sense of technological security in it only to be betrayed by Apple's later false steps in being out-maneuvered by the Microsoft behemoth. I was with you there. But how this metastasized into full-blown loathing isn't entirely clear to me, in part, because your examples are reasons to have a healthy skepticism of something "everyone" loves, as opposed to reasons to hate it.

And then there's the alternative, which though not entirely loathsome, gives me reasons to execrate every time I go to work and am forced to deal with Windows and Dell and the huge IT department needed to support it. Rated, all the same.
BTW, I started with macs in graphics classes, and wasn't impressed when Windows 95 came out. But they evolved. In 2002 they could do no wrong with Office and Windows XP pro. Since 07 theyve been going off the deep end. as for iPhone, iPad, dont know much about them. Don't really care. They are like Starbucks. Another greedy corporation that gets a free ride in the press. Like if you have the right logo and commercials you're hip. Yeah, and Nike isn't a big slave labor camp with cool commercials. Image means nothing.
I'm not a big fan of the new Apple as Evil Empire thing myself, but I have to differ with you - they didn't go anywhere in the 80s and 90s. Husband is a graphic artist and he's owned one Mac or another his entire adult life (since the late 80s.) Apple didn't force anyone to Windows 3.0. They just didn't try very hard to keep the business-user market for many years. (although for a long time, if you were serious about graphics, computer illustration, and photo manipulation, Mac was the only serious option.)

We've been a dual-platform household for 15 years, and I've done time in the IT department of a dual-platform ad agency. I can confirm that Macs do break down, do stupid things, and crash, just like PCs do.

I do love my iPod and iTunes, though. I know, I know, DRM. But damn, my whole music collection at my fingertips and in my car. It was definitely a life-changing experience for me, the most important piece of technology of the past 20 years. (sounds similar to your Kindle epiphany - I haven't had the nerve to dive into e-readers yet.)
I love my Mac even if the power cord did catch on fire (no flames, but there was smoke!).
So, I'm not the only one who smells a rotten Apple!

Having royally fumbled its personal computer business, Apple now wants to be the purveyor of DRM and restriction-laden high-tech toys. Oh well, I hear that Steve Jobs reportedly scammed his partner Steve Wozniak out of a tidy sum, so what do we expect?
@Noirville LeadenRocker - Apple doesn't have a Monopoly, not even close! so learn basic business terms... to have a "Monopoly", a company has to OWN and ABUSE an entire "market segment". Apple is "vertically integrated" which is not illegal, and is the way Apple has earned such high satisfaction and built such great quality products. If you don't want to pay a bit more for the best, then you can go elsewhere. And don't be crazy, Apple never stole anything from PARC, Xerox INVITED Apple to see what they were doing for $10 million in Apple stock (worth many billion today) Apple was allowed 3 visits and the rest Apple did on their own. Today everyone uses the Mac Interface, or the (poorly made knockoffs called Windows or Linux) nobody uses the Xerox Interface. No, Apple only uses OPEN formats like AAC for music, there is NO LOCKIN when you use Apple, it's the largest, most open platform in the world don't forget. And a $100 battery? Where are you getting this stuff? You don't need to get your battery replaced by Apple, you can do it yourself or have a repair shop do it for less. You seem very uninformed about computers, so don't post again to the internet on this subject unless you do research. Thanks.
iPods are the most important development in the past 20 years? That's just silly. It's a better Sony Walkman. We have PCs, the internet, cell phones, GPS tracking devices, nanotechnology, gene mapping, laptops, wireless routers, zip drive, external drives the size of floppy drives holding a terrabyte of storage. Yes iPods are cool. But a a musician, I also see them as adding no functionality, but more storage in smaller space. I've got my favorite 300 albums in one. 600 on my desktop. But a spinning wheel to get through 300 albums? Like a page up page down button is too difficult? Batteries that dont cost $100? You spend time ripping your CDs your stuck with their format. Yes, iPods are cool. They just arent very important in the big scheme of things.
Yes, they monopolize their archetecture, and M4As. They get people hooked on them for graphics and music, like Adobe then charge out the asshole. Microsoft has never been expensive. They wanted everyone to have a cheap computer with maximum functionality, not $3,000 laptops. Xerox had a PC with a graphical user interface, graphics, word processing, email , a mouse and a network. Xerox invented the PC. Apple made it affordable. Microsoft, along with Dell, Compact, HP, made it much more affordable, which Apple continues to screw over the customers that love them with such a high profit margin compared to Dell, Compact, HP. Apple monopolizes the creative fields, gets every movie studio to use one with freebies, and lives on nonstop free hype like Starbucks. The fact is, they cost too much for something you can do on a PC anyway. But at this point all graphic artists are used to and dependent upon them though they cant barely afford to buy one because of Apples greed.Like I said, Microsoft if more like Henry Ford. They want everyone to own an affordable computer because it reinvents peoples lives. Without spending $2,000 on a desktop every 3 years.
"You seem very uninformed about computers, so don't post again to the internet on this subject unless you do research."

A) I work as a computer programer,
B) your handle makes me think you work for Apple and have no objectivity and
C) Don't tell me where I can post or on what subject, you fascist loser.
Thanks for giving such an eloquent voice to my feelings! I'd never buy an Apple Ianything! My lap cost under $600, so if I need to fix it, it's in the budget. The reason why Macs seem immune to viruses (they're not) is that it's much more efficient to create a PC virus. One worm can hit a maximum of 10% of users, the other 90%.
I'm with Stellaa on this one. Hating Apple is the new chic. Apple simply works. btw, breaking: "Antenna-gate" was bogus.
I enjoyed a lot ,this is funny and makes me happy love it :-)
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You are not alone! Today Apple is desperately trying to monopolize media distribution through their products and this is where I draw the line. I made a decision long ago to stop using Apple products for this reason. A friend of mine asked me to program their ipod because they were not able to follow the 50 plus pages of instructions, and it was during this process I discovered the proprietary programming nightmare of Apple. NO MORE! Today all of my external media devices will plug and play with any computer and no extra programming needed. It is nice to open up a device same as opening a folder and to click and drag files to and from a device is the ONLY way to go. Apple has failed miserably in this respect because they want to sell you not only the device, but to also then control what is put on the device and more specifically to purchase music and other from them and this is basically a monopoly and as such is to be completely avoided and I can tell you I am much happier today with non-Apple products. No more indecipherable manuals. No more control over me with proprietary programming. I am free!
Noirville: You are an idiot. It's 'Compaq' and it's now a part of HP as in HP/Compaq...

Apple does not control markets as much as the fearful idiots pretend they do. And yes, the iPod was very much a game changer. No one had done it that way before. It's so simple. It was cross platform. It's flexible. It just rocks. And Dell has failed to take the ring out of Apple's hands. Microsoft too...

I hated the original Macintosh. No expansion, no slots, no fans. It just didn't make sense when viewed from a PC mindset. But it just freaking worked. Then Apple came up with the NUBUS slots in the Mac II and they rocked too. Then they came up with the Mac IIcx and its 'dirty ROM's'. That's when I dumped Apple after having been burned by that. They even put a ROM SIMM slot in the IIcx and never came out with a ROM SIMM to fix the issue. I was pissed. Betrayed? Hell yeah. It took years to get me interested in another Mac. Then I bought an iMac and have loved them ever sense.

People with closed minds only look at what they want to see. I see the entire computing industry and marvel at the tools available to the 'common man'.

We have Sun Solaris, Windows servers, Macs (which outnumber the Windows boxes) and macs in various forms. We also had a Digital mini computer (now part of HP/Compaq) and life is good...

Creative people still generally flock to Macs. They monopolize nothing that wasn't bequeathed to them by the rest of the industries idiocy... What they do, they do well. I don't mind paying slightly more (do your research you idiots. Price a PC with the full functionality of a Mac and see where the costs go) because they work and they do stand behind their products. I got a brand new late model iMac after mine couldn't be fixed to suit me. Try that with a Dell. BTW: Dell's support is more PR lies that actual 'world class', unless you refer to it being 'third world' class... We used to sell Dells. Talk about a cult of personality. They are diva's compared to Apple. Dell's 'built to order' was a hysterical lie...
Decent article. I love the boyfriend analogy.
I hate Apple and Microsoft. All their stuff is based on shit.
The secret of Apple's success is here. It's all about the emotional attachment.
It's interesting to me that all the "I hate Apple" items I see on the Internet have many false statements about Apple products in them. What people seem to hate is their misconceptions about the subject. And this air of being grievously persecuted that the Apple haters have! To hear them talk, you would not realize that the fashion these days is to trash-talk Apple, not love it.
It should be pointed out that among the fervent defenders of Apple in the comments, OS11 and JonJ appear to have created accounts for the sole purpose of defending Apple - they have never commented on, or posted, anything else here - and godofbiscuits has posted two comments since the first of the year, in both cases to defend Apple. That doesn't automatically make their motivations suspicious, but it should make you take their opinions with a grain of salt.
Linux w/open software for developers

Linux isn't just for developers. I'm not a developer, just an ordinary user who uses my computer for surfing the net, word processing, managing photos, listening to music, etc. I can do all of that easily with Linux and open source software. Some of the software, admittedly, isn't quite as good as the proprietary versions (the Photoshop equivalent is a good example). But...free. Plus I'm not a professional so I don't need all the bells and whistles.

Another advantage to Linux: Like Macs, Linux machines are virtually virus free because bad guys focus their efforts where they can make the biggest impact--Windows machines.

You install Linux on your Windows machine, so you don't have to buy special hardware to use it. That means you can go out and buy a cheap computer instead of dropping the major dollars required for an Apple machine.

So: Free software. Virus protection. Use on low-cost hardware. That's why I use Linux.

You can learn more here:

http://www.ubuntu.com/

http://www.canonical.com/about-ubuntu/for-you
CrankyCuss,

Why should we consider the comments of those subscribers who have established accounts for this post or those posters who rarely post with a “grain of salt”? I rarely comment and only have one post: are my thoughts less valid because of this?

Have you verified that the content of those posters’ comments you ask us to consider being suspicious of is invalid? Perhaps they comment because this is the one post they have an interest in and, additionally, could actually have some background knowledge in the subject matter, as might be the case for the one commenter who commented on other Apple-related posts. Is this “writing” Web site truly so restrictive that subscribers must establish a minimum number of posts and comments before their voices be considered worthy?

Moreover, why shouldn’t we be more suspicious of those who post and comment frequently? After all, those people posting and commenting multiple times a day surely can’t be experts on all of the posts they write and comment on, can they? I would think we should we be more inclined to take their opinions with a “grain of salt.”
One more thing: if you use Firefox or Google Chrome, you're already using open source software. Moving to Linux is really just an extension of that.

If you're not quite ready to move to a whole new operating system, Open Office makes a free Microsoft Office equivalent that you can use on Windows or Mac. It's another gateway drug to Linux (that's what got me to make the plunge).

http://www.openoffice.org/
Sigh. My evil twin rants again.

Mom gave her a PC. I got a Mac. She never got over it.

Hey sis, what's with the "pelvis gyrating" cliche?

My fiction is better. Mom said so.

http://www.amazon.com/Unbroken-Hearts/dp/B0017I7XY0/
@Totle: I take them with a grain of salt because in my time here, I have seen many accounts created for the sole purpose of advocating or denouncing a single issue or product. For all I know, they could be employees of that company, members of a political organization, someone with a monetary interest in pushing the product or someone with a special grievance.

I sometimes post comments on other sites, and I have seen some of these people reappear when the same subject arises there. They never seem to discuss anything else. It's as if their sole interest is pushing that one opinion/product.

It is true that many of the regular posters here may not be fully informed on the subject they are writing about. But they are far more likely to be giving their honest opinion rather than having a personal, perhaps financial, motivation in expressing it.
Anna! GREAT post. I literally sat here and laughed as you brought back a great memory of everything "open-apple". I think I found it funny because I haven't heard anyone use the phrase "open-apple" in, what... more than 20 years? My first Apple was the "Apple ][e" and I loved it. Then got sucked into the world of Commodore 64's and 64c's and modems (WOOHOO I've got 2400 baud! WOW!) and BBS'.... aaahhhhhh great memories of computer history.

And that IS all history... Now the whole Mac OS structure is just plain foreign to me and I'm hesitant to by "i-anything". On the flip side, I'm absolutely nauseous knowing that Microsoft, in short order, will be abandoning Windows XP and I will be forced to buy a new PC with the latest Windows version on it. Because the concept of upgrading my laptop to the new OS has always been and always will be a veritable impossibility, without replacing every damn card in the unit. Now I'm upset. THANKS A LOT! HAHA

Rated. Happy Tuesday and smiles your way.
@CrankyCuss,

In my time here, I have witnessed posters who post and comment frequently who appear to have hidden agendas as well. For example, those who comment on other posts and mention their own similarly related posts (and who might also have Tippem jars). Considering the worth of establishing Internet presence in today’s publishing world, couldn’t these commenting circles also be considered an attempt at financial gain, albeit an oftentimes-delayed one?

And what of the attorneys and health professionals who post here? Shouldn’t they also be accused of pushing their agendas for financial gain as opposed to offering expert opinion? Recommending this or that course of action, which might cost a client or patient more than another less costly, equally effective path these experts have not researched or lack familiarity with could be the result of such altruism, while simultaneously sparking a financial uptick for these more costly recommended services, couldn’t it? Conversely, should we consider any of their health- or legal-related comments less valid because they earn their living in those professions?

Further, an “honest” opinion can also be a narrow one and therefore, not particularly germane. It is the false-dilemma rhetoric in your first post and the hedging language of this second one that troubles me. (Too much “for all I know” and “more likely to” for my decision-making process.)

Absent verification of the inaccuracy of these posters’ statements, I am unwilling to disregard their thoughts based on your criteria, just as other posters would (and should) be unwilling to disregard those thoughts of frequent posters based on the false dilemma-rhetoric I posited at the end of my first post.

Some people may not feel the need to proffer their thoughts on everything and anything; some may be only inspired to fervently defend their passions, perhaps because they feel they have the knowledge to comment beyond the empirical encounter.

(My apologies to Ms. Murray and other posters for going off topic.)
"In my time here, I have witnessed posters who post and comment frequently who appear to have hidden agendas as well. For example, those who comment on other posts and mention their own similarly related posts (and who might also have Tippem jars)."

Oh, I don't think anyone should hide an agenda.
I still love Apple. I hate Dell.
Good post.
@Totle: But the attorneys and health-care professionals haven't hidden their occupation. You can still take their views with a grain of salt, but at least you know where they are coming from.
Dear Cranky,

As a matter of fact, I am not an Apple employee, stockholder of the company, relative of Steve J., or hypnotized by the famous Jobs RDF, as far as I know.

My only qualification for commenting on the subject is that I have been an Apple user since 1985, and have been quite happy with their products, despite the occasional flaw, which any human-made contrivance will have. I did indeed just sign up with Open Salon just before commenting here, but I have had a regular Salon account for several years and have read quite a few Open Salon posts, so I'm not really a stranger.

(Wow, what a manifestation of paranoia!)
You hit it spot on. I used Apple computers from 1983 to 1998. Then I switched to Windows. In 2004 I tried switching back after experiencing the iPod; it was a great re-romance for the first couple years... then it came back. The lock-in, the inability to troubleshooting aging problems... my chipset is now unsupported, the computer gray-screen-of-death, politely labeled in a dozen languages. Then I discovered a $200 Atom desktop running Windows 7 and I switched again. For all her defects, Windows lets me touch her in ways deeper and more provoking than Mac ever did. When she gets down, I know how to lift her spirits - and she's aged wonderfully, more beautiful than when we first met. In return she'll do practically anything I ask of her and with anyone I want - it's a very open relationship. More open than when I dated that Linux bitch - she only hung around the same pinko circle; I found her circle of friends was small, limited, and quite out dated compared to commercial systems. Sure she was really open, and left nothing to the imagination... but you know I didn't need to see that much.

Windows, you're mine - forever.
@Noirville LeadenRocker:

Apple didn't STEAL their UI concepts from Xerox PARC; they BOUGHT them. Unlike Microsoft who did steal the Mac GUI (but created an inferior knock-off), knowing that they had the deep pockets to tie Apple up in court indefinitely. Get your facts straight before you criticize Apple.

And BTW, this whole article is just another recycling of the same old tired, juvenile clichés about Apple and Apple users, who are assumed to buy Apple's machines because we're dazzled by shiny objects or ignorantly fall for their silly advertising campaigns. Some of us actually use Apple products because they are the best tool to do the work that pays our bills.

I've worked on Windows machines in jobs I've held in the past and would never allow such a buggy, unstable, needlessly complicated machine in my house. Recently I was in an office of the Department of Aging, where the clerk was running Windows on a Dell. When she told me she'd had to reboot FOUR times that morning (it was only 11:00 a.m.) I just about fell out of my chair. I can't even remember the last time any of my Macs actually locked up and had to be rebooted, it has to be at least a decade.

That's why people buy Macs.
Funny and thoughtful, Anna. You've probably read, but your readers might enjoy, Neal Stephenson's great (and aging well) essay, "In the Beginning Was the Command Line" :

http://www.cryptonomicon.com/beginning.html

...which compares Apple, Windows and Linux not to boyfriends but to cars, though the concepts are similar. (Macs are foreign sportsters that are a blast to drive, Windows the comfortable Ford station wagon...and Linux systems are free, fuel-efficient M-1 Tanks!)

My wife is a Mac girlfriend, I'm a Linux user at home, both of us must use Windows at work. I get to experience the rage you feel about Macs on Windows, because our work machines are "locked down" so you can't do much with them. (I have changed the "My Computer" icon to "Their Computer").

Apple never made bones about their preference for producing "appliances" - devices you relate to strictly from the outside, through the provided user interface. I like Mac products when I only use them as appliances - but the moment I need more control - trying to load an iPod from Linux for instance, and finding that the green and blue Shuffles have slightly different drivers, just to make life difficult for non-iTunes users - and I'm back in Mac Hate territory.

The eternal tradeoff is between your control level and the education and practice you need to handle that control. Apple makes the power available to the completely inexperienced the way that Disney makes jungle accessible with its "Jungle Ride"... to the disgust of people who really can hike an Amazon trail, but the delight of those who never could.

This is what Stephenson makes clear with many good real-world examples in that essay. His description of the "Hole Hawg" brand drill that is strictly for professionals is worth the time of reading alone.