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Despite my personal experience with Apple products being limited to one old iPod (hated it), and an iBook back in the day (hated it even more) I’ve always felt justified voicing strong and negative feelings about Macs.
Keeping an Open Mind – Buying another Mac
When I decided it was time to get a new laptop (a fifth personal computer and the tenth in my home network with Rockstar, yes, we have a problem) I wanted to cover all my bases so I looked at Macbooks along with other laptops. Given my limited budget, and a quiet desire to add Mac OS to my existing Linux and Windows machines just for the sake of having all 3 major operating systems, I ended up with the inexpensive, purse-sized Macbook.
The actual shopping experience sucked. Despite about 20 employees on the floor at the Apple Store it took me a while to find anybody who would actually help me. Upgrading from 2 to 4 gigs of RAM meant I had a 1 hour wait before my machine was ready to take home. No problem, I grabbed some dinner, wandered the mall, and 2+ hours later started to wonder when I’d get the promised call to collect my new toy. After standing in line at the Apple store a second time I found my computer had been ready for a while – nobody had bothered to call me.
After playing around with my new Macbook for a couple of hours I have to admit that I might have to stop giving Rockstar such a hard time for his Mac fetish. No, I still don’t feel strange arousal at the sight of their glossy white logo, but this little machine is not entirely horrible. In fact, the user experience of the keyboard is very, very nice, and the giant multi-touch trackpad fills me with dread at the prospect of using my Lenovo work laptop again.
Having a built-in terminal client and Python interpreter forced me to reconsider my dismissive “Macs are for artists and idiots” stance.
After a Week
So far, so good. My previous terrible iBook experience is all but forgotten, and using my Lenovo laptop at work is just a little bit more painful. jEdit doesn’t appeal to me as much as it did before I met Coda.
I still hate Apple’s douchy smugness, the blithe fervor with which Mac-afficionados assume anything Mac-related is god-like before they’ve had any personal experience with it, and Apple’s closed development philosophy. I still want the iPad to fail, as anything touted as “magical” in its overhyped marketing literature deserves to.
But I also have no desire to use either my Windows laptop or my Linux laptop anymore. In fairness to Linux, my lack of enthusiasm has more to do with the 3 year old hardware and lack of delicious multi-touch trackpad than any failings of the OS.
If you have extra money and want to pay more for the same hardware, well you’re crazy, but you’ll probably be happy with your Macbook. Drink the kool-aid, put on the robes and shuffle to the iTune of our benevolent, turtle-necked leader. If function followed form, I’d already be halfway to mastering functional programming just from the tactile pleasure provided by using the darn Macbook.