Sunday, June 05, 2005

Apple!

This guy is mad as hell, and he's switching to mac.

Be a mac person if you want- the Apple computers do certain things better than the PC world, and some of them are even technical. But stop trying to convince me, the rest of the world, and ultimately yourselves, that you've made the right choice. If you really believed that, I doubt you'd be proselytizing quite so loudly.

But don't feed me this garbage of "never crashes" and "works all the time", as if PCs are bursting in flames all around you. In the first place, maybe 10, 15 years ago that was true. Back when Apple was on application specific hardware with fast, bulletproof SCSI hard drives and the best memory in the world. And cost twice what the competition did. Fine. (Though back when IBM and Compaq were running the show, in the early to mid 80s, their hardware was just as bulletproof and twice as heavy) But Apple can no longer claim this, PC hardware and Apple hardware is indistinguishable but for the processor and chipset. Same hard drives, same memory, same PCI expansion cards, same monitor connectors. Still costs 1.5 - 2x as much. And windows 2000 and XP are about as bulletproof as an operating system can be currently.

The big problem, and benefit, with the PC world is of its market penetration. It's sort of like a regulation versus deregulation thing: the trains might run on time, but they serve the schedule, not the people.

My PC is fast, never gets viruses, never crashes (except for one unfortunate software choice (ATI sucks!)), was relatively inexpensive, and I was able to build and upgrade it myself. Apple people will ask why one should spend the time learning how to secure a computer, and I would ask why spend the time figuring out how to use a computer with only one mouse button.

Briefly, point by point:

  • Windows is complex, trying to be everything to everyone. This complexity comes at a terrible price: downtime, help desks, upgrades, patches and the inevitable failures.

  • When a new operating system or service pack is released, there are tons of changes to the functionality.

    And Apple doesn't suffer from those issues? Apple just changed the entire architecture of their OS to a Linux-type model, and is supposed to be announcing a change to Intel processors Monday. Those seem to me to be some hefty bumps to the continuity process.

  • WinTel machines use different versions of BIOS. They are not all equal, nor do they all have the same level of compatibility.

  • Hardware. There are hundreds of "WinTel-compatible" motherboards, each claiming to be better than the next. Whatever.

    If you can explain to me why that is of any concern to anyone but a system builder, I'll eat my hat.

  • Some Windows software applications are well written; others take shortcuts. Shortcuts may work in some environments, but not all, and ultimately the consumer pays in lost time, availability and productivity.

    That is true of all software. You have to test before you buy, just like any product.

  • Memory. Not all RAM is equal. Some works well. Cheap stuff doesn't.

  • Hard disks. Same problem: cheap or reliable. Your call.

    How does that differenciate Mac from PC? It's the same stuff.

    Finally,
  • In the coming weeks I'm going to keep a diary of an experiment my company began at 6 p.m. April 29, 2005 - an experiment predicated on the hypothesis that the WinTel platform represents the greatest violation of the basic tenets of information security and has become a national economic security risk.

    Give me the machine of someone who cares about security, and I can't get their information. Give me the machine of someone who doesn't, and I'll get everything. That is true of every OS and platform. Businesses who don't see all facets of the security problem, and who don't react to, prepare for and plan for breaches, will suffer. Those that do won't. Simple as that.

    People who actually care won't have problems. That is true of most human endeavors.

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