Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Jeremy puts aside his Mac

Yesterday (I’m still catching up) Jeremy Zawodny put aside his PowerBook and switched to a Windows XP laptop. He explains his reasons in the entry, and many of them are valid in his case.

The sad thing is, as you’d expect, that the Mac Mafia came along and infiltrated his comments area. Now while there are some legitimate comments in there, there’s some that really disgust me, like:

…Windows is insecure and unsecurable, no matter how many kernel patches/antivirus/’personal firewall’ things you install on it. […] if you’re really serious about doing this, you’ve earned both my pity and my rank astonishment at such an act of technological self-immolation.

(No, trust me, Windows is securable. It might take a lot of effort but it is)

You have way too much time, money, and stuff. Stop being so self-involved and donate to the tsunami victims.

… Your perception speaks to your internal requirement to justify your present position. The statement you feel you are getting more out of the hardware says something about your lack of initiative to learn. Your lack of knowledge of the new is apparent…

Don’t let the door hit you in the butt.

You’re joining the MAJORITY? You make it sound like people are abandoning the Mac like a raft on fire.

(Last time I checked, Windows users outnumbered Mac OS users by a considerable ratio)
The Mac user community, while welcoming of new users, seems to have this almost religious desire to ‘protect’ Apple and the Mac platform, and will go after anyone who dares to say anything bad about them. I’ve had this before last year when I criticised Apple for overcharging its UK customers for the iPod Mini; Apple later backed down and cut the price. The sad thing is that, while these people think they’re protecting Apple, in actual fact they’re making the Mac community look like a load of elitist wankers and creating a greater divide between Mac users and non-users. If they’re that keen on converting people, they should instead be compassionate and supportive – not inflammatory and rude. The Mac platform isn’t for everyone, as Jeremy demonstrated in his posting.
That said, while I’m singling out Mac users here, this isn’t necessarily a problem that affects only them; alas it’s a problem that affects many other platforms and programs in the computing world, including, I’m afraid to say, Mozilla/Firefox users.


  1. I always love seeing the results of posts like the one mentioned.
    What amazes me is the insesent need to try to justify the Macintosh by their owners.
    Back when I was doing Educational software, I had to develop for both platforms. I had a PC and Mac on my desk and for about 6 months I used the Mac as my main machine. I gave up on it when the thing kept crashing out on my even more frequenly than a WinME system! I was using OS9, then OSX. In both cases, the system just wouldn’t stay stable for longer than a few hours.
    My Windows XP system would stay stable for well over a week, so it was just necessary to switch back to the PC.
    One of the things, as a developer, that really annoyed me was Apple’s lack of support for Java under OS9. They supported Java 1.2 barely. There were more bugs in that version of the JVM than I have ever seen in any MS product. Educational software needs to support the lowest common denominator when it comes to systems, so OS9 was a must. It made for quite a few headaches trying to support Java 1.2 on the Mac and 1.4 on PC’s.
    The least Apple could have done was fix the bugs in the JVM for 1.2 so that it would at least run Java programs better.
    Anyway, I saw pretty much the same thing when I reported my findings in my blog years ago. (the post is long since lost from many switches of CMS’s and layouts)

  2. I’ve had an old iMac G3 (700mhz) for 6 months now and its performed better than I could have hoped. It cost me £300. I bought it because I wanted to know if I could make the switch, and I now plan to. Its been super stable, just as stable as XP. It looks better than my copy of XP and is very smooth even at 700mhz. I’ve had more problems with my A64 system than with my Mac 🙂
    It is interesting to see someone switching back, but its also bad to see so many Mac users flaming the guy.
    They’re kinda right about security. You don’t need to install patches weekly, or need a firewall, or antivirus. Thats one of the reasons why I’m switching. I’m just so fed up of maintaining my PC, I just want to chat/browse/email and edit my photos.

  3. Peter, actually you would be tempting fate to go without a firewall and antivirus software on the Mac. Granted, Mac’s don’t get hit as often as Windows machines, but they are still targets.
    As far as patches go, Apple releases updates at least twice a month. Maybe more often. This was true about 2 years ago, maybe it’s a little less often now, but it was pretty frequent.
    No computer is safe from the internet.
    As far as stability, sounds like you have had much better luck with yours than I had with mine. Mind you, I was around in the OS9/OSX transition days, so some of my problems were probably that. I was running a G4 tower running at ~500Mhz.

  4. Dave, we get security updates about once a month (or even about one every month and a half) these days. Also, I never turn my firewall on in my mac, but I do have antivirus software running. I Never have any problems.

  5. I have the firewall on on my 2nd hand Mac Cube – but most of the time it’s also behind the linux Smoothwall firewall.
    I’d like to find antivirus software for it that doesn’t cost me multiple limbs – preferably free [ as in beer, if not in speech ] …
    My main machine(s) is/are still Linux.

  6. Transparency issues with the gravatars : ]

  7. Chris: that would appear to be a Gravatar problem – nothing I can do.

  8. *sigh* I’m quite a notorious Mac zealot, but I’m not one to irritate people with it. I can totally understand his point, for the mere reason that Yahoo! is Windows-targeted. But yes, you’re totally right about the few ‘elitist’ bastards, and yes, you can find these people in every minority. But this is, honestly, biased, as only those who think they need to protect their ‘special group’ will reply to that post. I will not. I understand his choices.
    For me, and for many others, I think Apple is the Way To Go, but I shan’t overzeal your blog, sir Turner.