Friday, February 22, 2008

Pros and Cons

There are intelligent, competent, knowledgeable people on both sides of the Windows versus Macintosh debate. We should be more accepting of the views and opinions of the other side of the argument.

It isn't reasonable for us to insist that just because our computers look better, work better, and have a lower total cost of ownership than theirs, that they are somehow better. Macs aren't perfect, after all.

While it is true that there are literally thousands of pieces of self-replicating VISTA (viruses, infections, spyware, trojans, adware) for Windows, the half-dozen or so Trojan horses and phishing attacks for Mac indicate that someday we could be at an increased security risk. Given that the ratio of intelligent people to morons remains constant, as more people adopt the Mac more of them will have the mental acuity of boiled okra. It's reasonable to expect, however, that the percentage will not increase greatly because switching to the Mac automatically indicates at least a brief increase in IQ.

There are a number of features in Windows that have no Mac equivalent. You can change the Windows default hourglass cursor to a galloping horse. With Mac, you'll just have to deal with the spinning beach ball. With Windows you can watch the whole login script scroll by in a window that looks an awful lot like DOS. On a Mac, you just have to trust that stuff you don't have time to read and wouldn't understand if you did is happening. Paint. It comes included with Windows. Free. It has a spray can tool, several brushes, an eraser; you can manipulate individual pixels and save the result as a .bmp image.

You CAN NOT run Microsoft Access in OS X. You must have Windows. If you need a database manager that compares unfavorably to using microfiche and the Dewey Decimal system (and is FUGLY)– you must have Windows.

There are lots and lots and lots of niche programs for Windows. If you need a Point-of-Sale (POS) program for a 24-hour Bingo and Off-Track Betting Parlor, it's a good bet that program
is available for Windows. In fact, if you need any POS application, it's probably available for Windows. That isn't to say that there are no POS applications available for the Mac. They just aren't as prevalent.

If you're using Windows, it's a limited edition copy. There's a serial number that you have to enter. The company has a personal relationship with your computer. They're watching you. They're watching your copy of Windows. Microsoft is making sure that your copy of Windows isn't just gallivanting all over the place. Apple just sells you a copy of the operating system and then ignores it. Your copy of OS X could be anywhere. Apple doesn't give a shit. That's just sad, really.

Windows has the added security feature of asking you if you want to do what you want to do every time you want to do it. This is how Windows locks down your system. It's the same basic concept as asking passengers if they have a bomb before they get on an airplane. Everybody knows that a terrorist, when faced with a direct question, will say, "Darn. You caught me. Yeah, I have a whole pound of C4 and a handful of blasting caps wired up to a timer in my bag. Sorry."

Side note: Now that we pat down grandmothers, take our shoes off, and can't carry on a pair of mustache scissors, we've made great strides in airport security. Fortunately, airport security is careful not to racially profile middle eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40 in spite of the fact that 99% of all terrorist acts are committed by middle eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40.

It's the same thing with Windows. After you've spent several minutes running through a maze of menus like a rat looking for a piece of Pasteurized Process American Cheese-like substance, the machine asks, "Cancel or Allow?" to make sure you really want to open that document you were supposed to edit a week ago.

Be tolerant of our PC brethren. It's bad enough to suffer through using that garbage without having to be constantly reminded that all their wounds are self-inflicted.

Time to wash up.

Note: Updated at 2304 PST to remove offending apostrophe's.