Mac and PC

When you work in IT, as I do, you seem to spend half your life dealing with Mac/PC issues. The problem is the following:

Graphic designers and illustrators love Mac. Most of them will only use Mac, and keep going on about how much better it is. They will refuse to touch a PC at work, even though they probably have one at home, and keep this up with a religious fervour.

There are historical reasons for this. Before the dawn of time, PCs were hard to use, and Macs were easy. Even when PCs got easier to understand, with Windows 95, Macs still had the edge in software and usability. QuarkXpress, for example, allowed you to create print documents a long time before Word was comprehensible.

And when today’s 30-something designers went to university, Mac was all there was, so Mac they used.

But now that distinction is no more. Macs are no longer any more stable than PCs. There are no “killer apps” on Mac that do not exist on PC, and Macs are no cheaper. And now even the hardware base is the same, as Macintosh has moved over to Intel chips, the same as the PC uses.

In fact, the only advantage Macs have today is cuteness. Graphic designers like cuteness. They like the little shining apple, and the “clean” design, and the cute application names (Sherlock, widgets and the like).

And why is this? Put simply, Mac users are posers. Graphic designers like to show how “individual” they are, and they do this by insisting on using Macintosh. This makes them the same as every other graphic designer on the planet, all of them “individuals” with the same computers, the same haircuts and the same sporty zip-up tops from FCUK.

Or, as an alternative reason, Mac users do not want to support a capitalistic, monopolistic organisation like Microsoft. So instead they happily hand over cash to a “dreamer” and “idealist” like Steve Jobs, who has filled the world up with more expensive hardware (iPods) than anybody else in history.

Mac vs. PC

Figure 1: PC “boring guy” and Mac “cool guy”. Oh please…

And why should we not use Mac in IT companies? For the simple reason that Mac and PC do not get on. Files do not act in the same way when opened on both computers, fonts go bananas, and small but immensely annoying invisible files are created all over the place.

Once, at my job, we had to spend weeks changing every single text in a large multimedia production because the designer had used a special Mac font on her own Mac laptop, with her own font-handling program, which could not be found anywhere else. And all this for the sake of cuteness.

The most hilarious example of Mac idiocy is in the movie “Independence Day”. Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith fly a space ship to the alien mothership and proceed to connect Goldblum’s Mac to the alien mainframe. Now, in my job we have trouble making Macintoshes talk to each other, or to our PC servers, and Goldblum’s Mac could just plug into and interface with a totally alien system?

This raises one terrifying possibility—perhaps every sentient race in the whole universe is using Mac exclusively, except for us. Now that’s a thought to make me very, very scared indeed.

/ paddy


4 thoughts on “Mac and PC

  1. Fucking brilliant! Thank you!

    And thanks from my previously Mac-owning, graphic designer husband who says Macs are no better for graphic design anyway.

  2. Don’t really know if your theory is “Fucking briliant”. Grew up with PC’s, build PC’s, did support on PC’s and worked on PC’s. Now I’m on a Mac and really think it’s a better solution, does that make me a poser? BTW. didn’t know anything about Jobs, Apple or anything when I bought my first mac. From day one it just felt better designed, both in it’s hardware and software. And if they are so shitty why is the share soaring and the % of users increasing?

  3. Alex: You are only a poser if you go around telling people how good your mac is. Anyway I don’t claim the MAC is any worse or better than the PC. I am just sick and tired of seeing MAC pushed as some kind of “cool” lifestyle, and sick to death of having to deal with the few people who use MACs in my office and make my job harder.

    And you can’t really use market share as a sign of excellence. If that was the case, PCs are much better than MACs since they dominate the market.

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