I am not sure why but I dare to say the following out loud.
When someone refers to a PC they are either referring to Windows (I would dare to put that number somewhere in the 90% range) or Linux. Outside of those two OSes is inside a school or research facility or lab of some kind. Perhaps a data center with a specialized application for it. Not always but most of the time. Focusing on Windows or Linux one can say a lot about either (or even start comparing them with their fellow townsfolk and flaming sticks). It gets tiring. As much as I love a good flame I am so very tired.
So along comes Apples with its long hair, Free-the-Whales attitude and something I may start referring to as “The Way”. Instead of me (someone who has never touched a Mac in his life) describing it I direct you to Tycho from Penny-Arcade:
Having serviced Macs at one point in my illustrious IT career, I understand that there is simply an Apple Way of doing things, and it is often a very, very good way but it’s still their way as opposed to some natural ratio of the universe. It’s not universal, and there are strange blind spots, but there is a reason that their chosen people hoist the banner.
I am well aware I am not the first nor will I be the last to point this out but this is some kind of cult. A cult of artsy nerds. The kids who no one liked 10 to 20 years ago and sat alone at lunch– if they dared to show at all– have all band together into one, formless blob.
I use the word “formless” to describe the followers and not the leaders. Where as you see people in the Linux community (for example) working together– or even on their own– to create new experiences and applications you see the Mac-Heads (or whatever) on their knees praying. They pray Steven Jobs may come to them in a dream and tell them what to buy next. They pray for the next big thing to come to them instead of creating it themselves. This is a very important distinction to make as it will most likely define such a culture.
I do not want to sit at the station waiting for the bus. The people on the bus smell funny. When I come across a problem I either want to find a way around it or tackle it head-on. Being at the whim of a closed-OS means I am at the whim of a business. They may decide that instead of US coins (an obvious, nation-wide standard in the US) they are going to start requiring bus passes I do not want to be forced to buy a new bus. A bus I am not even allowed to drive no matter how much I paid for the privilege.
If you were to question– and of course get an honest answer– a cult member you may ask them why they joined in the first place. They may say something like “I just wanted to check it out but I never intended to join before I got there.” This is my fear: If I were to check out The Way could I turn back? What if I liked what I saw so much my parents and the police are showing up at my new home only to hear “but I am staying here under my own, free will.” This is the fear…
Is it time to buy a pair of white Nikes?