Dan Beeston is

Brushing Off Invisible Spiders

Spitting out the apple

8th October 2010

My friend @girlclumsy is constantly goading me for being an apple fanboy and I get the feeling that it's only going to get worse over the next few weeks while she gets used to her latest decision. I'd like to go on record to state that I do not like Apple.

In 2003 my mother decided that she wanted a new computer that could backup all the old home movies onto DVD. I knew just how tricky setting up a PC for video production could be and so I made the suggestion that she get an Apple Mac.

From what I understood this would be the perfect setup. It would work straight out of the box and (more importantly) I had no idea how it worked so she'd have to bail up someone else for help when it inevitably screwed up, and she did.

I remember playing with her mac for the first time. Text was the biggest frustration. That bloody Command/Control key problem. They're switched in their locations on the keyboard. But of course that's a problem with retraining the wetware, not the hardware.

Those first few weeks were frustrating though. I felt like I was trying to drive a sports car through a cow paddock, and in some ways I was. But then something odd happened. Things just worked. I'd plug in some device and it would recognise it immediately. I'd try to set up something tricky only to discover it only took clicking a button. Everything just worked.

I was still tied to my PC though, and it was all set up like I wanted. Then I bought the video game 'Myst Uru'. My computer suited the requirements on the box. There was no reason it should not have worked, but there was so much rampant piracy on the PC that they'd created a system that prevented copies from being made, and this system was fundamentally flawed.

I installed that damned game over 20 times trying to get it to work. One time I managed to get far enough that the character could walk around in a totally black environment before crashing. After a week of clicking and waiting and cursing I'd finally had enough. "F#$@ this for a game of soldiers" I cried, "I'm getting a Mac".

And I did, and it was good. My music listening habits completely changed thanks to a new ipod and I got my hands on Photoshop. I was moving up in the world. I got an apple sticker in the pack so I proudly whacked it on the back of my 1979 Volvo. It was a bit strange that whenever I travelled with the device I effectively doubled the value of the car.

Everything worked straight out of the box. I didn't have to spend hours putting together equipment nor tracking down drivers. I was very happy and I wanted to share my happiness. I also found myself much more angry and vocal whenever I had to deal with Windows XP. "Why the f#$@ would anyone put themselves through this pain?"

I loved the experience of not using Windows. There were so many fewer problems. But that's not the same as loving Apple. I don't want to belong to a cult. That implies that I trust Apple, and I don't trust them as far as I can throw them. Their business practices are controlling and manipulative.

If I were to make a switch I'd have to find a way to export all my music settings and info. I'd have to get Photoshop running again (possibly having to buy another version). When it comes down to it, I'm trapped in a gilded cage.

I like using my Apple computer, but I don't like Apple and I'm not a fanboy, and when it comes down to it, people who define themselves by what computer they prefer to use...

Well that's just really, really lame.

Now if you'll excuse me I've got a sticker to peel off my car.


i've never used apple aside from my ipod touch. i like my ipod touch because it allows me to carry many books without carrying all that extra weight, and it fits in my pocket. i can also listen to music at the same time as reading my jules verne collection... blah blah blah. but i am not a fan.

i use photoshop on Win7 and have no problems. in act, CS5 is awesome and appears to like my windoze setup. as for music settings: itunes has PC functionality now, and i'm sure there's a way of importing settings from itunes to itunes.

simply: i have just as much awesome with my pc tablet/laptop/desktop/netbook that i could get out of any apple product. but then, i may have a small bias *against* apple products.

Girl Clumsy

I have an Apple now and I'M CONFUSED.


I got a Mac laptop. at work I use windows7 but wish we used linux. the Mac wins for warm and fuzzy, windows wins for games and being well supported, linux wins if you want to run a visual effects studio