Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Apple of My Eye

I use an Apple Macintosh computer for my personal uses. When the choice came to me at the laptop fair as a dazed freshman in late July 2003, that one issue for me had no contention. I didn't go to the HP stall, the IBM stall or considered for even the briefest moment, any Windows-based notebook. I made a beeline for the Apple stall.

Five minutes of conversation with a very good salesman, and he finally figured out I had been reading the Apple website for the past year and knew more Apple propaganda than even he did. "You know your stuff, man," he said and handed me the form.

Two years later, I am a proud owner of my laptop, a series infamous for logic board errors, but which has served me reasonably well, Masha Allah.

However, the Cult of the Mac is no myth. Mac loyalists clump together like bacteria in a bad broth culture, Steve Jobs their Luke Skywalker, and Bill Gates their Darth Vader. Communalism rears its ugly head in a new form of tribalism. Groping and grasping in the dark, in a globalized world bereft of identity, these people worship their new heroes with unstinted loyalty.

But when it comes down to it all, I have discovered that Apple computer, though technically superior, is headed by a man I just don't like. Steve Jobs's ego is probably one of the largest objects known to man, second to perhaps Tom Cruise's. This article excerpts a little bit of an interview with him on the release of his new operating system, OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Apple co-founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs has long said that Windows, which runs on nine out of 10 PCs worldwide, has copied Apple.

"They're shamelessly trying to follow us," Jobs said at Apple's annual stockholder meeting two weeks ago, noting that Longhorn has yet to appear. "They can't even copy fast."

Very brave for a man whose company recovered from virtual bankruptcy in 1997. Of course, Apple's recovery from its crisis in 1997 (helped to great effect by Microsoft who owns half the company, ironically) has been consistently called the biggest industry turnaround of a tech-company in history, something that might have something to do with Jobs's attitude.

Bill Gates, software architect, richest man in the world, gracious benefactor and general nice guy, had this to say about Apple's release:

On positive coverage of rival Apple's new Mac OS X Tiger operating system, which has features Microsoft won't have until 2006 in the next Windows: "Because they're the super-small-market share guy, they get all these statements about them. But I actually thought that was great -- there it was, the general press writing about operating systems."

This article is another example of the bully being bullied. The biggest guy is always a target, and Bill Gates takes a lot of flack for it. Oft-times, rightfully so.

But in the end, Bill Gates is a nicer guy than Steve Jobs. But I need a product that works, not a nice guy. And so, I'm typing this blog entry with the Apple of my eye.

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I write essays in my spare time on things that are important to me. The ones that I feel are any good, or make any sense, I put them up here. :)