For those of you out there that haven’t already made the switch, you are quickly running out of reasons not to make your next computer a Mac. Holly and I made the jump a couple of years ago and after an admittedly frustrating couple of days (getting used to a different way of doing things), we haven’t ever looked back.

For us, the benefits that come with owning a Mac have far outweighed the drawbacks. While they are more expensive than the average PC, Macs are much more user-friendly (again, after a day or two of adjustment), safe (zero viruses!), and beautiful. They come standard with a bundle of fun and easy-to-use software that lets you organize and share your photos (iPhoto), record and play with audio (Garageband), edit your home movies (iMovie), create DVDs (iDVD), and even design your own websites (iWeb). iMacs even come with a built-in camera so that you can hold video chats and get crazy with family snapshots.

Again, Macs are more expensive than a lot of the low-end PCs that you can find these days, but—like they say—you get what you pay for. No viruses, no downloading drivers, no random third-party software just to be able to open up a zipped file. Macs just work. They make using your computer fun and stress-free. We can’t recommend them enough.

We know it’s a big jump, but next time you are in the market for a computer, don’t forget to think a little different.

  1. James

    All good points. Maybe we’ll think about getting one now.

  2. Heath

    I want a laptop…..maybe I should look at a mac for my laptop….hhhmmmm…

  3. courtneyb

    do you get a kick back from mac for that little post? i always assumed they were over rated but didn’t know all that about them. Thanks for educating me

  4. Jack McKinley

    Did I see that you mentioned something about the Evil Easter Bunny?

  5. Dave

    James – Is that James White or James Kewish? Either way, funny comment.

    Heather – You won’t be sorry!

    Courtney – I sound like a shill, I know… It’s all genuine, though—I swear.

    I just wanted to give the perspective of someone who used PCs for years and then made the switch. I think part of the reason why so many Apple enthusiasts are so ardently and vocally in love with their Mac (or Macs), is because they know the alternative. PCs are great in a lot of ways, but there are a lot of very frusterating, buggy, confusing things about them. Macs certainly aren’t perfect, but, for the average computer user, they are a step (or three) above the alternative.

  6. Joe

    Honestly, the reason Mac fans are so vocal is because they have a complex…


  7. Joe

    Is that you Jack?! Hope you guys are well–especially with what happened there on Monday. Give my regards to Jaime and the boys.

  8. Holly

    We will just let you believe that Joe. I’m sure it helps you sleep better at night knowing that you spent money on inferior technology. :)

    Jack! Good to hear from you. Your boys sure have your hair! And I wandered over to Liz’s blog too, and I am SO jealous she lives in Hawaii!! Wasn’t that Easter the absolute best one ever? We will have to make a copy of the Evil Easter Bunny and send it to you! I apologize for the overuse of exclamation points in this comment!

  9. James

    This is James Kewish…and I am white so in a way the answer is both. All it takes to make the switch is an open mind, a leap of faith, and a little humility. Mac users don’t have a complex unless a complex is not being able to understand why people just won’t believe them. Joe, remember the whole “why didn’t I get one of these sooner” feelings after getting a DVR? It’s kind of like that times, like, a billion. But you’ll never realize it until you make the switch yourself. Just in case anyone is interested in getting a Zune I know a guy who can get you one “real cheap”. Okay, I’m done.

  10. Joe

    Whoa–attack of the Mac-ficionados! (and I don’t quite understand how thinking that I spent money on inferior technology would make me sleep better at night, even if it were true). But don’t misunderstand me; I have liked Apple ever since 1983, when my 5th grade class was given the only computer in the whole district (including for teachers, administrators, etc.). We got to play Castle Wolfenstein and Oregon Trail and write little programs in BASIC on a super cool Apple IIe, and to top that off, The Woz himself came and spoke to our class! I happily use my iPod every day, although I’m surprised at how unintuitive iTunes is at first—I guess it’s the Apple way.

    Trust me—I will never be a MSFT defender for many reasons (for example, having the public develop their software for them instead of having their own QA-Test department). After 4 years of being a tech consultant at PwC and sitting through far more platform selection and “Mac vs. PC” discussions than I would wish on my worst enemies, I am well aware of the differences between the two. Personally, I like PC’s because I like having control at all software layers, including at the system level, and if you know how to manage your PC, you can easily avoid viruses and bugs. And speaking of viruses, I think a perceived lack of Mac OS viruses is due to market share and the average mentality of a virus writer rather than an impenetrable OS. But still, my preference for a PC is merely that–a preference. I still don’t get why Mac admirers feel like they have to convert everyone else and then get frustrated when people “don’t believe them.” And I laughed out loud when I read humility as a requirement to become a “we’re better than you and if you don’t agree you’re ignorant” Mac user. Good one!

    Look, options timing scandals aside, Apple has done very well lately–carving out a healthy niche in the market (and it only took them 20 years to figure it out, so congrats on that). However, let’s not confuse buzz marketing, stylization, and prestige pricing (i.e., paying more than you should so you can feel like you’re buying something really cool) for superior technology. So I guess I would say that I spent far less money on similar technology, but it wouldn’t keep me up at night in any case–I’ve got a long enough list of other things that do that just fine. I still love you guys if you use a Mac, even if you think I’m closed-minded, ignorant, and prideful for not. ;)

    P.S. Given Holly’s worldwide readership, I should say that if you are in any way affiliated with Apple, PwC, or the authors of Castle Wolfenstein and Oregon Trail, don’t take this comment seriously—I’m just messing with my siblings. If you are with Microsoft, I’m totally serious about the QA thing. I mean, seriously!

  11. Joe

    That has to be a record for comment length, right? I should have broken it up to give you guys more comments.

  12. Dave

    We still love you too, Joe! I don’t think anyone here thinks that you are closed-minded, ignorant, or prideful. You made a lot of very good points in your comment—which (you were correct) was our longest comment to date—until this one. :)

    As an admitted Mac fan boy, some of your comments stirred up the “basher” in me. So, in the spirit of friendly debate, I have put together a few questions/responses for you on some of the points that you made (This is fun—I feel like I’m on my mission again!). Here goes:

    You mentioned that we shouldn’t confuse buzz marketing, stylization, and prestige pricing with superior technology, and while I have to agree that there’s more than a little prestige pricing going on (one of the things I don’t love about Macs is their price), I disagree with your implied separation of stylization and technology. I’m assuming that by stylization you are referring to the design of Apple’s hardware and the design of its user interfaces (OS and/or software). If that’s what you meant by stylization, then I disagree with your statement because separating design and technology is really problematic when it comes to human/computer interaction.

    For example, if two computers had the same specs (processor, RAM, hard drive, etc.), but one of them had a confusing user interface and hard-to-access peripheral ports, while the other had an intuitive interface and plenty of easily accessible ports, it would be difficult to say that they had similar technology. When it comes to personal computers, technology means more that just processor power and hard drive space—it has a lot to do with how we access and interact with that power and space. Apple’s technology is (in my opinion) superior specifically because of its design. I’m not confusing design with technology, because—in this case—I don’t think you can separate the two.

    Going back to your “buzz marketing, stylization, and prestige pricing” statement—I just wanted to ask you what you meant about buzz marketing. You have an almost infinite amount of business and marketing experience compared to mine, so I’m sure that I misinterpreting and/or misunderstanding what you meant, but my understanding of buzz marketing is that it’s either:

    A. Positive word-of-mouth communication from a product’s user base (resulting from the user’s satisfaction with the product) to those that aren’t users of the product


    B. Attempts by a company to manufacture this positive word-of-mouth communication

    I definitely see examples of A. going on, but if that’s what you were referring to, I don’t see how anyone was confusing that with superior technology. If you meant B., I’d be interested to know what aspects of Apple’s (current or past) marketing campaign(s) fall into this category. Again, please correct me if you meant something else by buzz marketing—I’m probably misinterpreting what you meant. :(

    I was a little confused by your statement that “options timing scandals aside, Apple has done very well lately—carving out a healthy niche in the market” since—until you brought it up—no one was discussing the merits of Apple as a company, we were addressing the merits of its line of personal computers. To me, the ups and downs of Apple’s stock and its place in the market don’t have anything to do with the experience I have using their computers. I think you were correct in your assessment of the company’s current place in the market, I just don’t know what that had to do with our discussion.

    You also mentioned that “a perceived lack of Mac OS viruses is due to market share and the average mentality of a virus writer rather than an impenetrable OS.” I wonder why you chose to write “perceived” in that sentence. Are there Mac viruses out there that we aren’t perceiving? Do you perceive them? I’d love to learn more about them.

    I certainly don’t believe that the Mac OS is in any way impenetrable. It, like all operating systems has discovered and undiscovered exploitable flaws. The difference in security between Windows and OS X has more to do with the number and severity of these flaws and with the speed and effectiveness of their correction (patches) once the flaws are detected. The current implementation of OS X was basically rebuilt from the ground up based on UNIX. While the result is admittedly imperfect (with security flaws here and there), it’s hard to argue that it’s less secure than the Windows OS.

    You could even argue that this virus discussion doesn’t matter at all. What’s more important, the reason why Windows has thousands of viruses “in the wild” while OS X has none, or the fact it is so (and has been so for years)?

    You mentioned that you “still don’t get why Mac admirers feel like they have to convert everyone else and then get frustrated when people ‘don’t believe them.’” I certainly felt your pain on this one. As a Windows/PC user working with a number of vocal Mac-users (when I was working as a web designer at the HBLL), I felt this same confusion. The choice of platform is certainly—like you said—a preference. And I couldn’t understand the determination that many Mac users had in their efforts to convert me… until I had made the switch myself.

    I think that feeling of not “getting it” is really similar to what I assume non-members must feel when their LDS friends won’t shut up about the church. It’s difficult to understand without sharing the experience in question. While I’m sure you’ve had many platform selection and “Mac vs. PC” discussions and that you are “well aware of the differences between the two”, those debates and that information don’t constitute the experience of using the product day in and day out (playing games on a Mac IIe in fifth grade doesn’t count).

    I’ve met a few baptist preachers that have had a lot of “Christainity vs. Mormonism” discussions, and I’m sure they feel that they “know the differences between to two,” but the fact is, they’ve never lived the life and had the experiences that a member of the church has. They think that they know the differences, but how could they?

    I guess in the end, the bulk of my argument is based on my experience as someone who has extensively used both PCs and Macs—in a way, I’m a Baptist preacher that turned Mormon. :)

    I realize this is anecdotal, but I remember a lot of frustration as a PC user—a lot of crashing, a lot of poorly designed (not user-friendly) aspects of the OS, cryptic error messages, inconsistent performance, etc. My experience with Macs has been almost the exact opposite—beautifully designed hardware and software, intuitive interfaces, easy-to-use applications, consistently outstanding performance, and no viruses (whether or not I knew what I was doing or not).

    Now, I feel silly for bringing up the church. I certainly don’t want to compare Macs with Mormonism. I just wanted to frame the issue in a way that you would relate to.

    In the end, this is just a preference and not a big deal at all. I, for one, don’t think that I’m better than anyone else just because I like Macs, and I hope I’ve never come across that way. I’ve just really enjoyed the Mac experience and I want to share that with my friends—that’s all. These discussions are fun, but in the end, it’s just a computer, right?

    P.S. When you said that you’ve spent far less money on similar technology, were you referring to the hardware, the OS, the software (apps), or all of the above? I’d be interested to know what OS you are running (Windows XP or Vista or something else?) and what kind of hardware you are using (processor speed, memory, hard drive, etc.).

    Also, if you want more control and lower prices, you should really check out some of the popular distributions of Linux. They’re free and totally open-source.

  13. James

    Uhhhh, okay.

  14. Liz

    I’m with you James.

  15. Jon

    I’m with Joe. PC por vida! Revolucion! Hahaha jk. I think we should get VW in on this “bash” I know he has built many a computer in his day…PC’s of course mwa hahaha But in all seriousness, I do find it funny that Apple has dominated the mp3 player market. It causes PC users, myself included to be torn. I mean who wants to squirt with their friends? Also, Apple is pretty clever with their advertisements, but I’m definately not a greasy 40 year old nerd even though I like PCs.

  16. Dave

    Wow. I didn’t realize how long that comment was until I looked at it in this little pop-up window. Yikes!

    Let me know if anyone actually reads the whole thing…

  17. Mom Kewish

    Well, Dad and I got into this this morning and I told him that arguing Mac VS PC is like discussing religion in the cyberworld – computer world – cyberspace? (Whateeever…) Anyway, this and politics sometimes as heated a conversation as religion. As you all know, your Mama began her computer experience on the Mac and then was pretty much forced to go PC in the classroom. Even though I understood it was inevitable, my Basque blood still has a bit of stubborn resentment toward that whole scenario…just ask Dad. heh heh

  18. Mom Kewish

    P.S. Dave, I read it all…doesn’t necesary mean I understood it all though. :)

  19. Joe

    Let’s see…

    - By stylization I was referring to exterior and peripherals (making things look cool by building them out of round transparent plastic, eerie blue lights, etc.). For a lot of people, different=cool/better and Apple has exploited that very well. Apple finally hit their stride when they realized that they had to appeal to a certain market segment rather than the general public and business community, and prestige pricing and stylization were important tools to do that. To me, technology means the ability of your computer to get stuff done or ‘specs,’ as you put it—not peripherals, ports, or even the GUI. I would call that usability, but it is only a semantic distinction. When you think about the overall “user experience” a Mac is better than a PC once you overcome the learning curve or for someone who has never used a computer before. So I agree—Mac’s are easier to use, just like AOL is easer than configuring your own internet connection and email server.

    - As far as buzz marketing, it isn’t your definition A *or* B, but rather A *and* B. But buzz marketing is neither unique to Apple nor is it disingenuous for a company to try it. Every marketing guy/gal on the planet wants to use it but no one knows how to manufacture it. Word of mouth sells better than anything else, and that was another reason (albeit organic) that Apple has been successful in their niche.

    - Options timing is a shady/illegal compensation trick that a lot of companies have gotten in trouble for lately, Apple among them. I think it’s funny since Apple has always had a certain antiestablishment air about it. My parenthetical had nothing to do with their place in the market, their stock price, or quality of their products. But since any company’s product is a direct result of the decisions the people there make, completely separating the two is naïve. In fact, Apple’s early history as a company is exactly why long term Mac users are so tortured. Had they played their cards right, we might have never had this discussion.

    - Perceived lack of Mac OS viruses refers to the folklore among Mac users that there is no such thing and that it’s impossible to write one. Mac users like to preach this point loudly, but it’s just not true. My point is the same—are Mac viruses rare because of a superior OS or because virus writers want to be famous, and you don’t get famous by writing a virus for an OS that is only used by probably 10% of computer users and 0% of companies (who have the longest distribution email lists to propagate through, by a mile). Having done more programming than I ever care to admit in C++, SQL, UNIX, ABAP/4, Java, and PowerBuilder, I would guess it’s the latter. Simply put, computer nerds will always find a way to do what they want to do. Plus, I never said that the OS X platform was less secure than Windows, as you implied. Windows is ridiculously vulnerable if you’re careless, since they insist on having the public be their QA-Test department. Also, technically (no pun intended) OS X is not a UNIX based system, but built upon the NeXT platform. It’s all the same to me, but both the NeXT and UNIX guys would probably throw a fit.

    - Honestly, I didn’t buy your analogy to religion. I think what you mean is simply “you don’t know how good something is until you try it yourself.” I agree, and I’ve never owned a Mac myself so I don’t speak from personal experience. But that’s also the point; I never said PCs are better than Macs—only that I prefer the one to the other—but that’s never what Mac users hear when you say that. And unfortunately, the package/platform processes I referenced from my consulting days were much more than discussions and information. I couldn’t believe what we did for seemingly minor decisions—in one case, we did user acceptance testing on about 8 different platforms (multiple Windows OSs, Linux, Mac, even OS/2) and I still have nightmares of weeks of marathon sessions into the night of ghosting machines (i.e., reloading entire OSs) and running tests. In another instance while working for a software company, we did stress testing, user acceptance, QA, and consistency scripting on Mac, PC, and IBM OSs for FOUR MONTHS. Amazing what consultants will do to get their fees, but I digress. Anyway, my little Apple IIe was KILLER so you shouldn’t write it off. It was probably my fondest childhood computer memory after formatting Dad’s hard drive and playing Astrosmash on our Intellivision system. It wasn’t a Mac—they weren’t invented until 1984. You were probably too young to remember the Super Bowl commercial but you should check it out on YouTube. Also, it makes me laugh about the options timing again.

    - Bottom line is that I like Macs. I think they look cool. They are easy to use. I think Apple finally got it right after squandering so many important innovations. But I prefer PC’s and I don’t like paying more than I have to. Here at home we have a very basic system. Despite my tech background (or maybe because of it), I am not a techie. I don’t keep up with the latest and greatest and don’t have the time to do everything myself (a la Linux, which I really liked when I used it in 1999-2000 to explore the Oracle porting and package software). We have a Lenovo box running XP Pro with a gorgeous huge LCD, a super fast chip, 1GB of RAM, a huge hard drive, and a DVD burner. We paid $500 all in and it does everything I need it to do with no bugs or problems and ridiculously quickly. It’s just a cheap, easy, middle of the pack system.

    - Really, all I was doing was busting James’ chops for his inflammatory and highly offensive post ;) . We have a bad habit of trash-talking each other without being seriously based in any fact (why sweat the details, right?). Still, I wasn’t impugning your original post so I hope you didn’t think I was. I’m still completely offended that James thinks I’m prideful, closed-minded, and ignorant, but I won’t hold it against you if you think I’m an anti-Mormon pseudo-Christian preacher.

  20. James

    Joe, you’re also gay. How ironic is it that as I was posting this my browser crashed?

  21. Heath

    Okay this takes the award as the FUNNIEST comment interchange I have ever read. And, I have read a lot! Same old argument…just a new arena to discuss it.

    My ball is better than your ball. Oh yeah well, my ball has prettier stripes. Oh yeah, well, my ball bounces faster. Oh yeah, well my ball doesn’t ever get flat. Oh yeah….

    Just sos yous all knows….I’m just poking at you!

    I’m hungry, what should I get, Hostess or Little Debbie…DOH!


  22. Heath

    Dave, I read it.

  23. Heath

    I have an emachine….well, actually I have 3. They suit our needs and we are able to get our work and play done. I would LIKE to have the super killer totally cool computer (MAC OR PC!) but when it really comes down to it I can’t justify the money. However, put a Prada or a walmart purse in front of me and I’ll pick the Prada bag…every. single. time.

    It is all about perspective boys…all about perspective.

  24. Joe

    HA! James, you can’t cover up your own gayness by accusing me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    Heather–I never said PC’s were better, but Little Debbie is DEFINITELY better than Hostess. No contest. And did you ever consider that Dave and I might be staging this whole thing to pay him back for our 23-comment post on Texas? 30 comments is not out of reach! In reality, I am just jealous of Macs and wish I could afford one.

  25. Dave

    Awesome! OK, I’m too lazy to write up another long-winded response, but I jut wanted to highlight a few exerpts from Joe’s penultimate comment (and then respond to them):

    “When you think about the overall ‘user experience’ a Mac is better than a PC”

    True. That, to me, is a result of superior technology.

    “Windows is ridiculously vulnerable if you’re careless”

    It’s ridiculously vulnerable even if you aren’t careless.

    “I agree—Macs are easier to use”


    “Perceived lack of Mac OS viruses refers to the folklore among Mac users that there is no such thing and that it’s impossible to write one.”

    You’d be hard-pressed to find a Mac user who truly believes that it’s impossible to write a virus for Macs. But, it is true—to my knowledge—that there is no such thing as a Mac virus currently in the wild. I’m sure there are a few minor security flaws and theoretical exploits, but I don’t know of any actual Mac viruses. Do you?

    “…virus writers want to be famous, and you don’t get famous by writing a virus for an OS that is only used by probably 10% of computer users…”

    I’ve never understood this line of thinking. Now that Macs are notoriously virus-free and, as you put it, “Mac users like to preach this point loudly,” wouldn’t the virus writers of the world (or at least some of them) believe that they would become famous for writing a Mac virus? What do you honestly think would be more newsworthy at this point, a true Mac virus or yet another PC virus?

    “… and 0% of companies”

    0% of companies use OS X? True, the vast majority of companies (especially the large ones) use Windows, but as someone working for a company exclusively running OS X (along with almost every other graphic design/advertising/creative company in the nation), I don’t think 0% is accurate. It’s probably more like 0.03%. :)

    “OS X is not a UNIX based system, but built upon the NeXT platform.”

    OS X is actually both. It was built from the NeXT platform, which was built from UNIX. It’s UNIX-based because NeXT was UNIX-based.

    “I didn’t buy your analogy to religion. I think what you mean is simply ‘you don’t know how good something is until you try it yourself.’”

    That’s exactly what I meant. What don’t you buy about it?

    “I’ve never owned a Mac myself so I don’t speak from personal experience.”

    That’s what I’m saying.

    “I never said PCs are better than Macs—only that I prefer the one to the other—but that’s never what Mac users hear when you say that.”

    I hear you. You aren’t saying that PCs are better than Macs. You are saying that you prefer PCs to Macs while admitting that you’ve never owned or consistently used a Mac. Ok.

    “Bottom line is that I like Macs. I think they look cool. They are easy to use.”

    Me too!

    “Still, I wasn’t impugning your original post so I hope you didn’t think I was.”

    I don’t at all. This is all just tongue-in-cheek fun for me. :)

    And from Joe’s latest comment:

    “And did you ever consider that Dave and I might be staging this whole thing to pay him back for our 23-comment post on Texas? 30 comments is not out of reach!”

    Insert diabolical laugh here.

    Last thing—and this is just the English major in me—everyone keeps typing “PC’s” (with an apostrophe). It’s just “PCs” (no apostrophe), unless you are referring to something that a PC owns. And PCs don’t own anything. Except for sucking. They do own that. :)

    And forget what I said about being too lazy to write another long-winded response, because it’s now an obvious lie.

  26. Dave

    One more thing:

    Joe, you always make me laugh when you use this guy:


    …because I always mentally read it as “colon pee” before I see the little guy sticking out his tongue.

  27. James

    Colon pee is the best kind of pee. it’s what you do after you get high on bird heroin (only Dave and Holly will get that, and then Holly will roll her eyes)

  28. Dave

    James, reading your bird heroin reference made me laugh out loud at work. A guy on my team asked me what I was laughing about and I had no idea how to explain it to him.

    Bird Heroin and Colon Pee: A Deadly Combination!

  29. Holly

    james, no eye rolling here. just audible laughter. i’m far enough removed from that ridiculous conversation that spawned the creation of the use of “bird heroin” that i think it’s funny now.

  30. Joe

    While I’m impressed at your ability to selectively edit, quote out of context, and create a straw man whenever you need one, you’re still completely missing the point. I didn’t start out doing a Mac vs. PC comparison, you did. My first comment was that Mac users have a complex. Then I responded specifically and in kind to James’ shameful post and your novel of a rebuttal. Still, you’ve proven my original comment far better than I ever could—and I wasn’t even that serious in the first place!

    So let’s see—let’s dispense with the quotes first.

    “When you think about the overall ‘user experience’ a Mac is better than a PC”

    True. That, to me, is a result of superior technology.

    The rest of my sentence was an important part of that statement, but I realize why you didn’t like it. We disagree semantically on the word technology, with you taking a more abstract meaning (i.e., a chimpanzee using a stick to catch termites is an example of technology), and me assuming we were talking about the tech industry (i.e., how computers work inside). Macs are easier to use for some people and PC’s for others.

    “Windows is ridiculously vulnerable if you’re careless”

    It’s ridiculously vulnerable even if you aren’t careless.

    I completely disagree. Viruses propagate through the actions of users, even if a user isn’t aware of it. If you know how to manage your system, you will not have problems. I am a very heavy computer user both at work and online and have never had a virus or system crash in 15 years of using Windows (and again, don’t misunderstand this as an endorsement for Windows, because it’s not. The point is that your computer is as vulnerable as you make it).

    “I agree—Macs are easier to use”


    My comparison to AOL, which you conveniently omitted, was intentional. Just because something is easier to use doesn’t mean it is better.

    Mac viruses—I don’t know off the top of my head, but a quick Google search mentioned four different ones on the first results page: Leap.A, Inqtana.A, “Opener,” and my favorite name by far “Macarena” (get it?! MAC-arena? HA!). I only had time to click into two pages. The first one was, whose motto is “Mac, keeping an eye on mac viruses.” The second one contained this little gem of a quote:

    “Some owners of Mac computers have held the belief that Mac OS X is incapable of harboring computer viruses, but Leap-A will leave them shellshocked, as it shows that the malware threat on Mac OS X is real,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “Mac users shouldn’t think it’s okay to lie back and not worry about viruses.”
    Sophos customers have been automatically protected against the worm since 12:25 GMT, 16 February 2006.
    “This is the first real virus for the Mac OS X platform,” continued Cluley. “Apple Mac users need to be just as careful running unknown or unsolicited code on their computers as their friends and colleagues running Windows.”
    That’s the point I keep trying to make. As far as not understanding the line of reasoning about virus writers wanting to be famous, let me clarify. It might hurt you to hear this, but the reality is that most people just don’t care about Macs. If you want to be famous, you write the next Sasser, not the first (or whatever number we’re up to now) OS X virus. With the first, you’ll be on the news. With the second, all you’ll get is a small slice of the user community screaming that the sky is falling. I guess it’s hard to understand from inside the Mac bubble.

    UNIX is actually a proprietary distinction that requires SUS certification, which as far as I know, Apple has not cared to do (and I don’t blame them). Therefore, to be technically correct, OS X is not a UNIX system, but a system built on a Unix-like platform. As I said before, it’s all the same to me, but the UNIX guys would disagree. If you don’t believe me, read about the Unix wars of the 80’s/90’s. The whole Jobs/Apple/NeXT soap opera is pretty interesting as well.

    I understood your point about trying something yourself, I just thought the religious example was a non sequitur. My point was that I *have* used Macs, extensively even, and know exactly how they work for the user. Saying I never owned a Mac and that I was not speaking from personal experience was a reference to the ownership experience (i.e., the warm fuzzies) and not the user experience (a more objective opinion).

    Finally, as far as the English lesson goes, acronyms can be pluralized with or without an apostrophe—both are actually acceptable. You may be oversimplifying the rules of pluralization in a language where not all “words” are equal and where our little apostrophe certainly does more than pluralize. I actually use both conventions, depending on what looks better to me in each case. I think the majority of writers use the apostrophe, and many do not. It is a matter of personal preference, not a matter of one being better than another. Wait a minute, where have I heard that before?

    P.S. In the spirit of bird heroin, I am honored to be post #33.

  31. James


  32. kristy wihongi

    i think i have a headache…

    and i deffinitely need bird heroin explained to me….

    preferably when i don’t have a headache.

  33. kristy wihongi

    i mean definitely, what’s up with not being able to edit your comments?

  34. Dave

    You are right that I totally took your quotes out of context and applied a heavy dose of selective editing. I did it as a joke, I guess—I knew that you (and anyone else reading it) would see that there was a lot that I was leaving out. I was just putting it all together to get some zingers in there. Pretty lame on my part, I guess.

    You’re totally right about the technology thing too—it’s an issue of semantics. We were just talking about two different things, but we were using the same word to describe them.

    You are right about the Windows vulnerability thing too. Like you said, a user who knows what they are doing won’t have any problems at all. I guess I just meant that if there is a vulnerability in the OS, it’s still there even if the user knows enough to steer clear of it.

    You were right on about the AOL/ease of use thing too. Just because something is easy to use, doesn’t mean it it’s better than the alternative. I did leave that comparison out on purpose.

    As far as the Mac viruses go, I first want to say that you are totally right that OS X is not in any way invulnerable and that it’s silly (and irresponsible) for any other Mac user to think that just because they are on a Mac that they are 100% safe from viruses.

    Concerning the examples that you found, as far as I can tell Inqtana.A, Opener, and Macarena are all proofs of concept (security flaws in the OS that could potentially lead to viruses)—not actual viruses that were ever in the wild. Leap.A (a.k.a. Oompa Loompa) was in the wild earlier this year, but I could only find record of two users actually coming in contact with it (I’m sure there were more). The flaw has apparently since been patched.

    I don’t mean to minimize it though, because your point is totally correct—the Mac OS isn’t invulnerable and it’s probably more due to the low number of Macs out there than anything else.

    We Mac users are guilty of being blind to reality quite a bit too—like you said. We are too often sucked in by Apple’s “Reality Distortion Field” and end up thinking that the world revolves around Cupertino. You are right that a heinous Windows virus would generate a lot more media attention than a Mac virus.

    You are right about UNIX too. I should have said UNIX-like instead of UNIX-based. I guess I just misunderstood the origins of the OS…

    I’m sorry about the prior Mac experience/religion example. I thought that you had said that you hadn’t consistently used a Mac before, which was the assumption that I was basing that whole argument on. Since you have consistently used them and still prefer PCs, my original argument/example obviously doesn’t have a leg to stand on. :(

    And lastly, I do also apologize for the acronym/apostrophe/pluralization gaffe. I honestly didn’t know about the accepted use of the apostrophe in pluralizing acronyms. I guess I’m not much of an English major after all!

    Looking back on my comments, I really did completely miss the point and ended up proving your point about Mac users having a complex. I started out just wanting to have a fun little Mac vs. PC debate (that I started, not you, like you said), but I got a bit out-of-hand with those posts and pulled some lame stunts just for a few groundless digs. I hope you know that I did it all in fun, and that I didn’t mean anything serious by any of it.

  35. Dave


  36. Joe

    Of course! I didn’t take any of this personally and didn’t think you were either. Rereading my last post, I can see that my tone could have easily been interpreted as being upset. I certainly didn’t feel the way it reads when I wrote it, if that makes any sense, and I’m sorry. I enjoy the back and forth as much as anyone and am happy to have someone to do it with who isn’t A) my wife, who doesn’t appreciate debate very much (but really, whose does?) or B) James, who used to wear hangers on his head. We both lead decidedly mundane lives these days with jobs and families and not much else. I wouldn’t trade that for anything else in the world, but if we can’t debate over technicalities on completely esoteric topics once in a while, what are we to do, watch Sportscenter? (Answer: Yes, absolutely). You made at least as many valid points as I tried to make and probably more, and we agree more than we disagree. Plus, I just thought of this–there is definitely a chance that I might convert to Macs someday, while there is probably no chance that you or James will ever switch back to PC’s. That must prove something.

  37. Joe

    And of course I will jump at the chance to post comment number FORTY. I mean, really, 40?! That’s insane! Congrats.

  38. James

    You left out that I also wore grocery bags as shirts.

  39. James


  40. Dad


    So Mom said that I should ‘weigh in’ on this, so I said I weigh 174… and then she just looked at me (with that look, you know, the wifely look that can say any one of a number of things). So I guess she meant that I should comment…
    My first thought was to just say, “Uhhh OK” like James did, and Liz agreed. But I could say a little more…but not too much, right?(I am almost at the end of my time sleeping on the couch for trying to suggest that Bill Gates is really not the personification of evil). So I did actually learn several things that I did not know previously, like two of my sons are gay and the other one may think that I am a greasy 60+ year-old because I prefer PCs (or PC’s). Mostly because I am a marketing guy, and market share, regardless of how it is gained, is an undeniable reality that cannot be explained away or minimized.
    Not that Apple itself tries to do so, but many users certainly make the attempt. Usually not persuasively. And, having started in high tech somewhere around 1982, I have seen the Apple owners’ “I need to convince you to change how you use computers” mode on a number of occasions. It existed even before the Mac was a product. Nobody ever doubted the sincerety of such efforts, but they are unique in my experience as compared with, say, advocating a shampoo or a car brand. And it is not unimportant that today’s Wall Street Journal reports that the SEC has found Apple’s former CFO guilty of backdating stock options and will force him to disgorge several million in illegal profits, and they (the SEC) are also filing a civil suit against Apple’s former General Counsel for the same crimes. I know, they are victimless crimes, right? Anyway, a couple of other things must be commented upon — 1)Joe didn’t format the hard drive on my computer, it was actually our Stake President’s computer which he had loaned me, and Joe’s adventure into “I wonder what happens when you do this” almost cut short my career as Stake Executive Secretary, 2)Little Debbie over Hostess for me too, although I understand that if there were any more preservatives in Little Debbie’s New Jersey-manufactured goodies, they would have to reverse and list the cake as an additive to the main product, a preservative…3)And by the way, Heather, I can get you those WalMart purses by the dozens in just a few short months, just let us know what colors, etc., 4) Why did Dave call the “P” a “pee” and thereby set off James on bird heroin? Under the same logic, wouldn’t he call an “R” an “arrr”, and a “B” a “bee”…you get my drift, just wondering, 5)By the way we have added bird heroin to the potential menu for the reunion in July, as well as a formal moderated debate on Mac vs. PC…,6)James, I had forgotten about the hangers, probably a good thing, and I am just thinking that as you apply to MBA school you should probably avoid asking Joe for a letter of recommendation, or anyone with whom he has been in contact, because the hanger thing will inevitably come out somehow, and once that happens, you will only be able to get admitted to the Univ. of Phoenix… Well, as you can see, I don’t really have that much to say, of importance anyway, but I have enjoyed all the comments and look forward to another time when someone in this richly diverse set of personalities in our wonderful family addresses a subject about which someone else feels strongly, and we will be off and running again. Love you all madly.

    P. S. Sorry I don’t have a picture yet, maybe you remember how I look

    P. P. S. Finlo says hi to all.

  41. Joe

    So I spit my water onto my keyboard when I read Dad’s lessons learned. I had no idea Jon was also gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    In other news. Today’s headline on the whole options timing issue is that the former CFO has rolled over and implicated Jobs. Uh oh.

  42. The Peas in our Pod » Instagram Round Up 3

    [...] We were actually really, really sad to hear about Steve Jobs’ passing. We (and Dave in particular) have been Apple fans for a long time. [...]


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