Thursday, January 13, 2005


Or: Why I will never cross over to the white side.

I was just talking to W and Terz tonight about the Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle and I realised more and more that I really can't become a Mac user. I would like to...I mean who can withstand the onslaught of images of little white boxes that are designed to entice? It's style personified.
Unfortunately, I've been wired to pick substance over style and in that aspect, the Mac jus' don't cut it. Let's take a look at the two items of lust that Steve Jobs has just unveiled at CES 2005.

(Exhibit A)

This is what all SFF PCs aspire to look like. It's sleek, it's sexy and it sets the pulse racing...It's Gisele Bundchen. Now take a look at the Shuttle SN95G5. It's quite sleek, not really that sexy and it hides quite a lot under it's rather normal exterior...It's Kathy Bates.
Now...even if you took all the time in the world, there's no way that Kathy Bates is going to look anything like Gisele Bundchen. In terms of acting chops however, ol' Kath should be able to kick GB's @$$ all the way back to Brazil. That said, Ms Bundchen's capable of a heck of a lot that Ms Bates isn't capable of (eg looking good while changing into a bikini post heist)...but it's not the stuff that some people'll need in an actress.
It's the difference between a racehorse and workhorse. The racehorse is a thoroughbred. It's sleek and it's beautiful and it's a true joy to look at. Poetry in motion with well oiled muscles that slide under a perfectly brushed coat. The workhorse however looks like a beast that'll trample you underfoot and as you try to breathe (taking in air that smells of day-old horse), it'll bite off your ear. The thoroughbred, in the meantime, is eating sugarcubes out of the hand of the guy next door, who's undoubtably laughing his head off because you bought the spawn of satan.
But here's the thing, the workhorse it relatively low upkeep. Buy the racehorse and it's going to be a life of getting the best for it. Keep it on the best feed. Buy it a cashmere horse blanket. Same with Ms Bundchen. Get the girl, buy the lifestyle. The workhorse'll probably be chewing on your ear for a while and then eating the pig. It'll eat the hay, the pitchfork and the left barn wall as well. I'm not too sure about Kathy Bates but I think the analogy's run itself into the wall. So let's return to computers.
Buy the Mac, buy the lifestyle. Once you go Mac, you're not going back. You can't attach a set of black headphones to the iPod. It just clashes. You can't use a normal LCD with the Mac throws the cutting edge design out the window. You MUST BUY Mac. It's an addiction that's hard to break. And it's really expensive. Don't believe me? Check with people who have paid $30 for a little film that you stick onto the back of the iPod to prevent scratches.
My ol' workhorse is one heck of an ugly monster of Frankensteinian proportions (It's been operated on again and again and now it's a mishmash of crap in there) but it's worked very well for me. (when I'm not blowing it's power supply up...) That said, it's a bitch to carry to LAN parties and it's definitely not going to enable me to game anywhere I choose, but it works. And it works hard. It's getting old but it's still eating up the games I keep throwing at it. It just recently got a new lease of life with my spanking new 256mb video card...something that I doubt a Mac could boast for a while.
That's the main problem...the Mac, in all it's stylistic glory, has not addressed the primary purpose of computers...GAMING. At the heart of all the innovations of PCs today beats the pulse of the world's computer gamers...and we constantly want more. The Mac hasn't managed to keep up in all that.
A Radeon 9200? I don't think so.

(Exhibit B)

A flash player that surprises you with music that you ripped off EVERY DISC you've ever owned? I can just imagine the nightmare of the player choosing to pick obscure hits from the embarrassing "Kylie Minogue's hits from the 80's" and looping the Locomotion till you throw yourself from the MRT platform. Taking control from my hands and putting it into the virtual digits of a machine? I don't think so either.

Convert to the Mac?


Post a Comment

<< Home