Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Of Wormy Apples.

This week, Apple overtook Microsoft to become the most valuable firm in the tech rat-race. The Wall Street marks it as the end of an era, where the most significant technological product of our age no longer sits on a desk. Instead, it dangles from belt clips on low-waist jeans. To put it succinctly, I am not happy.

I am convinced that if there is any one cause worthy of a third World War, it has to be the PC vs. Mac debate. Seriously speaking, Archduke was a joke in comparison. Poke any random Apple fanboy in the slightest of ways, and they burst into a spectacular fire-and-lights display of livid rage and righteous indignation. Sure, it comes in neat packaging. Sure, it has its pros. Sure, it is a snazzy and expensive version of Shiny Computing Box for Dummies. But from where I look at it, the cons easily outnumber the pros. In fact, they punch them into a pulp, dribble them, and throw them right out the window and into the trash.

Why I hate Apple:

1. Proprietary software taken to the extreme. License upon license, copyright upon copyright.
I run three different photo-editing programs, each with a diverse set of features as per requirement. Same goes for all media applications. How does one break out of the stifling bounds of the iLife package?
2. Zero room for customization.
3. Restricted access to OS kernel.
Every Windows user worth his salt loves DOS. Any Linux user's life depends on it. An apple user, is left to his own devices.
4. Zero flexibility in tweaking and programming.
5. Extremely limited software portability.
6. Zero-portability of software developed on the system itself.
7. Annoyingly long list of incompatible hardware and peripherals.
8. Coming to iTunes. Now, can someone please explain to me why I would want to use a software that insists on copying my music files into an entirely new non-virtual library of its own? Memory is a precious thing. Considering that I store about 60 GB of music on my system, there is no way I'd choke it up with double copies. Also, the iTunes library is not organized in any coherent fashion, so the original folders on disk cannot be done without either. Add to it the misery of its bland, pasty interface and no thematic customization options available. Not to mention, having to download an wide array of additional software to deal with the fact that it does not support wma audio and to convert all video to mp4. Compare with Windows or Linux, where all you need is an internet connection to download easily available codecs and plugins, apart from the fairly comprehensive range of supported formats.
9. By far, the only reason iTunes even exists is so that the world's iPods can be put to use. Of course Apple has every reason to try and make sure that it doesn't work with anything else. Throw in those $30 pieces of scrap wool they call iPod socks and every other over-priced accessory Apple markets just because the iPod does, and always will, sell. The things they get away with shock me. Really.
10. The continual updates and releases of fairly useless thingamajigs like Safari. Not to mention the massive download sizes. Nothing eats up computer memory faster than Quicktime, iTunes and Safari put together. The 3 harbingers of a processor's doom.
11. Simply said, a Mac dumbs you down. If someday they took over the world, a major part of the joy of using a computer would be lost. In order to use a system to its full potential, one has to dig deep and explore its innards.
12. The marketing, the pretentiousness of the "Mac lifestyle", the brand tag, the overwhelming smarminess of the Mac vs. PC advertisements(which, by the way, are so erroneous that I don't even know where to start). 

I haven't even gotten into the technicalities. But there's this to compensate.
Truth be told, if a Mac is a smarmy college punk, and Windows is a rotund bespectacled geek, Linux is the tattooed biker on a mean set of wheels.

So upon coming upon this little piece of news, I exhibited some major distress symptoms. Within 2 days, it was time for extreme measures. Since then, I have downloaded and installed Ubuntu on my laptop and my desktop, and gotten rid of iTunes altogether. I chose Ubuntu, because it works on a philosophy that is essentially the polar opposite of everything Apple stands for. And 3 days on, I am waaaaaaay beyond satisfied with it. The thrill of working in an entirely new environment, and learning to work hardcore on a system is thoroughly refreshing. It is completely customizable, is very "hands-on", offers an exhausting number of options with open-source software, and yet remains surprisingly intuitive. Not to mention, its media players synchronize perfectly with iPods and have far more features than anything Apple could come up with. The only limitation I see so far is that internet connectivity is crucial to its functioning. Aside from that, the GUI interface through Compiz is to die for. One even begins to love the overzealous autoconfig after a while. Much love to open source.

P.S. The reason why Apple is :"virus-free" and "spyware-free" is because the most virulent of malware are designed to attack the Windows OS, owning to the popularity of windows. It is relatively "bug-free" because it only works with a limited set of hardware components. Unlike Windows, with which you pretty much throw it all in and make it work Needless to say, I wait eagerly for the tables to turn. Something tells me, it won't be long.


Alok said...

Ubuntu/Linux is indeed an awesome experience. It lets you open your computer up as if it were a toy.

However, though I am an avid GNU/Linux fan, I can't join in in the Windows/Mac hate. However faulty, insecure, painful, stupid and chokingly restrictive they might be, they were the forerunners. Open-source software, though catching up, lives mostly in their shadow (notable exceptions like the Linux kernel, Firefox, and OpenSSL notwithstanding).

Even though Windows/Mac stole most of the ideas they use, they were the ones who opened up the world to Computers, and enabled the exponential growth we see today. They definitely are not innovators, neither are they good implementors, but they were great catalysts.

Some ideas stolen by Apple/Microsoft ended up being better than their sources (notable example: DirectX vs. OpenGL). Apple's implementation of OpenGL is considered the best, explaining why 3D animators and other people who work on graphical software prefer the Mac. A similar thing can be said about the sound editing software available on the Mac: an astounding number of musicians/recording studios choose to use the platform.

Sound is one of the weakest areas on Linux distros, including Ubuntu.

Also the analogy you made is pretty wrong:

Mac is the voluptuous but stupid/crazy bimbo, Windows is the evil, deceitful businessman, dressed neatly and Linux is the bespectacled geek (not rotund, though), whose near cousin is the Heavy Metal lead guitarist.

soin said...

throw the lappies into the sea.bring it back that black slate.
but linux is over rated.server side fine. when you sit and install kerberos you realize how good it is.but for normal users it just unwanted just does fine without complications. just like that some people are saying apple linux.linux is bledy complicated,command for everything.and need the internet for for now till i take over the world and bring back the black slate and the delious white stick

Anty said...

I just don't like Apple because my iPod kept crashing too often.

JD said...

Open-source prophets must have a field-day reading this one :)