Mac vs. pc

The argument goes on.

I read this and had a bit of an epiphany: My preference for PCs is summed up by the philosophy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

…The book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, such as Zen, focused on being “In the moment”, and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know the details, understand the inner workings, and master the mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance) and so on.

While I fall into the first category for my inner life, I lean very heavily toward the second for my “stuff”. I like to know how things work, I like to master the art of maintenance, I just want to know. And I like the sense of self-sufficiency that comes from knowing I can fix most PC problems, or that I know people who can help. If I didn’t like fixing my PC, I wouldn’t have one. I like to tinker with things!

Owning a car with computer chips also bothers me, by the way. I don’t like the veil of mystery. I’m someone who started out with a ’63 Bug, learned to change my own oil, do tune-ups and even managed a clutch replacement. Boy, that was a long time ago!

My Mac friends tend to like the feeling of owning an Apple machine. “I just turn it on, it works, that’s all I care about, I don’t want to know all that stuff.” They like being the kind of person who owns a Mac.

The part I don’t get it, why does this always have to turn into a war? Why are people so defensive about their computers — which are nothing more than tools, after all?

It’s as silly as fighting over guitars. It’s a matter of taste, style and budget, period. I’m a lot more interested in what you produce with your computer than I am in what model you own.

10 thoughts on “Mac vs. pc

  1. Interesting position and one that I can respect. I used to be one who needed to understand the inner workings of my computer, then I spent several years as a field based software engineer for a major technology company. After all that time trying to make things work and rooting around under the hood I now relish the fact that I can boot my MacBook and let it get out of the way of what I need to accomplish.

  2. “I’m a lot more interested in what you produce with your computer than I am in what model you own.”

    Then perhaps you’ll understand why I chose differently than you:

    I’m a lot more interested in producing things with my computer than I am in maintaining it.

  3. except of course when you start a convo on the topic by saying “ha! macs got a virus!”

    While I used to take great satisfaction in dropping the engine and putting a new clutch in my ’65 bug, I have never once found a similar level of pleasure after a 5 hour windoze virus fix/system re-load/safe mode fiasco.

    and I don’t think that running some anti-malware/spyware/virus software is quite the same thing as really knowing the inner workings of an operating system or a computer.

    I use both systems, but I am never fully satisfied with the windoze machine and I view every blue and black screen crash with dread because I know that the odds of just doing a re-boot (like I would with the mac) and having it be fixed are usually low…

  4. from a developer’s point of view it is all about money. If you are a Mac developer, you cannot sell as much as a PC developer. To the victor goes the spoils. Also, organizations tend to standardize on one system, so it is a winner take all situation. Recently Macs have been sneaking into the enterprise with some managers preferring a machine they can use without calling technical support once a month. Linux has been sneaking into the server end for network administrators who cannot tolerate the server crashes of Windows systems. But these wars are about money and how much your technical skills are worth.

  5. Maybe that’s because so many Mac owners answer every question I have with “get a Mac”? Duncan gets the same thing.

    I can’t remember the last time I had a blue screen or a crash. How old is your PC?

    You can easily do a backup re-install with the newer versions of Windows, not really an issue for me.

  6. My objection to Macs have more to do with price. My notebook is a Lenovo that I bought new for $329 and it serves me quite well. And for the price of an entry level Macbook, I built my own home computer with a 6 core processor, 8GB of RAM, 2TB HDD, bluray burner and a high end graphics card. Buying a Mac with those specs would require a mortgage.

  7. (Disclosure: Long-term MAC user [from the 80s] who now has a laptop PC due to $$$ issues.)

    Just because I enjoyed using a computer that I could, uh, use — instead of fix all the time, doesn’t EQUATE me with someone who just wanted to be the kind of person who owns a Mac. There’s a tone of snobbery to that statement and an assumption that practical people who made the decision to use a computer that simply WORKS have big egos.
    Careful there.

  8. I was given my Mac. I decided that I didn’t want to get into fixing computers, because I am a process person, and I prefer being able to see how things work. Which I guess makes me a process/ gears kind of person.

  9. I have been a Mac consulatant for longer then I care to remember and the analogy I have used ( which may be dated) is the difference is PC users are like people who like British cars ( think Austin-Healey’s, MGB’s etc) they like to tinker and spend every weekend with the hood up. Mac users were people who bought Japanese cars, they just wanted to get in and go.
    Though it would seem that we agree the emphasis and tone is subtly different.

  10. my one and only reason for never having a mac is how their delete keys function – like a pc’s backspace. my brain just won’t handle the switch.

    but most of my friends have macs and when i use them the net is usually slower, and they have no idea how to speed it up. they seem to require professional assistance way more than i ever have.

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