Santiago's Macintosh Page

Kill your Wintel box

I first got my hands on a Macintosh in early 1988. It was a top-of-the line, $5000 Mac II with the works--16 MHz 68020 processor with an FPU, a whole Megabyte of RAM, a huge 80 Meg hard drive, a double-sided disk drive, a dot matrix printer, and a Color monitor. Boy, have things ever changed! But, ever since that day, the only computer I'll willingly use (unless I'm getting paid a fair amount) is a Mac. Why? Simply put, because they work. Macs are easy to use even for clueless lusers, yet geeks like me can have them so jacked that there isn't a single byte on there that I can't easily change. The interface is by far the most intuitive I've ever seen. (Though I generally do things with arcane keyboard shortcuts instead of wasting time touching my mouse.) They may not have as much software as Wintel machines, but they have the best software. And, I'd rather have one good program instead of ten crummy ones. Probably the best part is that upgrading and installing hardware and software is almost transparent. Just hook your new hard drive/printer/monitor/toaster-oven up and (sometimes) restart. No need to fiddle with any crap. Us Mac people have no word for plug-and-play because it never occured to us that any moron would design a computer that didn't work that way. Software is likewise. Last summer, I upgraded to MacOS 8. Took under an hour, no problems, only had to restart once, at the end. A month later, I installed Windows 95 on some new Dells in the ESL lab at my workplace. Got a BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) three times on the first machine alone. Had to start up in safe mode twice before everything worked (or an unreasonable facsimile thereof). Oh, and changing the number of colors and resolution of the screen actually required that I restart Windows instead of working on the fly. Let's not talk about trying to get some older PCs networked so we could share a database between them. That consumed the better part of a week, and required bringing in the husband of one of the accountants, a professional consultant, to help straighten things out. At home, such a task is accomplished by sticking a cable into the back of each computer (into a port that's built into the motherboard, no less) and clicking four times on each machine. End of story.

Perhaps the most telling piece of evidence comes from a simple annecdote involving a normal, everyday user. An ex-girlfriend of mine used to have a Wintel machine back home. Here at college, she had no computer, so she sometimes used to check her e-mail from mine. After spending half an hour on it, she was saying, "This is cool! I want one. C'mon, get me a Mac, please..."

In any case, the links below will take you to other areas, both mine and 3rd party, that will answer any questions you may have, and, if you're a rational, logical human being, convince you that there's no question of what kind of computer has the best interface.