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Journal Journal: Good OS, Limited Hardware

I recently made a (slightly angry) post in the New iMac Announced thread here on Slashdot complaining about Apple in general. Thanks to my "late-comer" status in the discussion I didn't get modded up or down, but I did get a few nasty comments. Oh, well. I'm standing by my attitude towards Apple and I'm going to elaborate on it. Comments are enabled so I can be flamed some more on the off-chance someone reads my journal. Here goes.

Apple hardware is limited. Their most popular and mainstream model is the iMac, a consumer product that lacks serious upgradability or expandability. It fails to be innovative or interesting, instead appealing to this who have an interest in trendy, modern looking equipment. It's practical only for those who have something against Microsoft Windows and refuse to put up with the Linux learning curve. It's behind the times, even in terms of Mac hardware and yet is overpriced (do you have any idea the kind of stable, powerful PC I could build for $1299?). Perhaps those with limited desktop space can find some use for it, but it seems more practical to buy a real computer (even a PowerMac or whatever the hell the squarish ones are called if you absolutely need to buy Apple's overpriced, proprietary, artsy-fartsy hardware) with a flatscreen monitor and just shove the box under your desk.

And this may just be the ubergeek in me combining with my extreme desire to customize everything (maybe they're one and the same?) but I want to build my own computer, damn it! I don't want to buy a funky looking retail machine and then "expand" by shoving components in and out like a monkey. I want to choose my motherboard, screw it in there, and add the exact processor I want. Then I want to put a new fan in, mess with jumpers, and overclock the damn thing. If I want an odd-looking case, I'll buy one. I want the chance to buy more than just one type of processor. Maybe I like Intel's cool-running pentiums. Or perhaps I'm a speed demon and don't mind the cooling problems with Athlons. Oh, well. My choice. And I don't want to be restricted to 10 versions of one OS. Yeah, maybe there aren't loads and loads of operating systems for x86 hardware, but at least I have some choice.

But don't take this as a dig on Apple's operating system. OSX interests me a lot, but I could never see myself using it. It doesn't suit my needs and for what it does do... well, it doesn't do it any better than windows (not that it necessarily does it worse). It's different and that's fine. Like I said before, choice is my thing. If Apple ever decided to release one of their operating systems for my PC I'd be ecstatic. I'd probably even buy it and check it out. Run it on another box and find some use for it. Maybe I'd end up using it as my main "internet" computer at some point. Right now (and for the forseeable future), though, I'll never buy a Mac (or any retail computer, for that matter). The G4 and G3 are the last processors I'd want in my computer and, more importantly, when my cpu gets out of the date I like to pull it out. The motherboard in the computer I'm using right now was bought for a 1.1ghz Athlon. It's since been upgraded to 1.4ghz and it'll support the new line of XP processors.

Maybe, someday, I'll be running MacOS-XX on my AMD Athlon 3ghz rig and loving every minute of it. For now, I'd much rather stay in the company of Bill Gates and Tux.

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The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin