Professional Web Applications Themes

Interesting Cringely comments - Mac Applications & Software

From the most recent Bob Cringely column: First, a trick question: Why aren't Apple Macintosh computers more popular in large mainstream organizations? Whatever the gigahertz numbers say, Macintoshes are comparable in performance to Windows or Linux machines. Whatever the conventional wisdom or the Microsoft marketing message, Macs aren't dramatically more expensive to buy and on a Total Cost of Ownership basis they are probably cheaper. Nobody would argue that Macs are harder to use. Clearly, they are easier to use, especially on a network. So what's the problem? Why do Macs seem to exist only in media outfits?.... ...I ...

  1. #1

    Default Interesting Cringely comments

    From the most recent Bob Cringely column:

    First, a trick question: Why aren't Apple Macintosh computers more
    popular in large mainstream organizations? Whatever the gigahertz
    numbers say, Macintoshes are comparable in performance to Windows or
    Linux machines. Whatever the conventional wisdom or the Microsoft
    marketing message, Macs aren't dramatically more expensive to buy and on
    a Total Cost of Ownership basis they are probably cheaper. Nobody would
    argue that Macs are harder to use. Clearly, they are easier to use,
    especially on a network. So what's the problem? Why do Macs seem to
    exist only in media outfits?....

    ...I used to think it came down to nerd ego. Macs were easy to use, so
    they didn't get the respect of nerds who measured their testosterone
    levels by how fluently they could navigate a command line interface.
    Now, I think differently. Now, I think Macs threaten the livelihood of
    IT staffs. If you recommend purchasing a computer that requires only
    half the support of the machine it is replacing, aren't you putting your
    job in danger? Exactly.
    Please reply to: com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <YmSPgjx6zsY1-pn2-OkPFUFIYuYZdlocalhost>,
    <com> wrote: 

    Cringely has always been a troll, but didn't he used to be an anti-Mac

    Matthew T. Russotto net
    "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
    of justice is no virtue." But extreme restriction of liberty in pursuit of
    a modi of security is a very expensive vice.
    Matthew Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    Bob Cringely was quoted in his column
    as saying: 

    Well, DUH!

    Mr. Cringely looks too young to remember when computers were kept behind
    glass walls for the great unwashed users to gawk at. Then as people got
    used to seeing computers the glass was replaced by opaque panels so the
    mystery and the power of the MIS priesthood could be maintained (That
    stands for 'Management Information Systems', what IT was called before it
    was called IT.)

    Users handed in their punch card offerings at the digital confessional and
    prayed for a favorable result. God help you if you didn't fill out the job
    request sheet properly or you made a small error in your JCL header. (As
    penance, say 5000 'Hail IBM's and code your next project in machine language.)

    But the difference in attitude goes much deeper, and it is why Macs will
    ALWAYS fight an uphill battle for business-application business. Think
    back to the 1984 commercial.

    There are two kinds of people in the computing world:

    * Those who want power in the hands of an IT elite and those who want to
    empower the user;
    * Those who delight in strutting arcania and those who strive for open
    * Those who want mindless, militaristic regimentation (note, I didn't say
    standardization) and those who want useful differentiation;
    * Those who like words such as 'abort' and those who prefer 'cancel';
    * Those who force the user to consult a 'wizard' and those who offer the
    user an 'assistant'; and
    * Those who demand only pre-approved rectilinear thinking and those who
    embrace chaos as a spur to creativity.

    The list can go on endlessly. The point is the first group
    supports/buys/has thrust upon them PCs; the second uses Macs. As long as
    US antitrust laws are mocked and Billy the Pig remains a free man, Macs
    will never make serious inroads into non-graphics business because the
    ITheads will be covering their asses.

    Fred Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <net>, (Matthew Russotto) wrote:

    Nothing especially trollish about this particular message -- and given
    the immensely costly damages to major organizations resulting from
    recent hack attacks that exploit Windows vulnerabilities, his question
    is _really_ worth asking, whatever his past history may have been.
    AES/newspost Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    > First, a trick question: Why aren't Apple Macintosh computers more 

    IMHO, Apple ed up back when Apple was the size of a cranberry. Jobs and
    company thought that being evangelical, wearing a robe, and shaking a
    tambourine would sell computers. And it did, but not to corporate America.
    Gates knew he had to get into the business of business.

    Microsoft even projected business in its image. Apple hung with the hippies.


    No way. A major percent of the "regular office" staff I know can't download
    a file and ever find it again. They can't diagnose a phone wire pulled from
    the wall. Ask a secretary for her IP address and she slaps you with a ual
    harassment lawsuit. Consider the following. It's a small sample size, but

    "During HomeNet, a well-financed but controversial study of 48 Pittsburgh
    area homes, 133 participants received computers, free network connections,
    training and assistance with problems. Even in such optimal conditions, a
    central limitation was the difficulty that users experienced with the
    services. The researchers wrote, "Even the easiest-to-use computers and
    applications pose significant barriers to the use of online services . . .
    even with help and our simplified procedure, HomeNet participants had
    trouble connecting to the Internet.""

    Tim Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <com>, com wrote:

    He is Pro-Mac. Very much so in fact. The article in question hits the
    nail on the head. It's supposed to be a wake up call to the CEO types to
    have a look at their IT departments and review whether they're more
    interested in helping the company run well or keeping their jobs.

    Too bad most DEO types know less about the actual computers and the
    technology the IT department is responsible for than the average
    Particle Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <BB62B5BB.92AB%com>,
    Tim Murray <com> wrote:
    > IMHO, Apple ed up back when Apple was the size of a cranberry. Jobs and
    > company thought that being evangelical, wearing a robe, and shaking a
    > tambourine would sell computers. And it did, but not to corporate America.
    > Gates knew he had to get into the business of business.[/ref]

    Err.. actually they did sell quite a lot to corporate America, back in
    the 1970s. The world's first spreadsheet-- VisiCalc-- was originally
    written for the Apple II. This was the application that first got
    people wanting something other than mainframes in companies.

    Tom "Tom" Harrington
    Macaroni, Automated System Maintenance for Mac OS X.
    Version 1.4: Best cleanup yet, gets files other tools miss.
    Tom Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <net>, Fetch, Rover, Fetch
    <edu> wrote:
    > this goes even deeper -
    > I use 2 points of point of view to differentiate between wins and
    > macs (these are obviously broad generalities, and there are plenty of
    > exceptions on both sides):
    > 1 a) you can navigate a Pc without mouse, but NOT without a keyboard
    > b) you can NOT navigate a Mac without a mouse, but can without a keyboard
    > 2 a) application centric usage (PC) open an application (on a Pc you
    > nearly always discuss running an application) and it takes over the
    > screen (PC). All doents created by that application (use word as an
    > example) are created/viewed and manipulated inside an extraneous window
    > 'frame' which hides everything else (running) on the computer.[/ref]

    Not really. Some programs can still work like that if you want them
    to, but by default, modern Windows programs generally don't take over
    your screen and don't use the "windows in a window" metaphor. (A major
    excoeption to this trend: AOL.)

    Jerry Kindall, Seattle, WA <>

    When replying by e-mail, use plain text ONLY to make sure I read it.
    Due to spam and viruses, I filter all mail with HTML or attachments.
    Jerry Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    com wrote:

    In a discussion on the local linux UG mailing list, this was discussed
    recently with interesting comments from a guy who works for a small
    firm that does internal computer support on a number of area firms.

    He explained that, if they persuaded their customers to install linux
    or Mac sysems, they'd find that they'd send someone in to get a new
    box working, in half a day it would be working, and they wouldn't hear
    anything from the client again until more hardware was needed. But if
    they could persuade their clients to use Windows, they'd have to supply
    support permanently, with one person for every 20 or 30 machines, and
    all of this would be billable hours.

    He observed that they'd be financial idiots if they tried to persuade
    their clients to go with anything but Windows. And he also observed that
    most managers were very happy to accept their advice, although they all
    knew that it was the most expensive advice no matter how you did the

    That's the way the business world works, mostly.

    He suggested that many readers would consider his remarks to be satire,
    but he wasn't attempting any sort of humor. He was just describing the
    clients that he works with every day.

    John Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    Tim Murray: 

    Oh, so true. I don't know to what extent that image is still with
    Apple, but the "Switch" campaign with its load of strange citizens
    didn't help any. I remember some years ago when a relative --
    conservative business owner -- was looking to install computers. I was
    already a Mac user, so of course I recommended Macs. "Noooo. I'm not
    running my business on hippy computers." He stumbled along with Wintel,
    as businesses do. (He eventually -- just prior to his retirement --
    caught on to the fact that my uptime was close enough to 100% as didn't
    matter, while he was in hell. He's now a Mac user.)

    This is true for both Mac and Wintel.

    I do a little bit of consulting -- Macs only, and a lot of what I do is
    pro bono for senior citizens. I have finally come to the conclusion
    that there is no such thing as an easy-to-use computer for the great
    majority of those persons who did not grow up in the computer era. The
    exceptions are people like the regulars on CSMS, who are computer
    hobbyists. That will change soon, as we reach the time when nearly
    everyone in the business world grew up using computers. But they won't
    have grown up with Macs, because the Mac is all but dead in education,
    and they won't be using Macs as adults, either, on the job or at home.

    Initial cost is still a major impediment to Mac sales. I had to buy a
    Wintel machine recently -- first time since '85 -- and I chose a 2.6GHz
    Sony Vaio laptop with a 16" screen. Fully loaded -- DVD, CDRW, FW, USB,
    etc., it was half the cost of a high-end PowerBook and it feels three
    times as fast. The MHz myth is no myth. I've known that all along, but
    the speed of this machine compared to what I'm used to was shocking.
    I've never been a pessimist, but...

    Six Macs. See my PowerBook with Cinema Display at

    usenet *at* davidillig dawt com
    Davoud Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments


    I'm convinced that for most Windows users mastering
    the damned thing represents the high point of their
    intellectual careers and to give that up is to...


    Dan Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    Dan Geer: 


    Cute, but not quite so. "Most Windows users" come nowhere near
    "mastering" their systems. They learn to do what they need to do, and
    are careful not to try anything new. But I have to tell you from my
    experience in Mac consulting that most Mac users are the same way. I
    have come to believe that computers are innately counterintuitive, and
    that's why so many people who use them dislike them. Perhaps
    *mastering* a computer is a high intellectual achievement, after all.

    "Most users" does not include geeks or hobbyists. Hanging around CSMS
    or other computer forums may give us a skewed notion of what percentage
    of users are geeks or hobbyists. It's really a tiny fraction, with all
    the rest just doing what they need to do, as I said above. Now that I
    think of it, my wife is a good example. She sits in front of a computer
    all day in her job, though computers are not her job. When she comes
    home she won't look at a computer, much less sit in front of one and
    play, like I do.

    As I noted in an earlier post, this will change when old guys like you
    and me are gone and practically everyone will have used a computer from
    childhood. The geeks and hobbyists will no longer be elite. I expect
    that most of these future people will be considerably more skilled than
    today's average user.


    usenet *at* davidillig dawt com
    Davoud Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    >Now, I think Macs threaten the livelihood of 

    Yes this is precisely the answer.
    Vote Arnold Schwarzenegger for California Governor in 2003!
    Vote Bush for President in 2004!
    Crucifyself03 Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <>,
    comnojunk (Crucifyself03) wrote:

    Yes, but does he wear diapers and is his floppy microsoft like yours?

    Enough <com>
    Enough Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    david raoul derbes: 

    All of the above: exactly on target, IMO.

    Also on target. But it can't be just someone; there are a few large
    enterprises that use Macs, and Apple needs to recruit some of them. The
    theme of the campaign might be "Who Uses a Mac?." Or, if Apple had the
    guts, "No One Uses a Mac" followed by "I'm John Doe, CEO of XYZ, the
    world's largest manufacturer of ABC's. Who says no one uses Macs? We
    use 'em..." Followed by Mr. Derbes' suggested demonstration, then
    "...which is handy because there are still a few <hyperbole> businesses
    that don't yet know that the Mac is the answer to their computer
    problems, and we are able to ... with those companies."


    A President told us lies and a woman had to send her dress to the
    cleaners. Another President came along and told us lies and thousands
    of people died. Go figure!

    usenet *at* davidillig dawt com
    Davoud Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <160820030657144835%net>, Davoud <net>

    If not counter-intuitive, at least NON-intuitive, yeah. There are
    qualities of perception and ysis which make it easy to pick up one
    sort or another of computer use, and these qualities seem to be rare.

    (They are also not in any meaningful sense synonymous with
    "intelligence". Nothing stops a computer whiz from being a poor learner,
    a poor recaller of information, prone to fallacious logic, and just
    plain dense. It's just a matter of these specific traits.)

    Writer of Fortune
    "Everything possible to be believ'd is an image of truth."
    Bruce Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <>,
    comnojunk (Crucifyself03) wrote:
    > I would not call Gates a pink. Sure he has made some crappy software, but he
    > also has made excellent software too. Stuff like Office for Mac may be
    > buggier
    > than AppleWorks, but its also got 10 times as many features, do not overlook
    > this.[/ref]

    Eh, Bill Gates is king of the pink boys if you ask me, and software
    quality has nothing to do with it. Praise be to "Bob". :-)

    Tom "Tom" Harrington
    Macaroni, Automated System Maintenance for Mac OS X.
    Version 1.4: Best cleanup yet, gets files other tools miss.
    Tom Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    Some of what MikeC wrote is dead wrong and some of it is dead right.
    But perception is everything, and IMO MikeC has accurately portrayed
    the way the Mac is perceived. The three most important issues for the
    general public are price, price, and price. A prospective buyer knows
    that Windows works, because someone has shown her how great it is to
    send e-mail and surf the web. So she goes to a store that probably does
    not sell Macs, and she buys Wintel. But let's say she goes to CompUSA
    and browses, since she knows nothing. Will she spend $1,500 - $2,000,
    or will she spend $500-$700 for the brand that she has seen working,
    and that she knows will suit her needs, which don't include
    professional video editing?

    Regulars here know that I'm no troll; I have six Macs, and until two
    weeks ago I hadn't owned Wintel since 1985. But I needed a Wintel
    laptop to run some specialized software that has *no* Mac or UNIX or
    Linux equivalent, and never will have, as the demand is way to small to
    justify the cost of porting a huge program. I bought a Sony Vaio
    2.6GHz/512MB/48GB with 16" monitor, WinXP Pro, DVD, FireWire, USB, and
    a nice selection of useful software for less than half the price of an
    equivalent PowerBook -- and I don't care what Apple says, this machine
    is faster than any PowerBook and damned near any G4 desktop Mac. I
    agonized over this purchase, because I've said in the past that I would
    quit using computers before switching -- and I'm not switching. But for
    the average buyer, even a knowledgable one, after comparing features
    and cost, the Vaio would be a no-brainer. XP Pro works OK, but I remain
    convinced that MS will perpetually be five years behind the Mac OS in
    user friendliness. And for me, it is not as stable as OS 10.2.6.
    Nonetheless, I had little trouble getting the Vaio onto my AirPort
    network and sharing files with with the Macs (with the help of "Dave"
    from -- and with Timbuktu Pro, which I have used on my Mac
    network for years, I can control any computer or combination of
    computers on my network, including the Vaio, from any other.

    I've had cash in hand for a new PowerBook for a long time and even at
    twice the cost of the Vaio I'm ready to buy as soon as Apple releases
    one that meets my speed requirements, be that next week (quite
    possible) or next year (also possible). See how I use one of my Macs at
    <>. Non commercial, no cookies,
    no ads, no counter, G-rated. Made with a Mac, of course.


    with no apologies to those who don't like top posting.


    > Really? None of my Mac's have floppy drives so how is that going to be
    > possible? Why should I shell out $200 for some external USB drive when
    > my PC neighbor could pop one in for $25. Does OS X even support floppy
    > disk drives?
    > I've heard a number of reasons why PC users won't switch:
    > 1) Apple takes away people's choices...
    > Is there technical reason why my ATI Radeon 7000 Mac Edition costs 4x
    > more than the "PC Edition?" Is there any technical reason why I just
    > can't stick any PCI card into my Mac and have it work? Why separate
    > firmware for Mac and PC's?
    > Why can't I just plug in my external Pioneer DVD-R into my eMac via
    > firewire and run iDVD? Because Apple wants the added revenue of charging
    > me double the price for a Pioneer DVD-R? Please don't give me the old
    > encoder license fee bull. I still can't do it even if I buy iLife.
    > 1b) and costs more...
    > I always laugh when I read articles on how Mac's aren't really that much
    > more expensive than PC's. B.S. just compare any Dell or white box system
    > to the cheapest Mac and we'll see which is cheap. I bought an eMac
    > because it was the cheapest G4 I could afford at the time but I'm less
    > than thrilled with the limited 17" CRT monitor or being stuck with a
    > GeForce2 MX. Why do G4 towers cost so much? Why can't Apple take the
    > guts of a eMac and make it into a headless Mac, maybe even add a AGP
    > port and PCI port?
    > 2) To say that OS 9 and OS X are more stable than Windows 2000 or XP
    > isn't exactly true. Mac users pull there hair out as much as Windows
    > users. Just grab any issue of MacWorld machine and you'll find many
    > articles on bugs, glitches, problems, crashes, instability issues,
    > compatibility, permissions, etc. Heck, there was a whole issue dedicated
    > to "bug squishing." Is it as bad as Windows XP? I'm not sure but it's
    > certainly doesn't seem that much different.
    > Sure, we love to talk about much Windows s and how much it crashes,
    > etc. but that view isn't balanced. I used to laugh at Windows users with
    > their "blue screen of death" until I started seeing my fair share of
    > bombs. "Blue screen of death" or Mac Bomb, what's the difference?
    > Today, neither really exist on OS X or on XP.
    > 3) I think people have hinted at this but modern Windows boxes seem to
    > work well enough. Most people I know run a browser, an e-mail client,
    > something or another Office and a bunch of games. Whether they do this
    > on a PC or Mac isn't relevant because there's no visible advantage of
    > one system over the other. Except maybe with the availability of games
    > that seem abundant on PC's and not so on Macs.
    > The same is true with business. There are many applications that just
    > aren't available on the Mac. There are many examples of this, such as
    > AutoCAD or SolidWorks. Sure, there are Mac programs that do CAD, etc.
    > but that isn't what people are taught in schools. Why would anyone who
    > spent years in school learning AutoCAD grab a Mac? The same hold true
    > for many other applications.
    > I'm still trying to decide if Apple's iLife apps are a good thing or bad
    > thing. I'm glad that programs like iPhoto and iMovie are bundled in but
    > will that scare off future software development? We've already heard
    > rumbles from Adobe about ditching Premiere for Mac. Some day good
    > riddance but what else are we going to loose? Will we say the same if
    > Adobe ditches Photoshop one day? What about new programs that will never
    > see the light of day on the Mac like Encore, Adobe's DVD authoring app.
    > Visit your local Staples and compare the Mac software (if they have any)
    > to the PC side and you tell me why anyone is going to switch.
    > 4) Apple doesn't treat it customers that well. Do we even have to argue
    > how poor Apple's tech support is? I read horror story after horror
    > story. It just seems Apple wants everyone to buy AppleCare or to get
    > lost. If something is broken, well then, we must have broke it. Surely
    > it can't be Apple's fault.
    > And do we have to drudge up the whole free-for-life .Mac B.S. ploy from
    > Apple? Thanks for charging me $100/year for .Mac services I just don't
    > need or I can get for free somewhere else.
    > For most people, there is no compelling reason to switch and Apple
    > hasn't made a good case for most users. Sure, if you're doing video
    > editing or ProTools or something, there are good reasons but certainly
    > not for everyone else.
    > Just my $0.02
    > MikeC

    usenet *at* davidillig dawt com
    Davoud Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    Davoud wrote: 

    I'd be interesting in hearing where you think I am "dead wrong."

    I've owned (and still own) a ton of different Mac's and even some Mac
    clones. Just to name a few: a IIci, Quadra 660AV, a 950 with the
    Workgroup Server upgrade board running A/UX, a Starmax 3000, a Starmax
    4000 w/G3, a 9600 w/G4, and an eMac. So I've used every Mac OS starting
    with 7.5 all the way up to Jaguar.

    I've also owned a number of Intel machines and I've run almost every
    version of Windows starting with 3.1. I've also run various Linux

    I currently own a pair of Pentium III's, one with Windows 2000 and the
    other running XP Pro. For day to day tasks, I tend to use my P3's partly
    because of my 19" Viewsonics. For specialize tasks, like video editing
    or DVD authoring, I switch over to the Macs. My situation and experience
    seem to be similar to many other computer industry types that I've met.
    I think more and more people are running on multiple platforms that
    include a mix of PC's, Mac's and Linux.

    That said, I just don't buy Cringely's stupid, unfounded comments. I
    don't believe they are at all realistic.

    Also, I don't think the general public is stupid. Quite the opposite, I
    think they're quite smart. Can you really fault someone for buying what
    everyone else is buying? Isn't that the same reason why so many people
    bought Apple II's in the 1980's? "Well, if that's what Jr. uses at
    school, maybe that's what we should buy Jr. for home."

    I find the difference between PC's and Mac's are more to do with style
    and preference. Some people like GM vehicles and others like Honda's.
    Some people like rock and others like jazz. Some people like PC's and
    some like Mac's.

    I don't think for one sec (prove me wrong) that OS X is 5 years ahead of
    Windows XP. I just think they're different in their approach and


    MikeC Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Interesting Cringely comments

    In article <160820032007188955%net>, Davoud <com> wrote:
    ......... But let's say she goes to CompUSA 

    For desktops, the eMac starts at $800. And this entry level machine is
    quite capable of many tasks. It is twice as fast as my now dated 400Mhz
    G4. iBooks start at about $1000.

    Clearly, with you video applications, speed is important.
    If you can live with a desktop machine, the G5 series is rather attractive.
    I'm starting to salivate.

    Daniel Packman
    Daniel Guest

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Disable Options>Import Comments in Comments Pane
    By in forum Adobe Acrobat SDK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: August 8th, 01:02 PM
  2. [PHP] Very interesting.....
    By Jay Blanchard in forum PHP Development
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: September 5th, 07:09 PM
  3. Very interesting.....
    By Scott Fletcher in forum PHP Development
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: September 5th, 06:21 PM
  4. interesting
    By Ursula Baranowski in forum Photography
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 10th, 05:57 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139