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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Apple iMac PC? *yawn*

Just checked out a PC Magazine article featuring the Apple iMac PC with the Intel dual core. "Setting the Intel chipset free!" is the silly Mac commercial airing, now. *yawn* Let's see... ~$1,800 for a decently configured INTEL computer running the Mac OS X... Or ~$1,200 for a similarly configured (or slightly better--and including a 20" LCD screen as the Apple iMac PC does) regular ole ordinary PC running Windows XP. LESS if one wanted to use Linux. Sorry, Apple. Macophilic Macultists will get a buzz on. Everyone who understands that the extra $600 is just money wasted on a name (and an OS that is still the most rigid, frigid, controlling lil piece of eye-candy out there) will find better uses for the extra cash. Heck, the pics at the PC Mag article show it shipping with the assinine Apple one-button mouse with two awkward "side buttons"! Only a masochist could love the thing... But you can count on it: there are plenty of pervs out there who will go ape wasting $$ on an imitation PC. One inexplicably stupid comment made by the PCMag writer was this paragraph:
Aside from cooler cases, another benefit of running dual-core on Mac OS X over Windows is that in a Windows environment, you must run security software (such as antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall). Though dual-core processing helps speed up general performance even with such software running in the background, you are still diverting processor cycles. With Mac OS X, such security software is not necessary, so you're getting more processing power dedicated to apps you're actively using.
Yeh, right. Pull the other one. "...such security software is not necessary..." At the very least every knowledgeable Mac user/guru (you know: the ones who actually know how the OS woks) I know of recommends at the very least having a decent firewall—software and/or hardware. And sales of Mac-only anti-virus software haven't slacked off all that much despite the claims that all the virus writers are targeting Windows and simply leaving macs alone. What? Just because your neighborhood has never been hit by burglers you decide locking yuour door is unecessary? Let me know where you live. I'd be glad to hock your Mac. (Really funny thing? While checking on Mac security products, I saw a Mac Security site that had been hacked. It's front page was "owned" by the hacker who had taken it down. *LOL* Saved a screen shot for future laughs.) Then there's the "diverting processor cycles" comment above. Silly ass. The price comparison I made above was between the iMac Intel PC clone in the article with a 2.0 Ghz INTEL processor and a brand-name PC using a 2.8 Ghz processor—the only brand-name Wintel computer I could find spec'ed down enough for a comparison. Computing cycles to burn, baby. (And isn't it interesting that Apple's starting with a processor that's about 1.5 Ghz behind the curve for most other current Intel machines? Their code's not all that svelte.) Gee. Want the advantages of a more secure, robust OS (but one that's genuinely flexible) AND really hot hardware, you could buy an off-the-shelf regular old PC (with the latest, not the next-next-next latest, as with the iMac PC clone) hardware, pop a Mandriva CD set in, boot and have a really slick Linux comp. Loads more stable and secure than either a Windows or Apple OS. And have money left to burn, as opposed to the over-priced iMac PC clone. Yeh, but it has the really cool look, right? Uh-huh. And NO expansion slots. Wanna add peripheral components? Fine, snake a buncha USB wiring and clutter your desktop with boxes and other junk. with the PC I spec'ced above, lotsa that kinda thing can go inside a slick-looking box, with 5 PCI slots available. Nah. The iMac in its current reincarnation as a PC clone is the same old, same old Apple ploy: eye candy at excessive prices. Funny that to get a favorable price comparison to the iMac, the writer of the PCMag article had to compare the iMac "pony" to a Sony Vaio "dressage competitive thoroughbred" with a faster processor, full media computer capabilities, a 50% larger hard drive, all-wireless remote keyboard/mouse/remote control, etc. All among the many things the Vaio cited comes with which are lacking in the Apple PC clone. *feh* That was a review? A puff piece written by someone who expected only subliterates to read it. [Let me be clear: the Mac OS is fine... for Great Aunt Tilly. After all, since it is the ultimate "training wheels" OS, it does prevent people from easily messing about in its innards and doing wild things to screw it up. Which also means it is inordinately difficult to get anything done any way EXCEPT "the Mac way". Amusing—and true—story. Was once part of a small office where each of us used our own computers at work. Right. Very small office. I had a coworker—a devoted Macrophile who had run the all-Mac computer lab in college—who was constantly coming to me and asking to borrow the use of my computer to do things he was unable to do with his Mac. Yeh, largely the result of being the only Macuser in the office and needing to manipulate PC files, a task never quite as easy as Apple claims. He also continually complained that my PC was too hard to use because it didn't do things the way he was used to... on his Mac. Each time, I'd show him how to do things: "See? Just push this little button on the CDROM drive. You don't have to drag the CD to the trash bin... " "Your CDROM drive has a button?!?!? Amazing!" etc. *sigh* Inflexible, almost unteachable. Mac user. Needed his "training wheels" OS. Never "got" it that I liked doing some things at a command line (still do). Windows ain't all that great, but at least it's not like using a computer while wearing a straightjacket.]