Monday, April 20, 2009

Mac Ads seem to be a little presumptuous

I was checking out the Mac adverts that Apple post on their web site and had to shake my head in amazement once or twice. Admittedly they are funny but for some reason it seems that Apple think all PC's run Windows. I know that the vast majority do run Windows but not all. And the fact that on the PC I have a choice of operating system seems lost on the marketing guys at Apple. Perhaps the IT guys briefing the marketing firm didn't fill them in on the fact that there is another player in the Desktop Operating System arena, namely Ubuntu. With the new Ubuntu Jaunty Jackelope (9.04) about to be released in a couple of days from this post, Ubuntu (and its derivatives such as Kubuntu) are a massive improvement over Windows.

And it got me thinking, what reason do people have to switch to Mac? For the stability of the OS? The built in nature of all the applications? The one downside (and the ONLY reason that I keep a Windows XP installation on my home PC) is that gaming, with some exceptions, does not work on Mac or Ubuntu. But then, when you can buy two PC's with the same hardware specs as a Mac and then install Ubuntu on both for nothing and get all the same benefits as a Mac, I still don't understand why people are so drawn to it. I understand that the Mac is prettier to look at but not everyone has R12 000 for the bottom range Macintosh just for eye candy.

The Mac ads seem to point out that PC's suffer viruses. That they have no applications for producing cool movies, pictures, etc. Crash constantly. And now, need massive hardware upgrades because of the operating system they use. Erm. None of that is true if Ubuntu is used. Ubuntu has access to safe collections of applications. In fact, since my switch to Ubuntu as my primary OS, I have never had to worry about finding an application to do what I want. I needed to find a book cataloguing system because I do have a rather large collection and to keep track of the books I still want can be a little hard. Alexandria is a freely available application that took me 5 minutes to locate on one of these collections. For those already using Ubuntu just do a search in your package manager for Alexandria or on terminal

sudo apt-get install alexandria.

I load up my Windows machine and want to find an application to use and its a few Google searches to find an application written by somebody. I then have to hope that this person is on the level and that its safe to use (i.e. contains no viruses) and that the application will actually work properly on my PC and not slow things down too much.

The funniest thing? I play World of Warcraft (I know, seriously geeky, but thats another discussion). WoW actually plays faster in Ubuntu using Wine (Wine is another application to try and make Windows programs work on Linux) than in Windows XP! I couldn't believe it myself but its true. A game made for Windows runs faster on a competing operating system that has to use a translation layer like Wine.

So no .. I won't be buying a Mac because I am not afraid of malware or viruses, I do not have problems finding applications I need and my operating system is not unstable. In fact... I think I can go get another PC. You stick to your one Apple Mac then.


  1. "Admittedly they are funny but for some reason it seems that Apple think all PC's run Windows. ... Perhaps the IT guys briefing the marketing firm didn't fill them in .."

    Yeah, they're completely unaware. No, they're competing directly with Dell, HP, etc. These ads are aimed squarely at them not Microsoft - although the ads have, of course, got under Microsoft's skin.

    BTW, I know Ubuntu is a bit clunky, because I've used it a fair bit in the past. But doesn't it at least come with a spellchecker? Presumptious, indeed. Reminds me of President Bush's nuculer.

  2. The biggest reason I brought this up was because the ads reinforce the idea into the average users mind that PC's = Windows when in fact that is not the case. In my mind PC's = Choice and I wish others would realise they do have one.

    And thanks for the proof read... corrected that little error. One of the risks of trying to bash out a post at the office I'm afraid.

  3. Mac has a lot to offer people who aren't all that geeky - it just works. Sometimes it's limiting, sometimes annoying, but it DOES work. Mac has an advantage that no other OS has - it KNOWS all the hardware it will be running on. Testing is a breeze when you don't have to be hardware agnostic.

    In addition, Mac is Unix (more so than Linux), and many linux apps will compile and run on the Mac just fine.

    My mac annoys me a lot, but then I'm a power user who is used to the freedom that Linux offers. I find it impossible to work with clunky windows (which offers a little of the ease that the Mac has, but little of the freedom of Mac and Linux), but my Mac works fine.

    I just wish Apple would acknowledge the existence of Linux...