Sian and I have just got back for a half hour break before we head back to the lab to finish our work for the week…hopefully.
But we needed a break because we had been there for 7 hours, and I was getting increasingly frustrated with my Mac. Many of you who know me know that I am quite vocal when I get frustrated…
…and I was very frustrated.
The long and short is my boss Gary, the owner of Colorbox, has a penchant for Macs. He loves the way they look, the way they ‘work’ out of the box (I’ll come to this later) and the fact that when you invest in a Mac, it will last for years.
Well, apparntly that’s only true if you’re not me.
I hate them. So much. I seem to be the only person in the world that has to reboot a Mac twice a day – the only person in the world that finds Photoshop is sluggish and non-responsive when doing even the most basic of tasks, like cropping an image. I am starting to think that it is simply a mutual deal – I hate Macs, and they go on and hate me right back. Because it’s not just my machine that is a pain in the arse – any Mac I touch is rendered obsolete within a few button presses; I seem to be the carrier of the wheel of death. If you don’t know what the wheel of death is, good on you. You’re a hardcore Windows user – maybe even a Linux fan – and refuse to give into the fad of the overpriced, albeit very pretty, closed system that is Steve Jobs’ empire. And I love you for it.
But this is the area where Macs differ sooo much from PCs…The OS is different, the machines look different and the price is oh-so-very-different…but where the biggest difference lies is with the user. Even now, as they read this, I can guarantee the Mac fans will be cracking their knuckles in anticipation of the vitriolic response to this post – how dare someone speak ill of the magnificent Mac.
Being a PC user, I am preconditioned to the misery and frustration of a machine not working – I am also British, so this trait is amplified by 50…I am accustomed to coming to my machine one day and discovering that, reasons unbeknown to me, it won’t turn on. But it’s fine, because I can boot in safe mode, I can run registry scans, I CAN TAKE IT APART or simply Google the problem on a working terminal to get to the bottom of my problem and fix it…truth be told; I quite enjoy the blue screen of death and always love the triumphant feeling sparked when hearing the ridiculous melody Windows plays when it boots. And then you look forward to the nerdy talk you can have with your PC pals about how you went about fixing the problem, and you all have a good laugh at how unstable the code is, and how to avoid such problems in the future.
But have a problem with a Mac and complain…you become as unpopular and as uncool as Sophie Ellis Baxter.
Unlike the PC world – prepped and ready for the inevitable software failures, the Mac enthusiasts instantly get defensive of their beloved products. ‘Well, mine works fine’, or, ‘I never have any problems’ are the usual responses you get to any negative comments you may dare to utter in their presence. Is it a sin to speak out against them? Has Apple got so advanced that they now not only monitor our whereabouts but our conversations as well?! If you speak ill of their mighty brand do they hinder your machine’s power by an enormous percentile until you beg for forgiveness? If so, that would explain a lot…I am glad there is no swear jar in the office, because I would be bankrupt now thanks to my piece of crap 21″ i5 Imac, and the amount of cursing the poor thing has endured I’m amazed the Apple people haven’t turned up and confiscated it.
So what, I hear you cry, could my mac be doing so ineptly that has prompted my tirade in this rather random post? The simple answer is everything. I can’t email without it freezing, I cant crop a photo without it lagging, it can’t run Firefox without complaining endlessly, the print interface is dreadful and iTunes is without a doubt the worst media player I have ever used. I want to make a playlist on the fly please – like I can on Media player, just right click – add to now playing. Done. No naming the playlist – no saving it for future reference…just thinking about it now is making me angry.
AND WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH WIRES? In the olden days – or indeed, TODAY, you bought a PC with a mouse and a keyboard that you plug in. Apple, in all their wisdom thought that was far, far too 21st century, and so they gave us the piece of shit Magic Mouse.
The Magic Mouse needs to die. A slow and painful death.
Because you know how it’s really useful when you come to your machine to find that it has gone to sleep. You wiggle your mouse to wake it up, right? Well what if the Mighty Mouse batteries have died FOR THE THIRD TIME TODAY? You can’t wiggle your mouse to wake the thing up, and a fresh set of batteries won’t do anything because the fecking machine is in sleep mode and won’t pair with the device, because it is sent here from hell to test you. So you hit the keyboard…and guess what? NO WIRES. So that doesn’t wake the thing up either – you’ve got a $2k paper weight sat there eating up your electricity bills, and absolutely NOTHING will turn it on….So you press the power button on the back – if it doesn’t turn it on, at least it will restart the machine and you can get back to crashing every email that you send…
Clearly the power button TURNING A MACHINE OFF was far, far too backwards thinking for Apple. As far as I can tell, all this button is designed to do is make you feel inadequate as a human being. Your first 5 cognitive years on this planet are dedicated to learning the cause and effect relationship of the world – what happens if I put this in my mouth? What happens when I push this square thing through a round hole – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I PUSH THIS BUTTON? Well, clearly, at Apple, pushing that button does nothing but give you an RSI. So you blow your lid, pull the power out of the wall in a fit of rage, and then get that gut wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomache that you may have broken something….so you plug it back in…press the button and…
That’s right. Nothing. NOTHING for the first 5 or 6 times you press it. And then it makes the most annoying noise in the planet – it does this.
And I just want to throw it out of the window.
God Damn you Steve Jobs…you may have made the world a slightly prettier place, and many offices that were once drab are ‘cool’ and ‘chic’ with their fancy new iMacs, but at what cost? Now that you’re retired, I can only tremble at what the ‘future’ holds for us…I just don’t know if my rapidly raising heart rate will survive to see the next breakthrough..who knows, maybe the new Macs won’t even ‘need’ a mouse, maybe they will simply respond to curse words…or maybe, just maybe, they will do what you expect a computer to do.
Anyways, I’ll be getting back to my 5 year old laptop now – sorry about the rant.
And let the vitriol commence.