Mac, You Got Told

Let’s take a break from all the hurricane panic (since it now turns out there will be about 10 people actually affected by the weather part of Rita) and do some cathartic Mac bashing. Here’s a nice enumeration of OSX annoyances to get us started. Actually, that’s probably enough to get us started and finished. Reading this I had a shocking realization: as an end user, I currently have no complaints about Windows! You have to understand, I make my living off the annoyances of Windows XP, 2000 and 2003 Server machines. If people didn’t struggle with these machines to some extent, they wouldn’t need me. There are some Linux boxes I grudgingly deal with, because really, who can deal with those things, but aside from that, it’s all Windows. And I have to say, in terms of speed, stability, ease of use, manageability and supportability, there is nothing better to me than a Windows XP-level machine. Admittedly, I’m soaking in the Kool-Aid. I grok Windows. Even when it doesn’t make sense, the way in which is doesn’t make sense makes sense. There’s a reason for this: backward compatibility and legacy hardware support. There’s so much old code floating around in Windows, so many ancient device APIs, so much stone-age technology, all still supported, all still interoperable. Microsoft has had to make Windows somewhat bulletproof, inside and out, just to keep it from blowing itself up!

My absolute favorite configuration is a Windows 2003 Standard Server stripped of all its XP UI chrome. I’ve been using one of these as my primary desktop and development machine, web server, SQL Server and Terminal Server for about 30 months on the same install. This machine has survived three versions of the Microsoft development environment, and at least two each of Office, Photoshop, and Macromedia’s suite. Plus a ridiculous amount of demo and trial software, a literally uncountable number of my own FUBAR application hacks, and about 10 versions of Yahoo Messenger. This is simply the longest-running, most stable computer I have ever used. Any problems I have had with it have either been hardware failures or very poorly written device drivers or software. In almost all cases, the system has fully recovered. The only exception is that after the last Yahoo “upgrade,” no webcam will work with any messenger. I completely blame Yahoo for this.

In fact, the author of the post I’ve linked to here works at Yahoo. So he’s in a position to know crappy software when he sees it. If he hates his Macs, if he wants to go back to using crappy Yahoo software on crappy Windows on crappy PCs, then man, the Mac must really suck.

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