Starting to regret picking on the Mac

by Justin Gehtland

Instead of just replying in the discussion section of my previous (and most popular to date) post, let me do this once:

I'm sorry I picked on the Mac. ;-)

I was trying to illustrate a simple, universal story:

a) boy meets technology
b) boy likes technology
c) boy runs into same-old-same-old problem with technology
d) boy's friends assure him that technology would never do that
e) boy rants to great wide world about it

See, its a universal story. ;-)

Regardless, I was not trying to single out the Mac. It just happened to be the experience I'd just had. I've had it a hundred times. Linux-zealot friends telling me that Linux never crashes (ask my SuSe box...heh) or Windows-zealots telling me that Windows 2003 is the best thing since Wonder Bread (ask my printer). The point is, and continues to be, not that you can't be passionate about your platform. Just, if you are going to try to convince *me*, make sure you have something specific to say. And try not to catch me right after I've had a big blowout with your favorite platform.

12 Comments

dave2
2004-05-27 11:08:31
sounds like the Mac Mafia leaned hard on you
Now you know, there are certain limits to free speech in this land of ours. Can't wear a "No Blood for Oil" T-shirt to the Smithsonian, and you can't spill of the Macintosh in any forum. Now... let's get back to our cubicles and celebrate The Steve...
Brichpmr
2004-05-27 12:14:28
No Worries
As long as you recognize 'tribal wisdom' when you hear it, there's no chance that your computing enjoyment should be diminished by platform zealotry.
macrat
2004-05-27 12:50:29
No, the Mac Isn't Perfect
There is still a serious flaw with the Mac.


While it works great for average user, all it takes for it to blow up is for some Windows/Linux 'expert' to muck with it for a while.....

jmincey
2004-05-27 15:28:32
The most stable desktop or server OS
I would say the most stable, secure, and reliable operating system is neither any variant of Windows nor Macintosh nor Linux. Instead, it is either VMS or Tru64 (what used to be OSF/1) -- the most stable and secure UNIX of all UNIX implementations.


As for inducing an OS to crash after an expert mucks with it, this can be done just as easily with Linux as with OS X or Windows. Indeed, it hardly takes any expertise. Just log in as root (or as System Administrator or Desktop Installer) and delete crucial system files -- such as the kernel. Then you will get instant crash -- no trick to that.


Now if what a previous poster alludes to here is that an OS can be induced to crash merely on the strength of changing some settings, well, this is a double-edged sword. UNIX -- and Linux -- allow incredible user configurability and customization. The trade-off for this great flexibility is that an unwary user might mal-configure his system -- true enough. But the solution to this is simply to avoid the root account and to employ firewalls and robust security to prevent a cracker from accessing the system. The solution is certainly NOT for Apple (or any other company) to scale back the customizability of UNIX.

tpherndon
2004-05-28 12:20:15
The most stable desktop or server OS
You wrote: "the most ... secure UNIX of all UNIX implementations". I assume that you are unaware that, at least as of Tru64 4.0g, sendmail came configured by default as an open relay. Which we learned, much to our sorrow, by hard experience.


Now I admit we should have checked, but who'd have thought that an OS purchased in 2001 would be configured so insecurely by default? Sheesh...

tpherndon
2004-05-28 12:20:52
The most stable desktop or server OS
Errr, don't mind me, I'm just splitting off-topic hairs....
jmincey
2004-05-29 01:39:02
The most stable desktop or server OS
I take your point, but I was speaking of the OS itself. I regard sendmail as an optional add-on; it's simply a mail server program -- and one could use any number of other ones, such as Postfix, QMail, etc. Sendmail is known to be pretty insecure in general, but what distinguishes Tru64 from other UNIX variants is not sendmail but rather its implementation of the kernel and the sub-systems and I/O layers immediately above it.
jmincey
2004-05-29 20:42:37
Admission?
It occurs to me suddenly that you need not regret picking on the Mac unless this is precisely what you regard yourself as having done. And yet in your previous blog article, (which was presumably about your distaste for a zealous allegiance to one computer platform over another), you insist that you were not intending to find fault with the Mac. Witness the quotes below:


"Is this some kind of random rant against Apple? No, and far from it."


"I was not trying to run-down the Mac."


"My post was not a diatribe against the Mac."


So my point is that if you were in fact not picking on the Mac, then how is it that you can now come to regret it? How can you regret something which you haven't done to begin with? Do you now acknowledge that you were picking on the Mac after all, and that this was your TRUE agenda in your previous article (which, if so, is no crime at all anyway); or is it instead that the title of this article about "regret" is really somewhat disingenuous?

dr_turgeon
2004-06-04 22:32:52
Admission? bah!
At first I thought jmincey was a flaming Mac-zealot. Now I see here is more of a Flame zealot. :)
The better the Mac gets, the less I feel like defending my choice!
jmincey
2004-06-05 00:27:14
Admission? bah!
I'm afraid I don't understand what you are getting at. Is there something wrong (in your view) in my pointing out a possible inconsistency to someone, so long as I do so in a civil way? Incidentally, to call someone a "flame zealot" is itself more inflammatory than anything I've said to begin with.
jgehtland
2004-06-05 05:55:45
Admission?
jmincey, I'm just not going to please you, am I? ;-)


I do not regret writing a blog contrasting a real world experience against the kind of platform zealotry I am often confronted with. What I am regretting now is "picking on the Mac" as my EXAMPLE.


I now wish I had "picked on Wintel" as my example, because there aren't as many Wintel zealots to come and get offended. ;-)

jmincey
2004-06-05 09:38:30
Admission?
I think this comes down only to your having been a bit more clear in your headline -- as I have adequately explained in the other thread. I see it as essentially a "truth in advertising" issue. It has nothing to do with whether you supposedly picked on the Mac, as I have said already.


It's no crime for you to report negative experiences with a computing platform, nor for you to have a preference of one over the other. I have no problem with that. I don't believe Apple is infallible or that Jobs walks on water. I just wish you had more accurately conveyed in your headline the actual content of your article -- that's all.