The power of the Mac community
by Francois Joseph de Kermadec
« On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'. »
20 years ago today, a company with a strange name introduced what was, is, and will be for the years to come the best computing platform on the market. In other words, Apple released the first member of the Mac family that has continuously evolved, to use cutting-edge technologies...
However, there are many experts that talk about the technical advantages of the Mac better than I could. So today, I would like to dedicate this blog entry to the Mac community and send a big « Thanks ! » to all its members.
Indeed, using a Mac is only half of what some have called the « Apple Experience » and neither us nor Apple would be what we are today if there wasn't a passionate and creative user base for the Mac.
Thanks to my « work » on the Apple Discussions and to the articles I have published, I have had the opportunity to meet many truly great people with which I would never have had a chance to talk otherwise. And even though I have only met them in real life for a few hours ( if at all ), these people play a very important role in my life and some of them have quickly become real friends, the kind of friends that have a true impact on you.
Some make fun of our community — like this blog shows —, but I am afraid that they have misunderstood how it works : Mac users are not a big bunch of fanatics, we just happen to enjoy our computers enough to care about them and about others who do !
Do I sound a bit idealistic ? I may be but do you remember this person who was victim of a fraud on an auction site and lost a PowerBook a while ago ? Well, the whole community got together, investigated and helped solve the case. Every day, million of Mac users help people they don't know on forums like the Apple Discussions. And their main motivation is that they know that, should they need help, someone will be here for them too.
But of course, a community wouldn't be a positive thing if it were a closed group ! Refusing to acknowledge what exists outside of your world is always negative. Luckily, I am pleased to announce that we welcome new users, even if they do not use a Mac — surprising, uh ?
Thanks to Apple's Open Source efforts, we exchange ideas and technologies with Linux and UNIX users daily. Linux users are discovering and adopting Mac OS X and the PPC architecture and Mac users are discovering how great it is to have the choice between Mozilla and Konqueror, OpenOffice and KOffice, Quartz-vm and Enlightenment.
And contrary to popular belief, even Windows users and developers are welcome ! We may sometimes make fun of PCs that go « Blip, blip, blip » but, never the less, we are always glad to exchange ideas with PC users and this has lead to some very interesting cross-platform technologies.
In a world where shared interests are so few and networking ( IRL, not with Ethernet cables ) has become increasingly difficult, it feels great to see that such an atmosphere can exist. No community is perfect, of course, but all in all, I am very happy to call myself a Mac user !
Until next time, dear Mac users, enjoy thinking different !
And you, how do you experience the Mac community ?
It's not just community...
it's just a great machine! I quit using M$ products about 6 years ago. I became a Linux devotee and enjoyed it since it allowed me to keep my Intel Pentium-200 MHz. I hate buying new hardware every 6 months as it seemed that if I continued to use M$ I would have to. What was really great was that I was a Cost Analyst and was using PostgreSQL to do a lot of work for me at home and I would then take the SQL statements back to work and tweak them for MS-SQL Server and wait for my data to work with. Which amazed my boss since the company was a beholden to Gates. But he couldn't believe that I could take a sampling of data figure out my problems with PostgreSQL and perl bring both into work and finish my job. Data is Data regardless of platform but what I loved was a 200mhz machine with Linux could run things better and quicker than 1 Hz machine using MS-SQL Server. But I digress...
It's not just community...
I believe one of the aspects people generally don't take into account when deciding which computer to buy is flat-out the pleasure of using it. It's totally irritating having to update the anti-virus DAT file every other day or having to pray for whatever software not crash the system or even to work for hours in front of an ugly and stick-in-the-mud GUI.