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 ?


2004-01-24 09:30:13
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...

Well, back in November 2002 it finally died. I won't go into the details but it died. I was now perplexed and without a computer. Do I buy another Intel Based machine or go to AMD. The price was right but even with Linux I didn't care for the Window Managers and X too much. It still at that time felt like a hobby OS at the time and I couldn't keep up with all the variety of WM's.

A friend of mine had a PowerBook with OS X 10.2 and let me borrow it. (He was/is a devotee of BSD.) He told me I could run all my perl scripts with change to them. So I took it and within a couple of days was on I loved Quartz it felt crisper and cleaner than X and sometimes too much variety isn't a good thing. But it was polished and clean.

My very first Apple Computer was an Apple IIe and a year after I got the Mac came out. I still remember watching the Superbowl when the 1984 commercial came out. I can't remember the game or who won but that computer made an impact. Unfortunately, I couldn't talk my parents into buying me a Mac and at 15, no matter how many lawns a mowed, it wasn't going to happen. Three years later the Apple died and a friend convinced me to move on to DOS and the PC. "Dude this thing is going to help you get a job! Apple computers aren't for geeks their for artists!" Unfortunately, I listened. 19 years later and I'm drooling over all my scripts running on this computer for artists and my teenage yearnings for a Mac.

So, I bought one and I've never been happier. I'm no longer working for the same company and my computer skills are just for geeking out these days but I've joined a Mac community that has helped me stay the geek that I was when I was 15.

Macs...not just for Artists anymore...their geeky too!!!

2004-01-27 22:45:19
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.

That explains this passion for Macintosh and consequently for Mac OS. One may even bring up the fact recent Intel processors have beat PowerPC in terms of speed, but, again, sitting in a chair for several hours while using a fast Wintel machine is for sure way more painful than if the OS in question had an Apple icon in the left upper corner of the screen.

Pleasure also counts and that's one of the reasons why this community is so devoted.

Rodrigo Otavio Paes de Barros Otaviano