Macnanimity

The Sun is shining. A cool breeze is blowing. The sky is a perfect blue, un-marred by any clouds.  Every part of nature seems to collaborating to make the day as lovely and perfect as it can possibly be …

I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong:  ordinarily, I’m perfectly ok with nice weather.  I’ll grant that I tend to prefer my weather a little more dramatic, and I absolutely love lightning storms – but I usually don’t pine for them when the sky is clear.  Today is an exception.

I’m at work at the University, and I have nothing to do. My job title is Microcomputer Consultant II, which entails advising people how best to spend their technology money, setting up systems, fixing broke systems, and devising technical solutions for academic problems. Specifically I’m an expert in Macintosh Computers and software – and therein lies the problem …

Macs don’t break. Not often, anyway. I’m like the freaking Maytag repairman, trying desperately to find ways to fill up my day, and justify my salary to the increasingly cash-strapped University.  So much so that I’ve been forced to gain expertise in Windows PCs, despite my absolute loathing for Microsoft and all its creations. Once, when I had no Macs to work on, I could simply go to the Helpdesk job queue, where there would be tons of PC trouble calls and I could just take my pick … now, however, the number of PCs on campus has severely dropped, as more and more Faculty and Staff members switch to Macs. Which don’t get viruses. Aren’t affected by adware, spyware, and other sorts of malware. Use really reliable high end components that don’t fail often. Has software that even the most panic-stricken computer-phobe can learn without a technician permanently on call.

So here I sit. Bored to tears, while the clock ticks away my life with agonizing slowness.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

At least if there was a good storm going on I could sit back and watch God’s fireworks – and, given the condition of some of the buildings on this campus, there’d be a fair chance that there’d be a power spike that would kill multiple machines and give me something to do.  The sudden crack of thunder might startle someone into dropping their Mac laptop, or spilling coffee into it!

You don’t believe me, I know, but it’s true:  PCs die all sorts of gruesome and horrible deaths, from all sorts of failures, both hardware and software … among Macs, though, the principle causes of failure are the three things I just mentioned: power spike damage, deceleration trauma, and fluid disasters.

The most inexplicable thing about die-hard Windows users is how bitterly they complain about their computers – and how scornful they are of Macs, many without ever having tried one.  An astonishing change happens when they’re forced to use a Mac, though (like when a whole department changes over) … for a solid week they bitch and complain and wail that they want their damned Windows box back … the week after passes relatively quietly, with only an occasional muttered complaint … the third week is often full of sulfurous oaths:  not directed at their new Mac, but at all the shit they put up with from windows for all those years! By the 4th week, they’re born-again Mac fanatics, eager to go forth and spread the Gospel of Saint Steven (Jobs) – and I begin to hear bitter complaints from their colleagues in other departments, Mac and PC users alike, that they just can’t get him or her to shut the hell up about how awesome the Mac is, how amazing the software, how much thy like the new iPhone he or she switched to, and the iPad they just bought, and the iPod they go jogging with …

Now and then, a newly converted PC user that I tutored in the Mac OS will catch me at the coffee-shop force me to let them buy me a cup of coffee, and then pummel me with facts figures, and word for word recitations of something they read on Macworld, or quiz me about this or that obscure app that is now the center of their universe, then launch into pitying descriptions of the poor stupid bastard they know who won’t even try a Mac, and who, strangely, never answers his phone anymore …

Of the several hundred people I’ve helped transition to a Mac, not one has ever gone back to a PC because they prefer it – a few have been forced to run Windows on their Macs (yes, the mac can do that) because they need to use software that Microsoft deliberately refuses to create a Mac version of, but even these, when given the opportunity to have a new windows machine, never seem to accept that as an option.

Oddly, many PC users laugh at such customer-loyalty, and behave as if Mac users have been somehow brain-washed. The possibility that the converts genuinely are happier and more productive doesn’t seem to occur to most of them!

::: sigh :::

And the day drags by.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Curse you, Apple!!!!

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~ by dourscot on October 19, 2012.

2 Responses to “Macnanimity”

  1. When I was in school, one class I had required the use of Macs. It was my first time biting the apple and I was totally impressed, particularly with the color. If I ever could buy the best computer available, it would be a Mac. In the meantime, I struggle along with my emachine. Sad, hey?

    • It is, yes … the one criticism leveled at the Mac which is accurate is that the things are pricey … though, not as unreasonably so as they once were: the truth is, IF you could find a PC that matched the hardware on, say a 27″ iMac (you can’t, no one makes anything remotely close to it, especially given the quality of the display, but I said IF) you’d find the two systems would come out to within $200 of one another. Still, that’s very little comfort when Apple wants $1200 and your budget can only support $500 … been there, and I feel your pain!!!

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