John Gruber about the history of Apple and IBM. Not too much news there. In the opening paragraph he mentions that most critics of Macs never even used one. Much truth in there. I have witnessed that so many times, and usually feel the urge to point out that knowing what you're talking about usually helps. While I have no intimate knowledge of Windows or Linux, I have enough experience with both to know about their problems first hand.
To be fair, let me just point out that Linux people usually have more knowledge and are less vocal when dismissing the Mac as an option. Since the advent of OSX they've occasionally even been sympathetic. Windows users' ignorance is usually proportional to the boldness of their statements, though.
I still remember the day when Richard got his first Mac. It was his birthday and a dodgy computer store had somehow managed to acquire a load of first generation Power Macs offering them for a really good price. We got one of those for him, tried it out and everything was brilliant... until some relative came. As soon as he saw that this was a Mac, he told Richard's mom (not him) to drive back to the store and return it.
Richard and me were stunned – him fearing to lose his Mac, me fearing to lose the fastest Mac within my reach. His mother, having no idea about computers – but having seemed quite happy with the machine so far after seeing how to use ClarisWorks for her business letters and invoices – almost 'obeyed' that command. Certainly a relative's advice would be more reasonable than that of a dodgy friend of her son... (Would you consider a teenager or a guy in his mid-fifties more competent on those topics? Hard question.)
Luckily we had a demo version of Virtual PC around and seeing that the machine could also display PC stuff appeased the 'competent' relative sufficiently. Just don't trust the wrong people.
While on the Mac topic, let me remark that I am underwhelmed by Apple's wireless keyboard and mouse offerings. As usual they have a non-trivial price tag of €79 apiece. While the design looks OK, they seem to be such a straightforward spin-off of the existing models that I wonder why it took so long to come up with them. What I find really upsetting, though, is that they seem to come with non-rechargeable batteries and no recharging option is provided. Somehow buying loads of batteries and changing them all the time feels neither user friendly not appropriate for this decade to me. Oh, and the mouse's promotional material is translated to read
Optischer Mechanismus, optical mechanism, in German. Clever.
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