09 January 2003

The Reality Distortion Field in Action

So, you know some Mac people and you swear they are crazy -- they pay more for a computer that you think is slower, less software (and you never see any on store shelves). Yeah it's cool-looking, but you'd rather build a box and become your own full-time IT/tech support department than spend a little more and get a lot less hassle.

Let me guess -- you're one of those people who can't imagine spending $30,000 on a Cadillac when you could buy three Kias for that money. You don't "get" imported beer ("it's dark and tastes funny, and it's expensive too!") and you hate subtitles, right?

Or maybe, just maybe, you're wondering ... maybe those crazy Mac people (who seem to actually love their computers -- how weird is that?) are actually on to something. They seem happy.

In other words, you're curious but not yet brave enough to actually visit a Switch page.

If you've got two hours and fifteen minutes of your life you can spare, I think I can show you something that will give you a great deal more understanding of why those weird Mac people are the way they are.

First, I want you to go here and spend up to 15 minutes watching Bill Gates introduce Windows XP. You can pick any other Bill Gates keynote if you've already seen that one. Better yet, pick a Ballmer keynote -- those are always a lot of laughs. You don't have to watch more than 15 minutes of BG because frankly there are few who can watch more than 15 minutes of Bill Gates. I don't think even Melinda Gates can handle more than 15 minutes of Bill Gates.

All done? Good. Now head over here and watch last Tuesday's Apple Keynote with Steve Jobs. I won't require you to watch the whole thing, but you'll probably watch it anyway. It's compelling stuff.

Let me put it this way: Apple people came away from this keynote as exhilarated as Tolkien fans walking out of The Lord of the Rings. A very apt comparison as you'll soon find out, Tolkienites and Mac fans.

See if you don't want to whip out the plastic and order a Mac something by the time you're through. Go on, I dare ya.

Anyway, at least you'll understand why we are proud to be the few, the minority, the odd ones out. Why we don't just follow the herd like sheep (or, more appropriately, lemmings). Why we stick with a company that clearly has some major faults (oh, and I suppose MS is perfect, right?) and is hard for outsiders to understand. Why Apple is less of a mainstream computer hardware and software company, and more like a family. Or a religion. Why Mac owners are actually fond of their machines, in the same way they love their pets.

If you still don't get it after that, tell me this: what can a modern Wintel PC do for me that a Playstation 2, a Palm Pilot, and an iPod can't?

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