Will Bueché

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Thanks, Mac. Now take a hike.

Posted in Personal by Will on Monday, August 23rd, 2004 ~ 8pm

Thanks to Mac computers, our consultant can’t send our business files unless we lead her by the hand (explaining how documents are supposed to end in “.doc”). Thanks to Macs, she can’t zip files. Thanks to Macs, the first floor office provides Mac-formatted floppy discs that can’t be read by anyone (except other Mac users…except even Macs don’t use floppies anymore). Thanks to Macs, we have colleagues whose word processing documents aren’t even in Word. Thanks to Macs, my boss has a printer that doesn’t work with his computer’s “run time environment.” Thanks to Macs, perfectly good CDroms aren’t always recognized on Macs. All these wonderful things brought to you by the idiots at Mac. Thanks Mac for helping modern businesses have primitive problems.

Mac — or Apple; are they still called Apple? You hardly ever hear them called that anymore, maybe they changed their name to Mac? — Apple should become a firm which designs the “look & feel” of systems. Because the “look” of their operating systems’ interfaces are lovely. They appreciate the nuances that make reading and writing on a computer as elegant and nifty an experience as it must have been when people wrote with beautiful feathers. But for the love of God, they have got to stop selling their computers to a public which simply does not understand that what they do on a Mac is not compatible with 99% of the rest of the world.

All the problems mentioned above can be fixed. I can buy a program to make Mac floppies readable on a computer. I can buy a different printer so my boss will be able to print. I can urge our consultant to buy software that can zip files. I can continue to explain to Mac users that they need to have documents end in “.doc” if they hope to email the files succesfully. I can do all that and more. BUT I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO. The folks at Mac have effed up the whole idea of making communication seamless.

If Mac advertised their products as being likely to cause problems, that would be fine. But they don’t. People buy the Macs because they have pretty cases, a nice illuminated fruit logo, and an excellent-in-appearance interface. And then they are left wondering why no one can read their files. It’s a terrible disservice to everyone, particularly to businesses who have to take Mac users by the hand and explain to them why they are having problems, and how to get around them. And always there is the feeling that the Mac users don’t really believe that they are the problem. But the fact is, they are. Mac is a niche computer platform that works well with others in that niche – all twelve of you. But for reaching the rest of the world, they are a serious obstacle. I am tired of having our office have to take time and money out of our business day to get around Mac users problems.

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