Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why I Hate Macs

Let the flame wars commence! Okay, first read the post, THEN flame, capice? That's better. I wrote this up ages ago, and just never bothered to post it, because I didn't feel like having people scream at me for a week straight. Well hey, I'm in a self-abusing mood.

So yeah. I hate Macs. As in absolutely loathe and refuse to own a current Mac, period. Why? I've got a whole list of reasons, but let's step back a moment. Remember when Macs shipped with SCSI disk and 68k processors, then later PowerPC 603's and 604's? I loved Macs back then. Owned two. Because they actually differentiated themselves from Windows PCs, offered value for the dollar, and were superior for the tasks I needed to do on them.
These days? The Mac population consists largely of rabid zealots who think you're the anti-christ if you don't like Mac for any reason. That's a big reason I hate Macs and refuse to own one. The other part of it is the same zealots who refuse to accept or acknowledge that Macs and OS X are not the superior platform for every single task imagined. Let's put this all into a nice neat list though.

OS X cannot run software I need daily. Do not give me bootcamp or Parallels excuses. If it can't run it natively, then it can't run the damn software. Here's a list. Software that is totally unavailable or unworkable is in red, with severe limitations in yellow. Severe limitations includes lack of plugin availability or cross-platform compatibility issues.
Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visio, TweetDeck, vim/Gvim, NFS, CIFSPad2Pad, Pidgin, Zune, Steam, VMWare Workstation, Ableton Live, Propellerheads Reason 4, City of Heroes
Ableton Live is in orange because it's there. But half my needed VSTs do not have a Mac version available, or do not work at all on Mac, making it nigh unusable. And a complete lack of Visio means it is completely unusable, because I abuse Visio in depth, daily.

"It's the software, stupid" arguments from Mac zealots. Hello, see immediately previous point. The very existence of Fusion, Parallels and Bootcamp all destroy that argument in nothing flat. If it was the magical OS X, then why do you have to run Windows on your Mac with virtualization software so you can access applications that aren't available on it? Yeah. It's totally everyone else's fault entirely and they're idiots for not maintaining multiple code trees and development teams just for Mac. Sure. And you know what? If I'm just going to reboot the damn thing into Windows anyways, then why the hell would I buy OS X at all?

The hardware is out of date and overpriced. No, you are not getting a "superior" product, you are just paying a ridiculous brand premium for a fashionable chassis. To meet my requirements requires a Mac Pro which costs well over $7,000.00 USD before the 3 year warranty (required thanks to Apple's continuing string of QC and QA problems.) For this $7,000.00 pricetag I get a SINGLE last generation Xeon Quad Core 3.33GHz based on Intel's abandoned 5000-series chipset with only 16GB of nigh unavailable Fully Buffered DIMMs, a $700 non-hardware non-BBU RAID card which I can buy elsewhere for around $100, an ATI Radeon HD4870 512MB at $200 which is not only a generation old but available in the proper 1GB configuration at a little over half that price, a pair of middle of the road DVD drives, iWork, about half of Microsoft Office, and a mediocre warranty with support where I still have to buy the OS upgrades out of pocket with no discount. THIS IS NOT A GOOD VALUE BY ANY MEASURE. For under $7,000 I can build a dual socket 12/24 core system which is not only watercooled but packing two Radeon HD5870's in CrossFire, an SSD and two 500GB/32MB drives in RAID0, and 24GB of DDR3. And there's not one bit of difference except that A) I'm using CURRENT generation hardware B) I don't have the brushed aluminum chassis. Oh wait, I do, except it's black and has hotswap drive bays and is quieter. Hell, I charge under $7K for that built and shipped to your door with half the parts packing 5 year manufacturer warranties!

Apple loves to lock in their vendor lock-out. Nobody gets to just write applications for OS X. You have to pay your special Apple taxes. It's not just an iPhone thing, either. You must pay Apple for documentation, for licenses, and so on. And if they decide they aren't happy with you, they can cut off any developer with no notice, leaving the users in the lurch. Want to use anything non-Apple that isn't an external thumb drive? If they didn't pay their Apple taxes, it's a crap shoot if it'll work or be supported. When was the last time you plugged in a keyboard or mouse to your PC and found that it was completely and utterly incompatible because of the software?

I play games. Get over it, Mac heads. Apple is not a gaming platform. If it was a viable, popular gaming platform, then popular games would be released for it. Instead, you have a handful of MMOs with Mac clients as an option, and some older games. Mass Effect 2 is nowhere to be found, nor is Steam, much less Modern Warfare 2 or Bioshock 2. ME2, MW2 and Bioshock are 3 of the absolute most popular, best selling games out there. They have massive, incredibly large budgets. Yet there is no OS X version of any of these games. Take the hint; if you enjoy playing a variety of games to relax, then Apple is definitely not for you. And World of Warcraft doesn't count, when the vast majority of LUA-based addons don't work on Macs.

The attitude of the company and the "community" just SUCKS. "Look at us in our faded jeans and black turtlenecks and OHMYGODNEWIPHONE MUST HAVE NOW!" Yeah, because a guy with 20 years of system design and building experience is the kind of guy who goes out and buys the latest 1.0 because somebody put a shiny Apple logo on it. But gods help you if you should rationally explain why you don't like iTunes or the iPod or the iPad to most Apple users. Seriously, I've had one actually take a swing at me for suggesting that an old G4 Xserve with significant performance problems was not the best answer, because of the performance problems. I have found on dozens of occasions that Apple users have absolutely zero interest or focus on whether or not the job is done right, or even if the job is done - their only concern is rabid support of a shiny white logo. And the only "appropriate" response to any question of the usefulness or functionality of any Apple product is to shout the person down and insult them.
Please note, this isn't a blanket statement about all Apple users. I know several that are perfectly reasonable and rational, and completely understand and support my refusal to use a product that doesn't work for me. ("Why should you, if it doesn't do what you need? That's silly.") However, as I said, I have had Apple fanatics actually swing at me for questioning Apple. And more often than not, that is exactly the reaction I get when I point out that an Apple product doesn't do what I need or want - screaming, insulting, and swinging. I want no part of any organization or community that considers shouting down acceptable behavior.

The presumption that because I'm a Unix guy I must love OS X. Look. It's an operating system. Get over it. AIX is an operating system. Solaris is an operating system. Windows is an operating system. The notion that any one of these does not suck is a complete fallacy. All operating systems suck, just in different ways. It's a fact of computing. It shouldn't be, but it is, and I deal with it every day. Just because I'm a Unix guy does not mean I prefer or even necessarily want Unix on my desktop. My operating system does not give me any sort of self-gratification or pleasure whatsoever, no matter what it is. I don't flipping care if it's Unix-like! It's an operating system, not a damn religion.
If I wanted Unix on my desktop, then I would use FreeBSD or AIX. But see, the thing is that I don't. I want to get things done and I do not want to waste time beating them into working through emulators like WINE or rebooting to a different OS so I can play a game. I want to turn on my computer, get work done, close it out and go play some games, then shut it down at the end of the day. That's it.

So, I figure I've explained sufficiently why I hate Macs personally. Calmly and rationally. This of course means, that I can expect irrational screaming and death threats from a select few who frankly have no business giving me advice or making demands about what hardware and software I use. Those of you who want to scream and yell at me, go hang out with the people who agree with me that an iMac completely fails to meet my disk requirements and a Mac Pro is horrifyingly overpriced and learn from them. Please.


  1. Hear Hear

    I started working with Macs in 1987. Moved onto PC when Windows matured. Whilst I was a Mac "specialist", the majority of my income came from training and support. Yes, that's right. Training for the uber-friendly and easy-to-use Macintosh.

    Overpriced, overhyped, under-specced style-over-substance doo-doo.

    Just wanted to get my comment in before the Apple crowd shout you down. You are not alone!

  2. Another excellent read. Made my morning.

  3. I guess there's not going to be a Apple crowd. Definitely my feeling about a Mac.

    But I have to confess that I try install a hackintosh every once in a while. No success so far. Stupid OS X runs only on 'Apple Hardware', what was that again? - Intel Core 2 Duo Processor. :sarcastic:

  4. You might like this video on YouTube. :-)

  5. 1. cannot find laptop under $500
    2. Fat binaries. GIMP (Win) is 20MB whereas GIMP (Snow-Leopard Intel) is 80MB. Both must carry GTK.
    Why are there separate GIMP 2.6.8 builts for Tiger/Leopard/Snow when one GIMP 2.6.8 built that can run on 2000/XP/ Vista/7 (including 64 bit)? Why are developers so obsessed with multiple builts? Imagine buying an expensive software only to be broken on newer upgrades.
    3. Longer shelf life. XP is still supported whereas Tiger is dropped by many developers.
    4. Firefox/Flash/Skype runs better than on Windows (less CPU usage & crash).
    5. More peripherals JUST works on Windows.
    6. OS X runs on limited configurations of PC whereas Windows/Linux runs on different CPUs/Chipsets/Peripherals.
    7. Why in the world must you register to get SDK whereas I can download SDK from Microsoft without registration.
    I am a hobbyist programmer, why must I divulge my address, professional profile as it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
    WTF!!! Why is the IPAD SDK dictates why you can build with it? Why must a FRUIT decides what apps can be sold on their store?? Today we have choice, your commercial OS is not the only software I can run on my PC. Doing unnecessary steps to get SDKs will like push people to move to Linux.

    If I intend to pay, why not get a PC where I could have:
    the widest configurations (cheapest to most expensive),
    the widest support of drivers (gamepads, webcams, printers, etc.)
    the widest support of software (games, CADs, etc.)
    the longest shelf life (2000/XP vs Tiger)
    None of the FRUITY politics.

    If I to go cheap, there is Linux. Sure Linux does not fare better but it has freedom of choice.

    where does Mac stands?

  6. Well, this seems to have been written a while ago. Macs actually have come a long way since then. Although, it seems as though you're trying to place the blame for your daily software not running on Apple, when the blame should be placed with the software developers. I'm not one of those "Mac zealots" who say love Mac or be damned! I'm one of those people who say "people should choose an OS based on what they need".

    Although it is true. Apple computers need a serious update. Especially on graphics. I can get a Toshiba laptop for a little over $1000 with 1GB of graphics memory, where as a MacBook Pro, costing more than $2,500 only has 512MB of graphics memory. Not to mention, the price should be brought doubt a whole hell of a lot. Now, the computer I have is only 2.4GHz with 336MB of graphics memory, and 3GB of RAM. And the MacBook Pro I'm getting is 2.66GHz with 512MB of graphics memory, with 8GB of RAM. Since I'm very happy with the computer I have, I'm sure I'll me more than happy with the MacBook Pro.

    All in all, there's no such thing as "the best OS". Unless Apple, Microsoft, and Canonical get together and make the Super OS, with all of their software, hardware, etc put together, there will be no such thing as the best OS. An OS is like clothes. You choose what you like, and what feels the most comfortable on you.

  7. Mac at uni crashed using Maya and wiped usb memory device. Also reboot without warning losing all unsaved work.

  8. i don't like macs. at all. sure, they are shiny and user friendly, but THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING!!!!

  9. I am a technocretin and don't understand the iechnicalities of a computer. I just want the effing thing to work!

    I purchased a Mac just before Christmas and it has been nothing but a pain in the ass. I have returned it to the store once, had a Mac specialist (GoMac) come to my home for $130 and just last night, a friend who writes applications for the App Store had a try and even he couldn't get the damn thing to work.

    Mac is full of little secrets and it appears that it is the customer's challenge to winnow them out, sans manual (we bought three different manuals), sans help menu, and sans common sense. I have gotten to the point that I am considering sacrificing a goat in front of the machine in the hopes that Apple gods may smile upon me and give me a vision as to how the damned thing is supposed to work.

    Seriously, I bought a Max to do things, not spend days trying to figure the machine out. Each manual is different and none match what the computer actually does. The folks at Mac Store look at me sadly as I try to explain what isn't working - obviously my fault. GoMac doesn't solve the problem, and as I said, a programmer who writes for Mac is stymied.

    So what the hell am I supposed to do? At this stage, I am seriously considering writing off the $2300 I spent on the Mac, buy a PC, and then upload to Face Book or You Tube a video of me taking a baseball bat to the Mac. I'm serious!

    The current problem is that I can't email photos even though Mail works for regular email. This is different than a previous challenge that Mac wouldn't accept the installation of Painter 12. GoMac took 45 minutes to sort that one out. Anyway, there seems to be a password that is different than any other password I have used. And, because I don't recognize it, I can't share the photos and Mac is not going to give me a hint as to what that password might be. In the manuals, share is "click on the photo, click on share, and then write the address of the recipient". Not! We get "click on the photo, click on Share then be confronted with a server question that requires a secret and hitherto unknown password". GoMac got us past that little hurdle and now we are confronted with a new box that asks for yet another secret password, says 'done' and then refuses to actually send the photo. Instead of a tool and an adjunct to my life, Mac has now become a vexation to the spirit, a time wasting labyrinth of arcane processes not vouchsafed to mortal men, and generally, a piece of high tech crap!

  10. I just stumbled across your article, and I fully agree with you. I was a Mac tech while I was still mixed in with being a PC tech for 9 of my 18 years so far of being a technician. Any day of the week I prefer to work with a PC user over a Mac user on fixing their issues. The number one reason why I feel that way is that the PC users for the majority have taken the time to learn their computers. The Mac user on the other hand has never learned. All too often I have heard a Mac user ask me how I put up with Windows as they find it all too confusing to use. But amazingly enough, if a Windows user switches to Mac, they pick it up with ease. Then they end up using both, as they realize that they can use both simply. They also understand that once their Mac crashes, they took the time to really backup their software without using the "Not So" Time Machine that cannot backup anything. Also, from being a Systems Administrator in a company that preferred to use Macs, when their e-mail server crashed, Time Machine was not able to backup the e-mails, so all e-mails were lost since they were using IMAP and Time Machine. They do not go together.

    I have been in discussions with people that own iPhones, iPads, etc, and they get that Holier than Thou drinking kool-aid attitude since they can take it into the store, and if there is any problem the "Un-Genius Bar" replaces it with out troubleshooting it and no questions asked. Really? So, they hire any person that can possibly read a book with absolutely no computer / cell phone / smart phone experience at all to work in these stores and blind people into feeling that their way is the only way to be.

    Just my two cents for now! There is much more that I could complain about Apple and it's minions.

  11. I'm prolly one of the younger users here, just going about to go into college for an Ethical Hacking degree, but I do have a knack with computers. Not to mention that I own 4 computers in my room alone. 2 running Win7, one running Backtrack 5, and one running Ubuntu 11.10 using Gnome 3. I never did like macs, simply because of the fact that they are basically socialist with their products (you cannot really modify anything without alot of work, even the theme). A couple years ago, I decided to try out an iPhone thinking that I'd give apple a chance at redemption. They lost that chance, and I hated the thing so much that I jailbroke and then modified the jailbroken ios into something more linux-based. The only thing I can give to Apple is that they are good for people who don't know how to use a computer and do not do much more than browse the web and type text documents. Other than that, I believe they are highly overpriced, too rigid, and too out of date for anyone who wants an actual computer. I personally lean towards linux, but I also do love windows (when they have a good os such as XP, Win7 was pretty good too). I wouldn't really have a problem with macs if they allowed more flexability with their os, had fans who weren't so insane and blinded by their product, and lastly, stopped pitching ideas that are old as a new feature that they developed. Just figured that I'd throw in my opinion.

    1. One last thing: ridiculous licenses and agreements. For example, if you look at the itunes agreement, it will mention that you cannot use itunes to manufacture or use nuclear weapons. This is absolutely hilarious, but unnecessary. How would one even go about doing this? Would they have their nuke playing the final countdown or something on an attached ipod? If you don't believe me, then just search they're document for nuclear. Here, I'll even provide a link for you.

  12. Bought a refurbed 15" MacBook Pro, spent over $2200. Within 24 hours of fedex delivery the optical drive failed and the system froze up upon reboot after software update.

    BTW about my mac said "early 2011", so this unit was ~1 1/2 yr old?!

    I spent 3+ hours on the phone. 1st tech says "take it to apple store and they can swap out the dvd drive"

    Not thrilled that I am doing their QC work for them testing supposedly refurbed systems, so I called store to make sure they had drive in stock, per techs recommendation.

    I resent the term "genius" being used so freely. I reserve it for people like Einstein or Hawking, not someone who may not have even graduated high school.

    I called the store & get a recording then a 'specialist', who was in a call center in another state, tells me I have to use a code word to get someone at the actual store, or to press 0, neither of which option the recording gave me when I called store#.

    Call back 3rd time & told I can take it to the store & if they did not have the drive in stock I would need to go again.

    Its ridiculous that I should even need to go there. I ask if they Qcheck refurbs or if Apple makes their customers do work for them. Was offered to replace my unit with another refubed exact same config, no thanks!

    I find it highly doubtful that with the $$ they are charging for these machines that their profit margins are so slim that they cannot offer me a discount.

    Next day phone call w/another young sounding 'tech' transferred to a 'specialist' who had to transfer me to someone else to deal with this.

    "I need to talk to another person about this at your company" What a joke.

    Finally request the cancellation & they email me fedex labels but I had to ask about returning it directly to the store & went same day.

    When they see I was serious about cxl they offer to 'email me a coupon that I can use on the online store'

    Too little too late, lady! I will NEVER buy another apple product in my entire life. That was my first and last apple product purchase.

    In person return process at the store was quick, probably bc they want unhappy customers out as fast as possible.

  13. wonderful post and finally I feel safe to join in and bash the Mac. Coming from a Windows and UNIX background (Sys. Engineer) I have been tryin gto give Mac a chance as I play with Ruby, PHP, and similar - but it is so much effor tto get the thing working with my keyboard, layout, permissions, tweaks - there is a lack of sensible interface option to setup to work effectively.
    And the built in terminal tools are shitty, backward.

    Agreeing with the host, I just need the thing to work and do the job. Enough of this logo worship bollocks.

    I feel better now.

  14. Qoute:"I have found on dozens of occasions that Apple users have absolutely zero interest or focus on whether or not the job is done right, or even if the job is done "

    I work with a complete MacTard, and this statement is absolutely bang on CORRECT!!!

    I thought I was the only one who sees this. Thanks for this post. Even though it's 3 years old, it absolutely still rings true.

  15. I'm a software engineer who'e been developing since before the internet was born and I hate Macs. They are dumbed down to the point of inflexibility. I suspect the HW is underpowered in order to cram it into those little boxes without heat dissipation issues. The graphics cards are low-spec and dont implement OpenGL correctly, that's one that's starting to embarrass Apple somewhat.