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Should we admire or slap Apple zealots?


I don’t know whether to admire the Apple zealots or slap them.

I admire their faith and their love of the undeniably beautiful and pleasing design of the Apple suite of products. They are things you want to own, caress, be seen with and hold.

The desire to slap them, on the other hand, comes from the denial of any flaws in the Apple technology. Clearly, there are flaws. Many flaws.

Let me give you an example from real life – my real life this morning. Today a couple of speakers at one of my business groups were setting up their computers for the purposes of presenting some material through a data projector.

The PC guy had a little trouble with sending the video to the data projector and we had to restart it. We got it working in short order though. The Mac guy said, “I know how to fix that. Get a Mac. Ha, ha, ha!”

The Mac guy went on to point out that 95 percent of professional speakers use Macs. This is my favourite bit, though. Right at that point in time a very large error message came up on the screen of the Mac. It had a yellow warning triangle and lots and lots of words on it.

Without acknowledging the error to us, the Mac guy fidgeted about, trying to get his Mac working again. He failed. Still he said nothing and eventually he held down the power button until such time as the thing did a forced hard shutdown.

I said nothing. There was no need to be cruel about it. Besides, I have no allegiance to a brand or a particular technology. I have a grounded view of all technology and its capability for less than flawless operation. Beware of anyone who thinks any piece of “high tech” is “perfect”.

I actually experience this sort of thing a lot with the Mac folk. The name of my business, “I Hate My PC“, is tongue-in-cheek and almost never fails to get a rise out of the Mac crowd. I let them go. There’s no point engaging them in discussion. Besides, more often than not, letting them talk usually finds them getting to a point where they start confessing all the sins of their Apple.

I find this hysterical. It usually manifests as a long monologue that starts with: “Get a Mac – they are perfect” then trails off, without punctuation or breathing, into an extensive list of Mac failures and bugbears. When they catch themselves, they add, “But they are still brilliant. You should get one!”

In this regard, they sound like parents. “I haven’t slept in weeks. You should have a baby.” Their agendas are quite similar, I guess. They want to recruit people to their cult, irrespective of logic or consideration for your circumstances. Another common thread is their desire for the experience to be perfect as viewed by all outsiders.

So why is this? I really want to know.

It could be argued that the PC folk aren’t so effusive because they are used to unreliable software and hardware. It could also be said that they are simply more level-headed about what their tools do for them and not the image the box they came in portrays.

Apple has had a rollercoaster existence and maybe that is what it is all about. Maybe it is about the ride and not the destination. The PC crowd have had a pretty calm ride in the 90 to 95 percent market share zone, while Apple have come and gone more times than John Farnham.

The people on-board with Apple love them, and long after your iPhone has burnt your ear, you’ll still be able to run your fingers along its beautiful curves and dream of what Jobsy has in store for you next.