June 6th, 2004  |  Published in Uncategorized

So I went with the eMac SuperDrive model. AppleCare is what swayed me. That and hating having a laptop that’ s one platform and a desktop that’s another. My fingers were tripping over each other.

I just went back and looked at some writing I did about the iBook after I’d had it home for a month. It all pretty much remains pertinent to this purchasing decision (which feels, with the accompanying purchase of AppleCare, much more like an investment than any clone machine I put together from bits off the computer store shelf). Especially resonant pulls from that writing:

  • (Regarding the UI): “there aren’t a lot of knobs and switches and it’s very hard to coax unpredictable behavior out of it, even when the available options are changed. While it’s frustrating to be faced with some non-options, it’s also sort of liberating.”

Saying that sort of thing really freaks out a certain kind of user who thinks the person saying it has gone all Stepford. “I’ll just die if I don’t get to use an Apple!” But it’s not like that. Really. For one, I don’t have a special, pitying look that I give people who don’t use Macs and aren’t interested in them.

More on that line of thought:

  • “The whole idea of giving up and going along with the wishes of the UI is alien to a real geek, but I guess that’s where I am on the arc: I’m tired of being confronted with all the choices and too aware of my own propensity to become absorbed in the process of configuring and optimizing. I get more work done when I have less to mess with.”

I recently spent some time with GNOME 2.6, which has met with [a ton of opprobrium](

) from the Linux commentariat because it’s “dumbed down.” As weird as it was to be using a GNOME that didn’t allow me to do a lot of tweaking, it was the most comfortable version of the software yet. I set a few prefs to suit me (it’s friendly about letting the user put the window widgets either where Windows or Mac finger memory can take over) and away I went. Very smooth, very pleasant, and the most compelling reason to use Linux on the desktop yet. And because I was being “The Judicious Columnist” when I whimped out and called KDE a mere “cluttered riot of over-configurability,” I’ll make up for that here by saying it’s a UI only someone with severe control issues could love.

  • “I’m tired of picking at nags, and my interest in computers has become less about the journey than it has the destination, in the form of things I can do with them. Ultimately I have less ‘total power’ with a platform besides something as flexible and close to the metal as Linux, but when I consider that I have a nearly fuss-free environment in the form of Aqua coupled with the ability to run almost any traditional UNIX tool as a fully participating member of the underlying OS, it’s hard to make the case for the one percent functionality I might someday squeeze out of a Linux machine.”

  • “‘Mac people,’ as near as I can tell, are as insufferable as ‘Linux people,’ in the same way Jerry Rubin is was as insufferable as George Patton.” [Note: Jerry Rubin died while I was in the Army, which might explain why I never noticed. But dead he is. I just learned that a few weeks ago when Dave Dellinger died and a few papers did a rundown of what had become of the rest of the Chicago Seven. I’m afraid my copy of “Do It!”, Rubins’ Yippie screed, is lost or I’d do a quick reading.]

So now begins the Apple Blowup Watch.

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