Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I think I realize now why Apple users look at Microsoft users like they are nuts, and why Microsoft users look at Apple users like they are arrogant. It occurred to me over lunch. Let's look at Mac OSX and Windows Vista as an example.

Say Consumer A wants to buy an operating system for their Mac. They go into the Apple store, pick up a copy of OSX, and hand their credit card to the clerk. Nothing impedes the transaction. They even take a step further by bringing the check-out to you at the Apple store.

Say Consumer B Wants to buy an operating system for their PC. They go into a computer store, and... they see 7 flavors of Vista. Whatever reptilian emotion was driving that purchase has now given way to intellect. Nothing could be more destructive to the emotion-driven consumer. The pause necessary to pick which version is right for you can lead to all sorts of internal conflict, which in turn gets in the way of the transaction.

Now, I can accept that Microsoft may be attempting to make Vista more "attainable" to lower budget consumers by creating different gradations of their product. However, if they want their consumers to be singing the praises of Vista, they need to get them out of the store as quickly as possible. Nothing kills the mood like trying to make a purchasing decision under the advisement of a BestBuy employee.

If you are an Apple guy, you are looking on with a smirk on your face, as you watch the Microsoft guy standing in a state of confusion. If you are the Microsoft guy, you are wondering why that Apple guy is staring at you as he's walking out of the mall.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Have No Self-Control

It finally happened. The amount of money in my savings account climbed high enough, Amazon had a deal, and the rest is history. I picked up a 15" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo for $1850 + shipping. I had it next-day air-mailed straight to my office. 25 hour and 15 minutes later, I was ripping open the plastic wrap.

So far, I'm going through a sorta weird withdrawal. At the expense of sounding like a fanboy, everything just worked out of the box. It was easy, too easy. I marveled at the fact that pretty much everything was set up the way I'd have wanted it. With a new Windows box, I usually go through an entire ritual of setting up my folders, configuring system preferences, rearranging my start bar items, and so on. It can take many hours before I actually feel like I can be productive. With my Mac, I felt like I had accomplished most of everything in about 30 minutes, even at newbie-speed.

From a programming perspective, I am extremely excited. I want to be programming on a Unix-based OS. I have Ubuntu running on my old laptop, but the machine is just too broken down for me to spend any real time with it. I immediately jumped into Ruby, as I have been playing with Ruby for several months now. I wrote a quick Google stock quote scraper and it felt real good writing it using TextMate. It's amazing how much happier I feel without the integrated debugger, intellisense, etc., that Visual Studio has. That stuff is just so bulky that I feel like I can't breathe unless I'm running it on a super computer.

My next step is to see about joining some open source software initiatives. I always strayed away from open source collaborations because I just didn't feel right trying to participate using a Windows machine, even for open source Windows projects.