LOL, I Love This

Sorry Mac folks, but as a guy who builds his own PC's, I am rolling on the floor laughing with Charlie Booker (via Market Power)

I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I
even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs
are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for
scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers
for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.

PCs are the
ramshackle computers of the people. You can build your own from
scratch, then customise it into oblivion. Sometimes you have to slap it
to make it work properly, just like the Tardis (Doctor Who,
incidentally, would definitely use a PC). PCs have charm; Macs ooze
pretension. When I sit down to use a Mac, the first thing I think is,
"I hate Macs", and then I think, "Why has this rubbish aspirational
ornament only got one mouse button?" Losing that second mouse button
feels like losing a limb. If the ads were really honest, Webb would be
standing there with one arm, struggling to open a packet of peanuts
while Mitchell effortlessly tore his apart with both hands.

The two-button mouse thing has always been a mystery to me.  Clearly it is better.  Hell, I can't do without my two button mouse and its scroll-wheel.  Only a pathological desire not to copy anything from the PC world (copying from Xerox* is OK, I guess) has prevented Apple from adopting this no-brainer improvement.

* I may be one of the few people around who ever worked on the old Xerox workstations from which so much of the Mac was derived.  They had their issues, but they were unbelievable for their time.  I would put Xerox's failure to capitalize on this technology right up there with Amiga in the category of lost technological opportunities.  </dating myself>



  1. Loren Nason:


    Im a PC guy to the core.

    My wife wants a mac book pro, and my response is why? I can build a laptop that has more power than that for the same cost or less


    BTW - been reading you for a long time. Love all your stuff

  2. Bill Brown:

    The idea behind the one-button mouse was that there shouldn't be functionality that was accessible only through a contextual menu. Having a single button forced developers to make everything out in the open. That being said, Apple has also always had support for mice with two buttons. Also, all new Macs (save the portables) come bundled with the Mighty Mouse that has two buttons (more actually) and a scroll wheel that goes in both directions, which is an excellent change.

    I use Windows at work all day and I've always come home to the Mac. Something tells me that you and Mr. Booker have never given Mac a chance. There's never been a better time because you can dual boot the current crop of Intel-based Macs. They're great machines, even as Windows boxes.

    To my way of thinking, Macs encourage software customization instead of hardware changes. I much prefer the former to the latter any day but I would never hold it against anyone to choose one over the other. Unlike Mr. Booker, who sounds like a total prick.

  3. Bill Brown:

    My point about the thinking behind the one-button mouse wasn't to say it was better—I think it's mostly different rather than better or worse—but more to indicate that it wasn't the knee-jerk reaction you allege. During the Mac's adolescence the Macintosh OS was under the thumb of Human Interface Guidelines that were quite strict and deviance from them was discouraged. Here's the relevant section on contextual menus.

  4. NeoWayland:

    I'll admit that I am a Mac guy and therefore biased.

    But one of the points I always saw stressed about the Macintosh was that it was supposed to be an appliance before it was a computer. It was just supposed to work, and for the most part Apple succeeded.

    Sure there are gifted souls out there who can build me a microwave oven or a blender from off the shelf parts. Hunt hard enough and you can even find people who can build a television or VCR. When I was a kid, Phoenix grocery stores still had tube testers so you could fix your own TV.

    But why would you want to if someone could provide something in an integrated package that you knew worked?

    When it comes to the major OCM computer makers, Apple's price isn't all that high. Actually fairly low considering that most Macs are in service for at least five years vs two for a Windows PC.

    Yes, it is a niche market. But it has been a successful one for Apple. It's not that Apple is especially innovative, it is just that they excel at intergration.

    None of this means that a one or two button mouse is any better. It just means that the market is more than big enough for both and nearly every other variation besides.

    BTW, my first computer was an Amiga 1000. Commodore had the potiential to outsell EVERYONE before anyone had even heard of desktop video and they blew it.

  5. MarkH:

    I was complaining about the single button mouse thing to a friend. He asked me, "have you actually tried a 2-button mouse with your mac?" It turns out that if you plug your favorite multibutton mouse into your mac, it works just as expected... scrollwheel and all!

    One thing that's nice about mac laptops... power management works way better than any of the windows laptops I've had -- toshiba, dell, sony. My current uptime is about 4 months, when I had to reboot after a system update.

    Yes, of course they're precious, and mac people are precious, but down in the engineering guts they are really solid boxes.

  6. Keith Casey:

    Yep, the two-buttons work fine and have for a couple (few?) years now.

    I bought a MacMini for the wife for Christmas. It is freaking amazing.

    At a tech conference I was speaking at last fall, one of my buddies was working on his Mac developing Windows software via Parallels. Then he'd compile, test, and deploy all in Parallels. I realized that there was no point in having a PC anymore. Oh, and he went an entire day of the conference - including his presentation - without having to recharge.

    When I was shopping around for a new laptop 2 weeks ago, I seriously considered a Mac Book Pro. The price differential is what killed me. The 15" that would have been my minimum was $1800... way more than the $1k Toshiba that I ended up getting.

  7. Justin Smith:

    I've yet to find a mouse I like as much as Commodore's "pregnant" mouse that came with my Amiga 3000. They even put out a 3-button variant with the Unix version of the A3000. Those were the days.

  8. Greg:

    A slogan heard ten years ago:

    Windows 95 = Apple Macintosh 85 = Xerox PARC 75

    I favored PCs since, starting around 1990, all games were released first on PCs.

    Here's another take on the ad campaign.

  9. Matt:

    OK, the one-button mouse is indeed the triumph of ideology over practicality. But the fact is that Macs have worked fine with multibutton mice for a very long time now. (Since at least the first generation of iMacs...and that was in the System 7 days...)

    I've got 16 computers at my house, and only one of them is a Mac. After all, it remains quite true that buying a computer that'll run the best desktop OS ever created means you'll be massively overpaying for the hardware. For most functions, I can build (or have built from specs) a much cheaper box, install Linux on it, and save a bundle. But for the classic "desktop computer" applications which even I occasionally need to use, Linux just still isn't there, and MacOS X is. And the fact that it comes bundled with better software for editing video than you can BUY from anybody else for less than $5000 per seat doesn't hurt either, considering I'm in the process of rolling out a new video production business. :)

    (Windoze? Please. I let one of my Linux boxes keep a small windoze partition into which I can dual-boot when I need to make sure one of my web sites works properly in IE, but there's no way in hell I'd use windoze for serious work.)