Shoe Money Tonight

Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Perspective; Or, Trusting the Mac Web

For as long as I can remember, Mac users have always been a bit of a close-knit community. Part of this might be because of the Mac's low market share compared to Windows.*. As mainstream companies for years pretty much forgot that the Mac existed, Mac users turned to each other for support. Between a common preference for the care and craftsmanship put into Apple's products, and the camaraderie that stems from talking to other people who also "get it," the Mac community, and now the Mac web, have been a pretty close-knit group.

Combine this with the fact that there are astronomically smaller numbers of system configurations on the Mac side, and you have a Mac web that will catch any bug or issue almost immediately, and probably have a fix for you by the time you've gotten back from refilling your cup of coffee.

When Leopard was released, I waited. Yes, me. I waited. I, who actually ran OS X v. 10.0 as my primary os on my PDQ 266 actually waited. I'm almost never an early adopter on hardware. I am, however, on software. It's easier to do that because: a) Software is cheaper; and b) Any problems will be fixed in a downloadable update.

With Leopard, however, I was forced to wait for an update to The Missing Sync for Palm OS. What I did spend my time doing, however, was reading Apple's discussion forums to see how people had been doing with it.

When you read post after post of people detailing issues and offering fixes, it tends to sour you on it. Then you realize that you are reading the experiences of perhaps a few dozen people. Leopard sold 2 million copies that weekend. In other words, the issues were there, but very few people were having them.

The result of all of this is that if I read about an issue in a "mainstream" tech place before hearing about it on the Mac Web, I get suspicious.

Enter this column in InformationWeek. It talks about Leopard's "Green Screen of Death."

The problems with the article? Well, there are two major ones right from the get-go.

Problem 1: It's not a screen of death. It's a brief flash.

Problem 2: The biggie: This whole article is based on one fsking forum thread on Apple's discussion forums! The "quotes" are just copies from the discussion thread. They didn't even bother getting any actual names or asking any actual questions!

I guess instead of doing journalism now, I could just hang around an auto dealership's service department and write articles on the problems people bring in. Or I could hang around the returns department of Target or some other store like that! Wowee!

The gist of the article is that sometimes weird things happen. The headline, however, is designed to attract attention and get traffic from the Mac Web. And, of course, like idiots, we take the bait. We blog about how stoopid they are, and their traffic goes up. And then we complain that we're doing it while we're doing it.

And then, we start doing juvenile things like TYPING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE OF COURSE THINGS IN CAPTIAL LETTERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT AND THEY'RE TOO IMPORTANT TO USE ANY SORT OF PUNCTUATION OR EVEN BOTHER USING A SPEL CHEKK BECAUSE WE IS THE SHIZNIT AND U IS JUST 2 DUM FOR ME TO...

...er, yeah.

Whatever.

Did I mention I still haven't caught up on sleep from last week's road trip?

What was I saying?

I'm going to have some cookies now.

/post.




*Although their market share of sales has been hovering from 3-6% (now approaching 12%ish in notebooks), the actual user base has never dropped below about 10 - 12%. Sales figures, after all, include computers that will only ever be used for cash registers or other such devices. Combine this with the fact that Apple's computers also have a much longer useful lifetime. I've never felt the need to replace even a lowest-of-the-low end mac in less that 4.5 years. There have always been a lot more macs in use than people have thought[back]

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home