Am I an Apple fan boy?

I can’t believe how much of an Apple fan boy I’ve turned into.  I got my Mum an iBook a couple years ago and now I’m trying to convince my father to buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro instead of an HP or something similar.  I own an HP nx7010 myself.  I run Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP on it.  Why is it that I have Apple envy?  I’d certainly dig having my own Apple notebook as the hardware is pretty slick.  Though, what OS would I run on it?  Probably Ubuntu and Windows again.

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3 thoughts on “Am I an Apple fan boy?

  1. I think apple have done something with Mac OSX that accidentally apeals to deep set technology and experience cues in gamers. I’m talking about your brain and mine.

    Starting with the version of Quake which supported 3d acceleration, gamers have experienced their games in accelerated mode. More recently we’ve seen shiny graphics, high frames rates, tear free graphics, bloom and antialiasing.

    As we only play games we enjoy for the most part, I think we’ve come to recognise these things as signifiers of things we might enjoy. I think this has happened at a fairly base level.

    On the desktop front we are about a decade behind the games for the most part. Although windows XP is accelerated, it isn’t very anti-aliased (the font renderer is pants) and it doesn’t use any bitmap-onto-non-flat-surface type of effects that are visible. Although it runs faster it is really just a more accelerated version of windows 95 from a graphic design perspective.

    But Mac OSX on the other hand uses lots of bitmap-onto-non-flat-surface effects, is shiny, is anti-aliased to nam and has a terrific font renderer. Even the beauty of the shipping fonts helps here.

    It is dripping with pleasure precursor cues for gamers; we lust. It doesn’t seem to help that the linux to mac converts I know are all very happy.

  2. Well 3d gaming hardware began before then with the introduction of the Sega Saturn but I concede that PC gamers probably first got into 3d accelerated graphics with Quake on their 3dfx Voodoo cards.

    Windows is definately behind the times on the bling front. Even Linux is starting to overtake it with XGL etc. The FreeType font renderer, for example, is better than Windows in my opinion.

    I’m not sure that the only reason I gravitate towards MacOS X is just because of the visual bling though. I also like the power of the apps and OS hidden (but easily revealed) under a simple neophyte level layer. It has a potent combination of power and simplicity that I think a lot of other application developers seem to miss.

    An example of this is Apple’s iWork word processor, Pages. When you first approach it you find an incredibly austere and simple interface. Only once you start exploring the different “drawers” and inspector pallets do you discover the true level of options available to you. And from the templates provided with the application it is obvious that with relatively little effort it is possible to create some very attractive documents.

    The user interface also doesn’t insult you. It doesn’t hide the more sophisticated options behind terms like “novice”, “advanced”, “expert” like some people have tried. It just lets you discover the applications functionality organically at your own speed.

    I think apple probably employs some of the best UI and HCI experts in the software industry, and it shows. The other app in the iWork bundle, Keynote, also blows Power Point out of the water. Not that Power Point is a good thing, see http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/000931.

    However even given all the bling and nice UI of MacOS X I think I will stick with Linux because I prefer the ideals of the Free Softrware crowd. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 😉

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