The Apple of My Eye

After I moved to Los Angeles last spring, I soon learned that people don’t communicate here quite like they do in Washington D.C. I’m not talking about think-tank dissertations, multi-footnote policy papers or the monotone dronings of C-Span speeches. I’m talking about text messages.

In D.C., people picked up the phone and called each other. Here, they punch in pithy little text messages, many times a day, seven days a week. I have friends whose voices I never hear over either wires or wireless; only in person do we actually speak. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but that’s something else people do here, so I’m joining in.

Once I went all L.A. with the texting (which took about a week), I quickly learned that I didn’t have a text-message package included with my phone service. Soon my cell phone bills were the size of a phone book; fifteen cents a text adds up quickly when it’s your primary source of communication, as you’ll discover when you text back and forth twelve times as you drunkenly try to locate a particular club: Melrose and what? … Where did you park? … Is there a cover? … Is there an ATM nearby? … Shit, can I borrow some money? … Can you come out to the sidewalk to meet me?… Where are you?

The other thing I discovered was that my phone, the latest cutting-edge technology in D.C. a mere two years ago (okay, maybe three or four) is a relic of ancient history here.

brick

One new friend, who works for iTunes, snickers whenever she sees me whip out my phone. “Ooooh, a flip phone,” she says. “Hot.” She, of course, has an iPhone, which for one reason or another she’s compelled to pull out every fifteen seconds or so during the course of any given evening, to look at a video, check email, get a quick GPS positioning or whatever.

I admit, I began to look jealously at that phone. Around the same time, I also noticed I seem to be the only person in Southern California who still uses a PC.

trs80

At the coffee shops where I write, joined by the 18.2 million people here writing screenplays, I have yet to see another Sony Vaio — everyone’s got a spiffy white MacSomething. And everyone I’ve met here has taken photos, shot videos, uploaded Oscar-worthy shorts to their Facebook and Myspace pages. I’d never felt particularly Luddite-ish in D.C. Of course, I’d never felt particularly chubby or badly dressed, either. L.A. will do that to you.

One day, I experienced the last straw: I tried in vain to figure out how to transfer the addresses from my old Palm software to my Blackberry, via… I don’t know what… Microsoft Outlook? Which is a program I don’t use, though apparently I have to if I ever expect to see those addresses again. I spent hours fiddling and fiddling, until I was ready to hurl my laptop against the smartly whitewashed walls of my Spanish-style bungalow. “Why don’t you just get a Mac?” a visiting friend asked. And I found myself seriously contemplating the question, perhaps for the first time. Why not, indeed? After all, they do have a totally gay logo:

apple

Every friend I know who has made “the switch” has raved about Apple products. “I wish I’d done it sooner,” is the mantra. Everything’s so easy! There are no viruses! Apple products are beautiful! They’ll improve your social life! They’ve been known to cure cancer! So, why not make the change?

Well, I’m contemplating it. But I just… can’t… quite… get there. For one thing, I am addicted to the right-click of the PC mouse. I hear that Apple has given in and created one for Macs, but you have to press an extra key, apparently. And what’s with the “delete” key functioning as a “backspace” key? Why can’t there be both? I hate having to jump ahead of the character I want to delete! Waaah!

And what about all those keystrokes I’ve learned by heart over the years? Can I really go from using the “control” key to using that goofy-looking Apple key? I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when I’m whipping through an editing job, I function by rote; I’ve been using the same keystrokes for years, and I don’t want to relearn anything. I know, I’m just being stubborn — but aren’t there any headaches associated with this turnover? I’ve saved files within files within files over the years — will everything transfer and work the same on a Mac?

Also, I work in a dinosaur industry:

dinosaur

the world of book publishing, which is as PC as you get (in so many ways). I know a few years ago there were big problems sending Word files back and forth between Macs and PCs — is the same still true today? I got sick of formatting being corrupted, weird little bugs like font size randomly jumping back and forth when you moved blocks of text, that kind of thing. Does that still happen?

I guess what I’m saying is this: I’m ready to be convinced. Have you made the switch from PC to Mac? Do you love it? Why? And do you hate anything about it?

56 responses to “The Apple of My Eye”

  1. i’m reading this on the new mac desktop we have. we replaced our home PC after one more meltdown. the girls had already gone mac, and now we’re 3 out of 4 — my laptop is the last dell around. i plan to switch it out just to make life nice and consistent for us.

    but stephanie’s the one who uses this computer most — it’s her work station. there have been transition headaches. but she’ll have to say where she stands on the “wish i’d done it sooner” or “not at all” front. i’ve noticed a few glitches, but i assume there’s just a short learning curve. the biggest deal easing the transition, as far as i can tell, is preserving the evil microsoft empire in the move. if we didn’t have the mac office software we’d really be left out in the cold.

    ooh. flip phone! sexy. that was pretty damn funny.

  2. ssw says:

    I did just make the switch and am ambivalent about it so far. I do know how to type still, so this comes in handy. But the dumb little things add up. I can’t get a new page when I’m in Word and need it, for example. The apple command thingy is okay–I can still press it and control c and get something copied. Check. But, there are weird quirks I need training on. For example, one of my biggest fears was that with Macs it would be click-click-click all day long, and so far, it’s been totally true–I hate that. Why, when someone sends me a doc. to open can’t I just click it and have it open!? Yes, it goes to my desktop, but I can’t get to it with ease, at least I don’t know how yet. Then there’s all of that fun stuff you can do. like take pictures and make movies. Yeah, right.
    So, all of this to say, I’m in an untrained whirl and feel very threatened by change. But, Macs are pretty. Does this count? I admit I’m the lazy-ass problem. Every week a few blocks from my house, Apple provides training sessions, for free, on switching from a PC to Mac. I went over there for the first time the other day, and learned how to get a right-click to work on my mouse (big sigh of relief). Change is hard.

  3. Rachel says:

    I am a Mac user on a virtually all-PC campus. Running the Office suite for Mac has solved most adaptation problems. (However, Word attachments created with Windows Vista are suddenly being viewed as foreign objects. I had to download a patch to open them, but the new Leopard OS for Mac probably solves that glitch.)

    Otherwise, all the hype about Macs is true. The interface is so intuitive (important for tech-averse folks like me) and elegant that it makes PCs seem clunky by comparison. I also love the .Mac feature, which gives you a 10GB online “briefcase” where you can keep everything from private documents to public photo albums. Imagine being able to access all your stuff from any computer, anywhere. It’s easy to sync your home workstation with the .Mac briefcase.

    I’m still resisting text messages, however. Any my new pet peeve: people who whip out and check their iPhones during movies and concerts. It doesn’t matter that they’re silent–the screen is still so $*@!ing bright.

  4. G-Lock says:

    Lisa, I recently converted to Mac after a near-lifetime on PC. It took me less than three seconds to get over any regret – “Holy cow, how do I watch my Windows Media files now??”. I drank the Kool-Aid and will never go back. For a slight premium, Apple makes life easier. Bite the bullet. It’s so delicious. Become a smug Mac user today!

  5. Scotty says:

    Mr. Oldman McGrumpus here: If your PC is still working fine, why even contemplate change.

    I’ve been a Mac person as long as I’ve used a computer, and the Mac OS is definitely more intuitive, but the whole extremist, brand loyalty thing is a little obnoxious.

    One thing you still need to learn about LA is that much of the city is based on insecurity. The pithy things you hear are based on some people who may be questioning their own motives in buying all sorts of expensive gadgets. Hold strong, and you will find that some LA people are actually attracted to those who are strong enough to stay off the bandwagon.

    Okay, I’m going to put my teeth in and eat my oatmeal now.

  6. I thought the whole thing about old people and oatmeal is that you could eat it without your teeth in.

  7. hey, speaking of LA, why don’t we have more LA-centric links on our blogroll? aren’t there any good guides to LA art and culture and music we should be linking to?

    i’ve kind of become obsessed with this superbly named LA blog. i want to know the people featured in this guy’s posts — and to meet the writer himself. are there others we should be reading?

  8. trixie says:

    bryan,
    that blog is funny- i keep looking for people that i know.
    then i remember that i am pushing forty and live 3000 miles away.
    darnit!!

  9. Dave says:

    Put it on the blogroll, Bryan. You have the power.

    Scotty gets it right. There’s a coffee shop across 4th Ave from my apartment that caters to Park Slope hipsters, and some days you don’t see a single PC laptop — all glowing Apple symbols, like Priuses in a movie studio parking lot. The commodity fetishism attached to Apple products is kind of horrifying.

    On the other hand, I’ve been on a Mac for almost four years and it really is a better system. For the last two years I’ve also had one at work, which has spared me the aggravation I used to have when I’d have to work on a clunky Windows machine. Macs have their share of problems, and since they’re just computers after all they can be quite aggravating, but once you’ve adjusted to the logic of the user interface you’ll wonder how you ever put up with Windows. The latest version of the Mac operating system really is like a magical thing. And I also think that style counts for something on a computer that you’re going to use for hours a day — not the style on the outside of the box, but the style of what you’re interacting with on screen. My own aesthetic prefers either the eye candy of Mac or the punk purity of Linux (not that I actually use Linux) to the corporate tedium of Microsoft.

    And I feel dumb when I talk this way because I know I’m just falling into Apple fan-boyism.

    But if you’re looking to get a new computer, I’d recommend a Mac. You pay a bit more (but only a bit for a comparably equipped machine) but end up with something that will actually make your computer-using experience nicer.

  10. Dave says:

    And ssw, I feel bad that I haven’t sat down with you yet to help you adjust to the new system. How about this: keep a document open where you jot down your questions and annoyances when they come up, and after Thanksgiving I’ll come over and we’ll go through them.

  11. Bryan says:

    Lisa — one of the scariest things about LA for me was the blatant drunk driving. It was terrifying to think of all the drunk people behind the wheel! No wonder the road signs are so huge. And then someone said to me, “Drunk driving is nothing. It’s learning to text and drive while drunk that really lets you know you’ll make it in LA.” Oy!

  12. LArry says:

    You people are all wack! LA rocks!!!

  13. Tim Wager says:

    Parrish, I’m right there with you on the Mac deal. I’ve always been a PC guy, and when I use someone else’s Mac everything seems so counterintuitive. Why is a program still open when I’ve clicked the little ‘x’ to close the window? I have to re-open it and close it down a different way? The ‘delete’ key thing, though, is just the living end. What’s so hard about offering the option of deleting a character either in front of or behind the cursor?

    All that said, the media constraints of PCs can be really irritating. The last post Jen wrote entailed getting some images from the web, but we couldn’t just drag and drop the files into any of the photo programs on my PC. It was an arduous task and ultimately only partially successful. It’s not like I’m making movies and using Final Cut Pro or something, though, so switching to a Mac seems sort of extreme so that every 6 months or so I can drag and drop pictures.

    All the same, if I had to buy a new computer right now, I’d have a hard time arguing to stay with a PC. Macs are more powerful, generally more stable, and the software is more easily integrated with the system.

    Bryan, one of my favorite LA-related sites is LosAnjealous, partially just for the name. It’s mostly a music site, with ticket giveaways and concert reviews. They also have restaurant reviews and some puerile humor, including the “Craptastic cell phone picture of the week.”

  14. LP says:

    #5: “Hold strong, and you will find that some LA people are actually attracted to those who are strong enough to stay off the bandwagon.”

    Thank you for seeing what my post was really about: how to make myself more attractive to hipster Angelenos. I shall stay strong, McGrumpus! PCs forever! Or maybe I’ll revert to a typewriter. Talk about bringing sexy back!

    #11: I could not agree more! I can’t believe how often people drive drunk here. More than once I’ve had friends say, “I wasn’t drunk drunk. Just drunk.” The bar (whoops, bad pun) for acceptable driving here is waaaaaay lower than in DC, that’s for sure.

    #3: Rachel, the Windows Vista problem you describe is exactly the kind of thing I fear in switching. My career is based on lots and lots of Word documents, and no one in publishing uses a Mac. The idea that glitches persist in sending documents from one platform to another is almost reason enough for me to forgo switching.

  15. Dave says:

    My old office was all PC, working for clients who were mostly Mac. We didn’t have a single problem sending Word documents back and forth, even with complex documents with changes, comments, etc. The only issue we had, and this was rare, was when an Excel spreadsheet was formatted within an inch of its life to fit things just barely into columns. It turns out the default font in Excel (Geneva?) is slightly differently sized in Mac and Windows, so you’d get flow problems. These could be fixed by adjusting the columns or resizing the font by a tenth of a point.

    The Vista thing Rachel describes is likely the new document format that Office 2007 uses by default. There is indeed an easy way around it, and it is not a problem the other way (Mac to Vista), and it’s also a problem for people on PCs with older versions of MS Office. It’s not so much a cross-platform problem as a cross-version problem. Office 2008 for Mac is supposedly coming out in January and will be free to anyone who buys the 2004 (latest) version right now.

  16. stephanie wells says:

    LP, I must point out that until you came to LA and met us for the first time, before you even lived here, I had never received a text message. That night you sent me five. Since then I have had one long text-message exchange with Tim Wager after a Hollywood Bowl show, one with Jeremy from Tremain’s bachelorette party, and occasional sweet bulletins of love from Tremain (LA Whatsiters all, true), but really, you are the only texter I know!

  17. LArry says:

    you people are totally wack! Texting rocks!

  18. LP says:

    #16: Wells, I just sent you a text in reply.

  19. Stella says:

    There is a way of creating a delete by using the backspace and another key, but as I’m on a pc right now I can’t visualize which one it is. it took me a year to figure that out.

    Vista is causing problems everywhere between pcs as well as mac/pc, so as long as you download the patch, you’re no worse off than everyone else. but, I am frustrated to be caught between using an outlook calendar at work that I will never be able to synch with a mac as they have the office suite excluding outlook.

    sometimes it’s important to make life more beautiful and better designed….and only apple can do that.

  20. Tremain says:

    AFAIK, I nvr drove drunk til LP came to LA.

  21. Tremain says:

    whoops, i meant to text that.

  22. Beth W says:

    yay mac
    nay text messages

    #13 Tim, I hate that closing a window on a PC quits the program! To each his own.

  23. e tan yr mac computer says:

    mac, pc — i don’t give a damn. they both make sense. right?

  24. Dave says:

    They both only make sense through the metaphors of their user interfaces. Some people have an easy time making sense of those metaphors; most don’t. Computers remain annoyingly counterintuitive; most people have to take some kind of training or use manuals to figure things out, and most of us don’t know how to do most of the things our machines are capable of. And Macs and PCs use subtly different metaphors for a lot of things, so switching can be fairly traumatic, depending on how you are at grasping what the software designers had in mind.

  25. Jeremy says:

    A recent article in Salon tackles the pricing of Macs versus PCs, arguing that Macs are actually cheaper.

    I feel like I should get a Mac, that I should be a Mac person, but I haven’t yet had the gumption. It’s like this total identity shift. Also, my school is almost entirely PC, with one Mac tech, and I seem to have fewer problems with my computer than my Mac-havin’ officemate. But they sure are purty, those Macs.

    Funny, funny post, LP.

  26. LArry says:

    Jeremy’s totally wac! Macs rock!!!

  27. brooke says:

    Lisa,

    I’m a mac user by preference, but platform agnostic (sorry Dave, still not an Atheist!) by profession. I own two macs and a PC. My PC is my money maker at the moment. I switched to the Mac in 2003, I totally love it, won’t ever completely revert back to PC, but will probably always keep a cheap PC around for work reasons.

    This might sound like a cop-out, but the best platform for you is the one that best meets your needs. It sounds to me like transitioning from PC to Mac would be a crap load of overhead for you at the moment, so I would think you should keep a mac around, but maybe explore switching over to a Mac.

    I concur with the sentiments of Tim and Dave offered above regarding the benefits of switching. You’re also less likely to use M$ products when you’re on a mac, which is always a good thing for reasons I won’t enumerate here.

    But keep in mind that even switching over won’t solve all of your compatibility problems. Getting my Blackberry to sync with my Mac was a total chore, and required hacks, for example.

    The bottom line is if your livelihood relies on being able to read and write compatible files with a bunch of people on Windows 95 or something, you need to make the transition in small steps. If you can afford it, go parallel for a while, and run both Windows and Mac. Do what you can to avoid using Windows software. Check out Open Office, the open source work productivity software. I’ve been using this for a year or two and it’s pretty compatible with the Word Document format (don’t know about Office 2007). Compatible, that is, if ‘pretty’ isn’t a factor.

    And always, no matter what, back up all your files on a removable hard drive…
    .

  28. LP says:

    #20: This comment made me laugh out loud.

    #26: LArry, if you were from Buenos Aires, would your name be BArry?

    #27: Brooke, what I’d ideally like to do is borrow or rent a Mac for a month or two and see what kind of insidious headaches crop up when using it full time. I have used them before (on a three-month trip, borrowed from a friend) and remember really preferring my PC. I’d hate to spend all that money on a new Mac and regret it later.

  29. cynthia says:

    Great post,and Jeremy Mac used to mean morons at control to all true pc people out there

  30. LArry says:

    Buenos Aires is wack! But my dad’s name is Barry, so it rocks!!!

  31. LArry says:

    Cynthia, don’t forget that Jeremy is totally wac!

  32. Demosthenes says:

    My school paper and yearbook both use Macs and I have to say that I love them, especially if you are going to be downloading things. I broke my home computer trying to download InDesign CS3 (sorry dad, by the way), and you would have to try really, really hard to be able to do that to a Mac. Unless you are planning on playing video games on your computer, which i doubt you are, I would buy a Mac. They are just better overall, especially when it comes to using Photoshop, Finalcut, and other creative applications.

    The commercials are better too.

  33. Kate the Great says:

    I haven’t made the switch. I’ve had experience with Macs and with PCs and I don’t really have a preference. However, my last use of a Mac was four years ago. Plus, I’m poor and don’t have hip friends who have Macs and who will let me use them.

    I do see changes in my future. My significant other works at Best Buy. They get an awesome discount as employees. His dream is to update all our technology before he quits. Plus, there are Macs in every computer lab on campus. One to fifteen PCs, but they are here.

    However, I’m graduating.

    There are lots of pluses and howevers here.

  34. bryan says:

    sounds complicated, but possibly rewarding. or demanding. or both.

  35. lane says:

    I guess you’ve already gotten the mac sales pitch. One of the deciding factors when I left my job was my company’s decision to go all pc. I QUIT! OK, but what I really wanted to say was how much I enjoyed the photo illustrations. That giant cell phone — actually, I wish cell phones really were still that size.

  36. adriana says:

    I guess you’ve already gotten the mac sales pitch. One of the deciding factors when I left my job was my company’s decision to go all pc. I QUIT! OK, but what I really wanted to say was how much I enjoyed the photo illustrations. That giant cell phone — actually, I wish cell phones really were still that size.

    Sigh — sorry everyone, I forgot to change identities on the laptop Lane and I SHARE — how retro is that?!?

  37. cynthia says:

    don’t know him personally but just something we used to say about macs

  38. Josh says:

    I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I briefly suffered the European text message fever. I can still remember feeling pleased with myself after several heavy rounds of drunken text haiku. However, at this point, I’ve become boringly bourgeois and when I need to communicate a message it is usually faster (I refuse to write in Txt) and barely more expensive to just make a 30 second call.

    Just because I’ve designated myself bourgeois does not mean that I’m a member of the Mac camp. Apart from the one-button mouse issue, I refuse to spend the extra cash for a cute design. My main pc consists of high-end components in a box rescued from a dumpster. Yeah, it’s ugly, but since it is hidden under my desk, I don’t really care. As far as OS goes, I spend my time pretty evenly between Solaris (Mac without the pretty GUI) and WinXP. I write using Vi probably due to a nostalgia for WordPerfect before they went graphic. At the end of the day, I doubt that Micaelangelo was too fussed about the brand name of his chisels . The quality of the end product is what counts. For that reason, Ipod beats the competition hands down, but that might be a whole other post.

    [Out of a rather perverse curiosity, I’ve just priced a Mac Pro and exactly the same components from an online retailer. Taking into account that I already have the case, keyboard, and power supply, I would need to spend $2,800.91 (with OS X included) to get exactly the same system that Apple sells for $4,304.00. To keep things fair, I’ve only sourced high quality, brand name components. So, exactly the same system (actually, the generic has better RAM that that offered by Apple.), exactly the same OS, but a $1.500 difference between my dumpster case and the chic Mac design. The money I save on going generic will pay for a very nice monitor. (On the other hand, Apple offers me free shipping, and the other place will charge me $21.13 for UPS.) ]

    #24: Dave, I assume from your comment, that you’ll have read In the Beginning was the Command Line. If not, the next time you have a few hours to spend on Stephenson’s geeky loquaciousness, check out this dissertation on the computer as metaphor.

  39. Dave says:

    You write in Vi? Seriously? I mean, I know people who use Emacs, but Vi?

    I haven’t read that Command Line thing — will check it out soon, looks interesting.

    Clearly I’m not close to being a true geek.

  40. Josh says:

    Ahh, the great Emacs vs.Vi debate — even more engrossing Mac vs. PC, although if we were really interested we’d be reading Slashdot rather than the Greatwhatsit. Yeah, I use Vi for almost all of my writing related stuff. I had a brief spate with Word (my brother was in one of his Office evangelism stages and gave me a copy) but I couldn’t stand fighting with the forced formatting and apparently arbitrary “corrections”. I learned how to disable those “functions”, but even so, felt that I was just along for the ride, rather than at the helm of the document at hand.

    I confess that I haven’t ever used Emacs either, so I guess I can’t sew the geek merit badge on my uniform yet either.

  41. Dave says:

    There’s a great Soviet-era horror film based on a Gogol story called Viy. I think you can find it on Google Video.

  42. brooke says:

    Josh, when you are done authoring your work with VI on your Solaris box, do you save it on 5 1/4 floppies? Progress is a good thing man. Get yourself a nice Linux distro with a decent UI.

    You are right, though. If you have the technical know-how, and a lot of time on your hands, it might be cheaper to build a powerful machine than buy a good one from CompUSA.

    And I might be wrong, but I don’t think Lisa is going to spend her weekend soldering up circuit boards and dumpster diving for parts for her sweet ass new mac. And if she were, she probably wouldn’t need to weight the merits of switching between PC and Mac.

    But anyway, on the Mac vs. PC debate, here’s a pretty entertaining ad that showed up recently on CNET: http://www.cnet.com/windows-vista.html

  43. Scotty says:

    By the way, I just dropped Parrish off at the airport and she texted me to complain about leaving her banana at my house. That was fifteen well spent cents.

  44. LP says:

    I have unlimited texting now, scotty, so expect more texts over the holiday. Thanks for the ride, buddy!

  45. Josh says:

    Brooke, funny how when people are trying to show off their 1337 tech knowledge they often end up exposing their own ignorance. I should hope that anybody conversant in “nice Linux distro(s)” would be aware that the 3.5″ floppy has been the storage media of choice for a number of years. Give ’em a try, they store twice as much data and are much more convenient to use.

    Seriously, I don’t really need the UI as my Solaris box is headless. I have nothing against Linux (Off the top of your head, can you give 5 ways in which the Linux kernel differs from that of Solaris? I can’t.) I use Solaris because I do a fair amount of Java development and the process is obviously more streamlined. (If you’ve ever tried to install a JRE on Linux you know what I’m talking about.)

    I disagree with you on the time and technical know-how required in order to set up a computer. In fact, I think that many people would feel less alienated by their machine were they to play a larger role in putting it together. Some years ago AAA gave a series of courses on basic auto repair for women. The idea was first to “enable” women in automotive issues, showing that there is nothing intrinsically “manly” about being able to clean a carburetor, (before you label me anachronistic again, yes, I am aware that cars now use fuel injectors.) and second to avoid the fleecing of ignorants by unscrupulous auto mechanics. If we replace “women” with “technophobe”, the concept remains valid in the case of the computer. Spend an afternoon with a non-geek friend, shopping for components and then assembling them. Odds are your friend will walk away with a sense of accomplishment far greater than that derived from merely buying a Mac from apple.com. You will also reduce the odds of that friend getting screwed on future repairs. If Lisa prefers to avoid dumpster diving, she can pick up a top of the line case for 250 bucks and still walk away with a system comparable to that of the Mac. I assure you that she will have no need to solder circuit boards in order to put it together.

    As far as the ad goes, what can I say? That whole series is absolutely fabulous, although they may fall within the realm of preaching to the choir.

  46. brooke says:

    Josh, surely you’re aware that 3.5″ floppies, like their older cousins (which I deliberately chose to poke fun at you for being so old school), haven’t been the ‘storage media of choice’ for many years. Moore’s Law dispensed with them long ago.

    Regarding differences between Solaris and Linux kernals, I can’t say I can name five, but I can say that if you are struggling with installing the JRE on any platform, you might should find yourself a new hobby.

    Moreover, in my experience most Linux distributions (and Macs for that matter) come pre-bundled with standard developer tools, including the JRE. I also find that most open source tools are more readily available and easier to install on open platforms like Linux. Solaris, on the other hand, comes from a proprietary background and still has that as a legacy in it’s architecture.

    At any rate, installation can range from easy to nightmarish on any *nix platform. But you know that. To be fair, I’m less critical of Solaris as an OS than I am of Sun’s hardware, and that’s got to do with cost and power.

    But all of that is beside the point. I agree with you regarding building machines from scratch. It’s a great way to demystify the computer and get acquainted with how stuff works. That probably goes for anything really — watches, houses, furniture, etc.

    But my point was not that this sort of project isn’t worthwhile, or that Lisa somehow isn’t capable of building her own computer (au contraire,mon frere!). Rather, I was speculating that Lisa probably has better things to do with her free time than put together a computer. Like, for example, eating bananas.

  47. Josh says:

    I assume that you’re referring to the Moore’s Law which dictates that the further one gets from Sean Connery, the suckier the portrayal of James Bond. I’m not sure what you mean about the 3.5 floppy being out of date — the newest version of OS X only requires 4,799 of them.

    Rather than getting into a snooty off topic debate about the virtues and shortcomings of one OS or another let’s just agree that Lisa (ironic name in the context) can spend her time as she wishes. I won’t impede her banana consumption if she doesn’t limit my dumpster diving.

  48. Trixie Honeycups says:

    i don’t know what the hell you guys are talking about but you both sound real smart.

  49. Dave says:

    I see that Josh, like all true Vi users, is a libertarian at heart.

  50. Kate The Great says:

    I agree with Trixie. You’re all just a bunch of geeks, pocket protectors and all.

  51. brooke says:

    Josh, I agree with you on Sean Connery – clearly the best Bond by a mile. But I have to admit I like Daniel Craig quite a lot also. At any rate, if I ever see you (or anyone) diving for computer parts, I’ll be sure not to get in the way — heck I might even jump in and help out. Happy T-day!

  52. Phiip says:

    I think Daniel Craig will become a great Bond also, and- Oh, Macs and PC.

    Well, I don’t think PC are that bad. All the crashes I experienced in my life were mostly my fault : viruses I could have avoided if I were smarter, stupid moves, erasing myself my own data, or trying very very stupid things I’m too embarrassed to tell anywhere.

    But if you have to switch, you should consider the macramé computer.
    http://www.rabbit-comics.org/macrame-computer.html

  53. Josh says:

    I agree that Daniel Craig promises great things for upcoming Bond adventures. I think, however, that I’ll have to pass on the macramé computer — just too warm and fuzzy for me. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to all.

  54. The K says:

    Dearest LP,

    PC’s are the mainspring in the time bomb at the center of the Microcrap plan for world domination. Think different! Just because darling (and no longer poor little) Apple is well on the way to becoming the man, does not mean the machine is not elegant, more advanced and wayfukkin better.
    And , even dorks know that Vista sucks.

    Live a little! Figure out how to use the delete key to backspace if you hate it. You can sell a Mac on Ebay for almost what you paid for it- but you won’t. I promise. Besides, you can run Windoze on it if it completely wrecks your vibe. I have seen plenty of posers hiding their dirty little XP behind that sexy Macbook facade., just to look like a cool kid. Give into peer pressure. It’s fun!

  55. disable windows media center in vista…