Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm A Mac and I'm A PC

I don't know whether you've seen the new Apple ads (if you haven't - you've been in a cave somewhere - or at least not watching any prime time TV) - but they feature two guys - one that's a Mac ("I'm a Mac") and another guy (in a suit) - "I'm a PC."

I'll leave you to view the ads yourself - but the basic gist is that the Mac guy (twenty something in jeans - who apparently is unable to grow real facial hair) is politely disrespecting the PC guy. For example, in one ad the PC guy stops mid-sentence (he had to "restart") and the punch line is the Mac guy saying "...I'm going to get IT - keep an eye on him..."

Gotta' love Chiat-Day!

It's funny that Apple is still poking fun at Windows - given the fact that once they ported iTunes to the PC (announced with an ad campaign with the headline "Hell Froze Over") - they finally gained the market share that has allowed them dominance in the downloaded music market. Until then, they weren't able to break the 10 million mark in downloads (now at over 1/2 BILLION downloads).

Then, they scrapped the PowerPC chip - in favor of the dual core processor made by... wait for it... INTEL (I guess since hell was already frozen over - it didn't matter).

NOW, they have even released a beta of a piece of software called BootCamp. BootCamp will allow Mac users with the new Intel chip "dual boot" their computers. That means they can startup their Mac and run Windows as the operating system! There are even hackers out there that are working on free software that will allow a triple boot - adding the ability to boot Linux as well.

There's even a company who makes PC virtualization software (Parallels) - that allows Mac users to boot up in OS X and then open a separate process to run Windows. In fact, Servoy's CEO, Jan Aleman used this in demos last week - and it works! It works so well, that he was able to create a Servoy solution on the "Mac side" and deploy it in a client on the "PC side" - on a single machine.

Now THAT's cool!

I've had a love-like-hate-like-hate relationship with the Mac since it first came out in 1984. I've had many Macs (ONLY Macs in the early days) and more recently, many PCs. I've used "Virtual PC" in the old days (when a 1GB hard drive and 2MB of RAM was the upper limits of computing); I've used 386, 486, Pentium PCs; I've used Newtons, Palm Pilots, etc.

At the end of the day, the best technology is the one that works the best for you. Or, in my case, the hardware/OS combination that most of my customers use - and that's PC/Windows by FAR.

Although, I must admit, having the ability to run BOTH OSes on a single box is really, really appealing. As long as it really WORKS. In this case, that seems to be the case.

I'm torn between loving the Mac (UI, seamless connection, ease-of-use) and hating it (constant OS updates, crappy Java VM, limited software titles) and loving my Windows machine (most customers use it, loads of current software, great Java VM) and hating it (constant virus updates and OS patches, hit-and-miss peripheral integration, "registry hell").

I guess I'm a little bit Mac and a little bit PC at heart.

Maybe my next notebook will be a MacBook...

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