- Regarding Dave Kearns' column "Can an Apple a day really keep the IT expert away?": I, too, have been amused at the Apple Computer "switch" commercials, but for a different reason.
These ads epitomise not a Macintosh mentality, but the sense of outrage that all average computer users have that their machines are becoming too complicated, especially if networking is an issue.
I attached a variety of different manufacturer's digital cameras to my Mac via USB without having to download any drivers. The machine just knows and fires up iPhoto to allow seamless downloads. None of my dozen or so Windows programmers and/or IT guys can make the same claim. Sorry, but I think Kearns has seriously missed the point and, if anything, make a strong case for the continuing ease-of-use advantages of the Mac OS over Windows.
One of the reasons Apple became so common in schools was dirt-simple networking. It was not a big deal for a teacher to hook up a bunch of old Macs on a phonenet network and share a common printer, use a computer for a server and share files. Many small businesses are completely disgusted with the cost of hiring IT specialists to install and maintain networks, so, for many of them, the ease of Mac networking, combined with a rock solid operating system in OS X, give them a nice low-cost, low-maintenance network. I agree with Kearns that things like setting up a shared internet connection or an email server are beyond the scope of most nontechnical users (Windows or Mac), but for a quick and easy network, complete with shared resources, you cannot beat OS X.
Dave Kearns' column on Apple's "switch" ad campaign was an unprovoked and unvarnished insult to all Macintosh users. I am a long-time Mac user and programmer. I also have a sleek Windows 2000 box that I use and, yes, occasionally program on as well. But my Mac is my main machine. Not because PCs for Dummies is too technical, as Kearns charges in his column, but because the Mac just works. It gets out of my way and lets me do my job, without having to spend time and energy figuring out how to do it in each new program. If Kearns wants to criticise the ad campaigns because they are sometimes silly and often overstated in their anti-PC claims, I can go with him. But stop Mac bashing. There are intelligent, creative and technically knowledgeable folks out here who simply prefer the Macintosh.
Dave Kearns writes: "[Janie] Porche probably complained to her car dealer, 'Who wants to spend time putting gas in the car?'" Well, if you didn't have to put gas in your car, would you want to spend time doing it? No, of course not. Kearns' statement typifies the Windows mentality - namely, that users should have to concern themselves with technical details that 95%t of the time don't matter and only serve to confuse ordinary users.