toms whale

amused a co-w*rker's child with this whale drawing in MSPaint. no tablet available--had to draw it with a mouse (old school). folks with Macs who think they are in the "graphics elite" are really missing out on a lot of fun.


ē Unless you plan to use this computer only for your digital photography, there are probably two orders of magnitude more software, overall, for PCs vs. Macs. So keep in mind, also, the entire universe of what you will be using this computer for. Very few computers are used for only one single application.

The problems that people have with PCs come down to the fact that a typical PC system is made up of hardware and software from dozens or even hundreds of different firms, and that even with billions of PCs on the planet, the exact combination of both all of the hardware and all of the software found in any one PC is probably completely unique. On top of that, because PCs running Windows are 90% of the installed base of personal computers, they are the preferred target for virus and malware authors. It is the abundance and variety of both hardware and software offerings that gives PCs their versatility and low cost, but, at the same time, itís that exact combination that also causes most of the problems that people have with PCs. You canít have the good without the bad ... they go together. If you go with a Mac, you can avoid some of the pitfalls that exist in the PC world, but at the same time you will be avoiding a lot of the benefits as well, and precluding yourself from running most of the software that is currently being written (at least without switching operating systems and converting the Mac back into what is probably a sub-optimal PC).

(Note: Please keep your advice and opinions objective. We are here to help this member with your knowledge and guidance. Let's not turn this into a heated PC vs. Mac flame war. Respect each other, and keep it civil. Thank you.)

- bill 10-02-2009 2:05 pm

Also, too, Msft doesn't know the difference between an OS and an app, and doesn't write either particularly well.

(Living with both, but not Linux.)
- mark 10-03-2009 2:33 am [add a comment]

I never understood this argument about there being more software for Windows. How many programs do people need? Do you really need 83 different MP3 players rather than 16 (or rather than 1 good one?) I'd love to see an example of a type of program that is available on Windows and not on Mac OS. I highly doubt there are any. Sure there are *more* programs available for Windows, but that's because there are so many duplicates in the Windows ecosystem. It's sort of like arguing that you should shop for a suit at Men's Warehouse rather than Paul Smith because they have *tons* more suits.

I know the top quote from T.M. is in jest, but I think it comes out of this same sort of thinking that there are actually more choices for software on Windows, and it's doubly painful because MS Paint is just a clone of the original Mac Paint! (And if you want MS Paint on the Mac today you can just download the free Paintbrush.) </fanboy>

- jim 10-03-2009 5:24 pm [add a comment]

I have access to more FREE software with windows, from clients mostly. (and isn't that the best software?)

I actually like the choices, I'm a fan of shareware and freeware and prefer using a bunch of smaller programs that do a few things easily and well rather than a blimped out adobe package with a major learning curve. I had my students downloading stuff from tucows to find programs they liked to work with.
- L.M. 10-03-2009 5:30 pm [add a comment]

i like mactard as a pejorative. not seen that before. and i know he was funning too (this time). i thrill to the well reasoned discussion in the link. just shows how enlightening it can be when these issues can be worked through civilly. and how smart and personable people can be about these things. great to see. thank you and respek'.
- bill 10-03-2009 5:39 pm [add a comment]

with just an 8% OS market share mac is pretty small. that said almost all my closest friends are doing the mac laptop life style. six years (?) running now. this involves carrying it with weekends away from home and on vacations. and finding the internet cafes where necessary but usually just sharing the hosts wifi. using i photo and i tunes. and at home i run the sound through a harman kardon soundsticks (3 way speaker) audio set up. i stream radio from all over the world. not buying music from apple. better to rip cds, etc. many folks i know use the i phone too (w/ the novelty aps). all of a sudden face book updates w/ pics from the iphone seems to be on the up-tic. but im not there on that one. you know i blog.
- bill 10-03-2009 6:05 pm [add a comment]

"I have access to more FREE software with windows..."

Not to belabor the point, but is this really true? Have you ever checked out Maybe the raw numbers are higher on the Windows side (again, due to duplicate efforts,) but I seriously doubt there is a free software package for Windows that doesn't have an equivalent on Mac OS (well, okay, maybe not a registry cleaner.) And remember, besides all the Mac specific GUI programs, Mac OS is UNIX, so all the linux command line stuff basically just works. That's an ocean of free software. "[S]maller programs that do a few things easily and well" is exactly the UNIX philosophy*. I've never heard that applied to the Windows world before.

* "Doug McIlroy, the inventor of Unix pipes and one of the founders of the Unix tradition, summarized the philosophy as follows:[1]
This is the Unix philosophy: Write programs that do one thing and do it well...." (from wikipedia)
- jim 10-03-2009 7:35 pm [add a comment]

Have been trying to stay out of this (even though I apparently inspired it) but will put in my 3 cents:

1. I was a MacPaint user in the 80s but feel as a visual artist that MSPaintbrush (and to a much lesser extent its current incarnation MSPaint) is superior and fun. It just handles better. It's not really a clone--it was an independent product that Microsoft bought and renamed.

2. Music making for Windows is a completely different "head" than music making for a Mac. A lot of it is the shareware plug-ins and being able to strip Windows down and add and subtract programs. I am told that you can't delete a program once its installed on a Mac--is that still true? Mac seems to want to do everything for you--I don't like that.

3. Mac is great if you like working in a completely designed environment, it's like driving a nice car. My driving needs are get me from point A to point B and I like a stick shift. I personally don't like the smooth interface and the drop shadows.

4. I think it's important for artists to poke around outside any wall-to-wall creative environment, to not completely trust it, since someone else created it for you. I sense that academia--especially art and music--has settled into Mac and is growing completely out of touch with (or snotty or indifferent to) working stiffs and their problems outside the ivory tower. I love working with the plebe computer, the cubicle computer.

5. I hate Mac's hipster campaign and the whole vibe they're trying project. That doesn't mean loving Windows. With Windows, though, it's easier to make the whole lifestyle thing disappear, just use the classic XP interface and strip out useless services.
- tom moody 10-03-2009 7:47 pm [add a comment]

  • Just some quick predictable responses from me because I'm sure everyone loves this discussion :-)

    1. I guess this is debatable, but I think it's pretty hard to argue that MSPaintbrush wasn't a MacPaint clone (or that whatever program Microsoft bought and renamed wasn't a MacPaint clone.) Apple was doing this stuff several years before anyone else (especially with the Apple Lisa.) Still you may well like MSPaintbrush better. I guess this really doesn't matter. My point was something more like "there are tons of graphics programs for the Mac that aren't Adobe Photoshop."

    2. I think this really depends on what software you are using. Logic is one thing, GarageBand is another, Audacity is yet another, and on and on. There is definitely not one "head" in terms of making music on the Mac. Shareware plugins abound just like on Windows. And as Mark said, deleting programs on the Mac is incredibly simple. Easily the simplest of all modern operating systems. The application looks like a single file, although it's really a "bundle" with all necessary program files inside of it (right click the file to see what's inside - it's not encrypted or locked or anything, just bundled up for ease of use.) To install you just drag to your applications folder. To uninstall you just drag to your trash. That's it. (With the exception of some lame Adobe software that does scatter some files a bit more widely.)

    3. This is true in terms of the GUI that Apple ships. But it's really a full blown UNIX system. Open up the Terminal and there's the command line. No graphics whatsoever and total control right down to the bare metal. Or install X-11 and get that sort of no frills environment. Just because it has a polished outer layer doesn't mean that is the only way to use it or that you are locked into that mode.

    4. Fair enough. But this seems not really to be a pro Windows point so much as a desire to use certain less refined (less all in one) software. Such software is available on Windows and on Mac which is the only point I'm really trying to make. Academia may have standardized on Final Cut Pro, say, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to edit film on the Mac. But I agree with your point for sure. Look around. There is a ton of software options on Windows and on Mac OS.

    5. I don't like the campaign either. And my intuition is that it's not effective. I think people naturally sympathize / connect with the PC character. Not sure I would base my computing environment decisions on that, but clearly it's a personal choice. I'm not arguing against using Windows here. I'm just saying that the argument that Macs have less software than Windows (or, by extension, that the Mac locks you into doing things in a certain way) is untrue. Both OSes have huge software ecosystems, and while the Windows world is numerically larger, the Mac OS world is large enough that this difference in size doesn't matter. There's no real world advantage to having 123 graphics editors rather than 89.

    Most importantly, thank god there is choice. If either Windows or Mac OS completely defeated the other (obviously won't happen at this point, but it almost did in terms of Windows "winning") then all forward movement would stop due to lack of competition. I'd like to see Linux (which is actually pretty polished with a distribution like Ubuntu) gain some market share and introduce even more choice. So it's all good and I'm happy you like the setup you have, but I'm not sure you have really seen the depth and variety of software that's available on the Mac.
    - jim 10-07-2009 3:28 pm [add a comment]

I have limited experience with Macs, but my impression with OS X is that installation and removal of programs is clean and easy.

Windows has some fairly kludgy concepts, which save a little space (ironic given the excessive bloat of most apps). Installation and removal is far from clean, and can lead to weird issues.

In general, a heavily used Windows machine gets worse and worse over time. The analogy I use is "free radicals". Stuff gets slow or starts acting weird. I suppose viruses may be an issue, but I don't get viruses. A clean install of windows and all the apps cleans it up. The time when that's needed seems to be when the computer is about 2-3 years old. Back in the day, I suppose that was fine, because it was time to get a new machine.

But I'm not ready to go Linux, which (to use Tom's analogy) is the kit car of operating systems. I just want to get stuff done. Windows and Mac both work fine.

Apple started out as very open. Perhaps that was the Woz's influence. I agree that they keep too much under wraps. I don't mind having a smooth, effortless vernier, but it's nice to be able to peel back the layers when something ain't right.
- mark 10-05-2009 8:51 pm [add a comment]

forgot to mention that there are niche programs that will never be ported to os x. having the same hardware and dual-boot etc.) is a nice change.

- mark 10-05-2009 9:26 pm [add a comment]

"In general, a heavily used Windows machine gets worse and worse over time."

Agreed. I do a wipe and reinstall (not always through choice--e.g., hard drive crash on the Sony VAIO recently) on the average of every couple of years.

I recently moved all my audio stuff over to second PC. That is working out pretty nicely.

As for Linux, Paul Slocum had a post a while back about why "Windows plus open source programs" was the better alternative. I'll look for the URL. Mainly it was that Linux was lagging in good programs.
- tom moody 10-05-2009 11:06 pm [add a comment]

Windows sucks
- steve 10-07-2009 5:13 am [add a comment]

"the only good thing I can think of about computer interface designs is that the Museum of Modern Art doesnít yet give prizes for them or exhibit elegant examples. Like they do for watches and toasters and fountain pens. Once they start to do that, that is the end of functionality."

ó Don Norman, in The Art of Human Computer Interface Design, 1990

- tom moody 10-07-2009 5:53 am [add a comment]

That's steve on the left:

apple dude

- tom moody 10-07-2009 5:58 am [add a comment]

is that your idea of a random elite hipster?!!!! go to look at this fucking hipster or hipsters fucking for some satire material tm.
- bill 10-07-2009 12:50 pm [add a comment]

The dude on the left is really the Apple hipster (from the commercials), not steve. The woman on the right is Drew Barrymore.
- tom moody 10-07-2009 3:07 pm [add a comment]

My sense is that Windows is not a cult (how could it be, it's just a computer OS). Apple is a cult, and the reason these discussions degenerate is the believers don't like having their core tenets questioned.
- tom moody 10-07-2009 3:13 pm [add a comment]

I used to hear that a lot from PC users. Not so much anymore.
- L.M. 10-07-2009 3:19 pm [add a comment]

That's because we've been cowed into submission by the incredible business success story that is Steve Jobs and his vision.
- tom moody 10-07-2009 3:26 pm [add a comment]

dore windmill

oh, so they are actors who act for a living. pls recall the link in the 1st paragraph of my original post. i read through the 24 comments pages of well reasoned discussion on the relative merits of both systems as creative work tools. no one went to the "i have a problem with their condescending ad campaign" argument.* they dealt with the substantive issues of comparing os's and hardware. you enjoyed major creative use time of your pc work computer located smack dab in the corporate office world. your back ground. most of the art students of my era studied paste up and mechanicals in art school and after graduating gained employment in ad agencies and other creative workplaces so they might find enough financial security to (barely) support their art practice. (not too much difference there with your experience.) one day the ad agencies chucked out the mechanical work boards and brought in machines to run photoshop and quark. most of those machines were macs. many of those folks eventually got macs for their home too, especially when the internet kicked in. some chose pc computers for reasons we are all familiar with. for many that was several computers back and many switched back and forth perhaps settling on a favorite. some may switch back and forth again. i dont see where you are finding your moral high ground tom. you seem to be calling all mac users cult victims and you the catcher in the rye immune to the cultish mind control who could save deprogram us all if we would just submit to the ridicule. but what about you listening too and admit there are merits to both? see jims latest post(s).

*the discussion predated (?) the dreaded ad campaign referred to elsewhere. none the less i consider it more annoyance than deal breaker. / edit: since 2006. so up to a year in place.
- bill 10-07-2009 4:40 pm [add a comment]

steve might want to clarify his point: "Windows sucks." and anyone want to address this from tom : "My sense is that Windows is not a cult (how could it be, it's just a computer OS). Apple is a cult, and the reason these discussions degenerate is the believers don't like having their core tenets questioned." tom pls get back to us on jims points and slocums linux thing. thanks for everyones contributions so far. i think we are making some progress now.
- bill 10-07-2009 7:10 pm [add a comment]

Here is the Slocum post. It is a complaint about Linux from a Windows user.

Jim, that's good to know you can strip down a Mac that way. No one I know does it but I think that's because everyone likes the design so much.

I'm glad if anyone agrees with me that the ad campaign is horrible.

Bill, I know you like your Mac but you've got to just let it go when someone says he hates it, the company, the iPhone, the iPod, the business phenom, the "computer artists use." You've won, the whole world loves your product! There is no moral high ground, I am a Windows user!

My crack about the graphics elite isn't going to deprogram anyone.
- tom moody 10-07-2009 9:47 pm [add a comment]

I stand to make a bag of money from the iPhone while working from my PC.

- L.M. 10-07-2009 9:53 pm [add a comment]

"...says he hates it, the company..." no you were bashing mac users by characterizing them as elitist. the other apple products are not really the subject of this post.

and then this: "I sense that academia--especially art and music--has settled into Mac and is growing completely out of touch with (or snotty or indifferent to) working stiffs and their problems outside the ivory tower." can you support that? who are these mean insensitive mac users you refer to exactly?

i understand your support of the common man, we all support our fellow working men and women. why do you think mac users dont?

i have linked to a page where the merits of both are discussed in depth and you are still faining that it is you and the common man who are the victims. please. there is a topic here being worked through. you could contribute to the dialog but you would rather be sarcastic and defensive: "You've won, the whole world loves your product! "

implicit in your argument is a moral high ground : "I love working with the plebe computer, the cubicle computer."

i think this is a fascinating ongoing subject. we would all be enriched and better artists to see it worked through. it needs to be addressed. demythologized. ive noticing some misconceptions rectified in this thread already and many many more in the comments thread linked to in the original post. i just wish you would represent your position with a more responsible argument. bashing "cracks" and flaming is non productive and sensational.

- bill 10-07-2009 10:47 pm [add a comment]

I do love working with the plebe computer and part of Mac's appeal is design snobbery. You take it personally when I point that out and accuse me of Holden Caulfielding you.

I won't get a fair shake on this site. People here use Apple, love Apple and bristle if anyone criticizes it. You take my criticisms of the company--a family of products all meant to be a totalizing, interlocked environment--as a slur on your consumer choices and therefore you. Windows users can't be embarrassed--they know the problems.

I gave an anecdotal example earlier. I'm a working artist who has used both MacPaint and Paintbrush extensively. I think the latter handles better. Jim brushes that evidence off with: "Still you may well like MSPaintbrush better. I guess this really doesn't matter."

What I have done is violate Canon #203 of the Apple Creed, which is "Apple innovates, Windows steals, and Windows could never, ever improve a product. If an artist says different, what does he know? He's just someone who uses it. Apple invented it, end of story."

- tom moody 10-08-2009 3:11 am [add a comment]

i think the catcher in the rye reference is apt. your contempt hatred for all things Apple is certainly real. it appears you would consider the world a better place with out it.

you make it personal when you indite the users who choose mac over ms. you call them "believers" and "a cult". you deem them elitist. those are loaded terms. this could all be quite funny but its clear your as serious as cancer.

as an avid sci-fi (books and film) enthusiast, prog-rock playing, synth composing, new media artist and arbitrator you have embraced technology based arts. its lost on no one that you revel in a hands on techie approach to the infinitely customizable ms world. you have honed your skills on ms. you have stated: "I think it's important for artists to poke around outside any wall-to-wall creative environment, to not completely trust it, since someone else created it for you." one could analogize that to scolding a novice painter for using paint straight out of the tube. not mixing his own colors. using what they give you. you require more individual input from the artist i imagine. an artist should drive a stick-shift car not one with an automatic transmission. i get it!!! what i dont get is that you need to trash users who have another set of reasons for choosing otherwise. i think your choice speaks for itself and its admirable. you loose credibility when you crusade for a single truth or vision in computer use.

i think you will find the users of this site (dmt) to be divided close to 50 50 mac to pc. the mac users may be enthusiastic for the brand but not myopically so. and not in a mean spirited way. claiming you cant get a fair break here is really quite insulting. i think jim offered you a factoid about the history of drawing programs. its only a discussion, a platform for exchanging information. a room for clarifying preconceptions on both sides. its a two way street. we dont collectively bristle. one addresses a point of criticism as it comes. but debunking an erroneous cliche or calling out an oft repeated misconception is part of the reasoning process. its how contentious matters get resolved. how opposing views are reconciled. how the underlying truth is revealed. how a consensus is built. there is always ground given in this process. ground has been given on this side...

your final paragraph feels extrapolated out of the either. who are you quoting?

- bill 10-08-2009 2:51 pm [add a comment]


I stand to make a bag of money from the iPhone while working from my PC.
- L.M. 10-07-2009 4:53 pm

- Skinny 10-08-2009 3:03 pm [add a comment]

Apple Inc.(NasdaqGS: AAPL)
Real-Time: 190.44 0.19 (0.10%) 10:03am EThelp
Last Trade: 190.7507
Trade Time: 9:48am ET
Change: 0.5007 (0.26%)
- Skinny 10-08-2009 3:03 pm [add a comment]

>>Apple innovates, Windows steals, and Windows could never, ever improve a product."

Actually ... everything Steve Jobs does is derivative.

- Xerox PARC 10-08-2008 5:09 pm [add a comment]

- mark 10-09-2009 1:12 am [add a comment]

Further thoughts on innovation ...

Big companies struggle with innovation (ask me how I know).

I wouldn't score either Apple or Microsoft that high on innovation, but for big companies they do alright.

As noted above, much of what Apple does is derivative. Msft too. Sometimes by glomming on to good ideas, licensing technology, acquiring companies, keeping their finger to the wind.

Both have built massive edifices. It's a survival technique for big companies. They can almost never (with some brilliant exeptions) be the best at anything ... so they have to be good at everything (at least within their own defined sphere of influence). And they must be truly brilliant at tying everything together. Both Apple and Msft are, in different ways.

The 70's were largely about tinkering (and NFW is that a pejorative). The early eighties was all about brilliant point products -- important niches that caused companies to rise from nowhere. While some niches still exist, and tinkering will always exist, the wave (standing wave) over the last 15 to 25 years has been about the systemizers. Apple, Cisco, Msft, Dell, etc.

Just an aside, I went through the old workstation -- PC war that was peaking in the early nineties.

PC -- You paid how much for that that computer? Is it a Cray? Because if I don't get a fluorinert cooling tower, I ain't paying that much.

Work Station -- I laugh at your little toy calculater. Go print some spreadsheets with your little Epson while I engage in sophisticated design activites you can only dream of. Oh, and I have a little thing called an "Operating System", you should look it up.

PC -- I don't suck that bad. Besides, I'm really, really cheap. And here's a demo of an OS that will be reliable in about 12 years.

Mac -- Hey, I run Microsoft Word!

Chorus of forgotten platforms -- We're not dead yet!

... et cetera

PC won that round. Apple got the consolation prize: they didn't die.

I don't know what's going to happen next. But it's clear that there no longer has to be one winner. Somehow the systemizer consolidation trend is plateauing. And the next wave (which is?) will be coming.

There's nothing of significance I can do on a Mac that I can't do on a PC, and vice versa. Are we seeing the beginning of the commoditization of operating systems? The wave of OS development on handheld devices is further muddying the waters.

If they can all share the same files, who cares what the OS is anymore than one cares about the brand of memory chip inside the gizmo? I'm exaggerating the current degree of commoditization -- to make a point.

Laugh at the hand held -- the little toy computer running an OS cobbled together by a bunch of geeks with too much time on their hands. It's happened many times.

This is just a guess, but the narrowing of options is at an end.
- mark 10-09-2009 4:50 am [add a comment]

Apple is for platonists.

PC is for capitalists.

Linux is for satanists.

C-64 is for atheists.

Kindle is for Stars My Destination-ists.

- Mein Apple (guest) 10-14-2009 1:38 am [add a comment]

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