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The Cult of Mac

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the distant-drumbeats dept.

Books 374

cgjherr (Jack Herrington) writes "The Cult of Mac, a new book by Leander Kahney, is a love letter to the Macintosh community. The book seeks to simultaneously define and evangelize the Apple cultural phenomenon. With 25 million users (in the author's estimation) there is a lot of culture to go around. The tattoos. The modified machines. The pilgrimage to MacWorld. The sub-cult of iPod. It's all here." Read on for the rest of Herrington's review.

The form and structure of the book is a cross between a Wired magazine (for which Kahney has long written on Apple) and a coffee table book. There are great pictures of people, machines and art to appeal to the eye. Some pages are all pictures, while others are primarily text -- most are a combination of the two. The layout is always attractive. If this were a book from Apple, the style would be cleaner and there would be less emphasis on the past; this book is from and for the fans, though, so the style is more edgy and chaotic.

The book is divided into five large sections. The first covers the Macintosh itself, its users, its evangelists, and a little of its history. Including, to my amusement, but not surprise, its connection with pot, which occupies three pages. Wozniak is covered lovingly, and Jobs is painted with the same awe, love and hate brush that the community uses. Leander even covers the TV and movie Macintosh spotting, where the good guys always use Macs and the bad guys always use PCs.

Section two takes us into the MacWorld phenomenon. The secrecy, the crazy crowds, the keynote -- the whole shebang. We also get a look into the Mac phenomenon in Japan.

The final three sections are the most interesting to the hardware lovers. Section four covers modifying the Macintosh, futuristic designs, and the variety of things that have been built from dead Macs. The fourth section is about collecting Macintoshes; there is an excellent image here of a reception desk built entirely of old Mac Classics. Some attention is also paid to the devotees of Apple tsotchkes -- the shirts, the pins, the shoes, and other logo-branded novelties.

The final section is all about what comes next. Here Leander covers the iPod and its subculture, as well as the ongoing cultural battle between Microsoft users and the Mac world. The author even goes so far as to associate the construction of the swivel head iMac to that of a newborn baby to justify our attachment to it. And that makes my Powerbook a what?

There is a lot of great material in this book just to flip through, or to sit down for an enjoyable read. For the technically minded, there is nothing here to help you write better code or get more out of the operating system. This is a book about a culture, its icons, its people, and its ideology.

I can't recommend this book for a PC person, Unless he's interested in learning about the phenomenon or becoming part of it, I doubt there is much he'd interesting in this book. A PC user uses his machine to perform a task and thinks little of the machine itself. A Mac, on the other hand, is a key component of an integrated lifestyle. If you don't live the lifestyle and you care to know more about it, then check out the book. Otherwise, you might as well skip it.

As a Mac enthusiast myself I really enjoy this book. I started programming on the Macintosh with the first 128K machine, took a hiatus on Windows for a couple of years, and switched back with OS X. I've been to a MacWorld and seen some of the phenomenon first-hand. But it's nice to see it catalogued here in such an attractive, nicely constructed, well-written book.

In the early days of Apple versus Microsoft we had a real culture war, command line versus GUI. Windows won. Which is bad because Mac is, IMHO, better. But the Windows victory does allow us in the Mac camp to revel in our own individuality. This book is a fun way for new and old Mac fans alike to share in the common insanity which is our somewhat unrealistic love for this computer and it's company.

I'm certainly glad this book came out before Christmas. Now I know what I am going to give a couple of my fellow Macaddicts.


Reviewer Jack Herrington authored Code Generation in Action, and edits the Code Generation Network. You can purchase The Cult of Mac from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, carefully read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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GNAA FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667275)

SUCK IT fags

--popeye

I THINK WE ALL REALIZE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667282)

that mac users are fucking gay

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/MAC_USERS_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)TAKE_IT|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\UP_DA_ASS//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

apple tattoos (4, Interesting)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667284)

ok, i've never heard of this, but the first google search came up with this page [theapplecollection.com]

Re:apple tattoos (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667348)

You can find several under the 'Geek Tattoos' subsection on bmezine.com.

Re:apple tattoos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667453)

wow, those are some of the worst tattoos I've ever seen.

Some aren't bad. I don't mind the sad mac ones. But who thought getting an apple tattoo on your NECK as a first tattoo would be a good idea?

Re:apple tattoos (0)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667488)

Yeah, I worked with a guy who had a Mac tattoo. He was a really strange person. But I guess you'd have to be.

Re:apple tattoos (4, Funny)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667509)

That page tells me two things:

1. Some really ugly guys like Macs.

2. Some really lovely women like Macs.

Hummanah, hummanah!

Re:apple tattoos (2, Funny)

micromoog (206608) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667649)

2. Some really lovely women like Macs.

Uh-oh, is Apple picking up on BSD's schtick [wigen.net] ?

Re:apple tattoos (1)

baseinfinity (18023) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667789)

That, or: 1. Some really ugly guys like Macs. 2. Some really ugly guys like using Photoshop on their Macs.

Pilgrimage... (1)

RussDavisDotCom (733155) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667287)

Pilgrimage to MacWorld. Classic, I tell you, classic. (Mac users will get that joke)

Re:Pilgrimage... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667351)

I got the joke, but I thought it was rather stupid. :p

Re:Pilgrimage... (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667510)

Is that where all the Apple Evangelists go?

MOD PARENT -1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667567)

lolezzzzzzz
NO

Misspelling (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667288)

It supposed to say The Occult [wikipedia.org] of Mac. Please pardon the editor for any confusion or hanging chads.

268 pages of propoganda? (-1, Flamebait)

Raleel (30913) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667298)

I mean really... this deserves a review?

SPOILER WARNING!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667303)

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Apple users are zealots

I want to see this: (2, Interesting)

ecammit (775253) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667304)

image here of a reception desk built entirely of old Mac Classics

Re:I want to see this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667410)

Yea it could withstand a nuclear bombardment! Seriously we should make our tanks armor outta this stuff. (Wonders why he can only think of funny stuff when he is annonymous)

Typo: (-1, Troll)

twoflower (24166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667305)

With 25 million users (in the author's estimation)
You typo'd "imagination".

Propoganda! (3, Interesting)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667311)

Mac's need to stick to serving burgers!!!! It's actually surprising what some of the technology Apple has been pushing out the door in the last few years. Apple seems to be more geared to specific aspects of computing and do it very well. I have a hard-core Linux co-worked who is seriously thinking of purchasing a MAC for a media PC. Either the marketing is getting better or the options are. Good job Apple.

Re:Propoganda! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667817)

I agree Mac is doing a good job these days. I was a die hard PC person for the past 20 years and I admit i hated Mac and it's entire user base, but I couldnt' explain why. Years later I just think I hated Mac/users because they were different and it didn't make sense.

Now Apple embraces open standards such as Unix / BSD and throws their beautiful GUI on top of it. I personally enjoy using the Mac whereas when I used my PC I didn't enjoy it, I just used it. Plus after using PC's for so many years you come to release everything keeps repeating itself (better 3d cards, more RAM, faster CPU's, etc) however in the Mac world things do get quicker like PC's however they veer off into the 64-bit RISC world which most PC fans only dream of.

You people can make fun of me, but it comes down to you get what you pay for. You spend $50 grand on a Porsche and you get high quality, and you don't have to question "do i like this". Same goes for PC's. People have their hobbies and like to invest in what they believe in. Nothing wrong with enjoying Macs for their raw performance, logical architecture, and open source standards.

I dig Mac in a big way and anybody who disagrees, go and try using a Mac for a bit if you can. You will find you enjoy computing again.

Uhhh No (3, Insightful)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667328)

A PC user uses his machine to perform a task and thinks little of the machine itself. A Mac, on the other hand, is a key component of an integrated lifestyle. If you don't live the lifestyle and you care to know more about it, then check out the book. Otherwise, you might as well skip it.

Being someone who spends equal time all day on a PC and Mac (G4 and G5), I can tell you that a Mac in no way is a "key component of an integrated lifestyle". It's a computer that happens to run an alternate OS and have a good marketing department, which is nice if you don't like windows or you are a drone consumer who cares about what is 'cool'.

Re:Uhhh No (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667381)

I can tell you that a Mac in no way is a "key component of an integrated lifestyle". It's a computer that happens to run an alternate OS...

Then you are not a Mac User, your just happen to use a Mac.

Re:Uhhh No (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667440)

In Soviet Russia, the Macs use you.

Maybe (2, Insightful)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667576)

Then you are not a Mac User, your just happen to use a Mac.

I think the term you are looking for isn't "User" but rather Bigot [catb.org] . I use a Mac at work. I even like it. I even didn't mind adding Mac troubleshooting skills to my Windows and Linux skills-- it wasn't that different. I would even go so far as to say that I prefer doing 90% of my Real Work at a Mac. (Games are another story.) But I while I think the iPod is kinda cool, I'm not planning on replacing my Archos Jukebox 20 until it keels over dead... which, incidentally, won't be due to the batteries [ipodsdirtysecret.com] . I have better ways [newegg.com] to waste my money [dansdata.com] than donating to the Church of Steve.

I'd also disagree slightly with the assessment of the review. Based on what's said, there may be some interest in the material to anthropologists (amateur and professional) who study computer nerds. If I see the book at Barnes & Noble, I might sit down and leaf through it for an hour or two. I might check it out if it hits the local library. I wouldn't spend real money on it, though.

Re:Uhhh No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667615)

Last I checked, what is "cool" is generally the thing that everyone goes and does even if it might be stupid... I think Windows fits that definition pretty well, at least the "everyone goes and does" part, the other part being somewhat a matter of opinion. Kind of counterintuitive to call the kind of computer with only 5% market share "cool".

iPod subculture? (0)

dickeya (733264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667334)

I don't classify Mac users and iPod users as even close to the same. The iPod user subcategory to me seems a derivative of P2P networks and the popularity of digital music, not the iPod itself. That view is just a little bit too mac-centric for me.

Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

mr.henry (618818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667335)

A PC user uses his machine to perform a task and thinks little of the machine itself.

WTF? Certainly [thebestcasescenario.com] PC users [modthebox.com] don't [case-mod.com] care [twistedmods.com] about [hardforum.com] the machine [directron.com] .

Fucking Mac snobs.

Re:Excuse me? (2, Interesting)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667412)

I agree! I frikin BUILT my PC from SCRATCH!!!! Its much closer to a "baby" to me because of that than a MAC could ever be. And I am constantly adding to it, giving it better parts, tweaking it to run faster... in fact, thats the very thing that turns me off so much about MACs - the lack of being able to "build my own". /rant off

Re:Excuse me? (3, Insightful)

dreadfire (781564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667474)

Macs are hot. Hands down, they are designed for multimedia power and design. All of those cases you should didn't have the style of a mac. Macs are hot.

Re:Excuse me? (1)

Fade_to_Blah (555601) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667538)

You sound like Nicole Ritchie....."THATS HOT"

Re:Excuse me? (1)

nlindstrom (244357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667829)

...than a MAC could ever...about MACs...
It is not a MAC, you cretinous moron. If you're speaking of the computers made by Apple, they are Macs. See http://www.pcwebopedia.com/TERM/M/MAC.html [pcwebopedia.com] .

Re:Excuse me? (2, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667530)

I think a proper comparison would be a Porsche to a Ford. There are some beautiful [fordvehicles.com] Fords. There are Fords that are a work of art [autointell-news.com] . It's not denegrating to Ford, it's just that Porsche's have that certain look and appeal. It's not for everyone, but those who are "into" Porsche's are *really* into them. I think it's safe to say that with Porsche and Mac, there is very little middle ground. Sure, to some Porsche owners it's "just a car", but on the other hand, they still are concious of the fact that it's a Porsche, even when driving it to the store.

Re:Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667566)

That isn't the same thing. Also, those links are exceptions to the rule. Mac users, as a rule, really appreciate their machines in a way that most PC users just wouldn't understand. Macs are hightly integrated and are presented to the user as a whole package rather than having, for example, a Dell computer running Microsoft Windows XP.

FWIW, I'm a PC (but not Windows) user, but my wife is a long time Mac user.

-matthew

Re:Excuse me? (1)

micromoog (206608) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667678)

Macs are hightly integrated and are presented to the user as a whole package rather than having, for example, a Dell computer running Microsoft Windows XP.

Funny, that's the exact same reason most people don't like Mac :)

That, and the absurd pricing. *ducks*

Re:Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667690)

As a rule? What about what this guy [slashdot.org] says?

GP poster was right about the snob bit.

Re:Excuse me? (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667669)

I'd say those users think little of their PCs. They look more like riced computers than anything else. :)

Before you flame, I'm not a Mac user or owner. But seriously, IMO, usually the thing that happens when people individualize their PC make it uglier or more contrived. Same goes for cars too, most of the time.

Excuse me?-Mac envy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667815)

"Fucking Mac snobs."

Um, no. If we were snobs? We'd say something like "PC user are modding their computers because secretly they have Mac envy, but don't want to spend the money to get the genuine article".

Sub culture of the IPod? (3, Insightful)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667336)

It doesn't get much more main stream as far as Apple products go.

Re:Sub culture of the IPod? (1)

macklin01 (760841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667363)

Agreed. And furthermore, the ipod culture's neither a subculture of Macdom (since not all ipod users are Mac users) nor a superculture (since not all Mac users are ipod users). They just happen to have a large area of intersection. -- Paul

Re:Sub culture of the IPod? (2, Interesting)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667787)

It doesn't get much more main stream as far as Apple products go.

I'm not that sure. First, it's easy to use (at least once the songs are loaded; I do this service for my relatives) and a non-techie person can use one right away. I bought one for my father and another one for my significant other. Second, if one could say that the clubbing scene is a sort of main stream for urban young people, then the iPod has already won the battle - at least in London [pocket-lint.co.uk] . There are many interestung cultural phenomena related to iPod - such as the habit of offering someone opportunity to "jack-in" [operationgadget.com] to your iPod to share musical tastes. Plus, partially thanks to clever product placement, partially just for virtue of the gagdet itself, it's actually ubiquitous in pop culture nowadays. It's the first product made by Apple - since the original Apple II computer - that managed to break out of the ghetto and get popular in the simplest meaning of the word.

Slashdot is right! (1)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667358)

"Nothing to see here, move along"

It showed be that ten minutes after the story hit the front page. As a PC person, I can't help agreeing :P.

Newton (2, Insightful)

elid (672471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667364)

Let's not forget the Apple Newton [wikipedia.org] fan club.

Re:Newton (2, Informative)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667574)

Bet [dyndns.org] you [blogspot.com] thought [splorp.com] you [newtontalk.net] were [dyndns.org] kidding. [unna.org]

yeah right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667370)

Apple's tech support is utter crap.

Yeah, sure, iPod 4th gens will only synch with PCs via firewire, you lying, uneducated sack of shit. Then why did it work with my usb connection for 4 days before it failed?

God, I fucking HATE being lied to. If you dont support HP iPods, just _say_ so. You should lie to me, because that just pisses me off. Thats why I got mad and called you on it, asked for your supervisor, and likely got you fired.

Bitch. DONT FUCKING LIE TO ME.

Apples are sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667375)

I ate one last week. Actually in all honesty the Apple platform is pretty cool. hmm Actually any system I can bootstrap gentoo on is ok with me. :)

Reminds me of Saturn (4, Interesting)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667385)

This reminds me of Saturn (at least when they first came on to the scene). Here was a company that did things differently, even in an off-beat way, and was rewarded with the type of customer loyalty that gives Harvard MBAs wet dreams.

Such companies define the "niche" market that everyone seems to talk about these days. It's the narrow market that captures the imagination and excitement of its customers.

Of course, one cannot manufacture this. I think its formation is a rare combination of vision, guts, luck, and a willingness to task risk. Unfortunately, the vast majority of companies today have none of this, valuing things like "vision statements" or "world class (insert skill)" over creativity and audacity.

Re:Reminds me of Saturn (1)

johndiii (229824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667500)

IIRC, Saturn has been mostly subsumed back into GM. The quality is indicative of that, anyway. I will likely not buy a fourth one.

Re:Reminds me of Saturn (1)

Fade_to_Blah (555601) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667559)

I owned a new 2000 Saturn SC2 for 4 years and drove it alot. The new 2004 Saturn ION i bought had better design decisions and IMO is a better quality automobile. Just my off topic 2 cents

Re:Reminds me of Saturn (1)

johndiii (229824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667727)

We have two 2000 Saturns (LW2 and LS2), and have had a lot of problems with them. A total of five different tail light assemblies, a couple of AC compressors, door switches, other stuff like that. One coolant leak from the heat exchanger that really messed up the interior. I like the cars in general (nice driving, great power (both have V6s)), but they spend too much time at the mechanic. We had previously had a 1995 wagon that had no problems like these. It was totaled by a Chevy Suburban - one reason that we went back to Saturn was that my wife walked away from the crash (a near head-on impact with her going about 40 and the SUV about 25 or 30).

PC users should read this... (5, Insightful)

l4m3z0r (799504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667392)

The PC users that constantly come on here with dell quotes talking about how you can get a "Better" machine for cheaper should be forced to read this book. Maybe then they will understand that price is not the end all be all factor in why someone would want a Mac. I know that the culture is probably the number one reason I own a Mac. I pay the extra price because I am proud of this high quality product. Furthermore by paying "more" i find I'm supporting a company and a group of people that are doing an excellent job. Even at 1/2 the price I wouldn't feel the same way about buying a PC or MS software. I just don't feel like they earned my money but Apple on the otherhand has.

This is where the culture comes in bringing in a sense of loyalty to the product you use. I don't feel like PC users have that same phenomenon and maybe if they understood it they wouldn't rant and piss and flame on here about price differences and single mouse buttons.

Re:PC users should read this... (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667617)

Some of us already have enough culture without needing the help of various electronic appliances.

Re:PC users should read this... (4, Insightful)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667631)

The PC users that constantly come on here with dell quotes talking about how you can get a "Better" machine for cheaper should be forced to read this book. Maybe then they will understand that price is not the end all be all factor in why someone would want a Mac. I know that the culture is probably the number one reason I own a Mac. I pay the extra price because I am proud of this high quality product.

I am typing these very words on an iBook and actually price WAS an important factor when choosing a portable (somehow all x86 alternatives are either bigger and heavier or stripped down of some important functions like combo-drive... or pricey as hell). I am really happy with my machine but I don't think of it as of a "high quality product". It's just a notebook, dammit. Quoting the Russian astronaut from "Armageddon", "Russian computers, American computers, they are all made in Taiwan". The same relates to notebook computers - "Apple notebooks, Dell notebooks, they are all made by subcontractors in Taiwan". You don't get "higher quality product" when choosing Apple instead of Dell, they are both made by the same company (usually Quanta [quantatw.com] ). My advice: be a member of Mac community. Be a member of Mac user group. Be a member of Mac developers society. But don't be a member of Mac culture, because it's nothing but marketing tool for a corporation like any other.

Re:PC users should read this... (2, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667728)

umm, they are made by the same subcontractors, but what Dell considers ok as far as QA, and what Apple considers OK as far as QA is what makes the difference is quality. not to mention the Engineering that went into the design of the system itself.

Re:PC users should read this... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667719)

Maybe then they will understand that price is not the end all be all factor in why someone would want a Mac

Offer me a loaded Mac G5 or a loaded PC desktop from Dell, Alienware or Falcon NW - I'll take the PC thanks. Because I can actually use it for high-end graphical apps, playing games - and have a chance in hell of being able to reuse some of the components in 5 years when the machine is nearing the end of it's useful life.

I pay the extra price because I am proud of this high quality product.

Absolute bullshit. You pay extra because they are a tiny fraction of the market and have "exclusive" small market prices.

My Powerbook, running Mac OS X - locks up more frequently than my bolted-together-from-spare-parts Windows machine does (I use Windows for games, I use my Mac for email). And when the Mac goes down - as it invariably does - I have to TAKE THE BATTERY OUT to get the fucking thing to shut off.

Then there were the numerous Powerbook / iPod battery problems, failing Powerbook screens, failing mainboards that needed to be replaced. Apple spells "Quality" with a "K", I tell ya. Too much emphassis on flash and shiny cases - not enough substance (performance, value, industry standards and upgradability).

This is where the culture comes in bringing in a sense of loyalty to the product you use. I don't feel like PC users have that same phenomenon and maybe if they understood it they wouldn't rant and piss and flame

"Understood it"? Excuse me? Apple machines have faults - just as Windows machines do. But the difference is that Windows users complain when something doesn't go right. Apple users seem to go "oh well, it must have fucked up because I'm retarded and don't know anything about computers" and ignore it. Guess what - they are retarded - not for the reasons they think, but for repeatedly putting up with it.

single mouse buttons

ARE FUCKING STUPID. Half the Mac OS X apps require you to hold down the control key, then click in order to emulate a 2nd mouse button (or you can hold the 1st button down for 5 seconds and go make a sandwich and take a nap before the system realises what you're trying to do and pretends to click the 2nd mouse button for you). What should be simple mousing ends up being retarded keyboard chording. Which wouldn't annoy me too much as I can use an external mouse - except when I'm using my Powerbook on the road and don't want the bulk with me.

My kingdom for a hard power switch and a 2nd mouse button on my Powerbook. Don't get me wrong, I do actually like my Powerbook. But Apple computers are't the Silver Bricks From God that some Apple fanatics would have everyone think. They're not superior - they're just different. All products have flaws (Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, whatever).

Is like a cult... (-1, Flamebait)

nharmon (97591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667403)

With entry level PowerMacs ringing in at $1,499 without monitor, you too can find a cult to give all of your money to.

(Disclaimer: I know you can get cheaper Macs, and even used Macs are still usable, but one does have to wonder if the outrageous prices reflect the target audience)

more like the quality of construction. (1)

caveat (26803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667540)

good industrial design doesn't come cheap, plus the components are usually spec'd way over what you'll find in a sub-$900 dell box. i have a performa 6400 that will still boot off the original mobo and hard drive (drive was replaced for size, board cuz the center plastic bit on the ADB port broke off, i could have fixed it with superglue but i lost the damned thing, $380 for a 6500 board); my old mentor and guy who got me into macs in the first place has an all-original SE/30 that runs like the day it came out of the box. i know you can find PCs that are just as reliable, but their prices tend to be more in line with Macs.

Re:Is like a cult... (2, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667568)

A Powermac is not an entry-level system; it is a workstation system for people who really need the power. An entry-level system is what you buy a kid or grandparent, such as an eMac ($800) or iMac ($1,300).

Similarly:
Dell Dimension desktop: entry level
Dell Precision workstation: professional

Re:Is like a cult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667626)

Outrageous prices? Compare spec-for-spec each and every Apple model to something of its competitors and often the Macs beat the competitor in terms of cost.

Apple doesn't overcharge for their computers; they just don't sell cheap, crappy computers - that's Dell's job.

A cult? Puhleeze (-1, Flamebait)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667404)

Macs and Apple products are just liked by a group of people, hardly a cult. I'm starting to believe that a minority of Apple users try to propegate this stereotype of Mac cults and absolute devotees. I know plenty of mac users and for them it's simply a tool. They may like a certain Apple product over something else, usually because Apple does put a little extra either in features of looks, but they aren't obsessed with Apple itself. I think what we see is a small majority of Apple users, and this small majority is the portion that actually contributes their "philisophies" onto the net. Eventually people believe that this minority speaks for the majority.

Apple is just like any company, but it's only a company. Today, tomorrow, a year from there, there's a chance, albeit slight there won't be a company anymore. Twentyfive million people won't be killing themselves in the street chanting "Give me Apple of give me death!" Face it Apple users, you're just consumers, Apple isn't a rightous power, a church or even humanitarians. They're a corporate machine, just like IBM, Cisco or GASP even Microsoft. They make a product and you buy it, that's all. So to that minority of Apple zealots, get a damn life.

Re:A cult? Puhleeze (2, Interesting)

l4m3z0r (799504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667443)

I'd have to say that without its "cult" following which definitely exists Apple would have died as predicted. However, there are those fanatics that are at the base of the Mac culture and as such alot of the fringe Mac users are driven towards loyalty to fit in with the core crowd of Mac users.

A good comparison would be against VW, which has a very similiar cult following in its own right and as such even casual VW drivers are somewhat more fanatic than say your average ford driver.

Re:A cult? Puhleeze (5, Insightful)

LihTox (754597) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667573)

So to that minority of Apple zealots, get a damn life.

Ah, the classic "get a life" business. What kind of life do you have in mind? Passions are what make life interesting. Some people obsess over sports, some over Macs, some over Star Trek, some over toy trains-- they have lives. People who obsess over other people have lives too. People who go around criticizing any show of exuberance as juvenile...well, I'm not sure about them.

Planning on making a trip to Boston this weekend, to tell everyone here how they should "get a damn life, it's only a baseball team, they're not a church or anything"?

Re:A cult? Puhleeze (2, Interesting)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667611)

Brilliant post .. would mod you up (Insightful) if I could. I too wonder why certain interests (obsessions) are societally acceptible while others are not. Football = ok, Star Trek = FREAK!!!!! Oprah Winfrey = ok, computers = GEEK!!!!! What makes liking football "better" than liking Star Trek?

How in the world this get modded flamebait? (1)

Tracer_Bullet82 (766262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667580)

n/t

How was this flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667750)

I hope these mods get "Unfair," because that's seriously screwed up.

Easy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667406)

I'll tell you about the phenomenon: lots of white hardware, simple packaging, and one-button simplicity...










That, and lots of circle jerks into a jug with the last finisher drinking the jug.

CULT-ture of Mac (4, Interesting)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667438)

Sounds like a good read; I enjoy studying the social aspects of our industry.

Having touched my first Unix system back when I was 9 years old (actually it was a Silent 700 terminal, built-in acoustic coupler modem, dialing into System III) I've been fanatical about the command-line, anc always views Macs as a curiousity more than anything else. Worthy of derision most of the time, and of a nod now and then.

I then got stuck on the Windows platform for the longest period of time, and it was partially my own choice. I was doing Java development at the time, and the JVM from Sun was better than the early JVMs for Linux. That, and the fact that I kept getting more and more Micro$oft-based attachments that when edited with the early Star Office would be mangled beyond hope when I sent them back.

One day last year my wife let me play with her PowerBook running OS X. It had a really nice JVM that ran Java apps with blazing speed. (Yes, "Java" and "blazing" in the same sentence!) It ran Micro$oft Office programs, and in most cases, with more reliability than their Windows counterparts. It was infinitely more usable than Windows' best user interfaces. And best of all, you could fire up a shell and run vi on your .bashrc file.

I went head over heels.

Now, I still have Linux systems (and even a FreeBSD system) in my server room, but my desktop and my laptop are all Mac OS X, and I've never needed to look back to Windows again. Am I a "fanboy"? Probably. (I even got an iPod.) But I'm a fanboy because of what's under the hood now, not because of the path Apple took to get here.

Re:CULT-ture of Mac (1)

MasonMcD (104041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667596)

Silent 700 terminal, built-in acoustic coupler modem

Odd name for it, then.

and a slightly more cynical view... (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667445)

...has been in my sig for months. It's not mine, but it's hysterical.

As a mac user, btw, I'd like to say that there are so many stereotypes that are simply not true about many Mac users.

  • Not all of us are rabid evangelists(I grew out of that when I was 16)
  • Not all of us think a computer is some life-changing gee-golly piece of technology. It's my computer. I do stuff on it. That's it. Buying a mac doesn't change your life, or more accurately, it -shouldn't- change your life.
  • Not all of us think it's "Mac or nothing". I use the best tool for the job. My powerbook is my system; I serve stuff using Linux. I have a PC in the corner for games other than the really big stuff that gets ported to the Mac.
  • Not all of us think Steve's the greatest.

I'm constantly amazed by how many stereotypes there are of Macintosh users, and it's actually quite offensive sometimes. "Oh, you're a MAC GUY, I see....our PCs aren't GOOD ENOUGH for you" is what invariably follows. Most of the time, I politely side-step platform-preference questions now, because of the assumptions and image people place on me when they learn I'm a mac user are just so goddamn tiresome.

Re:and a slightly more cynical view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667524)

Where's Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day when we need him?

I haven't read the book, but (4, Interesting)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667449)

I met Leander about a year ago down at TechTV for Mitnick's "back online" show and was impressed with how down-to-earth he was. While other media folks were working to impress each other with accomplishments, he did his job quietly and turned out a good article afterwards.

While some people might see this as cheerleading for Apple, the same can be said for some Windows-favoring and Linux-favoring journalists. The difference I found with him was how *normal* he seemed, compared to other journalists that I have met.

It's completely alright... (1, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667458)

It's OK if you have a deep personal relationship with your Macintosh....

You PAID for it.

I don't think you can say that to.. (1)

Tracer_Bullet82 (766262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667602)

paying MS customers with a straight face. :)

Re:It's completely alright... (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667636)

It's OK if you have a deep personal relationship with your Macintosh....

You PAID for it.

Yeah, that was what I tried telling the judge about the hooker, but he didn't buy that theory. =)

Speaking of our benevolent cult (2, Funny)

Nerd Cooties (823179) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667461)

Apple is having a special get together in Jonestown, Guyana. They are even giving away Koolaid! Hope you can attend

Re:Speaking of our benevolent cult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667528)

You are soooo wrong. Funny, but wrong.

And most important of all (1)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667464)

The mac gayness.

a new slashdotting (3, Funny)

the_twisted_pair (741815) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667465)

X _ X
\

0F0064

Re:a new slashdotting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667503)

Best post in the thread so far.

Cube fishtank (3, Funny)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667485)

I'm curious if there is a picture of my cube fishtank (http://home.comcast.net/~jleblanc77/cube/) in the book. The author and I exchanged some emails about it. Has anyone seen the book yet, and know if it's in there?

Re:Cube fishtank (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667781)

umm, you made a fishtank out os a computer that still sells on e-bay for 1300 dollars? are you a crank or something?

Re:Cube fishtank (1)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667822)

If you read the page you'll find that the cube was broken, and not repairable. I still have its guts, I just used the case for the tank.

Everyone uses a mac today (3, Insightful)

Teese (89081) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667506)

Says the reviewer:
In the early days of Apple versus Microsoft we had a real culture war, command line versus GUI. Windows won.
Actually, the Mac won. Its just that nobody used a mac, they just waited for another company to make a good enough implementation at an acceptable price before switching (notice I didn't say a cheap second-rate rip-off, I'm getting better! honestly!). Pretty much the entire industry uses the GUI way, not the command line way.

(Arguments that its Xerox's GUI, some people use a command-line, There's a command-line in Mac OS X now aside.)

Re:Everyone uses a mac today (1)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667780)


(Arguments that its Xerox's GUI, some people use a command-line, There's a command-line in Mac OS X now aside.)

Don't cast them aside. They disprove your point. Apple != GUI. Keep in mind that in one variation or another X is as old as Apple, if you take it back to the MIT Athena origins.


Pretty much the entire industry uses the GUI way, not the command line way.

False. Virtually the entire *consumer market*? - yes. Virtually the entire *industry*? - no. "The industry" refers to software producers, not software consumers. And a lot of producers still use a hell of a lot of command-line stuff. These counters to your claim are still a minority perhaps, but they are big enough that the phrase "Pretty much the entire industry" isn't appropriate.

Mac's Cult is Small.... (3, Funny)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667508)

Compared to Grand High Emperor Linus and his Linux empire! He's aided by Arch Supreme Bishop Stallman and his army of F/OSS programmers!!

The cult of Apple (2, Insightful)

JonKatzIsAnIdiot (303978) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667519)

  • Putting on a shirt and tie and carrying a briefcase won't make you smart
  • Wearing black leather and driving a Harley won't make you tough
  • Listening an indie band that no-one else has heard of doesn't make you an 'individual'
  • Swearing undying fealty to Apple ( or Sony or IBM ...) doesn't make you 'hip' or 'cool'.

But these things will make you into a trend-humping fashion lemming.

Apple's core product isn't computers or electronics. It's elitism.

Re:The cult of Apple (1)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667687)

But ... Eating a Big Mac a day will make you fat Spending all of you money on computer games will make you poor Supporting a printer's prepress department full of elitist designer-wannabees using Macs will drive you insane Trust me. I know.

Re:The cult of Apple (4, Interesting)

dswensen (252552) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667768)

I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't buy a Powerbook to be cool. Believe me, using a Mac you have to develop a thick skin very quickly, as everyone who sees you using one will accuse you of being a crazy evangelist or snobby elitist. (Case in point.)

I bought it because I like the way the OS works, and the software is perfect for what I want to use a computer for. And this is after 10+ years of using Windows PCs, not to mention giving Linux a try.

The only trend-humping lemming behavior I ever see is from people who make knee-jerk assumptions that anyone who uses a Mac must be part of the Steve Jobs "cult."

I wonder if in 100 years.. (2, Funny)

Tracer_Bullet82 (766262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667551)

poeple will talk about "The cult of the mac" vs "the drones of MS" vs "zealots of Linux".

Sort of like Moonism vs Mormons vs Scientology.

But steve got the best dibs on a prophet name and story..err "myth".

Think about it, JOB.

Founded the religion, got "crucified" by "betrayors"; only to later "resurrect" in the religion dying throes.And "protelyzing" it to new hights :)

Oh yeah, BSD is heathen*run away*

Re:I wonder if in 100 years.. (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667696)

But steve got the best dibs on a prophet name

I dunno, the Gates of Heaven or Hell has a certain promise to it.

Linus... well, there's a minor reference in the Second Letter to Timothy (4:21), but it's really unimpressive.

Spelling Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667569)

It's spelled "tschotchkes", get it right! :) Geez, any third-grader should know that one.

Re:Spelling Nazi (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667676)

I thought it was "fhqwhgads".

Wow great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667571)

Why didn't they just write a book on homosexual computer users instead?

Rainbow flag with colors in apple order? (-1, Offtopic)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667604)

I really want someone to make a bumper sticker or flag that looks like a gay pride rainbow, except the colors are gyorvb rather than roygbv.

mod do3n (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667622)

goal h ere? How can contiNues toChew bunch of gay negros

"Common Insanity"? (1)

TheWama (793038) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667662)

"Sanity is not statistical" -George Orwell, "1984"

Have to disagree with this (5, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667692)

Not to start a flamewar, but....

In the early days of Apple versus Microsoft we had a real culture war, command line versus GUI. Windows won. Which is bad because Mac is, IMHO, better.

The Mac may or may not be better; that's certaintly debatable. What's not debatable is that it's much, much, MUCH better that Microsoft won. If Apple had won, how long would we have been saddled with proprietary hardware with proprietary software? A LONG-ASS time, and Macs would have been far more expensive. The only reason that a Mac is "only" 50%-2x the price of a PC is because PCs are so cheap. Without PCs, we would be totally at Apple's mercy, and they don't exactly have a good track record of not gouging their customers.

Microsoft may have its flaws, and they may charge too much for their software (although, I could argue that you get a lot of technology for a measly $129 retail), but at least they never tried to come out with a "Microsoft PC" with proprietary hardware.

What's amazing is that Apple is still too stupid to realize that the money is in the software, not the hardware. It's really mindblowing when you think about it. If Apple had won, then they WOULD have been a petal-to-the-metal monopoly that would have had to be broken up.

Re:Have to disagree with this (1)

dswensen (252552) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667812)

An interesting hypothesis, though I think some of the points are a bit over-the-top. We have no way of knowing what kind of path Apple would have taken had they ended up on the top and stayed there. Business philosophies change to suit time and circumstances.

If Apple had the market share that Microsoft does, I doubt their hardware would be as expensive.

Mac users ain't no cult. Haha.. (5, Informative)

sudog (101964) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667729)

However cult-ish you think Mac users are, or ever were, the Amiga users were zealots for their machines on a scale you probably will never truly comprehend unless you were there, a part of it.

Oh sure, Mac users love their machines.

Amiga users went beyond love. They worshipped their computers, fought for them, spent money they didn't have to keep the companies who sold Amigas and Amiga-related soft- and hardware in business. You wanna talk hardcore, you look at the former Amiga communities. THAT will forever define the meaning of the term hardcore for me, and nothing I've seen yet comes close.

Even now, a decade after the platform basically folded up, there are large groups of people who want to revive the spirit of the Amiga.

Mac users may think they're a cult, but they're just a pale shadow compared to Amiga users.

Ha ha ha.. too funny.

I'd like to see a book... (1)

michaeldot (751590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667800)

These cult of Mac books - whether it be 'Insanely Great' or 'The Second Coming of Steve Jobs' or 'The Mac Bathroom Reader' etc - are now a dime a dozen.

I'd like to see a book on the practise of MAC bashing. I see a lot more of that in the IT press than fan worship.

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