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7 anti-Apple cliches that need to die
TUAW ^ | 29 May 2010 | Chris Rawson

Posted on 05/31/2010 8:14:20 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast

7 anti-Apple cliches that need to die

by Chris Rawson (RSS feed) on May 29th 2010 at 8:30PM

PC vs. Mac flamewars are older than the web itself, but it seems like the more popular/successful Apple gets, the more heated the argument gets on both sides. Almost any debate about the relative merits of one platform or another is guaranteed to degenerate into an all-out shouting match.

In the midst of all the fighting and name calling, the oddest thing happens: almost every time, you'll see a lot of the same points being raised by both sides again and again. Some of these points are so tired and worn out, they've reached cliche status.

In online debates, there's an informal rule known as Godwin's Law, whereby if you invoke references or comparisons to Nazis or Hitler, you've automatically lost the debate. I say the items on this list have become so worn out they've reached automatic rhetorical failure status on their own. I know that every time I see one of these points appear, I immediately stop any serious consideration of any other arguments from the person who brought it up.

I'm focusing on Apple haters and their cliches for this article, but don't get the idea that Apple users aren't just as guilty of cliche-ridden arguments when they argue against using Windows. If, for example, you're an Apple user and you do any of these things:

-- Cite the Blue Screen of Death (or BSOD, as he's known to his closest friends) as a point against Windows
-- Insert a dollar sign into Microsoft's name (Micro$oft, M$)
-- Use "clever" alternate spellings of Windows (Windoze and other less family-friendly revisions)
-- Call Internet Explorer "Internet Exploder"

you're employing a heavily-cliched, Godwin-esque talking point, too.

Read on for the seven deadly cliches of anti-Mac attacks.

1. Fanboy

Long ago this word actually meant something, as you can discover in this excellent article from Technologizer, but it's become so overused in the past few years that it's become meaningless. Once upon a time, "fanboy" as an insult meant someone had an overweening and maybe even creepy obsession with something or other. Maybe you had a Klingon-themed wedding, complete with uniforms, makeup, and vows in the Klingon language? That would have made you a Star Trek fanboy (we prefer the term "Trekker," good sir). If you spray-painted a big number "3" on the side of your Ford and had an entire set of Dale Earnhardt commemorative plates in your den, that meant you were a NASCAR fanboy.

But "fanboy" has been used so much in Apple vs. PC wars that it's lost its flavor. "You're just an Apple fanboy," is a dismissive debate tactic, used to imply that someone is so blinded by their love for all things Apple that they'd say or do anything to support the company and its products. I don't deny that there are Apple users like that out there, but "fanboy" has been spread so thin that almost anyone with a positive opinion of Apple's products is saddled with that label. It's even reached the mainstream press now, and as all internet veterans know, once something goes mainstream, it's played out.

"Fanboy" is so tired that I've started something new: if I see any anti-Apple argument longer than a couple sentences or so, I start scanning for that word first. If I see "fanboy" written anywhere, I don't even bother reading the rest. The worst thing about "fanboy" is it's really just the pot calling the kettle black. If you're willing to dismiss someone else's opinions because you think they have some kind of cult-like obsession, there's a good chance you've got one, too.

2. Kool-Aid

Speaking of cult-like obsessions, I've lost count of how many times I've been accused of "drinking the Apple Kool-Aid." This cliche got its start after nearly 1000 members of the Jonestown cult drank poison-laced Flavor-Aid back in 1978. It's meant to imply blind devotion, with the idea that Mac users are all members of some kind of crazy, wide-eyed commune with Steve Jobs as its inspirational but depraved leader.

I'll admit we don't help matters much ourselves: lots of Mac users turn into platform evangelists, sometimes to an irritating degree, and we've even adopted the term "Cult of Mac" to describe behaviors that really could be described as "fanboyism." But just like "fanboy," the "Kool-Aid" thing gets said at least 100,000 times a day on the internet, for the same reason as "fanboy" -- a means of dismissing the other side's points because you think they've been brainwashed.

Guys, "Kool-Aid" has lost its punch. Besides, I prefer the Apple Colt 45. It works every time.

3. No games

Ever heard this one? "Good luck playing games on your overpriced Fisher Price laptop, oh wait, there aren't any, hahaha." My copies of Civilization IV, Bioshock, and now Portal say otherwise. Macs do have far fewer games than Windows-running PCs, and even though Valve just launched Steam for the Mac, PCs will probably always have more games than Macs. That said, things have improved since the early- to mid-2000s -- the last time this argument had some merit. Fewer and fewer AAA titles are PC-only these days, and considering how successful Steam for the Mac has been so far, the days of the Mac as a neglected gaming platform are over.

Besides, show me how many PC or Mac gamers only game on their computers. I've got a PS3, Wii, DS, and iPhone, with a grand total of over 150 games between all of those platforms. Gaming on my Mac is kind of an afterthought; until Portal came out for the Mac in early May, I think the last time I did any serious gaming on my MacBook Pro was in December of last year.

My consoles are for games, my Mac is for work, and my iPhone falls somewhere in the middle. But that doesn't mean I never game on my Mac because there's "no games" for it -- there's now more games for the Mac than I even have time to demo, much less play.

4. One-button mouse

This one is older than dirt and only half as tasty. What's funniest about the "one-button mouse" argument is that Apple's Magic Mouse and trackpads now essentially have no buttons, so we should be talking about a "no button mouse" instead, right?

I'll admit that Apple's obsession with killing off buttons is a little weird, but it's had zero effect on my workflow. My MacBook Pro's trackpad is configurable to an almost excessive degree thanks to multitouch and tools like BetterTouchTool. Right now I can click, right-click, middle-click, scroll, three, four, or five-finger swipe in four different directions, pinch, expand, rotate, four-finger tap... and those are just the options I've enabled. With multitouch, my trackpad can recognize up to eleven different points of contact, meaning the possibilities are nearly endless. All of that on a trackpad with only one button.

Say what you will about Apple's war on buttons, but I've played all the way through both Bioshock and Portal using just my MacBook Pro's built-in trackpad, with no external mouse. That's not something I'd even attempt to do on a non-Apple trackpad, no matter how many buttons it comes with.

5. Any reference to 1984

Ever since the App Store launched, with its draconian and often Byzantine rules on what is or is not acceptable in the store, roughly 574,892 articles have come out retreading the 1984 theme. Apple kind of brought this one on themselves with that Super Bowl ad 26 years ago; iconic as it was, you just knew people would someday jump at the chance to get all "ironic" and say that Apple is now the "Big Brother" they once decried. Which is exactly what's happened, of course, because not a week goes by now without at least five articles mentioning Steve Jobs and Big Brother in the same sentence.

Here's a quick challenge: name the protagonist, or any other character besides Big Brother, from Orwell's novel... without using Google or Wikipedia. If you can do it, then kudos to you: go right on using that epic cliche of a comparison. Although last time I checked, nobody's going to storm your house, put a gun to your head, and direct you to and force you to buy anything it sells. Additionally, Apple still doesn't have an equivalent of Room 101 at the Cupertino campus. Maybe they'll announce it at WWDC.

6. "Apple is the new Microsoft"

Apple isn't the new Microsoft. You know why not? Because other than Windows 7 and Office, the "new" Microsoft doesn't know how to make a successful product. The Zune tanked. The KIN will tank. Windows Phone Blake's 7 (or whatever they're calling it this week) is going to tank. The Xbox, for all the market penetration it has, is a loss leader for Microsoft even after five years on the shelves. Internet Explorer's market share, which was overwhelming ten years ago, is inching downward toward 50%. Apple's market cap just surpassed Microsoft's, and the reason why had just as much to do with Microsoft's financial free-fall as it has Apple's ascendance.

If anything, Apple is more like the old Microsoft. So fat with cash it can buy just about whatever it wants. Dominance in at least one industry, thanks to the iPod. A tight grip on public mindshare of what a smartphone is and is capable of doing, because of the iPhone. And yes, I'll admit it: a growing overconfidence, bordering on arrogance.

Apple isn't the "new" Microsoft. It's got far more in common with the Microsoft of the mid-90s, when it was on top of its game and had yet to be smacked down by regulators or competitors. But the comparisons run thin when you look at the numbers behind them, because unlike mid-90s Microsoft, Apple doesn't have a monopoly on anything. Worldwide Mac marketshare is near 5%. The iPhone's worldwide marketshare among smartphones is about 16%, and something like 2-3% when we're talking about cellphones as a whole. iTunes Store sales account for about 27% of music sold in the US. The iPod is the closest thing Apple has to a monopoly, but even that has a 70% or so marketshare -- not the massive dominance of Windows or Office.

Mid-90s Microsoft was a colossus, capable of steamrolling the competition into dust. Its reputation was earned and deserved -- I mean, it got to the point that Bill Gates even demolished Homer Simpson's half-baked little startup. The Apple of 2010 wields a lot of power, and it sometimes does it in a very heavy-handed manner... but name one thing Apple's done that even comes close to what Microsoft did to Netscape Navigator.

7. Smug Mac users

This last one needs to die for a different reason: because unlike any of the others, this one is often true. Mac geeks, you're all guilty of this. So am I, right now, in this article. There's me, something like 700 words ago: "I'd never try to use the trackpad on one of their laptops, hur hur hur." We look down our noses at Windows and computers without Apple logos on them. We justify paying a little more for our Macs by talking about build quality, reliability, and the ability to run OS X with the same borderline snooty tones as BMW owners describing the merits of their cars versus a Ford. "Macs never crash," we lie. "OS X runs so much better than Windows," we say through clenched teeth, right before adjusting our ascots.

The "Get a Mac" ads didn't do our image any favors. I'm glad those ads have been retired, because I hated them for the same reason a lot of Apple haters did. John Hodgeman's PC character was a loser, but he was a loveable loser, the kind of character a lot of us geeks can identify with. Justin Long's Mac character, whether intentionally or not, radiated smugness. I may be a Mac user, but I'd rather have a beer with "PC" than frappuccinos with "Mac" any day.

I think this smugness, whether it's perceived or actual smugness, is what fuels most of the anti-Apple hatred these days. If you don't own an iPhone and have no intention of buying one, then it's no skin off your back if Apple runs its App Store like "Stalinist Russia" or "Nazi Germany" or "North Korea" or whatever bit of hyperbole is in vogue this week. If you don't own a Mac and don't want to, then why does the opinion of a measly 5% of the computing world even matter? I'm willing to bet it's in large part because of the Smug.

So there you have it: six cliches that need to die because they're inherently dumb, and one that needs to die because it's sometimes true. Go ahead and keep using them if you want, but at this point it's like busting out the "cabbage patch" in a dance contest: may be good for laughs, but no points awarded. As always, feel free to disagree with me, because what do I know? I'm just a smug, Kool-Aid drinking fanboy, who never gets to play any games on his one-button computer thanks to Big Brother Steve and the New Microsoft.

TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Education; Religion; Test Topic, Ignore It
KEYWORDS: 1984; 1buttonmouse; apple; bsod; fanboi; fanboy; flamewar; haters; ilovebillgates; iwanthim; iwanthimbad; koolaid; m; mac; microoft; microsoft; microsoftfanboys; newmicrosoft; nogames; smug
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
Sorry, but Kool-Aid is alive and well in Apple world. If anything, its at new heights.

I went into an Apple store the week the iPad was released. The table was surrounded 3 deep to get a look at it. As it finally cleared up a bit and I got to take a look, some guy walks up next to me, picked it up like he was holding the baby jesus, and with a look on his face bordering on orgasm, he looked over at me and whispered, "oh my god, I can't believe I'm finally touching one."

21 posted on 05/31/2010 8:48:31 PM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.")
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To: dayglored
"they left out was that Apple users are gay."

That one is news to us here who have always used Macs and have also been married for 24 years. No viagara needed! :)

22 posted on 05/31/2010 8:49:42 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
Remember Gulliver's Travels and the big endian against
the little endian war, PCS store large numbers as big
endian and Apple stores large numbers as little endians.
23 posted on 05/31/2010 8:50:43 PM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ((B.?) Hussein (Obama?Soetoro?Dunham?) Change America Will Die From.)
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To: PJammers

That’s something I thought MS screwed up with. They allowed computer companies to sell machines labeled “Vista Capable” but shipped with 512 of memory.

Did they expect that to really work?

I have a laptop with Vista Ultimate and it works flawlessly. It’s equipped to run the OS and yet to have a problem. Never had a compatibility issue, crash or freeze up. Networks better than anything I’ve tried.
If I read what Mac users (and linux users) say about it (you know, people who don’t own or use it), you’d think Vista couldn’t run a keyboard.

Maybe I’m the exception. I did research before purchase. The hardware was right.

That’s a big reason why Apple’s stuff works. It’s simply matched to run the OS and still has the power to do more.
I think that was MS’s big blunder for a lot of things.

24 posted on 05/31/2010 8:50:59 PM PDT by Gun142 (Where Will You Be When You Get Where You're Going? -- Jerry Clower)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
In online debates, there's an informal rule known as Godwin's Law, whereby if you invoke references or comparisons to Nazis or Hitler, you've automatically lost the debate.

It's remarkable that this person actually links to Wikipedia's definition of Godwin's Law when it's obvious he has never read it. Sort of like those e-mail hoaxes that people forward including a link to Snopes (saying "Snopes has confirmed this!") which actually debunks it.

25 posted on 05/31/2010 8:51:49 PM PDT by Sloth (Civil disobedience? I'm afraid only the uncivil kind is going to cut it this time.)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
Why don't we see any articles about 7 anti-Apple anti-generic clones cliches that need to die, I don't care what you think about witch computer I use.

Free market baby should be a conservatives motto in this matter.

motto, that reminds me I need some apple sauce.

26 posted on 05/31/2010 8:57:40 PM PDT by ThomasThomas (Sometimes I like nuts. That's why I am here.)
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To: Gun142

I’m still on Vista. I like it much better now that all the service packs are out.

27 posted on 05/31/2010 9:00:01 PM PDT by BenKenobi (I want to hear more about Sam! Samwise the stouthearted!)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

This smug Apple Kool-Aid drinking fanboy is straight out of 1984 and has a one-button mouse for a brain, although he’s right about one thing: Apple isn’t the new Microsoft.

Actually, I couldn’t care less what machine people decide to buy and use. I just wanted to see if I could get all his cliches into one sentence. :-)

28 posted on 05/31/2010 9:10:56 PM PDT by EternalVigilance ("Socialist/Jihadist Obama Boats: Blockade running in support of terrorists since 2010.")
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

That’s funny. I was in Best Buy a few times shortly after iPad was released and noticed some things at the Apple table. (3 times I had to wait over 20 minutes there)

1 Teenagers primarily were looking (about 90% were age 16-18)
2 Apple table was never more than half populated on the computer and laptop side. Most of the time it was the same kids the whole time
3 In my three visits where I had to be right across from the table the whole time, not one person touched an iPad and very few even looked. Most walked past, if they noticed anything they saw the back of a big monitor (it was cool).
4 The (non-Apple) laptop and notebook aisles where (80+%) of machines were occupied by people of all ages
5 Nobody bought an Apple while I was in the store
6 Didn’t count but did notice several non-Apple systems were purchased during each of my visits

Consider my experience anecdotal? Yes.
But there was a major lack of interest displayed in the store.
Compare that to what the fanboys feed us on the internet.... The store should have had a line all the way back to the grocery store down the street just for people to possibly see an iPad or Apple product.

How many iPad purchases do you think were made by new Apple customers?
I’d bet 90% or more were bought by previous Apple owners and 2\3 of those buy anything with the Apple logo on it. Maybe not all obnoxious fanboys but loyal customers and “collectors”.

29 posted on 05/31/2010 9:13:12 PM PDT by Gun142 (Where Will You Be When You Get Where You're Going? -- Jerry Clower)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

Aw, cut him some slack. He’s probably never touched a woman’s boob before.

30 posted on 05/31/2010 9:13:59 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: chris_bdba
>> "they left out was that Apple users are gay."

> That one is news to us here who have always used Macs and have also been married for 24 years. No viagara needed! :)

Oh, I'm with you there -- I've used Macs since before there were Macs (i.e. the Lisa)... also machines running MS-DOS, all versions of Windows, various Unixes, various Linuxes, and some others. Not in the least gay.

I was only mentioning that it's a common anti-Apple flame meme.

31 posted on 05/31/2010 9:14:05 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
Actually, modern Apple-supplied mouse pointers since the Mighty Mouse have essentially two-button functionality anyway--functionality that had been asked for from the likes of Microsoft for Office for the Mac and Adobe for its Creative Suite software. It's well-known that if you plug in a USB-port two-button mouse with a scroll wheel (e.g., many Microsoft and Logitech models), MacOS X will allow you to configure all functionality of the two buttons plus the scroll wheel without adding additional drivers.
32 posted on 05/31/2010 9:20:19 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
Fanboy... dismiss it if you want to, but the term fits for ALOT of Apple fans. Trust me, I used to be an Apple fanboy. Apple enjoys the benefits of its rabid fan base, good for them! Hey, fanboy, if the shoe fits....

BTW, I am still an Apple fan, waiting for the first iPad price drop to buy one..

33 posted on 05/31/2010 9:21:06 PM PDT by Paradox (Socialism - trickle up poverty.)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
Apple is run by Leftists.

Leftists control speech.

Leftist control consists in killing opponents.

Therefore the title: "7 anti-Apple cliches that need to die."

Any questions?

34 posted on 05/31/2010 9:22:43 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
What is it with Apple fanatics need to constantly, publicly, and very vocally justify their OS choice/lifestyle? I used to think *nix nerds were the worst (saying this as a Linux fan myself) but I'm firmly convinced the Apple fans have them beat these days.

Good trollbait of an article. LOL!

35 posted on 05/31/2010 10:19:29 PM PDT by thecabal (Destroy Progressivism)
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To: chris_bdba
No viagara needed!

Mac as a "marital aid"? Wow. Creepy.

36 posted on 05/31/2010 10:22:15 PM PDT by thecabal (Destroy Progressivism)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast
Facts: Nice. Works well. Expensive and proprietary.

37 posted on 05/31/2010 10:26:25 PM PDT by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~; 1234; 50mm; Abundy; Action-America; acoulterfan; AFreeBird; Airwinger; Aliska; ...
The Seven deadly Cliches of anti-Apple FUD... PING!

Anti-Apple/Mac/iPhone/iPad Cliches Ping!

If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.

38 posted on 05/31/2010 10:59:21 PM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE isAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE!Apple could simply require that any iPho)
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To: wendy1946
You left out GANGSTERISM, i.e. the stunt Apple pulled shutting down the Atari 520 ST around 86 when it appeared that Apple would need four years to come up with anything comparable. THAT is the main reason I don’t have anything to do with Apple or its products.

And you'd be totally wrong... Apple had nothing to do with any of that. Your claim that Apple shut down the Atari ST in 1986 is BS. The Atari 520 ST and the Commodore Amiga 1000 through 4000 were around far after 1986. The Atari ST line was commercially available into the early 1990s. Atari shut down the ST development in 1993 to concentrate on their new Jaguar games console. I was there. . . and was even involved in the bankruptcy sale of Commodore in 1994 and a friend of mine was the principle of one of the three companies that was certified to be a bidder on the assets of Commodore at the auction in 1995.

39 posted on 05/31/2010 11:30:32 PM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE isAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE!Apple could simply require that any iPho)
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To: devere
“Why are Apple products so ludicrously overpriced?”

And the answer provided on Yahoo! Answers is totally bogus and wrong...

"Because Apple has never allowed their products to be built and cloned by anyone else. It's called open sourced. They've kept everything secret, expensive and to themselves. Conversely, IBM let out all the secrets for their PC back in the 80s. Everyone made clones and copied what IBM had done. That is why the PC market is 10 times larger than Apple's market. Apple is the only company providing Apple products so they control the price. Naturally, they keep it expensive. And for no good reason."

...because Apple products are not "ludicrously overpriced."

IF one compares similarly configured Windows PC computers to the Apple computers, one finds that the Apple products are competitively priced, and often LESS EXPENSIVE than the Windows computers. This has been shown many times. Apple does not compete in the bargain basement... But when one configures a Windows PC to match the components and specs of an Apple computer, the prices are often within 5-10% of each other... higher or lower... competitive.

40 posted on 05/31/2010 11:38:00 PM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE isAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE!Apple could simply require that any iPho)
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