More fun with zealots


It’s common knowledge that Mac users promote their OS of choice with particular fervence, but this is easily dwarfed by the zeal shown by Linux users. This is particularly evident when Linux and Mac people end up coming into some kind of contact.

One of the key differences between the two types of users is that Mac users tend to appreciate the value-add that comes from a brand name product with a history of great craftsmanship and support. To them, this is ample justification to spend “brand name bucks”.

The Linux camp on the other hand believes any hardware issue can be solved with a screwdriver, a soldering gun, and some Red Bull. Support from the manufacturer is meaningless to them, as is any software that isn’t related to chat, web browsing or music piracy (but I’m not bitter).

Recently I was admonished twice by Linux users for having bought a MacBook Pro. “You could have spent half that for the same machine”, they said.

The first then attempted to demonstrate the overpriced nature of Apple products by comparing the Mac Mini, a Mini-ITX form factor, to a mid-tower Acer.

Two problems: Mini-ITX costs inherently more than mid-towers, which everyone knows – this comparison was therefore a clear attempt at deception. I’ve since priced out numerous ITX PC’s and they wind up costing about the same money.

The second pointed out that my MacBook Pro is sold for “half that price” by most others. I pointed out, as I usually do, that Dell’s laptops with equivalent specs cost the same amount of money, at which point he scoffed, apparently just as hateful of Dell, (and likely anything else that’s strongly representative of capitalism, but I digress).

Asus was pointed out. When you look at Asus, their matching configuration is the G1S, whose base configuration does indeed cost $199 less than mine did. In fact, it has twice the VRAM! Egg on my face!

There are several problems however. The specs don’t completely line up due to different product positioning. Apple sells a configuration of the MacBook Pro with more VRAM, but it also has a larger hard drive, faster processor and more RAM.

Another major problem is support. I can take my laptop to numerous service centers if I ever have a problem with it, where people trained on the system and provided with specific replacement parts are able to quickly solve my problems within the first three years of ownership. No such support options exist for either the Acer OR the Asus machines.

All these same benefits apply to Dell by the way, not just Apple. I would never buy an Asus or Acer machine, but I’d happily “overspend” on a high-end brand name system.

There is an overriding point to this rant, though. Never, ever tell someone they’ve overspent on something they’ve bought (especially if your needs are radically less sophisticated). Who the hell has that little couth?!

Addendum: The above rant on Linux users does not apply to Linux professionals. These are people who have firmly established understandings of where Linux works well and where it doesn’t. They kindof have to, or else they’d look constantly foolish.


2 responses to “More fun with zealots”

  1. This seems like a new trend in bashing others or looking down upon another when purchasing a Mac product. I myself and looking to purchase a Macbook or Macbook pro and have also been faced with criticism on how I’m wasting my money and how I can buy A Dell laptop for half the price (which I already own), Which by the way you are right on the money about it costing pretty close to the same when you price equal specs out. Maybe its jealousy I’m not sure, I found a lot of nay sayers change their opinions to a degree when they messed around with my Mac mini I have hooked up to my 55” TV but none the less they said they would rather get another machine to emulate with the OSx86 project . People are set in their ways.

  2. I’ve had Asus laptops, and while the specs might be good, the construction quality simply doesn’t compare with Apple’s. Also, there are several features which are usually taken for granted or reduced to a checkmark in the spec list, but whose quality can actually make a huge difference. For example, the Asus has an audio card, microphone and speakers (check), but the audio quality is the most hideous I’ve ever heard coming from any computer since the times of the PC Speaker. The speakers on my Asus laptop sound like an old broken radio, the audio output itself is pretty shabby (so using headphones helps, but it’s still not great), and if you attempt to close the computer without turning off the microphone, you get a feedback loop and an extremely loud whistle comes out of the speakers.
    This kind of thing really affects your enjoyment of a computer, but you won’t know it until you actually attempt to use it.