//Compare and Contrast PC and Mac fans//

//You call that a commission?//

un-PC stereotyping

At first glance they may seem identical; the hunched figures bent low over gleaming monitors, brows furrowed, hands a keyboard-bound blur. On both walls are plastered aged posters, of Sci-Fi movies past, and the whole scene is indistinguishable to a causul observer.

Yet these two figures insist on their differences, and depict themselves as radically different families, vying . So who allegedly are the hardcore PC and Mac users, and how accurate is this portrayal?

Social Gatherings

Both breeds of computer users may strike outsiders as particularly reclusive. This is essentially because Mac users are lonely solitary individuals, . This is patently false; for one thing, Microsoft’s share in Apple is large enough. It’s strange how

Mac users feel themselves to be members of an oppressed, minority group so have to bond together in large Moonie-style meetings to reaffirm their identity and their commitment to the faith. These gatherings, with names like MacWorld and MacExpo demonstrate exciting new products for all the

PC users on the other hand feel no such need; even if there were a single location at which all PC products were displayed, because their aims and hence their needs diverge so totally PC users would probably go to the smaller fair that dealt with their interests. PC users want their computer for games, for work, for multimedia, and they’ll go to different conferences, meetings and informal LAN parties with this in mind. There’s E3 in L.A. for computer games, there’s CEBIT for electronics and there’s LAN parties ranging from a group of friends, to the informal Scandinavian events involving five thousand or more people at once.

Clothes

When not sporting a dirty Mac, Apple afficionadoes go for the inoffensive look, sporting the typical gap rollneck and petrol-coloured trousers. They probably also wear expensive frameless glasses with prominent logos and spike their hair.

PC users on the other hand supposedly aren’t presentable to society. Grease spikes their hair naturally. They parade in clothes that look like they’ve just rolled out of bed, because they have (if they’ve gone to sleep at all), aged Red Dwarf T-shirts, matched to (broken & taped) NHS glasses. In fact the subsection of users who follow Linux are even more extreme, grubbing up in slack Penguin T-shirts, baggy jeans and cheap but tough shoes. All of these items will be black, not merely because this is easier to keep clean and requires less washing. We have actually seen the staff of Linux Format lever themselves out of crusted chairs, and race their frail frames at the promise of black t-shirts at the other end of the office.

Online

Food

A key difference in the arbitrary profiles of Mac users and PC users is their diet. A mac user has an Borough Market palette, preferring rocket and organic endives, fine wines and generally selecting from the . A PC user will be much more likely to indulge in pizza in front of his computer, or i-ronically, a Big Mac.

Genetics

Scientists are clever people (It’s been proved by, er… scientists), so it’s no surprise that they’ve recently demonstrated that there are significant differences in the DNA structure of the two species, comparable to the difference between lapwings, green plovers and peewits, or left-wing Republicans and right-wing Democrats.

Conclusion

It cannot be the case that these stereotypes are true of the majority of users; people swap from Mac to PC, and PC to Mac with such insoucient regularity that the two breeds are blended together, and indistinguishable to an objective eye; an obsessive Linux user is equally evangelical to a committed Mac user. That said, there may exist in the extremes

Annotation

Anatomy of a myth.

1 Brains

Users of apple Macs have been shown to be better educated and more wealthy than their PC equivalents. According to a study by the research group Nielsen/NetRatings, “With above-average household income and education levels, the Mac population presents a very attractive target for marketers, both online and offline.” They also tend to be more ‘web-savvy’, having been online for over five years on average.

2

The Eyes Have It.

Mac users have staked claim to the letter ‘i’, believing in their primitive way, that the soul lies in the eyes, or perhaps seeing the success of ‘e’, and envying its non-specifity. This i-totemism is exemplified in their obsession with sticking it in front of everything, in the hope of getting it to approximate better to their ideal; so the simple Pod, becomes the exotic iPod, the (Microsoft’s only outing with the Mac vowel, the i-Loo, should perhaps be seen as i-rony.)

3

iPod

The best thing to come out of the Apple labs since, well, ever, the iPod has achieved universal recognition for being the best value, most innovative (and that’s just what Ian Harris paid me to say) personal audio player ever. With it’s ease-of-use, small profile and large capacity it out-performed all competitors, and won begrduging plaudits from every PC user. This promise of excellence should be continued in the next generation with the iPod minis

4

RSI

The tiny crabbed hands of the committed macophile may remind sensitive souls of the worst effects of leprosy, but they’re due to one thing; insistence on using the original mouse with the 1984 Macintosh (perhaps the ominous date should have given them pause for thought.) With its tiny profile, and single button, this irritating blob meant an agonising crawl to any menu option. Thankfully, solved with OSX, this unfortunate deformity should become a thing of the past.

5

Choice

Most Apple advocates seem to be determinists; they believe that every cause has an inevitable effect, and hence they have no real choice in life. This inability to choose is perfectly suited by the Mac’s ‘one size fits all’ design philosophy, compared to the PC’s more modular layout. Compare the simplicity of the iMac to a self-built Linux box

6

Acne

An hardcore PC geek allegedly never leaves the bosom of his computer. This commitment to the midnight hour, leaves a PC user with a mime’s pallor, and the social skills to match. The skin rebels against a lack of Vitamin D and an excess of grease from the diet, and expresses itself in curious Jackson Pollock blotches. Rumour has it that in primitive PC user societies, they are taken as a mark of maturity, and eating large amounts of Pizza and staying up to the dawn is a rite of progress. This is probably an excuse.

7

DVT

Tales abound of committed Asian CounterStrikers dropping dead in LAN-cafes after mammoth online sessions, lasting several days. The cause? Deep Vein Thrombosis, normally only contracted during long-haul flights by cramped cattle-class passengers of middling years; not young men with the freedom to move as far from their desk as they want. Curiously these deaths just before the café-owner presents them with the bill for, begging the question that perhaps

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GriddleOctopus

There are few harder things in life than introducing yourself, especially in print where mellifluous nuance can turn to indulgent wankery. So. I am definitely a 'writer'. You could also call me an 'artist'. I could probably put the words 'designer' and 'consultant' here too, but they feel crass.

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