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Apple Businesses

Apple Wants Your Input 1002

Posted by michael
from the but-only-one-mouse-click-at-a-time dept.
Johnny Mnemonic writes "Apple is asking for feedback specifically from PC users about why you might be considering a Mac purchase, or if you recently purchased a Mac for the first time, why you made the switch. A good opportunity to sound off about your Apple peeves, but also a chance to let Apple know what you think they're doing right. The Mac OS X feedback page, originally from the Public Beta, is still up and accepting feedback, also."
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Apple Wants Your Input

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  • And I think it's not only the PC people who ARE interested in macs, but those who specifically aren't interested as well. Maybe then, Apple would really know what they need to woo the "other 95%".

  • one reason... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa&SPAM,yahoo,com> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:37PM (#3218740) Journal
    MAC OSX..
    simply the best Unix version for the desktop, the power of unix with the commercial support of windows without the excess baggage. That is one big reason.
  • by 1stflight (48795)
    1 It didn't cost me an arm and a leg. For what I'd pay for a new IMac, I could easily stock a brand new AthlonXP w/a full fledge GF4.

    Aside from that I love Mac's just too out of my price range .. *blah*
    • It didn't cost me an arm and a leg. For what I'd pay for a new IMac, I could easily stock a brand new AthlonXP w/a full fledge GF4


      I hear this arguement constantly and I find it frustrating to no end. Basically, I believe (and this is not a flame) that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to computers. Sure a Windows system will cost you less (and a Linux system even less, still) but you're losing quality in the deal.


      This would be like going to a dealership and saying "Why should I spend $40,000 on this BMW when I can go across the street and get a Geo Metro for $9,000? It'll take me to work just as well as the BMW won't it?"

      I believe that a lot of people who bring up this "flaw" about Macs are people who've never used one. Having used both extensively, I believe that the Macintosh is an amazing bit of engineering. But hey, that's just me. Use whatever works best for you.

      • Except in this case the $9,000 Geo Metro probably will work just as well or better.

        And what if you couldn't take the BMW on most of the roads in the world?

        The engineering that Apple seems to do seems to be in how to make their computers weird shapes, cool cases, quiet, colorful, small, have that nifty power button that the Cube had, or look like a desk lamp. Not in making them be good computers.

        Tim
        • TheOnlyCoolTim is right. You buy a lotta nice little things when you get a 40k car, but in the end you're still driving on the same road. The car may do 140, but the roads won't let you. You may have climate control, but if it was really all that important they'd find a way to put it in a cheaper car.

          A lot of people buy computers for the potential of what they can do, as opposed to buying them for a very specific task. I want to get a Mac to use Lightwave on, but the reality is that plug-in support is far better on the PC than the Mac.

          It doesn't get interesting until I want to use Lightwave on a Laptop. Then the Mac play comes into Focus. Apple really knows how to make a laptop. I feel like I'm definitely getting more bang for my buck when I go that route. The Mac's simplicity and elegance on a laptop is far more enticing than as a desktop machine. It's a lot easier to justify.

      • This would be like going to a dealership and saying "Why should I spend $40,000 on this BMW when I can go across the street and get a Geo Metro for $9,000? It'll take me to work just as well as the BMW won't it?"


        This is not a sound analogy. First of all, the cheap PC is as fast or faster. But more importantly, other than the CPU and the case, modern Macintoshes basically are PCs. They use standard PC memory (and not DDR, either), standard PC video, IDE hard drives, PCI/AGP expansion slots, USB and Firewire...inside the shiny case there is nothing unique about them. There might have been something to this in 1984, when you could get a Mac with real sound and a 32-bit CPU where no corresponding PC existed, or even 1989 or so with a Mac II and a high-resolution display. But the proprietary hardware that used to distinguish systems like Macs and (moreso) Amigas from PC clones can't compete with commodity PC hardware in price/performance any longer. Even the PowerPC CPU, which by the most optimistic estimates is only on par with Intel and AMD, really only functions as a glorified copy protection device, to make running the operating system on (even more) commodity hardware difficult. If they could do it without opening the door to simple OS X emulators for commodity PCs, I believe Apple would move to AMD or Intel CPUs for the cost savings.
  • by xonker (29382) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:41PM (#3218764) Homepage Journal
    What about asking why people aren't considering Apple? Seems to me they're just soliciting favorable commentary.

    If I was in Apple's marketing department I'd be asking "what would it take to get you to switch to Macs?" not "why are you thinking about buying a Mac?" or "Now that we have your money, what do you think?"

    There are two main things stopping Apple from gaining greater market share: Price and Applications. They cost too damn much (for what you get) and don't have all the apps that Windows (or even Linux, these days) has.

    I'd really like to see Apple get their act together and take about 30% of the desktop market instead of the pathetic share they have now. I'd be happy as a clam if Linux could steal just 20% of the market, give Apple 30% and let Microsoft keep the majority but keep them on their toes.
    • If I was in Apple's marketing department I'd be asking "what would it take to get you to switch to Macs?" not "why are you thinking about buying a Mac?" or "Now that we have your money, what do you think?"

      Because they already know all the reasons people give for not buying a Mac. You give two favourites yourself.

      There are two main things stopping Apple from gaining greater market share: Price and Applications. They cost too damn much (for what you get) and don't have all the apps that Windows (or even Linux, these days) has.

      Now lets look at it: First off, price. The bottom line iMac is actually very cheap and when you compare it to a packaged PC deal with 3 year warranty, you'll actually find the prices are roughly the same and the Mac has more features. For the average user speed is not an issue, that's why Celerons sell so well.

      Next up, applications. There are more Windows applications out there, given. However, there are *far* more Mac OS X applications out there than there are Linux applications, despite your statement. This is mostly because most Linux applications happily run on OS X (and more and more are coming precompiled in a double-clickable installer). Secondly, most of the applications on Windows are absolute crap that you don't want to use. Think about it - how many applications do you have installed on your PC? How many do you use? What do you need to do that can't be done on the Mac? While there are some things that are better done on a Windows box, and some things that can't be done on a Mac at all, for most people all the apps you'll ever need are available for Mac.

      The other thing to note is that Apple is asking people who are considering Mac what they think because they are potential customers, people who have ruled out Macintosh (or are so narrow minded that they won't even consider it) are a lost cause for Apple. Take the easy money first then slowly expand into the harder markets if you need to. Don't beat your head against a brick wall for no reason.

      • Linux apps on OS X (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mikemcc (4795) on Monday March 25, 2002 @02:37AM (#3219746)
        I'm a couple of weeks into an experiment. Over the holidays I indulged a consumerist impulse and bought a Titanium Laptop. After the second credit card statement arrived, I decided I'd damned well better get some use out of a machine that I paid roughly $3,000 for. So for the past 2+ weeks I've left the Linux machine off and have used the TiBook as my sole home machine.

        For the most part, I have no complaint. Many long time OS 9 users are vocally unhappy about the Aqua GUI. I'm a longtime WindowMaker user, so I'm on conceptually familiar ground. I like being able to SSH into my laptop from work and continue the project I was working on. I like the fact that fetchmail and sendmail come pre-installed on my laptop. I really, really like the OmniWeb browser (http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniweb/). I like watching (the Pro only) QuickTime movie trailers from quicktime.apple.com when it's 1:30 AM and I really ought to be in bed. I'm very impressed with iTunes and iPhoto. I assume at this point that if I owned a digital movie camera that I would be impressed with iMovie, as well.

        I do, however, have two noticeable complaints:

        1) I've spent the weekend trying to compile PHP 4.1.2 on this damned machine, and I'm getting tired of reading potentially helpful posts on various mailing lists which all end in the same error message:
        "/usr/bin/libtool: internal link edit command failed"

        If anyone has encountered this error message while compiling PHP 4.1.2 and resolved matters to their liking, I would be delighted to hear what you did.

        2) I bought Civilization III for Mac OS X. I have a 677mz G4 processor with 512 MB of RAM, and the damned game is so slow its almost unplayable. That's simply unacceptable. I can't remember the last time that I cursed so much at a game. It doesn't matter if companies port their software to Mac OS X, if the port is practically unusable.

        One final thought, unrelated to the previous statements:

        I don't give a damn about the price. I don't use Linux because it's Beer-Free. I've happily paid for every version of the OS that I've used over the past five years; I understand how a Market Economy works. If you tell me that you didn't buy a Macintosh because it didn't do something that you needed, or because it did something you found unacceptable, I'll gladly accept that. But if you tell me you didn't buy a Mac because you were too cheap, rest assured that you won't get invited to any of my parties. I'd rather have no scotch than cheap scotch ;-)

        Best regards,

        Mike McC
        • by Aapje (237149)
          1) Precompiled packages for MacOS X based on a nice package manager (PHP 4.1.2 is available):

          http://fink.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net]

          You can also use the instructions in this article [stepwise.com] to easily compile version 4.0.6 with the options that you want.

          2) Civilization III is known to be slow (also on a PC). Have you installed the latest patch [infogrames.net] and disabled quartz text? You can also try to make an image of the CD (with disk copy) and use that, that should speed it up a bit as well. Optimizing your HD is also advisable. I've heard about a guy having smooth gameplay with the same machine that you have, so it's certainly possible.
        • Civ 3/PHP (Score:3, Informative)

          To make Civ III playable turn off Aqua rendering in the preferences.

          For PHP have you tried:
          stepwise.

        • PHP URL (Score:3, Informative)

          for the PHP install try this: http://www.entropy.ch/software/MacOSx/php/

          Should be everything you need. It has some FAQs as well. If you used textedit to edit your php.config file, it is likely the culprit.

          I hope you find this useful.
        • by frankie (91710)
          spent the weekend trying to compile PHP 4.1.2

          Marc Liyanage [entropy.ch] has what you want, or you could try OpenOSX [openosx.com].
      • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Monday March 25, 2002 @07:51AM (#3220493) Homepage
        However, there are *far* more Mac OS X applications out there than there are Linux applications, despite your statement. This is mostly because most Linux applications happily run on OS X (and more and more are coming precompiled in a double-clickable installer).

        Er, sorry? By that logic the number of Linux apps beats any OS out there by miles because any Windows app can be run under Wine (not true of course). It makes no sense:

        • To run a Linux app under OS X you must be a guru at recompiling (unless it's been prepackaged: not very frequent), which very few OS X users are, basically only those that migrated from Linux.
        • You must invariably be running an X Server. I have tried XDarwin at my Mac-lover friends house, and it'd scare the living daylights out of most Mac users. Sure, it has an installer program, but when you run it what pops up? TWM with three xterms. Most Mac users won't want to place XDarwin (which is huge) onto their systems, and keep it running in the background just to run a Linux app.
        • Most of the decent Linux apps these days are KDE or GNOME apps. Although in theory these could be ported, I have yet to see many people running all the KDE libraries and an X server just to use an OS X app.
        • Linux apps don't have the Aqua look, and there are large numbers of OS X users out there who were 'inspired' shall we say by its looks. You give them a GTK+ or Qt app and they'll puke.

        Now don't get me wrong, I like OS X. But saying it has more apps than Linux or Windows is ridiculous. Actually you often can't even count Classic apps either, I know that the fact that you had to run Photoshop in classic has held back widespread OS X adoption by old-skool mac users for a long time, and my friend hates running Classic apps, would often rather wait until it's been ported in fact. So you can't really class Classic apps as OS X apps, it's just emulation of the hackiest sort (it boots the whole of OS 9 into a window).

    • I was a long time apple user and loved the OS. However I'm now typing this in on an Athalon running XP and Redhat 7.2. The primary reason I made the switch is price, it would have cost me an arm and a leg to get anything other than an iMac which had too small a monitor (the component that couldn't be upgraded without buying an external one). I never considered the "lack" of applications although windows people always bugged me about it, I don't see the advantage in having 50x as many games as you could possibly play as opposed to 10x. I also found 8.1 fairly slow in relation to Wintels from the same year, and also fairly buggy (though not as buggy as ME on my new machine). My parents are getting a new iMac (it should be arrieving any day now...) and I'm looking forward to looking at OS X.
    • What about asking why people aren't considering Apple? Seems to me they're just soliciting favorable commentary.

      The problem with trying to address those people is trying to address those people.

      Take you average PC user. He's using a PC because he has not considered anything else. It's what the mass uses. So, he wont address the dilemma or considering anything else but the one most susceptible of being in his environment.

      Thus, the mass of PC users wont be very much keen into letting Apple know why they didn't choose Apple (or Linux, or BSD, or else). Apple just can not reach those users. They are undisturbably comfy with their choice.
    • If I was in Apple's marketing department I'd be asking "what would it take to get you to switch to Macs?" not "why are you thinking about buying a Mac?" or "Now that we have your money, what do you think?"

      But you're not in Apple's marketing dept. and just judging from the point you're making, you're not in any marketing dept. I undestand where you're coming from, but that isn't how this kind of thing works. Love 'em or hate 'em, marketing people are stuck with the onerous task of managing the public relations and public image of a business and its products. The last thing a marketing person would do is throw up a question to the public like "Why aren't you considering Apple?" or "What would it take to get you to switch to Macs?" Not only does that sound slightly like a plea (and pathetic), but it also carries the assumption that there is something inherently wrong or missing in the product in question. May as well just put up a question like "Why do we suck so much that you choose Windows instead?" or "Tell us about your worst Mac using experience?"

      No doubt you're right that they want to know why people don't pick Macs; that's what they're getting at, but marketing people (at least the ones I know) are excruciatingly detail-oriented and pick and choose their words, images, and public relation moves with extreme care. It's their job.

      --Rick


    • What about asking why people aren't considering Apple? Seems to me they're just soliciting favorable commentary.


      Maybe... just maybe... if you're a PC User not considering a Mac... you're *drumroll* not going to be going to Apple's website.

      (Yes, I know, there are reasons for PC Users to go to Apple's website (Quicktime), but they won't have any reason to fill anything like this out.)

    • "If I was in Apple's marketing department I'd be asking 'what would it take to get you to switch to Macs?' not 'why are you thinking about buying a Mac?'"

      The thing is, by asking the question, "why are you thinking about buying a Mac?," Apple taps into the opinions of those who are on the fence, those whose could be within Apple's target market, but aren't quite yet there yet.
    • by llamalicious (448215) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:46PM (#3219083) Journal
      So don't ask us why they didn't ask us. Simply give them your feedback.
      Here's what I sent:

      I've been seriously contemplating getting a Mac as my next machine. I work at an Ad Agency in Central New York, where the designers are all Mac users and I'm the senior interactive developer, and use both a Mac and PC side-by-side most of the day. I find the Mac (specifically OS X) a much more geek friendly environment than Windows.

      My primary concerns about purchasing a Mac for my personal use (and leaving the PC) are

      1. Price/performance ratio.
      I can currently configure a dual Athlon system @ 1.8GHz with 1GB RAM, 160GB RAID 5 array and a 21" CRT for approximately $2000.
      However, I cannot get anywhere near that level of performance with a Macintosh for that type of money.

      2. Availability of native Carbon and/or Cocoa versions of applications from Macromedia and Adobe.
      This concern is primarily time-dependent, however, I could not consider moving forward with a Mac purchase until all the major software comes over to OS X.
      I would not use a Macintosh with OS 9.2.2+, it's too unstable for the type of work I do, so OS X compatibility (without using Classic) is a big issue.

      So hopefully, by the time Macromedia and Adobe finish up their product lines, newer G4 (or G5) processors will be out, and costs can be driven down.
      Bottom line: Not yet. Mainstream application support needs to be stronger (no shareware or freeware for me) and the price needs to come down.

      Sincerely,
      llamalicious

      p.s. Keep up the good work, I would LOVE to get away from an MS-centric household.
      p.p.s. While I love Mach, and BSD; you've GOT to do something about all these Kernel Panics with SCSI CD-R/RW's installed in the machine.
  • I just recently purchased the iPod and I'm using a PC. I was debating whether I should or not being that they may release a PC version (rumor is middle of this year) and whether or not I'd be fucked (by the way, anyone's input on this would be appreciated, what your personal choice would be).

    I think this may somewhat go to them basically asking "Hey, does our products compel you to buy an apple because, if not, maybe we'll just release them for the PC instead."

    Of course, I'll leave it up to Apple to be a bit more subtle.
    • Don't expect Apple to release PC software for the iPod anytime soon. Here's why:

      Apple just released a 10GB version of the iPod, but they did not lower the price of the 5GB version. This tells me that the 5GB version is selling very well, because the cost of the components (and the R&D costs) have come down a lot. The iPod uses a 1.8" HD from Toshiba. I've seen firewire external HDs with that drive as low as $170. Apple could probably afford to sell the 5GB iPod for $300, and certainly $350 at this point. Why don't they? 1) No competition. 2) They sell. Simple as that. As long as the iPods are selling, and as long as people buy Macs so they can use an iPod, Apple won't release PC software.

      Apple sold 125,000 iPods in less than two months. How many of those were sold with a Mac? Who knows? Enough to keep Apple happy.

  • by Mike Schiraldi (18296) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:44PM (#3218777) Homepage Journal
    Here's my question: Why are we still double-clicking?

    MacOS required double-clicking because it originally only supported one mouse button.

    Microsoft ripped off MacOS, warts and all, so Windows makes you double-click too.

    Then the Linux desktops ripped off Windows, warts and all, and we have to double-click as well. (Sure, you can override it. I do. But it's certainly not something the average user, even the average Linux user, can do)

    Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if your OS worked like your web browser? Left click to launch, left drag to move, right click for more options. No double clicking. Ever.

    Remember when you first taught your mom to double click and how much trouble she had? Then she started double-clicking everything: buttons in Word, links in Netscape, you name it. She was confused because it was inconsistent and a stupid UI decision.

    So i say Apple should lead the way again and get people off the stupid double-clicking habit.
    • What if I just want to highlight an icon?
      • Why? For fun?

        If you're highlighting it, you probably want to do something with it, like rename it. To do that, you'll need the right-click menu -- or, on a Mac, i believe it's the command-click or option-click or open-apple-click or something :)

        So why not just right click it and skip the pointless highlighting step?

        Or, if you really want to highlight it, just hover over it.
        • So I'm trying to move an icon from here to there, but my hand isn't steady. So the application keeps starting.

          If double click wasn't available, the first thing I would do is remap the single click app-start action to the middle button. But Macs don't have middle buttons.
        • Or, if you really want to highlight it, just hover over it.

          I have real problems with this, because I frequently accidently knock my mouse (or something else does). That's why I've turned off Sun-style 'hilight follows the pointer' behaviour. I used to like it, but I found too often that my typing would redirect to the wrong window.

          This is particularly bad when working as root on multiple machines at once. Sysadmin setups should be as error-safe as is possible and still usable.
        • If you're highlighting it, you probably want to do something with it, like rename it.

          ... or move it or delete it. Oh, and three or four other files as well. Oops! How do I right click on three or four files all at once without having selected them first?

    • well considering they are still building the GUI to be one button-centric, I do not see them dumping double click. and, if you did not notice, all the single click stuff is compatable to the double click, when was the last time a second instence of the link you click ever come up?

      yes it is anoying, but it does not keep people from effectivly using the PC.
    • I personally prefer the double-click : the odds of clicking once on the 'wrong' icon or widget are high, while the odds of clicking twice on the same widget within a fraction of a second are much lower. If my clickfinger twitches involuntarily, I don't want my drive to start loading all 7 gigabytes of the latest Mozilla build, only to close it seconds later.

      Double-clicking is easy, just get over it.
      • Fine, if you want to use double-click, then at least be consistent -- force the user to double-click the Start Menu, hyperlinks, the menubar at the top of the screen, buttons, window titlebars, everything.

        Otherwise, what's the rule for determining what needs to be clicked and what needs to be double-clicked?

        There is none.

        It's random and you just have to memorize it. That's stupid and it confuses novices for no reason.
        • by Have Blue (616) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:15PM (#3218947) Homepage
          Double-click is just another degree of freedom for interface designers. Attach the second-most-commonly used function to it and it's just as fast as a single click, and faster than scrolling through a menu.

          Double-clicking is only really used in the Mac OS for launching files, and that's because the 2 things you can do to files (open and select) are about equally common. Although lots of apps also use double clicks for common alternate tasks like bringing up options dialogs. There are a lot of places in a modern interface where there are two most-common-by-far (or sometimes even exactly 2) tasks that can be performed, and a double click works fine there.

          [plus the usual argument about multiple mouse buttons]
    • "Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if your OS worked like your web browser?"

      In Windows Explorer, go to the Tools menu, then click on Folder Options. Click the radio button labeled "Single-click to open an item (point to select)." Icons on your desktop will then act like web page links.

      This option has been around in Windows for a while. I think the real reason people don't use it is mostly because they have grown accustomed to double-clicking. You're right -- it is inconsistent behavior. However, at least Windows gives you a pretty easy way to change it.
    • Okay, people, you can stop replying to say that it's possible to change these settings in Windows. See this post [slashdot.org] for an explanation.

      Of course, nobody reads the replies before replying. Because of the way the moderation system works here, you have to hurry up and get your post out or else nobody, not even the moderators, will ever see it.
    • by $carab (464226)
      Actually, most Sony Vaio PCs with Windows XP come configured web-style (browse over highlights, click opens).

      There are several reasons I don't use a mac:
      1. Price. Quite simply, Apple has crushed Moore's Law by charging people twice as much for last years technology. I mean, you can build a system with an Ahlon 2100+, 512 MB DDR RAM, GF 4, and have it be similarly priced with macs that have less than half the features. Any benchmark save photoshop, I feel confident that my 1.2 Ghz Athlon @ 1.33 would smoke any mac on the market.

      2. Nerdishness. The apple PR shifts Apple towards those who feel that their wallets make them more "special" than average PC users. Your average nerd sees right through this, and makes the logical conclusion that macs are for the other kind of "special" people. If you think OS X makes you cool 'cuz its Unix, think again. Try installing Linux on that Mac ... Oh, wait, not "user friendly" enough for you? Too bad ... maybe you aren't as leet as you thought you were.

      3. The apple myth
      Wow...Apples are for cool people, scientists and potheads who "think different"

      Actually, as is documented in In the beginning there was the command prompt, Apple is one of the most draconian providers of computing materials. Opening up their platform would lower prices, but Apple would lose their "mystique"... Apple has made their descision, and I have made mine.

      4. Really no need
      Gaming? Try GF4 + Athlon+ Windows XP
      Server? Try Linux
      Looking good to impress chicks? Oh, wait, maybe macs do have a purpose.

      Anyways, so I don't get marked down for trolling:
      For many years (1994-1998, I believe), I used an old mac (7200/75). When I finally switched to Windows, it was like whole worlds were being opened. I was able to learn and explore so much about computers.

      The only other time I had that experience was when I installed Linux on that old mac.

      I am currently trying to acquire a G3 yosemite from a friend to set up as a DHCP/FTP/HTTP/DNS server, running Linux and looking stylish at the same time.

      It's not that I hate macs, It's just that they don't really meet my needs...Then again, you sell that smart-looking G4 for under 1k, and I'll be the first in line.
    • Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if your OS worked like your web browser? Left click to launch, left drag to move, right click for more options. No double clicking. Ever.

      Ugh...we've already been there, or do you not remember Internet Explorer 4 and Active Desktop? Single-clicking in directory windows lasted less than 5 minutes for me...after that, it became irritating as hell and was disabled. How would you propose selecting multiple items (not all in the same location) if a single click will launch it?

      I was playing a bit with KDE last weekend, and they seem to have made the same flawed decision that you propose. I haven't done enough digging into the configuration options yet, but there had better be a way to turn off single-click-to-run or it's getting removed.

  • ....will Steve Jobs and Co. listen? The single thing that Apple consistently does is this: They make insanely great systems and software (think about the last product you said that about. especially a computer system that your technophobe grandmother loves), yet fails to follow through with the promise time and time again (over-priced hardware, giving up on the educational market, etc.)

    But then again, they have US $4.1 billion in the bank and I'm getting a new powerbook soon (my 5th mac) so who am I to judge?

  • by webword (82711) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:46PM (#3218788) Homepage
    ...Microsoft [microsoft.com]

    On more serious note, surveys and questionnaires are generally useless. They really only get at user preferences not their actual behavior.

    Let's take an example. If you asked me if I would rather have a Lexus LS400 or a Honda Accord, I would say I wanted the Lexus LS400. But don't you see how useless that is? What matters are my actions. I don't have the money do buy the Lexus but I might have the money to purchase the Accord and that is what really matters. You need to see what I do at the dealership.

    You need to understand usability. You also need to read books like Paco Underhill's Why We Buy : The Science of Shopping [amazon.com] . If you go with surveys and questionnaires, your getting somewhat useless subjective data (i.e., opinions). You really want behavioral data. Got it?
    • Let's take an example. If you asked me if I would rather have a Lexus LS400 or a Honda Accord, I would say I wanted the Lexus LS400. But don't you see how useless that is?

      Yes, that is useless. That is why the questionnaire is not "Would you rather have a Macintosh or a PC?"

      The questionnaire is asking, "If this is your behavior, why?" How does that not reflect behavior, unless people flat-out lie?

      mark
    • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@pacbe l l .net> on Monday March 25, 2002 @02:11AM (#3219706) Homepage
      You're so close!

      Asking people who bought recently why they bought it, what was attractive, and what were the problems *is* behavioral data.

      It tells them what qualms and fears, what irritations, what incentives, and what finally made them buy the Mac.

      To be clear, Apple is not asking "Which would you rather have, a Lexus LS400 or a Honda Accord?"

      They are asking "You just bought a Lexus LS400. Why? When? What did you like? What gave you problems?"

      or they're asking "You are currently considering a Lexus LS400. Why? When? What do you like? What's stopping you?"

      Read their RFC page, it's really that simple.
  • One word. GAMES Ok so there are plenty of other serious reasons for owning a computer, but HUGE numbers of us also use it as a home entertainment device. While Apple has made great strides in this arena, and there are ever growing numbers of Mac/PC ports, the PC is still the dominant player in this field (and probably will remain so with marketshare being what it is). I love Macs, don't get me wrong. I don't love their price, but I dig the design, the OS support, the ease of use, and the (relative) crash resistance of the complete package. Get Apple to go around to every major game designer out there, get me a product that has the same playability as the PC version, and you've got yourself a new customer. (it helps that the wife has g4 she uses for photography edits)
  • On the one hand, I think it's great that Apple would be willing to listen to it's customers, especially current and former PC users, about their feelings towards their products and what they could do differently. On the other hand, I feel a lot of the opinions those users express are opinions Apple doesn't want to hear (such as calls to port OS X to x86 hardware, open their hardware to cloning, stop Steve Jobs from obsessively controlling everything comming out of Apple.)

    It's my feeling that Apple is doing this survey simply to garner good PR from the PC audience who feel that Apple doesn't care about what it's users want. I suspect those emails that are highly critical of Apple or request changes in areas Apple refuses to consider will go into the trash can on the dock.
  • Take a chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PuddleBoy (544111) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:48PM (#3218805)
    The one thing that Apple has done best (at least during some years) is to try out new designs, new ideas. They've shown a willingness to take risks. Whether it's the GUI, Human Interface Guidelines, the Newton, the iMac, or just little touches that make the computing experience a little bit friendlier. They showed us that there was a viable alternative. Sometimes they fail (eMate, CyberDog, eWorld). But in the process, they teach the whole industry a lesson.

    With a behmoth like M$ around, we can use more friendly ideas.
  • by viega (564643) <viega@l i s t . o rg> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:48PM (#3218806) Homepage
    I fell in love because of the UNIX environment that can also run Office natively, meaning that I don't have to use Windows ever again.

    Two years ago, I never would have considered a Mac, nor would anyone I know, except for artists. Now, my wife, my mother and about 85% of my technical friends are Mac users.

    OS X really has something for everyone. My mother loves iTunes... it's so incredibly easy to use. My wife and I like the support for DVD burning. I've recently tried some PC products to do this, and they just aren't mature enough, whereas the Mac solution is simply brilliant.

    Ease of use and a real UNIX architecture really make it worthwhile. The cost of hardware is a minus, but I feel it was worth the extra money.
  • The people that they should be asking are those of us who are not considering the purchase of a Mac. Why ask the tiny percentage of the market that is considering it? What about those of us who "think different[ly]"? That said, Apple needs to either get more converts or switch CPUs. With the relatively small user base, their simply is not the money for R&D to improve the CPU and, while it might have been hot when it was launched, it's getting a bit long in the tooth now -- as shown by independent benchmarks.

  • Left hand (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Perdo (151843)
    Ever try Apple's hot key combo's if you are left handed?

    I use the mouse in my left hand. The hot keys cannot be comfortably done with the right hand.

    PCs are left hand friendly because the functions accessed with hotkeys on an apple are accessed by right clicking a PC. Ever try the on a mac with your right hand?

    Crossover Problems:

    Command+z
    Command+c
    Command+v
    Command+x

    Crossover and Hand position:

    Command+w,+a
    Command+Shift+3
    Command+Option+Es cape
    Command+y
    Command+Shift+1 (one)
    Command+Shift+0 (zero)
    Command+e
    Command+Option+w

    Nothing like alienating 11% of potential customers when you only have 3% of the market.

    • Macs have had a "right click since OS 8 (which came out ages ago, I can't remember exactly when). You keep the mouse in your left hand, then press control before you click. A little menu pops up and you can have all your commands there.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:09PM (#3218916) Homepage
    The following is the text of my comments to Apple, so you guys can think what you will of me. On your mark, get set, MODERATE.......

    Well, I guess you guys are getting lots of e-mails, having this comments page being slashdotted and all. Your plan to get people to buy Apples works great, or at least it did in '92. That's when me and my twin brother bugged the hell out of my parents until they bought me one. They got me a LC II, which has worked flawlessly to this day (with the exception of having to replace the clock battery, but what do you expect from a 10 year old PC). Sure it's slow, it's 8mb of ram is funny, and I can't help but crack up thinking of it's HUGE hard drive, we went for the 80 meg! Lately, I've been taking apart EVERYTHING in my house, and I have to say that the design of the LC IIs case is amazing. I also recently bought a PowerMac 7200 off E-Bay to put Linux on, and it's a great PC too. The case looks like it would be very elegant too, that is if UPS didn't dent the hell out of it in shipping.

    Well, on to the topic at hand. I am defiantly a geek. Once I got more experienced in computers, I fell in love with PCs for a few different reasons. For one thing, there were more games, although that is SLOWLY changing. The really big thing that I liked was the fact that I could control the PC completely. Back then, PCs ran DOS and 3.1, so there were config files everywhere, you could change anything. Now, with OS X, things are basically even, but that's one reason I switched over. Also, I just love command line interfaces, but that too has changed.

    Well, onto the present. Last summer my brother (who has used PCs for a long time too, but always loved Macs, more openly than me I should say), bought a PBTi. I have to say that I was amazed at the thinness of the thing. I also love that glowing apple logo on the screen, and of course, the screen it's self. It's quite zippy, and it's really nice. I only have three major gripes with it: no 3D support (but with the new ATI Mobility Radeons, I'm sure that will change), only one mouse button (I won't be buying a Mac Laptop without this getting fixed), and they keyboard seems a little bit flimsy.

    Apple has done some strange things over the years but I do have a few suggestions for you. First up is OS X. It's a VAST improvement over OS 9, and you guys finally have a modern OS. I love the fact that it's built on Unix, so it has a CLI and everything. It think that you guys finally have a major opportunity. If you were to ship OS X for PCs, then I think not only would you be a formidable foe for MS, but I'm sure there are many out there who would switch (like me). Since the kernel is open source and already compiles in x86, you'd be sitting pretty there. Next up is Aqua and Carbon, which shouldn't be too hard to get running. Also, if you figure that out of the serious users (like me) who are likely to be early adopters of such a product, the vast majority would have either a ATI Radion (or better) or an nVidia GeForce (or better), drivers should be easy, especially since they would be nearly direct ports of those on the Mac. That's another point, I'm glad that you guys have switched over to PCI, AGP, and other standard interfaces from the PDS slots, NuBus, and other oddities of Macs of old. If you switched, you would get more hardware, and you could get ports to the Mac and PC fast.

    My seconds suggestion is obvious and I have already stated it, GET MORE MOUSE BUTTONS. Back in the early nineties, one mouse button worked fine, but today, I seriously doubt that anyone who uses a mac for anything more than e-mail is using one of your one button mice. I know that my brother keeps a MS IntelliMouse Explorer USB plugged into his PB all the time.

    I know that I had a third suggestion for you, but for the life of me I can't think of what it was. So I guess I will just leave you with this: I've been using computers nearly daily for the last 10 years, more than half my life (I'm 18). I am currently in the process of getting a BSCoE from KU. If there is ANYTHING that I can do for you guys (product testing (new iMac, HINT HINT HINT)) just e-mail me and I'll be glad to give input, answer questions, etc.

    PS: I just remember the third thing! Don't you hate it when that happens? I love the hardware you guys have been making lately. I would kill for a Cinema Display. I wonder if contract killing pays enough? Oh well, I also have to say that if you would get your computers (or at least the higher end ones like the G4s) to use ATX cases, you could make a ton of money selling them. I would LOVE to be able to buy a White and Grey G4 fold out case for my PCs. The G4 cube was neat looking (but expansionally flawed), the new iMac looks cool (and will hopefully drive down the price of LCDs), the iMac was quite compact (though I am still annoyed by that "let's produce everything in 12 neon colors" concept that every company latched onto after the iMac went big. Let's face it, no one needs a neon pink surge suppressor and a neon green monitor), and like I said before, I love that Cinema display.

  • you read my mind (Score:4, Interesting)

    by White Shadow (178120) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:09PM (#3218919) Homepage
    So, I'm about to graduate and get my undergraduate degree in computer science and I thought that a nice graduation present would be a laptop. However, I'm torn between getting a Mac for the first time or sticking with a PC. Here are the reasons that I want to get a Mac:

    * They're sexy. Apple's industrial design team is brilliant. The iBooks are small (very important) and stylish.
    * OS X - FreeBSD is my OS of choice for servers so I see it as a major benefit that I can run (some) BSD applications on an iBook with no major problems. For example, XFree86 makes X11 forwarding over ssh very nice and stable.
    * iPod - it's a sexy mp3 player and I want one (yes, I know there will probably be a good PC hack soon, but native compatability is comforting)
    * Diversity of machines - I already have a desktop running Windows 2000 and another headless server running FreeBSD. I don't really need another Windows box or a FreeBSD box so having a Mac laptop allows me to run Mac software.

    However, I'm still hesitent for the following reasons:
    * only one mouse button - I know that's a silly reason, but I get confused about how to do things that require a second or a third mouse button on PCs
    * learning curve - I spent about 90 minutes yesterday trying to get enlightenment to install on OS X yesterday. it would have been a simple "make && make compile" in FreeBSD.
    * price - It seems that I get more bang for the buck with PCs. If nothing else, I can shop around for a PC and I have few choices with Macs.

    So, I'm still undecided, but leaning towards buying a PC, mainly because of familiarity. Anyone have any suggestions?
  • Here's what I submitted to Apple:
    • I'm a web application developer (the whole pipeline, from MySQL (etc.) , mod_perl, perl CGI, PHP, Apache on a Unix/Linux server to HTML, XML, XSLT, JavaScript on the client) and have been using Linux/KDE and Win4Lin (to test clients using Windows and IE 5/5.5/6) on my Intel based laptop for all my development needs. After reading about OS X and knowing a little bit about its foundations in Unix with technology from NeXTSTEP I was more than curious to see a Powerbook Titanium G4. I was not disappointed.
    • The polish and elegance exemplified in the physical design and packaging of the Titanium G4 is perfectly matched and blended with the brilliance of Aqua and OS X. I cannot stress this enough. Basically: it works, elegantly. From recognizing my Sony TVR310 Mini DV8 at plug-in to the beautiful GUI this system is a work of art. The pretty front and consumer-oriented functionality (I could write a story about trying to get my Windows machines to import video through the add-on card and give Appendices on driver hell, but I'm through with that nightmare) is buttressed by a rock-solid UNIX foundation. It is incredibly inviting to drop into the command line to build a custom Apache with mod_perl, or even to rsync my development server for downtime development.

      Of course, I have to use VirtualPC for Windows compatibility testing, but even this is less tenuous than Win4Lin under Linux.

      My work has not suffered in the least as I have transitioned from an Intel/Windows/Linux development environment to OS X. In fact, I can say that my workflow has improved now that I am using a polished GUI seamlessly integrated with a world-class UNIX OS running on exquisitely engineered hardware. I am over-awed and give Apple a standing ovation of appreciation for my Titanium G4 running OS X.

    If I'm gushing its because it's worth it. This is the first time I've spent $2,700 on a computer and had no regrets. So, if my gushing annoys you, tough. ;-)
  • Notes from a PC user (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mike Schiraldi (18296) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:12PM (#3218933) Homepage Journal
    Here's what i sent them:

    I've been a PC user since 1984, when i was six years old. Since 1997, i've been dual-booting between Windows and Linux. However, i recommend Macs to all my friends who are buying their first computer. Why? And why don't i use a Mac myself?

    Well, i recommend them to others because they're simply better. Prettier, easier. You can just tell that a lot more care went into designing every facet. And now that just about any major app has a Mac version or a workalike, there's no problem about software availability.

    So why don't i use one myself? Legacy stuff.

    I've got DOS games from ten years ago. Utilities from five years ago. Games i've already bought (even if a Mac version is available, i already own the Windows version)

    If MacOS supported all the software sitting on my shelf and on my hard drive, i'd never use a PC again. (I'd still use Linux for real work like programming, but the Mac would be great for stuff like web browsing, word processing, and photo work)

    If you want me as a customer, do whatever you can to promote open standards and Windows emulators.
  • I see a number of people going on about the usual Mac stuff - hardware's too expensive, etc.

    Well, OK, fine: what if they listened? What would you do, seriously, if they released netinfo in a pre-compiled format (RPM and DEB), so that you could use it on your Linux server? What if they offered Quicktime for sale as a closed app that ran under GNOME/KDE? What if they started sponsoring GNUStep, making their Cocoa apps easily portable between traditional Unixes and OSX?

    Everyone would still hate them, of course, No one will ever get over the hardware thing, or the button thing (I should note that spymac.com have been saying that the Next Big Thing(tm) from apple will be a 2-button mouse as default). A small percentage of people will pay for Quicktime, I'm sure, but it'll be like Carmack's comments on Quake 3 - it was fun and all, but it didn't exactly sell like the community promised us it would.

    My point is, even if they're 100% on the level about wanting to listen (I believe they need to listen, and stop thinking about their locked-in market of Mac fans) people will always find something to hate about them, and that's really the problem. Most people made up their mind about Apple and the MacOS in 1989. Nothing Apple can do will get these people on their side.
  • I can't help but be curious. Considering that Apple is mostly a marketing-focused company, they probably just want to cherry pick the most frequent questions and favorable comments for use in their commercials.

    It would be nice if some of these comments are used to incorporate new features, but then I've also noticed that it's been awhile since I've seen a good "PC Bashing" commercial campaign from Apple. I have a hunch that they're just using us Slashdotter-types for free market research, but I hope that I'm wrong about that.
  • If you can bring back A/UX, you can bring back the eMate. Build me $500 ruggedized laptop (no moving parts) with a couple of compact flash slots.
  • I could use some additional money and if the pay is right I'll give them some feedback that will help them make money.

    How about you? Wouldn't you like to "earn a Mac"?
  • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:54PM (#3219114)
    I haven't owned an Apple product since my Apple //c got retired. I switched to PCs because of usability. During the Mac vs. IBM compatible days, Mac users talked up usability, IBM compatible users agreed that Macs were more usable, we called them idiot machines. During DOS and DOS/Win3.1, the greater configurability of the PC made us feel like were were more in control.

    I am 23 years old, a Windows NT 4.0 MCSE, run a small startup software and network services shop, and I am looking at the Macs more and more every day. When my fiancee, a senior music major, wanted a computer to be able to email, web browse, compose music on, and make MP3s of her class listening assignments (instead of sitting in the library), we found her the iBook. She decided to get the CD-RW/DVD model because she wanted to be able to make CDs of these songs so she could listen to the music assignments anywhere. She absolutely loves the machine, and the iPod I bought her for Channukah.

    My office network consists of Linux servers for our database servers, (PostgreSQL 7.1), OpenBSD for the web servers, NT 4 for the internal network servers, and Windows 2000 for the desktops. After pricing out replacement desktop computers for our Compaq iPaqs, we realized how competitively priced the iMac is (with the configuration we'd get, its cheaper than the Compaq w/ monitor, a little more expensive than we'd pay without replacing our current Compaq monitors). After wrestling with dual monitor issues on Win2K, the plug and go of OS X is appealing.

    The reason we will probably switch to OS X (on the desktop) this summer, TCO.

    I need a full time sysadmin for our Unix machines, it is outgrowing our ability to have programmers admin the boxes. We are starting to get close to needing a full-time NT guy to administer the network. We are a small company, and both is beyond our means. We want to replace the NT network infrastructure, and switch to Linux network servers. To best make this happen, we want to migrate the desktops from Win2K Pro to Mac OS X, which we believe will reduce our network costs. We have several Windows machines, and they will likely remain for special purpose usage (web developers that need to view sites in Windows + IE, Quickbooks, other specialty applications), but everyone's primary machine will likely move from a Compaq Win2K machine to an Apple machine. Developers will get Powermacs for dual monitor support, everyone else will get iMacs.

    The only thing delaying this switch (beyond startup costs of buying all these machines) is coming up with a solution to replace Exchange. We need to determine a centralized accounts repository, email, calendaring, tasks, etc., system before the migration. Afterwards, we look foward to ending this dual environment of many Unix machines and a Windows network.

    Thanks for the great work. I've been following Apple with interest since the NeXTSTEP acquisition, and OS X is terrific. I feel better after a good friend that is a major Unix geek (stopped using Linux in 1997 to switch to FreeBSD, administered Solaris machines, Dec Alpha Digital UNIX machines before the Compaq buyout, etc.) recommended it as the best Unix out there.

    Alex Hochberger
    Feratech, Inc.
  • I hope you can use all of this feedback you are getting.

    I would love to get a MAC as a terminal in my house... to telnet into my e-mail account (not this one, of course), and to opera around the web. I'd probably want to use it as a mediaserver to the linux and PC boxes, to simplify web development projects for my roommate. I'm working in a small corner of the gaming industry, so I would need to keep my PC box for development (Quake 3 Radiant comes to mind), but as there are currently 8 computers sitting in front of me I don't think that will adversely effect the total. I would also want this to be as SILENT as possible, as it would likely never be turned off. So PLEASE find a way to remove that last fan from the beautiful new iMAC.

    There are three things holding me back from this purchase.

    One: performance. The last time I tried your operating system on a G4 cube, it was sluggish at best. This is hurt further by the performance gap with other chip makers such as AMD. (I know MHZ != speed, but many other benchmarks show a lag). I wouldn't plan on using the system to play Everquest, but I do need it to snap to attention the moment I want it to do something. And that isn't necessarily Ghz related, so much as how well those cycles are allocated.

    Two: interface maturity. OS9 had a multitude of programs available to customize the os to behave exactly as I found aesthetically pleasing. Window Monkey, Menuette, and a host of others filled out interface gaps and created functionality where once there was annoyance. Windowshade started as a hack, you'll recall. OS9 is such a radical departure from the previous interface I doubt time for such fine-tuning has ocurred.

    Along with interface maturity, 3+ button mouse support is needed. One button just isn't enough for real usage. Opera's innovative mousegestures show that two buttons and a scroll wheel may be enough for serious web surfing, and Kensington's scroll trackball implementation of the scroll wheel is spot on, but all of these should be supported with the default mouse.

    Sometimes you are still on the cutting edge of interface design, sometimes you aren't. When you aren't, I strongly recommend stealing.

    Three: software support. This is the reason I originally left the macintosh, and the reason it would be impossible for me to be primary with OSX. Everyone knows this, and everyone knows this is why Microsoft holds on to their monopoly. Show the developers how this could make them money and how this could make them want to wake up in the morning. Spread this mantra: "Enjoy life more: Program for OSX."

    I don't plan on buying another wintel box anytime soon, basically because I can't bear to throw more money towards that godawful filesystem. On the other hand, I can't exactly plug my rio into the NeXT Cube (which, amusingly, has a picture of the new iMAC pinned to it).

    Save for the price I would love a titanium. Get the snappy imac to snap to attention, do everything you can to get developers on the box, and abandon that stupid mouse, and you will have one more repatriot.
  • As if demanding our souls isn't enough! Now you want to take our keyboard, our mice, our joysticks!

    What's that? Oh, the other kind of input?
  • I was talking to a coworker of mine that has OSX on his laptop. He has fiddled a lot with his Mac laptop, but he's never needed to know the root password of it. He doesn't even know how to get to a command-line interface, he hasn't needed to.

    I wish they'd either port OSX to x86 architecture, or have somebody make a Linux distro that's just as easy to use.

    When that happens, I'll probably be ready to move off of Windows. In the mean time, Macs are looking mighty fine. There's a VERY good chance my next laptop will be a Mac.
  • by Jay Carlson (28733) on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:37AM (#3219285)
    First, a good way to map Ctrl next to A, like God intended it. (Until today, I didn't know about this completely undocumented bit of black magic [macosxhints.com].)

    Next, remove the goddamn video resolution lock on the consumer hardware. I've got an iMac here stuck sending 1024x768@75 video out the VGA port. The video hardware can do much better, but there's no way of saying "turn off the builtin display". iBooks are similarly crippled; PC laptops aren't.

    Think very hard about adding a second trackpad button on the laptops. I can easily replace the USB mouse on a desktop box to get a second button, but there's no way to upgrade the trackpad without a bandsaw. Support for context menus in OS X is soooo nice; why make it harder for laptop users to take advantage of it on the go? (Yes, I know you can use modifier keys to get the same effect, but it's not the same.)

    Make a really fast web browser. This Celeron 450 seems much faster than the iMac 450 for browsing; similarly with 800MHz machines at work.

    Give me the source to Mail.app, so I can add support for certificates. It's not like your competition is going to steal anything useful out of that excellent, Cocoa-centric app.

    Pay Valve Software to port the Half-Life engine to OS X. Geez, if the Mac doesn't run Counter-Strike [counter-strike.net], how are we going to AWP all the Windows weenies?

  • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Monday March 25, 2002 @01:47AM (#3219594) Homepage Journal
    I'm not gonna try and tell Apple how to sell their products: They've got the best-selling computer a couple years in a row, 4 billion US in the bank and appear to be the only computer manufacturer riding out these times well.

    However I can make one suggestion to folks commenting on what it would take to get them to buy a Mac: Use one. Don't go on about how you disliked MacOS 7.6.1 on an LC II back whenever.

    Try a modern Mac,
    running MacOS X,
    for one hour.

    See how fast you can come up to speed on it. That it has all of the Unix lovin' ya dig with the ease of a great GUI right there for the using. How it ships with a set of developer tools, documentation, the works (mmm - Cocoa). The full range of standard applications available. That it is perfectly married to the hardware it runs on.

    One hour. Try it. Don't read reviews, listen to gripe-sheets, how old-school Macolytes miss some features, the pissing & moaning that Apple paid for a specific codec and didn't give it away, whatever.

    See for yourself what it is like.

    Take a look at the hardware and price it out against any other top tier manufacturer with quality components, a three year warranty, full support. See if MHz really is the true and only measure of a computer's performance. Ask yourself if you could fall in love with an OS, would you be cheating on another?

    That's all. Give it a fair shake and then decide if it's right for you or not. But at least drive it around the block, kick the tires, check out under the hood. Trust me, the brochures don't do it justice.

  • My submission (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pvera (250260) <pedro.vera@gmail.com> on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:10AM (#3220540) Homepage Journal
    A little about myself first:

    I am a "Microsoft dot whore." I don't hate Macs but I have hated the MAC OS
    since forever. I hate Linux on the desktop but I am a hardcore fan of Linux
    used properly in a server environment. I have a lot of respect for freeBSD
    and it is my unix of choice when I need a dirt cheap web server. I am a
    Windows developer and I also work on web applications development, but
    non-Windows client platforms are never part of the specs.

    My house right now has one Dell 600MHZ Celeron (wife), one homebuilt
    dual-processor PIII-1GHZ Windows 2000 server (for telecommuting), and two
    IBM Thinkpad laptops issued by my employers, one a Celeron 366 running XP
    Pro and one PIII-700 running Windows 2000 Professional. My home network
    shares a Comcast cable modem with a Linksys broadband router and a Netgear
    802.11b wireless access point (using Linksys WPC11 wireless cards for the
    laptops).

    And I am dying to get my hands on a Titanium Powerbook. Badly.

    I go to CompUSA once a week just to look at their floor samples. I go to
    Microcenter hoping one is online so I can surf the web with it.

    I buy every Mac magazine I can find, usually at a horrible markup. I have
    not bought a non-programming Windows magazine in more than 5 years.

    I am telling my friends I am turning into a "Mac Hippie." (I spent years
    bothering our Mac users, calling them hippies and radicals. Somehow they
    liked that)

    Why?

    1. OS X. I have spent years telling people that the only reason Linux and
    BSD have not taken over Windows is the user interface. Using Unix for a Mac
    OS is brilliant!

    2. Power users be damned, sometimes even us experts need to sit in front of
    a PC and have it work for us, not us fight it to get things done. A windows
    power user does not notice all the workarounds and hacks he learns over the
    year to adapt himself to Windows. This terrifies a newbie. I like how much
    simple everything is on the mac.

    3. Open Source. I believe in making money from writing software, but there
    is just too much good free software out there that cannot be ignored.
    Embracing the open source movement was brilliant. Just looking at MAC OS X
    and knowing I got a fully functional Unix system underneath motivates me to
    drop my ASP.net and C# books and learn C++ and Java so I can write stuff
    that runs on Unix instead of Windows.

    4. The colors! I embraced digital photography almost 2 years ago, and seeing
    my photos displayed on both a Cinema display and the new Mac was like seeing
    my work for the very first time. Everything looks much better on a mac.

    5. Hardware + software integration. You cannot match any mac to a real world
    machine in the Windows world. For example, there is no way you can get a
    Windows laptop that can match a 600MHZ iBook, with its polycarbonate and
    magnesium 4.9 pound, body, built-in combo drive, pre-wired for WiFi and with
    firewire. not at that price. And let's not talk about the Titanium
    Powerbooks and the new dual processor Power Macs. I have a dual processor
    PIII-1GHZ and it is a pathetic piece of crap, I usually reinstall the OS
    every 60 days or so. It bothers me that this monster PC is less stable than
    my Celeron 366 IBM Thinkpad (which is rock-solid but slooooow).

    6. Simplicity. My wife has been using computers since the day we met 10
    years ago, but she has NEVER cared about computers. She sits down, does
    whatever she needs to and then walks away not thinking about it until the
    next time she needs to use it. In other words, she is not a computer geek. I
    took her to the Apple Store in Tyson's Corner, Virginia, to see the new
    iMac. 5 minutes after using it she turned around and told me "I want one."
    This is the first time in 7 years of marriage that she has ever asked me for
    a computer, usually she inherits my old PCs.

    7. Available emulation software. I can carry a Titanium laptop on a business
    trip knowing I have Unix, Mac OS and Windows 2000 available in the same
    compact enclosure, thanks to Virtual PC.

    8. Awesome laptop design. The iBook is a beautiful piece of work (the 14"
    iBook is ugly, sorry). The Titanium Powerbook is so awesome that one of our
    artists bought one and had hers delivered to the office and the whole
    production department pretty much froze still while she unpacked it. Even
    the Ti Powerbook is at least a pound lighter than my ThinkPad PIII700.
    Probably 3 or so pounds lighter than my ThinkPad Celeron 366.

    I am counting my days to get my Mac. I managed to steal a G4 450 from IT for
    "testing" but after a few weeks they came up with some lame excuse to bring
    it back to them. After a few days I was using it more than my own
    workstation, a PIII-1GHZ. Eventually I convinced my wife to let me buy a Ti
    Powerbook 667, but I have to save my pennies first :-)

    If I get my act together I will have my Ti Powerbook 667 no later than the
    first of August. That is unless you guys revamp the line and I get stuck in
    a shipping wait like it happened with the iMac.

    Thanks for this opportunity to sound off! And yes, it is OK to contact me.

  • My Story (Score:3, Informative)

    by rnd() (118781) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:29AM (#3220858) Homepage
    When I was a first-year student at the University of Michigan I bought a Powerbook 5300. Before that I had been a PC user. I bought the mac for the following reasons:

    1. The University was at the time primerily a "mac school". 80% of the machines on campus were macs, and there was a large user community, as well as appletalk networking in the dorms.

    2. I liked the GUI. Everyone told me how macs were easier to use. I had never found it difficult to use PCs, but I was impressed by the look and feel of MacOS.

    3. I wanted to learn about MacOS and about Mac hardware. Again, I'd heard good things, why not experience it for myself.

    Soon after I bought the 5300, I knew something was amiss. After I'd had it out of the box for five minutes it crashed unexpectedly. Unfortunately it kept doing this every couple of hours, and I was starting to question whether my $2300 had been wisely spent. I called apple's SOS-APPL line and with the help of the technician discovered that someone had indeed installed RAM-Doubler on my 5300. Evidently, someone at the U of M computer kickoff office had decided to open up my mac before it was sold to me and install unsupported software on it. According to the support rep, all I needed to do was reinstall the system.

    Several hours later, after I had done a clean install of 7.5.1, I went to bed. Soon after I awoke the next day I realized that the problem hadn't been solved.

    It is now day 2 and I decide that I am going to attempt to return the 5300 to the computer kickoff office, as I have a hunch that it is defective. I had seen some Toshiba laptops that some of my hallmates had purchased, and they looked pretty nice. Not only that, but they'd been available with a color screen for less than the $2300 that I'd spent for grayscale!

    Unfortunately, the computer kickoff people refused to take back the machine. I called Apple and Apple would not take it back either. This machine was 2 days old and clearly defective, as it crashed every couple of hours.

    The next step was to send the machine to Apple via Airborn Express for service. The machine arrived back almost a week later with a clean bill of health. Apparently, it had not crashed in the 'lab' and tests had confirmed that nothing was wrong with it. The problem was, it crashed every time I used it.

    I started to feel resigned to the fact that I would have to make the relationship work if I wanted to get anything positive out of my decision to purchase the 5300. For me, stability is one of the most important things that I look for in a hardware/os combination.

    I configured WordPerfect's autosave to save every 30 seconds, and I avoided using the machine for important tasks (such as papers for my classes), opting to use the computing site instead.

    Over the next two semesters I spent upwards of 80 hours on the phone with SOS-APPL. During this time I heard things such as:

    - "You don't have 7.5.3? That is very likely the reason your machine has been crashing"
    - "Apple never should have sold the 5300 with less than 16MB of RAM. Of course yours is crashing."
    - "You don't have 7.5.5? That MUST be the reason your machine is crashing."

    At some point there was finally an official recall of the 5300. I was fairly cynical by this point, because my machine had received a clean bill of health the last time I sent it in. Nonetheless, my machine went back to Apple via Airborn Express for another couple of days, this time coming back with a new logic board. The new logic board helped somewhat, although the machine still crashed way more than any other Apple that I've used. You may be thinking that I had installed nonstandard software or was loading unnecessary extensions. I was not. This was with a subset of the standard extensions and no funny stuff like After Dark or all the weird MS stuff.

    By my sophomore year, I decided that the best thing to do was to cut my losses and sell the 5300 and put the money toward an inexpensive desktop PC (the original $2300 was supposed to cover my computing needs for all 4 years of college). I called some local shops that sold used macs and I was offered $300 for it. THE MACHINE HAD DEPRECIATED $2000 IN ONLY ONE YEAR!

    Needless to say, I had a very bad experience with Apple and Macintosh. Seeing OSX and knowing that it's built on the mach microkernel gives me hope, but my dissatisfaction has more to do with the way Apple handled the situation rather than with the hardware/OS specifically. Yes, I've heard about that deal where I could get a few hundred bucks off on a new ibook as a 5300 owner. No thank you.

    I realize that I was a sucker for buying the 5300, and I would never make the mistake of buying an Apple product again, though I would accept one for free. I have also considered buying an iPod, but since I don't own a Mac it might not really be the best idea at this point.

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequilla. -- Mitch Ratcliffe

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