Monday, August 25, 2014

We Interrupt This Blog for a Computer Commercial

Lately, I've been reading or hearing from pundits about the Mac vs. PC issue, particularly from people who are still trying to get traction from the old "I'm a Mac I'm a PC commercials." - which now feel like they were made in such ancient times that I should probably include an example for the young people who have never seen them.  I would, except Apple is such a lame freaking company I think I'll just embed this one instead:

Yes, it is true, I don't like Macs.  For five years I worked for a publishing company that insisted on using only Mac computers - and for those five years I would work on a Mac all day long and then go home and work on my PC evenings and weekends.  I did it for so long that muscle memory meant I didn't even have to think about what system I was on.  If I was at the office, my hands automatically did Mac things, while at home my hands automatically did PC things.

I do not in any way miss the Mac.

None of this matters, however, since the point I wanted to make was this:  Nobody really gives a shit about these things except computer companies - who logically care because they want to sell their product.  For all the rest of us, however, the computer itself - even the operating system - doesn't mean shit.  Anyone that spends enough time with one particular operating system will get used to it, as repetition will eventually insert the operating system into your brain wave path until it seems normal.  The only issue with this will come when a user has been using an operating system for a long time, and that operating system has now ceased to exist.  Which means that another operating system will need to be learned.  Which will take months.

This means that the only people who complain about operating systems are morons who don't spend enough time on a computer to get used to the system they have.  Which is fine for people checking their facebook or playing games, who aren't actually doing anything with the computers they have.  They're not designing, they're not programming, they're not collaborating or developing any particular skill set.  They're just tourists.  And like tourists, they're bitching that there's no fucking cream of mushroom soup on the menu.  Like tourists, they're complaints are about how pretty the computer looks, or how light it is to carry, because that is the shit that matters only to tourists.

I remember some thirty years ago having a conversation with a musician who was seriously into sounding boards - stop me if you've heard this one before.  He had sent to Japan for a massive, complicated synthesizer, one he had to put together himself (he later became an electrical engineer) and he was going on and on about all the things this incredible device was going to do for his music and his control of ambience and all this shit.  After twenty minutes of his using terms I did not understand or care about, I finally said to him, "Rob, you should see the shit I can do with a typewriter."

Which was then the exact thing I'm doing right now.

At the moment, I happen to be working on a Dell.  I actually have no idea what company's computer I have at home, even though I've been using that computer for five years now, because there's no huge logo on the computer to tell me.  It's a PC.  It operates like a computer.  It lets me write things when my fingers strike the keys.  It allows me to operate the programs that let me make maps and spreadsheets and edit music and video.  Every computer allows me to do this.  These are the things that matter to me.  What I can do.  Not whatever fucking thing I do it on.

I leave that to the tourists.  They haven't any special use for a computer.  They only have one because everyone does.  And when everyone goes out and gets something else, the tourists will too.

And I will still be writing.

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