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I grew up with Windows. Although my first computer was a Mac Classic (I was like 3 at the time, and I only used it to play that helicopter game where you have to drop the little man into the horse-drawn hay carriage), I’ve been using Windows PCs for nearly my entire life, learning how to fiddle with the command prompt in DOS and dealing with the rudimentary pile of crap that was Windows 3.1. I survived Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME for a short, painful time, Windows 2000 and now, finally, Windows XP. It hasn’t always been pretty (see: Windows ME), but through it all I’ve figured out every little trick there is to know about running Windows. I’m a monster on Windows.
And yeah, while some of those earlier versions were essentially garbage, running Mac as your OS wasn’t all that great a choice either, especially before OS X came out. Yes, fanboys, I know you love your Macs and everything, but come on: The OS never really came into its own as a real competitor to Windows until 2001. By then, it was too late for me.
And while I used to be pretty into PC gaming, the whole no-good-games-on-Macs thing doesn’t bother me so much anymore. It’s just that to me, when it comes down to it, the PC just feels more logical. Windows is an OS that feels structured and it makes sense just because I’m used to them. Macs feel more nebulous and more dumbed down, like the corners have been softened to not intimidate your mom when she uses your computer. Well, I like having the corners exposed. I like tinkering in the registry to improve performance, I like being able to really tweak the system at the base level. Windows has its engine exposed, and while it might not always be pretty, if you know what you’re doing you really have access to the whole thing. And hardware choices are choices I cherish as are access to plenty of apps. Apple takes pride in hiding everything under the rug and keeping it out of your hands to not let you mess it up. I don’t need kid gloves.
Furthermore, beyond the OS itself, I hate the cult of personality that surrounds Steve Jobs. I like the soon-to-be-retired Bill Gates way more than Steve Jobs, because the guy cares about more than just making enough money to build a castle for himself out of stacks of $100 bills (not that Bill can’t do that). Bill Gates is going to be remembered for seriously impacting the global health climate for the better. After all, the Nobel Prize is named after the dude who invented TNT, but his name is invoked a lot more often for encouraging advancements in science, literature and peace. And chances are, if the Gates Foundation keeps chugging along, Gates may even win a Nobel. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, just makes pretty plastic objects, and when it comes down to it, he seems like kind of a greedy dick. I’m more than happy to not give him any more money.
And you know what? Macs are too hip. Oh, look at me! I do graphic design! I wear women’s jeans and hang out in coffee shops! I’m a DJ! Well good for you. My computer is not a fashion statement. It’s a computer.
But really, when it comes down to it, the main reason I still use Windows is this: I’m stubborn and lazy. I don’t want to switch because it will amount to admitting that I’ve been wrong for the last 15 years or so. And it would be just a huge pain to do it even if I swallowed my pride, having to relearn all the shortcuts and commands and little nuances that make an OS tick. I know all those for Windows already. I am just far too lazy to relearn OS X, and I don’t care how easy you claim it is. I’ve made my choice, and I’m sticking by it. At least until I buy my next computer, because I sure as hell don’t want to have to use Vista. I mean, I like Windows, but I’m not crazy.
Very good article. I certainly enjoyed reading this one.
This is not a thread intended to bash any particular OS. Make sure it doesn’t becomes one.