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August 16, 2010 at 10:04 PM #44328
The other night I was trawling through the titles on Hulu and came across the documentary “Mac Heads.” Being comprised of ‘Anti-Mac’er’ I wasn’t going to watch it. However, being the type to give an ear to things I’m not fond of for the sake of being able to say I gave a fair listen I fired it up. Right off the bat I will admit that I barely got through half of the program and I’ll mention why later.
What I was able to get through was enlightening as I had never fully understood the absolute fanaticism of Mac Heads and Mac-Fanboys. Now before you fans of Apple products leap to conclusions, know that I have worked with Mac’s and PC’s since ’94 and have built or repaired both platforms.
Listening to the near religious accounts of those interviewed pointed out one very important thing to me… ‘Marketing is Everything.’ Granted their was a time when Apple’s were the only computers available for ‘creative types’, but it wasn’t that long. I started working with Mac’s at a large Production House back in ’96. It was a heck of a leap from my old ’94 Packard-Bell 386 laptop to a Power Mac and OS 7. whatever. I liked them and far as I knew they were the only game in town. In ’97 I wanted to get a desktop, but couldn’t afford anything Apple had to offer at the time. However, that was right around the time Photoshop was made cross-platform. A light went off in my head as I had seen ‘medium-end’ workstation desktops were in my price range.
Back then it was sacrilege to even consider using a Windows based computer for anything considered ‘creative’. You used a Mac. Period. Me being the ‘insurgent’ type anyway wanted to give it a try. So I picked up an Intel MMX Win95 workstation computer for half of what the cheapest Mac would have run me. I installed Photoshop on it lo and behold not only did it work, I could work on projects at home and transfer them to work with the help of ‘Mac Drive 97’. I was sold. So at the job, I worked with the high-end expensive Mac’s and at home the infinitely cheaper but capable PC.
By the time I got into video editing, I had experience in making field repairs on our Mac’s (there are no Apple Stores in the Australian Outback or the Jungles of Thailand) and found that working on computers was no ‘arcane’ discipline only for computer geeks. After spending a crapload of money to get my PC upgraded, I figured I could do it for much cheaper (I was correct.) As time went on, I eventually built my first rig and have been doing it ever since.
Professionally, I continued to work with Mac’s as necessary but never went out of my way to purchase one. When I got laptops, again they were always PC’s. It wasn’t until ’98 that I was introduced to Apple Fanboyism when one of my co-workers was bragging about his new G3 laptop and that he could partition the drive and also put windows on it (something I still think is retarded no matter what anyone says the advantages are.)
Fast forward a few years and I’m looking to hire some new shooters for some upcoming gigs and one prospective young lady is going on about how she uses FCP and her new Mac Book Pro, blah, blah, blah. When she was done I told her that was fine and wasn’t a problem because we worked cross-platform and long as she could output to whatever the client’s desired format was, I didn’t care what she used. She looked at me with a blank stare and said, “What, you don’t use Mac’s?” Knowing where this was going, I replied “Only when required.” She shot back with, “But I thought all art was made on Mac’s….” Believe it or not she did not call back for a follow-up interview. Too bad for her because everyone who worked on that gig got paid really well.
I’ve also lost potential gigs because the client wanted someone to who worked with Mac’s. One almost client said, “I wasn’t serious because I didn’t use Mac’s.” Forget that I’m was a qualified Symphony Editor and so on. So watching that film and hearing people saying the equivalent of ‘computer racist’ remarks had me shaking my head.
Now, what finally made me stop watching at the halfway mark was the Messianic worship of Steve ‘Don’t Hold it That Way’ Jobs. That and how these folks were literally ‘glowing’ when talking about how they felt loved and about how the Apple Community was a ‘family’. As I said, Marketing is Everything and I will give the folks at Apple 100 thumbs up for the way they’ve marketed a product that works (until you absolutely don’t need it to fail) to the point of having people waiting for endless hours outside their stores to buy something that makes them feel ‘loved’. That’s hard ‘effin’ core.
There is no love lost or found between me and Bill Gates. I admire him and ‘Steve’ for what they’ve done to change the world. However like him or not, ‘Bill’ has yet to take away my ‘freedom of choice.’ Microsoft just makes the OS’s and I can choose from an array of other companies some great others dismal or I can build the damn thing myself. Used to be the same with Apples. Not anymore (Hackintoshes are considered ‘illegal’ so they don’t count.) Granted, Apple has a good support system and so on but you either go to an Apple Store or one of the few ‘Authorized Retailers’. If you can run with that cool.
Me, I’d like to think that I’m hanging onto the same spirit that Steve-o, Woz and Bill had back in the day when they were making this stuff in their garages vice the monolithic corporate shellgame their playing now. Don’t think Apple is playing a shellgame? In 2007 they changed to Apple, Inc. from Apple Computers in Steve’s own words, “To reflect our new product offerings” If you’ve checked lately, outside of Snow Leopard, there hasn’t been too much push in the computer division, but mobile devices are where they are going. It would seem the Mac Head’s ‘messiah’ is deserting his loyal flock. But hey, at least you’ll have the ‘rest of your family’ when ‘Dad’ leaves you behind….
So with all that in mind, I’ll take some Pepto and crank up the second half of that video. Maybe, I’ll get through it without wanting to hurl again.
August 16, 2010 at 10:42 PM #185632
I cannot believe I read it all, thinking you were making some kind of point. I don’t bow to, worship or fantasize about my Mac equipment, but I appreciate it none-the-less.
What I have trouble understanding is why, essentially, you’re drubbing up all the same old (I did say “essentially”) between the Mac and PC tribes – seems a bit “fanatical” to me from the other side of the computer base fence.
I usually always read EVERYTHING you write, long or short, but I think if it starts out with a “Mac” comment I’ll just move on to the “What kind of camera should I buy” posts 😉
August 17, 2010 at 4:41 AM #185633
Sorry you feel that way. I really try not to write anything this long, but watching that doc ‘weirded me out’ and that was my attempt to rationally work out what I saw vs my own experiences. I really didn’t want to dredge up the ‘Old PC vs Mac Tribal’ crap as you aptly put it. However, this stuff is insanely entrenched and any serious attempt to understand and discuss it has the potential for the ‘tribes’ to freak out.
When I watched the film, there were the usual arguments of why one should use or not use which I could handle. What really threw me was as I mentioned was how through Apple’s marketing, they literally created for lack of a better word a ‘Cult’. When people in the film as I mentioned said, “They felt loved” I was blown away how simple marketing of a product any of us could easily live without had created such feelings in the purchasers.
It is in my opinion ridiculous how something so simple can be so incendiary, yet when watching the film I literally caught myself verbally and vehemently in opposition to what was said. Subject matter aside, but that’s great filmmaking!
So the point was in viewing the film “Macheads” in my attempt to fathom their fanboyism, though it’s all smoke and mirrors intended to get us to buy, why does it still have the ability to set us off like that. Even the mere mention of the subject has even you one of the more objective pros on the forums shutting down. To me that is just amazing.
Don’t worry. I have no intention of making this a habit. In this instance, the film struck me so as to wanting to skirt the line of discussion and ‘dredging.’ However, if I run across a similar flick on the PC side I may have the same reaction of head shaking and nausea….
August 17, 2010 at 1:50 PM #185634RobParticipant
For me it started in elementary school. We had a class, but I don’t even remember what the class was, but I remember sitting behind a Mac. At the time I didn’t know it was a Mac. I mean, I just thought a computer was a computer. I thought they were all the same.
The real joy came when we finished our work though. That’s the only thing I remember. Ahhh, the memories. Ever since then, I have been….fighting!…to experience those same memories again. I suspect every Fanboy is going through what I’m goingthough.
We just want to play Hotdog Stand.
August 17, 2010 at 2:38 PM #185635Grinner HesterParticipant
I’ve never cared much about tools. Either they work or I grab another. That’ goes for anything from working on a car, to painting a portrait,to making a movie. Those who give the credit to their tools probably aint using them to their potential. They are all way too temporary for me to grow attached to them.
August 17, 2010 at 4:27 PM #185636AnonymousInactive
Well, i amdefinitelynot a fanboy of apple. I mean, i have an iphone 4, and i love it! It is absolutely wonderful and magical, but i HATE working on macs. Actually, I just HATE final cut (both express and studio). I haveVegas, i can do so much more in less time.
I really appreciate how Macs ‘simply work’. I mean, My PC’s Hard drive broke some time ago, im constantly repairing it, and it just too much work. But with mac, it simply works. No buts or ifs about it.
Oh, how i wish Windows was that simple…
August 17, 2010 at 4:55 PM #185637
Mac = expensive “hands on” efficiency, simplicity, easy to maintain, sustain and beyond many people’s capacity for building themselves…
…but you don’t need to build it yourself 😉
PC = “hands inside” cheaper (but can STILL be expensive in spite of MORE CHOICES to match an equivalent Mac’s speed and function) difficult to maintain, sustain and beyond many people’s capacity for building themselves.
Macs got me through three careers: newspaper publishing, freelance graphics design and video production. I won’t pull out a gun and protect them in the event of an alien invasion, but I’d grab my tower, some shoes and run in the event of a fire. 😉
I can drive a car, but I don’t want to have to repair it, soup it up, rebuild the engine, or figure out where the fuses are because my windows won’t go down anymore, repair the brakes, etc. And I don’t want to modify it, I just want to drive it and get to where i want to go. My old Plymouth Duster 340 or even my old Chev SS 396 or my ’76 Corvette got their paint jobs from me, but i never had the time or inclination to learn how to make them go any faster than they did “out of the box, er, uh car lot.”
August 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM #185638
See, that’s so odd! When I was working with macs regularly we were constantly having to fix them, reformat, put in new hard drives and so on. I’ve seen more ‘bomb’s and ‘rainbow wheels’ of death than ‘blue screens of death’ which have been more than a few.
I’m the type who ‘doesn’t want to have to work on my car either, but I can.’ My company builds our own because it’s so much less hassle and we can get exactly what we want in it. I’ve also learned how to and done field repairs on broadcast equipment. All that stuff was supposed to ‘just work’ too. Thank the tech god’s I was wise enough to learn how to take care small problems. That whole ‘hands off’ idea doesn’t work for me. I know for a fact that whatever you have will go down on you either software or hardware wise when you least need it to. I’ve always wondered how much money I’ve saved my former bosses on having to make that overseas call to the Apple Repair Center or whatever PC rig we were using because I knew what to do to get us back up and running.
I’m also like Rob, I remember my mom showing me how to use an Apple II when they had them at the college she worked at. I also remember how I was blown away in ’93 when one of the managers I worked for took 20 minutes to translate an illustration that took me two hours to draw by hand (think protractors, compasses and rulers) with his power pc laptop.
But I definitely agree with Grinner about ‘grabbing tools’. If Apple still allowed you to build your own, I’d probably have two or three here in the shop. But they don’t. That and while I was working around the world, anytime we needed to pick up some software or hardware for the apple’s we had great difficulty finding what was needed if we even could. But there was window’s based stuff almost everywhere there was something resembling civilization. Where I live and work, if you want anything mac based, you either order it online or have to drive a hundred miles minimum. Need something pc? 15 – 30 minutes tops. That also goes for repair facilities for those who don’t ‘want to have to repair it themselves.’
But like I mentioned, in my previous post. My intent was not to knock things Apple. I was just wigged out at the behavior and mindset of some of the people in the ‘Macheads’ film. If you haven’t seen it, take a look on Hulu. I still haven’t gotten around to watching the last half yet….
August 18, 2010 at 2:15 AM #185639
So long as we’re all happy. 😉
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