Archive for July, 2004

Macs are garbage

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

It takes about three years after they introduce a new marketing campaign for reality to intrude, which is why without 5-7 years experience, most people can’t see why Apple’s Macintosh machines are computers for untermenschen. They see the pretty cases, hear the disproportionate amount of self-promotional material from the Mac community, and see how their favorite neurotic celebrities (and other people who use their computer for three tasks, max) gab up about them. It’s like peer pressure in high school… after three years, you stop giving a damn, and then you graduate.

The latest hilarious embarrassment for Apple is that even with a far smaller userbase (2.8% versus over 90%) the Mac’s vaunted OS X is full of security holes, on par with Windows XP. But of course, we have to ask, if that many holes were found in an operating system that almost no one uses, imagine what would happen if Apple were in Microsoft’s place – even more of a disaster. Like most things promising hope and change with a vague plan, Apple is a marketing success, not a technological one.

The Apple happy camp has been bragging about OS X security and stability for some time now, but the results haven’t been as great as they had hoped. Once again, after the hype, we see the truth starting to emerge. In the 1990s they were claiming “greater productivity,” but after Windows 95 proved to be more stable and adaptable than their OS at the time, they abandoned that. Then the hype was all about how much “faster” than Intel the Mac’s CPUs were. Remember the “velocity engine”? The G5 didn’t live up to the hype, so now a new slogan is needed. OS X is the latest Jesus Christ the Savior for the Macintosh line, but here we see the facade beginning to crack.

In reality, Apple will continue to sell machines to the same 2.8% of the market, which are the people who are both insecure about their computer knowledge and pretentious enough to be fooled by a good-looking, expensive machine. It reminds me of what IBM was offering in the late 1980s with the PS/2. Both will hang on, but neither will actually conquer the market or move it ahead, which is now exclusively the province of Windows and Linux (though I’m still planning to get an Itanium so I can run OpenVMS, the world’s most stable operating system). Nothing left to do but laugh at the people still inexperienced enough to believe the Apple propaganda, and thus to shell out five times the cost of a good machine for a mediocre one with “art deco” styling.

The Internet is a brain disease

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004


What happened to the Internet blew me away, not because it was swift and new, but because it was subtle and so familiar. First AOL got online and suddenly one had to justify bandwidth in terms of money; then political candidates and the news got online, and started “civilizing” the place; then fractiousness emerged between nerd culture and normals, and now entertainment culture has just about dominated the net.

People who come to this site expect a personality, some guy who is making this his personal ad or his online persona. That’s not the case. This site is here to express some opinions, and the people behind them choose NOT to make themselves the focus of the site. We get dates in the real world, thanks, and make our friends there too. The Internet is for communicating abstract data, and people who socialize through it are broken.

This recently hit me like a ton of bricks because outside of trolling, I haven’t done much with the net for a long time. It lost its magic back in 1997, about the same time all metal music in the world decided to fall into groupthink, and I didn’t bother to keep up. But, because I periodically have these silly impulses to preserve and nurture what I find meaningful in life so that others can also enjoy it, I recently attempted to start a publication online.

Rather, I tried to transfer Heidenlarm, a metal ezine (not webzine) to a new generation. I don’t have as much time for it anymore, and people seem to like reading it, so what makes best sense is to pass it on to the best of the new generation. But was I in for a disappointment.

First, among the alienated, as well as among the docile sheep who I refer to as “normals,” there is a lack of ability to do anything outside of self-image. People who wanted to work with me on this zine, as a group, wanted me to be the babysitter/leader and to give them titles and tell them why they were important. That was crazy, but even crazier was that they couldn’t self-start and refused to take on any labor that wasn’t “fun” to them. There was no sense of collective effort for the good of the task itself; the question had become what was convenient for their own entertainment.

I’d say I’m disappointed, but I should have known this would be the case. People are locked into their own transitory selves and needs, and they don’t know anything else. It isn’t the fault of the individuals, but it is the disease of the time. All in all, this experience explains two threads from the 1990s: first, why I always work alone, and second, why the few innovators in metal music abandoned it about 1996.

The people with whom I was working represented the brightest of the people one encounters online, and while they couldn’t contribute to anything that wasn’t a credit to their shining self-images, they were perfectly okay to keep pumping out tiny blogs, websites, etc. that hardly anyone reads. Thus instead of unifying our efforts and making something that’s effective, each individual gets to keep his public self-image station intact. A more apt metaphor for humanity cannot be found.

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