14 February 2010

Allergic to Apple


Well, here’s a confession – something that makes the kid on the schoolyard with wrong kind of shoes, unfashionable haircut and unfortunate specks to feel cool in comparison. Something to get people to unfollow me on Twitter – even to block – and report my emails as spam.

Unlike, in all probability, that schoolyard outcast I have never owned an Apple product.

It’s true, no iPhone, none of them MacBooks, Pro or otherwise, not even an iPod. And I have had mp3 player for almost as long as they’ve been around, I’ve gone through few PC:s and of course several mobile phones (it’s my generation in Finland that were the guinea pigs of SMS texting – even ABC’s 60 minutes came to film how mad we were I guess in the mid- to late 90's).

But my friend – I have never had an Apple Mac product.

I have used them and I am very keen on upgrading my computer, next time when that needs to happen, into a Mac. But I don't wish it's too soon. Mainly for financial reasons, but still. I like their products as far as I know them and in principle I am all for them. So I am not, as the rap peoples say, hating.

I once almost bought an iPod a few years ago, but due to its poor battery life which was in conflict with my battery needs, I went for a Sony mp3 player. It’s rubbish, to tell you the truth. It gets constantly stuck and crashes and they’ve even discontinued making the software to use it with which was a disaster for as long as it lasted. It has got a horrible screen that you can’t see anything from if there’s one ray of sun anywhere near. It’s all around rather poor device, but what it has got is a battery that doesn’t die in the middle of my day. Even now, that it’s four years old.

But why have I never bought one of these beautifully, both aesthetically and technically designed machines with so many fans and great reviews everywhere? Some of my best friends use and love Macs and certainly many people I look up to. Even when they were advertised in UK by my favourite comedy duo, why did I not get one of these small bits of heaven that would have instantly upgraded me into a whole different class – a Mac user?

To be frank – I am scared. I am scared of two things: the Mac users themselves and then the Macs that they use.

I believe that nothing is perfect and to think something is, is to ask for a massive disappointment. And I am not asking for anything perfect. Just something good. But I don’t feel that I hear sufficiently bad reviews of Apple products (set aside the battery life and expensive price). Not that I actively look for bad reviews but their distinct lack doesn’t convince me that the machines are flawless, but rather, that saying something bad would be treated like blasphemy; like if someone was openly saying that they find Radiohead’s music boring and incoherent (I do – didn’t I mention Radiohead in my previous post as well. Am I obsessed by them?).

When I buy a PC, and like I said, I’d rather not anymore, I know what I am in for. I make a conscious decision knowing the pros and the cons. With Mac I only ever hear their triumphs. I’d love to have one, but I am also scared that when it happens that I do, I’ll feel like a child being told that Father Christmas doesn’t exist. Having said that, maybe that is exactly what needs to happen.

It’s a shame. I am irritated by the hype and religious discourse around Apple (a Mac user would deny this, of course, by just saying that they actually are just flawless products), but not the machines themselves. Maybe the day I get some of their kit, I’ll just put a Public Enemy sticker on top of their logo, and throw the white headphones - which I guess no longer are their monopoly - to the woods. Even if you can have my money, you’ll never get my soul.

I must say though; as far as computers go, it’s not the Apple that would make me want an Apple, but the PC. Please someone, tell me what the hell is wrong with Apple so I can think of getting one.

1 comment:

Mikko Kapanen said...

These days when one blogs and after that tweets and Facebooks the link, the comments don't come to one place. I got this one in Google Buzz and since it was answer to my call I thought I'll copy it here as well
mustafa maluka - Congratulations! As someone who used to drink the Apple Cool-Aid, believe me, it's overhyped. My last few Apple machines all had major hardware problems. I'm happily running Ubuntu on my main work laptop at the moment. I've switched from an iPhone that I had to fight with to do what I wanted it to do to a Nokia N900 that allows me to do anything I like.Feb 14

Mikko Kapanen - Ha! Finally: ) I was recently following a string of comments on Facebook on iPhone vs Blackberry and the Apple people sound like they're in nirvana repeating their mantra. A sort of unquestioned tag lines straight from Jobs's sermon. I can't trust that, because realistically nothing is flawless.