No One Cares If You’re a Mac or a PC (and the Ads Must Die)

March 2nd, 2010 |
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No one cares if you’re a Mac or a PC. There is no such thing as being a Mac or being a PC, and anyone who says otherwise is a complete fanboy who needs to grow up and realize that we live in a world where the work that we do is more important than what we do that work on. Computers are computers, whether it has a glowing Apple on its back or not. No one cares, just like an idiot is still an idiot whether they’re rich or poor.

Yes, I’m typing this out on a Mac, but that’s because it’s my primary computer at the moment. However, I could just as easily get a PC and do the same thing.

Owning a “premium” computer that costs nearly double that of a PC will not make you produce better content. I’ve been using my MacBook for almost three years and after switching to Mac, I was convinced that I did better work on Apple’s computers. For the last few years, I’ve deluded myself into thinking, because of my affiliation with the Mac, that I was superior to all my friends who were banging out on their ugly Dells and HPs. How wrong I have been and I am glad that I’ve realized it before it’s too late. My work flow may have improved significantly because of OS X’s more manageable interface, but it doesn’t mean I’ve produced better material.

Some people will say that a beautiful piece of hardware inspires them to create wonderful content and, for a short bit of time, I bought that bullshit too. I was so high from drinking Apple’s Kool-Aid that I completely forgot that I once wrote great articles on a PC (a lousy one at that, a Windows ME).

Apple’s “Get a Mac” commercials with their infamous “Hello, I’m a Mac. And I’m a PC” slogan, starring Justin Long and John Hodgman, would like you to think otherwise. Their iconic commercials have been airing since 2006 and have done nothing but fan the flames between Mac and PC users. Often witty and humorous, Cupertino’s ad agency has really created a cult following through these commercials. It’s not pretty. Read the rest of this entry »

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Raymond Wong

Three Open Source Applications Everyone Should Have

February 2nd, 2010 |
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The number one reason people stick to what they know is because they don’t know any better. In my last article, I wrote that most people have no clue what alternatives are available in the software world. It’s hard to go out and look for an alternative that works. While there are tons of great resources to start with such as Lifehacker, many find it too tedious to constantly keep up with emerging technology.

Here is a list of what I think are essential open source applications that everyone should have, with the exception of web browsers. The following three recommendations are available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

OpenOffice.org – One of the most troubling things about purchasing a new computer is that it doesn’t come with the tools that most people need to get real work done. By real work, I mean an office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheets, and a presentation program. By default, we know these commonly as Microsoft Office, a.k.a. Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. These are brand names, yet we associate them almost entirely with what we expect from an office suite because of how ubiquitous they have become, much in the same way we substitute “Google” for “search”.

How much does Microsoft Office costs these days? Last time I checked, it was roughly $400 for the standard edition, give or take some savings here and there at Amazon or wherever you purchase your software. The student edition isn’t as hard on your wallet as the Standard version, costing only around the suggested retail price of $150.

We are so aware of MS Office because that is what the business and education sectors use for the most part. However, alternatives do exist. Sometimes they match MS Office in features or extend beyond what Office provides. You can buy Apple’s iWorks ’09 for $80, a savings of $70 over the student version of Office, but how does free sound instead? It sounds a lot cheaper, right? I thought as much. However, the $0 price tag shouldn’t come at the cost of functionality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Raymond Wong