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MacBytes
Aug 4, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Should The Mac Zealots Just Shut Up? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050804161428)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

nagromme
Aug 4, 2005, 03:28 PM
"1995... probably marks the true birth of Mac Evangelism as it is commonly regarded."

I disagree... the 1990-1995 time frame was the peak of my Mac-hating days, and the scornful attitudes of some Mac users was a big factor. (Price was another in those days.)

But the attitudes of a few people--whether anonymously online or in person--would not sway my opinions that much. Rather, the college I attended promoted a scornful attitude towards anything non-Mac at an institutional level. THAT was enough to turn me off.

Mac zealots do give us all a bad name--and writing to journalists with a non-constructive tone is probably the biggest damage they do. But I don't think meeting a rude Mac zealot or three is going to close many people's open minds once they're beginning to contemplate Mac. And if they don't HAVE an open mind, they weren't going to try a Mac anyway.

And honestly, I've met ONE genuine, offensive, Mac zealot in my life, ever. I don't count the attitudes of anonymous forum posters--that is NOT the basis for rational decision making :)

The article's right about how to EFFECTIVELY promote the platform that serves you so well: explain the benefits, don't put the person down.

BlizzardBomb
Aug 4, 2005, 03:36 PM
"1995... probably marks the true birth of Mac Evangelism as it is commonly regarded."

I disagree... the 1990-1995 time frame was the peak of my Mac-hating days, and the scornful attitudes of some Mac users was a big factor. (Price was another in those days.)

But the attitudes of a few people--whether anonymously online or in person--would not sway my opinions that much. Rather, the college I attended promoted a scornful attitude towards anything non-Mac at an institutional level. THAT was enough to turn me off.

Mac zealots do give us all a bad name--and writing to journalists with a non-constructive tone is probably the biggest damage they do. But I don't think meeting a rude Mac zealot or three is going to close many people's open minds once they're beginning to contemplate Mac. And if they don't HAVE an open mind, they weren't going to try a Mac anyway.

And honestly, I've met ONE genuine, offensive, Mac zealot in my life, ever. I don't count the attitudes of anonymous forum posters--that is NOT the basis for rational decision making :)

The article's right about how to EFFECTIVELY promote the platform that serves you so well: explain the benefits, don't put the person down.

*Cheers* :)

kalisphoenix
Aug 4, 2005, 03:47 PM
Good words, Nagromme.

But I #%$^ing hate the use of the word Zealot to refer to anyone who isn't a Jewish revolutionary fighting against Roman domination.

OhEsTen
Aug 4, 2005, 04:08 PM
I personally have never known a "zealot" and I know a lot of Mac users.

I think one thing that the article didn't really bring out is the intense ignorance that the Mac and Mac community faces continually. The one thing that really peeve's me the most is when people talk about something they know nothing about! I have heard everything that the pc world has thrown out and granted not all IBM pc users out there are ignorant. I know some people who actually have used a Mac (enough to base an educated decision on), but prefer the IBM pc instead - fine. I don't make a commision selling Macs - I just like to make sure people know the truth about them and don't listen to some "know nothing know-it-all" tell them how they don't have any software, and are going out of business soon etc. etc.

About 2 weeks ago, I was in a hobby shop looking to buy an R/C airplane and was shown a r/c simulator by the salesman - software that only ran on windows. When he asked why I wouldn't buy that I told him it was because I would look for a Mac version instead - and he then proceeds to tell me how I should buy an (IBM) pc because "Mac's are on their way out" and they're "really slow". I just told him that he obviously doesn't use them or have any relevant experience on them. I didn't call him names or resort to any "zealot-like" activity - I just told him the truth.

It's people like that who have forced the Mac community to have to say anything at all. We have been looked down on for so long now and treated like idiots and for what - a computer choice?

I would like Apple to increase their market share because I think they sell a better product than most other offerings out there - but whether they do or not doesn't really affect me. I am happy using Macs, I have used (IBM) pc's and occasionally still do but my prefference is still a Mac.

I am not a "zealot" - but I have played one on t.v.

P.S. sorry kalisphoenix.

kgarner
Aug 4, 2005, 04:12 PM
Good words, Nagromme.

But I #%$^ing hate the use of the word Zealot to refer to anyone who isn't a Jewish revolutionary fighting against Roman domination.
Personally, I reserve that term for the warriors of the Protoss. ;)

kalisphoenix
Aug 4, 2005, 04:43 PM
Heh -- no worries... take everything I say with a grain of salt. Because I'm just sooooo sugary ;)

dejo
Aug 4, 2005, 04:46 PM
One man's evangelist is another man's zealot...

nagromme
Aug 4, 2005, 07:45 PM
I think one thing that the article didn't really bring out is the intense ignorance that the Mac and Mac community faces continually.

Absolutely. Every now and then "my PowerBook" works it's way into a sentence I speak, and sometimes I'll get the same looks as if I had said, "I am on a maggot diet." They're not sure they heard me right, and they're kind of hoping they didn't. A little dismissive chuckle follows. They've HEARD of those Mac people, and those expensive machines with no software that are going out of business... but they thought I seemed so normal! :)

SiliconAddict
Aug 4, 2005, 11:10 PM
Is zealotry pushing away more users than it is bringing in?


A very valid question. I don't know about you guys but in some circles I'm down right embarrassed to be an Apple fan. Whenever I'm talking to someone who is looking for a new computer I invariably have to start off with ď and no Iím not one of those Mac zealots.Ē If they still give me the stinkeye or donít believe me I pull out the big guns. Something that almost no user on this site can claim and something that really draws people into a Q&A session with me. And thatís the fact that I donít own a Mac yet. (Waiting on my Pentium M PowerBook or a Mac Mini that can suitable run my 24Ē widescreen.) Almost without fail I get asked how I can recommend something I havenít used and the answer is simple. Iíve supported these devices through the office I work in. Iíve switched at least a dozen and a half or so people over to the Mac. Quite a few Mac Minis since January, about 6 or so iMacs, A few ibooks for their kids going to school, and I know of at least one PowerMac. (That was the office manager. SCORE.) Of those people I only get about 1 or two a year come to me with problems. (Most usually hardware that simply canít be fixed without a trip into the Apple store.) And it doesnít turn to mention that Iím a MCSA on MSís wares. I know their faults. I know their strong points. I work with Windows day in and day out. That is why I recommend Apple. By and large after a half hour talk I can get anyone to at least visit the Mall of America store. You donít need to be a zealot to push Apple. You just need to know what people want out of a computer and show them what Apple has to offer the rest if pretty much in their hands.

PS- Even with a good speech its difficult. I still donít have a solid answer for people who have a lot of Windows software they want to continue using. VPC simply isnít a good solution if you have a ton of money invested in Windows software. Seriously. How do I tell someone their copy of MS Office that they spent a fair amount of money on its toast without getting VPC that will drag down the performance of the app in the process. :confused:
Not to get too off topic but has anyone found a suitable answer to this? And the "keep your old system" doesn't really work since most people I've met have a dedicated place for their computer. they aren't looking to add a computer to their house they want a new one. Its a hard question to answer.
:confused:

SiliconAddict
Aug 4, 2005, 11:15 PM
One man's evangelist is another man's zealot...


There is a fine line between evangelist and zealot. I've found that line to be when people stop treating the item like an item and more like the end all be all of everything. Be it Windows, OS X, Palm OS, Pocket PC, Nintendo, Sony, Ford, Chevy.

nagromme
Aug 4, 2005, 11:53 PM
Not to get too off topic but has anyone found a suitable answer to this? And the "keep your old system" doesn't really work since most people I've met have a dedicated place for their computer.

"Keep your old" is my answer, with the following addition:

It's not ideal to fit two machines, but it's worth it. I recommend keeping the old for ANYONE--even someone moving from PC to PC or Mac to Mac. You want a safety net--knowing that everything you used to do still works as is, while you're getting used to the new machine and setting it up.

So if you're switching from PC to Mac, maybe you'll want the overlap to last longer, that's all.

As for old software--eventually you'll need new anyway, and eventually you won't need the old for anything. But what's the rush? One day you'll find you no longer use the old machine, and then you can get rid of it. Until then, use the new machine, and if occasionally you need the old one it's there for you.

SilvorX
Aug 5, 2005, 01:58 AM
My PC friends call me a mac zealot/fanboy, I may be at times, i dont care about what kind of comp someone owns, just dont anger me

there seem to be 2 types of Mac zealots right now (in my opinion):
the regular mac zealots who know that PPC is where its at, and
the brainwashed-to-steve mac zealots, it's so funny, they're going on and on and on about how apple will NEVER have a computer with an intel chip, yet as soon as apple announces that they will, they say "OMG i love apple!" or bs like that..

Applespider
Aug 5, 2005, 03:33 AM
A very valid question. I don't know about you guys but in some circles I'm down right embarrassed to be an Apple fan. Whenever I'm talking to someone who is looking for a new computer I invariably have to start off with ď and no Iím not one of those Mac zealots.Ē


Oh I know! And if I read anything slightly critical in a paper I cringe since you just know that the next column will be full of comments about the vituperative mails the writer got which are totally unnecessary.

PS- Even with a good speech its difficult. I still donít have a solid answer for people who have a lot of Windows software they want to continue using.

Agreed that for most people it's not convenient to keep their old computer around. Not to mention that for many people, their old PC is so infected with malware that it's often why they're planning on dumping it. It doesn't work well enough any longer to use and they don't have the skill or inclination to reformat.

I tend to ask them exactly what software they're talking about. They'll often mention Word (since it's included in Works these days) but ask them what they do with it and you realise that they'd probably get away with using Textedit - they're not using the kind of formatting and transferring documents that make Word a necessity. If they really do need the whole Office suite, then it does make it tougher; suggest they sell their old one on eBay?

And if it really is Windows only, how often they use it. I had one guy who said he couldn't switch since he wouldn't be able to play Roller Coaster Tycoon which it turned out he hadn't played for 8 or 9 months anyhow.

There are also a lot of PC users who don't understand the difference between software and files. I can't have a Mac because my music and picture software won't work - then you discover that they're talking about standard MP3s and jpgs. :rolleyes:

BenRoethig
Aug 5, 2005, 08:10 AM
I personally have never known a "zealot" and I know a lot of Mac users.

You mean the type the looks at an ATX and proclaims "only and idiot would buy that over an iMac."

I think one thing that the article didn't really bring out is the intense ignorance that the Mac and Mac community faces continually.

You find PC zealots all the time and the regular users listen to them. Some of the criticism is earned, some comes out of classic OS problems that doesn't effect the platform anymore, and even more comes out of ignorance. However there are many of us who are guilty of the same type of ignorance.

Applespider
Aug 5, 2005, 08:18 AM
You find PC zealots all the time and the regular users listen to them. Some of the criticism is earned, some comes out of classic OS problems that doesn't effect the platform anymore, and even more comes out of ignorance. However there are many of us who are guilty of the same type of ignorance.

I think one of the differences is though that more Mac users have used a Windows PC recently than Windows users have used a Mac. There's a far bigger differences between OS9 and Panther/Tiger than there is between Win98 and XP (that's not to say there's not a big improvement in some areas but just that it's not such a quantum leap!)

I use XP in the office on an administered system, I occasionally help a neighbour with his home XP issues and my aunt with her Win98. And, of course, I have OS X at home. So I think I have a reasonable knowledge of both platforms from the informed consumer viewpoint. But on occasions, I'll get PC users telling me about all the things I can't do on my Mac when they haven't used one in the last 10 years and don't know that those things are perfectly possible. That's when it annoys me when they advise people against switching without knowing even part of the story.

Equally it annoys me when Mac users assume that everyone should switch when we all know that it's actually 'almost everyone' ;) . I have friends who I've advised to stick with PCs for their particular purposes and others who I know would make their lives much easier with a Mac.

shamino
Aug 5, 2005, 10:14 AM
I think one thing that the article didn't really bring out is the intense ignorance that the Mac and Mac community faces continually. ...
About 2 weeks ago, I was in a hobby shop looking to buy an R/C airplane and was shown a r/c simulator by the salesman - software that only ran on windows. When he asked why I wouldn't buy that I told him it was because I would look for a Mac version instead - and he then proceeds to tell me how I should buy an (IBM) pc because "Mac's are on their way out" and they're "really slow". ...
This is amusing and all-too-true.

The PC-using community likes to poke fun at Mac evangelists, but there are tons more Windows evangelists. They don't go by that name, but there there.

Like the store salesperson who will tell you not to buy a Mac (even though the store sells them), when you didn't ask him for any assistance beyond getting a box from the back room.

Or the software salesman who tells you to throw out all your hardware and buy a brand new PC because the $20 game you're buying will somehow work better on a PC (even though you know this to be wrong.)

Or in your case, where a clerk is unable to simply say "sorry, they don't make a Mac version" thinks that he can make you buy a $1500 Windows computer simply by letting his countenance shine upon you.

It's actually very similar to missionary activities. Nothing short of violence is sufficient to make them shut up and go away.

Which reminds me of one time in Best Buy when I was shopping for a new hard drive. Someone there asked for some advice on a drive. I gave some, and made a point of stating that you need a good backup strategy, since you don't want to lose 80G of data when the drive eventually fails. He then launched into an attempt to make a Born Again Christian out of me, claiming that Jesus was a backup strategy for the soul. I said thank you and left as quickly as possible.

Next time, I may have to try and convert him to the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (http://www.venganza.org/).

shamino
Aug 5, 2005, 10:18 AM
there seem to be 2 types of Mac zealots right now (in my opinion):
the regular mac zealots who know that PPC is where its at, and
the brainwashed-to-steve mac zealots, it's so funny, they're going on and on and on about how apple will NEVER have a computer with an intel chip, yet as soon as apple announces that they will, they say "OMG i love apple!" or bs like that..
And those of us who believe the OS and UI is where it's at, and the hardware design is virtually irrelevant. They could switch to SPARC, or MIPS, or design something completely new and it wouldn't matter to me, as long as the UI remains the same and my existing apps continue to run.

But I suppose I don't really count, since I'm not a zealot. (Well, I was an OS/2 zealot, back when I was developing software for it. Talk about beating your head against a brick wall!)

shamino
Aug 5, 2005, 10:30 AM
Equally it annoys me when Mac users assume that everyone should switch when we all know that it's actually 'almost everyone' ;) . I have friends who I've advised to stick with PCs for their particular purposes and others who I know would make their lives much easier with a Mac.
The first rule of computers (which very few people seem to know) is that you don't start out with the hardware. You look at the apps you need/want to run, and only then select the hardware that can best run them.

If your needs are web surfing, some office work, and maybe listening to music, you can do it with literally every platform sold. So pick the one that's easiest to use and maintain. For most people, this would be a Mac. If not for all the malware out there, Windows XP would also qualify (let's face it, it's not a terribly bad OS, even if you happen to think Mac OS is better.) For those who are more of a hacker mindset, you can do the same with Linux, Solaris, and many other systems. If you like jumping through a lot of hoops to get apps, you can even do all this with OS/2 or BeOS.

If your needs are more specfiic, then it narrows down your choices. Some applications (like database clients and vertical-market apps) may only exist for Windows. If you need to run one of these, then you need Windows. And you probably won't be satisfied with the performance of VPC if you need to run the apps on a regular basis.

If you're a gamer, then I would flat out say that you have to run Windows. Not because Windows is technically superior, but because just about all games are released for Windows, and only a small fraction of them ever have Mac versions. (And the Mac versions often ship months or years later than the Windows version.)

For myself, I keep a bit of everything around. I've got a Mac and two PC's (one running Windows and one running Linux). They all share a monitor via a KVM switch. (Ultimately, it's not the computer that takes up space, it's the monitor.) I use the Mac for most of what I do, use the Windows PC for games and one web site that needs an ActiveX control, and the Linux PC for when I need to work from home (I use Linux PC's at work every day.)

getrichs
Aug 5, 2005, 10:49 AM
[QUOTE=shamino]The first rule of computers (which very few people seem to know) is that you don't start out with the hardware. You look at the apps you need/want to run, and only then select the hardware that can best run them.

Exactly.I bought my Mac for OSX & iLife; the design of the box is a secondary thing & the name on the cpu & the manufacturer figure hardly atall...if someone else comes up with a better setup to do the things I need to do, then I will extol the virtues of that to anyone who asks. For the moment it is Apple, but in the future: who knows?

nagromme
Aug 5, 2005, 12:15 PM
I had one guy who said he couldn't switch since he wouldn't be able to play Roller Coaster Tycoon which it turned out he hadn't played for 8 or 9 months anyhow.
Funny you should mention it:
http://www.insidemacgames.com/news/story.php?ID=11795

The toughest job I have had convincing switchers has also been with really old games--simple things like card games even!

Imagine their delight when I find them a similar game for the Mac--which also happens to be a much newer and BETTER game.