the Apple question

superkhy's picture

i've been wondering for the longest time and nodoby seems to be able to give me a straight answer.

why Apple?

it's the industry standard, it's the only type of computer they use in the design labs at my school. designers love them.

but why?

your reason?

gabrielhl's picture

If nobody has been able to give you a straight answer, that probably means there isn't one, don't you think? :)

Anyway, nowadays I supposed it's really turned into a tradition kind of thing. If I'm right, the first desktop publishing and WYSIWYG apps were Apple only. It became an industry standard, and continued to be, maybe because Windows (and others systems too) just haven't offered anything that made people change their minds. I'm sure some (older) people around here will tell you the whole story, because they saw it happen.

You'll find a lot of type designers are Win-based, though.

rs_donsata's picture

Need of recognition mainly.

Héctor

grayson's picture

I find thats Macs, like Apple's marketing people say, "just do what you want them to do and get out of the way" (or whatever it is, it might not be exactly that).

There is so much bullshit in Windows that is totally foreign to Mac users.

I really dont know how I was able to work on a PC (used to be a die-hard PC fan). I don't know how I put up with all the hardware problems, the virus problems, the crashes, the horrible interfaces, the convoluted settings and preferences and the missing DLL's. The spyware, the aliased-ugly-as-hell text, the horribly hideous and unpolished aesthetics. Windows XP is just no where near as good as OS 10.1, 10.2 , .3, and .4.

Anyway, you get the point.

Also, seriously - aliased text is so **** horrible.

rob keller's picture

I don't have much positive to say about PCs, except that the new ClearType technology looks interesting. I haven't seen it in person, but it promises to be the new sliced bread of screen text rendering.

I have always owned and serviced Macs. Like Grayson said, they just work and there are much less problems to deal with. My biggest problem with Macs though are their users. Apple's OS and softwares are generally so simple to use and the hardware has such infrequent problems, that when users can't figure something out or a problem does arise that they are lost. PC users are used to all that crap and they learn to live with it.

Seriously though, PCs and Macs will preform about the same when similarly configured. Either would be fine for design. Macs are so sexy though, and you know how designers are with their well thought out and sexy fashion, furnishings, and accessories.

Rob

rs_donsata's picture

I worked with Macs for a few months on a newspaper and let me tell you that they actually crashed form time to time.

They are just a sexy and simple to use brand of Personal Computers, and as said above you will be able to do your work with the same performance on an equivalent hardware mac, dell, alienware or assembled computer.

If you feel comfortable with apple computers and their price go ahead and buy one.

Héctor

paul d hunt's picture

why Apple?

because all your most creative ideas come about while you're waiting for your computer to reboot. or was it that you really wanted to scrap what you'd been working on for an hour before your mac crashed anyway? I forget, it's been a while...

Tom Cannon's picture

Superkhy,

Mac's used to be the only game in town for design programs. In the past decade, PC's have caught up and they offer the same programs.

If you are a designer and you want to be inspired, then Mac's are the way to go. It's the difference between a Chevy Cavalier and a Honda S2000. You want to get where you are going with style.

It's a subculture thing- sticking it to THE MAN (Bill Gates and the corporate world).

I was raised on a Mac, but when I graduated college I had to go with PC because I was poor. I learned all I could about the PC's and built the best system possible (it cost me $650, not including monitor). A Mac with the same speed and power would have been 3-times the money. To get around the aesthetics I purchased a metallic-silver case for my computer.

As Grayson said, PC's aren't as user-friendly, but once you get over the hump they are good systems and much cheaper to buy and upgrade. There is also more options in the market for specific parts (for example: AMD vs Intel processors drives the price down and the competition makes the product better).

For the most part, if you build PC's correctly you dont have problems. I have never had a system crash. I have had Mac's crash on me.

There are easy ways around the PC inconveniences. If you have a strong anti-virus program and a router, you don't have to put much thought into computer protection. If you use Firefox you don't worry about pop-ups. If you run Spybot you don't worry about spyware. I don't know why you would be missing a DLL, but if you are you go to Google and type in the name and download a new one from the Microsoft website.

I can now use all of the extra money I would spend on a Mac and buy fonts!!!

Frank Jonen's picture

Try using Windows, that'll give you the answer. I'm glad I left that odd space. I was a Windows user since Windows 2 (still have the discs), then got Window 3.11, Win95-98 but then worked with an ad agency and actually got to use one of these computers that every Windows user is raised to hate. Turned out it wasn't hate, it was envy.

At that time it was OS 7 and I liked the way I could 'just work' all the hassle was taken off of my shoulder, I could just work - and get coffee when the bitch froze on me, mostly while doing "Layouts" in Freehand (yes I know) and comps in Photoshop.

Also being a Mac only studio I found that Macs are a hell of a lot cheaper compared to what you get. My costs on virus protection, anti spyware protection and the necessary RAM additions almost went to zero.

If you have an IT department at your service you can rather safely use Windows. If you're willing to become a security expert, you probably can too.

Even with a "lesser powered" G5 you can bust the gigahertz myth quite quickly, run a rendering application or a depth correction on a 32Bit float image. Instant gratification.

You need to work? You're serious about the quality of the output? You don't want to worry about the ins and outs of your system to fight and keep it running? No use for a bimonthly re-install? Get a Mac.

It's not just about the style. It's what enables me to work. Apple is a creative company and thinks like creative people. Microsoft is a business company and thinks like business people.

Oh and with a new Mac you get a lot of apps for free that are 1. actually useful and 2. they actually work.

@paul d hunt: Are you on Mac OS 9? My Panther and Tiger machines run 24/7 almost every week when rendering large images or HD streams.

At the end of the day it's all about what you need to spend AFTER the purchase. This can easily be twice the price of the purchase depending on the platform you go for.

James Arboghast's picture

My personal machine at home is a custom Windows box. I use both Macs and Windows machines, but prefer Windows for the technical flexibility and level of control it allows. Even so I don't find it neccessary to say bad things about the Mac, yet it amazes me the way certain kinds of Mac users still habitually poo-poo Windows*, and worse---Windows users. C'mon. Its unwise to judge a book by its cover.

* this is due in part to the old, now-debunked myth that Microsoft copied Apple's interface. Not true. Both Windows and the Mac OS were designed by the researchers who developed all that stuff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Labs back in the early 19080's. Some of those people went to work for Apple and some went to Microsoft.

My biggest problem with Macs though are their users.

This is what I'm on about :^)

Both Win and Mac crash. All computers crash, minis, palmtops, notebooks, mainframes, AS400's, you name it. Windows machines tend to have more compatability problems than Macs because the hardware components come from different manufacturers. I'm fortunate in being technical enuff to firgure out how to put my own PC hardware together, and that has allowed me to find the right combination that works perfectly with Windows 2000. With all the Win 2K service packs installed my Windows box rarely crashes---about once every 2 months. Seriously. It is possible, but you have to get the hadware exactly right. I've tried Win XP and found Win 2000 more stable and reliable, and less resource-hungry, so it runs faster on the same hardware.

Macs are an easier choice because hardware compatibility and glitches generally are not an issue.

Macs “just do what you want them to do and get out of the way”

Some people want and need that, others are more technically-minded and want more involvement, and benefit from it.

There is so much bullshit in Windows that is totally foreign to Mac users.

Stop painting it black. Windows offers more options and ways of making the same things happen, the same functionality served up six different ways. It isn't bullshit, just different. That stuff is only foreign to Mac users who aren't familiar with Windows.

I don’t know how I put up with all the hardware problems, the virus problems, the crashes...

You got saddled with a bad machine. I don't have virus problems, hardware problems or frequent crashes.

...the horrible interfaces, the convoluted settings and preferences and the missing DLL’s. The spyware, the aliased-ugly-as-hell text, the horribly hideous and unpolished aesthetics. Windows XP is just no where near as good as OS 10.1, 10.2 , .3, and .4.

Don't you think you're overstating it? I agree Windows is more complex, and the interface is geeky non-design, but I can live with that because the rest of it makes more sense to me than Mac OS's.

Note: so far I haven't tried to denigrate the Mac OSX interface by saying, "That jelly stuff is a wank." I only mention that now because I do see it that way, but I make a point of not saying so publicly. That would be insulting to Mac users.

Also, seriously - aliased text is so ------- horrible

You mean text rendered without aliasing? Things have changed a lot since you last looked (guessing). Anti-aliased text rendering has been standard in Windows since 2000. You could get for Win 98 too with a free utility.

Seriously though, PCs and Macs will preform about the same when similarly configured. Either would be fine for design.

Exactly.

Macs are so sexy though, and you know how designers are with their well thought out and sexy fashion, furnishings, and accessories.

Definitely. A tradition for fine arts artists has always been The Art of Living. You make your life an ongoing work of art. The money I save by buying PCs instead of Macs I spend on antique furniture, which means more to me than a stupid computer. Computers are only tools, and they grow old so fast we replace them often, so spending top dollar on them seems pointless.

No offense, and best reagards to all,
j a m e s

rs_donsata's picture

I have a friend whose Mac G4 had a motherboard collapse and had to pay the equivalent to $650 (dollars) for reparation. With that amount of money I bought my last computer.

Héctor

canderson's picture

I don't really know why designers may have liked Apple systems traditionally, but there are currently some substantial differences between how say, Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) and WindowsXP handles type, in terms of programming interfaces available to developers.

If you have a stomach for details, you may want to follow this link and examine (google!?) related documentation.

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Cocoa/Typography-date.html

Apple has made some significant commitments to including advanced OTF layout support in their basic text layout APIs. This is very cool. I expect, Microsoft will include these features in the APIs used by Vista developers.

As always, "the devil is in the details." It may be, and it may have been in the past, that Apple has made it easier for developers to add new typographical features in their applications. This doesn't mean that one platform is inherently better than another...

James Arboghast's picture

I expect, Microsoft will include these features in the APIs used by Vista developers.

They are already doing that. The next version of MS Word etc, will have OT feature support. How comprehensive it will be remains a mystery.

It may be, and it may have been in the past, that Apple has made it easier for developers to add new typographical features in their applications.

Windows has always offered the same support and opportunities for text app development. I think its more a matter of graphics app developers being attracted to the Mac OS because the Mac is perceived as a designer's machine with an accompanying larger share of the designer customer market. That translates into more potential sales of applications.

j a m e s

canderson's picture

The Cocoa API made (some basic) OTF layout features available to developers since at least 2001. (Mac OS 10.1?) I could be completely wrong on this, but I don't think there was anything available to people using MFC at this time. I don't really know how Windows developers would currently implement this kind of support. I just did a search of MSDN and couldn't find much. Do you have any links?

Sebastian Nagel's picture

this is funny :)

I thought type designers would be more sensible people, not caring too much about religious wars.

I've been working on Apple for about 6 years now, still knowing os9, which was extremely simple, but instable, and knowing osX, which was stable but I could never get used to the overloaded interface (shouldn't a UI for creative people be neutral?).
I can run my apps without problems today, and without bothering about crashes or any other problems (provided that the computer is well-adminstrated - the computers at my university were not...)

And I've been working on Windows-PCs for 10 years now, knowing everything from win3.1, which was crap, to win9x, which was better, but still crap, to win2k, which was quite good, and winxp, which is very well usable when this terrible user interface is turned off. The times of missing dlls, monthly re-installs, absurd problems, etc. are gone long time, and I think it's quite simple to protect the computer from malware: it's all about thinking and be aware what one is doing. Not working with an admin-account solves about 99% of the security problems, the rest can be done with brain (not clicking on e-mail-attachments and not using IE ;-).
I can run my apps without problems today, and without bothering about crashes or any other problems (provided that the computer is well-adminstrated - the computers at my university were not)

I think when compared today (and today only, what happened in past is gone), there is not much difference anymore. It's all about what you are used to. Best would be if people were not used to any platform, but used to work with computers in general instead.

mili's picture

If my memory serves me right, some 10–15 years ago there were better graphic applications and more fonts available for Macs than PCs. this could be the historical reason, and the graphic industry has just kept on with Macs.

I can work with either, but prefer Macs. What bothers me when changing from one platform to another is the different shorcuts :-/

I used to be able to fix some problems with Macs, OS7–9 (I would't dream of doing that with PCs), but I don't really know how with the OSX. On the other hand, there seems to be less trouble with the new OS.
Oh, nearly forgot. What I really like about OSX is that you don't have to reboot the whole computer if one application crashes, unlike with OS9 and earlier.

paul d hunt's picture

@paul d hunt: Are you on Mac OS 9? My Panther and Tiger machines run 24/7 almost every week when rendering large images or HD streams.

when i worked at the paper, yes, we were on OS9. I have nothing against macs, i'll probably own one someday in the future when i have the $$$ for one, but for now i'm fine with my XP laptop. It rarely crashes (once every 4 months?), I don't have any spyware or virus problems, i can run InD, Photohop, and Illy all at the same time (amazingly), I find that OT support is better handled in XP than OSX at this point in time (IMO), and all that jazz. The only thing is that i wish Linotype would release FontExplorer X for windows already!

Chris Rugen's picture

why Apple?

Generally, I think there are big 3 reasons:

  1. Inertia: it's been that way for so long (remember when Apple was a market leader?), so new designers follow suit.
  2. Total design: Apple's tight control over all aspects allows for more a integrated design and consistency, which appeals to our mindset.
  3. Industry: because of the above 2 reasons, I still encounter vendors, printers, publications that are Mac-only shops.

For me personally, I have experience on both Windows (since Win 95) and vastly prefer Apple's OS. Particularly OS X. My wife, former Windows-only user and non-tech lover, now agrees completely since she was forced to use our old G4 for a web project for a month. I build my own PCs, and they're much better for gaming and cheaper to build, but that flexibility and backwards compatibility comes with much greater complexity. Apple's stuff certainly has faults and the hardware still crashes, but I find 95% of what I do on the Mac is easier to do than on a PC, without removing any of my ability to dig into the complexity if I choose to.

Also, it's not hip to like Microsoft and Bill Gates, and Jobs wears black turtlenecks.

paul d hunt's picture

Also, it’s not hip to like Microsoft and Bill Gates, and Jobs wears black turtlenecks.

even though you were joking, i think that shoulda been reason #4 on your list. apple : designers :: abercrombie : college kids

Frank Jonen's picture

In terms of getting your hands dirty on a Mac open the Terminal.app it's a BASH shell by default but other shells can be installed. With Automator you can easily build mini apps or enhancements using even the shell commands. That's how I attach PGP signatures to files, crunch PNG files and generally move my files around with my Automator based workflow app - one leg on my webserver, the other on my local machine.

Nowadays I have a lot of applications running in the X11 environment working seamlessly together with Cocoa apps.

Since I found a neat way to get screenshots from all the web browsers out there I don't have a need anymore for the Windows laptop I used to have on the side - so glad I could get rid of it.

When there's an app that I need but can't find on VersionTracker in most cases I'm able to create it myself using Xcode and Interface Builder, in the tougher cases I'll hand it off to an external guy of-course.

Reading a bit into bindings you can do most stuff without really coding much.

The biggest down-point of Windows is visible when turning you brand new laptop on for the first time after the installation: Either 1bit bitmap font display or the rainbow bride method, no nice and smooth font rendering like on OS X. I really feel sorry for Windows users at that point.

Eric_West's picture

My G4 has never crashed.

bieler's picture

The first Mac I ever saw in action sort of sold me on the product. After fifteen years of working with all sorts of computer systems and not really enjoying computers in any way... a graphical user's interface!!! Lordy.

One of the reasons I prefer Macs is they are so well engineered they often outlive their usefullness. I ran a Centris Quadra for over nine years. In its later years it was consigned to some fairly druge type work but it always performed well and took forever to give up the ghost (and it never did, but the hardware and software had simply passed it by).

I've got an old G3 on 9.2.2 that basically is used for publishing on demand operations. I don't think it's ever going to quit on me.

Now I'm running 10.4.4 on a G4 and it is rock solid. Looking back at 9.2.2 I have to say it was quite rock solid as well and romantically simple and remarkably stable. Tiger, on the other hand, is an onion of increasing complexity, but never uninteresting. And if there is a word for it, it is dynamic (in the engineer's fluid sense of the word).

The trick with saving money on a Mac is to watch how Apple is responding to the changing technology and buy used machines that were at their peak (and recognized as such) but still at the cusp of what is needed in the here and now. I buy my machines from an institution where they actually are well maintained. A few hundred bucks, maybe a grand to soup em up by upgrading the software and maximizing the hardware, and I'm set for a couple of years. I don't have a G5 (not yet) but I sure know what the hell is going on with my G3 and G4. And I am quite pleased with them both.

Gerald

jason's picture

Since I found a neat way to get screenshots from all the web browsers out there I don’t have a need anymore for the Windows laptop I used to have on the side - so glad I could get rid of it.

Do tell... I work the other way around (PC), and am getting tired of zipping up to my office at the university to check site layouts on Mac browsers.

As for the debate, I work by choice on PC but teach on the Mac; the latter simply because the university still adheres to the "convention" that Macs are the designers' tool. Pisch. Nonsense.

That said, the war became meaningless for me as soon as the two platforms found enough common ground for me to work on my PC with CS and OT fonts and transfer files to my clients' Mac environment.

And, seriously, are people still using the "Macs are more stylish" bit? Really? I mean, PowerBooks, OK, I'll give you that. Sleek and smooth. But iMacs? Really? While the latest models are only moderately goofy, the last couple of models (1,2)were embarrassing.

oldnick's picture

My G4 has never crashed

After you're finished with it, I suggest you consider donating it to the Smithsonian: the G4 I use at work (commercial printing shop) is prone to total lockups (cold reboot) at least once a week. OS X is a lot more stable, but it's incredibly annoying when it refuses to carry out an operation and won't tell you why; even a cryptic error message is better than no error message at all.

Apple was the first kid on the block; early adopters considered themselves pioneers, then prophets of the One True Way. Mac users have always been a minority, so early on they adopted a cult mentality and have stuck with it. Besides, Steve Jobs is incredibly good at hyping his stuff (well, maybe the next OS wasn't such a great idea), convincing his faithful followers that they are truly blessed to pay more (and more and more -- four updates to OS X in five years, none free) and get less (it only took Mr J twenty-five years to realize that Mac users could, in fact, actually handle a mouse with more than one button on it).

Bottom line: the box and the OS which works best to suit your needs (cheap, reliable, idiot-proof, the latest thing, the Holy Grail, whatever) is the best system for you.

dezcom's picture

Maybe we need a generic platform wars FAQ page so that when this question revisits yet again (as it does every several months) we can point folks to the "been there-done that" FAQ on the eternal Mac vs PC issue and not have to go through it one more time.

ChrisL

John Nolan's picture

Oldnick:
Have you checked the RAM on that G4? My G4 used to lock up, until I ran a long hardware test and discovered a bad stick of RAM. I replaced it in the fall of 2003, and my G4 hasn't locked up since then.

Frank Jonen's picture

@jason Sorry. Meant to link that but forgot - somehow I can't edit my post now.

If you just want to see how it looks on Safari you can get away with iCapture if you want to see it everywhere use Browser Cam.

John Hudson's picture

There is so much bullshit in Windows that is totally foreign to Mac users.

And so much bullshit on a Mac that is totally foreign to Windows users. And don't get me started about that alien Linux stuff. :)

But I'm a font developer, not a graphic designer, and I use Windows because it is simply a better platform for font development and testing: there are more tools available on this platform for doing my job. I've known a lot of graphic designers who are Windows users, often despite being trained on Macs in design school. Often, they switched to Windows when starting their own studios simply because the hardware was so much cheaper. Sometime in the mid-90s, Adobe's sales of Windows versions of their design software overtook their traditionally stronger Mac sales, and from the workflow perspective there seems to be very little to distinguish the two platforms for design work.

Microsoft's commitment to internationalisation seems far more impressive than Apple's. Given that internationalisation is just about the only growth sector in the font market, this is very important to me. Apple, kind of bizarrely, was one of the first companies involved in the early years of Unicode, and yet they only recently got around to supporting Unicode in a reasonable way. And then there's that AAT font format, which is difficult to develop for -- sometimes prohibitively so -- and is only supported in a small number of applications on this platform with such a tiny share of the global computing market.

Yes, the Apple hardware is good, but then it should be at that price. High-end Wintel hardware is good too. There's a lot of cheap and less good Wintel hardware around, though, built with lower quality components, so a lot of the bad reputation comes from this. If Apple had licensed clone manufacturing, as they nearly did just before Job's return, then you would have seen the same kind of quality divergence in machines running Mac OS.

canderson's picture

Does anyone know if Vista will implement something like ATSServer? On the Mac, there is a separate process that handles the text subsystem. This isn't of interest to graphic designers other than that it makes system-wide font activation possible. On the Windows side, the now unsupported Adobe Type Manager provided some primative auto-activation, but it was for Postscript fonts only.

John, would you consider yourself a Microsoft employee?

George Horton's picture

Speaking of that alien Linux stuff, John, does anyone know how close FontForge is to being a viable type designer's environment? I tried it some time ago and it was unusably buggy.

canderson's picture

I have FontForge running under X11 on my Mac. It looks really weird because it is an old X11 application--the widgets and menus are all really small. It's no threat to FontLab. I would hate to have to work in that environment for any length of time. My understanding is that it was a Fontographer clone that got out of hand. I built a few fonts and they seem to function, but I didn't do any formal testing. There's probably been, or should be a thread about this. If you've got some free time I think these are the links I used...

http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.html

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=103338

James Arboghast's picture

I agree with whoever said designers prefer Macs for the exclusivity factor. They're members of a minority group who are able to feel they have something unique compared to "those awful mass-market Windows thingies." It makes a lot of sense.

...one of these computers that every Windows user is raised to hate. Turned out it wasn’t hate, it was envy.

What a spiteful sweeping generalization. I don't hate Macs or envy Mac users. I use Macs myself (when not using a PC) and get on fine with Mac users. Where do you get this stuff from? What is your problem Frank?

The biggest down-point of Windows is visible when turning you brand new laptop on for the first time after the installation: Either 1bit bitmap font display or the rainbow bride method, no nice and smooth font rendering like on OS X.

You're only interested in presenting a lop-sided picture aren't you? How a Windows laptop is set up for things like # of screen colors and whether font smoothing is turned on or off---depends who you buy it from. Not all Wintel boxes are supplied with raw default settings. Very few thesedays. 16.7 million colors and font smoothing is standard.

Anyway you just shot yourself in the foot: if default display settings are "The biggest down-point of Windows..." Like, is that all? That's a minor problem and implies a near-perfect OS.

I really feel sorry for Windows users at that point.

That's galling, close to insulting. Frank, everything you've said about Windows appears to be based on 95/98 and before. Your opinions on Mac versus PC are the most biased and redundant I've ever heard.

j a m e s

Sebastian Nagel's picture

> John, would you consider yourself a Microsoft employee?

Why? I think this is the best statement in this thread so far.

Si_Daniels's picture

> John, would you consider yourself a Microsoft employee?

The Wiki is your friend...

http://typophile.com/wiki/John%20Hudson

> He has designed typefaces and made fonts for clients such as Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Linotype, IBM and Apple, as well as for smaller companies and academic organisations.

John Hudson's picture

John, would you consider yourself a Microsoft employee?

Er, no. Nor am I Apple's employee, or Adobe's employee, or IBM's employee, or Linotype's employee, or, for that matter, the Society of Biblical Literature's employee, although I have done or am doing work for all of these.

aluminum's picture

Why? Tradition, mainly. They were the first to have a viable desktop publishing/design platform and people stuck with it. Graphic designers tend to go with the flow much more then venture out to new territory in the land of technology. ;o)

These days, you can do pretty much anything on a Mac or a Windows box (and slowly, on linux, though that's defintely a few years off...)

However, Apple is a design company first and foremost. They sell design, and, as such, there's an obvious appeal to anyone that works tangentally or in design fields.

In terms of their laptops, personally, dollar for dollar, I haven't found a better product out there. So, from a purely hardware standpoint, that's where Apple can shine.

In terms of web development, there are typically two general camps...MS folks (ASP, .net, etc.) and open source folks (PHP, MySQL, etc.)

OSX appeals to the open source folks as it is *nix underneath so you can easily run apache, PHP, etc on it. Not that you can't do that on Windows, it's just not quite as nice (and not the typical Web host set up, either).

Going into the future...now that Apple is producing intel machines, the hope for many is that Apple or another 3rd party will be able to run a windows emulation mode at the OS level. In otherwords, the eventual hope is that some day, we could install an EXE file on OSX, and run it in its own window along side all of our mac software. A developers dream. ;o)

And, finally, have you seen Vista yet? There's seems to be a overwhelming agreement that Vista is severely UNDERwhelming.

aluminum's picture

"apple : designers :: abercrombie : college kids"

From a peer-pressure standpoint, yes.

From a product-quality standpoint, no.

paul d hunt's picture

touché, darrel.

aluminum's picture

"While the latest models are only moderately goofy, the last couple of models (1,2)were embarrassing."

Compared to what? A square box?

Admittedly, Apple's Industrial Design doesn't appeal to everyone. That's why Apple is doing well...they're not trying to appeal to everyone. ;o)

I give Apple a lot of credit for gambling. A lot of their machines come out with some pretty wacky industrial design. Some work, some don't. But they try ;o)

Chris Rugen's picture

Those colored iMacs flavored (no pun intended) industrial design all over the consumer products map. Goofy? Yeah. Successful? I'd say yes. They were part of Apple's spearhead to recapture the public's perception of them as the cutting-edge, hip, well-designed technology company. They know how to capture people's 'mindshare', a skill which is now truly paying off as the iPod continues to cast its shadow across the globe.

I was no big fan of the original iMac design. Though eventually I warmed to it enough that I didn't make a face when I used them.

aluminum's picture

"I was no big fan of the original iMac design."

I do remember the day those were announced, though. At the time, the iMac was one remarkable departure from pretty much everything that had came the decade before from any computer manufacturer.

Frank Jonen's picture

Billions of flies prove it, turds are delicious and widely available. :)

brew's picture

I spend equal time on both, and care about neither.

jason's picture

“While the latest [iMac] models are only moderately goofy, the last couple of models were embarrassing.”

Compared to what? A square box?

Admittedly, Apple’s Industrial Design doesn’t appeal to everyone. That’s why Apple is doing well…they’re not trying to appeal to everyone. ;o)

"Apple's Industrial Design" -- that's great, it makes it sound so "fancy," especially with those caps.

This probably says more about me than anything, but I have a non-descript silver 4-door that I love to drive, rather than something like an obnoxious green VW Beetle. Likewise, I'll take a bland old understated tower over an obnoxiously designed all-in-one monstrosity anyday. I just couldn't get anything done if I had to sit at my desk and look at something so ridiculous staring back at me.

I don't know why this is such a sore-spot for me, but those iMacs just irritate me to no end. Different for the sake of different: not exactly good or interesting design, just "fancy" design. Ug.

rs_donsata's picture

The mouse of the first imac was a real whirst pain device, It looked nice but it's the worst mouse I have ever used. The later transparent optical mouse is better, but still lacks a button and a scroll wheel.

¿How can you play Unreal Tournament without a scrol wheel?

Héctor

Duckworth's picture

I can't work without my MightyMouse. Yes, truly the worst name for a product ever (Mighty Mouse!?!? What were they thinking?), yes, it's not as well put together as the regular Apple Mouse (incredibly, mine used to squeak when you pressed the button - solved by pushing the baseplate down properly until it clicks), but the scroll wheel is fantastic. I initially liked the option to go two-buttoned, but I've disabled it. If you're using keyboard shortcuts all the time, usually my hand is never far away from the keyboard and it's actually easier to ctrl-click something when I need to - much easier than accidentally clicking on the right-hand side of the mouse and contextual menus appearing when you least expect them to!

aluminum's picture

"I don’t know why this is such a sore-spot for me"

It sure seems to be. ;o)

Apple simply isn't competing in the commodity computer market.

James Arboghast's picture

j a m e s

Miss Tiffany's picture

With some preference tweaking and patience I'm really starting to like my MightyMouse. I do with the two buttons on the side had a more tangible click, and the track ball feels kinda small, overall I'm happy with my purchase.

Si_Daniels's picture

Have any pundits made the link between the Apple mouse and the Atari 2600 joystick? Steve worked at Atari before starting Apple, and as I recall the joystick only included one button? If video-console scholars can demonstrate that Atari's decline started when they introduced more complicated multi-button controllers this might explain the aversion to multi-button mice. Or maybe not.

Cool link on Atari 2600 accessories...

http://www.classicgaming.com/museum/2600/2600_4.shtml

the 'mindlink' is my favorite

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