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MacHeads: the Cult of Macintosh

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posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 09:26 AM
This is my third attempt at a post here. So far I've ended up just rehashing what's already been said. So I'll just make a brief comment about why I love Macs; I've been using them since 1992. The reason why I love Macs is not just a simple act of worship. I love Macs because when working with them they disappear. Almost immediately I get past the awareness that I'm working on a computer. Many of my favorite programs achieve the same thing. The disappear and allow me to work. I'm not constantly reminded that I'm working with something or through something, I'm just working. Whenever I've worked on Windows or Linux PCs, I was constantly reminded that I was working on those systems. Whether the problems were software or hardware related, there was always something to remind me. The only time I ever really am aware of when I'm working on a Mac is when somebody reminds me of it!
Working on Macs, any Mac, my Mac or someone else's Mac, I always feel like I'm working on my machine. I cannot say the same applies to my experience when working on Windows or Linux machines, the experience always changes from machine to machine. I guess what I'm saying is, Macs allow me to simultaneously have welcomed, unique experiences and feel at home. With other platforms I have unique experiences, many that I don't want to have, and never feel at home. Maybe this is what people are referring to when they say, "Macs just work."

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 09:50 AM

Originally posted by CarlosG
I am really intrigued by the way that people seem to think that owning a Mac makes you somehow more artistic. What is that about?

In the OS 9 days Macs became a favorite with musicians because they came with a soundcard and Soundmanager audio drivers that was built into the OS. With OS X Macs have continued to have built-in audio hardware capability, digital and analog, but also sophisticated audio and MIDI capability built into the core of OS X with Audio MIDI Setup. This makes it super easy for users and audio software and hardware designers. It greatly reduces the need for third party audio drivers, and users can plug and play any MIDI hardware with ease. With Core Image and much of the software that included in the purchase of a Mac like GarageBand, iMovie, and iPhoto, many folks have found out that they are creative just by having the software available to use. Not that they thought so before buying a Mac. It's not that one becomes more artistic, it's more that many found out that they were artistic to some degree simply by buying a Mac. And it's arguable that the Mac experience encourages one to be creative. So there is a philosophy that Apple pushes, whether one agrees with it or not, that people who make things are happier people. Personally, I tend to agree with Apple, but I didn't need Apple to tell me so.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 10:35 AM
ok, now that you guys have rationalized your own mac purchases, let's try to discuss the original topic? Maybe we can talk about other mac users, you know the non-ATS ones that are the real cult members.

but seriously, let's explore the cult mentality, not the reasons behind your own purchases.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 10:36 AM

Originally posted by Areal51

Originally posted by CarlosG
I am really intrigued by the way that people seem to think that owning a Mac makes you somehow more artistic. What is that about?

In the OS 9 days Macs became a favorite with musicians because they came with a soundcard and Soundmanager audio drivers that was built into the OS.

good point, back with MOTU, Mac was indeed the best route according to most engineers and studio owners I know/knew. Still, it does not explain the graphic design community also falling hook, line and sinker for the iCult.

[edit on 22-1-2008 by scientist]

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 10:54 AM
I don't use Macintoshes or Apple products for that matter because I like things that work.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 11:22 AM

Originally posted by scientist
good point, back with MOTU, Mac was indeed the best route according to most engineers and studio owners I know/knew. Still, it does not explain the graphic design community also falling hook, line and sinker for the iCult.

[edit on 22-1-2008 by scientist]

You mean despite the fact that if a Mac became underpowered as a result of advances in techniques/imaging etc. (Not a Graphics artist myself) You were unable to updgrade it's VGA unit to keep it in use?

To me that makes no sense. Plus not having right click drives me mad

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 11:31 AM

Originally posted by scientist
yes, amen on the stock.

So, you are actually recruiting more members? Ha. When you say "they just work," are you implying that other stuff doesn't? Again, this is the type of cult doublespeak that is common throughout any type of convincing that abandons logic for the sake of internal conflict. There must be more to it than "it just works." I mean, plenty of stuff just works - but I don't go around telling people to spend thousands of dollars because of it.

Please, tell me more... I just may be able to deprogram some of you. (nah, I doubt it

[edit on 21-1-2008 by scientist]

I used pc's up until about 10 years ago when I got into college and started training for graphic design. When I used a PC they notoriously locked up and had to "shift-alt-delete" my way out of Windows. When I started to learn macs in college it seemed they had WAY less problems. This may have changed since XP or Vista ... I have no idea, but from what I read about Vista ... it didn't sound too promising.

Fact is, Macs are an industry standard when working in the graphic design, printing, publishing field. Walk into any creative department and you'll see what I mean. In the city I live in we have a Ford manufacturing plant. Roughly 90% of the employees cars in the parking lot are Ford. That should tell you something about people and loyalty to brands.

I don't think it's a cult or any sort of brainwashing. I think it's just human nature. I'll never buy a Ford. I've had many friends who've owned Fords and had to buy new cars every 4-5 years. I owned the same Toyota for over 10 years. 275,000 miles later I realize why I love Toyotas. They make a quality product. I have 6 pairs of Adidas and I will not buy any other sports shoe. Am I brainwashed by Adidas? Or do I belong to the Adidas cult? No. They performed better and lasted longer than any New Balance I ever bought.

I don't buy into your brainwashing/cult theory.

Besides ... I'm a local economy/small business/mom&pop frequenter. Why give my money to Ultra-Mega Microsoft? I think they have enough money with 90% of the world running on their platform. Why are you trying to convince the remaining 10% to convert? Don't you believe in a free-market, capitalist society? One cannot exsist if their is not competition. You'll have a dominated monopoly otherwise and Microsoft could sell their operating system for whatever they wanted and people would have to pay it. Because they'd be the only one making the OS. The market needs competition to thrive.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 11:35 AM
reply to post by Nemiro

Simple solution: upgrade.

What do you mean "having no right click"? You obviously havn't used a mac lately. Even 7 years ago you could buy a third party mouse that had left/right clickability, if it suited you.

Most of us in the graphics industry have one hand on the keyboard and one hand on the mouse at all times, so to hold the option button while clicking wasn't such a big deal.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 12:31 PM
I do technical phone support for apple computers and that "devil on one shoulder, angel on the other" marketing campaign annoyed me to no end at first. The corporate atmosphere and portrayal of the products I still find extremely repugnant and reprehensible.

I acquired an ipod through a work campaign but do not own any other apple product(it's always amusing when I answer a customer who asks me what kind of mac I have at home).

I know the operating system inside and out so cost aside I would probably buy one if I could afford it. I find the post-windows install to be a time consuming nightmare of installing secondary and tertiary drivers.

I am extremely artistic and if anyone judges their own artistic personality by a product I do not think they are a true artist.

I have probably spoken to thousands of apple customers and very few I speak to have the attitude that seems to be so prolific in the online community. Most new apple customers are tech-novices drawn in by a slick marketing campaign. Most "must buy one of each" customers are usually normal people with a bit of excess cash.

For the extremists it's Star Trek vs. Star Wars all over again.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 12:39 PM
Whoa whoa whoa - to those of you who claim "stability" as a Mac virtue - you've obviously never worked with 8.x or 9. They are crap. OSX isn't much better than XP. I've never had to unplug a computer so much in my life as I had with those machines. My background? Computer Science and math (undergrad) and 13 yrs in corporate IT. In my opinion, Macs are useless in a corporate environment where real work needs to get done - save your graphics or publishing shop. I've turned down jobs where Mac support was required, but took a job where Linux was used end-to-end (Fedora on the desktops and RHEL on the servers). At home, I have Ubuntu on the laptops and desktops, and the wife and kids love it (all the rotating cube desktops, themes, flash games play fine, etc...). I do own Apple products - iPods. But, you know, the iPod sums up Apple and their line of products perfectly - frivolous and flashy. Besides, the whole cult-esque mindset is just plain creepy.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 12:56 PM

Originally posted by tyranny22
Fact is, Macs are an industry standard when working in the graphic design, printing, publishing field. Walk into any creative department and you'll see what I mean.

ironically, as I type this I am sitting (working) in one of the largest design companies in the country. I am surrounded by iCult members here as well. It is NOT an industry standard. Thats ridiculous, unless you can post something to back that up. Mac's marketshare at the end of 2007 was right around 8%

That is not a standard, that's a niche.

In fact, the amount of maclove I see in my company was part of the reason I was influenced to make this post! I just don't understand. I'm a designer and developer. I use many platforms. Why do people insist mac is some type of standard, when it's not?

Again... cult mentality? Repeating something over and over does not make it true, like any other cult

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 01:12 PM
reply to post by scientist

The 8% market share for Macs in 2007 is a vast improvement over the 2% market share that Apple enjoyed in 2001. Regardless, 2% or, especially, 8% is not small potatoes when you consider that Macs were once considered to be some sort of specialty item.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 01:31 PM
reply to post by scientist

How would one know the reasons behind the cult mentality if one is not a part of the cult mentality? Personally, I've not looked that deeply into it. I mean, there are fanatics for Porsche because they figure "there is no substitute". BMW inspires people to believe that they are driving "the ultimate driving machine". So for Apple it's, "think different". Everyone I know who uses a Mac takes a bit a pride in striving to assert their individuality. The irony is that Macs and the applications that run on them express purpose in a uniform way. That's done so that people can concentrate on their work, rather than to having to learn new tricks from the bottom up every time one learns a new program. Any tricks that are the same from program to program are handled in similar ways on Macs.

Anyway, I don't sense some kind of religious fervor to Apple and Macs, I just sense customer loyalty based on products and experiences that leave many users mostly fulfilled rather than somewhat fulfilled. I'd imagine the same can be said about users of other platforms. The whole cult thing seems to me to be a myth, but a label that one welcomes because Macs, until the advent of the translucent iMacs and the iPod, were not considered mainstream personal computers. Only a few people show up to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show over and over again on late Saturday nights. It's not because they worship the film, they simply enjoy the experience enough that they want to have it again. It has as much to do with audience participation as the film itself. Folks continue to use Macs and other Apple products because of the experience that they have when using them. The experience is so satisfying that customers feel as if they matter to Apple beyond just dollars and cents.

It's true that some folks put Apple bumper stickers on their cars or in the back windows of their cars. But that largely reflects the early adopters, the diehards, the one's who did not want to see a company that had good philosophy and good products fail. Identity came with that commitment -- but it wasn't the identity that was sought after and hoped for. What was hoped for was more great products from a company that seemed preternaturally capable of producing them over and over again. Let's face it, folks don't want to lose a good thing. I think that's the only thing that concerns those faithful to Apple. Well, that and the impression that Apple seems to care about its customers as much as its customers seem to care about Apple. Generally speaking, of course. And so, you know, there are those who questions Apple's commitment its customers, as well as to the environment. Many of those people would be Apple loyalists, so it's not a completely rosy relationship, but it's a relationship that, historically speaking, is based on trust.

There is an identity associated with the cult status, but it's not clear to me that people who are long time Mac users bought Macs because they thought that they were also purchasing an identity. They did not do so because they felt part of an exclusive group. The did so because computing became enjoyable. That's where, I think, the enthusiasm and fanaticism comes from. The identity just happens to come with the territory.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 01:47 PM

Originally posted by abovetech
1.No driver issues out of the box. 95 % of all devices you can imagine just work plug and play.

Unfortunately, that is not true. I had to use Mac for some time now, and had high expectations about such plug and play. In one case, it correctly found and identified my WiFi network printer (score one for Apple). In other cases, it didn't recongnize my card reader which I plugged into innumerable PCs with no problem whatsoever, and didn't have a driver for a popular Sony printer (and that is a major brand). When I did get the driver, the paper size was wrong and it was a tiny bit of a pain to customize it.

I also experienced freezes of the Safari (possibly due to plug-in misconfiguration which I couldn't figure out). I couldn't figure out how to preview pics on photo-folders automatically, like I do in XP, without having to start the "preview" app. That might be possible, but the fact that I couldn't figure it out speaks volumes -- I've been using computers of all sorts for 29 years now. It's supposed to be easy, remember?

I think that the "ease" of the Mac platform is a myth. They managed to pull it off because they used to tightly control the design and production of the hardware and associated software in the past. There were very few Mac clones -- there were some, but it doesn't compare to the PC world, where everyone and their Chinese grandmother are producing motherboards and PCI cards of every description and doesn't hesitate to mess up IRQs and what not, and throttle the bus in the process. The PC was in fact a very open platform because there were just so many models under the same basic umbrella.

So yeah, we get this polished UI and I have to hand it to them, but so far it's been less that a miraculous experience. I like the semantics and affordance of the PC better altough I hate the shaky nature of Windows, at times.

3.Installing more than 100 applications without the system slowing down much.

I find it a bit bizzare that anyone would need multiple hundreds of apps on their box.

6. Doing internet, mail, pro audio , video or graphics on ONE system for years without any trouble.

I can't say about video, but with this exception I've done this on my Windows 98 machine for 8 years now. A recent hard drive failure led to som problems, but it still mostly works.

7. Being able to run any OS with virtualization. Super fast!

I ran Solaris 10 on XP, under VMware... Your point?

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 01:54 PM
I believe Apple criminally designs their products for planned obsolescence. This means that after a certain amount of time (1 year or so) the product starts to malfunction. I have had 3 ipods and 2 iMacs. All of my iPods have lasted 1 year regardless of how I treat them. The first one was in tatters when it stopped working so I blamed myself. But in my second ipod the internal screen broke all by itself, and upon some research I found that there is a class action lawsuit because Apple designed these screens to screw up! I was also told by Mac support that unless you use iTunes to get your songs, Apple will blame all of your iPod problems on viruses from Limewire or whatever you use. That is what they told me when my last ipod started freezing and eventually stopped being recognized by my computer.

Now onto the computers. OSX may be user friendly, but the actual computer is not. Unless you're a Mac technician, you'll probably just destroy your Mac trying to get it open to fix it yourself. The customization on Macs is almost non-existent.
And like the OP said, proprietary hardware extortion.
My 2 iMacs have both had screen malfunctions. The first one had the screen randomly cut out after about A YEAR (like all of Apple stuff), and when I sent it in for repairs it took 3 and a half months to fix the screen!. Absolutely terrible.
So now I want a new Mac. Can I buy a stand-alone computer? No. I have an imac with a built in screen, so I need to buy a whole new screen too. So I did. And a year later, the screen cuts out AGAIN. No external damage whatsoever. That was the last time I used a Mac.
I built my own pc for 1000$ and it's way faster than any mac at that price. Also, if something malfunctions (Screen, Harddrive, whatever) I can just take that individual part back to the store and get a new one!! No 3 and a half month wait.

I would really like to hear your stories about Apple's PROGRAMMED OBSOLESCENCE in their products!!!

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 02:05 PM
amazing.. just came across a totally related article by chance:

"Mac mindset" claim is more marketing than science

It's no secret that Apple products have a whiff of elitism about them. Their computers have been favored by a minority that emphasize unquantifiable features like design and workflow, and they cost more than many others on the market (this is, however, becoming less true over the years). Their users are often enthusiastic about the product, sometimes to the point of pathology. But do those users represent an extreme, or is there really a quantifiable Macintosh frame of mind shared by its users? A story that is making the rounds suggests that there is.

the article links to this report:

Is There a 'Mac' Mindset? 'Mac People' Found to be More Open and Superior Than Population at Large, According to Mindset Media Study

The study, with a robust sample of 7,500 respondents, revealed that
people who are highly open-minded or, in Mindset Media parlance, "Openness
5's", are 60 percent more likely than people in the general population to
have purchased a Mac. These purchasers are also more liberal, less modest,
and more assured of their own superiority than the population at large.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 02:24 PM
Many years ago, in the 90s, there was a study that involved comparing essays written by Mac and PC users (I assume that was a blind test). The PC users wrote better essays, and it was theorized that this is due to the mindset (the PC UI was more verbal/verbose that the single button click approach on the Mac)...i.e. it took a user who is more inclined to concentrate, to efficently operate a PC.

Some of my colleagues are acquiring Macs because I think it's an image statement, not being like the rest, which fits with the elitist attitude mentioned in the above post.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 02:40 PM
I too have used both I build pc's and fix them at work and our Tech guy before us recommended Macs and so the Organization purchased 3 laptops, 2 have already had problems one with the screen and the other the cd rom was broken had this been a pc I could have opened it up and replaced it myself on the Mac if I attempted that a Mac technician would have not fixed it or so I was told. I also find that Macs have had more problems with our network then pc's I do not however blame Mac for that as we are trying to make the Macs work in a windows environment. I could never really get in to Macs I dont know why?

I just built my own custom PC with best of the best components so I paid around 5K and now have a PC with 2 video cards an extreme version of intels 3.0Ghz OC to 4.0Ghz and running Vista x64 with no problems (ahem after a few during installation but I figured out the problem and fixed it and it was kind or my fault I guess) I play a lot of games so I guess the price doesnt really bother me. My girl wants a Mac and I get mad when she says that to me (she does it on purpose) but if she bought it I wouldnt really care she wants the new Macbook Air I might only use it once in a while to surf the net or something.

Not trying to make it a pc vs mac but....
Just to show off my stuff:
Windows Vista x64
Asus P5N32SLI Mobo
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (quadcore FSB 1333)
4 Gigs of Corrsair Ram
Soundblaster XFI soundcard
2 WD Raptors in Raid 0
LG Blu Ray and HD Dvd-r Drive
1TB for storage
32" Samsung monitor (arrives soon I hope for now 21"Dell)
Watercooled in a coolmaster stacker box

I can see why some people will hate pc's too if they run into problems and cant fix them they would just blame the whole thing and quit. I guess since I can fix them I dont have a problem if something doesnt work at first. I have an IPOD with 80 Gigs that has about 200 hundred songs and no videos LOL I just had to have it dunno why oh and I might get an Iphone soon but thats through my job so I dont know if I should count that in?

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 02:43 PM
right, its not being an apple consumer that puts you in the iCult - it's this "I will NEVER buy anything other than a MAC no matter what!" mentality that I quoted on the first page of this thread.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 03:01 PM
Right and While I do like my PC a whole lot I will never say that I would alwyas buy PC and nothing else or am forever a PC buyer that would just be cult-ish

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