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A new breed


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When I was younger, and computers were measured in low tripple digit megahertz, I remember a time before I knew of Apple Computers. I used to buy copies of CD-Rom Today, a magazine that *gasp* used to come with a CD full of apps. (That was a big deal, we had just gotten a CD-Rom.) It had shareware games and junk, most of which was pretty useless. (How did we use computers so much before the internet?)


I remember one issue had replacement backgrounds for Mac computers on it. My first thought was "you need something special to do that?". Luckily, I had bought the magazine to entertain myself while visiting friends of family, who happened to own a Mac (I don't know what kind, at the time I really didn't care). So I mentioned to them I could install these backgrounds on their computer, and they gave me the go-ahead.


And immediately I got my first computer lesson from a Mac user. For the record, I didn't ask, nor did I feel I needed any sort of lesson. I had been messing with our home computer for years, and a computer's a computer... right? Apparently not, as this guy my dad's age took it upon himself to show me all of the differences.


Since then, I've noticed that trend amongst the Mac enthusiasts. "Our machine is better, let me talk down to you about it." This isn't even taking into account their constant anti-Microsoft {censored}. Come on, I came up from DOS to 3.1, 95, 98, XP... I have plenty of words for Microsoft myself. Our whole generation was conditioned to expect a 9X-based machine to crash "less", instead of not crash at all.

Skip ahead to now, while I sit at an HP laptop, running OSX (10.4.7 to be specific), writing to a blog read only by people in similar situations. I spend a lot of time on IRC keeping up with what happens to be going on in the OSX86 community, but I have branched into a few Mac-centric channels too. To mention OSX86 in there is almost a sacrilege. Some argue it's slower, or buggy, until I get them to put their xbench scores where their mouths are. It's my primary OS, so it can't be that buggy (seems stable to me).


But what got me to write this was a comment said in one of these mac-centric channels. Someone had commented that they had to go back to their Windows machine, and they were trying to use Quicksilver hotkeys in Windows. This was followed with "I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't stolen that yet." Another channel member followed that by mentioning that Windows has had global hotkeys for years. The response was "... Global Hotkeys are nowhere near as powerful, deep or intuitive".


This is a perfect example of why I don't like hardcore Mac users, at least the original instance of them. The features that this person is comparing to Windows is not a feature of OSX. Quicksilver is an add-on, one that not even all Mac users use. (I personally don't, as I don't need the features it offers.) A programmer it to add features to their favorite OS, completely on their own, and yet that isn't where the chatter's train of thought went. They mocked Windows for not having these features. But OSX doesn't have these features either...


A second example came from my roommate. He works in a computer lab on campus helping people with computer issues, homework, etc. He had a girl come in and ask for help with her website, and she brought in her MacBook. He has a laptop with very similar specs to a MacBook, so they started talking about this. She mentioned hers has features like "the screen that's good for web design"... yeah, she really said that. So this brings up the second kind of Mac users... the stupid ones. Macs are so simple that grandparents could use them without too much instruction. They're made user friendly from the get-go, and so if you don't know much about computers you can still use them pretty easily.


The moral of this story, we are a community of converts. Most (I know not all) OSX86 users were initially Windows users. The option to use OSX came up, and they decided to give it a go. And in this year since 10.4.1 was released into the wild, a lot of these people continued to use it. To make it work perfectly, almost everyone needed to tweak something, and in doing so, learned about how OSX works.


It's not uncommon to find an OSX86/Windows dual-boot system, as Windows is still the OS of choice for games. But for everyday use, OSX does the job and more. Linux occupies a partition on more than a few hard drives too, since OSX is a tempting OS for *nix users too.


We are dual/tri/quad booters, not limiting ourselves to a single operating system. We understand how it works, and not just how to use it. We mock OS's because we've used them, not because we haven't. And even though we're knowledged in most things OS, we don't carry the Mac aire of superiority. When someone is having problems, we help them make it work.


We are the new breed.

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