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OPINION FEBRUARY 12 , 2001
Talkin' Smack: The Ultimate Peecee Virus

How to wreck Windows the fun and legal way

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

I receive letters occasionally from readers telling me their tales of woe and triumph. The tales of woe usually involve companies taking away a designer's Mac to replace it with a Compaq or something equally horrifying. I haven't received any of these letters lately. But I have been getting mail from people recounting the the tales of triumph in which they manage to convince someone in their company to bring in a Mac, which inevitably leads to the Great Mac Gathering.

The Great Mac Gathering is the phenomenon of Windows-bound coworkers gathering around to gawk at the new Macintosh in the office. They stare at the brilliance of its industrial design, like tuna pondering just how great it would be to wrap their mouths around a giant, shiny hook. Then they get to watch the machine in action. They ask you to do things on it that they can't do on their Windows box, at least not as well. And they're hooked. Next thing you know, the company's buying more Macs, and the Compaqs are headed out the door toward the Goodwill.

This is a major change from the way things were just a few years ago, back when I.S. guys were using Apple's viability (or lack thereof) to justify switching everyone in their company over to peecees. Of course, the I.S. department still stands behind the peecee. Why wouldn't they? They wouldn't have much to do if everyone were on Macs.

All right, I know that Windows isn't all that complex and that most problems on either platform could be avoided with a little basic knowledge of the operating system on the part of the user. But, let's face it, you don't need certification to run a Mac network. You plug it in, and it automatically works much, much better than Windows NT ever did. Of course, we hear that Linux is the next great networking system. I see no evidence of this. We have two Intel-based Linux boxes in our office, and they're both crap. The myth of the Linux network is pretty much akin to that old Windows "not compatible" lie. Remember that? "The Mac isn't compatible." Forget the fact that there were almost no applications for Windows when this lie started and that all the great programs of the day were on Mac first. Forget the fact that "Windows-compatible" invariably meant "DOS-based" and "crash-prone." Forget the fact that the most creative thing you could do on Windows at the time was to make a beep-like noise. Forget the fact that Windows was a GUI Microsoft licensed from Apple before they decided to stop paying the license fee.

Old hatreds die hard.

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