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Feedback: Letters To and From the Editor -- Mac Sucks
with Charlie White
Hi Readers, We're just starting to dig out from an avalanche of mail concerning my recent "Mac Sucks" editorial. Wow! What a difference of opinion! As expected, the EvangeList crowd registered their stern disapproval of any and all statements against their beloved Mac, while lots of other readers, including quite a few Mac developers expressed their agreement and support. While each OS has its faults and strengths, it was enlightening to spark a discussion of the current state of the Mac, especially given the nearly unchallenged recent rollout of the Beta version of Mac OS X. Here's a representative sample of your responses:
I enjoyed your articles on HDTV and the one on "The Mac Sucks."
I've been editing broadcast work since 1978 and have gone through a lot of changes to say the least. I started on old top-loading 3/4" VCR's (can't dredge up the # right now). By 1984 I had a 1" online suite, by 1991 a betaSP online suite, and in 1995 bought my first Mac-based (oh boy that sucks) Media 100 NLE.
The good thing is that my 2 Media 100 systems have turned huge profits (in the first two years I could have actually paid for that blood-sucking $300,000 1" edit bay if I still had it.) Incidentally, on my mac-nle's I probably have gotten my restart frequency down to about 2 times per day average.
However, having seen the powerful performance of a Mac running Linux or Be-OS, I have to disagree, the MAC doesn't suck, APPLE sucks, and believe me, as a long term Mac user, your editorial doesn't begin to do justice to just how bad APPLE sucks.
I was at MacWorld and it was obvious in about 90 seconds that the OS-X demo was a waste of my time and a simple exercise in "marketing madness". I can't tell you how many times I have encountered people who have been sucked into purchasing stuff that won't do the job they bought it for.
Marketing has driven most of the changes we've seen in the video editing world of today, and like most good marketing, it has targeted and attracted new market segments, enticing people who don't have a technical or creative clue as to how to accomplish good results.
I dare you to try to explain a blanking problem, or y/c delay problem, or the old standby, drop frame t/c vs. non-drop t/c. That will raise a eyebrow every time. Consequently, at most video/computer shows you have to wait through hordes of people asking inane questions that prove beyond a doubt that they shouldn't be involved in a highly technical field in the first place. Which brings this drivel to the point, what is APPLE doing in a highly technical field? Now I will sit and cry for a while about my sizeable investments in the dead-ended MAC.
Dennis Colvin, Owner, dcVideo Production, Fresno CA
Charlie, Charlie, c'mon!!
Try comparing Apples to apples! You write that, "There's no amount of marketing that will convince me that for video editing and compositing any Mac can beat a dual processor 800 MHz NT machine with an ICE accelerator board inside." There's no stand-alone P3 that could make that claim, either!
Try ICEing up a G3 or G4, if speed is what you're after. As for digital video editing, it's a risky process, at best, whether you're using an iMac DV, or, an Avid Symphony.
Don't even talk to me about Windows. I've worked in a Windows environment for 10 years, and a Mac environment for 5 years! That's why I have a G3/266 (at home) now. When it was my turn to select a non-linear editor (at work), I chose a Mac based system; and, I'm quite happy with it, as are the folks who use it. Our IT department doesn't support Macintosh; but, that's OK. They can't keep up with their own jobs, while I solve any Macintosh problems without their help.
You mentioned the age of the Mac OS. Surely you know that Windows still operates on a DOS shell, don't you? How old must that be?? Are you really looking forward to d/ling all those patches from M$?
Yes, Windows is capable of multi-tasking; and, the Mac will be, as well. For me, it's worth the wait, though, I think that Macs would have had multiprocessing sooner, were it not for Mr. Jobs untimely departure.
As for stability, I've had more headaches with Windows than I care to count (Windows 3.1; 95, 98, and now, NT). Sure, the Mac OS isn't perfect; but, it's a far site more stable than any Windows machine I've ever worked with.
Downgrade the Mac OS, if you must; regress to Windows, if your soul dictates. I'm sure that you'll find (as I have found) that the grass is not greener on the Windows side of the fence.
Respectfully, Tom Cupp
The Mac Sucks -- been expecting more articles like this
Michael Brian Bentley
You Poor Lost Soul
Jay Cottrill, Marietta, Ohio
For the record, if Mac OSX does ship by January of next year and can actually edit video natively, via OSX and not OS9 emulation, I'll be happy to be the first to celebrate it. Watch this space.
And also, for the record, I'm not too crazy about Windows NT, either.
Charlie White has been writing about digital video editing since it was the laughingstock of the post-production industry. He's an Emmy award-winning producer and director for PBS, and producer of this Web site.
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Related Keywords:nonlinear editing, gotchas, disk costing, disk space, complex effects, money, steep learning curve, Digital Video Editing, Charlie White