Saturday March 05

Pledge of the Mac Advocate

I have been using Macs for nearly a decade and a half. So I have met many different kinds of Mac users in the course of that time. I don't think there is such a thing as a casual Mac user. By the choice that we make, we are forced into the position of having to defend our choice in some way or other (although we don't necessarily have to promote it). As such, Mac users are split into two different camps: Mac Advocates and Mac Fanatics. And I think I fall in the former category.

A Mac Advocate sees a Mac as a means to an end. A Mac Fanatic sees the Mac as an ends in itself. Mac Fanatics have boundless energy and are useful in building momentum in Mac advocacy. But because of their innate lack of respect for others, they come off too strongly and obnoxiously and alienate tamer Mac users.

The reason why I bring this up is because of the number of Mac Fanatics that have invaded my local Mac User Group forums. They have both dismissed me and have attacked me with no logic or reason. I think it is a shame because the forum administrators will not do anything about them and so I don't think I will visit it again.

So I want you to know that just because I use a Mac doesn't mean that I have pledged my life to Apple. I want you to know that I am reasonable and I am conscientiously selective. And so as a Mac Advocate, I make these promises:

  1. I will respect the choices of others as I want them to respect my own choice.
  2. I will not claim an elite status simply because of my product choice.
  3. I will not believe that any Apple official or any product of Apple is infallible.
  4. I will not dismiss better choices or more available choices in products if they are more suitable even if Apple has a similar product.
  5. I will not bore the crap out of other people with endless diatribe about the benefits of using a Mac.

Like non-smokers. Those who have never smoked and those who quit and think you are too stupid or weak or unmotivated to do so as well.

The former are sympathetic and helpful, the latter are just obnoxious.

Posted by Al on Mar 06, 05 | 9:00 am

I’m not a smoker but I do see where you are coming from. If people have made a choice, then others should learn to respect it instead of talking down to them as if they should be rescued. Speaking of which, I guess that applies to most kinds of evangelists! ;-)

Posted by Tim on Mar 06, 05 | 11:34 am

I think that’s great dude!

Posted by Dude on Mar 07, 05 | 12:08 pm

Well said.

This is a true story. A couple of weeks ago I bought a new Powerbook 12”. My first Mac. I always wanted a Mac. So when my Toshiba notebook broke, I went for the Powerbook. So I bring the thing home, fire it up, and uh oh..., weird popping buzzing sound. Damn! Powered it off, on again, same weird noise. Ok, so back to the store (within an hour), with my wife. This is the conversation with the same guy who sold us the computer 1 hour earlier. I will call him Obnoxious Mac Fanatic or OMF.

me: Hi, the computer has a makes a popping buzzing noise when you boot.
OMF: Are you sure it’s not the fan? Maybe it’s the fan and you’re “finicky” (means picky I guessed).
me: I’m sure it’s not the fan.
OMF boots up the laptop… hears the weird noise.
me: see?
OMF: hmm… It’s gotta be software.. I mean it’s a Powerbook, Powerbooks do not have problems like this. This is the first time I hear something like this, and trust me, I know Apple.
OMF starts playing with the settings (turns off the microphone of some other sound option)...there… it doesn’t do it anymore
me: I don’t care, I know what a normal computer sounds like, and this had a loud noise out of the box before you turned off the microfone or whatever, and I spent 2500$ (cad) 1 hour ago and I want a new functioning computer out of the box.
OMF: Ya but it’s gotta be a driver/software problem. (At this point OMF explicitly gets into Apple assembly technique explanations, repeating how Powerbooks don’t have problems).
My wife (who at this point is getting very annoyed): Listen man, this laptop has an obvious problem, I don’t care if it’s Apple or IBM or whatever.
OMF (to my wife) : Do you have something against Apple?
my wife: Listen dude, we don’t worship Apple, it’s a friggin’ company making friggin’ things

So anyways, I got my money back from the manager. Truly, I like Macs but I don’t want to be part of this type of group of people. So I’m still shopping around, but for a nice Sony Vaio this time.

Posted by Ma¢ on Mar 07, 05 | 12:55 pm


That’s a terrible experience. I’ve had similar ones before, usually when I bring it into the shop for repairs. That guy should have just replaced it no questions asked. Macs are not infallible and it’s not that unusual to have a bad one every once in a while. In my case, the people at the Mac shops who are like that try to raise their own stature by latching their self esteem to something that they think is good. So when I take things to be replaced, they take it as a personal attack. Fortunately, not all the Mac shops are staffed with those kinds of people.

Posted by Tim on Mar 07, 05 | 1:40 pm

Amen! I loathe Mac fanatics (including the Mac press and moronic radio shows). If I were a PC user I would be very offended by Mac users claimed superiority.

It is utterly pathetic.

Posted by Ian Stewart Cairns on Mar 11, 05 | 6:40 am
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Technology fanaticism vs enthusiasm

In the past, I too have been responsible for fuelling OS and platform related arguments. However, for quite a few years now I realised that the choice of a tool is a personal matter. In the same way I don't try to push to people my favourite programmi...
Tracked on on Mar 06, 05 @ 7:57 am

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