Dear Macophobe Charlie Brooker

In response to Charlie Brooker's piece on Guardian Comments Free: Why I hate Macs

Hey, I'm using a Mac and also use Linux on another machine, use Windows XP + Linux at work and have endured my fair share of woes with the various incarnations of fenestrated operating systems falling victim to viruses, spyware and persistent crashes. I also plugged in a three-button wheel mouse as I'd become accustomed to frequent right clicks in my Windows days. However, with a Mac mouse, you just control-click to bring up a context menu. Besides Macs have so many command, option and control + other key combinations that right-clicking is really something for the clueless, "Err what do I do here?"

Next, the relative absence of first-person shooters would seem to be one of the most endearing advantages of this platform, but if you are seriously so demented (and I mince not my words) you could simply install VM-Ware or Parallels, but as I said such moronic games are for losers I would certainly not trust to approach my children.

If you are a real man and want to understand the inner workings of a computer, install Gentoo Linux, learn VI and do all your file management at the command line just like I can do this on this MacBook. Under the hood, beneath the superficial eye candy of the Aqua frontend, it's rocks-solid Free BSD. In my experience most Windows users cannot even install a lousy graphics driver (and I should know as I used to work on tech support for moronic video games), something many will have to do when they upgrade to Vista. I bet you're one of those hostages to MicroDoom who think you need a bloated proprietary Office suite to reproduce a few bullet points and spell-check your 300 word articles. Thanks to the grip that Microsoft holds on the collective psyche, millions of working class school kids are unaware that OpenOffice (or NeoOffice on the Mac) is a free and 100% legal download or the age of the £50 Linux laptop is upon us. Quite frankly IT in most UK secondary schools should be renamed Microsoft Point and Click Product Training. That's why Apple can make frankly pathetic claims that Macs run Office too. So what? The future lies clearly with XML, open standards, peer-to-peer networks and virtualisation technology, not with monolithic and monopolistic software suites.

While I have no illusions in the philanthropy of Steve Jobs and dislike any association with trendy I-podding consumers, I hope you enjoy the benefits of your deference to an even bigger predator. The fact is if you want a reliable machine for Web surfing, writing, number-crunching, editing photos and videos and programming that also has a battery of life of up to 6 hours (usually around 4 hours), can fit into your knapsack, can vpn into Windows or Linux networks, runs NeoOffice with full interoperability with ODF (Google it) as well as Microsoft Office formats and PDF and the Gimp (Google it) free of charge as well as 100s of open-source Unix apps, then a MacBook running Mac OS X ain't a bad choice. Otherwise get yourself a second-hand PC on ebay from some nerd upgrading to Vista and install Ubuntu.

Author: 
Neil Gardner
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