I was struck this morning by how wrong one of the standard attacks on Apple’s Macintosh computers are. Windows fanboys in particular will exclaim:
Macs are all form over function.
Nothing, I realised, could be further from the truth. In fact, the regular PC industry, as well as the non-Apple operating system range are obsessed with form over function.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at which operating systems/desktop environments come pre-loaded with theme managers:
- Linux/KDE (or in general, */KDE)
- Linux/Gnome (or in general, */Gnome)
Now consider which other major desktop operating environments don’t come pre-loaded with theme managers:
- Mac OS X
Sure some distributions of Linux might be stripped down, but if you work with KDE or Gnome (which are the two primary desktop environments on Linux – or for that matter, most other *nix style distributions for x86), you’ll have a fully-fledged theme manager included to tinker with.
Now let’s look at the actual physical housing for computers. Looking at say, mwave, an Australian PC equipment supplier whom I periodically buy hard drives from, under the PC Cases/Enclosures listing as of 5 July 2010, there were 448 case options for PCs listed. There’s cases that glow in the dark, there’s cases with weird and funky handles, there’s cases with liquid cooling, there’s cases with shining cables, there’s cases with … for frack’s sake, there’s a case for everything short of sticking your jumblies in – and if you look far enough chances are you’ll find a case for that too…
So riddle me this batman – if there are no in-built theme manager for Mac OS X, and the vast majority of the Mac user community runs with the systems in their vendor-supplied enclosures, yet there’s a huge custom mod community for the regular PC market, just which group of users are obsessed with form over function?
I should have realised this earlier – after all, when I made the switch from Linux to Mac OS X, one of the first things I realised was that I was more productive, since I wasn’t wasting time trying to find the perfect “productive” theme on my computer. In fact, rather than wasting time obsessing over the form of my computer and my operating system, I was using the function of it. “Regular” PC and Windows/Linux users might want to give it a go themselves some day, and see what it feels like to be focusing on function rather than form, like the rest of the Apple/Mac community.
Flame on! 🙂