As we have several readers who are Mac users I would like to preface this by assuring you all I don’t dislike you in any way for being Mac users. Any dislike I have of Mac users has to do with the persistence of certain Mac users in preaching their product to me. As long as you haven’t done that (and I can’t recall any of you have) we’re fine. Unless you were hoping to get me to dislike you, in which case that’s your ish to work out.
Cammy has written about the problem of evangelical Mac users in the past. I’ve encountered a lot of these in the last few weeks because of my recent computer problems. Apparently I never would have had these had I been a Mac user. That’s actually far from certain. We have no clue why my hard drive went kaputsky. It could very well have to do with me constantly carrying it in my backpack and… well… being a clutz who frequently falls flat on her ass (or the computer which is strapped to it). I’m fairly certain that Macs aren’t anymore immune to having a 160 pound acrobat fall on them than PCs are, but what do I know?
What I do know is that if my laptop were a Mac replacing my hard drive would have been more difficult and possibly more expensive. I also know that my external hard drive would not have been able to back up both my laptop and desktop (since my desktop is a PC). So… I’m still unconvinced.
I’ve always responded to the Mac missionaries that I agree Mac probably does make a better product. However, I don’t believe it makes a better enough product for it to be worth it for me at this point in my life. Saturday one of my friends informed me that I could buy a used Mac for the same price as my new laptop, but I failed to see how that was a selling point. In truth, the only Apple product I’ve had much interaction with of late has been iTunes, and iTunes pisses me off. For starters, I just don’t like the program. Now maybe that’s because I haven’t given it enough of a chance and maybe if I really dedicated myself to it we’d get along better. But that’s the problem—iTunes wants to be your one and only music program. And it seems like it goes out of your way to make your life difficult should you dare to use any other music program for anything. It feels like it’s trying to control my life, and I resent that. (Yes, yes, I know, PCs are controlling my life too whether I realize it or not. Stop interrupting my rant with your logic!)
But really, this post is not about all that. This post is about me getting dragged into the stupidest ever Mac/PC argument with a student this week. To be clear, I’m not suggesting this student is a d-bag because he is a Mac user; he’s a d-bag who just happens to be a Mac user. And he complained that I had marked his font as too large. I did so because the syllabus clearly stated that all papers should be typed in 12pt. Times New Roman (or equivalent) font. Instead he used the sans serif default font on his Mac program (I take it on faith that it is, in fact, the default font, I don’t know). This font is notably taller and consequently results in fewer characters per square inch. His argument seemed to boil down to “This font is infinitely superior. If you don’t realize this it’s because you are clearly a PC user. As a Mac user I am infinitely wiser.”
Bullshit. I’m a professional editor (I know, you’d never know it from my blog. I proofread for work—I’m not going to do it during my leisure time). Most experts in typesetting will tell you that a sans serif font is less readable on paper. But whatev. So not a hill I want to die on. I responded if he was that dedicated to using that particular font he should just use a smaller size. Cue caterwauling that it was unfair and was making his paper shorter and he’s a special snowflake and… It all went back to, “Macs are better!”
It was frustrating because it was just such a stupid argument. But I wasn’t going to cave either. One of my colleagues pointed out my error was in letting him dictate the terms of the argument. I should have just told him to use a different font and get over it. Lesson for next time I suppose.