MacTalk founder’s Love Letter to the Mac



blog As you might have noticed, Apple is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Macintosh — Steve Jobs’ opus to the world of visual user interfaces and mass market computing. The influence of the Mac can hardly be understated, but what is also obvious is that many technologists have a great deal of emotion and nostalgia associated with this most iconic of computers. Anthony Agius, the founder of Australian Apple forum MacTalk and long-time Mac lover, has posted what he bills as “a love letter for the Mac” on his blog. Agius writes (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“Maybe Apple wasn’t as innovative as people think it is. Maybe you don’t think Apple created all the technologies they’re commonly known for. Maybe you reckon Apple is a marketing driven beast that brainwashes people into using their shiny widgets and rips off other companies. But Apple are genuine and real and express themselves through their work. The Apple veneer is as polished as it gets and can get pretty cultish at times, but if you look deep down past that bullshit, they care about what they do. They love technology more than me and that’s why I love them.

While I futz around with this Raspberry Pi, run a mutant Hackintosh and lug a Dell laptop around between Macs, the Mac will always be who made me cherish technology and helped me realise technology can be human. That realisation is what makes the Mac an as strong connection for me and my being as the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been.”

The first computer our family had access to was an Apple IIe on loan from our local school over the holidays (I remember enjoying many games on it, especially Karateka), but the first computer we owned was a Macintosh LC II. Boy, did we reformat and hack the guts out of that beast. When I left home and headed to university in 1999, I switched to a PC (and Windows/Linux) as it was much more inexpensive and Apple looked like it was dying at that stage, but eventually I turned back to the Mac with a MacBook Pro laptop around 2005 for my mobile needs. Ever since I’ve been gradually standardising on Apple. My main machine is now a 27″ iMac (mid-2011 — it’s due for an upgrade, probably when Apple throws a Retina Display into its 27″ iMac line) and I just upgraded to a new 13″ MacBook Air for my mobile needs.

While I hate and have to work around some of Apple’s design choices (such as the inability to maximise windows in Mac OS X), and I can’t stand all the bolt-on services such as iCloud and iMessage, the Mac is still the best option out there for me for a reasonably high-powered desktop with a minimal footprint. It would take a very solid Windows machine indeed to seduce me away from Apple’s hardware, and I, too have fond memories of Macs in general. Let’s hope the Mac line can survive for another 30 years.

Image credit: Apple


  1. > While I hate and have to work around some of Apple’s design choices (such as the inability to maximise windows in Mac OS X) …

    In most Mac apps since 10.8, there is a full screen mode. Control + Command + F is the keyboard shortcut and the icon in the top right hand corner of a window activates it as well.

  2. 3rd party software to resize a window… really?

    Not to mention having to install complex lighting and thick curtains to avoid the horrifically glossy screen glaring my ugly face back at me, having to speak to cult zealots with fixed smiles to alter the hardware for ridiculous costs, and similarly overpriced peripherals…

    I’ll keep my 30 inch HP ZR30w matte screen and keep watching my EVGA moderately oc’d Titan videocard’s graphics laugh at the mac, thanks very much… along with my watercooled silent and ice cool Corsair self chosen componentry…

    Its like comparing my Galaxy Note 3 with an Iphone… no contest at all…

    Still, tis a truism that trying to trade opinions with the true fruit fans is pretty pointless…

    • lol.

      “blah blah apple sheep blah!” followed by the same kind of glassy-eyed adulation for not-apple hardware.

      Sorry. The irony. Is quite strong.

      • Hmm, rejecting Apple based on rational criteria is not the same as fanatical adulation; quite the opposite. Look, Apple make good products. In fact, the old PowerPC architecture was actually superior to x86 in many respects, but it just didn’t scale as well to higher clock speeds – just as Intel and AMD had to start going to multiple cores, improved power efficiency and better dedicated hardware support for certain instructions instead of chasing clock speed, PowerPC hit the clocks speed ceiling years too early, which was a terrible shame IMO.

        But Apple no longer designs architectures, they repackage and rebrand. They do it better than anyone else, and they have the market power to dictate certain development directions for OEM partners, but that’s essentially what they’re doing. Along with stacking proprietary software that locks you into their ecosystem.

        If you like paying around 50% more for the Apple logo and enjoy the comfort of being locked into the Apple way of doing things, then great, I’m happy for you :-) But Apple is not for tinkerers, it’s not for businesses, it’s not for anyone who wants control and flexibility with their own hardware and software and it’s certainly not for those who want value for money. Apple is for affluent middle class consumers, which is fine – that’s where the money is in the consumer market, that’s what they are focused on and they consistently get that mix right.

        While it might be nice if the world ‘lived and let live’ the reality is that there are justified criticisms of Apple as an appropriate alternative for one’s computing needs, so you really can’t get annoyed at everyone who criticises Apple or the reasonable fitness of their products, because Apple being the ideal choice for everyone is very much the marketing message Apple tries to ram down your throat. Surely the response to that is to say ‘glad you’re happy with your PC’ and move on, not engage in finger pointing and accusations of subjective bias – by all means, engage in informed and reasoned debate, but opinions of bias based on bias cannot possibly be argued with, because you can’t reason with ‘beliefs’.

        • “Hmm, rejecting Apple based on rational criteria is not the same as fanatical adulation; quite the opposite.”

          Sorry, but my response was to point out the irony in the effective comment of ” those apple fangirls are funny, besides my hardware is better, and to discuss this is pretty pointless.”.

          You can reject, or include almost any hardware, from almost any vendor, for almost any reason. You don’t particularly need to fall in any one camp to express an opinion on that. :)

          “But Apple no longer designs architectures, they repackage and rebrand.”

          No-one does. Intel have been stretching the x86 class of CPU for decades now. AMD are basically pushing the same aging cart.

          Although the A4 chip is a good example of in-house design, based on ARM CPU with a bunch of changes, so it’s not like they have truly lost the ability to design.

          “so you really can’t get annoyed at everyone who criticises Apple or the reasonable fitness of their products”

          .. in the same way that it’s just as redundant to criticise those who see flaws in not-Apple designs and products. It’s a two way street, really.

          For the record I use Apple Macs, Windows PCs, FreeBSD and various server OS platforms on an almost daily basis; I am exposed to all manner of funky hardware, software and operating systems and I have always believed each has it’s own purpose.

          I just find it quite comical that people try to justify emotive hate or love for any one platform, as if based on logic. :)

          • I dunno Brendan, I didn’t see the same thing as you from Duke’s comment – Apple doesn’t play well with non-apple peripherals, Apple peripherals, devices and component options do cost a hell of a lot more, and Apple staff and users are typically zealously over the top about Apple (deliberately so, if you’ve seen the way staff have to act at product launches) – those aren’t feelpinions, they’re not even O-pinions, they are rock solid facts.

            As for suggesting that Intel and AMD don’t design architectures because x86 is 30+ years old, just LOL – seriously?

            Look, I have no problem with your opinion, you’re welcome to it. And I’m not going to debate your credentials. But your credentials or lack are irrelevant to the basis of any argument – your argument should be able to stand up on its own regardless of weight lent by external factors.

            So let’s agree that people are entitled to their opinions. And people shouldn’t be disparaging against something or someone without facts. But if someone expresses their position with reference to facts, they shouldn’t be summarily dismissed as having a baseless opinion, because that’s disingenuous misrepresentation of the facts – if you disagree with Duke’s points, point out where they are flawed, don’t just dismiss him out of hand.

            Like I said, I don’t disagree that Apple products fulfil a need for plenty of people, and that’s fine. But valid criticisms can be levelled at them, their products and particularly their Corporate policies based on locking customers tight into the Apple ecosystem. There’s a huge difference between apple bashing and raising valid objections.

          • hey TrevorX,

            I really don’t like your tone here — it’s quite inflammatory.

            Brendan’s overall point here is that each piece of technology has a place. And it’s a valid point. Even Apple users use different brands for different purposes where appropriate.


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