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The Electric Grapevine | iRuption | 04.16.2010

The timing of the Icelandic volcanic spectacular comes at the same time as the birth of Apple's latest new "must have" product, and by "must have" I mean "likely to regret purchasing". Many of us can look to the pile of expired Mac products that fill our homes and offices, and, under certain circumstances (sleep deprivation,) draw parallels to the Icelandic phenomena that is occurring as we speak. Like the volcano, the iPad is a beautiful yet deceiving occurrence that is flooding the environment and is the topic of many conversations around the globe. Like the soot from the natural happening, the iPad will settle somewhere, likely in an inert manner as the black apple/cloud of death will more than certainly make an appearance after mere months of use as it does on every other Mac product. The volcano erupted in an area called EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL, which evidently is the exact same thing I see on my screen after punching through a Mac keyboard. The beauty of the vivid colors will fade and people will realize they are no farther ahead from these releases than they were before them. Sure, some of us will have some photos of the experiences, but largely we will just be left with more debris and the cooling off period where we forget what caught our attention in the first place. The one major difference between these two things is that I have spent my life wanting to spend time in Iceland while I have vehemently detested spending time with Apple made products. By now you may have realized I am not a Mac fan. I don't like a single item they have ever made. Outside of their marketing, I see no redeeming value whatsoever to this pompous ass of a company. "Oh, you haven't tried them," say the Mac users or, as I call them, vegetarians. Actually I have, and each one has failed me spectacularly usually in the exact same manner. "But you're a creative? they're better for that!" After using a G3, G4, G5, iMac and iPod I can easily say they have never outperformed a reasonably built PC in anyone of my image or video based activities. On the first day of film school the Macs were being junked while PCs were being led into the program. Not exactly a ringing endorsement by a multi-million dollar institution that focuses on film, graphics, audio and imagery, the hallmarks of the Steve Jobs keynote. My personal favorite is, "but they don't get viruses!" Yeah well the ugly girl/guy from Grade 9 who smells like Gouda never caught anything but you don't want to take them home do you? The comparisons between Macs and mediocre PCs make about as much sense as comparing the failure rate of all cars against that of only Porsches. The accessibility and understandably commonplace use of Windows has led to a bloated number of companies making less than stellar machines for sure, but to compare the entire gamut against only the Mac is not an accurate test. Compare a PC built on the same dollar value of your average overpriced Mac, and the PC will hold its own or beat the Mac while causing you significantly less frustration. It will admittedly, lead to you garnering less attention in art house cafes when you pretend to pen a novel in the corner whilst nursing your decaf soy latte and poking away at your PC laptop. Issues are going to happen with any type of computer. I'm not saying PCs are immune to errors, they do however tell you what the error is and a quick Google trip will give you the solution nine times out of 10. A Mac will either give you a picture of a bomb from the old Spy vs Spy comics and refuse to budge until physically unplugged, or it will hypnotize you with a rotating piece of a trivial Pursuit game until you fall asleep and dream of better computing experiences. My feeling is that Apple should stick to what they do best and simply market products for others. If Mac wants to improves our lives they should do branding for earth conscious products like Smart Cars. They look exactly like Macs, fall behind the competition in terms of speed of use like Macs, but unlike Macs these can help improve our planet's situation by filtering our environment, not congesting it.