Hasta la Vista, Vista! I’m Back to Mac, Jack!

I'm back, Mac!

I love laptop computers. Because I love my lap. But that’s really a whole other dysfunction.

Speaking of dysfunctions, in Feb. 2007 I bought a Dell laptop, the Inspiron We Hate You. Its operating system is Vista Home Basic.

If you’ve ever used Vista Home Basic, you’re not reading this. Because you’re dead. Because you killed yourself. After I used Vista Home Basic, I wanted help killing myself. So I Googled “escape Vista!”. The moment I had finished typing the word “Vista,” Internet Explorer hijacked me to www.BillGates.com, whereupon my screen froze like the Tin Woodsman exiting a Norwegian steam bath.

Then a window popped up in the middle of my screen. It was a video of Bill Gates, whose visage flickered and skipped just a bit.

“Vista user John Shore,” intoned the visage of Bill Gates. “Why are you searching the word ‘Vista’? You do not speak Spanish. Our records show that you took Spanish 101 in the year of 1970, John Shore. You attended that class at Collins Junior High School, in Cupertino, California. Cupertino, California. Cupertino, California.” Bill’s image froze, and then shook as if rattled. The image stabilized. Bill resumed his message.

“Do you think there is something wrong with your Microsoft operating system, John Shore? Because there isn’t. But as a precaution against future imaginary system malfunctions, you will now need to downloaded MS SmokingPatch #4563455594842484666,666. Several moments ago, we attempted to automatically download this fix onto your computer, but were unable to complete this task because at that time you, Mr. Shore, were interfering with the proper functioning of your computer by attempting to use it. That is in strict violation of our No Use user-end policy. We can no longer assist you. For assistance, please call Dell Computers, at 1-800-GOODLUK, where, after forty-five minutes spent playing our game of Choose and Lose, a Seconal-dazed Micro Tek dropout will mumble unintelligibly at you for twenty minutes before suddenly disconnecting you. Thank you, and remember: Microsoft doesn’t mean small and limp. It doesn’t! It doesn’t! It never did!”

Anyway, I’m very pleased to report that I am now writing to you on my brand new MacBook, which my wife surprised me with last night. I’m so excited about my new computer that I may never sleep again. The MacBook seems to actually work. More radically, it seems predicated upon the idea that I might be perfectly capable of knowing my own needs. Unlike the platform of the PC (Proactively Controlling? Peevishly Claustrophobic? Profoundly Clunky? Potentially Catastrophic? Phenomenally Calloused? Passionately Conniving? Positively Creepy? Purposefully Confounding? Purposefully Confusing? Purposefully Complicated? Probably Contaminated? Somebody stop me?), Apple’s operating system doesn’t try to protect me, guide me, help me, inspire me, direct me, correct me, or question my choice of breakfast cereals. It pretty much lets me be.

I am now a Happy Creator. And, like the One who created us all, I am saddened by the way Adam responded to the apple given to him by his life-mate. But I’m loving the way I’m responding to the one given to me by mine.

(P.S. The reason I put the “I’m Back to Mac” part in this post’s title is because one of my first real computers was a Mac SE. And when I worked in magazines, I worked on all kinds of Macs. So in that way this is a bit of a homecoming for me.)

Another Apple-y thing I wrote awhile back: Why I Don’t Want an iPhone. Wait. Why I Do.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    As I happen to like PCs, and don't have a laptop…whatcha doing with the old one?

    Or do you plan to take a hammer to it à la "Office Space"?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I like PC's just fine, too. VISTA I hate. For awhile, I'm gonna have to use both, cuz there's some stuff I don't yet know how to do on the Mac that I do know how to do on the PC. (Like, at the end of each of my posts I jam in social bookmarking buttons. I have no idea how to do that on a Mac. Little stuff like that.)

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    So have to ask, just how long did you spend coming up with meanings for PC?? If this was just sitting in your head and took you only a few moments you have reached a completely new rung of wowishness on the wow ladder. If however you spent more than 10 mins trying desperatly to come up with enough to make it look like you should climb the ladder of wow then you have unfortunately been pushed up a few notches on the ladder of "you have way too much spare time". And FYI, this whole response took me less then 2 secs to think of and one min to write (bring on the ladder of wow, oh yeah)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I have a singular, weird talent in life, which is to quickly come up with many variences of Things Initials Stand For. (That, and I'm Joe Insta-Rhyme.)I doubt if I spent a minute on this particular little acronymorama. It's an absurd facility that comes up about as rarely as you'd imagine. But thanks for pretending it gives me any wowy cache whatsoever.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Well if you are Joe Insta-Rhyme you are now way higher up the wowishness ladder than me :( Takes me ages to think of acronymorama's (so have to look that up or are you king of neologisms too??) so you definately have a wowy cache, no matter what anyone else says. My word is law (just ask my b/f LOL)

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Ok, can officially not find it so it can now be copyrighted as a John Shoreism (C)

  • Judy

    My PC is so old it doesn't have Vista on it. What's wrong with Vista? I find laptops hard to type on, but I suppose if I had one, I'd get used to it. And, speaking of Adam an Eve (in your last paragraph), yesterday I spent time reading many of your old blogs. Loved Adam and Eve: The Day After. Maybe you could write the dialog for Noah and God. I know it would be interesting. :)

  • Lynn

    Your post is too funny John, and I am not saying that because my day was lacking luster, it really wasn't. I have noticed from reading many of your blog posts that you excel in humor (along with literary excellence) and from what you have mentioned and/or not mentioned…most of it appears to come naturally to you. It is a delight to hear that God has blessed you in too many ways, if that isn't too impossible. You are definitely using the talents that God has given you. Thank you for being a blessing :)

  • http://www.sisterfriends-together.org anita

    Brilliant Buddy. I was teethed on a PC and only switched to Mac less than two years ago. After the initial shock and awe of the transition, it's all good. I still refuse to buy into the whole iPhone thing. That's my big hold out against getting fully sucked into the whole Apple Machine. But then, who am I kidding? I have an iTouch. Apple owns me. What a panty-waste.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Anita: I have an iTouch, too. It's called "fingers," and that's really all I want to say about it. ("What a panty-waste." TOO FUNNY! I always thought it was "panty waist." Which I never understood. And now I see how I was better off not understanding. Thanks.

    Oh my, Lynn. That was terribly sweet. Thank you.

    The Adam and Eve thing I wrote! Thanks for mentioning it! I had a great time writing that, and was pleased with the result. So. I'm glad you read it and liked it. (I can't recall if anyone ELSE read it besides you! I should repost that thing. It cracked me up.) Anyway, thanks for that, Judy.

    Christine: Yes, I make up words. I'm too lazy to have to rely on the ones I know—not to mention look up new ones.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Oh I make up new words all the time. My fav thing to do is to take old sayings and make new ones, most of the time completely unintentionally, it is a long standing family joke. The most recent one (a few weeks ago) was when I was TRYING to say "pearls of wisdom" and it came out "jewels of knowledge". My sister is still laughing about that one, very sad.

  • http://www.mediocrity.us David Barach

    John, welcome. I use this software for book writing. I love it. Check it out.
    http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Just read The Adam and Eve post. CRACK UP!! Loved it, loved it loved it!!! So re-post it, it is too good not to

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Christine: "jewels of knowledge" is just outstanding. That is too perfectly funny. Love it. (And thanks for love on Adam and Eve thing.)

    David: I'll check out that software. Thanks for the reference to it. My REAL thing right now, too, is finding out how close whatever the latest Word for Mac is to Word 7, which I LOOOOOOVE. I've looked a little at what I own, which is Word 2004 for Mac, and I think it bites. I mean, I'm not SURE if it does; I need to spend more time with it. But I'm thinking it's …. way not Word 7.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    John you just have no idea how weird my sayings can get. My sister actually has started keeping a journal to write them in so she can remind me of them at a later date. Kinda funny, specially on my 21st when they all came out. First I knew she had that journal was then lol

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Her favourite is "that opened a tin of fish" instead of the more traditional "that opened a can af worms"

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Oops I meant can OF worms lol and that really wasn't intentional

    • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

      @ Christine I'm laughing so hard, Christine, that I'm choking and dying here. But then, I do that all the time anyway. (One tends to when one is an antiquated piece of humanity prone to breaking down.)

      But seriously, I sort af found that HILARIOUS.

      Ooph! (Says he, while Miss FiFi, her Royal Poodleness beats him just for good measure.)

  • Candace

    "Apple’s operating system doesn’t try to protect me, guide me, help me, inspire me, direct me, correct me, or question my choice of breakfast cereals"

    Hmmmm. Well, sounds to me like PC must mean "pathologically co-dependent".

    Be careful. Once you've ditched it, it'll probably stalk you.

  • FreetoBe

    Yay John! Go for the Mac, dude. I, too, deeply dislike Windows, and especially Vista. But it's all we have at this company. Let us know how Mac is working for you. I'm thinking of changing to Linux at home–that will be way different.

    BTW, I've subscribed to your posts since Nov 07, and have read a lot of the older ones. I thought the Adam and Eve post was very funny–didn't realize you needed to know that you are extremely hilarious.

    Hey John! You are one extremely hilarious dude! :)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    tell me something I don't know.

    HAR! I still got it!

  • FreetoBe

    OK, um….. OK, well, I didn't really "get" your poem. It made me sad, and afraid, and then I read all the comments and realized I didn't understand what you were trying to say, and I feel so left out because all the posters seemed to have a deep understanding of what you were trying to convey.

  • http://www.voidmemory.net Tor

    Vista needs to be seen as an esoteric item. I use Vista at work, and OSX at home. If Vista crashes say at opening a CAD file, it will crash again and again until the file becomes corrupted… But ah! If I open the same file on OSX it just opens and works.

    If I were to buy a pc I will ask for Vista to be removed; XP is better.

    • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

      Speaking seriously for a moment, that's exactly what I told one of my doctors (I have 3: lung doc, HIV doc, primary doc; it was the latter) & friend Dr C to do since he was doomed to get Windows – get XP. Not VISTA.

      Windows 7 is VISTA dressed up – I think "lipstick on pig" comes in here. Anyway, a young friend of his (I'm the old antique, remember?) was getting a new 'puter too, and chastised him for not getting Windows 7. He had taken my advise, and was happy with XP, and warned his young friend, would didn't listen.

      He said in nothing flat he was on phone to the good doc whining and crying about Windows 7.

      The good doc being who he is, he said, "I told you so!" LOL!

  • MichaelT

    John, Have you tried iWork '08? A 30-day trial came with your computer. It's got Pages (like Word), Numbers (like Excel), and Keynote (like PowerPoint wishes it could be). They're all different than the Microsoft equivalent, but very nice apps in their own right.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Free: Read it again?

    Tor: I liked XP a LOT. I used it for years. Vista … not so much. Not at all. As you know.

    Michael: I'd love to use Pages. But all publishing uses Word, so I've got to send docs in Word. Does (if you know) Pages have a "Save As" function that will allow me to save it as a totally bug-free Word doc?

  • nightman1

    That was very, very clever. I love verbal wit and occasionally succeed in practicing it, but seldom this cheerfully. (I excel mainly at vituperation.)

    Thanks for a fun read.

  • MichaelT

    Yes, John, it has the capability of saving as a .doc. Does it work? Well, if you listen to Apple it does. But importing Word docs with formatting has not been reliable for me. As far as exporting TO Word, it seems to do a good job, but try it before you buy it.

    I think you'd enjoy working with it, but if you want 100% compatibility, you're probably going to have to stick with Word.

    For better mileage, stick with the Living Word. Haha. Sigh. It's been a long day.

  • http://chrisstitches@mac.com Ken

    For your need to abuse the poor Mac with something from M$, might I recommend either OpenOffice or NeoOffice. They are open source and work better than word ever thought of and they're FREE!!

    OpenOffice requires the installation of X11 from your install disk.

    Enjoy and may God Bless!!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Ken: Thanks! But, alas, see my comment above about needing full compatibility with Word.

    • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

      I recommend test driving Open Office. He's right. It has great compatibility. Do a test drive of it, at least, John.

  • Michael Teuber

    How did you, as a person with glasses, overcome the resentment and insecurity that Microsoft's most recent "I'm a PC" ads would have us believe you must feel towards Apple and its advertising? Its a serious question, as Microsoft has apparently set out to shore up its base by projecting the anthropomorphism of a PC played by John Hodgeman as a cruel attack on the self worth of PC users.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I'm guessing I shouldn't admit this, but I have not (yet, I'm sure) been exposed to this ad campaign. I'll go google it right now….

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, wow. I just watched two of the ads. They're brilliant. Exceptional work. A (at this point) hackneyed structure, of course, but done well. For Arresting Factor, you can't beat contextually contrasted Average Yet Somehow Exceptional people staring into the camera and making something approaching deeply personal statements.

    But, you know. It a freakin' AD.

  • http://www.tvbblog.com Terrie

    If only you were as ignorant as I am, you wouldn't notice any difference at all between a PC and a Mac. But then again, I use my PC as nothing more than a glorified typewriter. So, what I'm trying to say is, ignorance is bliss.

    What's home Vista?

    • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

      VISTA comes in several flavors Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, etc.

      Home Basic is very that: BASIC. Very limited capacity. Cost a lot less than the other versions, too.

  • DC

    Welcome to the Mac world. It's the closest technological equivalent to a conversion: over here, there's sense and light, but people on the outside think we're nuts.

  • DC

    Welcome to the Mac world. It's the closest technological equivalent to a conversion: over here, there's sense and light, but people on the outside think we're nuts.

  • Dave

    When I first made it “back to mac” just over a year ago, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was used to spending 2/3 of my computer time figuring out why my PC was behaving the way it did. I didn’t know how to spend my time when the computer actually worked. Without the constant supply of errors and questions, I was free and forced to face myself and my own interests… what a mistake that was! (just kidding.)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Dave: You’re BARELY kidding, though. I actually did experience—and still am, kind of—-this bizarre sort of mental transition thing where I STILL keep waiting for my Mac to act in the volatile, erratic, stubborn, utterly difficult way my PC’s always had. I’m just GEARED to think I have to … really, really INTERACT with my PC to get it to work smoothly at all. Now, with this MacBook, I’m learning I don’t need to DO anything but … lift the lid.

    As DC says: It’s bliss. I love it.

    • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

      It will, but when it does, it will be a power failure – literal one, from the power company.

      Oh, wait, you have a Notebook with a battery.

      My bad.

      Mine when through that yesterday. God only knows why, but everything blinked. EVERYTHING. Maybe the Matrix Of Illusion had a computer glitch in my brain, eh?

      No, bang, no pop, the transformers kept on buzzing outside. (Yea, we can see/hear transformers and wires out here.)

      Mind you, being hooked up to an oxygen concentrator http://www.flickr.com/photos/87832879@N00/3699205… 24-hrs-a-day and having that alarm off and fail because of it was a tad disconcerting for a moment.

      The Mac Mini http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2460/3719186993_71… was snoozing in sleep mode, when it happened.

      When I came in, it had semi-rebooted, and was waiting for my password.

      I entered it, it flew right along, and said " 'lectricity? What 'lectricity problem!? I sure don't have one!"

      And it was right! :)

      • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

        TYPO:

        "Mine when through that yesterday."

        SHOULD BE:

        "Mine went through that yesterday."

        Can I blame it on chronic oxygen deprivation? Failure to proff read. Er. I mean proof read.

        Oh, bother!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Dave: You’re BARELY kidding, though. I actually did experience—and still am, kind of—-this bizarre sort of mental transition thing where I STILL keep waiting for my Mac to act in the volatile, erratic, stubborn, utterly difficult way my PC’s always had. I’m just GEARED to think I have to … really, really INTERACT with my PC to get it to work smoothly at all. Now, with this MacBook, I’m learning I don’t need to DO anything but … lift the lid.

    As DC says: It’s bliss. I love it.

  • Elizabeth

    I love PCs and Macs. No question but that working on a Mac is dreamy and working on a PC is like passport control in the former Soviet bloc. But I like Eastern Europe. Besides, Windows is business-standard, and business has the money. If it worked effortlessly, what would they need me for?

    My specialty for years was PowerPoint, the most-used most-hated product ever. Keynote has a different workflow interface, but the result is the same. A skilled operator can make PowerPoint look like Keynote and vice versa. The only difference is the beauty of some of the Keynote page transitions, and no one uses those anyway. Bringing attention to how the pages move instead of focusing on the content is amateurish. PowerPoint gives you a lot more fine-tuning control.

    Coming up with work-arounds to make Mac and PC play nicely together used to be half the fun. Now it's almost dependable. But who am I to talk? These days I do most of my typing through my phone.

  • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

    I recommend test driving Open Office. He's right. It has great compatibility. Do a test drive of it, at least, John.

  • Jill

    What I really want to know is, is there some special biblical dispensation for divorce if your spouse keeps making you buy PCs because "Only hippies buy Macs."?

    Because if there isn't, there should be.

  • Jill

    What I really want to know is, is there some special biblical dispensation for divorce if your spouse keeps making you buy PCs because "Only hippies buy Macs."?

    Because if there isn't, there should be.

  • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

    @ Christine I'm laughing so hard, Christine, that I'm choking and dying here. But then, I do that all the time anyway. (One tends to when one is an antiquated piece of humanity prone to breaking down.)

    But seriously, I sort af found that HILARIOUS.

    Ooph! (Says he, while Miss FiFi, her Royal Poodleness beats him just for good measure.)

  • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

    Speaking seriously for a moment, that's exactly what I told one of my doctors (I have 3: lung doc, HIV doc, primary doc; it was the latter) & friend Dr C to do since he was doomed to get Windows – get XP. Not VISTA.

    Windows 7 is VISTA dressed up – I think "lipstick on pig" comes in here. Anyway, a young friend of his (I'm the old antique, remember?) was getting a new 'puter too, and chastised him for not getting Windows 7. He had taken my advise, and was happy with XP, and warned his young friend, would didn't listen.

    He said in nothing flat he was on phone to the good doc whining and crying about Windows 7.

    The good doc being who he is, he said, "I told you so!" LOL!

  • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

    VISTA comes in several flavors Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, etc.

    Home Basic is very that: BASIC. Very limited capacity. Cost a lot less than the other versions, too.

  • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

    TYPO:

    "Mine when through that yesterday."

    SHOULD BE:

    "Mine went through that yesterday."

    Can I blame it on chronic oxygen deprivation? Failure to proff read. Er. I mean proof read.

    Oh, bother!


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