Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PC versus Mac: a cultural interpretation

Grant McCracken, the Harvard anthropologist whose blog I am again reminded I should read more often, dissects the new PC ad campaign.

It has always seemed to me that Mac ownership is more of a personal statement than a technical decision, despite all the talk about avoiding the "blue screen of death", which I never seem to encounter anyway.

The one time I ever sat down to use a Mac was in graduate school. I powered up a Mac at the social science computing center in the basement of the 1155 building and it came up with a frown face which was supposed to tell me that I should insert a disk (this was a while ago). I decided that a computer that starts with a frown face is not really a serious computer and went on my way, never to return.

A similar line of reasoning could be applied to the LaTex versus Word + Mathtype divide among economists.