Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Existential Siliconitis

I have to get this off my chest. I just can't take it anymore.

You know those "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" commercials by Apple? There's a massive logic hole in those ads. Namely, a Macintosh is a PC!

PC means p-e-r-s-o-n-a-l c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r. As opposed to a "server", "minicomputer", "mainframe" or "supercomputer". Now that Macintosh's are based on Intel architecture, the only difference is the operating system loaded on them. Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS are only two of the available choices. These commercials imply there's only two choices, and that Apple's offering is so superior it isn't a personal computer anymore. What it is, is left unsaid.

A little comic to illustrate the perils of Apple's logic:


Ken Breadner said...

You, sir, are entirely too literal.
It's IBM's fault, you know--they were the ones who named their offering the PC. It's kind of like Coke and Pepsi--I know a lot of people who call any cola a Coke. Coca-Cola just *loves* that. (Likewise, I get people nearly every day looking for "no name" whatever...strictly speaking, you'll only find the "no name" brand in a Zehrs store.

Catelli said...

You, sir, are entirely too literal.

I am a binary man in an analogue world!

To rebut.

The IBM PC only existed from 1981-1987. I hope a Mac is better than those antiques.

Also IBM is no longer in the personal computer business at all anymore. That unit was sold to Lenovo.

So Apple is competing against what? History?

In that history there was a concrete difference between a Macintosh and an IBM compatible PC. Mac was Motorola hardware, IBMs and their ilk were Intel based.

Now Mac is running on PC compatible hardware. So according to the history of the IBM PC Clone branding, Mac OS is now available on PC hardware. The Mac/Motorola platform, that was the main distinction in the past, is gone.

And finally, Apple is specifically targeting Microsoft, which was not responsible for the "PC" brand.

Ken Breadner said...

Fair enough, and I get your distinction. That said, I do think those PC/Mac commercials are frickin' brilliant.

Catelli said...


Some have been spot on. But most are exaggerations, half-truths and outright lies.

Keeping people informed about computers, how to use them and how to protect themselves is hard enough. When vendors out-and-out lie in a commercial it really gets my blood boiling.

My wife can attest to my sputtering rage at some of these commercials, but there have been so many, to take apart each would be a more exhaustive review than I care to make.

And yes, there were a few Microsoft commercials and Cisco commercials that reduced me to a frothing, gibbering heap of demonic rage. I hate dishonesty, no matter who spouts it.