Get over it

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Two days into my little DIY project to build a small, easy to use, music server and already a number of you have developed a cross between heart palpitations and outright anger over it. And why? Because I am recommending an Apple product as the basis for the platform. This reaction is something close to what I get when I suggest digital audio can sound better than vinyl! Oh the arrogance of Apple. Their big brother attitude, forcing people to do it their way or the highway. Surely Apple is a company in league with the devil himself. Surely this company is not a group we'd admit to being a part of. No, we're in that other group. What would be people say? What would people think?

I do understand the feelings, but it's time to get over them.

When I was a lad in high school I had three goals: get laid (never happened), graduate (happened), be accepted by a social group I couldn't get accepted into (never happened). Of the three main desires I harbored as a teenager, the rejection of the social group was the one that haunts me even to this day. We're very social creatures and we really work hard at being accepted into our tribes.

Older and wiser now, I look back on how silly it seems that I spent so much mental energy worrying about how others viewed me. It had a major impact on how I viewed myself and, to some extent, still does. I wish someone had slapped me around a little and helped put all that in some type of context I could understand. In the scope of life, it really is pretty meaningless. Yet .....

As a Windows user many years ago I scoffed at those "other guys" who had their prissy little Macs. Certainly I was superior and belonged to a much better crowd, confident and smug about my place in the group. I belonged. Then one day, my friend John Heins applied for a job with us as a graphics designer. His one requirement: bring his Mac to work. Put that thing on our network. Our IT guy had heart failure, our engineers reeled with horror. Perhaps we could figure out a way to fence it off, isolate it from the group, like the kid in high school that looked like a dork and would bring down the quality of the tribe. An embarrassment.

Over lunch I explained to John how difficult it would be. That if all he wanted to do was run the Adobe suite of tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, these could all run on a Windows machine. I explained how our machines were so superior to his machine and questioned his decision to own one.

John smiled. "Have you ever used one?"

"Well, no." I said, suspecting a trap.

"What do you do on your computer?" He asked.

"Answer email, write letters, browse the web, use Photoshop a lot. My machine is perfect for that."

"What, are you twelve years old? Have you actually stepped back and looked at the two platforms for what you're doing? You're an engineer, not some kid in a clique." I hired him on the spot. Love it when someone speaks out like that.

The whole point of this story is not to sway you to one side or the other, not to promote one over the other, not to suggest anything other than this: it's just a machine.

Let me say it again. It's just a machine. Choose the machine that serves your purposes best.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox, back to playing with the machines tomorrow.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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