I don’t enjoy the PC vs. Mac debate and don’t frequently participate unless goaded by a friend. However, with the release of UltraEdit Mac edition (and soon UltraCompare), this seemingly irreconcilable issue seems to always be in my periphery.
There is much that can be (and has been) said on either side of this argument, and at this point, it would be needless to reiterate all of that here. I think we’re all intimately familiar with the facts of the debate, and I think everyone agrees that both camps make valid claims to support their OS of choice (although the Mac crowd may only begrudingly do so). And lest they feel left out, yes, even the Linux folks have a good argument.
My fascination with the debate isn’t so much with the arguments for/against any certain platform, but with how fervently each side lauds its own and belittles any alternative. Most of us have been there – a seemingly innocent conversation amongst friends about the differences between a Mac and PC quickly turns into a passionate debate where the only winners – and victims – are our egos. But why is this the case?
We value and praise diversity, so it strikes me as funny that some cannot live with alternatives when it comes to their operating systems. Oddly enough, as a driver of a Honda vehicle, I don’t get a lot of flak from my Chevy or Toyota-driving friends. I have never seen a Pepsi drinker ridicule a Coke drinker (except in Pepsi ads). And while many people I’ve known only ever pay with cash, they’ve never criticized me for only carrying a credit/debit card.
Perhaps we don’t feel confident enough in our choice of OS, thus we feel the need to espouse the arguments against any alternative. Perhaps we feel our choice is a reflection of our intelligence. Perhaps it’s because computing has become very personal and very closely aligned with our personalities and behaviors. Whatever the reasons, I’m sure there’s a good psychology lesson in there somewhere. I’ll leave the teaching of such a lesson to those more qualified than myself, however it does provide an interesting glimpse into human behavior. Oh, and regardless of what side you fall on, you still can run your favorite editor!