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Digital Religion

Disclaimer: This article has been originally Posted on MyMac back in31/5/2006 (Some information might be out of date).

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With all this high-tech lifestyle surrounding us, we tend to spend more time in front of computer screens then we spend praying. It could reach a point where it would be easier to convince anyone to convert to a new religion rather then switch to a new operating system.

Since I am a switcher myself, I remember being such a faithful Windows user years ago that I wouldn’t lend an ear to anyone who would drum to another camp’s tune. Then one day all my digital belief system crumbled, which was triggered by holding a 3rd generation iPod in my hand. It was like being touched by a white angel. That got me thinking, “If a company (Apple) could make such a remarkably constructed, stunningly easy to use MP3 player, how would their core business (Computers) be like?”

Two months after buying my first iPod, I ordered a 12″ PowerBook from Amazon, and since I live in Saudi Arabia, I tried my best to find a Mac community with no luck. All I wanted was to take a real look at the Macintosh operating system. Back then most of Mac users were graphics designer who were hidden in advertisement agencies’ offices, I spent all that money for something that I never saw in action, or even test drive, it was a digital leap of faith. I believed that it would be the ultimate computer system that was ever created by mortals. And I was right!


I discovered that Mac users are looked upon as a “cult” by other operating system users, and this strengthen my theory that your choice of an operating system grows to be more of a digital religion rather then a flavor. But if that’s the case then I personally think that Linux users are looked upon as a tribe of nomads (I use Linux sometimes, and I think it punches the light out of any Windows machine).

After I got my Mac, running Panther back then, I started to babble about it, not believing that such an operating system existed in this world. Blindfolded by Microsoft’s dogma all those years, I helped tens open their eyes to the light of Apple, and they thank me whenever the topic is brought up.

A dear friend of mine told me once while ruptured in a state of confession, that this was the first time he felt that he spent money on something that was worth every penny. He is considering buying a quad PowerMac next to his G4 PowerBook before they switch them to Intel chips. He buys from two to three new cell phones every month, and doesn’t like most of them.

My brother bought a brand new 15″ Dell laptop, and one day he saw me swiftly referring to the flight tracker widget on my PowerBook,

“Is this a real OS?” he said

“This is the Mac OS X Tiger” I replied

“It looks and acts like it’s some type of a futuristic operating system,” he said with astonishment

“Well this is what you get when you use a Mac.” I said with confidence.

He came back to me an hour later, telling me that he has decided to sell his three month old crippled Dell toddler, and wanted me to buy him a Mac. He got a 12″ iBook that he now cherishes. Another friend gave his wife a new Toshiba Tecra he originally bought for himself, and got a new PowerBook. My fiancée replaced her Sony VAIO with a cute white 12”iBook.

The main problem with using a Windows machine is that most normal users get used to utilizing the Windows environment where nothing is located logically where it should be, the highest-ranking question I get once a person switches is:

“So where did the Start button go?” They say terrified

“There is no Start menu here, you’re using a Mac now” I reply ” just use the Dock or click on the Finder”

Average Window users are fixated on default pre-installed programs that come on their Windows machines, and if they feel a bit adventures they would download RealPlayer. But they never get a chance to start exploring other programs, unlike Mac users, who are open to new constructive applications that help them get their work done.


It was so hard for me to convince friends to stop using Internet Explorer when Firefox first came out, a lot of them didn’t even want to bother downloading the browser. I had to show them the benefits of tab browsing, and offer them CDs with Firefox program on them. But what surprised me was that some of them switched to Macs while the others kept on using Firefox as their default web browser. I learned that once you crack a chip in their digital belief system, you can turn them head over heals.

I had my 12″ PowerBook for over two years now, I wrote my first book on it, and I am working on four other new books. I travel with it. I use it to write all my travel articles, and send them accompanied by digital pictures that I shoot on location to publications. I use my PowerBook to create DVDs to share with family and show them where I have been and what I saw.

But what really blows me away is that fuzzy, warm, and cozy feeling I get whenever I open my Macs cover to see its one second zippy wake-up, opposed to Windows’ hibernation wake-up process, which resembles a cranky bear’s waking form his winter-long hibernation. Or the sensation you get when you start tapping on a Mac’s exquisite keyboard, I guess that’s the same warm feeling you get when you have a digital religion.

Copyright © 2006 Mazen Al-Angary, All rights reserved.

About Mazen Al-Angary

One comment

  1. very nice

    thank you

x

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