fyi: Dan Gilmore: This Mac devotee is moving to Linux
Jeff.Hodges at KingsMountain.com
Wed Jun 23 17:47:46 UTC 2010
This Mac devotee is moving to Linux
Seeking real freedom of choice in a technology ecosystem where vendors are
exerting more and more control
By Dan Gillmor
[ this article is slated to appear at Dan's MediaActive blog at the end of this
week; see: <http://mediactive.com/2010/06/02/salon-and-me/> ]
I'm not religious about technology. My strategy is to use what works best, period.
This is why, for more than a decade, I've been using a Mac as my primary
computer (and had been using Macs for some of my work long before that).
Apple's personal computers continue to be the best combination of hardware and
software on the market today.
So why am I about to migrate to Linux (aka GNU/Linux)? Because Apple is pushing
me away, and because I value some principles, perhaps almost religiously, that
affect other decisions.
Apple is pushing computer users as fast as it can toward a centrally controlled
computing ecosystem where it makes all the decisions about what native
applications may be used on the devices it sells -- and takes a cut of every
dollar that is spent inside that ecosystem. This is a direct repudiation of its
own history, and more broadly that of the larger personal-computing ecosystem,
where no one can stop anyone else from writing and distributing software that
other people might want to use.
Steve Jobs says Apple is a curator, nothing more. This grossly understates the
control. Jobs says Apple has "made mistakes" in being the police, judge, jury
and executioner in its Disney-style world, and is working hard to perfect the
But this is a disconnect with reality. Central control, no matter how
well-intentioned, is itself the problem, not the solution. The "enlightened
dictator" is fiction. And dangerous.
I realize that I won't persuade the many people who prefer to live in gated
communities, believing they can leave any time they wish. But switching costs
will only get higher over time for those who choose to live in the Apple ecosystem.
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