I am a Mac guy, and even I found this terribly amusing:

“I know Windows is awful. Everyone knows Windows is awful. Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it’s there, and there’s nothing you can do about it. OK, OK: I know other operating systems are available. But their advocates seem even creepier, snootier and more insistent than Mac owners. The harder they try to convince me, the more I’m repelled. To them, I’m a sheep. And they’re right. I’m a helpless, stupid, lazy sheep. I’m also a masochist. And that’s why I continue to use Windows – horrible Windows – even though I hate every second of it. It’s grim, it’s slow, everything’s badly designed and nothing really works properly: using Windows is like living in a communist bloc nation circa 1981. And I wouldn’t change it for the world, because I’m an abject bloody idiot and I hate myself, and this is what I deserve: to be sentenced to Windows for life.”

- Charlie Brooker


Microsoft’s grinning robots or the Brotherhood of the Mac. Which is worse? Charlie Brooker
The Guardian, 28 September 2009


Category: Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

31 Responses to “Microsoft’s grinning robots vs the Brotherhood of the Mac”

  1. batmando says:

    Charlie Brooker sounding much like Winston Smith

  2. franklin411 says:

    If you want to play even the most basic games, forget the Mac. Windows is what it is: a middle ground.

    Linux etc is one extreme. You have complete control, but you have to be very computer savvy to make it work.

    Mac is the other extreme. You have very little control, but any idiot can use it. Of course, good luck finding games that run on Mac, and good luck trying to unlock the Apple Mafia’s stranglehold on hardware.

    Windows is the middle ground. You have a fair amount of control, and most software/hardware is designed for the Wintel platform. The system is versatile, and users/3rd parties are allowed to tinker with it to suit their needs. Any idiot can use it, but it takes a bit more of an advanced user to really get the most out of the OS.

  3. blueoysterjoe says:

    I have used Mac, Windows, and Linux, and I honestly prefer Windows XP to anything else. I really don’t think it is quite as bad as he makes it out to be.

    This did give me pause, though:

    “Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it’s there, and there’s nothing you can do about it. ”

    Maybe I’m like that old subway dog who has ridden the lines for so long, he no longer notices the stink.

  4. rtalcott says:

    After a bit of a learning curve I find Linux to be more stable and quicker than XP. I cannot imagine going back to anything Microsoft…at least if I have to pay for it.

  5. Christopher says:

    Now if only AAPL could actually make hardware that worth a tinker’s damn.

    Dell and Panasonic both have exponentially stronger hardware than Apple.
    Why is that?

  6. KidHorn says:

    I’ve used all OS’s and the Mac and Windows are basically the same. People prefer what they’re more familiar with. Current Mac users like the mac because they know how to do things on it. It’s the same with the other OS’s.

    I’ve found that non windows users are way more nit picky about windows than windows users are about other OS’s. Countless times I’ve had to help Mac users on PCs and it was very difficult explaining how to do something. It’s like they expect everything to work the same way as a Mac.

  7. emmanuel117 says:


    Big Brother Jobs loves you.

  8. leftback says:

    Hilarious. Not only does the subway smell bad, it is chock full of viruses and people who want to steal from you.
    Some people just don’t want to see the light…

  9. bsneath says:

    So true. So very true. Nothing in this world is as user unfriendly as Windows. (and yet I also am too lazy – and cheap – to switch)

  10. Thor says:

    All I know is what machines we spend more time fixing issues on. That would be the PC’s. Far less stable, hands down.

    Games? was that a serious post? Someone has clearly never used a Mac or know what BootCamp or VMWare is.

  11. bogwad_seigneur (the smelly one) says:


    [....]Mac is the other extreme. You have very little control, [....]

    That’s actually less true than you think. Mac has an amazing number of customization tools. At the UI level: Workflow, Automator, Apple Script. Digging a bit deeper: Shell scripts (bash, sh, ksh, tcsh) – remember that OSX is built on top of a real UNIX – FreeBSD (renamed to Darwin in the Cupertino derivative). If you’re really looking to get dug in, you can write stuff in C, C++, Cocoa – whatever you wish.
    In a way I’m sad that so many people see Mac and its underlying OS as “just a desktop system” and one that “well, you don’t need to know how stuff works, ‘cos whatever you got, that’s what you live with”, because it is SO SO MUCH MORE.

    Games…yes, there it lacks. However, given how absurdly cheap hardware is today, a truly “lush” dual quad core system with 16GB of memory and some hellacious v-deo card – and – OSX_86 (hackintosh) with Parallels and you can install XP and game until you drop, and right slap bang on top of that gorgeous Mac interface and functionality we know and love.

    XP has proven to be a stable and “install on anything” OS, but just lacks so much. Windows 7 is an effort to upstage Snow Leopard, and W7 in my view – while pleasant and visually appealing – won’t be the bomb Vista was, but won’t be the mega-hit Redmond is seeking either.

    @KidHorn Mac and Windows are “basically the same” in the sense that a Dodge Ram and a Toyota Landcruiser are basically the same. They’re both vehicles, with some offroad credentials, and there the comparison ends. I’d take a Mac where I’d take a Landcruiser, which is to say anywhere. Beyond a suburban building site (as an extreme example) I wouldn’t want to push a Ramcharger.

    “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong” (King Dennis)

  12. cvienne says:

    This is a TERRIBLE thread BR…

    I mean… It leaves hardly a sliver of an opening for Wanger to come in and talk about how he is the GOD OF TRADING…

    Actually, I may have spoke too soon… Cue the Wanger comment’s about how AAPL is a “steal” here at 190, less than 5% from it’s all time high…

    “Say say two thousand zero zero party’s over oops outta time…”

  13. Tom K says:

    “won’t be the mega-hit Redmond is seeking either”

    Vista might very well make Windows 7 a mega-hit – Microsoft’s self-fulfilling prophesy.

  14. leftback says:

    Windows is so awful and bloated that MSFT is going to zero. It could happen with surprising suddenness.

  15. cvienne says:


    Are you basically trying to say that Windows #7 is going to be a #2

  16. gloppie says:

    Happy Linux user here. Switched for good 2 years ago after dual booting /experimenting for about 10 years.
    Never looked back. I’m even using Linux at work in a heavy pro-Microsoft Corporation. Soon I will even turn my beloved wife to Linux. You can give it a try too at Ubuntu.com for instance.

  17. madman130 says:

    Few months ago I switched from Windows to Mac and I have to say I don’t regret a bit.
    The macbook (entry level) I bought is far superior to Lenovo/IBM Thinkpad (Windows XP) I owned.

    1. Less crash prone.
    2. Hibernation/Sleep much quicker in Mac.
    3. Reboots instantly.
    4. No junk files, temp files like Windows.
    5. No malware, virus.

    Don’t play games. Mostly use it for internet and lately been using Google docs so no need for MS Office.
    Couldn’t be more happier.

    Also recently have configured to run windows 7 RC on my mac with the help of Parallels. So not missing much.

  18. phb says:

    wow the Windows flamers hit this post quick with support of the inferior OS!

  19. call me ahab says:

    “Not only does the subway smell bad, it is chock full of viruses and people who want to steal from you.
    Some people just don’t want to see the light…”

    i’ll counter that and say that if Mac had tha same market share as Windows based systems they would have the same issues w/ malware and viruses-

    if and when Apple has a substantial market share- they will have the same issues-

    akin to trick or treating- are you going to go to the area where the houses are sparse and miles apart or to a neighborhood where the houses are many and close together?

  20. gloppie says:

    There is more than grinning robots and Mac brothers.
    There are happy normal people.

  21. rootless_cosmopolitan says:


    on Microsoft Windows:

    “… and users/3rd parties are allowed to tinker with it to suit their needs.”

    LOL How true.


  22. Greg0658 says:

    I’m disappointed in Win7.0 … it won’t re-energize this machine (for Flash mostly):
    GenuineIntel Pentium II Processor 82443BX / clocked@66-100Mhz / 160.Mb Ram / Cisco Wireless-G WiFi / runnin wildly with Win98se …. I see my package needs 1 Gigg todayyyy

    slowin down searching my vinyl “Breakfest in America” for “hide in my shell” maybe its somewhere else like “Paris live”

  23. anyone who says that one ‘needs to be CompJockey/ScriptKiddie to deal w/ Linux, well..

    http://www.ubuntu.com/ has a different story to tell.

    also, file under: Ripley’s, if you must, but http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=Linux+cuts+electricity+bills+in+data+centers Linux is Green!

    and, http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=growth+of+Linux+adoption Linux is growing its adoption, and is quite handy on ‘less robust’–computational power-wise- machines

  24. tom_k says:

    Microsoft is facing a very serious problem with companies deciding that there is not ROI on upgrading from XP to Vista or Windows. For most consumers, their point of reference for the Windows “Experience” is what they see at work every day. Most of them are now looking at XP, a SEVEN-year-old operating system. (Vista, sadly, wasn’t that much of an advance, either.) I suspect that businesses will wait at least another year before adopting Windows 7 in large numbers, if only because for more work tasks like email and word processing, it doesn’t really offer them much new.

    So in the meantime, Apple gets to sell consumers on the elegance / features of its new Snow Leopard operating system, with Windows XP as the “baseline” that your average user will compare it against. No wonder droves of people are switching over to Macs at home.

    There’s a similar problem in mobile handsets, where Apple’s iPhone is making Windows Mobile 6.5 look miserable… that also cannot be helping Microsoft’s brand.

    I use XP all week at work, I have Vista at home, I have Mac OS, and I’m an expert user on any of them by most measures (and on Linux as well, which I also use at work.) For a consumer user, there’s just no comparison – the amount of stupidity and dicking around involved in using Windows is an order of magnitude larger than it needs to be.

  25. danm says:

    Sorry but everybody keeps on dissing MSFT when there are bigger fish to fry. Like cars.

    Why doesn’t anybody complain about the crappy cars out there? Let’s be honest here, cars should be eons ahead of the crap we are being offered.

  26. gloppie says:

    When a microsoftee asks me how to do this or that, I just tell them to hit F1 and learn, like I did.
    And yes, Damn, where are the flying cars we were promised in 1960 ?

  27. danm says:

    And yes, Damn, where are the flying cars we were promised in 1960 ?
    I’m just sick of having my bumbers crack just looking at them. That’s where they ding you!

  28. bergsten says:

    Several years ago when Cody Willard was in his ascendancy, he publicly opined that MS Vista was going to turn MSFT around. I politely laughed in his face — corporate users wouldn’t touch if for at least a year (other to install in test labs for the pure malevolent pleasure of it), and if EVEN ONE BUG WAS FOUND probably never. Think I even CC’ed Barry (but he, being “a Mac guy”) didn’t even care.

    So here we go again. Hardware vendors will push W7 if it sells more hardware (or if it costs them less to license). If the proper people get the proper encouragement (if you know what I mean, and I think you do), gaming developers and other bleeding edge applications will make W7 a requirement. New computer users will get it preinstalled. Nobody else has much reason to care.

    As for “the other OS’es” (and I run ALL of them and have at least 24 different machines floating around here), each has its pluses and minuses. Each should have a slogan:

    “Are you TRENDY enough to run OS X”?
    “Are you NERDY enough to run Linux”?
    “Are you REALLY NERDY enough to run Open BSD, Net BSD, Free BSD, UNIX…”?
    “Are you SNOBBISH enough to run Solaris”?
    “Are you BIG enough to run zOS”?
    “Are you INDECISIVE enough to run all of the above under VMWare”?
    “Are you NONE OF THE ABOVE enough to run Windows”?

    (I think Windows needs a better slogan)

  29. bergsten says:

    Pretty funny — pity this thread is dead and nobody will see this post:
    “A Review of the Pirated Copy of Windows 7 I Bought On eBay”

  30. deepitm says:

    I don’t mind Mac’s. It’s the users I can’t stand.

  31. O2 says:

    THIS is your middle ground:


    Load it up with Firefox and Open Office and you are running Microsoft free.