Thursday, 2024-05-27

Your operating system is your girlfriend

Charles Miller has written a funny post on why the Mac is so desirable. That post, and this, makes the implicit assumption that you are male.

The Mac as mistress metaphor is very good, but I find it mildly offensive to use the metaphor that Windows is a prostitute. I don't disapprove of prostitution per se. It's just that for this metaphor to work, 90% of the computer-using population of the world would be having most of their relationships with prostitutes.

I would rather say that Windows is a female co-worker. Not unattractive, reasonably efficient (in her Win2000/XP guise), but prone to gaffes and embarrassing behaviour that kind of makes you dread meeting her in the hall or having lunch with her.

Linux on the desktop could well be a psychotic girlfriend. I wouldn't know, I've never used Linux as a desktop system, and I've never had a psychotic girlfriend. I do know that my laptop running OpenBSD and blackbox is a female co-worker that I would feel very comfortable with, even though I am married. Perhaps a hyper-efficient personal secretary.

Windows as a server is a female relative in a old peoples' home who calls you in the middle of the night and rambles senilely. You're happy to pay other people take care of her, and secretly wish that she would just die quietly.

Linux or *BSD as a server, on the other hand, is like a grandmother who is a world-class cook with a physics degree. You can always drop by her house, she is endlessly supportive and helps you with your life, without asking much in return. You love her all the more for it.