How to furnish a house

I apologize for the click bait – but since you are here, I guess it worked :slight_smile:

I have been thinking about all of the posts having to do with Apple Apps – do you use them? do you not use them? who are they good for? why do you use them? etc.

I have an analogy (and I really like analogies).

Let’s say you go to look at a new house. You look at the model house and one of the options is that you can buy a new house and the builder will make it look just like the model. Same paint on the walls, same furniture, etc. There are three possible reactions:
(1) that’s great! I can just move in and not worry about any of that stuff
(2) are you kidding? just do your job and provide the foundation, framing, walls, plumbing, and electric. Let me worry about the furniture and appliances.
(3) well… the living room furniture isn’t bad, but I really don’t like the wall colors and the kitchen appliances.

Every one of these people is 100% correct!

Computer systems are (in my mind) exactly the same. (1) Some people just want to put their credit card in the reader and walk out with a computer that they can move right into. (2) Some people just want the foundation, frame, plumbing, and electric and want to pick out the wall colors and all of the furnishings themselves. (3) Some people want a little of each.

Every one of these people is 100% correct!

I know a lot of people in category (1). I, myself, am in category (2) – I view the computer as the foundation. I want to pick the furniture and appliances. My wife is a bit closer to (3) – she runs several non-Apple apps (often at my urging) but she uses Apple Mail, Calendar, and Contacts, etc. and doesn’t want to be bothered with alternatives.

I don’t really have a point here other than there is no “right” answer. Nobody can claim that they are right and that “I can’t believe you use Apple Mail, it is really not a real mail program”. Nobody has to apologize or justify their use of Apple Apps “well, I use Apple Calendar and I know it isn’t the end all and be all, but it works for me.”

I think this is true at the next level down, also. Do you use Apple Notes? DevonThink? Evernote? Bear? You use the one that you enjoying living in. If you don’t like the color of the bedroom walls, you eventually repaint them.

And for me that’s the value of the posts in this forum. It is like walking into the paint store and seeing all the swatches and pondering whether I like any of them better for my bedroom than the current color. And maybe I have a piece of the carpet and the expert there can help me determine if there is a good match.

I’ll stop here. Just thinking out loud.

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Agreed. I would add that I think there are definitely incorrect options (people using apps because they’re drawn by the hype and not by actual needs cough Roam cough) but these cases are usually far outweighed by the sheer amount of personal preference that influences these decisions.


Good analogy. My wife refuses to use anything other than SnagIt for screen shots while I’m quite content with Command-Shift-4. On the other hand she will listen to podcasts any way while I’m Overcast all the way. In your analogy I would rate myself as between 2 and 3. I want something that works fine out of the box but I want to customize it.

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I like it. I would also add that people can have the same preferences ideally but differ in practice due to pressures/circumstances. That can go in both directions, pushing people into complexity they’re uncomfortable with or into simpler solutions with inconvenient limitations that are worthwhile because the overall situation has become more legible to them.


A good example would be work supplied computers. Usually locked into a particular configuration that can’t really be changed.

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… they to me resemble a prison cell rather than a house… literally locked down.

Until that is I open up my headless VNC Mac desktop at MacStadium … Then it feels like I am living in my own space again…

I am definitely a 2. Use almost no stock apps and tweak the computer to my liking.

My other half a “1 with a twist” as she must have her own wallpaper, but changes nothing else. Stock Mac, stock apps

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I’m case 3, most of the time. I prefer to use built in apps wherever possible. I find that a lot of the time they’re more powerful under the surface. Less to manage, plus I don’t feel like reinventing the wheel. If I am to replace a built in tool, the 3rd party offering needs to be substantially better than Apple’s proposition. A side benefit is that built in apps are localised while 3rd party offerings are not (my native language sadly falls outside the most popular ones; I could use English though).

Sometimes I use both. My main web browser is Safari, but I have Edge for some edge cases. I usually create documents in iWork but if I am to collaborate on them with the rest of the world I use Office.

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