Snappy answers to stupid questions

Just curious: today I had a computer science student come up to me after a lecture (I teach theology) thumbing his nose at my Apple stuff on my lectern and talking about how “real” computer nerds view it.

Does anyone share this experience? Does anyone out there have a snappy response (not for me to repeat out loud of course)?

Stephen Martin

You’re not the first fanboy I’ve come across, but you’re the first one this year I get to grade.


I have mentioned I also build my own PC. Usually the anti-Apple person hasn’t done that. :slight_smile:

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“It is reliable, and has a nice gui, but if I need too I can drop into a shell and use UNIX commands or write programs just like you would on Linux. There is hardly any malware or viruses for macOS. Plus, when it’s 5 years old, I can sell it for half of what I paid for it.”


The smartest technical people that I know use Macs. If Macs are good enough for them, then they’re good enough for me. I’m in good company. I use what works best for me, and as a desktop operating system, I haven’t found anything that I like as much as macOS.


I had rather spend my time USING my computer, than fixing it.


“I’ll bet you get invited to a lot of parties.”


Last week I had someone calling me insisting to have Mac OS to be installed on his Windows PC so he could run some audio plugin…
Then started to accuse me that I am not a professional and real experts know how to do this.

I wished him good luck.


Most students understand the value of Macs when they grow up.

I have many 10+ year old Macs in my lab that still work well (generally only get replaced when I can no longer update the OS). Have had one Lenovo laptop that runs a couple of instruments that I cannot stand and am ready to replace.

My youngest son just got a coding job with Bloomberg for $135K/year (more than his college professor dad) and does all his work on a Mac (as do most of the people he works with).


I gather that this student’s comment is driven by some combination of:

  • they think that what’s right for them is right for you and everyone else
  • that everyone shares the same needs,
  • that they alone understand your needs better than you

I think there’s a certain maturity required to understand that what meets your needs may not meet the needs of everyone else. To get there, you need to trust that people are capable of making decisions on their own about how to solve their specific problems. Unless you had asked this student for advice on solving a specific computing problem, then they should hold off on the unsolicited commentary and trust that your gear suits your needs. This student clearly isn’t there yet. Some day, hopefully, they’ll come to understand the value of “that just isn’t for me”, instead of “you need to like what I like”.


I find these people who are addiment against Mac computers feel like they are overpriced based purely on components. While I do feel like they could be cheaper they do have a much better reputation of lasting a lot longer than a PC along with a more stable OS.

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Don’t forget customer service aka Genius Bar / Apple Care!

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Back in ye olden days, a common refrain from this type of person was that the Mac was a “toy” and not a “real” computer. I used to get a lot of joy out of engaging them just long enough to get them to also tell me that the problem with this “toy” computer was that it wasn’t any good for playing games.


If Microsoft ever make a product that doesn’t suck, it’ll be a vacuum cleaner …


Yutes these days amirite?

Hopefully it was a teachable moment about decorum, respect, and appropriate discussion techniques. Maybe he just really really likes you and didn’t know how else to engage, you know, as nerds often do. :joy:


I buy what works for me and what I like. [to the student] I don’t give a flying rip what you think.

I catch grief for being a fan of Fords and Mac and John Deere. Oh, and having beagles for dogs. I take it in stride and let my work speak for itself.


If I wanted to spend all my time being a “real nerd” I wouldn’t have the opportunity of teaching you that computers are not real life.


Please add FREE customer support while in and out of warranty aka Genius Bar / AppleCare.

My favorite comment to “real nerds” who claim their platform of choice is better and mine is inferior is:

Some people like Coca-Cola and some people like Pepsi-Cola… and there are even folks who like RC Cola. Guess it’s just a matter of taste!

Not really a witty comeback, but I often use the analogy of a fixer-up car.

Most people are not mechanics and would rather spend more money on a car that’s reliable and works, rather than something cheap they need to keep fixing. Where a mechanic (nerd) can buy a junker that keep breaking because they know how to fix it and keep it running!

More often this is my pitch to people about why the Mac is better value. It’s worth spending more on something that is simpler and more reliable.

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