Back in 1994, Italian novelist Umberto Eco (writer of “Foucault’s Pendulum” and “The Name of The Rose”) published a now-legendary, whimsical piece in the Italian news weekly Espresso, contending that the Microsoft/Apple rivalry is “a religious war.” Eco was “firmly of the opinion” that the Macintosh is Catholic; “It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach — if not the kingdom of heaven — the moment in which their document is printed.” He pointed out that with a Mac you deal with simple formulae and sumptuous icons, and “everyone has a right to salvation.”
On the other hand, Eco contended, the (then mostly DOS-based) PC was Protestant, “or even Calvinistic,” demanding difficult decisions and interpretations, taking “for granted the idea that not all can reach salvation.” The PC user “is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.”
My computer history, briefly, has been Acorn Electron, Amiga 500, various PCs running Windows 95, then ME and finally XP, which brings me to the machines I use now. I have an Eee-PC netbook (which for a year was my only personal computer). I experimented with a few Linux distros and eventually settled on CrunchBang Linux.
I also bought an iPhone 3G in this period, which eventually helped me decide to buy a 27″ iMac, which I think is absolutely fantastic. Continue reading