The Mac Lab

Macs Suck!

by on Jan.18, 2009, under Blog

WindowsAh, students can be so eloquent when voicing their platform preferences. And they’re capable of oh so subtle variations of expression. Though, Macs suck! seems to be the preferred mantra, some stick with, I hate Macs! But I’ve also heard the more fervent say, I hate Macs! They suck!

The reason I bring this up is that I was at a workshop at the Art Institute yesterday. I learned some wonderful new skills I’ll be sharing with you soon but it was what I saw during a break that I have to ask you about because I can’t believe that all PCs render text so poorly as this. I’m well aware that PCs render a darker version of the Internet than Macs do but does text really look so jaggy on all PCs? As someone with a deep, abiding love of typography, I really need to know if the computer I was on was just configured wrong. I actually want to believe that we don’t see the same thing this differently.


11 Comments for this entry

  • hayes

    Yes, Windows do render fonts that poorly. I notice it and I don’t even have your love for Typography. Luckily, I rarely I have to deal with it anymore, except when somebody wants me to fix their computer.

  • Michael Werner

    They don’t all render that poorly. It looks as if the computer didn’t have the correct fonts so it replaced them with the best it could find.
    PC’s are great; if only for the sole reason that if there is a problem it’s usually just a PERSONAL problem. You can blame the user for just about anything.

  • skocko

    C’mon. There’s gotta be a way to turn on anti-aliasing or font smoothing or arrange for special glasses people could wear to make the fonts look better!

    Wait… just got an email with a screenshot of a better result. Thanks, Michael.

    NOTE: I’m not trying to start PC/Mac wars here. I was just bummed that this blog looked so crappy on the Art Institute’s PCs. Will set about searching the CSS to discover the default font choices of this template.

  • Nick

    Isn’t cross-platform typography (see: WEB FONTS) like one of the most basic premises of web design?
    It’s not just macs that suck, their users suck too. I’m no advocate of Windows, but it is the lesser of two evils imo.

  • skocko

    Looks pretty straight forward…

    The body is: font-family: trebuchet ms, arial, helvetica, sans-serif

    h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 {
    font-family: Verdana;

    What computer doesn’t have those fonts?

  • Michael Werner

    Verdana should be 100% universal.

  • skocko

    I took another look at the comparison shot and if you look at the shape of the individual letters, you’ll see that they’re actually the same font. Check Michael’s better result and you’ll see that again, they’re the same font. It looks as if anti-aliasing is simply turned off on the Art Institute’s PC.

    I can’t imagine why anyone would intentionally do this — especially in a graphics lab.

  • Michael Werner

    Better result? More like BEST result. Oh yes.

  • skocko

    Okay, here’s how it’s going to go down.

    1. I take complete responsibility for opening the door to the beginnings of the inane, endless, pointless platform war debate by posting Competition Begets Progress and Macs Suck. It’s all my fault. I was wrong. Mea Culpa. FINITO!

    2. Any further my computer is better than your computer comments will be flushed down the virtual toilet to the place all fanboys are destined to dwell and there they can duke it out. What’s been posted has been posted and I’ll leave it where it is to remind us of the gibbering, back and forth foolishness we would have otherwise surely descended into. And YES! It’s my fault that it started. Can I state that more clearly?

    3. The discussions here are about creativity and inspiration and discovery and all things artistic. The goal is to lift one another up. Are we agreed?

    This will be posted in both threads and in a separate post of it’s own.

  • hayes

    One thing that sometimes causes the ugly font issues is not the OS, but the display. However, I doubt this was the case at the Art Institute.

    The Apple Cinema Displays and Apple Laptop displays are really good. The $500 Dell, HP, etc. entry-level machines not so much. Or, like in our Windows lab, the resolution that the Windows Net Tech set was not the native resolution of the LCD panel.

    Talking about displays, why is everything glossy??? I can’t stand it. I am glad I got one of the prior version Macbook Pros. We have a mix of white iMacs (matte) and aluminum iMacs (glossy). I hate the glossy. The glare/reflections and the fingerprints are awful. I tried to use a teachers glossy Macbook outside and I couldn’t see anything.

  • Brandon T

    I personally have no problem reading fonts on my custom PC (which I built myself). I use Windows XP Pro with SP3 and Mozilla Firefox 3 and my fonts on the web as well as everywhere else look clean and crisp. I also use a 22″ monitor with a native resolution of 1680×1050. It might have been an issue with those computers you used at that Art Institute. Just my two cents!

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