Judging one’s character, not one’s hardware

Once upon a time, you had to install a PowerPC version of Linux on Macs. About the time I started using Linux in 2006 — and I had a iMac, a Power Macintosh G3 tower and a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet — I installed the PowerPC version of Debian (and then Xubuntu) on the iMac, and using BootX (anyone remember BootX?) installed Linux on the other two in what seems now like prehistoric dual-booting.

Point here: I never owned Intel-based hardware until I started using Linux, getting my first of many ThinkPads shortly after converting to Linux.

Now that Macs are Intel-based, Macs can run Linux fairly easily. In fact, Erik Schneider proves this by dual-booting CrunchBang with Lion on his Mac hardware.

So now we’re four paragraphs in and you’re asking yourself, “What the heck is he talking about?”

Glad you asked.

Two topics in the CrunchBang forums — two topics now closed by the moderators — dealt with the mistakenly blanket judgement that Macintosh users are elitists or somehow different than other users, either better or worse depending on the one posting.


I used Macs years ago because that’s what I had at the time. I wouldn’t judge someone by the hardware they use, just as I wouldn’t judge someone by the car they drive. People use what works for them, or at least they should. Heck, I wouldn’t even judge people by the operating system they use — if they don’t use Linux, I’d gladly suggest to them why they should, but ultimately it’s their decision.

But, as the auto ads say, your mileage may vary and you may not agree with this, and that’s fine.

Regardless, there are standards of CrunchBang forum behavior outlined here and that’s something to keep in mind when posting. Additionally, allow me to quote a sentence from the document: “We are all for free speech but at our heart we are a friendly, helpful forum community and I would like to see us stay that way.”

Now, let’s play nice out there.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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4 responses to “Judging one’s character, not one’s hardware

  1. Okay, there *are* valid complaints about how Apple does things, just as shooting fish in the barrel Microsoft ilk. Linux has problems, too.
    It doesn’t give licence to be a jerk!
    Thanks for being a more civilized person that I would be in your situation.

    • Yes, James, I would agree that there are valid complaints across the board, but this item is not addressing all the wrongs (and there are many) done by Apple or Microsoft. When someone makes a blanket statement like “all Mac users are snobs,” that’s the same as saying “All Ford drivers never use their turn signals.” It’s really not right, plus to have to close down the same discussion twice leads me to believe more folks need to read the forum rules.

      Civilized? Moi? 🙂

  2. You and I agree on most everything Larry and for sure this one… However, why perpetuate it even more with a full scale blog? I would have thought your last paragraph here posted on the forum would be a better approach and a sticky to drive it home… Just my opinion.

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