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Umberto Eco on the Holy War of Mac vs. PC

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"I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. 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. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation."

He wrote this in 1994, back when Windows (which resembles Mac-style graphical "cheerful" interface) was just an overlay to the free-for-all, text-based, highly customizable DOS structure. Now, DOS is done and gone, and you can't dig deep into the code to make bizarre, unchristened customizations (cults? sects?) to your interface, as it were. You're stuck with a priest interpreting scriptures for you.



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  • Blake
  • Chicago, IL, United States

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