Back in 2006, Juan Luis Martinez (Fractovia.org) wrote a post explaining why despite the growing popularity (and growing hip-ness) of the Macintosh computing platform we shouldn’t expect a similar proliferation of fractal programs to follow the way they have on the Windows platform. He doesn’t speculate as to why it isn’t going to happen or what it is that’s all messed up with fractals on the Mac platform, he simply asked the question (I’m paraphrasing) “Why is a graphic design-rich environment like the Mac so fractal program poor?”
Of course it’s not quite so bad now as it was back in 2006; Duncan Champney has produced a fine fractal program, Fractal Works, whose style has created it’s own niche in the fractal art world and not simply played catch-up with Windows programming. I think if Juan Luis was writing today he’d concede that Macs now have a respectable fractal program in Fractal Works.
I know nothing about Macs, and Apple in general, except that they make very elegant computing devices and they run the entire user/developer environment like a minimum security prison. Ironically, the computing company that has the hippest public image is also the one with the most repressive and authoritarian practices. (Totally un-cool.) Bill Gates, the former head of Microsoft might have been a hard playing businessman who used his company’s monopoly to run competing software developers off the road, but Steve Jobs of Apple is running both software and hardware competitors off the road.
I got a new computer this past week. My previous one was a used, off-lease desktop made in 2002. It ran Ubuntu Linux and drove down its own road, far away from the commercialism of the worlds of Microsoft and Apple.
My new computer came with a disk for Xp and a disk for Windows 7 but instead I dropped a disk for Ubuntu 10.10 into the optical drive and installed this popular version of Linux in about 20 minutes. Everything worked on my HP Elitebook 8440p including wireless card and special touch sensitive volume buttons. In fact, the installation of this Free Open Source Software (FOSS) operating system was actually easier than Windows 7. Ubuntu downloaded and installed the drivers, flash plugin, document viewers, multi-media codecs and a full suite of applications in one, simple step.
But I decided to go with Windows 7 instead.
Why? Linux is the land of the free, isn’t it? No more Evil Bill or Sinister Steve? Don’t do it man! Stay in Shangri-la!
The answer to why is right from Juan Luis’s posting from way back in 2006: the world of the Windows operating system has more creative options for its users. Ironically, those creative applications were built by and for its users and have nothing to do with the square-headed corporate creators who make and administer (and license) the operating system. Windows might not be a perfect world, and Linux has much less restrictions and a groovy, futuristic vision, but Windows is more a world of its users’ making than it is of the heartless corporation that created it. Weird, but it’s grown into more of a creative place than Linux has despite lacking the strong un-restrictive, wide-open everything foundation that the Linux world is securely rooted in, and was carefully designed to forever be.
But… I could never find very many programs that would knock me out of my gourd in Shangri-la. I just couldn’t dig that, man.