I’ve been doing a couple of contract jobs over at RentACoder for some extra cashola. One of them involves writing a tool that will convert over 700 MOV files to MP4. Ideally, the user should be able to run the tool, pass in two arguments (source directory and destination directory), be prompted for the export settings (window size, framerate, etc) and then be able to sit back and watch the conversions take place. I learned a few things with this project. For starters, I think Apple needs yet another one of those PC vs Mac ads, and it should go a little something like this:
Mac: I’m a Mac.
PC: And I am a PC.
Mac: Straight outta Cupertino, ya’ll! Hardcore to the Apple-core, biotches!
[PC has a confused and bewildered look on his face]
Mac: I buy my clothes at a wicked store in the mall. See these jeans and this shirt? It looks like it came from a thrift store but they actually cost like $150! Check me out, honeys!
PC: I purchased this suit at a Moores.
Mac: I run Mac OS X.
PC: I run Windows.
Mac: I can also run Windows, but for best results you should use Mac OS X. It’s tight!
PC: I have Microsoft Office.
Mac: I have Microsoft Office too, and it’s all sexy lookin’.
PC: I can integrate Microsoft Office with enterprise apps like SharePoint, BizTalk, Exchange, ERP, CRM and much more.
Mac: Dude, I said I have Microsoft Office. Duh. Who cares about enterprise shmenterprise? There’s like a trillion kagillion wozillion viruses and spyware out there for you. None for me. Nada. Zip. Zilcho.
[Mac high-fives a barefoot and bearded digital artist named Mordecai]
PC: This is true, but I am working on it.
Mac: Aw, man, you always say that. You’re all like “I’m working on it” and I’m all like “yeah whatever, now go get your DirectX on so I can play Prey“.
PC: So I’m not as lame as you say I am, or so it would seem.
Mac: Puh-lease, get over yourself, PC. You show up in ugly brown boxes…boxES. That’s plural, dude. And they’re all cardboard-y and stuff. I arrive in like one box, and it’s smooth and white. You look like you’re from a dirty factory and I look like I’m from another galaxy…or Finland, or something like that.
[A penguin enters and interrupts the conversation]
Penguin: I’m Linux.
[The penguin exits]
Mac: Who’s that guy?
PC: I do not know who that strange-looking fellow was.
Mac: Anyway. I can make movies and music and all sorts of cool stuff that people could post on MySpace.
PC: I also can do that.
Mac: Yeah, but not as cool as me. And your apps don’t begin with a lowercase ‘i’. The ‘i’ means “me” which is “you”. Deep stuff.
PC: TouchÃ©. Well played, my good man. However, I make it easy for developers to create software for me. I provide thorough documentation with plenty of examples in multiple languages, and there are many aficionados out there providing help and communities, too.
Mac: Oh yeah?
PC: That’s correct.
Mac: Oh yeah?!?!?
Mac: Yeah…umm…well. I have half-assed documentation for my COM library for QuickTime, none of which resembles structured documentation; it’s more like an extremely brief FAQ at best or a conversation between two programming pals at worst. See what I mean? And I claim that said COM control can reuse serialized export settings in XML format, yet I explode and have yet to provide a fix or explanation, as evidenced here, here and here.
PC: I see. It is surely a pity that you do not provide stellar support for 3rd-party developers like I do.
Mac: But dude, I have a Dock that when you mouseover icons, it’s all “boop-boop-boop”. Rock! Cool! Bling! ‘Sup! No fat chicks! Ummm…give peace a chance? Yeah, that works! Wooohooo! Peace out, homeslices!
Apple makes some nice, albeit pricey, hardware. And Mac OS X is a great operating system. But their documentation for developers needs a lot of work.