Wonky but free

Rachel Kroll wrote a blog post last Friday entitled I mortgaged my future with a Mac. The part I found most interesting is near the end of the post.

Instead of staying with my wonky-but-free ways of doing things, I shifted all of my stuff over to the Mac. … Now when I want to get back out, I have to do all of the work I thought I had managed to avoid by using a Mac in the first place.

I’m not interested in the pros and cons of using a Mac, but I really liked the phrase “wonky but free.” I have a growing appreciation for things that are wonky-but-free, technologies that make a poor first impression but have long-term benefits.

6 thoughts on “Wonky but free

  1. This article brings up some interesting topics, but isn’t very insightful about some of them. Getting photos out of iPhoto and music out of iTunes is simple in both cases. It sets up a false dichotomy of owning a Mac and being clueless and lazy vs. owning a Linux box and having to do a lot of work. You have to look after your stuff no matter what platform. I have both Linux machines and Macs and I like both for different purposes.

  2. Wonky but free sounds like LaTeX: Far more work to learn, but far, far more powerful then Word once you finish, and far faster to write a complex document in it, once you get good at it.

  3. Kyle: Thanks. Typo fixed.

    Canageek: LaTeX is one of the examples I had in mind.

    Ease of debugging is not at all apparent when you compare two systems. If you’d never seen a word processor before and compared Word and LaTeX, Word would be stunning. You’d have to use it a while before you ran into a situation where Word, for no apparent reason, steadfastly refuses to do what you ask and you’re absolutely helpless to do anything about it.

  4. Seems like an engineered problem, or a blogpost that wanted to be written.

    While reading this, I was thinking, “What exactly is the issue with exporting from iTunes or iPhoto?” iTunes, you can simply drag the files out. iPhoto is simply a directly structure, it’s not an ‘opaque’ database.

    Seems like the author was digging pretty hard to find an issue here where there wasn’t really one.

    To be perfectly open, I am an Apple user. I’m writing this on a Macbook Pro. I don’t believe that this has skewed my opinion, but I may be incorrect.

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