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New Mac ads with Mitchell & Webb

Apple’s latest “get a Mac” ads feature Mitchell and Webb. Maybe it’s a sign of my increasing fogeyism that I identify more with Mitchell.

On a related note, I’ll be on BBC Radio Scotland’s MacAulay and Co this morning (at about 9.45, ish) to settle the PC versus Mac argument through the medium of dance. The last part of that sentence is a lie.

35 replies on “New Mac ads with Mitchell & Webb”

I don’t think they are. They’ve actually written about how famous two guys in a British advert are by using the criterion of “How famous are they in America?” Bizarre.

The ads are funny — especially the pie chart one — but I do think they’re a slight miscalculation. This whole “PCs are good at office work but Macs are good at fun” thing — doesn’t that sound a little like Macs are toys and not serious computers? Most people think that work is harder than fun.

Taking the piss out of PCs’ concentration on boring work-type things because they, er, can run boring work-type software that doesn’t actually come with them and you have to pay for and that you can also — as they proudly point out — buy for Macs. What? And then saying that Macs are better at, for instance, looking at photos, when, excellent though iPhoto is, XP has the filmroll window view, which is one of the small ways in which it beats OSX, allowing you to browse photos really rather well without even launching an application. (Now I put it that way, actually, I have to wonder why the hell Apple haven’t done that yet.) And they’re going to get so many complaints when new users’ Macs crash or have to be restarted — not as often as PCs, no, but it does happen.

They don’t seem to be concentrating as hard as they might on their real strengths here.

I don’t know, actually: I think the “work v fun” thing might have legs. Apple don’t have much chance of making inroads into the corporate market, so most people will still end up using PCs at work. Having them associate PCs with work, and Macs with fun, not to mention building on the iPod thing, could be the very thing to get people to switch at home. After working on a PC all day, who wants to come home to… another PC? could be the angle. Get something different, fun, easy to use, that doesn’t need a support department to keep going.

I’m not a big fan of attack ads in general, although I do think the UK version’s considerably less annoying than the US one. That said, in both the US and UK versions the vibe I get from the Mac character is vain, smug wanker – which is essentially the character Webb plays in peep show, too.

Why don’t PC firms advertise on the basis of gaming? That’s a USP over the Mac. Or is it that I just don’t watch enough TV to see such ads?

Oh, I meant to say: I was trying to frame the Mac versus PC thing in car terms the other day, and I came to the conclusion that PCs are Fords: these days Ford makes some superb motors (the mondeo, focus, S-Max etc) but that doesn’t penetrate the consciousness of badge snobs who’d rather buy an overpriced, underspecced German motor than a top-line Ford.

If you frame it in those terms, I thought Apple would be either BMW, Merc or Audi: essentially the same products but higher quality, although not necessarily as high as the *perceived* quality. So the Mac Mini is a BMW 1-Series, an Audi A3 or a Merc A-Class: not particularly good motors for your money (why buy an Audi A3 over a VW Golf or Seat Leon for lots more money when they’re the same car?), but they all benefit from the image of their big brothers.

Does that makes sense? And have I chosen the right firms, or is Apple more akin to, I dunno, Lexus or someone? It’s not for a piece or anything, just an idle bit of random thinking.

> I’m not a big fan of attack ads in general

I agree, but, in the home computer market, it’s difficult to think of any way to frame things that doesn’t involve some comparison with Windows.

I’ve worked out what’s wrong with the ads, though. The Mac’s the straight man. Mitchell is hilariously portraying the inadequacies of Windows, but, later, I think you remember the hilariosity more than the inadequacy.

> So the Mac Mini is a BMW 1-Series, an Audi A3 or a Merc A-Class: not particularly good motors for your money (why buy an Audi A3 over a VW Golf or Seat Leon for lots more money when they’re the same car?)

Going off topic here, but any mechanic will tell you that Golfs just keep getting worse. The Mark 5 was so, so bad that VW abandoned it inside a year.

The current golf chassis is very good IMHO. Ruth’s car has the current golf chassis, engine and pretty much every other mechanical part and its ace. The one before wasn’t as good though.

>I’ve worked out what’s wrong with the ads, though. The Mac’s the straight man. Mitchell is hilariously portraying the inadequacies of Windows, but, later, I think you remember the hilariosity more than the inadequacy.

Maybe, but you still remember the ad, and who made it. And sometimes straight is what you want to be: when Webb says “well, I wouldn’t want to live in your home” or words to the effect, I think that’s what lingers.

>Does that makes sense? And have I chosen the right firms, or is Apple more akin to, I dunno, Lexus or someone? It’s not for a piece or anything, just an idle bit of random thinking.

I think it does make sense, and no, I think BMW or Audi is right. Lexus is superbly engineered but still a little bit lacking in the design flair, the sheer desirability of the package, I feel. Although the new IS250 is a giant leap in the right direction…

> when Webb says “well, I wouldn’t want to live in your home” or words to the effect, I think that’s what lingers.

Funnily enough, I can’t remember that line at all. Heh.

>Funnily enough, I can’t remember that line at all. Heh.

That may be because it was never said. The actual line is “Wow. Your home sounds like a really fun place to be.” For some reason my mind refuses to remember things exactly, preferring to paraphrase them automatically for me. This may be because I tend to go to absurd lengths to prove that I am an independent thinker, and don’t need to listen too closely to what others say. Needless to say, this makes me a really fun employee.

Wow
There Apple go again with a load of misleading adverts.
I’m not a great writer, so the following will be pretty poorly written, but the point of it should still be there.

1. Office at Home
Since when are PCs office only computers? For starters, the majority of games manufacturers make PC games, and not Mac games. But obviously those games are for playing at the office.
Anyway, before Mac started up with all these misleading adverts, they were only used in OFFICES, and by Mac fanboys.

2. Restarting
My Windows XP PC, has NEVER restarted. I used to use Macs quite a lot at college, and although I’ve never seen one restart, the system would completely lock up pretty regularly, and the Mac servers would frequently go down.
The real point that Apple were getting at with this, is that if a program crashes on Mac.. it’s not going to take the whole system down with it.
Ok, back to my personal experience with Macs. Programs would crash pretty often, and no they wouldn’t crash the system too, they’d just make it run so goddam slowly that restarting it was so much easier.

3. Virus
Ok, PCs had 140,000 known viruses last year. They don’t give a figure for how many were on Macs do they? In fact they seem to be trying to mislead the viewer into thinking that Macs are “immune” to viruses, which isn’t true.
Mac put this down to the systems security (which people massively overestimate), but there is a much more obvious reason for this.
THERE AREN’T AS MANY MAC PROGRAMMERS.
There really aren’t that many people that know the Mac system inside out, as there are for WinXP.

Back to Mac security. A guy set up a Mac server on the internet, with all the security features available. Guess how long it took a guy, who knew his macs to get in there.. 30 minutes. Afterwards he said to a reporter that there will be quicker ways to get in, it’s just that people rarely try and find the flaws in Mac security.

4. Trust Mac
They’re quite right in this one. Macs aren’t susceptible to PC spyware and viruses.. but they fail to mention that they are to Mac spyware and viruses.

5. Tentacle
They really make it sound like Macs are the only computers that you can edit movies, or have photo albums on. In fact in this one they even make it sound like you’d have to work less hours if you used Macs. Neither of these are true, in fact PCs are better in my opinion for video/image editing, or doing anything for that matter.. there’s far more software available, and quite a lot of good, free software to do those things. As for the working less hours if we all used Macs, well.. that’s just stupid.

6. Pie Chart
Again, they’re misleading the viewer into thinking “If you want to something you might consider fun, you need a Mac”. My response to “5” explains why that isn’t true.. In fact if anything, I’d say Macs are much less fun.

It’s a shame Mitchell and Webb did these adverts, Mitchell is probably my favourite comedian at the moment. You don’t see Microsoft being quite so bitchy (attacking the opposition with adverts), but I’d love for them to take a swing back tbh.

Hi Bruce. I agree that the ads are a bit snidey, but many of the claims are accurate: for example I use PCs and Macs and have done so for ages, and I’ve never, ever, ever had to worry about viruses or spyware on the Mac. I’ve never had a security issue full stop.

but they fail to mention that they are to Mac spyware and viruses.

There aren’t any, though. The worst I’ve seen in the last few years have been proof of concept things that never escaped into the wild – and Macs were quickly patched to block the things they would have exploited.

One thing I do think is unfair, though, is the differing approaches to crashes. I’ve had spectacular application crashes on both platforms, usually when I’m in the middle of something important, and in pretty much every case it hasn’t been the operating system – it’s been the application I’m using or, on the PC, the third-party display drivers. But when Firefox goes belly-up on a Mac it’s “bloody Firefox!” whereas on the PC, it’s “bloody Windows!”

> before Mac started up with all these misleading adverts, they were only used in OFFICES, and by Mac fanboys.

I wish someone would tell me where these offices are. I’d like to work in one. Make a change from being the only person who’s ever even used a Mac in every single office I’ve ever worked in.

> In fact they seem to be trying to mislead the viewer into thinking that Macs are “immune” to viruses, which isn’t true.
Mac put this down to the systems security (which people massively overestimate), but there is a much more obvious reason for this.
THERE AREN’T AS MANY MAC PROGRAMMERS.

But why would a user care?

“I’m fed up with all the viruses that keep attacking my PC, and I’m fed up with having background anti-virus software make everything run more slowly.”

“Well, have you considered a Mac? OSX has no known viruses.”

“Really? That’s brilliant. Maybe I’ll buy one.”

“You should bear in mind, though, that that’s largely because there aren’t as many Mac programmers.”

What? That’s appalling. Forget it, then. I’m not buying that piece of crap.”

> the systems security (which people massively overestimate)

Mr Mupwangle once gave me the instructions on how to use a nifty little app that bypasses Windows’ password request, enabling you quickly and easily to get into any password-protected Windows machine. I used it once at work (legitimately — we had an old laptop that no-one could remember the password to (no, really)), and can confirm that it’s quick and easy. Macs’ security may well be overestimated (I honestly have no idea), but it’s still a thousand times better than Windows.

> It’s a shame Mitchell and Webb did these adverts, Mitchell is probably my favourite comedian at the moment.

What, so now you’ll find him less funny because he doesn’t like the same computers as you?

>>Anyway, before Mac started up with all these misleading adverts, they were only used in OFFICES, and by Mac fanboys.

I only ever saw apples in schools and universities. I think up until 1994 I hadn’t used a PC other than at home. Macs were only in offices on the telly.

>>2. Restarting My Windows XP PC, has NEVER restarted.

To be fair to XP it is actually quite stable. It does need rebooted, however, as perfomance decreases over time. Unix-based systems don’t tend to have this problem. I have to admit that Mac Kernel Panics annoy me more than Windows BSoD as Windows at least tries to point you in the direction of the failure. Macs are just multilingual about telling you it’s knackered.

From having gone from being an exclusive windows-based user to being a mac user at home – I don’t think that macs or pcs are more or less stable than each other any more.

>>In fact they seem to be trying to mislead the viewer into thinking that Macs are “immune” to viruses, which isn’t true.

What is true is that fundamentally Unix-based security is better than Windows. It always has been which is one of the many reasons that most datacenters still run mainly on Unix/Linux and not Windows Datacenter Server. No system is perfect but Windows, especially the home flavours, sucked mightily. AFAIK most mac viruses where based on social engineering rather than programming. The worst PC viruses are self-installing and self-replicating. Mac viruses aren’t.

>>Mr Mupwangle once gave me the instructions on how to use a nifty little app that bypasses Windows’ password request, enabling you quickly and easily to get into any password-protected Windows machine.

Ironically it uses Linux too. The reason it can work (and there is nothing that I know of that can do the same to a unix-based machine) is that windows saves the internal password database in a really easy to find place. Boot into linux and remove it. There is a version which works on domain controllers too.

>>Macs aren’t susceptible to PC spyware and viruses.. but they fail to mention that they are to Mac spyware and viruses.

I haven’t seen any mac spyware.

The whole mac smuggery does piss me off but it does have some basis in reality. I only bought a mac once bootcamp came out as I reckoned that I’d probably think mac os sucked but I’ve only booted to XP (through bootcamp) to show people and since I’ve got parallels (which is really, really good) I’ve only booted XP to use activesync – and that’s only because I’m too cheap to buy a mac equivalent.

Macs were only in offices on the telly.

And in the companies who made the telly. They’ve always been in meeja firms, particularly publishing but broadcasting too. Still applies today – so for example the production office at Macaulay & Co is a Windows shop, but there’s a power mac burbling away in the rack; whenever I’ve been down to .net towers there’s been a mix of PCs and macs, and so on.

Boot camp and parallels make things interesting, I reckon. I was at a recent meeting with two ultra-committed Windows users and while both of them were running Vista, they were doing it on dual-boot MacBook Pros. I’d do the same if my Powerbook weren’t made of wood and powered by steam.

The whole mac smuggery does piss me off but it does have some basis in reality.

I think part of it is that in general terms, you were more likely to be a bit of a geek (or in a “glamorous” job) if you chose a Mac over PC – particularly when they were totally different bits of kit. So Windows was the default choice, but if you were a bit more geeky you’d go mac. I suspect these days that applies more to the linux crowd and the people who like tinkering under OS X’s bonnet.

I think that’s interesting because there’s two levels of snobbery there: the “my job is much more interesting than yours” level, and the “I know much more about computers than you do, as my choice of machine and operating system demonstrates”. It’s not dissimilar to online anti-AOLism – “You use AOL and therefore know nothing about the internet, whereas my ISP makes things really complicated and is therefore better”. You know, the Simpsons Comic Book Guy thing.

What’s interesting about that (to me at least) is that Mac marketing is now being aimed overwhelmingly at the AOL crowd rather than alpha geeks or the black polo-neck brigade…

> “I know much more about computers than you do, as my choice of machine and operating system demonstrates”

Funnily enough, I got into Macs back when I was a non-geek who knew very little about computers and certainly didn’t want to do anything so crass as programming. For many years, IT people would tell me that Macs were inferior because you couldn’t tinker under the bonnet, while I always said they were better precisely because you didn’t need to know any of that crap to get the best out of them. In other words, my argument was “I know much less about computers than you do, as my choice of machine and operating system demonstrates — with a Mac, my lack of knowledge is no handicap.” Then along came OSX, and there seems to have been a bit of a swapping of attitudes: now Unix geeks tell you how much better Macs are for tinkering under the bonnet because Terminal’s better than MS-DOS. Perhaps that’s what the new Mac advertising is trying to combat.

Every company I’ve ever worked for has at some point dished out Macs to Marketing people primarily (whether they admitted it or not) because they “Look cool”, and the people who made that desicision weren’t the people who had to deal with the resulting support nightmare.

Unix security is better by default generally because is/was/always has been designed for mutliple users with different access rights. Old DOS/Windows systems weren’t – and why should they be, they weren’t really designed to ever talk to another computer directly anyway. Even though NT based OS’s should be secure it is clear that a combination of MS bringing their previous attitude about security with them and the need for compatibilty (that is the average users _perception_ of compatibiltiy) has resulted in security being compromised over and over again.

It certainly used to be possible to set up a unix box with the same glaring security wholes as windows tends to give you by default – but then very few people with no idea of what they were doing used to set up a seriuous unix box, and the existing infrastructure made it easier for the manufacturers to clean up the obvious loop wholes.

Mac now has a unix (really neXt) backbone so it is a little more secure to start with but if you look at what they do it’s actually very similar to MS – prompt you for an admin password here and there, ect. It’s just taken MS a while to get around to it correctly, and this has caused an image problem for them. Being so much bigger a target obviously doesn’t help either.

And Jo is right – when the hell did Macs become the ‘geek’ choice? FFS! This is still an OS that makes it really difficult if you actually want to just type commands – the real geeks are still on Linux boxes without X installed I suspect, gadget freaks on the other hand…

I make no bones about it. my mac is a toy. I don’t *need* it for anything. A damn frustrating toy at the moment too I might add.

> This is still an OS that makes it really difficult if you actually want to just type commands

How so? As far as I can see, starting up Terminal is approximately as easy as starting up an MS-DOS command prompt window.

(Apple are so much better at naming things, aren’t they? “Terminal” vs “The MS-DOS command prompt”. Hmm.)

>How so? As far as I can see, starting up Terminal is approximately as easy as starting up an MS-DOS command prompt window.

Easier, if you put Terminal in the Dock (just right-click it and select “Keep in Dock” while running). Although I suppose you could drag Command Prompt into the QuickLaunch area of the Task Bar. But even then, Terminal is a bigger icon, that grows as you get closer to it, if you turn on magnification, so arguably easier to run even if you do have CP in the QuickLaunch. So there.

prompt you for an admin password here and there, ect. It’s just taken MS a while to get around to it correctly, and this has caused an image problem for them.

That, and the MS approach feels more paranoid and more invasive than the OS X way. That’s largely because the system stops every time there’s a UAC prompt, whereas you can keep working on other things in OS X if you don’t immediately enter the password.

So I’m an IT journalist. My housemate is an IT journalist. We write about PCs nearly exclusively. I own two PCs, a gaming PC and a laptop. He owns a gaming PC and a Mac Powerbook.

One day, he broke my laptops hard disk. No fault of his. It just went. I saved what I could, bought a new drive, fitted it, reinstalled the OS, whole thing fixed in two days.

His Mac broke. Wireless network connection becoming intermittent. He has to phone tech support like an emasculated Luddite and send it in to get it repaired. First time, they miss the problem, he’s without the Mac for a week while they miss it. Second time, well they are supposed to be replacing the part, but it’s been away a week and counting.

A computer is a mightily powerful thing. My main PC is for work, it’s the hub of a home cinema and it’s got serious gaming power. If it breaks, I fix it, because I built it. Because if I am going to be using a machine and depending on it for my work it would be abjectly irresponsible to not be able to maintain it. Macs are a symptom of a modern condition common to many folks who just don’t want to get their hands dirty fixing stuff, from plumbing to car oil changes to PC maintenance because they are scared to be responsible for the consequences of failure. I pity Mac owners because they are beholden to others if the thing breaks, they have no power over their own computer, if it goes wrong all they can do is run crying to tech support.

Hi Phil.

I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I think I’m coming to different conclusions than you – with the exception of authorised Apple repairers who, in my experience and my neck of the woods, are pathetic: when my powerbook’s graphics card went, I was without the damn thing for six weeks – two of which were waiting for their tech to diagnose a fault I’d already diagnosed, and two of which were waiting for them to get the appropriate part in. I’ve no idea why it then took another two weeks for them to fit it. I suspect that the problem was one of understaffing and overwork.

So yeah, I agree with that side of things: if you’re reliant on authorised repairers, that’s not great if you’re using the machine for business (yes, you can take out an extremely expensive AppleCare contract, but if I did it’d be the same repairer that took six weeks to do a relatively simple board replacement – which doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence).

Can you imagine being without your car for six weeks because the garage needed a fortnight to diagnose a fault and another fortnight to order the part?

I also agree that PCs are better for the homebrew crowd: I’ll be building a machine soon and I’m quite excited about it, because it’s going to (a) be a monster and (b) be configured to the exact requirements I want, without any compromises. Which is great, and of course it’s up to me to keep it up and running.

That said, though, I don’t think *all* computing should be like that. To use the car analogy again, some people enjoy tinkering with their cars; I don’t. I just want to get in it, turn the key and drive away. And computing should be like that – which is one of the things I like about Macs.

I can give you two real-world examples: my mum and my in-laws, neither of whom know anything about computers (and don’t need to). My mum’s got a really old iBook I gave her a few years ago; my in-laws have a relatively recent PC that, again, I passed along. In both cases the hardware has been absolutely fine, but the software… the iBook is maintenance free, and whenever my mum wants to bash off a letter, look at our pics on Flickr, check cinema listings or whatever it’s there, it’s ready and it works. Whereas with my in-laws I have to do regular maintenance trips (despite loading it with anti-virus, anti-spyware, security programs and so on) to keep the PC happy, install updates and all the rest of it. And that’s an utter, utter pain in the arse.

Back to the car analogy: my mum’s iBook is like her car. It works every time, she doesn’t have to fiddle with it, and it gets her where she needs to go. Whereas the PC – despite being bog-standard and unmodified – is more like a troublesome banger that needs constant tweaking and the odd hard punch to make it go. Again, fine if you like that kind of thing, but a pain in the arse if all you want to do is go online and check your email.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed about Vista, though. XP’s pretty old and creaky and so far at least, Vista looks like a better system for my in-laws :)

>>Macs are a symptom of a modern condition common to many folks who just don’t want to get their hands dirty fixing stuff, from plumbing to car oil changes to PC maintenance because they are scared to be responsible for the consequences of failure.

I think you’re deluding yourself. You’ve assembled a bunch of bits. If the bits break you don’t fix them – if they’re under warranty then you send them back to whoever made them. You don’t fix anything. In the mechanic analogy – a mac or whoever user is someone that when it breaks goes to a garage and asks them to fix it. You take the engine out and you send it back for someone else to fix or repair. There isn’t really that much skill there.

In case you think I’m talking out of my arse – I’m a hardware engineer for one of the biggest computer companies in the world.

I’ve never built a computer for myself. I don’t really feel the need. You can get most companies to get you something pretty close to what you need at a significantly lower price. I might upgrade a PC though. You say you feel sorry for mac users as they are beholden to apple to fix their pcs. What about laptop users? Other than a few components laptops are usually bespoke. Laptops, in the main, can be extremely difficult to open let alone repair and I’ve seen experience laptop technicians screw up this pretty basic task. The reason macs are difficult to maintain is because the mainstream macs are all essentially laptops. There are a relatively small number of power macs out there which are PCs in pretty cases and are as maintainable as PCs. The consumer iMacs are laptops without keyboards. Laptop processors, laptop memory, laptop hard disks and all in a bespoke case. Because of that they are difficult to maintain from a hardware POV. But really, other than hard disks – how often do you think that components fail? Unless you’re poking around inside it or put it in somewhere stupid (too damp, too warm, etc) then almost every component will last until it is completely obsolete. This is the experience of most users.

Back to the car analogy. Making your own PC is like buying a Peugeot 106 and adding turbochargers, big spoilers and the like. It goes as fast, if not faster, than a lot of supercars and costs the same too. You’ve made it yourself to your exact specifications and it fits you and your lifestyle perfectly.

I’d rather go out and buy and Aston Martin.

Well, hardware isn’t really the issue – it’s the complex interaction between hardware and software where most of the real issues come out and this where apple should have an advantge – you bought an apple box. Everthing in it is theirs – you don’t have to figure out who or what broke where and who you have to get to fix it. This is also what Sun tries to the enterprise space.

To take you analogy on a PC is a bit like taking a ford to the ford dealer and being told on no – that’s an engine problem – you have to travel to the cosworth branch if you want someone to deal with that.

it’s the complex interaction between hardware and software where most of the real issues come out and this where apple should have an advantge

Indeed, yeah. Much of the stuff blamed on Windows is usually third party, such as display drivers.

> Because if I am going to be using a machine and depending on it for my work it would be abjectly irresponsible to not be able to maintain it.

Here are some other things people rely on for their work: central heating and/or air conditioning, mains wiring, water supply, telephony, buildings. Is it irresponsible not to be able to maintain all of them? Or do we live in a civilisation that has been built through division of labour?

> irresponsible to not be able to maintain it.

Jo is absolutely right – you don’t need to be able to maintain it. It would be unhelpfully restrictive if every driver on our roads had to be a qualified mechanic. it might reduce congestion of course…

Personally however I have always been frustrated by peoples lack of ability to use what is, in every company I have worked in, a *vital* piece of equipment for doing their job. No company I have ever worked for would have hired an illiterate, yet they had plenty of people who’s computer skills where at best non-existent. Even worse was the attitude of many people. I don’t expect you to be an expert but nor do I expect you to think that it is OK not to understand how to switch your machine off. I have met people who blamed me for problems that arose because they couldn’t and more importantly *wouldn’t* learn this simple task.

Many, many years ago I was given the job of inducting a new employee who’d been hired as a windows/office trainer. Within about five minutes it became blindingly obvious that he’d never used either.

I have met people who blamed me for problems that arose because they couldn’t and more importantly *wouldn’t* learn this simple task.

To be fair, sometimes IT people create that – the whole patronising, don’t you worry your little head, I’m so clever and I’m also a fifth level mage in Dungeons and Dragons support smugness thing. I think you’ll find both attitudes in big firms: people too lazy to learn the basics because they know IT will come and do it for them, and IT chaps (it’s *always* chaps) who don’t want to share any information whatsoever (or who see every minor support ticket as an opportunity to display their extensive tech knowledge/put the listener into a coma (delete as applicable)).

>I’m also a fifth level mage in Dungeons and Dragons

Uh, dude – that’s not very impressive. Try a level beyond the twenties ;-)

>sometimes IT people create that

Oh sure attitude problems abound and can exist everywhere – it’s the prevalence and apparent general acceptability of this attitude that annoys me. Not knowning how a computer works is one thing. Thinking it’s ok not to understand the simplest operations of one of the most commonly used tools for doing your job is another.

>it’s *always* chaps

No, no, mate I assure it isn’t. I have plenty of experince of appallingly patronising/total show off/really not very good IT women. Mainly men on the whole ‘refusal to share information to make themselves important’ thing I must admit though.

I did once work with a supposed support guy who was actually a lawnmower repair man from austrailia. I kid you not.,..

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