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  1. #1
    mbveau is offline Registered User
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    Question Difference between Apple and Mac

    I'm a relative newcomer to the Mac world, and I have yet to figure out the relationship between Apple and Mac. Mac is a sort of sub-brand, right? Or a specific line of products? For instance, the iPod isn't a Mac, but all the computers are.... right??? Any comments would be much appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Mikuro's Avatar
    Mikuro is offline Crotchety UI Nitpicker
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    Apple is the company. "A Mac" refers to a computer than runs any Mac OS (Macintosh System 7, Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, etc.). "The Mac" refers to the OS itself (more commonly, people will just say "OS X"). The grammar has variations. Some people will refer to the Mac OS simply as "Mac", the way you'd simply call Microsoft's OS "Windows". There's certainly logic to that, but...I dunno, it just doesn't sound right (to me), so I say "the Mac [OS]".

    Mac is not a company or sub-division or anything like that. And it is never ever an acronym, so anyone calling it MAC (all caps) is just yelling stupidly.
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  3. #3
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    nixgeek is offline Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
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    Think of the Apple Mac terminology (company/model) as being similar (although not in quality ) as a Compaq Presario, or an IBM ThinkPad, or a Sony VAIO.

    Apple is the company, Macintosh/PowerBook/Mac mini/etc is the name of the model of computer
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  4. #4
    nixgeek's Avatar
    nixgeek is offline Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
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    One more thing. Macintosh can be general meaning all the machines (since they are all in essence "Macs") But it can also be specific, like the Mac mini, PowerBook, etc.

    Using "Mac" or "Macintosh" as a broad term for Apple's line of full-fledged desktop/laptop computers is like using the term "PC" for an IBM or a Dell or any other brand of IBM compatible computer ("IBM compatible" since IBM created the first commercial x86-based Personal Computer off of which IBM compatible clones like Compaq, Dell, etc came from).

    Of course, considering the true definition of a PC, or "Personal Computer", would mean any of the above.....


    Confused yet???
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  5. #5
    Shookster is offline Registered User
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    Where did the name "Macintosh" come from in the first place? It seems strange to name fashionable computers after unfashionable clothing.

  6. #6
    nixgeek's Avatar
    nixgeek is offline Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
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    According to Jef Raskin, the Macintosh got its name because of a spelling error. They originally wanted to name it like the McIntosh apple. But someone mispelled McIntosh as Macintosh, and it just stuck. As for the Apple name, I read in a manual for the Apple IIc that the name came from the fact that both Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) who cofounded the company needed a name and they were at the deadline without the name. One of them noticed the other eating an apple and the apple had a bite taken out of it. Thus, the name Apple became the name of the company and the logo is as it is now (although it had the colors of the rainbow instead of the solid color it has now).
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  7. #7
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    nixgeek, that story is a lie, if only for the fact that the Apple logo wasn't an apple with a bite out of it until the Apple II was released.

    Before that it was a picture of Newton under a tree. A big, illustrative logo, drawn by Apple co-founder Ron Wayne:

    http://img92.echo.cx/img92/9731/ronwayne8rx.jpg


    Sites often claim that the Apple name was chosen because:

    1. Starts with an 'A' - top of alphabetical lists
    2. Apple is an organic, non-computational term, so has a high recall rate when used amongst acronyms and techno-words.
    3. Apple has good health connotations (an Apple a day keeps the doctor away)


    The current logo, designed by Rob Janoff, has varying explanations. Some say the bite is a subtle link to a "Byte", others say it's supposed to be the dent left in the apple by Newton's head (I find this very hard to believe).

    The rainbow is accused of being a relationship with the gay/lesbian pride movement, however the colours are out of rainbow order (often said to mean anarchy, naughtiness). My feelings are that a rainbow was just something else that stood out in corporate identities.

    According to popular rumour, the Apple logo was initially plain red (as Apples often are), but was changed to differentiate itself from a tomato. Apparently this was officially corroborated.
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  8. #8
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    Mikuro is offline Crotchety UI Nitpicker
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    The story I always heard was that the two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak, the founders of Apple) just couldn't decide on a name, so Jobs eventually said "look, if we can't come up with something better in a few days, let's just use 'Apple'". And they couldn't, so they did. 'Apple' is kind of a generic name, so I don't think it needed much inspiration, really.

    But yes, the Macintosh was named after the kind of Apple. Another name they considered was 'Golden Delicious'. I kid you not. (I got that from the ancient 'Label Secrets' made for System 7 by David Pogue.)
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