(Don’t) Go to the GYM

GYM stands for Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, FYI. The phrase was coined by Om Malik and became a loathed word. “GYM Free” means avoiding blogging about either one of the big three. It’s an interesting challenge but may not be effective.

Because what would the world be without mainstream things (in this case, “GYM” is hands down mainstream in the computer world)? Mainstream may suffer from mediocrity, although I believe everyone acting like they need to be drastically different from the rest is still mediocre and mainstream.

Mainstream is like not thinking like a geek (which means it’d be a sad ending to call Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft “mainstream” then). Take the Fastest Geek contest, which Technopinoy believes is hardly an example of geekiness. PC Magazine throws in elements of physical prowess, suspense, and a virtual timebomb breathing down the contestant’s nape much like a mindless action movie instead of a slightly more complex flick as the audience, most likely a mainstream crowd (despite being held in Melchor Hall, home of the largest concentration of geeks in Diliman!), watches in awe. Unenlightened awe, as the people start to form an equation in their heads that geeky talent equals assembling PC parts at breakneck speed, as well as a corollary that states speed equals physical speed 99% of the time. (Maybe it does. But still.)

It is also like staying fixated on buzzwords instead of the user experience. It’s like playing the role of marketers instead of coders, the former assuming most human beings can better grasp flashy terms instead of meatier explanations.

And, mainstream is like raving over a product or technology a few months or weeks too late, with nothing bad to say about it, even if it’s really, really bad.

But mainstream, GYM or no GYM, does bring people together, keeps us still a slightly coherent lot.

(Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, bringing the people together? That sounds like living under a scary “emperor”, even if it’s just one of them.)

20 replies

  1. funny thing is, posting about “GYM Free” is posting about all three of them at the same time :P but of course, that’s thinking too much about the matter, hehe. (is that a sign of geekiness? nah. more like, too much free time on one’s hands.)

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  2. That’s why I use a Mac. And that’s why I wanna install Mac OS X on my Compaq Presario. Mwahahahah! I’m staying away from the GYM … err, at least away from the M parts. And I never did like Y! except for YM (and I use Gaim and Adium, to access YM at that!).

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  3. What about Google? Can anybody avoid Google these days?

    Yahoo! is okay. I’ve moved my Flickr photos to Yahoo! Photos because the storage is unlimited. As for Microsoft, Mac users are still missing out on a lot of things.

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  5. “As for Microsoft, Mac users are still missing out on a lot of things.”

    Actually, it’s the other way around, if you consider the office/productivity space. Micrososft Office for Mac is actually the best MS Office versions, with features and functionalities that are not released with the Windows versions. :)

    Hmm. I realized I’m an avid flickr user. There goes the GYM!

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  6. hm..yeah, i have to agree with that — it’s all relative. as much as i want a mac, more games are made for windows. sure, there are a lot of games also released for the mac side-by-side with the windows versions, but for a hardcore gamer like me, having not to worry about compatibility issues and such is a topnotch priority. it would be better if the situation changes in the near future, but until then, i’d still be using Windows (hopefully alongside Mac OS X! :P)

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  7. Mac users missing out on Windows users? Now that made me laugh. :P Games? Is that what Windows is good at? C’mon… get an Xbox, PS3 or Wii and it will kick Window’s XP and Vista’s butt!

    Seriously – Games? Then dual-boot your machine and get your favorite games to run OR if you are adventurous enough, get CrossOver for the Mac and run apps without Windows!

    Please try to use a Mac for a week before you say that Mac users are missing out a lot.

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  8. You’re right to say that I should first use a Mac. I know I’ve liked Apple and its ways ever since, but when I had an option to buy one, the specs fell short. So even if one were to dual-boot it on a weak video card, the machine would ruin the gaming experience not to mention other graphics-heavy tasks. Also, why get a new gaming console if you can play games you like on the PC itself? It’s not so much being able to play good games in general, but being able to play games one likes, which happen to be on the PC.

    Maybe if it were a different time and place, where the MacBook specs were upgraded, for example, then the arguments would be different. But if one is a gamer, a PC gamer, who is a part of a decent chunk of the spending population, it wouldn’t matter right now.

    Oh, and finally, what J said:

    Anyway, Mac users don’t worry about stuff like free space. If they run out of space, they buy new machines.

    That’s the moneyed kind of Mac user, anyway.

    As for people like myself, who are passionate yet not so well-endowed, we hack.

    And this one.

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  9. Hmm… 256MB video card on a MacBook Pro sounds decent for gaming, imho. :)

    Anyway, I agree that PC games are different but then again, I’d rather have a dedicated game machine like the Wii. Why am I saying this? I am not a gamer! :P

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  10. hi sir rom. i won’t argue for windows here, as i too, want to have a mac in the future. but i’d just like to point out that in my experience, it has always been better to play games on the PC than on consoles. (which makes this comment outside the realm of windows vs mac).

    i am a gamer who likes playing titles that squeeze the juice out of the machine and sport the latest technology. in my experience, after a couple of years the games you can buy for a particular console pale in comparison to those you can buy for the PC. why? simply put, the console’s specs by that time are considerably weaker than that on desktops, whose video cards and RAMs are easily upgraded (relatively cheaper than to buy the next top-of-the-line console, i mean).

    i share this same sentiment of Ia’s:

    but when I had an option to buy one, the specs fell short. So even if one were to dual-boot it on a weak video card, the machine would ruin the gaming experience not to mention other graphics-heavy tasks.

    it just happens that i play games that require a powerful yet relatively affordable video card (256 MB nvidia, with 64MB discrete), which i saw in my present laptop. if i only saw that in a mac, i would’ve bought that unit, no questions asked :) that’s why i’m eagerly watching the gfx card specs of new mac releases.

    which brings me to my plan in the future: buy a macbook, use it for office work and carry it around proudly :P keep the pc/ordinary laptop at home for playing games exclusively. sounds good, methinks :P

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  11. Kimps, have you checked the MacBook Pro? It has a full 128-256MB of video RAM and yes, it is discrete and not integrated. The MacBook, otoh, uses the Intel GMA GPUs with integrated memory. This is the reason why I opted for the MacBook Pro instead of the MacBook.

    If I were you, I’d get a MacBook Pro (assuming that the MacBook will never get a real video card) and an 24″ iMac or a MacPro with 30″ Cinema display, if you can still afford it. Use the hardware to dual-boot Mac OS X and Vista (for games!). :P

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  12. That suggestion sounds good, and as soon as I can afford it, I plan to purchase that. My problem last time when choosing which unit to buy was that the high-end Macbook Pro was way out of my budget ::wails:: I would’ve settled with the 15-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo with an ATI 256MB Gfx card, but that costs $2,499.00. In comparison, I bought my laptop for only 73K pesos.

    Let’s see if I can win the lottery. ;)

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