Mac vs PC: The Showdown

A story in The Economist last week dropped the following facts in its lead paragraph to set the stage for an interesting article:

"Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie was at the top of the charts. Ronald Reagan was staring down the Soviet Union. And Princess Diana, aged 20, was on her honeymoon with Prince Charles"¦

If the summer of '81 doesn't come rushing forth from the dim recesses of your memory, that might be because The Economist forgot to mention a certain swim meet in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where I was probably busy finishing last in the 100-meter freestyle.

Ahh, now it's all coming back to you, eh? No? Well let's continue on with some more facts from the article and see if you can guess the story:

Roughly one billion are now in use across the world

In America there are 70 for every 100 people

The combined stockmarket values of the firms involved exceed half a trillion dollars

Yes, they were talking about the PC -- and the one that started all the hubbub back on August 12th, 1981, was, of course, the original IBM 5150, which turns 25-years-old this week.

Clearly IBM wasn't the first PC on the market. There were many others, including the Apple II, which predates the 5150 by a few years (ding! IBM: 0, Apple: 1). And while early Apple architecture allowed cloning, that soon changed with the introduction of their Macintosh line, enabling the PC platform to proliferate and, let's face it, take over the personal computing world. (ding! IBM: 1, Apple: 1)

Over here at my house we're a multi-platform family: my wife prefers PC, while I swear by Apple. It's kind of like we've each married out of our respective faiths and we often joke about which platform we'll bring our kids up on.

While I could go on and on (and on!) about why I prefer Mac to PC, we'd rather hear which you prefer, dear reader, and why. So gloves off now, and may the best platform win!


The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess

Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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