No link for you!

The Macalope has been both chastised for linking to silly pundits looking to enjoy ill-gotten hits by senselessly bashing the Mac and for not linking to them and allowing readers to decide for themselves.

But if there’s one silly pundit who does not under any circumstances deserve a link, it’s John Dvorak. He’s already admitted on camera that he does it deliberately, so no link for John. Mr. Gruber has already covered Dvorak’s weird personal phobias (and he provides a link if you want to read the piece yourself), so let’s look at some other incendiary quotes from his piece ostensibly arguing Linux stands to make some gains on Vista.

You can tell he’s just out to rile Mac users from the get-go.

From what I can tell, the Mac community likes Vista more than the PC community.

Wha-huh? You may be mistaking lack of concern for praise, John, because, frankly, we’re kind of over Windows.

From there Dvorak slides into a bunch of silly “PC users are from Mars, Mac users are from Venus” crap that makes it apparent he hasn’t laid hands on a Mac since the early 1990s and is simply recycling the same material he used to put on the back page of MacUser magazine.

Really, just how right-brained is the Unix system structure, John?

When it comes to the Apple-versus-PC battle, one oft-neglected discussion is that the majority of people do not like Macs. Get over it, it’s true.

Well, actually, the Macalope would note that the majority of people have not even used a Mac, but for the sake of argument, he’ll concede the point. They’ve at least chosen the PC over the Mac and maybe you can define that as “liking” it more.

But why don’t they “like” Macs?

They don’t like them because they don’t have the breadth of applications that are available on the PC (particularly games), they have traditionally been harder to find (the Apple Store is changing that), you can’t buy really cheap(ly made) Macs and because they’re just used to using Windows at work. Dvorak seems to be implying that people prefer the Windows interface and for most people (but not all people) it’s not that at all. They may be used to the Windows interface, but that doesn’t mean that if they were able to look at the two objectively they wouldn’t prefer the Mac.

And there is the much-discussed odd nature of the fringe Mac users who are cultlike and often psycho in their behavior: They see the machine as an extension of themselves and defend it from criticism with an unpleasant vehemence.

As opposed to those who criticize it with an unpleasant vehemence and profit in doing so. Look, any time someone likes something quite a lot, they tend to defend it. How is that more bizarre than conducting a 15-year editorial campaign against a minority platform?

If Dvorak were at least trying to form a legitimate argument against the Mac — and you can form a legitimate argument against the Mac, the Macalope has already made a better one than Dvorak did — it would be one thing, but we already know he’s just whacking at the hornets’ nest hoping to stir up some hits because he’s told us right to the camera that that’s his shtick.

This article is a twofer of linky goodness for Dvorak. He get hits from the Linux community by being a big-name columnist praising the operating system and he gets hits from the Apple community by — inexplicably — blaming the shortcomings of Vista on the Macintosh.

Wow.

If you listen closely, you can still hear the echo of the girlish squeal of delight he emitted upon dreaming up this twisted feat of logic.

If Vista has a tough row to hoe in convincing Windows users to upgrade it’s because:

  1. Microsoft left its users on XP for five years instead of providing incremental upgrades to ease the transition.
  2. To “enjoy” the Aero glass interface elements, many users will have to upgrade their hardware.
  3. Microsoft is offering so many versions of Vista you need a wizard to determine which one you should buy.
  4. The thing is DRM-ed out the yin-yang.
  5. It’s simply getting reviewed poorly.

The Linux Foundation is an attempt to solve some of the problems with Linux and make it a better desktop alternative. Hopefully will pay off, but it’s not going to happen during the Vista introduction.

No, the biggest threat to Vista currently is the Mac and Dvorak knows that. His absurd attempt to blame a potentially lackluster Vista rollout on Apple is just another in a long string of his annoying attempts to use Mac users.

It’s way past time we stopped playing along.

Trackbacks Comments
  • Dvorak. He added two letters to create his nom de plume. Just take out the “v” and the “a” for accuracy.

  • wow, I feel like I just walked into someone’s nightmare. how does one comment on such an entry? this whole vista thing has me scared shitless because on the 30th I’m expect to sell, promote and encourage people to buy vista. i feel like a dirty whore. a long time ago i owned a windows box for about a year, since then i’ve owned an apple. so how do i look people in the eye and try and convince them vista is going to rock their world? how do i stand there with this ragging title wave of debate cresting above my head? my boss is pumped about vista, everyone around me is pumped about vista but i feel honest to goodness sick to my guts about vista. i can’t recommend it and i won’t recommend it. the year i had to use windows was bizarre to say the least and now i can honestly say i will never own and/or run a copy of windows whatever. i’m not an elitist or fanatic about mac’s. i have never been able to understand why people would use windows and that’s the bare bones truth of it. so they are cheaper, so you can play more games. i didn’t know the price of a soul came so cheap.

  • Tomp:

    The “From what I can tell, the Mac community likes Vista more than the PC community.” quote actually makes sense if you heard TWiT a few weeks ago, when all the Mac users were talking about how much they liked Vista while Dvorak was not that positive about it. Dvorak then made a comment similar to the quote in question.

    Of course, making statements about a large population based on a sample size of three isn’t exactly what I would call responsible journalism.

  • Oh my. I certainly can’t wait for the next TWIT, and I hope that JCD and Merlin Mann are both on it. Merlin has proven himself a large proponent of yours, Macalope, and is not one to mince words.

  • evariste:

    Microsoft is offering so many versions of Vista you need a wizard to determine which one you should buy.

    That’s gotta be the funniest Vista line I’ve heard yet. I giggled out loud.

  • Ben Whetstone:

    Trevor…
    If you have an Apple Store in your area, you should apply there…they need good people like you 🙂

  • Hans:

    I take back my comment 5 days ago, wherein I asserted “Enderle is the new Dvorak.” Clearly, Dvorak is the new Dvorak, and Enderle is just a new sensationalist jackass.

  • Nice work, Macalope.

  • John Muir:

    Re: Trevor

    To play into Dvorak’s nutty game for just a second, Vista is a step in the right direction *if* the customer before you has already used Windows for years, doesn’t want to change platform, preferably doesn’t even know what a platform is and needs an excuse to buy a new rig. It has drop shadows and … different backgrounds to XP. What’s more to like? I’m sure the eyecandy on 2007 spec machines will please some of the user base because it’s frankly the only new thing MS have dished out to them in five / six years.

    I’ll add to the Macalope’s insightful arguments with this:

    1. Most users are non-technical
    2. Therefore they don’t know much about the pro’s and con’s of their operating system
    3. In fact as far as they’re concerned, Internet Explorer’s little blue icon is the internet and so forth
    4. Almost all of them get their operating system OEM’ed with their computer, so there really isn’t a choice involved at any step in the process

    To make a non techie switch platforms you must bring them into a persuasive environment and zap them with *tangible* advantages they will gain if they change platforms. That is the whole point of Apple Stores, which really are quite good at it. But getting people who are 40, have only been online 5 years and buy a new Dell every time viruses and malware bring down their last one without consulting anything other than their local source for best deal cupons etc. … that is the hard part. And this is even to overlook the huge influence “work laptops” and so forth have on people’s lives, where there is so much scope for FUD about daring to do anything on a non Windows machine.

    The vast majority stick where they are not out of a conscious decision, as much as simple inertia alone. Even an advanced Linux with a desktop experience as good as OS X given away for FREE would have a slow time winning over most of the market because of these factors. Sounds crazy but if you look around, it’s true.

    However there is a small core of the technically aware who stick with Windows. They’re the PC gaming geeks on one hand and Windows Fanboys on the other, who all clean their registry assiduously and run malware sweeps on their machines as religiously as they check their email. These are the guys who keep the argument ticking over and tend to be relied on by the moms, pops and grandma’s of this world for their tech support which usually consists of the relative buying their hand me down for well over second hand price! What I wonder is whether there are more of these geeks or are there more Mac users? In a sense, I think we’re eachother’s strange equivalents, and are the minority targets the gutter tech press like Dvorak aim for.

  • Bill Scott:

    Re. “f Vista has a tough road to hoe in convincing Windows users to upgrade…”

    It’s “row to hoe,” not road.

    Vista’s row is bad enough without giving it a road to hoe. Just try to feel sorry for MS, if you can. They are more than a “day late and a dollar short” when it comes to Windows upgrades, actually five years and hundreds of dollars over the cost of OS X. And a new OS X cat just waiting to pounce later this year. Maybe it is a road they are trying to hoe.

  • Well, it could be “road”, but “row” makes more sense.

  • Mr. Muir,

    That is the most clear explanation of the mass-market Windows phenomenon I’ve ever read, and it rings true.

    I believe, however that Apple will continue to gain market share as a result of the so-called “iPod halo.” Also, I believe the moment is coming where the gap between technologies becomes apparent even to the non-technical. The point will come that you alluded to – where the functionality of a Mac is so far ahead of Windows that even the Luddites will have to jump.

    I don’t think it’s far away. The momentum is building. The iPhone will help.

  • Bob Jones:

    To be fair, if Apple hadn’t made Mac OS X so amazing then perhaps Vista reviews would be a little more glowing. However, comparing the two year old Tiger which has virtually every ‘new’ feature touted by Vista (sans things like DirectX 10 which are, I suppose, deserved of praise) makes Vista pale in comparison.

    That’s okay though, because people like Dvorak or Ed Bott will lap it up like the shills that they are. To paraphrase someone, “Vista is for all the people who hated the look of Mac OS X when Microsoft wasn’t selling it.”

  • Nick:

    “From what I can tell, the Mac community likes Vista more than the PC community.”

    I suspect Dvorak originally got the idea from enthusiastic comments made about Vista by Leo Laporte and Andy Ihnatko on the TWiT podcast a few weeks back, on which he also was a guest.

    http://www.twit.tv/

    So there’s a tiny grain of truth at the bottom of it all, and the rest is just running away with a flight of fancy and John being John. I think the piece was a kind of extended joke. And probably, as much, an attempt to fill a column with something lively. To be frank, I don’t know how far John’s technical knowledge goes, and how does anyone keep finding something new to write?

    I would say that if any Mac user spots features in Vista that he recognizes from Tiger and, therefore, gets a little too enthusiastic about Vista, thinking it has “caught up”, he should ask himself whether a few surface features matter? Isn’t the solid Unix base and the Cocoa frameworks more what OS X is about than this or that “feature” (such as Spotlight)?

    Leo Laporte after a brief flirtation with recent Redmond products and a new podcast on Vista with the notorious Paul Thurrott seems to be cooling off already. He’s said he hates the Zune and Windows Content Protection has got him spooked – as well it might.

    Here he is getting spooked:

    http://www.grc.com/sn/SN-074.htm

  • John Muir:

    Re: Rip Ragged

    You’re right about Apple increasing Mac market share, as the Apple Stores are indeed effective at doing that and the iPhone halo effect will outshine the iPod come a year or two from now.

    I don’t however see the Mac ever beating Windows in terms of pure numbers. That’s because of the mean old “vendor lock in” effect which scares off so much of big business and other institutions. Now I am definitely not one of those who thinks Apple should open up OS X to run on any old x86 hardware. It would kill the Mac for all the reasons well written up at Roughly Drafted, Daring Fireball and elsewhere. The fact that Linux right now has all the functionality the average web+email user could want and is offered FREE OF CHARGE and is still nonsensically small is the best testament to the fact that the OS scene is far from an ideal free market. But as long as OS X is tied to Mac hardware, it will not become a ubiquitous platform. It may take 20% eventually but that’s (my guess) about as far as it could go without institutional hegemony the like of Microsoft’s. You need to go back to MS-DOS in the 1980’s to find out why things ended up like this, but there’s no undoing that history. Instead, there’s just a comfortable and deeply profitable future for the Mac as the world’s best but not most popular platform.

    That is unless the personal computer (including Macs) is displaced by another computing platform such as the convergence device dreamt of in sci-fi and by phone manufacturers for so long now! The best example of which in the world right now is the iPhone…

    We’ll all be keeping our eyes on its future development, that’s for sure.

  • Ben-
    Trust me I would love to work for Apple but aside from this whole vista nightmare standing in front of me I’ve got it good working for costco. When I talk with my members in regards to buying a computer I simply tell them to try and understand all the choices available and not to simply jump into bed with Microsoft because they are cheaper or because because they think it will be too hard to learn how to use a mac. Microsoft has ruined the computer experience to the point where people are too scared to step out and try something different. The tragedy is that every time I’ve talked with a member about a new system the story is the same and that is Windows stopped working, or they lost data or it’s slow, the list is endless.

    I don’t know who this Dvork guy is and I don’t care. He can come stand beside me and sell Windows like a devil collecting souls. I know what works and I’ll stick with it.

  • Matthew:

    I was reading an article about computers getting more attention than spouses. Well, there were some interesting tidbits which proved that the 95% of people using Windows do NOT “like it better” in any way.

    http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_5075438

    My two favorites are the waste of 12 hours per MONTH fixing computer problems, and 52% of people describing their last PC experience as one of anger, sadness, or alienation. Go Windoze!!!

  • John,

    Agreed. And rejoicing. I really don’t (and no Mac afficionado should) want Macintosh to become the dominant operating system. Apple benefits from being a minority player – for many reasons.

    All the malware is being written for Windows. This one is huge, and in large part depends on Windows remaining the choice of Government and Enterprise. It helps that people with low self-esteem (virus writers) generally prefer a low price point for access to machines.

    Underdog status is crucial for us “fanboys.” We’re better at the fringes.

    What other computer company can shoot for 20% of the market. For that matter, which car company has a 20% market share. At 15% Apple would be kicking some serious buttocks.

    Apple is on the brink of doing some really huge things.

  • iheartbeer:

    Dvorak is to technology what Rush Limbaugh is to politics.

    The formula used: the more outrageous and outspoken you are, the more controversy you create, in turn generating revenue from allies and adversaries. Clicky-clicky.

    While ignoring the curmudgeon won’t make him go away, it sure feels better.

    But, if Mac users really wanted to deflate his ego they’d consistently respond that he isn’t relevant anymore because he’s too damn old (“pushing 70 I hear…”, “adult diapers, really?”). JCD could use a good dose of his own false-truth medicine, and I feel the karma pendulum swinging.

    Now, on to a more important topic: why aren’t you and Gruber doing a Macalope/Fireball podcast? You could always filter your voice for anonymity. And to start off, invite Dvorak on. Just be sure to cut your audio feed to him half-way through the show, so when he starts complaining he can’t hear anything, you can blame it on his hearing aid dying.

    That should get the ball rolling.

  • so dvorak croaks out this line:
    “From what I can tell, the Mac community likes Vista more than the PC community.”

    and as a number of people have surmised, the commentprobably camefrom some gracious comments regarding the OS on the most recent TWiTpodcast (always worth listening to – despite dvoraks input andattempts to poison the product)…

    i would like to remind the “cranky geek” (his term for himself, not mine) that the sentiment was as follows –

    it’s the best version of windows yet. but it is still windows.

    now when you consider the people who were saying it, the meaning is quite clear.

  • Matt:

    I think a more telling quote from the article Gruber links to is as follows (with regards to porting Adobe’s apps to Linux)

    Four of the top ten are Adobe products.

    That said, I assume that ports have already been completed on most of those programs on the list “just in case.” If so, the tide toward a Linux desktop OS could happen so fast—overnight, in fact—that everyone would be shocked.

    Hnn. Methinks not. If it’s taken Adobe this long to make the switch from codwarrior to xcode (and by extention, into the realm of universal), I think it’d take faaar longer for them to get up and running on even one linux distro. If Adobe goes to linux, they go somethink like winelib first. Besides. ‘Taint gonna happen anytime soon. Not CS3, not CS4.

  • Bergamot:

    I said it in the comments for the last Enderle piece, and I’ll say it again here:

    Link to a cached copy of the article.

  • ManxStef:

    @Bergamot

    There’s a better way: use the rel=nofollow attribute when you link. This tells search engines not to give any extra credit/rank to the linked-to article, which means you can link without inferring an endorsement. (I did post this earlier but it looks like it got lost in moderation.)

  • The Macalope’s not sure what happened but the link you posted didn’t appear — only the “rel=nofollow” part. It’s possible WordPress lost it. The Macalope pasted in the link for you and must have pasted over the attribute.

    (Unless you’re saying the whole comment got lost in which case the Macalope’s thinking of another comment….)

  • Bergamot:

    Manxstef: That would only prevent his page from getting high Google PageRank scores. My method would do that, but also prevent him from profiting on Macalope-directed traffic.

  • ManxStef:

    @The Macalope

    Aye, unfortunately it was the whole comment that vanished. As it contained a hyperlink I thought it may have been flagged for extra moderation and accidentally zapped. Well, either that, or you didn’t like what I said!

    Here’s the link I originally posted containing more information on the “nofollow” attribute:
    http://microformats.org/wiki/rel-nofollow

Leave a Reply to Cannibal