Next Up: OS X vs. Holyfield (6/8/01)
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Look, if we wanted accounts of baffling off-kilter and out-of-character behavior getting our minds all muddled and topsy-turvy heading into a well-deserved weekend, we'd ask for them, okay? (Or we'd just watch a Friday night episode of "The Lone Gunmen." Sorry, but we're still a bit unnerved by the decision to throw Langly, Byers, and Frohike into a screwball slapstick comedy.) Regardless, a great many of you couldn't contain yourselves when CNET underwent a personality change so drastic you'd think it had an iron rod blown through its head. And really, who could blame you?

Yes, Russell Maggio was the first of dozens of faithful viewers who excitedly pointed out CNET's "Heavyweight OS Death Match," which pits Mac OS X against Microsoft's Windows 2000 in five categories: installation, interface, software compatibility, hardware compatibility, and Internet support. In each round, Mac fan John Rizzo went head-to-head against "avid Windows user" Matt Lake (whose next gig, we can only assume, will be as the poster boy for the leading brand of antipsychotic medication). Based on their arguments, a seven-member jury comprised of "software editors, CNET Labs technicians, a Help.com editor, and a software engineer" then ruled which operating system won each round-- and the overall contest.

Keeping in mind that this was all put together by CNET, you'd probably expect the deck stacked more than slightly against Apple's champ. Granted, Mac OS X won the installation round 7-0-- no real surprise there, other than the fact that this is still CNET we're talking about. When we saw that Windows actually beat Mac OS X in the interface contest (though by an admittedly close 4-3 win), we knew we were in familiar CNET Mac-bashing territory. Windows beat the Mac 7-0 for software compatibility; well, okay, even we can't fault that too much. But what's this? Mac OS X actually won the hardware compatibility challenge 5-2, and then swept the Internet round 7-0. That means that-- and keep in mind that we're still trying to fit this into our world view-- CNET actually chose Mac OS X as the winner over Windows 2000. "Color us shocked," they say. Color them shocked? Color us ripe for a stroke brought on by overwhelming consternation and amazement.

Normally something like this would make our heads explode, but there are a few things that soften the blow a little. One is the fact that Windows 2000 won the interface contest, which is precisely the sort of outrageous conclusion we've come to expect from CNET. Another is CNET's closing statement: "Before you use our death match as a reason to run out and buy a new dual-processor G4, though, let us remind you that this matchup is all in good fun." In other words, "Mac OS X won, but for Bill's sake, please don't consider actually using what we accidentally determined to be the better operating system." And then there's Think Secret's claim that after having purchased ZDNet, CNET is now planning to shut down all Mac coverage on ZDNet News. Ahhhhh... now there's the CNET we love to hate!


 
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


 

The above scene was taken from the 6/8/01 episode:

June 8, 2001: Brace yourselves-- CNET actually says that Mac OS X is better than Windows 2000. Meanwhile, automailing viruses are finally starting to show up for the Mac, while a disturbing "feature" quietly introduced in Windows XP stands poised to turn the whole Internet into one big Microsoft ad...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3104: Lemme Hear You Say "D'oh!" (6/8/01)   Fellow Mac users rejoice! Long have we been second-class citizens when it comes to software availability, but those dark days are finally drawing to a welcome close. No longer will we be dejected observers sitting on the sidelines while the Windows crowd has all the fun; we may have missed out on ILOVEYOU, Melissa, AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs, and scores of other big-name viruses that had the whole Wintel world a-hoppin', but turn that frown upside-down...

  • 3105: World Domination, Step 81 (6/8/01)   On the off-chance you need yet another reason to drop that clunky ol' Mac as soon as Windows XP surfaces this fall, here are two words that will sway you even further: Smart Tags. What are Smart Tags, you ask?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

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