30 Days To Enlightenment (1/16/02)

Yes, it's got "publicity stunt" written all over it, but in this day and age when "Who Wants To Marry America's Funniest Home Animal Attacks" is grabbing all the eyeballs, who can blame a fella for trying? Faithful viewer Wayne Parkhurst informs us that ZDNet's David Coursey plans to spend a whole month stranded without his beloved Wintel, instead attempting to get his work done with nothing but-- are you ready for this?-- a Mac. (Insert dramatic chord here.) "How much will I have to give up or find workarounds for because Mac doesn't go there?" asks David, who seems to think that using a Mac for a month is the computing equivalent of subsisting on grubs and tree bark while trying to avoid getting eaten by cannibals (or, worse, voted off the island).

Now, many of you are assuming that this whole arrangement is just a stunt to increase traffic to his site and that Coursey already has the outcome in mind-- but don't be so quick to jump to unfavorable conclusions. Granted, this is the same fellow whose chilly reception of the new iMac last week included such bizarrely inaccurate assertions as "Apple also misses the point by not allowing users to have two drives" (evidently someone needs a night class in External Devices 101) and "having the large PC system unit hidden under the desk isn't a big deal for me, especially since it gives me easy access to multiple USB, serial, and 1394 ports" (which implies that he must habitually sit under his desk with a flashlight and a mirror, because we utterly fail to see any other way in which having a tower under one's desk constitutes easy port access). We agree that these seemingly thick-skulled statements imply that Coursey is a quintessential Wintel user who may well run screaming when confronted with a computer created by a company that actually possesses a virtue known in some circles as "attention to detail."

However, it's worth keeping a few key points in mind. One is that Coursey's take on the new iMac was primarily a rant about how Apple lied to him about press access and gave an exclusive to Time Magazine, so he was pretty clearly already in a snitty mood when he penned that article. Another is that Coursey claims to have been a Mac user five years ago, before he jumped ship during the Scary Years; that may not say much about any deep fundamental connection to the Macintosh Way (the man admits to using FrontPage, fer crying out Pete's sake-- he's darn near certifiable as a terminal Windoid), but maybe he's got some Mac-lover DNA still swimming around in his gene pool. Most importantly, you shouldn't forget that this is the man who referred to Mac OS X as "the nicest operating system [he's] ever seen"-- because Apple sure hasn't.

So, gullible saps that we are, we're willing to give David Coursey the benefit of the doubt by assuming that he's serious about this, and not just setting up a monthlong "Apple sucks-- stick to Windows" rant. We hope that he possesses enough flexibility and self-awareness to give the Mac a fair shot for the next thirty days, because if his intentions are honorable, he might just come away from this stunt with a whole new outlook on the computing experience. (And before any of you suggests that we here at AtAT attempt the same sort of stunt with a month-long foray into the wild and woolly world of Windows XP, forget it-- you'll take our admitted raging platform bigotry when you pry it from our cold, dead appreciation of All Things Cool.)

SceneLink (3510)
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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 1/16/02 episode:

January 16, 2002: Apple scores another profitable quarter, despite the "very challenging environment." Meanwhile, ZDNet's David Coursey pledges to give up his Wintel for a month to see if he can live with a Mac instead, and Amazon.com's Purchase Circles may reveal some interesting personality traits of Dell employees versus those of Apple ones...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3509: It's Black Ink & We Love It (1/16/02)   Okay, so our scrappy pups in Cupertino didn't beat the analysts' expectations as they have so often in the past. But considering that they still managed to scrape together a whole mess of green by selling relatively premium-priced computers and electronic devices during an economic slump (which Fred Anderson calls a "very challenging environment" and which many people are probably calling "food, heat, or Cipro?"), we're pretty deliriously happy with the company's reported results...

  • 3511: Reading Habits Reveal All (1/16/02)   Sure, it's trivial, but how can we resist? Faithful viewer Scott Dayman pointed us at an InfoWorld article in which Robert X. Cringely notes some interesting distinctions between the apparent reading habits of employees at our own Apple Computer and those over at Dell...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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