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Anuff is Enough
Cretins with computers (revisited)


By: David K. Every
and George L Wagner, Jr.

These are opinions, and should be treated accordingly.

Remember in my article DojoInformation Age where I mention that any idiot can publish on a web site, and say whatever he wants (factual or not)?

In many other articles in the DarkSide and throughout the site, I mention that reporters are dangerous, egomaniacs in many cases, and not living up to their journalistic responsibilities. Instead, many are twisting the truth, and selling opinions as facts, to achieve their personal agendas -- and most have temper tantrums when faced with the truth (Mac users correcting their errors).

Joey Anuff proves it all.

Basically, Joey (who I associate with the "Friends" character of similar intellect) wrote a trash piece on Apple entitled Net Surf: Apple's Irony. He didn't like the Apple's new Think Different ad campaign . Fair enough, many did not. I liked the ad, but I don't have a problem with opinions (even when they differ with mine), as long they are sold as opinion. Had he trashed the ads in an OpEd piece, that would have been that, and no one would have cared.

What happened first!

What Joey did was trash the ads, Apple, the Macs and all Mac Users; all with misinformed sputum, in a piece on Wired NEWS (or Hot Wired). It did not say "Warning: Cretin with typewriter and opinion is writing an opinion piece". The article was sold as News. I expect higher standards from News -- and wish that reporters would learn to differentiate their "head-up-their-butt" opinions, with News. (Just because he is entitled to his opinion, doesn't mean that I am not entitled to trash it).

What happened next!

Mac users responded in droves. It seems that Joey got 650+ complaints. He seems to think this was just a bunch of unprovoked hate-mail by a bunch of fanatics (if his letter in response) was any indication. He fails to realize that it was a response to his spiteful attack against Macs and Mac Users.

Most of his article could be ignored -- but what got Mac users "panties in a bunch" was a particular bad piece of intellectual smegma -

In the Net-centric era, you'd have to be a little "crazy" to sink cash into a new Mac that, even on a T1, would likely get its clock cleaned by a 486 with a 28.8 modem.

What utter foolishness. The Mac presence on the net is very high because of networking -- and the Mac's ease of use, ease of networking, reliability, and the fact that Mac users are usually the creative types, who are willing to try new things (like the internet). Mac users seem to have OPEN minds (unlike the author) -- and Mac Users are all over the net -- far more than PC's and PC users (per capita). Calling them crazy is not a bright move.

Computers are so much faster than "nets" that it is not even funny. The computer gets a packet (from the net) -- and then sits and waits for an eon (computer time) for the next packet to arrive. The performance is almost completely limited by NETWORK PERFORMANCE! Not computer performance.

So to give you a feel for what the author is claiming --

  • A 28.8 modem transfers data at roughly 3,000 characters per second.
  • A T1 transfers data at 1,500,000 characters per second.

So his claim that the Mac gets it's "clock cleaned" goes flying past "ridiculous" into "mental patient" realm. The statement was inflammatory and fraudulent in the implications.


I do a little network analysis, and it is true, that PC's outperform Macs in networking -- usually by numbers like 10-40% (for most things) -- unless you are running Novell, then the numbers are twice as bad. Of course Macs often outperform the PC's in processing (by numbers that can be much larger) -- and so the results usually average out -- but are blotchy (both ways). This is why one must be cautious and balanced in performance statements.

For some things that require both networking and processing of that data as it is comes across (like my companies software), the Mac outperforms similar PC's by as much as 3:1 overall... but there are many cases where there is little processing, and the PC (on Novell-Netware) can beat the Mac by 2:1 -- so it varies.

But the claims of new Mac on T1 as compared to 486 on 28.8 are numbers more like 100:1 or more (way beyond any worst case scenario). Furthermore, even if you find a worst case Mac scenario -- the author is implying that that would be the only thing a user wanted to do. That is just stupidity.


Vivisecting a letter

Still, I would have let all this go. There are idiots in the world, and you can't stop them all... but then Joey had to respond (with misinformation) -- and threaten to spew out more misinformation.

When confronted with hoards of angry Mac users (defending the truth), Mr. Enough sent out a form letter response, which I received from a dozen different sources (thanks to you all). The letter complained about people having the audacity to defend the truth against his misinformation, and making excuses for his actions -- then claiming that he was right (but may have stretched the truth, just teeny weeny bit). To quote --

I've received about 650 messages in the past two days. Mostly personal insults, demands for my firing, ravings about the speed of Photoshop's Gaussian Blur, etc. Hysterical stuff, in both senses of the word.

Yes, when you scream fighting words in someone's face (even sold as "news"), the response you get may not be pleasant. That is how the world works. If I went into his office and started screaming that "reporters are intellectual midgets", I'd expect a pretty harsh response. That is life. I am at a loss why Joey doesn't get this concept.

The net is highly loaded with Mac users, who are very active. They have been using the Net, and feel that their machines are better for thousands of defensible and provable reasons, and they have many ignorant reporters screaming falsehoods (probably because the serious Ad money comes from Microsoft). Having someone haul off and call them crazy -- and I quote, "you'd have to be a little 'crazy'..." -- is certainly likely to provoke a response. What part of that doesn't Joey get?

Yet, in "most" of the letters (according to Joey), the people were talking about PERFORMANCE! Stuff like Gaussian Blur, and other processor performance intensive tasks (where the Mac cleans the PC's clock). Though I'm sure there were many pissed off people calling "for his head", it seems that a good percentage were talking about his FALSE CLAIM!

Instead of getting the message (that his claim was false, damaging, and extreme), Joey whines and ridicules their stuff as "hysterical". I feel that his claim was every bit as "hysterical" (in both senses of the word) as those people demanding reporters be held accountable for their words, and that they defend their claims with proof (and those offering proof in the form of Gaussian Blur's or other benchmarks). One must also realize that the quality of the Joey's claim seems to be deserving of a few creative insults -- as does his response.

Joey does make a feeble attempt at an apology (or admission of his error) with his opening, "It was an exaggeration, but based in fact." But you can see his ego won't allow him to admit he was just blowing wind. He even qualified his apology(?) with, "based in fact". Sure, Hitler's eugenics programs were based in fact too -- that doesn't make his actions or statements correct -- I can string facts together into something that is completely deceitful (and reporters seem to be artisans at doing exactly that). The way the article was written is not even close to the way he's trying to sell it. He's basically stated "that Mac users are all stupid / crazy", and that "the Macs brand-new machines are slower than 5 year old computers", and implies "THAT is why Apple is doomed, and their ad campaign is dumb". The extremism of his statements are what earned the extremism in the response.

Joey then tries to water down the idiocy of his statement with very myopic claims of specialized conditions where his statements doesn't sound quite as completely stupid.... but he fails.

I performed a little experiment. It took Eudora 20 minutes to transfer all this mail from the server on my PowerBook 2300c, 10 minutes on a Umax SuperMac 200 Mhz w/ 128 Meg of RAM, and ONE MINUTE 45 SECONDS on a cheap weathered 75 mhz Pentium dinosaur we keep in the corner.

Performance for most of these functions is NETWORK BOUND! It is the performance of the NETWORK that is making the difference. I do not doubt that his network is broken, or the tests were done at different times (different loads) -- but I am beginning to doubt that he has the intellectual capacity to understand this.


Logistics of a T1

A T1 line is roughly a 1.5 Mega baud connection. They are expensive, and so most individuals don't have them. Companies do. Companies that have them almost never give them to an individual -- they share them across the WHOLE COMPANY, and sometimes use part of the T1 for other things (like voice, or shared with other companies). Furthermore the T1's often have connection overhead and other things that can reduce performance further.

On our SHARED T1 at work (we use part of it for voice data), I can get performance ranging from 150,000 characters per second, to 150 characters per second. But when you make a claim that a Mac on a T1 would get its clock cleaned -- you are implying that "the Mac with the FULL T1". In those cases the Mac can transfer data at rates of a MEGABYTE every 8 seconds or so (if the network is working properly) -- compared to a 28.8 modem which is transferring a megabyte Every 6 minutes. (The Mac would be roughly 45 times faster).

His "20 Minute" results (on a working T1) would mean that the Mac could have transferred roughly 180 Megabytes. This means that the email he receive averaged 3 1/2 MEGABYTES EACH (3.5 million pages of text per letter). OR IT PROVES THAT HIS NETWORK SUCKS! So he is ignorant about network problem, or being disingenuous in his presentation of the facts. So what is he, a liar or a fool? You be the judge.

A cable modem can be faster than a T1 -- but the implication is that the Mac can't handle the data fast enough -- that is wrong. On my Cable Modem at home, I routinely suck down MacOS 8 Beta's (I'm a developer) that are 120-130 Megabytes -- in about 10 minutes (sometimes as fast a 5). I can get thru-put (transfer rates) as high as 300KB per second. I've set up networks with ATM that get rates orders of magnitude higher (155MB theoretical). Any problems with his test are not with the Mac's thru-put -- the bottleneck is his NETWORK! Liar or fool?


Benchmarking, Bias and Lies

Benchmarks in the hands of buffoons are dangerous. How many files did each machine have preinstalled (this effects performance)? The drive on the PC was likely clean (it was in a closet) -- the Mac may have had 10,000 files, or tons of extra's (that effect performance). Maybe it is just Eudora that sucks (works different on each machine)? What else was the Mac doing at the time? The list goes on and on. There are very subtle ways to bias a benchmark.

In his CLAIM, Joey said 486 on 28.8 vs New Mac on T1.

  1. In his benchmark Joey compares a 75 MHz Pentium -- which is an order of magnitude faster than his "486" claim.
  2. Joey then compares the Pentium to an older Mac portable (a 2400's or 3400's are literally 10 times faster than the 2300's) -- and desktops are also almost always faster than portables (performance takes power, and portables have power-budgets).
  3. He then compares the Pentium to a very low end Mac -- that has probably been out for a year or two. (I suspect the Umax he is using is a 603e that is currently going for under $1000 -- the Dell new was probably over twice that amount or more).
  4. Newer Macs are between 2 and 4 times faster (at least) than the machine he chose -- but he didn't want to point that out. (300 MHz 603e's, 350MHz 604e' and 266MHz G3's are "new Macs" are quite a bit faster ).
  5. He was not running the 486 (err Pentium) on a 28.8 modem. Why do I know this? Approximating only .5K per message (messages usually average about 3 times this), it would likely take him 20 minutes for JUST the download time (best case) on a 28.8 modem. So he secretly moved the Pentium to a T1, even though it doesn't fit the requirements of the test. Noticed he did not tell anyone (or hint that he had done so)? One wonders how many other "surprises" are mixed in his test.
  6. He also did other little things to exaggerate -- like explicitly state that the Mac had 128 Meg of RAM. But how much did Eudora need? How much did he allocate? How much did the Pentium have? This is a way to make the Mac look more grandiose -- but proves little, other than his attempted distortions.

Again, I must ask -- in the face of all these inconsistencies and changes (that bias the tests in favor of the PC) -- is this guy just a fool who doesn't understand how to bias a benchmark, or is he being a deceitful to cover his ass?

Since he has hidden facts and altered tests, how much more of his test can we trust? The rest of his information is so vague as to be useless anyway. But I have already caught him in lots of misinformation for the sake of covering his ass (or saving his ego) -- rather than owning up to what he wrote! Remember he said that he may have "slightly exaggerated"? I find this more than a "slight exaggeration" so far!

Benchmarks

Download claims by Joey:
20 minutes on a PowerBook 2300c w/T1
10 minutes on a PowerMac 200 Mhz w/T1
<2 Minutes on 75 mhz Pentium (w/28.8?)
 
Deletion claims by Joey:
2 minutes on a PowerMac 200 Mhz
7 seconds on 75 mhz Pentium

George Wagner did some quick benchmarks.

On a PowerMac 8500/132 running MacOS 8, Eudora 3.1.1 (4 MB RAM allocated) downloaded and unpacked 654 messages. On a 28.8 dial up connection (26400 bps connection), it took less than 21 minutes.

Deletion of these 654 messages took 5 seconds.

Results:

With a slower Mac than Joey, on a 28.8 connection, the performance was only half that of a T1 line? That means Joey's Mac is using a T1 at the same speed as 56 KB modem (instead of a 1,500 KB modem that it is). This proves his T1-line must not be working right (at least for the Mac).

The deletion difference proves that something else was not quite right in Joey's claims.

George Wagner sent me 650 messages (and I received 14 others mixed in)...

On a PowerMac 7500/150 running MacOS 8, and using Claris eMailer (8 MB allocated) I downloaded the messages in under 3 minutes.

Note: Claris eMailer is a far slower package than Eudora because it keeps its information in a database. My database has a few thousands records so is not exactly "optimum". I also suspect that George Wagners test message (1.64K) was far larger than Joey's -- which can dramatically alter the results.

Results:

My machine (while being a slower model that Joey's) was able to bring the data in 3 times faster than Joey's "test" machine -- while using a slower eMail package. This means that it must be Joey's network that is not working correctly.

The whole point of these tests is that something is not quite right when an author tries to prove his conclusions by falsifying or biasing results -- or when the author is too stupid to understand the basics of networking, and yet tries to pass himself off as an expert in the field.

If we did a real test -- with a 486 on a 28.8 Modem -- as Joey claimed, we know the results would be (at best) around 25 minutes. We also know that on a working T1, with Eudora a new Mac, would result in times less that 5 minutes (worst case). Almost the exact opposite of the numbers that Joey twisted in his little alternate universe. This is fraud or stupidity... and I doubt that even HE is THAT stupid.

Conclusion

There is a slight grain of truth to buried somewhere in what Joey said, the Mac is often slower at networking than PC's. But the bigger truth is that it is not enough for most users to care (or notice without a stop-watch). He had to download 600 messages to get a noticeable difference -- how many users are doing this regularly?

I've got both a Mac and PC on my desk... 95% of the time I use the Mac because it is easier to work with. 5% of the time I use the PC -- because I am doing something on my Mac (like a benchmark) and don't want the eMail to interfere. I could use Eudora on the Mac (it is faster than eMailer) -- but I will gladly sacrifice the performance for an easier to use package -- the same applies to computers.

I suspect most users would not have any issues using the Mac, and would not find the network performance any more irritating than the PC's. Joey could have run 100 other benchmarks where the PowerMac would just stomp all over the PC -- and I suspect he knows that. He didn't because it didn't lead to the conclusion he was trying to prove. That is called bias or "selective results".

Even with all the errors in the specifics of his posts, it is not the specifics that pissed me off (and I assume most people). The generalities of what he implied were far far worse.

His first article was not about "some select conditions where the Mac does not perform well" -- that was how he tried to cover his butt. His first article was a broad attack against Apple and the Mac, and that across the board you'd "have to be stupid to buy a Mac". THAT is what Joey doesn't understand or own up to. That is the point as to why most Mac users are getting really upset by the ignorant egomaniacal press.

His ego is so huge, that he can not apologize for his errors and walk away. He ends his letter with -

Still want more? Stay tuned to <http://www.hotwired.com/surf/>

So we now know that we are going to be treated in the future to more of his special style of misinformation and half-truths (and I'm being generous with my fractions). I am not calling for a campaign of eMail assault -- but I am personally going to send him a polite request (eMail) encouraging him to stick to topics he better understands, rather than delving into complex topics like Networking, Macs or computers.


Letter from Joey Anuff

Date: 10/08 2:33 PM
Received: 10/08 5:41 PM
From: Joey Anuff, joey@nail.freedonia.com
To: George Wagner, g.wagner@sylvania.sev.org

It was an exaggeration, but based in fact.

Some data points to consider:

I've received about 650 messages in the past two days. Mostly personal insults, demands for my firing, ravings about the speed of Photoshop's Gaussian Blur, etc. Hysterical stuff, in both senses of the word.

I performed a little experiment. It took Eudora 20 minutes to transfer all this mail from the server on my PowerBook 2300c, 10 minutes on a Umax SuperMac 200 Mhz w/ 128 Meg of RAM, and ONE MINUTE 45 SECONDS on a cheap weathered 75 mhz Pentium dinosaur we keep in the corner.

Want more? It took me two minutes to delete the mail on the Umax, one and half minutes to delete it on a Mac 9500, and 7 SECONDS on the aforementioned vintage 75 mhz Dell.

Still want more? Stay tuned to <http://www.hotwired.com/surf/>

-joey


Created: 10/13/97
Updated: 11/09/02


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