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Various Minor Rants

By Mitchell Parks
CompuThing Consulting

Did Macintosh Kill Syquest?

Mulder has suspicions, however, the Sculley on this remains to be seen. I did find it interesting that of 16 reviews of Syquest products I read over the last couple of years, the only two that included Syquest market share and financial woes in the conclusion of the review, were from a Macintosh publication (I won't mention any names, but it rhymes with Kaq Kurled). Seems odd... considering that is exactly the argument that PC publications have waged for avoiding Macintosh. For obvious reasons, I disagree with reviewing products on a basis of anything other than merit. I'm certain this Macintosh publication did this for philanthropic purposes, that is, that they were "protecting" the consumer, but were they? Were PC magazines protecting consumers by belaboring Apple's market share and financial woes? Technology journalists habitually forget they cannot predict the future, but they certainly can affect it. Their repeated proclamations of the death of Apple damn near made the consumer believe it. It should be noted that Apple and Syquest *now* only have this in common: Generally considered superior performance and technical merit. Product reviewers must nix fortunetelling and review only with regard to product merit. So were these two reviews the final nail in coffin for Syquest? The only thing we know for certain, is that we'll never know for certain.

April 26, 1997

A lovely day, a lovely day indeed. This was the day I downloaded this freebie from Clixsounds. I like to pull it out every now and again and give it a listen. Back then, it was inspiration... these days, it's pure intravenous satisfaction... sweet, sweet satisfaction. It is an apt testament to technology journalism's misguided belief that they can predict the future. On April 26, 1997, Apple was just coming off arguably its worst year ever--1996. Most journalists and analysts had proclaimed their death, iMac was only 2 months on the drawing board, MacOS 8 was still on the horizon, Wintel was a marriage seemingly ordained by God, Microsoft was busily spicing the Java Virtual Machine with its own "special sauce", and letters to the Department of Justice detailing Microsoft's business practices were mounting (mine being one of them). If there is one thing we should all learn from this, it's that, regardless of how things may seem, the future is not a unidirectional tunnel. It is volatile, dynamic, unquestionably alterable, and can always surprise.

Naughtiness Anyone?

A friend of mine use to visit the "naughty sites", but their endless "popup" windows and advertisements were really a pain (or at least, so I've heard). He told me he found a cool little Mac application called PictureSnooper that "snooped" out pictures posted on alt.naughty newsgroups while he was at work and downloaded them onto his hard drive. Then he used another cool little application called iView to sort the wheat from the chaff at his leisure. He says they really work well together and have been a real timesaver. Now I know most of us have never visited the "naughty sites" that my friend has, so I suppose I'm just wasting my time... oh, just forget I said anything.

AmigaOS Mi Amigo!

Someone wrote a while back that Gateway was revving up the AmigaOS to be serious competition for the MacOS... as though that should be a thing to cause fear and trembling. I think he's forgetting what is important here... the consumer... that is, *us*. It will only benefit the consumer... and ultimately mankind... if Gateway produces an OS that is superior to the MacOS. In fact, I would like nothing more than AmigaOS to blow the doors off MacOS in every category... speed, user-friendliness, software... everything... and truly break ground with innovative technologies and new ways of thinking. I'd have to admit that would be quite an accomplishment given Apple's current pace. Yet, if Gateway did accomplish such a feat, or even come close, I'd be first in line.

Apple Ads You'll Never See During the Super Bowl

Remember back in 1995, 1996, 1997 how frustrated we Mac users were getting with Apple's seeming inability to produce decent commercials for the Macintosh? My frustration hit a pinnacle in 1997 and I put together a few of my own: "Love", "We Will Bill", "Really", "Money Sale", and "SexFlash" (don't read too much into that title). I really don't think Chiat/Day will be calling me and asking for my advice on Apple's new ad campaign very soon, but you can tell by the ads... I was hungry for something! I had just bought Macromedia Flash and these were some of my first experiments with it. My stick-figure artwork was due to not having a digital pen... ever try to write with a mouse?

Floppy Disk--revisited

Few people realize that new computer users will not miss what they have never had. I know... I was 7 years old before someone realized I was blind in my left eye. I didn't know I couldn't "see" out of my left eye, I just thought that was the way vision worked. I never missed it and it was never a handicap. Likewise, new computer users won't be handicapped by the lack of a floppy... they'll use the tools they have to develop solutions should a need arise.

The Thing About Sherlock

Sherlock is very "need" driven. If you don't have a need, it won't be important. On the other hand, if you do need it, you'll know it. For me, it alone is worth the $99. I realized its importance when I needed to delete all references to an ex-girlfriend on my 8G drive. I found her name in places I would not have dreamed. In addition, I've found very obscure names (like the cousin of Louise Post--guitarist for Veruca Salt--Tonya Post) and articles on the Internet (such as a site that is dedicated to linking to hardware reviews for products like Syquest removables).

Microsoft Has Done Something Really Nice

The good 'ol boys in Redmond have made it very easy for us to voice our opinion about them and, more importantly, locate our own state representatives and let them know how we feel. Don't underestimate the importance of contacting your representatives. South Carolina's Attorney General decided to withdraw SC's lawsuit against Microsoft. Your representative needs to know how you feel.

Hot Off The Newswire

Bill Gates and wife are expecting their second child in June of '99. Analysts suspect that this is just another in a long line of Vaporbaby tactics deployed by Gates aimed at manipulating the general public and forestalling competition. One insider, who knows both Bill and his wife well, but wishes to remain anonymous, says that we'll be lucky to see that baby before December 2001. Even then, it'll probably turn out to be a Cabbage Patch Doll.


Microsoft reminds me of the kid in school that would slap the lesser kid on the back of the head and when caught by the teacher, loudly retorts, "I didn't do anything!".

Created: 12/08/98
Updated: 11/09/02

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