The Leopard Report: Welcome to the Insane Asylum!

January 24th, 2007

As most of you know by now, Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system, Windows Vista, will ship to consumers next week. It is already available for businesses and, in fact, you’ve probably read plenty of reviews about it.

When Apple finally pulls the wraps off the entire Leopard feature set, you’ll find plenty of comparisons to read, even before the product actually ships. Is it better than Vista? About the same? Inferior? Believe you me, you will see all sorts of comparisons and contrasts.

Some of those studies will make a lot of sense, some will not, but I’m sure most of the tech pundits who write about the subject are perfectly sincere. If they’re dead wrong, well nobody’s perfect.

On the other hand, there is one tech writer on the planet who doesn’t care about facts and logic. He wants to push your buttons by saying absolutely crazy things and hoping, I guess, that you’ll send him lots and lots of hate mail. More important, that the hit counts at his publisher’s site will go way, way up so he can, I suppose, ask for a raise or a plaque or whatever lights his fire.

Now I don’t want to enhance John C. Dvorak’s popularity or cater to his attention-grabbing schemes any more than is necessary to make a point. So I won’t provide any links here. I’m sure you can find the proper site yourself if you really feel inclined to read his latest venture into the ninth dimension, where logic is a concept that does not exist.

His latest rant claims that, by making Vista more like Mac OS X, Microsoft is playing into the hands of such companies as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Intel, who want to create a standardized Linux distribution. This way, the confusion, incompatibilities and plain headaches that exist now will be things of the past.

Indeed, Dvorak believes that most people simply hate Macs, so if they perceive Vista to be Mac-like, they will abandon it in droves in favor of Linux!

Are you with me so far? You see, I’m quite serious here. That’s what the man says. Dvorak believes that “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.”

In other words, the feeling that Apple has the mind-share while Microsoft has the market share is all wrong. People really love Windows, but have strange and queasy thoughts about Macs.

Dvorak is concerned, for example, about the way a Mac “feels when saving files. I know this is silly, but I’ve never felt comfortable with it. It was mushy in some weird way that always gave me the creeps.”

Now that comment gives me the creeps, but for a different reason, one obvious to most of you.

He then goes on to claim that, “something weird happened on a Mac” he wouldn’t be able to recover the file, although the PC wouldn’t cause such a catastrophe, because “with a PC, I could take the hard disk out and easily put it into another machine and then go exploring the drive without worry.”

Evidently, Dvorak missed the demonstration of the Mac Pro, where you can swap drives in and out in moments, a lot faster than on most PC boxes. But even on the old Mac minitowers, replacing hard drives was no big deal, or maybe he thinks Apple makes only iMacs and Mac minis for desktop use, but the average user of those products isn’t going to want to replace his or her own drive anyway most of the time. Of course, with the proper technical skills involved in opening those boxes, it’s not all that difficult, actually.

I could go on, of course, but I think you get the point. You see, the Mac OS is the “right-brain” operating system that, horror of horrors, empowers the individual, whereas Dvorak says we should be using a proper “left-brain” system such as Linux. I mean, you don’t really want a computer that just works, when you can spend hours learning how to configure a Unix-based system from the command line or some arcane setup application. And then, take joy in an inconsistent user interface and the inability to run many of your favorite applications, such as Adobe Photoshop, iTunes and Quicken. Don’t you just love it?

This doesn’t mean Linux can’t become a user-friendly desktop operating system, but if that happens, it’ll no longer be for the left-brain.

And that, my friends, is when Dvorak will have to return to his Prozac to recover from the mental shock.

Meantime, if you see more nonsense like that online, have a good laugh and just forget about it.

I suppose I could invite Dvorak on The Tech Night Owl LIVE and tell him all this to his face, but why?

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11 Responses to “The Leopard Report: Welcome to the Insane Asylum!”

  1. shane says:

    Dvorak just loves getting mac guys buttons pushed. He even admits it
    So not mentioning his name is the best way to annoy him..
    But his ploy seems to work all the time and people talk about his column’s
    The more stupid, outragous his statements the more we all react.
    Leopard will be great I have used Vista under parallels and it was a big yawn. I went back to XP and then thought why am I bothering and deleted it on my system.
    I dont need anythng Windows offers and if I do I will use XP not Vista.

  2. Aaron says:

    I am even less of a fan of Dvorak than I am of Rob Enderlie, and that is saying something.

  3. Terry says:

    So why didn’t they name it Vistux

  4. Nick says:

    Enderle and Dvorak are two different things.

    Enderle acts as a pimp for Microsoft, but Dvorak composes music:

    … no, hang on, wrong Dvorak.

    Enderle is Redmond’s bitch; Dvorak is just Dvorak.

    John C. is an amusing act. Unlike Enderle he is not a sinister figyoor with a (not too well-hidden) agenda. John just goes for the page views. That’s all it is. I heard him say once: “Why buy a Ford [i.e., an OEM machine running Windows] when you can have a Lexus [i.e., an Apple machine running OS X]?” that’s probably what he _really_ thinks. Quite right, too.

  5. Malcolm says:

    I suppose I could invite Dvorak on The Tech Night Owl LIVE and tell him all this to his face, but why?

    …because there are quite a few Apple bashers in the world who, unlike Dvorak (who knows he is a page-hit wh*re), believe this type of anti-Mac rant. The propagation of FUD against the Mac platform needs to be intelligently, creatively, and consistently thwarted. Why? Because there are folks like me who are determined that Microsoft’s OS should never become the only (sub-par) alternative other than Linux.

  6. Aaron says:


    Agreed that they are two different things but my contempt of both of them is pretty high.

  7. Ian says:

    Who can guess at what demons Dvorak has inside him. I read him when he was in either MacUser or MacWorld magazine a long time ago. Apple’s OS has faults no doubt. But only Dvorak seems to need medical and psychiatric treatment for an OS’ failings.

  8. Andrew says:

    Funny, Dvorak attacks Microsoft just as often as he insults Apple

  9. SteveP says:

    If only we could see them as mirrors. There are several writers that are worse than these two.
    Also there are many pro-Mac writers who seem to use the same types of empty bias in their anti “Windoze” types of statements. Picking up on negatives in that OS and turning them into the greatest moral issues of our time! Or Gates into the worlds biggest “criminal”. etc. (It’s actually Ballmer and Bush! 🙂 )
    We seem to live in a world where peoples egos seem to thrive on this spewing of hyperbole rather than “thinking”.
    We are probably all guilty of this to one degree or another. “Religions” of all sorts rely on this group identification.
    So use Dvorack and Enderly (The Enderly justifies the mean. !? 🙂 ) and others as mirrors. Let’s reflect on those times when we do the same things and try to THINK just a little bit more often in our own lives.

  10. Michael Maggard says:

    Dvorak loves to troll.

    And you just spent how many words dancing to his tune?

  11. Malcolm says:

    Well stated Steve. It would be nice if the majority of folks could be more academic and multi-valued — seeing the varied sides to so many major issues. “Absolutist” statements about complex issues should really always be carefully qualified. Alas, this is generally not the world we live in, and there are sometimes substantive differences between competing organizations. On the one hand, if you know would you are doing, you can get done 95% of what you need to do on the Mac, Windows, or Linux (exceptions being a few games, niche business software, etc.). Nevertheless, the efficiency, features, and user friendliness of the platforms can widely diverge, as can the degree of security. Sometimes, the FUD producers need to be called to task with intelligence and humor, otherwise your platform of choice runs a greater risk of becoming marginalized through the principle of the self fulfilling prophesy. If enough people believe that a given platform is inferior, or that it is headed for the dust heap, just that belief — however false — can help trigger the result. This is why the standing up of the Mac community online in the “dark days” years ago is seldom given due credit. Yes, the Mac advocates were sometimes too obnoxious, dogmatic, and egotistical; but they were more often gracious and well informed in their vigilance. In my opinion Apple Inc. owes them a debt of gratitude here in these days when they are on a roll, and the Mac mind-share is somewhat on the rise.

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