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Newsletter #502 Preview: Despite What Some
Troubleshooting Sites Say, Some Things Really Do Just Work

A few years back, Mac users would regularly check troubleshooting sites for the latest information on hardware and software bugs, along with sage advice on what was needed to fix the problems. That was before CNET acquired MacFixIt (notice that I’m not putting a link here), which was, in turn, acquired by CBS.

This isn’t to say that CNET doesn’t have hard-working people who are dedicated to their craft as tech columnists, reviewers and reporters. But MacFixIt took a direction that did not serve the Mac community well. Instead of making some effort to separate the occasional unusual problem from bugs that would affect a wide number of people, they appear to have got into the habit of just publishing stories without thoroughly vetting them.

Rather than depend solely on information coming their way, they also troll Apple’s support discussion forums and technical documents for information, hoping they’ll reveal a useful tidbit. There’s certainly a little good and bad in this approach, although it’s also extremely lazy.

You see, any forum that’s focused on support issues will be heavily weighted towards presenting posts from people who took the time to report their troubles. People who have encountered no difficulties at all have better things to do, such as using their Macs to actually get something accomplished.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.