USA Today writer unhappy with MacDailyNews and some Mac users’ emails

“Macintosh users proved to me that they’re a dedicated and strong-willed group of compute [sic] users – unafraid to let their feelings be known. Then again, that’s also true of Tony Soprano,” Andrew Kantor writes for USA Today. Kantor’s article is a response to our article from September 03, 2004 entitled “USA Today writer attempts to downplay Apple’s role in Virginia Tech supercomputer.” Kantor describes MacDailyNews as, “a small Web site called Mac Daily News [sic],” and accuses MDN of throwing “a tantrum featuring as much spittle and venom as they could squeeze out of their keyboards.” We stand by our original article because, to paraphrase Andrew, “We can like what we want, hate what we want, and use what we want. We like Apple. You like Windows. Tell us how wrong we are all you want; we still prefer Apple, and at least we base our opinions on the use of both platforms’ current OS versions.” Also, we were right, which helps; the proof is the very existence of this article. Kantor doth protest too much, wethinks.

“Despite the foam-at-the-mouth accusations from the MDN folks, I don’t hate Macs. (All right, I hate OS9, which I’m stuck on at work. I also wasn’t thrilled with Windows 3.0.) Apple did a brilliant job with OSX – it created a slick, powerful, beautiful computer. It’s too bad only Apple sells them,” Kantor writes.

MacDailyNews Take: That was froth from our cappuccino, Andrew. And why is it too bad only Apple sells Macs? Isn’t that a major reason why Macs tend to work seamlessly while Wintel’s hodgepodge of manufacturers creates a morass of issues, tech calls, and headaches for the unfortunate users of that platform? Apple has chosen to control the whole widget in order to present a better product. Throwing too many cooks into the Mac kitchen would diminish Apple’s slick, powerful, and beautiful computers. It’s good that only Apple makes Macs. The Wintel way is right if market share and turning the personal computer into a commodity are your goals, not if the satisfaction of your end user is your goal. Mac users are generally happy with their Macs, most Windows users cannot fathom being happy with a personal computer, for obvious reasons.

“I think Macs do a lot right, and some wrong. Ditto for Windows. Ditto for Linux. I use Windows because of the amount of software available, because of the choice of manufacturers, and because it’s easily compatible with the rest of the world. By the time OSX came around and eliminated that last problem for the Mac, I was already comfortable with my PC,” Kantor writes.

MacDailyNews Take: We know from personal experience with both Mac OS X 10.3 and Windows XP Pro that Macs get quite a lot right and not too much wrong. We’re not just comfortable with our Macs because our work has stuck us on Windows 95. We use the best of both worlds and the Mac OS X platform is markedly better, it’s really no contest. Windows is kludgy and gets quite a bit wrong (malware, viruses, spyware, adware, unintuitive user interface, crashes, etc.). And let’s get serious, Linux on the desktop for the average user isn’t yet here. We use current Macs and Windows, but choose to use our Macs because the software we need is easily available on the Mac (there are over 18,000 Macintosh applications and software titles) and we’ve already explained that we don’t subscribe to the theory that choice of different manufacturers all trying to make the same end product is beneficial (unless you’re trying to drive down prices and increase end user frustration).

“But guess what? Even if I did hate the Mac, I’m allowed. I can like what I want, hate what I want, and use what I want. I like orange. You like blue. Tell me how wrong I am all you want; I still prefer orange,” Kantor writes. “Curse-filled letters screaming and calling me an idiot for not using a Mac certainly won’t convince me that it’s a community I want to join. As one person on MDN put it, ‘People want a computer, not a cult.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why would anyone bother writing about something they don’t understand and haven’t properly experienced? Andrew Kantor, as described by USA Today, is a “technology writer, pundit, and know-it-all who covers technology for the Roanoke Times.” Well, the Roanoke Times desperately needs to upgrade their Mac computers’ operating systems. Apple killed Mac OS 9 over two years ago. Shouldn’t “technology writers” proclaiming to “know-it-all” be using current technology instead of a dead operating system?

The basic facts speak volumes:
– Mac users generally love their Macs.
– Windows users can’t understand enjoying a personal computer that much.

If someone spent, say 8-10 hours per day using a product, don’t you think they’d wonder why those Mac-using people seem to really love their computers, while they just tolerate their Windows machine when they’re not utterly ambivalent about it or totally frustrated by it? Wouldn’t you wonder why Mac users love their computer when you and none of your Windows-using friends can muster more than “a computer is a tool, it’s a machine, not a religion” mantra? Would you try to fool yourself by pretending that there’s some mysterious cult brainwashing these poor Mac people? Or would you finally stop and think, “hey, maybe there really is a better way!”

Since we’re just “a small Web site,” we’re sure Andrew won’t mind a nice, reasoned email or two from our readers who’ve read his full article. Send an email to Andrew Kantor by visiting his site’s contact page here.


  1. I dunno, I think he’s trying to be neutral in his article, which shows remarkable restraint. Honestly, why do some people have to resort to name calling and ad hominem attacks? Were they raised by wolves?? Laying out an argument in a rational and reasonable manner will get a more positive response than going all flame-war on a guy with a jillion readers. Articles like this make the Mac communtity seem like a bunch of anti-social, emotionally stunted retards, all because some folks can’t present their side without going the profanity route and questioning a writer’s parentage.

    The irony is, given the chance he probably would find OSX to be superior. If he’d take some initiative and go down to his local Apple dealer and check it out, instead of letting his newspaper’s inertia influence his decisions, he might then understand why we’re so dedicated. Perhaps he’ll be able to see through the name-calling and see that all of the responses from this site are a kick in the pants to get him to see the light…

  2. Just another dipsh*t anal-yst that has no clue what the f*ck he’s writing about. How these losers get paid for doing no work whatsoever is totally beyond me…

  3. yeah, with a name like that i’ll be shot down. but the guy has a point. the article was about the super computer and was a great article about the super computer.

    MDN basically attacked him for no reason. the discussion at mac rumors kinda proves that.

    you guys find good news, but sometimes you heads are a little too far up steve’s butt. let the computers speak for themselves.

  4. MDN is right. Send Andrew a sensible email that asks how he can make any informed judgments when he is stuck on OS 9 at work and admits he’s “already comfortable” with Windows. I even apologized for the previous emails that cursed and were offensive. I have assured him that there is no cult – we just have better computers than him and wish he would switch so he could enjoy computing more. You’d think a tech writer would want to enjoy computing, wouldn’t you?

    (BTW: if MDN was so “small,” do you think Andrew would have bothered?)

  5. He was trying to be nice,

    Mac users bit his head off, with personal attacks. Once again you invite personal attacks on a person who is trying to be honest. He isn’t biased againist Mac’s, He is biased againist your bashing him and being wrong about it.

    Grow up.

  6. Regarding the original MDN article – they have every right to critique Kantor’s anti-Mac slant. It was subtle, but it was there. And only on MDN will you find critiques of this kind. I agreed with MDN at the time and still do. You may not. To each his own.

    Regarding this article from MDN and the best quote, “The Wintel way is right if market share and turning the personal computer into a commodity are your goals, not if the satisfaction of your end user is your goal. “

    Spot on!

  7. I truly think writers write these type of articles just so they can get email feedback from Mac users. A writer then gets thousands or whatever emails and then writes another column souting this fact. And why does another c article always follow? Because they write it in a style to confirm how important or widely read they are as a “Tech Expert” based on all of the repsonses recieved.
    Most of these writers, this one for sure are just light weight wanna be’s. They wanna be a writer, tech expert, taken seriously. Well they are insignificant at all of the above. Mac users should ignore them and not respond. A hack is a hack.

  8. I wrote the guy after the original article was published and didn’r rant, rave or otherwise act like a frustrated Dell user. A little civility is in order, but the guy is obviously a PC head. He states that he hates OS 9, which gives you an idea about how progressive the IT department at USA Today/Gannett is.

  9. “We know from personal experience with both Mac OS X 10.3 and Windows XP Pro that Macs get quite a lot right and not too much wrong.”

    Please tell us exactly what Macs do get wrong. People deserve to know both the good and the bad about Macs. If Mac users are truly as informed and objective as they claim to be, then they should be able to freely say what’s wrong about the Mac without fear of retaliation.

  10. I remember reading the original article that elicited all of the response, and I found it really minimized the role Apple played in providing the core architecture for the project. It seemed like a lot of credit was being dolled out, with a definite bias against admitting that Apple had really contributed anything beyond simply “making the boxes” used.

    What I am getting at is MDN, although admittedly quite reactionary some of the time, plays a necessary role in the Macintosh community in rooting out (and rooting out quickly) such ant-mac sentiment that many tech media take against us on a regular basis. They have a front line approach of revealing and trying to correct this bias (or simply not tolerate bad reporting and misinformation of said media).

    I find it interesting that this author has essentially been able to write a biased article, received a lot of reader flack about it (both “good” and “bad”) and has now chosen not only to whine about it, but separate two distinct segments of the Mac community and pit them successfully against one another – like one is better than the other for some reason.

    Windows users don’t get it – they wonder where the secret meetings are and what the special mac-handshakes is this week and are amazed at how tight and defensive we can get as a group sometimes. When we function as the “underdog” to a certain extent when up against such monolithic powers as Microsoft, we need to be vocal when we are wronged in the press.

    Apple is fighting a pretty crazy battle to stay alive (even though we have it pretty good on a day to day basis), and while the success of the iPod is a wonderful and happy thing (and I hope it will push computer sales), we have to be vigilant when the media spins stuff incorrectly.

    The spin of the original article required a response, and that’s what he got.

    (edited version of MacRumour post)

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