We were wrong; MacDailyNews does a retake on Larry Magid’s ‘Mac mini’ article

On Monday, January 24, 2005, MacDailyNews covered an article by CBS News’ Larry Magid. Earlier this week, we received an email from Larry Magid. As you might imagine, it’s not an uncommon event for us to get email from writers regarding our comments on their work. In this case, Mr. Magid found our “Take” of his review of the Mac Mini a bit puzzling. So, as is our standard operating procedure, we went back and read what we had written and found that we were puzzled by our “Take,” too!

We could claim temporary insanity or the fact that we were being pummeled left and right at the time by other articles that focused solely on the Mac mini hardware when comparing it to a Windows PC, but the fact remains that we were wrong. Our “Take” on Magid’s article was ridiculous.

Here are the excerpts of Magid’s article that we chose to comment on and a new “Take” that we hope is better than the last go ’round:

“Hearing the hype about Apple’s new $499 Macintosh gave me pause. Could Apple, which is known as the BMW of computer companies, really come out with a machine cheap enough to tempt Windows users yet still ‘Mac’ enough to satisfy Macintosh aficionados? After unpacking and setting up the new machine, the answer is a qualified yes,” Larry Magid writes for CBS News.

“I cannibalized some of my old Windows PCs to come up with a Gateway monitor, a Dell mouse and a Compaq keyboard, all of which worked perfectly with the new Mac. That’s no accident. Apple hopes to win over frustrated Windows users who already have these peripherals connected to an old PC,” Magid writes.

“In keeping with the theme of encouraging Windows users to switch, I configured the Mac Mini to access files on my Windows network and copied over hundreds of digital photos, Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Word documents and music files. The Word files worked fine with the version of Mac Word while iPhoto did a fine job handling my PC’s pictures. iTunes, as advertised, works on the Mac, just as it does on the PC,” Magid writes. “While the Mac Mini won’t suddenly make Macs a more popular platform than Windows, I think it may tempt many Windows users who are curious about the Mac and/or frustrated with Windows which is far more prone to spyware, viruses and security problems. Some Windows users might wind up liking the Mini so much that they wind up becoming life-long Mac users while others may use it as their second computer — perhaps to surf the web, check email and edit digital photos. Now my home office — with its Widows machine and Mac Mini — is a little like my friend Peter’s garage that houses a Mercedes and a Ford. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which computer most resembles which vehicle.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Magid runs the Mac mini through its paces and finds that this tiny and inexpensive new Mac is as much a Mac as any other. We agree with Magid that “some Windows users might wind up liking the Mini so much that they wind up becoming life-long Mac users.”

We don’t understand why Magid felt the need to throw in the good old “it won’t suddenly make Macs a more popular platform than Windows” statement. That seems self-evident; so obvious that it almost seems to be just wedged in there to comfort Magid’s Windows-only readers. Really, what’s the purpose of this sentence other than to comfort Windows users (or Microsoft share holders) who might feel threatened for some reason? After all, most Joe and Jane Six Packs use their computers to surf the web, trade email, do a little word processing, maybe play with some digital photos, and run iTunes, all of which the Mac does better than Windows. For most people the Mac would be better for them than Windows. In a perfect world, the Mac mini would suddenly make Macs a more popular platform than Windows. It’s certainly a good start, at least.

Magid does a good job of covering Mac mini’s excellent included software bundle, the Mac’s seamless compatibility with MS Office’s Word and Excel files, and correctly recommends that Mac mini buyers dole out for the extra US$75 for 512MB of RAM – they’re going to want it. And winding up the article, one which will be read by a large audience, by comparing the Mac mini to a Mercedes and his Windows machine to a Ford is always a nice touch.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
CBS News: Mac mini cheap enough for Windows users, still ‘Mac’ enough for Mac aficionados – January 24, 2005

20 Comments

  1. Hmmmm…. I’d be curious to know what Magid wrote to MDN that would cause a complete re-post of his story & MDN’s take. Granted, yes, the first “Take” towards that article was rather vitriolic, but just what exactly did Magid say? Do you supposed he would allow MDN to post it here or not?

    Never hurts to take a second look every once in a while – but I’m instantly curious to know what words from Magid caused MDN to make, well, a “take two”.

  2. Glad to see you folks are back on your meds. Your over-the-top picking of nits is not very welcoming to the potential (or actual) switchers that MDN recently suggested we try to help transition into the Mac community. Almost by definition, a switcher is going to have misconceptions and general ignorance of Macs. Harping on anything but an encyclopedic knowledge of Apple’s products, history, strategy, and roadmap is only going to reinforce the idea of Apple fans as elitist, cultish snobs.

  3. If you read the comments to the first take, MDN got taken to task then too by it readers. It takes a very big person to admit when they were wrong. Kudos to MDN on their willingness to do so.

    PLEASE FIX THE WINDOWS-LIKE MAWPUP!!!

    (MAgic Word Pop Up Problem)

  4. Ford, atrocious as they have been as far as I can remember, is way ahead of Windows in terms of usability. Think about it: If a car gave you the same amount of problems, relatively speaking, as Windows, it’d be a complete lemon — worth suing about. The difference is that the automotive market is much more competitive than the personal computer market.

    it may tempt many Windows users who are curious about the Mac and/or frustrated with Windows which is far more prone to spyware, viruses and security problems.

    No comparison: Macs aren’t prone to malware, Wintels ARE very prone to malware. Just because Magid is a Windows user means he can’t help but downplay, unconciously maybe, the issue of malware. Make no mistake: Windows is broken; kaput, roto, cassé, kowareteru, huaile … pffft. Only fools can’t see it.

  5. It takes a strong person to admit they were wrong.

    Perhaps there’s something that we can all learn here:

    Humility.

    brought to you buy the magic word “direct”

  6. I catch Magid on the radio sometimes and used to be irritated at the lack of depth to his reporting… particularly when he was speaking about the Virus of the Week and didn’t mention that it only impacted Windows users.

    Then I realized that his audience was the non-technical person, and his air-time very limited. Still irritates me, but at least I understand more that it’s not bias, laziness or willful blindness, but simple time constraint. I didn’t read his story on the Mac mini when MDN first covered it; I merely assumed it also lacked depth.

    Nice to see that I was mistaken, and nice to see MDN step up and correct itself too.

  7. NOT SURPRISED. MDN SHOOTS AT ANYONE WHO GIVES AN OPINION THAT DOESN’T PLEASE THUS THEM MAKING THEM PATHETICALLY SILLY AND IMMATURE.

    Oh, and this also applies to the poodles who just write before they think.

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