Chicago Tribune writer gives dubious tips to ‘Mac converts’

“This month, when Apple announced a new patch for its operating system that fixes 26 security flaws, Mac users got a taste of what the overwhelming majority of computer users go through on a regular basis,” Alex L. Goldfayn reports for The Chicago Tribune.

MacDailyNews Take: Wha? Now there’s a stretch. What is Goldfayn trying to imply, if anything?

Goldfayn continues, “Many Windows users don’t know what it’s like to use a Mac. So, here’s my take on what to expect if you decide to switch from Windows and become a ‘hip Mac-type.’ Big picture, you’ll love it. But going to a Mac does come with its own unique set of challenges.”

“Using a Mac is far less frustrating than using a Windows-based computer. Macs seem less prone to crashing and freezing up; in five years of using a Mac, it’s never happened to me. The Web browser, Safari, blocks pop-up windows automatically–and has done so for years,” Goldfayn writes. “The operating system, called Mac OS X (for 10), is a joy to use. And it’s easy to learn for Windows-switchers. Included on every new Mac are excellent programs you’ll probably use a lot: iTunes for your music, iPhoto for your digital pictures, and iMovie and iDVD for your movies.”

Goldfayn writes, “It’s now possible to run the Windows operating system on a Mac. This is something like Pepsi selling 12-packs half-filled with Coke, but it allows Windows users to go through the switching process with a bit less shock…. But being a Mac user is not always wonderful and happy. At times, it can be frustrating. Macs are more expensive than Windows computers. The price gap has narrowed, but you’ll still pay a premium for an Apple computer just as you pay a premium for an iPod compared with competing MP3 players.”

MacDailyNews Take: Configure a comparably-equipped Mac vs. a Dell, for example, and you’ll find that the Mac is quite competitive, maybe even less expensive than the Dell which is incapable of running Mac OS X and iLife. Apple does not sell bare bones machines like Dell purports to do. Apple Macs come with most everything the average user will need to get the most out of the software on the machine. By the time you bring a bare-bones PC up to a useful spec, the Mac is no longer “more expensive.” Anyway, it’s the OS and the software. stupid. Looking only at hardware tells you far less than half the story.

Goldfayn writes, “Another issue: Last week, Dell announced a recall of more than 4 million laptop batteries because they have literally exploded several times. Apple might want to consider something similar. The heat generated from the bottom of Apple laptops–including my new MacBook–borders on unbearable. And the threat of my laptop exploding while on my person is really not something I want to think about. Reports of an exploding Apple laptop surfaced as recently as this month. Details and pictures are online. And they ain’t pretty.”

MacDailyNews Take: Have any proof, Mr. Goldfayn? Links? Was this “exploding Apple laptop” a currently shipping MacBook or MacBook Pro? Irresponsible and ignorant FUD. Processor heat is not generated by the battery.

Goldfayn writes, “Back to cost. In the Windows computing world, countless companies manufacture PCs and accessories. In the Mac world, a single company makes the computers and many of the accessories. This means a single company tightly controls pricing. Apple’s new mouse, for example, costs $50. Want a wireless version? It goes for $70. Both numbers far exceed the cost of other mice.”

MacDailyNews Take: So buy another USB mouse – they all work with Macs.

Goldfayn writes, “Windows or Mac, you’ll find that computing reality affects us all. Which means difficulties exist, even on a Mac.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our moron radar went off at the first sentence; Goldfayn didn’t disappoint. Contact Alex L. Goldfayn:


  1. This guy was obviously close to deadline, staring at a blank screen.

    He used his blank mind to fill his blank screen, and this is the result.

    Note to people with blank minds – don’t become a reporter.

  2. <cue Goldfinger theme>
    He’s the man, the man with the Midol touch.
    A half-assed touch.
    Such a coldcut slinger.
    Beckons you to enter his tub of gin
    But don’t go in.”

  3. This is the type of shit the average Windows wally reads and instantly becomes truth in their minds, because they need reassurance from these tech writer wankers to make them believe they made the right choice and keep them away from a Mac forever.

    Last week I was told by a friend that he could not afford a Mac because they are so very expensive. I asked him how much he was ready to spend and he said around $1800. I showed him the Apple store prices for MacBooks and he was just blown away. He loves my PB and will now get himself a MB. One down…….

  4. What OS X users go through on a “regular” basis is to occasionally use an can of insect repellant. Dose users, on a regular basis, have to have the house tented. Big difference.

  5. The Web browser, Safari, blocks pop-up windows automatically–and has done so for years,” Goldfayn writes

    Apparantly this guy hasn’t been to MacDailyNews and experienced the famous pop-unders.

    Sure sure, it’s a Javascript flaw that Netscape needs to fix, but Apple and MacDailyNews can do something about it.

  6. The first sentence is just stupid. Unfortunately it can look like Macs have security troubles when there’s an update to fix so many security flaws. It’s irresponsible of Alex to enhance that perception instead of pointing out that none of those flaws has been successfully exploited.

    Perpetuating the “Macs are more expensive” myth is another big mistake, especially now that the Mac Pro out of the box is cheaper than a comprable Dell. Total cost of ownership increases the Mac’s advantage.

    A veteran user should be far more knowledgeable. Not knowing how to sign up for the Genius bar is the final clue: Alex is a newbie who’s still clinging to the myths and lies told by IT types trying to keep Windows and it’s billable hours afloat.

  7. He’s been using a Mac for five years and doesn’t know anything about it. If he went into the area where they sell mice in any computer store he could find mice anywhere from $14.95 to $50.00 that all would work perfectly fine on a Mac. Hell I found a surplus store that sold me a wireless Logitech mouse for $4.95! Yes it works great too. I just plugged it in and that was it. Try that on a Windows PC and you’ll get plug-n-pray with maybe a 50% chance of it working or asking for drivers.

  8. MDN … calm down before you burst a vein.

    He said we “got a taste” – not that we suffered any harm.

    He said Macs cost more than PCs, you argued that Macs cost about the same as a comparable PC – you are both absolutely right! Most PCs cost less than the least expensive Mac of that type – desktop, all-in-one, or notebook. Maybe they can’t compete for value, but they sure have the purchase price thing locked.

    My G4 iBook gets too hot for MY lap and I hear the Mac Books that replaced them are more than a little warmer. And there have been incidents of Mac notebooks bursting into flame … not recently, AFAIK.

    I don’t like Apple’s Mouse design. Never have. The puck was the worst, but the others – despite the reliability of the designs – not good from a usability point of view. He may not be aware even the MS versions work with Macs – I use a Logitech, myself.

  9. With Microsoft you install updates to fix problem which are in the wild for which there are legitimate threats so that your machine isn’t royally fscked. With Apple you install updates to fix slight bugs which might have potentially become a threat in the future.

    How sad that a writer (and so many other people) live in a world where computers and the use of them is referred to as affecting them, not helping but just affecting them as if it’s some chore you have to do. Of course things can affect you positively but that was in no way the implied tone.

    Personally, even if we’re generous and say that Mac’s cost a little more than similarly highly spec-ed PC’s you still have to remember that with either option you are paying for a premium product in comparions to an el-cheapo budget machine. Of course a premium product costs more than the budget version, that’s why they’re called premium and budget. Apple just don’t happen to sell budget crap because they think it’s crap.

  10. Headline prices of Dulls etc are still uber-compelling when you see the ads.

    Still, whenever I spec up a new computer purchase (admittedly high end), Apple manages to be competitive or even a tad cheaper.

    Remember this: In the UK, more of the expensive BMW 3-series cars are sold each year than the cheaper Ford Mondeo.

    Despite this, the BMW still retains a cachet as the brand has not been diluted by pursuing headline price at the expense of quality.

  11. Not for the last time (sadly) . . .


    FACT: They’re portable desktops, with all the processing power of machines that used to weight 100 pounds and more!

    You want power, you get power. But nothing is free in this world or the next! You want cool, go back to 450MHz and no SuperDrive. Jeez.

    If anyone says to my face that the bottom of a MacBook is just too warm/hot to put on his or her lap, I swear I’ll . . . I’ll . . . I’ll . . .

    Burst a blood vessel, probably.

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