Larry Bodine Needs a Hug

A gentleman by the name of Larry Bodine was “suckered” into buying a Mac. He gave it a “thorough” test cycle, and posted an “assessment” of his experiences with his “silvery box of frustration”. I have rarely ever seen such inflamatory, sensationalist, and blatantly false “information” cobbled together in what can only be described as a rant. A batshit-insane rant.

I read this article, and fumed quietly to myself for some time. Now I need to vent, and besides, I can’t let Wil Shipley have all the fun, now can I? My responses to many of his points are below. Now… where do I start?

“…can’t view Web sites properly…”

Which sites? You don’t provide any.

“…not compatible with Microsoft Word…”

Clearly it is compatible; you use it later in your article. In fact, Word on the Mac is a more feature-rich application (Notebook view is great for outlining.)

“…can run only dumbed-down versions of regular software.”

This is subjective, and there’s a big difference between simplified, and dumbed-down. You mention AOL, which is not Apple’s product. There’s lots of idiotic software for the PC, too. Do you have any other examples?

“Aren’t Macs supposed to be intuitive and easy to learn? My mistake.”

Yes it is your mistake… Macs are more intuitive. They may not, however, fit your computing style.

“I was enticed by the thought of being online without fear of viruses.”

And you were, in fact, virus-free with the Mac, correct? You fail to mention that.

“I liked the sexy FireWire with its zippy transfer speeds, although I used it only to transfer data to my external hard drive”

That’s all FireWire is used for, pretty much, if you’re not making movies. The point is that it just works seamlessly on the Mac… no drivers, no add-on cards.

“I pretended that I liked the one button mouse… I really missed the little scrolling wheel”

If you missed it so much, your old PC mouse would have probably worked just fine with your new Mac. If you want a shiny Apple mouse, you could have opted for their Mighty Mouse (which has 4 buttons and a wheel), or any number of 3rd party mice, all of which would have worked by simply plugging them in, no drivers.

“…couldn’t delete files while I was in Word.”

That’s just the way the Mac has always worked. The feedback I’ve always had is that it prevents a lot of accidents. You can get to the file easily by command-clicking the document title in the title bar, and selecting the enclosing folder.

“Word files transferred from the Mac were missing pictures.”

This is a failing in Microsoft Word, not the Mac. There’s a workaround, but it’s a long standing issue that pasting into Mac Word inserts a TIFF image, which the PC can’t handle.

“Doing a simple screen capture was an immense chore.”

Mac OS X has a plethora of built-in screen capture methods:

  • Shift-Command-3: Capture entire screen
  • Shift-Command-4: Drag a rectangle to capture a region
  • Shift-Command-4, then Space Bar: Switch to “window capture” mode
  • Hold Control while using any of these: Capture to Clipboard for pasting, rather than to a file.

“I didn’t even bother with the Mac’s iCal or Mail, which required me to buy an @mac.com address.”

Neither iCal or Mail requires you to buy .Mac, the apps just work seamlessly with that service. With Mail, you can use any POP or IMAP server. With iCal, you can either choose to store things locally, and/or publish to any standard WebDAV server.

“Safari simply cannot read Flash.”

While I think that Firefox is superior to Safari, I have to say that Safari is FAR better at displaying Flash movies. Your statement can’t possibly be widely tested and proven.

“…Netscape and Firefox, which were no better.”

Netscape is old. Don’t use it. Firefox works very well on Mac OS X. Again, your experiences are incongruent with the vast majority of Mac users.

“I scraped along with Internet Explorer 5.0…”

Where did you get that? It’s not included on new Macs, because it’s old and incompatible with many web sites. Also, IE 5 on the Mac has absolutely nothing in common with IE 5 on the PC, or any other Windows version of Internet Explorer.

“Then the hard drive croaked on me after only three months of owning the machine.”

Sorry to hear that. Hardware issues do happen with Macs, they’re just less frequent (and usually better publicized) with Apple hardware.

“I…had to hire someone for $125 an hour”

No, you didn’t. You could have taken it to any Apple Retail Store and they would have replaced the drive immediately, onsite, for free. They would have also recovered whatever data they could, and provided you with excellent options for professional data recovery.

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