Short Take: ZDNet?s David Coursey -- Apple Shill

Based on my experience, I have no reservations whatsoever recommending an iMac as a familyis new or next home computer. Only really hard-core gamers would have trouble with a Mac, and those people should be looking at the new gaming consoles anyway.

ZDNet’s David Coursey, 2/4/02

When we were younger, my sister and I fought all of the time, so much so that, whenever she did something nice for me, I automatically blurted, “What do you want? Why are you being nice to me?”

I have the same initial reaction to ZDNet Editor David Coursey -- take his comments from yesterday as a f’rinstance.

He wrote a piece titled “Why I just love the new iMac (and why you might, too),” in which he publicly slobbers over the iMac, in an evenhanded sorta way. I hadn’t seen that much drool since I had that wild dream about Vanessa Williams -- or was that Vanessa Del Rio?

But, I digress.

Anyway, it still takes some getting used to mainstream journalists giving Apple and Apple products the thumbs up, since it seemed just yesterday that “beleaguered Apple” was almost considered one word. But I’m learning to like all of the warm fuzzies that the media are slinging around, nevertheless. Coursey does a commendable job of giving the new iMac a fair shake, equally pointing out pluses and minuses (note to Mr. Coursey -- many of us Mac users also quickly replace that one-button mouse with a real input device). He made some valid points, like his questioning Apple’s decision to make OS X the default operating system last month.

I concede his point, but not his proof: his reason for questioning OS X as default is the lack of key software like Palm Hot sync for OS X (note to Mr. Coursey: I’m using the beta and have no problem syncing my iBook with my Handspring Visor Prism, thank you very much).

Other than similarly minor criticisms, David Coursey makes a great, objective, proof-is-in-the-pudding case for the Mac, so much that one reader’s reply jokingly called him an Apple “shill.” I don’t know if I can take much more of this good will. What does a member of a “persecuted group” do with himself, once he is no longer persecuted?

(Whatis funny is that roles have been reversed -- the PC press is commending Apple products, while the so-called Mac faithful is leveling criticism against the iMac. But thatis okay.)

Again, Coursey does a commendable job. He lavishes praise upon iPhoto. He suggests a 17” monitor, but grants that it would raise the iMac’s price. Most importantly, he chronicles his using the Mac as a regular PC, sending and receiving email, creating and editing music -- regular, everyday stuff.

Will we see other PC pundits coming forth, showing us before-and-after snapshots of their workspaces, one with a space-hogging PC setup, the other with the minimalist iMac and more desk space than they know what to do with? Time will tell.

Actually, Coursey was an easy convert. Being a former Mac user, he is really just The Prodigal Mac User coming back home. If the industry press really wants to impress us, give us John Dvorak rhetorically creaming his pants over OS X or an iBook or an iMac. If Apple can convert that curmudgeon, then that’d be a worthy reason to brag.

Meanwhile, we need to send notes of condolences to David Coursey, because word is that he will be collecting unemployment very soon, for no self-respecting PC-centric publication will suffer long such effrontery as his. You know what I mean: consistently giving the Mac a fair shake, which goes against everything practiced and promulgated by the PC press.

How dare Coursey go against the grain and base his conclusions on the evidence of his senses? The nerve of him, praising the iMac. Next thing you know, he will even buy one.

Nah. It’ll never happen.


Rodney O. Lain has a mini Reality Distortion Field. It works on everyone but bosses, wives and IRS agents. When he isn’t trying to warp perception, he writes his iBrotha column for The Mac Observer, as well as the occasional editorial. Rodney lives in Minnesota, where he is an IT supervisor for The Man at a Fortune 50 company.