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Mailbag: Cheap Macs Not So Good

Doug opined recently about the lack of a good $500 Mac laptop in the market. Bill doesn't miss it so much:

I think they tried licensing out the OS about 10 years ago. Didn't seem to work out all that well for Apple, seeing as how their bread and butter was computers back then. Granted, the company and its product line had other problems at the time, so perhaps there would be better results if they ever tried it again. I suppose if their OS got as big as Vista, er, I mean, Windows, it would be worth it to them. Otherwise, in a short time, there would be no more Apple.

As time marches on, computers will become a smaller part of their product mix. If the iPhone and whatever follows in its footsteps continues to advance, a less expensive device running OS X could well happen. Until then, a $500 Mac laptop strikes me as something one would not call "good," either in performance, durability or effects on Apple's bottom line and by extension, OS X.

One reader shares his experience with online social networking in the corporate scene:

From what I've seen from the perspective of both legal and potential employers, these types of social networking pages (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) are very accommodating. In the legal world, our local district attorney's office uses these site for the same purpose as youths: They shows a deeper insight into the psyche. Likewise, my wife has used these sites to "weed out" prospective employees for her business by ensuring she steers clear of hiring the local "Nick Hogan" or otherwise distrustful and unsavory character. You can save a few bucks on the drug screen if their recent blog entries regal tales of how they paint the town red.

Perhaps Mark Twain did not know of the imaginable possibilities of the Internet, but his words still speak volumes: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

Chris adds his praise for Steve Jobs, whose health came into question recently:

I agree with you about Steve. I read an article in Wired magazine about Jobs and Apple, and while it wasn't totally complimentary, it definitely showed that he is an enigma and is doing a great job.

And another Chris responds to a recent letter advising heckled iPhone fans to take the high road:

In my opinion, if the question was insulting, the content of the question just might be hitting a little too close to home. The man in line's response to the question ("Have you ever seen a women naked?") showed that he was very uncomfortable and almost hurt by the question. If it's not true, why would anyone be so offended? He might as well have said, "Stop picking on me, you big meanie." If you want to stop the stereotype, fight fire with fire and earn respect.

Pretending like you're above someone and then making you own condescending comment behind their back ("let them continue to bang wood blocks together") is no different than the smug or belittling comments you complain about. You're in denial if you don't understand the reality of many of the stereotypes regarding technology/computer nerds. There are plenty of technology nerds (I consider myself one) who can hold their own, have a sense of humor, and can respond to a snarky question with a snarky answer. It's all in good fun. Wait, are you the guy in line?

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to

Posted by Doug Barney on 07/29/2008 at 1:15 PM


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