A Mac Is Like Prozac: Why Jesse Berst’s Pseudo-Conversion Isn’t a Fluke

“No, I still don’t like Apple products very much. But increasingly, I hate Windows even more. Its constant crashes. Its inconsistent interfaces. Its lack of new, innovative software. Meanwhile, Apple is on a roll….”
– Jesse Berst, Editorial Director of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Think Different? Why Jesse Wants an iMac, 1999.10.07.

Things Macintosh


Yeah, that’s the word – the first one that came to mind when I read Jesse Berst’s column, anyway.* Of course, my subsequent thought was, how could I use this to my Mac-bigoted advantage.

Berst is a self-avowed Apple critic (meant strictly in the pejorative sense) who is the very last person I would try to convince to switch to the Mac platform. But on Thursday, the man was seriously considering (in word, if not in deed) switching to iMacs in an open forum. Now, I don’t want to spend time rehashing other people’s applauding Berst’s embracement of common sense (such as Jesse Berst Wants an Apple, and It’s Not Red Delicious), but I do want to make an observation that was even more interesting about his commentary.

Berst says that he is considering switching to an iMac. Personally, I think he will never switch to any Mac but is just trying to garner more hits to his site – quite successfully, I might add.

To me, the most-revealing part of Berst’s column isn’t a single word that he penned; rather, the most telling comments are those made in his “talkback” section.

Did you notice the abnormal number of “me, too!” comments made by readers, all PC-heads?

I am surprised that many people are awaking to the fact that the Mac is a viable alternative, now that Apple Computer is no longer “beleaguered”. In the past, there would have been a large number of posts arguing that Apple makes nothing comparable to the Wintel PC. This time, several months after Apple’s turnaround effort began, the PC world is taking notice. And the rest of the world, also.

Couple this trend with the fact that more and more people are being softened up by an apparent lifetime of Windows nightmares and daymares, and you have a whole market of people that can switch to computing options like Linux and Mac OS.

I don’t expect a mass exodus of individuals and organizations from the PC camp, but I do expect that more people will take advantage of the un-PC options represented by the Macintosh computer, instead of going crazy from that bloat-infested, crash-prone conglomeration known as Windows.

* Who is Jesse Berst, you ask? Well, he is one of the people who should come to mind whenever you see the words “PC pundit.” The man may not be a mover and shaker to you, but he does wield some measure of influence in the Wintel world by the very fact that many read his column daily.

Rodney O. Lain (1968-2002) called himself a fashion victim: He liked wearing socks with his sandals. When he wasn’t dispensing fashion advice, Rodney wrote for Low End Mac, The Mac Observer, Applelinks, and many other websites. Rodney lived in Minnesota. His own website was iBrotha.com, and we have collected as much of his writing that has since disappeared from the Web as possible in The Rodney O. Lain Archive.

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