Mac Scope

Kommando's Bias Skews iMac Evaluation

Stephen Van Esch - 2002.09.25

The Komando has landed with both feet planted squarely on the iMac. Now, don't get me wrong: Criticism of the Mac is perfectly acceptable and, in fact, necessary to keep Apple on its toes.

And, of course, an opinion is just that: an opinion.

While it would be fairly simple to deconstruct her arguments, others have already gone that route. The usual arguments have been trotted out. Macs may be more expensive to buy initially, but they have a better return on investment. Speed tests carried out by Komando were, at best, laughably simplistic and subjective. A 15" monitor would definitely feel much smaller than a 21" monitor, and your point was again?

But I'm stating the obvious here. I find the lack of perspective much more interesting.

I'd like to make it clear that this is no way an attack on Ms. Komando. Everyone is entitled to her or his own opinion. However, I often find that the criticisms towards the Mac are the result of poor testing, lack of comprehensive fact checking, and a less than thorough research.

A classic example of this is the price comparison. This argument is almost as old as the Mac itself. Macs cost more, and they must therefore be a bad deal compared to Windows machines.

With proper, thorough research, it would become clear that over the long run Macs are a better deal than a comparable Windows machine. At the very least, if a reviewer feels that Macs are too expensive, a passing nod to their return on investment should be made.

It seems that some of the arguments against the Mac have moved into the realm of accepted wisdom. In place of objective testing and proper perspective, Bob, who told Bill, who told me, appears to be the accepted way of getting the facts.

While several authors legitimize their criticisms by claiming to make an honest effort of evaluating the machine, I often find this argument hard to believe when there seem to be so many erroneous statements or, at the very least, half truths.

While it wouldn't be such a big deal if this were simply a regular Jane or Joe spouting off in the forums, Ms. Komando appears to be a highly respected tech journalist. Many people, I'm certain, rely upon her opinions and turn to her for help when making a computer-related decision. Because of this, it's important that she keep things in perspective. Her article provided very little in concrete information regarding the Mac or why it would or wouldn't be a good purchase.

In contrast, David Coursey is a Windows user who is using a Mac and is providing real, concrete information that will help users learn more about what the Mac can offer them. Far from being an Apple booster, Coursey knocks the Mac when it needs knocking and praises what it does well. Of course, not all Mac users will agree with his assessments, but at least he seems to be making honest shot at evaluating the pros and cons of using a Macintosh.

I can't say the same for Ms. Komando.

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Stephen Van Esch is the founder and president of the E-learning Foundry, an online training resource for Mac users. Steve loves the Mac and is doubly bilingual, since he's also fluent in Windows and French.

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