Monday, July 30, 2007

Et tu, Dvorak?

It's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

A lot of you have e-mailed me with the news that the formerly-respected John Dvorak has "turned Mac". I've avoided writing about it for a while because frankly, Dvorak isn't very interesting. But I can't ignore this forever, so here we go:

Guys like Dvorak really annoy me. Here's a guy who's made a career out of Mac-bashing, and he had the credibility to do it. He used to be the back-page columnist for MacWorld, until he saw the light and became a PC guy.

Now, he writes an (obviously) Mac-baiting article designed to up his hit count, impress his editors and get him lots of ink, while all the while he admits that a Mac is not his primary machine, never will be, but that he recommends them to his friends.

Note to Dvorak: It's called eating your own dogfood, Johnny-boy. If you're going to make your living writing about the wonders of Windows and baiting Mac fanbois, you need to be true to your word. You'd never see my good friend Rob Enderle pull this kind of crap. Now put down that toy, pick up the mouse with those chubby little fingers, cruise your lardass over to the DELL website and pick up a real computer preloaded with the exciting Vista software*. What the hell were you thinking?

*See the exhaustive review at Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Something's Fishy

Those of you who read the excellent "Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus" will note that I've done my best to point out that Apple is less and less focused on the Mac these days, obviously. Ever since they dropped the word "Computer" from their name, Steve Jobs has been obsessed with iPods, the ill-fated AppleTV and the overpriced Apple iPhone. Apple simply doesn't care about desktop computing and, therefore, Macs. Here are a few samples for those you you that haven't been paying attention:

From June 11: "I think that we will all look back on this day as the time when we stopped thinking about desktop OSes and focused on the mobile, Web-based future."

From June 13: "And now we know that OS X is as mature an OS as is Windows and, in the end, there's really just not much you can do beyond the evolutionary stuff. Ultimately, that's why the mobile device stuff is so exciting, at least on the Apple side: It's a place where Apple can continue to make big advances."

And I've repeatedly pointed out that Apple doesn't care about the Mac any more. We had a MacWorld where Steve-O didn't even talk about the Mac! I've been beating this drum for a long time.

Anyway. That's what makes Apple's recent earnings announcement so disturbing. Most Macs sold in a quarter ever? What's up with that? Of course, all of this means nothing. Since the larger PC market is also growing (although not as fast as Apple), they have to run several times as hard just to post even minor gains. Their 2.49% worldwide market share is still a pimple on the ass of Windows.

But still, I have to wonder how they were able to sell so many Macs in a single quarter, especially when my flawless analysis showed that Apple doesn't really care about selling computers any more.

It's a good thing I have a trip to France coming up. I need to ponder this.

Hats off to Woz

Unlike that other Steve, Steve Wozniak is a class act. The guy even stood in line to get his overpriced iPhone (although to be honest, he was probably afraid King Jobs wouldn't follow through on his promise to give him one the next day).

Anyway. Apparently "The Woz" has compiled a list of features he'd like to see on the iPhone, and he plans on presenting this to His Jobsness the next time they meet. I think Wozniak has come up with the ultimate feature. According to this article, "he’d also like to display the temperature, in Celsius, on the home screen."

That's a great idea, and one I'll be sure to add this obvious missing feature to my comprehensive iPhone review on Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows if I ever get around to completing it. Celsius is just better, sorry. Whenever I visit France, I marvel at their sophisticated use of this temperature-measurement system. Fat Americans just don't get it, and Woz will make a huge contribution towards the betterment of this country if he can convince the other (stubborn) Steve to do the right thing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One More Time

So I was Googling Windows Live™ searching my name this morning, and I came across this gem:
"Thurrottup finally fixed his comparison to accurately reflect the fact that Apple's pricing is, indeed cheaper."
Here we go again. Another Mac loser that doesn't know how to pronounce my name. It's pronounced "Thir-ROT", not "Thir-ROW". I realize the second pronunciation would be more French-like, and thus closer to perfection, but it's not. If you're going to criticize me, please get it right. It's one thing to spell my name wrong (something that happens a lot, obviously), but it's altogether different to make a bad joke that doesn't even make sense.

One more time: It's "Thir-ROT", as in "The thoroughly rotten Mac OS", not "Thir-ROW", as in "Row on down the river Hades to buy a copy of Vista". It's unclear to me how anyone can fail to understand this.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

On a Personal Note

One of my problems is that people just aren't nice enough to each other.

I've been on the receiving end of a lot of this. I know that's surprising--especially being one of the most respected tech journalists on the planet, the author of Paul Thurrott's WinInfo, Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus, and Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows, and the author of many bestselling books. Some people think I have a big ego. Go figure.

Despite being the epitome of "fair and balanced", people continue to throw eggs at me. I've been called everything from a Jackass to a Gutless Troll. The children over at Roughly Drafted have made a career out of criticizing me. It's really weird, because I don't deserve it. For instance, I've received some flack for my recent post involving the omnipresent Google cameras. If you haven't read it, go over to the excellent Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus and check it out.

I'm not stupid. I know that those really aren't "Google's" cameras. I know that Microsoft's "Live Earth" offers the same functionality (and it's even better. Obviously). And I know that there's no way to do real-time surveillance using Google.

Folks, none of this matters.

I'm trying to make a point here. Google is Evil. Never mind that I use their services, love their e-mail, schedule with their calendars, use their search engine, and blog with their blogging tools. I only do these things so you don't have to. I want to protect you from the Evil that is Google, and I can't do that effectively if I don't gaze into the eyes of the beast, so to speak. If I have to get hyperbolic to make my point now and then, so be it. At least it gets me quoted. Not as often as my good friend Rob Enderle, but often enough. And that's what matters.

It's the same with the Mac. Despite owning Macs, forcing my wife to use one, and writing exhaustive reviews and commentary on every gadget Apple produces, I am and remain a Windows guy. Why? Basically, I haven't figured out a way to really make money from Apple. Plus, I can't stand that arrogant Steve Jobs, obviously. But none of that compromises my credibility.

So while I understand some of the criticism from Apple fanbois, Penguin-heads and Microsoft-haters, I'm here to tell you it's totally unjustified.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Are You Being Served?

Finally, Microsoft gets one right:
Microsoft has filed another patent, this one for an "advertising framework" that uses "context data" from your hard drive to show you advertisements and "apportion and credit advertising revenue" to ad suppliers in real time.

This is what we need, people. Better ads.

Thankfully, Microsoft isn't bound by some silly (and irrelevant, sorry) corporate directive to "do no evil". It's about time Microsoft took off the gloves and started competing directly with the hypocrites at Google. This is a good thing. Now, when Microsoft indexes your hard drive (under the auspices of easy "desktop search"), they can direct targeted ads based on your personal information.

Who wouldn't want this?

I can understand why people would be uneasy if this were being offered by Apple or Google. But this is Microsoft we're talking about, folks. As they say in their own patent application:
"The ability to derive and process context data from local sources rather than monitor interactions with a remote entity, such as a server, benefits both consumers and advertisers by delivering more tightly targeted advertisements. The benefit to the user is the perception that the ads are more relevant, and therefore, less of an interruption. The benefit to the advertiser is better focus and a higher chance of conversion to a sale."


Friday, July 13, 2007

No Post

I'm off to France this weekend for a well-deserved break from iPhone mania. I'll report back on Monday with my travel woes and news about how much more intelligent, enlightened, and polite the French are. Obviously.

See you then.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The $1,975 iPod

I don't know what's going on here, but first I had to compliment John Gruber today, and now Mac Zealot Tom Yager gets it right:
"The unhappy fact is that for all the glamorous marketing and positioning, iPhone turns out to be the worst $1,975 investment (iPhone plus two years minimum, mandatory service) you could make in mobile communications. If you put that kind of money into a BlackBerry, Treo, Windows Mobile, or Symbian device, you will be blown away by what a genuine professional mobile handset can do for you, out of the box, through incremental improvement by the manufacturer and wireless operator, and extension by downloadable third-party software."
I sense a disturbance in the force.

On Comments

You'll notice that I allow comments on this blog, wheras on other Paul Thurrott-branded sites, comments are not allowed (Paul Thurrott's WinInfo is an exception, but I don't call the shots there. Obviously.).

There are a few good reasons for this. First, hardly anyone reads this blog, so it doesn't matter much here. I'll re-evaluate the comment policy if it gets popular. Second, I don't need comments from rabid Mac Zealots clogging up my bandwidth. Since I don't pay for hosting this blog (thank you, Google), again, it doesn't matter.

But the best justification for not allowing comments comes from, of all places, long-winded T-Shirt salesman John Gruber, who said in a recent interview:

"I wanted to write a site for someone it’s meant for. That reader I write for is a second version of me. I’m writing for him. He’s interested in the exact same things I’m interested in; he reads the exact same websites I read. I want him to like this website so much that he reads it from the top to the bottom, and he reads everything. Every single word. The copyright statement, what software I use, he’s read it all.

"If I turn comments on, that goes away. It’s not that I don’t like sites with comments on, but when you read a site with comments it automatically puts you, the reader, in a defensive mode where you’re saying, “what’s good in this comment thread? What can I skim?”

"It’s totally egotistical. I want Daring Fireball to be a site that you can’t skim if you’re in the target audience for it. You say, “Oh, a new article from John. I need to read it,” and your deadlines go whizzing by because you have to read what I wrote."

Translation: I'm brilliant, you're not, I don't need you.

I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Gruber, but there you have it. Even a broken clock is right at least once a day.

Sinking the iPhone

Over on the excellent "Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus" website, you'll read my three part, 2,000-word look at sync problems with Apple's overpriced, underpowered iPhone. For those of you that can't understand why I'm spending so much time and energy covering synchronization, let me explain it to you this way: The iPhone, unfortunately, is excellent. I've spent every waking moment since I got this thing trying to find its Achilles Heel, and it looks like sync might be it.

Therefore, it would be irresponsible for me to ignore it, or not write about it in excruciating detail. My regular readers would expect no less from me. My only fear is that by the time I get around to writing the actual review, Apple will have sent out a software update fixing whatever problem I might be having. That's why it's important to write so much so soon. I need to get quoted and stop whatever momentum the iPhone has, even if I have to do it singlehandedly.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Even Name Sounds Funny

In one of my more brilliant headline-grabbing moments, I recently opined (on "Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus") that "The Wii is a joke, a novelty console that doesn't offer much staying power. Either the 360 or PS3 would be a better choice for almost anyone."

I stand by that statement, sorry. The Wii is Nintendo's lame attempt at emulating the shocking success of the Xbox 360, albeit with crappier games and that stupid "Wii-mote". Even the price of the thing screams, "I'm Cheap!" The Wii is the Britney Spears of gaming consoles--cheap, easy, fun to play with for a while, but ultimately unsatisfying.

And now (as if you really needed it) there's another reason to buy the technically-superior
Xbox: Microsoft is extending the warranty! Now you can easily "brick" your Xbox by running it for a couple hours in an enclosed box, and get a new one whenever you like! What other company offers you this kind of easy replacement goodness? This is a billion-dollar investment in you.

I guarantee you this: You'll never get this kind of consumer-oriented response from Sony or Nintendo. I'm on my third XBox, and despite the constant bricking, the loud fan, and the scratched discs I've experienced, I'd rather chew tinfoil soaked in urine than play with my Wii.

And don't even get me going on the PS3. Never mind that Sony just dropped the price by $100. Unless you want to watch high-definition movies straight out of the box (in the technically-inferior BluRay format), this thing offers nothing over the superior
Xbox. Besides, when you purchase the separate and technologically-superior $200 HD-DVD player for your Xbox, you get to have one more item in your home from Microsoft. And who wouldn't want that, really?

Photo from

Saturday, July 7, 2007


So like I said before, I'm not going to review the iPhone until I've had the chance to put it through its paces (and see what everyone else thinks. Obviously.).

But that won't stop me from writing about the iPhone. So far, between the excellent Internet Nexus website, my popular Windows Supersite and my "news" site at WinInformant, I've written an astonishing 5,600 words on the iPhone already. I might have written more, but I'm not counting comments on Mac message boards under various pseudonyms. To put that in perspective, that's about a month's worth of articles from that hack David Pogue.

Keep in mind that these aren't "reviews". As the tech world's most important writer, and the author of The Most Popular Windows Website in the Galaxy, I must be thoughtful and considerate, choosing my words carefully. These are "news" stories, "first impressions", "observations" and "thoughts". So don't quote me, because my opinion can and will change. Obviously.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

What's In A Name

Over on the excellent "Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus" website, I wrote: "I'm adult enough to be frisky without having to call anyone a jackass."

Actually that's not true. Dave Winer is a Jackass, as I have repeatedly pointed out. I only wrote what I did because I was poking at t-shirt salesman John Gruber.

Anyway. I got thinking about this when I read a New York Magazine article about Steve Jobs that stated, "Yet the most common descriptor applied to him, by friends and foes and even Jobs himself, is 'asshole.' "

That got me thinking. I wonder what people say about me? So here are the results:

Paul Thurrott Asshole: 13,300 results
Paul Thurrott Jackass: 580 results
Paul Thurrott Asshat: 154 results

Clearly I'm not in Steve Jobs' league. Yet. But I'm still slightly ahead of that do-gooder Mary Jo Foley and my good friend Rob Enderle, who come in at 11,400 and 988, respectively.

Take that!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Thurrott-le Down The Hype

A lot of Mac fans (translation: zealots) don't "get" guys like me and the esteemed Rob Enderle. To these flavor-aid swilling devotees of Cupertino, Apple can do no wrong, and anyone who says otherwise is either a Microsoft shill, or just plain delusional. They don't realize there's a whole world outside the walled garden that is Apple Inc.

That's why I'm so important to the tech world. I provide balance. The iPhone is a perfect example...even though I've already written more about the iPhone than anyone else on the Internet, I haven't posted an "official" review yet. That's because these things take time. I must first put my finger in the wind,* read what everyone else has to say, damn the unit with faint praise, then key in on any minor shortcomings with laser beam-like focus, proclaiming that Apple missed the mark. It helps if I can compare it unfavorably to a Microsoft product.

It's an important service that I offer. After all, I wouldn't want to be like these hacks:

Michael DeAgonia ( proclaims the iPhone worthy of Star Trek: "Forget communicators and phasers. I have something better and seemingly more advanced. I have an iPhone..."

This dweeb conveniently omits the fact that the iPhone does not serve as a Tricorder, leaving you without the ability to gather critical medical information in the event of an emergency. It's stunning that Apple would leave out this critical feature.

Lev Grossman at TIME magazine needs a towel: "Whoever managed this project at Apple will be hailed as a Michelangelo, and the iPhone his or her Sistine Chapel..."

How ridiculous. The iPhone doesn't even include the most rudimentary version of Paint. What's the point of a touchscreen if you can't treat it like a tablet? Pathetic.

And speaking of towels, the folks over at "" have this to say: "...if you’re concerned about a smudged screen...heck, that’s what sleeves are for – or if you’re fussy, you could always use the included cloth. In fact, you might need to keep it to hand – a few hours with the iPhone is guaranteed to be a very steamy experience."

Aside from the obvious--ick--this one is a no-brainer. There is no porn included on the iPhone. With all those bundled apps, you'd think they'd throw the early-adopter geeks a bone, so to speak.

It just goes on and on, folks. Seriously, someone needs to serve as a glass of ice water in this Hell of congratulatory back-slapping. That's what I'm here for. Balance.

Plus, let's be takes time to do a thorough review of a product like this. First, I have to try almost singlehandedly to quell the hype. Then, I'll write a few kind words about how the product is good, but ultimately flawed. Then, I'll mercilessly mock it over on my WinInfo "news" site (in both regular articles and as part of a future "Short Takes"), while simultaneously praising it in a "Connected Home" article. Finally, I'll write up a 30,000-word essay over on the Windows Supersite (the most popular Windows website on this or any other planet), where I'll give it four or so "Paul Heads", and call it a day.

THAT is how you do a review.

*After pulling it out of my arse, of course.

It's Not Just My Hands

So obviously, I got my iPhone, and I've already written about how my massive hands (see my EXCLUSIVE! iPhone preview over on the Windows Supersite) can't quite type well on this thing.

Have I mentioned I have freakishly large hands? You know what they say about people who have big hands.*

Anyway, it's not just my hands that are big. Read about my big "but" over on the Nexus.

*They have big gloves.