The Grumpy Old Man of the PC world, John C. Dvorak, says at the outset that he’s not looking for attention from Mac users, even though he knows that’s exactly what he’s going to get. His newest PC Magazine article, called
E-Mac, i-Mac, No-Mac
is ready for reading.
Dvorak, a columnist who has a well-known and long-established penchant for slamming Apple and its products, starts out by recommending that the Mac simply be discontinued. Calling the platform an “old hound that can’t hunt,” Dvorak compared the Mac to IBM’s aged AS/400 server platform “except for the fact that it’s prettier.”
“I’m not writing this column as a Mac basher to get attention, although plenty of people will accuse me of doing that,” said a disingenuous Dvorak.
Dvorak accuses Apple of not having a new idea since the Mac was introduced in 1984. Apple tried again in the 1990s under the aegis of “a series of inconsequential Apple CEOs who ran Apple like a tire company,” said Dvorak, until Steve Jobs came back.
Having successfully recreated UNIX — long a mainstay of ivory-tower academic geeks and system administrators — as a user-friendly operating system suitable for mass consumption, “… why can’t Apple take its genius to the next level and bring out a completely new machine that is not a Macintosh?” asks Dvorak.
To answer his own question, Dvorak suggested that it’s because of the relative lack of innovation in the computer business overall. “All the R&D money has been diverted, mismanaged, killed by zealous bean counters, or simply wasted,” he said. And where such funds are being used is primarily in the field of semiconductor development, “a psychopathic rat-race” where the rats eat you when you lose.
Dvorak implied that Apple’s recent radical design change for the iMac is indicative of the general direction of computing: “haute design.” Comparing today’s computer market to car manufacturing in the 1950s, he said that it’s all about “form over substance.”