My Turn
My Mac Magazine #25, May ’97

Am I being too negative as of late? Some of you seem to think so. I have always been a little harsh at times, which is my nature. A good example of this is during the NFL football season. I am a huge Detroit Lions fan, and never miss a game. When they are winning or losing, I am right here watching the game. Last year, they had a very poor record, but I’m still a fan. Many of my friends who always proclaim their devotion to the team when the season starts, but end up buying Green Bay Packer hats five months later, may be able to root for a winning team, but at least I’m faithful. It’s always easier to root for the champion or whomever is most likely to win. It takes real courage to stick by someone, or something, when the future may not look so bright. And like my devotion to the Lions, I’m also faithful to the Macintosh computer platform, even though it appears to be in trouble at times. And that’s when I get negative.

Now, my negative prose often lands me in the hot seat with some readers. “Why are you talking about the bad stuff? Why not talk about all the GOOD stuff Apple is doing?” Some of you say. Truth is, I care so much about the success of the Mac, that I tend to “ride” Apple a little harder than I sometimes should. I do the same thing with the Lions.

I don’t do this out of spite or meanness. No one, and I mean NO ONE, wants Apple to succeed more than I do. I want to see a day when the Mac is the computer of choice, bar none. I want to see the PC side of computing dry up, and turn to Apple to guide them onto the path of proper computering. Of course, this will not likely happen, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop believing or rooting for MY team any less. But as I said, I do tend to get negative.

While being negative is not always a good thing, I think it’s something that needs to be looked at in the correct light. WHY am I being negative at times? Are my ideas or thoughts based on a desire to harm Apple, or to promote what I see as needed changes? Do you think I want to see Apple go the way of Atari? I hope not! Nor would I like to see Apple bought out by anyone who I don’t think has Apple’s, and the Mac’s, best interest at heart. Which is why, last month, I gave a hearty thumbs up to the idea of Larry Ellison buying Apple. Many of you saw this as my saying I want to see Apple done away with. Or that I hate the current people in charge of Apple. Neither is true. (I don’t HATE anyone, especially someone I have never met) But I do feel that some changes need to be made, and made fast.

One of the changes I have been harping on since My Mac started was better advertising. Recently, Apple took some very positive steps in just that area, with some really great radio and newspaper ads. Ads that speak to new computer buyers rather than preaching to the choir. At the same time, Apple is using these ads to fight all the bad press they have received in the last year. Taken together, I see this as a very positive step on the long road to a bright future. The NeXT step for Apple, if you will:-)

Does this mean I will stop my negative writings? Nope. Just like when I see the Lions doing something stupid on the field and I yell at the TV (yeah, I know…) I’ll also remain vocal when I see Apple doing something stupidly. But unlike knowing when a bad play is called during a football game, a play that everyone agrees is dumb, calling Apple on something is a little harder to do. During a football game, a bad play is instantly recognized. Not so with with a multi-billion dollar computer manufacturer. They play for the long term, not the short. So many times, when I harp on this or that, I could be one hundred percent wrong. And I’m also one hundred percent ready to admit my mistake when I am proved wrong.

Of course, we are only talking about my opinion in a digital magazine. How much weight that carries in the halls of Apple’s headquarters would not be enough to stir a falling feather. I seriously doubt my opinion could change anything, no matter how right I may be. By the same token, I also know how many people do read what I write, and that perhaps I do carry some responsibility to be a little more upbeat in my musings. After all, who knows WHO may be reading My Mac at any given time? Then again, in a medium where anyone with a computer and a online account can make a Web site, create an e-zine, or send e-mail to millions of people, why should anyone care what I think? I’m only one small voice in a world of millions.

The question I put to you is simple. Should I continue to write what I feel, what I think, or what makes me upset? Or only write about that which I think YOU may like? Truth be told, I never sit here and think to myself “What should I write about now that people will really enjoy?” Never happens. This is why I never ask the writers of My Mac what I think they should write about. I never give topics to them. Never say what they can or cannot say. (Unless is it vulgar or inappropriate, of course.)

What it boils down to is this: people generally seem to like it better when I just write about something I’m passionate about, disregarding whether it will be perceived as positive or negative. At least they can respect it for what it is: my opinion.

To steal a line from Dennis Miller, that’s just my opinion, and I could be wrong.

Tim Robertson (

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