My Turn
My Mac Magazine #30, Oct. ’97

Usually, I will save the e-mail I receive for the e-mail page, but I recently got an e-mail to which I wanted to reply not only to the letter writer, but to all My Mac readers. First, the letter from Tim O’Neill:

Dear Tim:

I am outraged you are doing this “campaign” against Apple.

First of all, the cloning would have eventually took Apple sinking down, which would make the clones insupportable. A lot like when someone is trying to save someone drowning in the water with their bare hands, and the victim drowning the person trying to save them in order for the victim to live.

Like Apple, the lifeguard for the clones, the clones were trying to drown Apple in order to save themselves.

Yes , the difference is this- if the clones drowned Apple, there would be none to support them on their efforts (this includes the 60 million Mac OS users, who use the Mac OS, which is developed by Apple).

Apple drowned their victims in order to have at least one of them live. You are not taking a wise train of thought by thinking otherwise.Think this over: If Apple died, who would support the clones with OS development & marketing? None.These clones were not as large as Apple to cover such broad areas in the market.

Needless to say, you will lose plenty of readers by taking such an ignorant viewpoint on the subject.

Tim O’Neill


First, I want to thank you for taking the time to write this letter, and from reading it, I know you are a huge Mac fanatic like myself.

But your letter leaves me somewhat confused. You insinuate that I have launched some sort of anti-Apple campaign against them. I’m not sure why you believe that, for I have yet to write on the continuing “Apple Clone Saga”. In fact, my latest column was on the Microsoft/Apple deal, which I was all for (see issue #29 “My Turn” or the Web page at
. If you are referring to the Web-only “Apple Talk” page, you should be aware that everything presented there is from readers such as yourself who have written in, and not from myself or any of the staff.

As for what I think of it all, I think Apple made the only decision it could, according to the facts that have been reported. The clones were supposed to expand the Macintosh market, but that didn’t happen. From what I have seen, and hind sight being 20/20, all the clone vendors did was to dip into Apple’s share of the pie.

Let’s take Motorola for an example. Here’s a company that is much larger than Apple, who has some great television ads for their pagers and cellular phones, but did nothing to advertise their Macintosh clones to the mass public. In fact, the only place I ever saw Motorola advertise was in Mac publications. How is that going to expand the Mac market? Rather, I think it would eat into Apple’s sales, which the licensing fees would not cover to make up such a huge loss.

Another great example is Power Computing. Power had some of the very best print ads I have ever seen from any computer manufacturer, and where did they all appear? In PC World? Rolling Stone? Time? Nope, only in MacWeek, Macworld, MacUser, etc. How is Power living up to its commitment to expand the Macintosh market that way? They’re not, of course.

I agree with you. Apple really had no choice. At least, without knowing the whole story, without knowing what really happened behind closed doors, I must assume that Apple did the right thing.

To return to the thrust of your letter, let me assure you I’m not into any “Anti-Apple” campaign. Far from it, actually. That is not to say, however, that if one of My Mac’s writers wrote a negative piece on Apple which I didn’t agree with, I would hold off publishing it. My Mac is about creative freedom, something I take very seriously. I don’t hand out writing assignments, nor do I suggest what the writers should or shouldn’t write about. To me, the Macintosh is one of the greatest tools ever created to stimulate the creative thoughts and ideas of people, and My Mac is a celebration of that creative process. I don’t stifle or censor our writers, nor do I expect to be accountable for others’ viewpoints.

Thanks again for writing,Tim. I hadn’t written a lengthy reply letter to anyone in quite some time, and it felt good.

Tim Robertson (

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