FUD is what savvy computer users expect of monopoly companies on the defensive. Tera said much of the high profile FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) was raised and pointed toward Apple.
Mac user “jmincey” took awhile, but finally summed up the FUD issues.
“Tera, you advise that we fight FUD with facts (among other things). In my experience, though, this will be effective only with those who themselves are victims of FUD (as opposed to the unwitting, lemming-like reciters and perveyors of it).”
“I find that when certain beliefs (like platform bigotry) slip in under our radar before our critical reasoning kicks in, then even if later we invoke our reasoning skills retroactively, it’s less on re-examining the original belief than on readapting it or using new applications of it.”
“So Windows proponents will engage their reasoning skills on how best to set up, configure, secure, and deploy Windows systems but never stop to consider the possibility of using an alternative altogether because the original premise was only inherited by virtue of parents, peers, workplace, culture, etc.”
“Mac users have much more experience with Windows than Windows users have with Macs, and yet don’t the Windows users always seem to know best!”
“This is what happens when belief systems seep into our consciousness beneath the radar of intellect. Religion, politics, economic systems, marriage— all these subjects are susceptible to this phenomenon.”
“Most of us simply inherit our beliefs on these matters and few ever truly re-evaluate them on their merits; and yet don’t we just love to defend them so passionately— as if they had been hard won through the rigors of scholarly research on our part.”
“Microsoft’s ironic twist to FUD is later to adopt or co-opt the very technology and practices which once were the targets of its propaganda machine (which would make Goebbels proud). One big example of this is Java.”
“Microsoft undertook a shameless campaign of misinformation against the platform-independent Java because of course this represented a threat to Microsoft hegemony. But a few years later what did Microsoft do? It came out with C# (which is Java right down to the commands and syntax) with a few C adulterations thrown in. And it came out with .Net (which is simply enterprise Java adapated to be platform-specific to Windows.”
Whew. Now we need someone to sum up the summary.
Also hot for the week was Tera’s Frequently Asked Questions. The answers, though, sparked even more questions than the original FAQs, which delivered more answers from Tera. Mac user “tekspek1” broke open the crystal ball to look inside…
“Ahhhh, the mystery is gone. Or is it?”
“Ya know the thing with these here computer box things is that you can be anyone, any gender, any age (with gorgeous pictures to match) and no one would be the wiser. You could be my next door neighbor (Good Lord I hope not) and I’d never know.”
“And ya know what that means? Absolutely nothing.”
“Because one thing that Photoshop cannot do is mimic a brain and a sense of humor. It can’t create an intelligence or writing style that makes me laugh (I laugh easily…if it’s funny.)”
“So whoever you are, where ever you are, whatever you are, I don’t care. Just keep writing this column and I’ll keep laughing when you’re funny and pondering when you’re thoughtful.”
Is it possible to have more commentary on the commentary from Tera’s answers to reader’s Frequently Asked Questions? Does a bear poop in the woods?
Mac user “imacinuptown” managed to read between lines where nothing was written.
“Answer. There’s fun with men? Who knew?” hmmm is this a hint at your sexual preference?.. yes I see you have children.. but still?, none of my business, just curious. Love this site, a gentle reminder… the desktop pics of you, Bambi, and Alex, where are they? Stay sexy, sweet and smart, and you’ll forever be in my bookmarks. Peace.”
Besides FAQs, AAPL’s stock price was high on Tera’s list of concerns. Mac user “jicon” voiced (wrote) concerns about costs and shareholders vs. customers.
“If it isn’t blatant, it should be. Apple is out to serve the shareholder, not the consumer.”
“Apple is notorious for cutting costs wherever possible, giving them high margins on sales of their product. Now power adapters, docks, remotes, cases, and firewire cables are being nixed from an iPod. Where do you start cutting costs from here?”
All this give and take between writer and reader caused Tera to ask, “Forums, anyone?” Reader “jeff” chimed in with a few others.
“I’ll bite—yes, I would welcome and enjoy a forum, (as a newcomer to this web site). I suspect it’s one of those conundrums in which you might not one to invest resources into designing and implemention it until people demonstrate that they will participate while at the same time people are unlikely to show their participation until you invest resources…”
Tera’s got that one high on the consideration list; along with Tera Desktop Pictures, a Tera Calendar, and a Tera T-Shirt.