John C Dvorak on Switching

by James Duncan Davidson

John C Dvorak is paid to make controversal statements. And this time he's made a big one. In fact, I think he's gone over the line. In his latest PCMag editorial he takes random personal potshots at the people Apple's Switch campaign. At one point he says, "If these people are the examples, then I fear for the future of Apple. Seriously."

He's taking pot shots at those real people for having real problems and looking for a solution that works for them. Somebody slap him with a clue stick. Attacking the campaign because you don't like it is one thing. Dissing on real people like Mike, Liza, Dave, Aron, and Sarah is just plain uncalled for. Sure, they've had gel slathed in their hair for the TV and a bit of makeup applied, and their stories have been edited for effect, but they are real people with real experiences. And I've run into zillions of people just like them all over the world. Liza the DJ reminds me of several people that I've hung out with in SF and just want a better experience with their computer.

Computers aren't for elitists. They are for everyone to use to make their lives better.

At a recent conference, I was asked what I thought the future of software was. My answer: Make it work for the real people out there, not just computer whizes like myself and the other developers in the audience. Those people are like the people in the ads. And even though I want to see more ads targeted to people like me (I want more full spread ads in magazines talking about the Unix underpinnings of OS X), I'm glad that Apple is out there working on a campaign to bring more real users to the platform. Those users are the ones that pay all of our salaries.

What do you think? Is John out of line?


2002-06-25 23:15:49
Not such a big deal
Dvorak is the way he is. His remarks are opinion and there's nothing to be done about it. By writing responses like this you serve him on a platter exactly what he thrives, notoriety based on shaky reasoning.

The Apple campaign, in any case, *is* strange to the average person on the street in Duluth, MN, say. It's very appealing to us Apple users, however, because we're that kind of people, we love that style. Not worth writing a small column about.

2002-06-26 08:37:34
What a waste of bandwidth.
Every Mac site on the net, as always, and now the MacDev Center at O'Reilly, is talking about the inane (again) article of John Dvorak.

As is commented in the article, this jerk has been paid for this for years. His remarks vary from half-truths to outright fabrications, or observations so preposterous that no one can believe them.

And all this marvelous "press" coverage just gets him that many more hits, that much better standing with his sponsors, and a fatter wallet on payday.

Why make an issue out of something that's a non-issue? And for god's sake don't provide links to his inane articles.

2002-06-26 14:18:38
Fear and Loathing in PC Mag
Maybe John just fearful of his future. If Apple succeeds with it efforts to make the PC a digital hub, easy to use and reliable, John will be without a job. He will have to join the ranks of the guys in the Maytag commercials, waiting around in his little blue worksuit for the machine to breakdown.
2002-06-27 06:14:23
Oh, the Irony
John Dvorak claims to be offended that Apple is pointing out the flaws and negative features of the Windows platform. Yet, John is guilty of the same thing with his previous articles.

It's been a long time since I've seen such bias attacks against Apple. John has lower the journalistic integrity of his column....

Yes, it's an editorial and supposed to be based more on opinion. There's a difference between having an opinion and expressing it through an even-headed article and writing a tabloid article. John has crossed that line with his article; "E-Mac, i-Mac, No Mac."

It's ironic that he's now condemning Apple for focusing on real people's problems with Windows, when John's recent articles do nothing but trash the Mac platform claiming that it "should be put down like a dog".

Tabloids sell well. I'm sure John will get plenty of hits on his articles for that very fact.

2002-06-28 13:04:43
Dvorak is Trolling
I like where Apple is going these days. Though admittedly I am turned off by the Switch Ads. I think that the Register has a much better take on the negative aspects of the campaign than Dvorak.

In a nutshell, Dvorak is trolling for attention.

2002-06-28 13:29:01
The same logic

Every time that Dvorak writes an insensitive, ill-thought out article about the Mac, someone writes an article pointing to it. They usually aren't as well thought out as James' blog (for example, this is the first one that suggested slapping Dvorak with a clue stick).

Next people react by saying "you shouldn't write an article like this because it just gives publicity to Dvorak's nasty article and builds his number of hits. The same logic, however, says that Dvorak shouldn't make fun of the Switch campaign. It just get's people curious about what Apple is up to. What's different (as James points out) is that Dvorak isn't just being mean to Apple, he's being mean to the real people who are standing up and explaining how Apple has solved a real problem for them.


2002-06-28 13:37:19
The same logic
You have some good points. In the past an article by Dvorak like this might have been 'successful'. Now? I think this one will backfire, and give Apple even more (good) attention.

What's the saying? There's no such thing as bad publicity

2002-06-28 18:23:19
Yep. It's about the People Bashing.
I have no problem with John not liking the campaign or even not liking Apple. It's his right and he can say what he wants to about it. Heck, it's not a perfect campaign by any stretch. But the market will dictate if it is successful or not.

Where John went over the line is in bashing the people themselves. He reminded me of the geeky version of the high school bully.

2002-08-04 19:54:55
Not such a big deal
I stumbled upon a Drovak message thread in PC-Magazine. I was drawn to the discussion because it involved my area of expertise: payment systems. I had never had contact with him in the past and don't intend to have any in the future.
The man has some serious issues. His style of rhetorical garbage is shameful. If he is not feining his ignorance, he should quitely resign, for he must be truly stupid and deserves no forum at all.
He reminds me of the endless parade of A.M. radio shock-jocks, with nothing to offer in the way of constructive commentary, just outrageous prattle.
2002-11-21 07:34:28
time to let him fade away
all mac users should from now and forever completely ignore him regardless of his tasteless and illogical columns. we don't respond, he gets no hits, he's forced to actually come up with an idea to generate hits. let him die already. 10 years from now he'll be wrinkled and alone as nobody will care what he has to say. he'll be sitting in a corner muttering expletives against apple users. one of you writers should start a campaign to get mac users to NEVER respond to his childish outbursts. let's see how long pc magazine will allow him to continue his boring rants if nobody responds. in fact, do any of us really care what this man has to say? he does it for one reason only - hits. let's stop this already, he's never going to change.