Apple encourages people to “think differently,” but perhaps they should encourage them to just think.
Back in January the folks over at Overclockers.com put up an article from someone calling themselves “Andy” who purportedly got a brand new Mac G5 for Christmas which he then gutted and turned into a PC saying, “Don’t get me wrong, Im sure G5 is a great computer, but I wanted a Dell for Christmas. I don’t have any programs for Apple and didn’t feel like waiting for them. I thought about selling it, but my parents would be upset with me. After all, this was a very expensive gift and it meant a lot to them to give to me.”
The article contains plenty of digital pics showing Andy’s progress as he hacked the hell out of the case and mounted a PC motherboard inside. At the end Andy says, “It’s a good thing my parents don’t know anything about computers, because I’m sure they would be really angry if they knew what I did. I have to say that I’m happy – I can keep on using XP.” and also comments “When I showed my friend, who happens to love Apple, he looked sick. He did not say anything to me. He just put his hands on his head and was in shock. I wish I had a picture of that.” Word of this article spread like wildfire and reaction from the Mac community was swift…
…they went totally ape-shit over it.
As news of it spread around the world, it generated the best traffic ever for the long-running Overclockers site, which claimed more than 300,000 visitors a day.
Andy said his e-mail inbox quickly filled to capacity, with more than 1,300 messages, and an unknown number bounced. The mail he did receive was full of nice, kind thoughts like death threats, insults and all kinds of colorful invective.
“I hope your PC blows up and leaves your miserable face disfigured forever,” read one. “You will surely burn in hell for an eternity for this one.”
Another said Andy should be hung by his testicles and set on fire.
“Turning a perfectly good dual G5 into a crappy PC was the ticket that got you to hell,” wrote another, citing the common eternal damnation theme. “And if you were in front of me I’d pop a corn-born Teflon bullet from my Glock in your fucking face.”
It wasn’t just hate-filled e-mail. Haddock labeled Andy “possibly the most stupid person on the planet.”
“I posted it and the world turned upside down,” said Joe Citarella, who runs the Overclockers site. “It was absolutely incredible…. I’ve never seen a reaction as intense and emotional as this. The reaction has been nothing short of an avalanche.”
“Some people took it really, really hard,” he continued. “I guess it shows Mac users relate to their machines differently…. We’ve gutted Dells and we never got a ‘My God you desecrated a Dell!’ reaction.”
Naturally, Andy didn’t really gut a G5, though he did hack the hell out of an empty G5 case he got from a buddy. Though I’d imagine that’s probably just as sacrilegious to the Mac crowd.
Even if someone were stupid enough to gut a G5, the machines start at $1700 and go up quickly, it still wouldn’t warrant the reaction that Andy got over it.
“Mac users are nuttier than a fruitcake,” Andy said. “People have an unnatural emotional attachment to object(s) like computers. For some, their reaction was akin to me butchering their parents or a beloved pet.”
Andy said some of the mail commented on his troubled psyche and warned of future mental problems. But “the majority of people just cussed me and said I was insane.”
“I didn’t expect to get any responses,” he said, “but some of them were rather amusing so I laughed a lot and shared with friends. I had no idea that so many people in the world were so gullible.”
Feeling guilty, Andy wrote to the site explaining the whole thing was just a little joke.
But Citarella said some of the site’s readers don’t believe Andy’s explanation.
“His last message is kind of contrite, but a lot of people out there think he’s covering up his butchery,” Citarella said. “Some people think he’s making it up to protect himself.
“I’m a parent, and if my son did something like this (hoax) I’d kill him.”
Stuff like this just contributes to the popularly held belief that Mac users are just a bunch of snobs with more money than brains. Death threats? Torture? You’d think Andy was Osama with the reaction he got.
Most amazing of all are the people who continue to believe Andy really did gut a G5 even after Andy owned up to it being a hoax. This shows you just how irrational some people will become in order to keep from admitting they were duped. Relax people, it’s just a computer.