Following MacWorld, when the outside world seemed awash in the warmth of mac sunshine and the love that was soon to be shared all around. Leander Kahney, Cult of Mac author and Wired News journalist talked to outsideleft about MacWorld, the state of things Macintosh and the response to his hit book.
Is it true that when Steve Jobs announced the iPod Shuffle (the new $99 iPod) at MacWorld, and mentioned that it might be available at the nearest Apple location that people ran down Market Street to buy it and were picking them up three at a time?
"They didn't run, they sprinted..." Leander Kahney of the ensuing furor, "One kid got there so fast, the store staff had no idea what he was babbling about. "A $100 iPod? A $500 iMac? Nonsense!" (Check out this LK recommended website for more on that story).
So, the Faithful, do they love Steve or loathe him? Do they trust him? Erm, especially the ones who are the former employees of PowerComputing... A company Macintosh effectively closed down by withdrawing their OS licenses...
"They love him and hate him at the same time." Leander says, "He's an asshole, but he gets amazing things done. No one trusts him. He's seen for the rapacious capitalist he is; but his high cultural taste redeems him. Power Computing employees probably fawn over him more than most; the conquering hero and all. Isn't the head of Umax now head of Apple's engineering? Must take a lot of brown nosing to get a job like that. "
So, were there groupies at MacWorld, throwing their underwear at Steve?
"Not really. He's kinda old for that. But there are plenty of people who worship him and hang on every word."
When pressed about his own situation at MacWorld, vis-a-vis, underwear throwing groupies."At me? Heck no. Rocks maybe." Leander K! Such-a charmer, it makes us wonder why his book, the Cult of Mac contains so few women.../strong>
"Yeah, true. I wanted more: sex sells, but I couldn't exactly invent them. If you want nerdy cheesecake, see the iPodLounge's galleries. (Check out the site and you'll see, Mr. K has our measure).
For whatever reason, and we'd wondered mostly when we're in line at Fry's with some stylishly cute white boxed product from Griffin, surrounded by men with cartloads of shabbily packaged computer components.Don't some people consider the Mac a girls' computer?
Leander Kahney takes up our cudgels, I think...Some do. It has feminine traits. Take evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller (Wired.com): Miller also said Macs are more feminine than Windows PCs. As a result, women feel like their Macs are friends or confidantes. For their part, men aren't threatened by Macs because they're not sexual rivals. They're more of a female helper."
"For men, it feels like a courtship with the computer," Miller said. "They are gentlemanly, protective. The (Windows) PC is a masculine device. Why do I want a sexual rival on my desktop, rather than a feminine servant?"
Although Kahney has a long history as a highly regarded Mac watcher, he's surprised by how well the book has been received...
"People seem to really like the book. It's gotten very good reviews - universally. I've yet to see a bad one, which must be an anomaly." Our review is here.
Have Apple employees, the Insiders - have they confirmed the speculative parts of the book at least with a nudge and an off the record wink?
"I haven't heard much from anyone at Apple, except it was rejected by the Apple retail stores (they sell how-to books only). A couple of product managers I'm friendly with said congrats, but that's about it. The company provided no help whatsoever when I was writing the book and officially, it's ignored.
So, Leander, what about the possibility of a film of the book, it seems from reading it, an obvious leap. I mean, you wouldn't even require Christopher Guest's direction to have something that would stand up quite well when measured against 'Best In Show'?
"Funny you should mention a movie. I was in L.A. earlier this week and a Hollywood producer bent my ear for an entire evening with talk of such a thing. His pitch: "A guy who's been using PCs all his life meets this Mac chick... He was absolutely blotto though, and I haven't heard from him since." Well, we'd been thinking more along the lines of Christopher Guest at the helm and another warmed over 'Best In Show'. Parker Posey as the lone Mac 'It' girl Ellen Feiss
Finally, there is of course, for us, as apparently in all walks of life, a great need to sex things up these days.is there anything lewd or perverse to be said about the MacAddicts' relationship with their machines.nefarious uses of the ear buds, perhaps?
"I've got no earbud stories. Do you? But Mac users‚Äîteenaged boys especially‚Äîhave been fetishizing Macs for ages. Check out this website http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,56409,00.html and you'll see.
The Cult of Mac. Gotta love that story.
The Cult of Mac by Leander Kahney is published by No Starch Press. It's available at online and offline bookstores, but not at Apple Stores. Other non-official Mac Stores, I can't attest. I'd hope so. This is a great read whether your a Mac person, a PC person or a regular person.