Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Fame of a peculiar sort for an amateur reviewer

Mac Mini: The Emperor's New Computer

Update: This is indeed a parody. I think the author was a bit too subtle, but it is arguably a work of genius. I live in St. Paul, so Garrison could be my neighbor -- though since Garrison Keilor is a famous figure here I wonder if his "pseudonym" is a pseudonym as well. As noted in Macintouch:
I had an inkling I'd heard of "Jorge Lopez, MCSE" before. I recalled a similar article creating quite a stir in the Linux community about a year ago. And here it is: "Windows vs. Linux on the Server and the Desktop" from October 2003.

The site is the home of quite a bit of edgy social and political satire. Though the "columns" are attributed to several people (with photos!), it's apparently all written by one Garrison Netzel of St. Paul, MN. Netzel is to be congratulated -- he's even managed to get a fawning review of WindowsXP by "Jorge Lopez, MCSE" published in a couple of computer club magazines in Florida!
I'll let my original comments stand. Yes, I was taken in!
Jorge Lopez has written a review essay exposing the shocking truth about the Mac Mini -- it doesn't have a 5.25" drive bay. Also, it can't run Norton AV and Ad-Aware. And since Safari doesn't render MSN as expected, it's not standards compliant.

I really thought this was a parody, but it looks quite sincere. Yes, he's also getting millions of links and buckets of emails, but the absence of Google AdWords suggests there's no method to his madness. The review is more than just conventionally bad, it has the same peculiar fascination as those "write like Hemmingway" essays. Awful yes, but artfully awful.

Perhaps, given the volume of such reviews (see mine for example), this is the inverse of a horde of monkeys tapping out literature. Among tens of thousands of amateur reviews, a small number will go beyond being silly to being awful yet fascinating. (Ok, so John Dvorak has been doing this professionally for over twenty years ...)

Anyway, I hope Jorge doesn't take this too seriously. He is transiently famous and it would be good if he can laugh about it. It's something he can tell his kids about.

On the other hand the fact that Jorge has bought and tested a Mac Mini does suggest the darned machine might be some kind of a breakthrough. Maybe Jobs will decide to fix Apple's $#! bundled iPhoto 5 app ....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Freakin' awesome. Go Garrison. So funny!