AppleMatters Interviews the Macalope

by James R. Stoup Jan 29, 2007

If you haven’t been reading the Macalope then you’ve been missing some of the best Mac commentary out there. With razor wit and scathing remarks, the Macalope pounces on those deserving of pain and humiliation. And I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions. The meaning of life, the universe, and everything might not be revealed in our conversation, but it’s close. And now, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your reading enjoyment, the Macalope.

AM - For those readers who might not know, what is a Macalope?
Macalope - Part man, part Mac, and part antelope, the Macalope is the embodiment of the long-suffering Mac user. Forged in the fires of the mid-1990s, the Macalope has come into his own and no longer shall he suffer the poisonous barbs of the likes of John Dvorak and Rob Enderle. The Macalope hangs with many other mythical creatures, many of whom pass him juicy tidbits of information on Apple.

AM - Are you a free-range Macalope?
Macalope - Free-range, corn-fed, and regularly massaged.

AM - Are you endangered?
Macalope - Not anymore.

AM - Were you bred in captivity?
Macalope - No, but if you’re wondering how a hybrid man/Mac/antelope comes about, let’s just say it gets lonely on the high plains and leave it at that.

AM - Please, set the record straight and tell us just who this “Artie MacStrawman” really is.
Macalope - Artie MacStrawman was actually a creation of Crazy Apple Rumors which managed to perfectly define the straw man Mac user so often set up by lazy pundits and Microsoft fan boys. An example of invoking Artie MacStrawman would be “Mac users will blindly buy anything Steve Jobs sells them.”

AM - Which journalists provide you with the best material? (Mr. Ou comes to mind.)
Macalope - Well, yes, George Ou seems to be the most prickly and that’s really what makes him so much fun. He’s not as consistently wrong as Rob Enderle or as deliberately malfeasant as John Dvorak, but he’s much more likely to lose his cool. The lack of a fully developed sense of humor and an over-developed sense of outrage probably put him at the top of a rather fetid pile.

AM - Are you really John Gruber in disguise? A clone? Evil Twin? Split personality?
Macalope - The Macalope will not respond to any speculation about the identity of his alter-ego.

AM - If not, will the world ever really know the man behind the antlers?
Macalope - It’s of little consequence. We are all the Macalope. The Macalope is legion.

AM - What was your favorite story of 2006? What are you looking forward to writing about in 2007?
Macalope - The Maynor/Ellch/Ou fiasco was what got the Macalope rolling in 2006. Despite their protestations, the protagonists clearly had an axe to grind against Mac users—who they characterized as blind zealots who think OS X is invulnerable to any attack—and they were hoisted on their own petard. This year, the Macalope is most looking forward to Leopard’s release. He suspects Apple will have some surprises up its sleeve (which may be another reason Steve Jobs passed over Leopard in his Macworld keynote).

AM - Are you as excited as I am about David Maynor and Jon Ellch releasing their next video? It will be of them breaking the security of an iPhone….
Macalope - If they can do it and document it, then fine. The Macalope takes issue with how the hacking community seems to have decided that they have no obligation to the users, their job is to stick it to the vendors so they don’t have to inform them of these bugs beforehand. He recognizes that vendors will drag their heels on fixing bugs if no one knows about them, but if you care about the users you’d try that avenue first. At any rate, if what we end up with at the end is a more secure platform, that’s a plus for Mac and iPhone users.

AM - What colors will the Zune 2.0 come in? Candycane? Lilac? Plaid?
Macalope - If the Zune isn’t mercifully drowned in the bath, the 2.0 iteration will come in whatever colors the Nano is sporting at the time. And brown. Because that’s the innovation Microsoft brings to the world of digital music players.

AM - According to the hype, the iPhone will either a) dominate the global cell phone industry, absorbing market share like the Borg, b) utterly fail, forcing Steve Jobs to slit his wrists with a sharped iPod Nano, c) become just successful enough to cause Ballmer to start throwing chairs AND desks, or d) none of the above. Your thoughts on the iPhone’s future?
Macalope - Probably C. It will do well—very well—but will not take the kind of market share the iPod has. Still, after Apple releases more economical models it could end up taking more market share than anyone else. Also, Multi-touch will filter into the iPod and the Mac, benefitting each of those product lines.

AM - Any final thoughts, plugs, etc. you would like to share with our readers?
Macalope - We live in a golden age for Apple. No one knows how long it will last, so enjoy it.

Part man, part Mac, part antelope. What more could you ask for?


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