Ah… Mac World.  And I don’t mean
the conference
, I mean "Mac World".  You know, this weird
parallel universe
where all those who have fallen prey to the Steve Jobs Cult dwell and sneer at
the rest of the population with a look of utter pity in their eyes.  I’m sure you know a few of these people if you’re a developer
or you work at a software company.  Maybe you’re even one of them.

It never misses:  whenever an Apple conference approaches, the tech
world gets all abuzz and Macboys can barely avoid exploding on the spot in a
thousand tiny droplets in anticipation of whatever Steve will throw in their
direction as long as it’s introduced as "One More Thing".

Witness my good buddy Michael, someone who would certainly not be described
as irrational, and much less exuberant, by his peers.  Michael
decided to
sign a check for $3,200
payable to Steve just to pre-order a MacBook. 
I bet that thousands of people are doing the very same thing as I write these
words, so Michael is hardly alone.  But that doesn’t make this behavior any
more explainable.

What I find really ironic is that after Jobs spent so much time explaining
that the Power PC was a speed demon and hearing tireless Mac users claim that
their machine was "plenty fast enough", these new announcements allow the Mac
community to breathe a common sigh of relief and finally say "okay, okay, we
admit it.  Our PowerPC’s are impossibly slow, we’ve been lying all along,
but it’s all going to change now!  So please stop disrupting our fantasy
with your facts".

Don’t get me wrong:  I can understand being excited about a product that
will bring new features or radical innovations, but paying forward $3,200 just
to get a faster machine?  And of all companies, to *Apple*, which
has a long track record of:

  • Exaggerating and omitting some vital facts in their announcements (any
    word on the battery life of these new Core Duo-based beasts?).
     
  • Making a terrible job at provisioning their stock supply (any bet
    on the percentage of orders that will actually be delivered in February?).

Maybe it’s just me, but with the power of the Internet at my fingers almost
twenty-four hours a day, I find it absolutely impossible (and unforgivable) to
make the slightest purchase before doing a quick research and seeing what other
people think of the product I’m about to buy. 

What makes things worse with
the MacBook is that we’re talking about a completely new product that is
guaranteed to have flaws in its initial versions.  Yes, yes, I know, Steve
says it runs flawlessly, but just stop staring at the pendulum he is swinging in
front of your eyes for a second and trust me on this one (and stop drooling too): 
You’re better off waiting.  A couple of weeks will do.

You’ve been
stuck with a machine slow as molasses for almost two decades, surely you can
hold off for a bit, can’t you?

So, dear reader, what’s your excuse for preordering one of these
chimerae?

Update:  Erik pointed me to

this piece
which seems to indicate that indeed, the benchmarks used by Apple
to compare Duo Core processors to PowerPC ones are flawed.  A technique not
unlike the one they used a few years ago to prove the opposite, though, so you
can’t accuse them of being inconsistent in their misinformation.