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1886411832 cover

Cult of Mac
by Leander Kahney

No Starch Press, October 2004

review by
Chris Smolyk, May 2005

As a diehard Macuser of ten years, I must say this book was a bit of a shock to my system. Much like reading Apple: The Inside Story. It just didn't seem possible that a company so gruesomely mis-managed could stay in busines. Bottom line....fanatic user base. We've all heard of Guy Kawasaki, who went from his job promoting Apple to developers to being rich, retired and running the MacEvangelism movement. But to read reports from media people accouting how savagely, profanely and brutally they were treated by the mail bombing programs of the Evangelistas......to read of people who are so dedicated that they work as unpaid Apple reps in big computer stores....and bring their kids up in that tradition. Seeing the other extremes that Apple fanatics go to....it was like visitng a circus....a lot of sideshow type stuff.

Last night, browsing a website where irc-geeks post images of the wierd and wonderful, there was a photo of a girl who has that problem of cutting herself with razors....so it showed a freshly cut image of the Apple on her upper arm.

I think that in the way that Apple users will visit the existing Atari and Amiga groups to get a taste for that culture....this book may be a valuable resource for both WinTel and Linux users to look way into Apple culture. I can also see it being useful for people who want to know more about the fringey extremes....the way they used to look at people whose lives get swallowed up in varieties of irc, online sex etc.

Much of the book is quite upbeat, but I guess you wouldn't get published if you were just profiling people who do use Apple where most folks think they'd have to use WinTel....their small business, scientific workstation stuff and so on.

Getting past the parts that just plain shocked me, this book is a rare item, and extremely well turned out....certainly worth a day or two of summer browsing or as a feature coffee table item for some.

Like Apple: The Inside Story, I came away a bit scathed, but enriched and glad I read it.

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