Mystical Ugly Computers (Was: RE: Appropritate comic strip....)

From: Fred Cisin <>
Date: Sun Jan 13 12:25:19 2002

> As for the new iMac, I think that, like the original iMac, it's meant
> to demystify computers for those that have no interest in them for the
> most part and who don't want a plain beige box taking up space.

This must be a new definition of "DEMYSTIFY" that I was previously unaware
of. ... to hide all details of internal workings, and isolate from all
understanding; to accept as magical, mystical, and SEP (Somebody Else's

> Like it or not, it's hard to ignore and it does make a statement.
"Statement: I don't have any interest in computers, and don't WANT to know
anything about them."

Apple has been amazingly successful with their neo-luddite advertising
campaign. It has enabled them to go head to head with IBM and live! The
majority of people buying computers don't know anything about them, and
don't want to. By sealing the system, both hardware and software, Apple
has provided them with what they want and need.

But there is no way that I would use the word DEMYSTIFY, which _I_ use to
mean eliminating the magical and mystical component through complete
understanding of what is going on.

For example:
UC Berkeley's CS department starts their undergrads with "Abstraction:
programming with Scheme (a Lisp derivative)", but then in a later
semester, they have "Demystification: assembly language, compilers,
architecture, and how it works."

Apple's product line is heavy on abstraction for the end-user, hiding all
details that they don't need to know. They have acknowledged, and even
promoted, the differentiation and gap between users and

NOTE: this is in reference to their marketing, advertising, education,
etc. NOT in reference to the quality of their products.

Grumpy Ol' Fred
Received on Sun Jan 13 2002 - 12:25:19 GMT

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