Ya know, I just couldn't stay away.

From: Computer Collector Newsletter <news_at_computercollector.com>
Date: Fri Feb 11 15:04:04 2005

I will try to summarize, briefly and for the LAST time, why I'm so pissed off.

People who don't work in my field (i.e., almost everyone on this list) have
nothing but the final product and their own speculation for understanding what
happens on the inside.

Now, I'm not a software developer. But by the common logic here on cctalk,
since Microsoft is the world's most dominant software company, I'm entitled to
judge all developers by the crap that Windows typically is.

Therefore all developers must be real idiots who don't care about usability,
reliability, and security.

I know that isn't true -- not even close to being true. Yet if one of you had
some personal interest in the media and joined a mailing list, and one day some
reporter really went overboard about how much software and those loser nerds
behind it all suck, well, you'd have every right to fire back. I wouldn't
blame you for it. Unfortunately it'd be everyone vs. you, but if you had a
spine, then you'd stick to your values.

And that's what is happening here. I'm a writer with an interest in vintage
computers. I'm not a complete doofus: I can certainly handle a crack now and
then about my industry. Hell, I make 'em myself, all the time. (Who knows how
much the TV producers will botch what I said with the BusinessWeek thing next
week, right?)

But the comments here got really out of control. One person makes some
comment, then a dozen others say "right on", and the next thing you know,
anyone who ever had a byline in the paper is guilty by association. But what
kind of person would I be if I didn't try to defend myself? Some of you said
"hey we're talking about your industry, not YOU, so relax"... that is crazy
logic. I can't understand how anyone ELSE cannot understand why I'm taking
this personally.

In my career (about a decade so far), I've had thousands of bylines in two
major daily newspapers, five magazines, and several well-respected online news
sites. I've reported stories that royally ticked off the top 20 biggest
technology companies known to mankind. Besides technology, I've also reported
on crime, politics, business, and trade unions. So in all that experience, you
can be sure I've pissed off a whole lot of people, in the name of telling the
most accurate story possible, within the allotted space and time, for the
benefit of my readers.

And you know what? Never once did I have a story changed by advertising
pressures. I've experience countless ** threats ** by advertisers, which
always either resulted in my editors telling the advertiser to go do something
impossible, or else resulted in the advertisers just backing down. Even at one
of the worst, least ethical magazines that I ever had the misfortune to write
for -- even that publisher told a huge advertiser to walk away when they didn't
like what I wrote, because what I wrote was true and fair. In another case, at
one of the most ethical places I worked, a huge company (EMC) was so pissed off
about a story I wrote that they initiated a worldwide witch hunt to find out my
source. They failed, of course. (One of the people who was on the recieving
end of EMC's inquisition actually made a web site about the experience, which
itself was covered by Forbes magazine in an article title "EMC's bully
tactics". If you could use a laugh, Google for "infamous EMC analyst letter".)

So, whoever still thinks that we the media are scum, you are welcome to throw
away your TV, stop buying the paper, unsubscribe from all magazines, block my
newsletter from your inbox, rip out your car radio, and go be a hermit on the
top of some mountain.

I fully support that the beauty of the First Amendment is that even
conspiracy-theory morons have the right to their (however wrong) opinion. But
until some of you spend a career in the real, fair, majority press, please take
your sophmorific insults elsewhere. And try to remember that 99% of the world
gauges the computer industry by what Mr. Gates does. I'm sure that makes YOU
all feel really happy with Joe User. What, you mean you want to tell me
otherwise? Then maybe you can start to understand everything I just wrote.

Can we talk about computers now?

Evan's personal homepage: www.snarc.net

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Received on Fri Feb 11 2005 - 15:04:04 GMT

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