Gary Barker is a regular columnist for The Age, writing his weekly Apple column on Thursday’s Live Wire section (only some of his paper columns make it to the website). As one can expect out of a columnist dedicated to Apple affairs, Barker is an all out Apple fanboy, in a way which emphasizes all the bad connotations that term was meant to imply. That is, if you’re after pro Apple propaganda, you can’t do worse than read Barker’s column.
Personally, I skim through the column regularly, because in between the pro Apple PR there is the occasional bit of useful information. For example, it was through Barker that I learned about useful and wonderful iPhone apps such as Pulse. Yet Barker seems to be outdoing himself lately, which is why I thought it worth pointing out the dangers on deluding oneself with Apple fandom and what that fandom can do to a previously well operating mind.
A few weeks ago, Barker’s column was discussing Apple’s control over the contents of its iTunes shop. Sadly I can't find an electronic version for this article, which concluded with a statement saying that we all need to have the contents we consume edited and that it’s good to have someone [like Apple] do so for us.
So, Mr Barker, Apple is some sort of an uber-human that is capable of knowing what is good and what is bad for us better than we do? Why is it, exactly, that adults can’t determine these things for themselves without Apple’s “help”?
Sorry, Barker, but you should go and read your Orwell before you continue writing stupid things on your column.
This week, on yesterday’s column, Barker told us of the wonders of the iPad again. His focus was on its portability and ability to replace a laptop while travelling for work: it can run limited MS-Office like applications, and you can even run your presentations using an iPad if you have Apple’s special VGA extension cord for the iPad.
Wow, Barker, you’re so brilliant! But have you heard of an invention that has been with us for three years now called the “netbook”? It can run the real office applications, it has a VGA output built in, it weighs as much as your iPad, and it has a proper keyboard. Oh, it also costs half as much as your iPad.
You have to be totally nuts to consider an iPad better than a netbook for general office uses like editing documents and managing spreadsheets. That is, you have to be an Apple fanboy.
Oh, and in case your trouble with netbooks is that they don’t run the Mac OS: neither does the iPad. Still, hardware wise, netbooks should be perfectly capable of running the full on Mac OS (albeit without the greatest performance ever) if Apple was to abandon its freak control policy and let netbooks do so. But Apple doesn’t.
Barker is so deluded as to ignore the whole netbook phenomenon for one simple reason: Apple doesn’t sell one.