This article is more than 1 year old

Apple zealots pay thousands to be saved from themselves

iLemmings pick Intel over fear

Stern response Let me apologize for taking so very long to report back to you all about the iLemming camp that I opened earlier this month, after Apple announced it would sell out on a massive scale and use Intel chips. Things have been rather hectic, as the camp turned out to be more popular than even I expected. So far, I've made close to $250,000 from the jovial, well-dressed Mac crowd. Many souls have been saved, and many assess have been burned.

The warm letters I received help explain why the camp has been a smash.

"Troll, Plonk, FUCK OFF AND DIE, YOU WRETCHED TURD, You're an idiot, You suck, Go back to sleep, Gimp!! you dumb fuck. i hope you get cancer, dick . . . . ," wrote a number of you. Letting the anger out is the first key to healing. Here's what other iLemmings out there were saying.

hey buddy - i'm sure you're getting plenty of people telling you this right now, but in case you're not - you're a fucktard.


-- james

Biting the hand that feeds IT. Hmm. Interesting. Doesn't leave much wiggle-room, does it? Well, Otto, here goes. I don't eat quiche, drink lattés, wear tight jeans, drive a BMW, or wear sweaters over my shoulders with the arms tied in front. Years and years ago I owned Wintel equipment, and have used it as recently as, oh, last week. It sucks, Otto. You know it sucks. I know it sucks. Everyone out there knows it sucks. But... it's just "good enough" (read, "cheap enough") for most corporations to buy (and most corporate employees to steal software from for their home PCs).

This change to Intel CPUs means nothing, or it means everything. It could kill the Mac as a platform, at which time OS X Tiger will be released into the wild as pure software. If that happens, Otto, you may be forgiven for gobbling it up. Intel doesn't make the PC crappy, Otto, Windows does — and if you can keep your clunky, unintuitive Windows software and run it on a powerful, safe operating system like OS X (one way or the other), eventually you will.

iLemmings indeed. Look forward, Otto, that's a cliff coming up!

Richard Taylor

One word. grow up quick or seek therapy as soon as possible.

K. Rimane

And I have one word for you too - I'm already in therapy.

For once Mr Stern, thou speak the truth, the death of a whole generation of iFanboys

Better rewrite that old saying 'My computer is better than yours' to 'My computer is better than...erm is same as yours."

You just gotta smile, shall I play Doom on WinXP or OSX on my dual boot Intel(Hang on! is it Wintel or Mintel)

Have a fun week, here come the flames!!!

Fluffy E Rug

I don't think that's very incisive analysis. For starters, Intel CPUs are more expensive than PPCs. The move isn't about saving money, it's about access to a range of devices that simple aren't available in PPC world (such as low power/heat for laptops).

Cringlely, someone not known for writing drivel, reckons that Intel is about to buy Apple. His analysis makes some sense. We'll see, of course. It wouldn't be the first time someone was wrong about Apple.

Your idea that Mac users are coming to PC world is waaaay off. It's PC users who are coming to Mac world for Mac OS X. They (like me, a Windows user since 1990) want to buy from someone who takes responsibility for ensuring the whole box just works (no blaming device drivers or unsupported hardware). Right now Jobs has put a sleeper on that track - those of us about to make the move don't want to buy obsolete hardware.

Ken Tindell

I propose branding the ass of iLemmings, and you come back with that's not an incisive analysis? Bite me.

In further proof that irony is, indeed, dead, I didn't even notice that this was a OZS article until after I read it, as it makes some sad sense...frightening times when parody might as well be legitimate outside of the bush whitehouse...


Man, it's only a processor chip? Mac fans aren't all the nutty blogger geeks you think they are. What a mean spirited spiteful article. Chill!

Kerry Beauchemin

I didn't say nutty blogger geeks. I said whiney and annoying.

You forgot one thing in your article - the wonderful hardware-level DRM that will be present in every new Intel-based Mac. Why? Because Steve Jobs knows that if he doesn't secure the hardware completely, he'll have copies of OS X running on generic Intel/AMD boxes everywhere. Boxes that contribute no revenue to Apple whatsoever - and we can't have that now, can we?

I do wonder how many Apple fans will be willing to switch to a system with handcuffs built in to the design, when they know the full ramifications of this deal. With Apple's history of removing features and rights you thought you could take for granted, who's to say *what* you'll be able to do on your Mac in two years time? You can forget about running Linux, for starters. Protected start-up will ensure you don't run any of those nasty non-trustworthy OSes on your shiny new Mac. MacOS is all you'll get - if you want anything else, you'll have to buy *another* Intel/AMD box ... but one that's open. I have to hand it to Jobs - if anyone could have figured out the quickest way to kill Apple in one stroke, he's just established one hell of an act to follow.

This whole escapade reminds me of the dying throes of Escom's venture with the Commodore Amiga, back in 1994. Many, many crazy ideas thought up by people who honestly had no idea of what their customers wanted. Look what happened to them...

Oliver Jones

You're right. Next time I write a story about building a therapy camp for iLemmings, I'll be sure to address the DRM issue. Great point.

No, thank you. But, I would enjoy seeing you with that branding iron up your ass!

Junior Pesani

Good Morning Otto!

You forgot the electric cattle prod...and the Singapore style canings! And what about cigarettes? Can't we force them to inhale two packs of Pall Malls a day? (No, not the filtered menthol extra lights, give them the real deal, the non-filtered ones in the red pack that Father Terrence O.S.B. used to smoke! In Hoc Signo Vinces!) Have 'em suck on a Peterbuilt tailpipe! Show them reality! Make 'em spend a wintery night on lower Wacker drive! Or a warm summer's day at Mojave!

Keep up the good work!

I'll raise a pint to you,

John McGowan

Your first article was fine. After that it was a downhill...

The last article about Apple is by far the worse. It's nothing more than a Usenet flame (and a bad one, that is). It can't be considered as a serious one, as it is full of inconsitencies. It can't be considered as a funny one also. I know that the quality of Register articles has declined a bit, but still, pieces as yours are better when posted on Slashdot. Or


Failed satire notwithstanding, you nailed one thing: the whole religious aspect of platform choice is very twentieth-century. As a Mac user who's also dropped coin on Windows boxen, I appreciate the merits and value of each platform, but I've always been embarrassed by Mac zealots. I'm glad they're taking a caning from gleefully acerbic, vituperative, and satirical commentators; and the best part is they owe it all to their beloved Jobs. (I admire Jobs, too -- few could accomplish what he has at Apple and Pixar. But some folks really need some perspective on the guy: he's smart enough to snare, and keep, bright sparks like Jonathan Ive and John Lasseter. They make him look better.)

Derek Thorne

As a rule, when I read something that makes little or no sense, I just move on to something less meandering and nondescript.

But then I read your credentials at the bottom of the article.

It's not often I read something so utterly derelict of sense and bereft of meaning from someone who clearly has an above average level of intelligence.

Unfortunately, today I did.

I honestly have never read something so contrived as to be laughable and bafflingly bizarre all at the same time.

Sort of like a literary Captain Beefheart.

I salute you, sir!

Wayne Smallman

I want to come, but can I be the one who carries away all the G5s that the faithful will be unloading?

Ron Bannon

Dear Otto (aka "Please feed the troll"),

You're American, so you're automatically excused from knowing anything about American history over the last century, but unfortunately a great majority of Reg readership will know that even if Castro wanted an All American V12 tractor with two cup-holders and 6 airbags, he would be unable to owing the 1962 Cuban Embargo installed by Dr Strangelove's mentor, J.F.K. In case you don't know what an embargo is, its what Americans do to people who "Think Different".

Regards, Brendon Cape Town

Sure, I'll sign up, if you can break me, you can own me.

Apple Lover 4 Life

Rusty Myers

Thanks for the offer, but I made a personal policy long ago not to break and own any male or female named Rusty, if you know what I mean.

You owe me a keyboard and monitor. I laughed so hard half way through i spit my beer all over them.


Herr Stern, I see this is a well though-out program. I will be happy to supply, gratis, several 55 gallon drums containing genuine English adverbs. You may make use of them to get the iLemmings to "Think _Differently_"

Dan Dietzer

>> Castro insisting that Russian tractors, machinery and screws were better than gear Made in America >>

You even got this wrong – Russian manufactures sold a line of tractors in the1970’s that were simple, reliable, fuel efficient and far less expensive than anything from America at the time. American companies quit making tractors for this market as we passed through the 1950’s and 1960’s – they offered no comparable models to the Russians after the 1960’s.

Who bought these Russian tractors besides Cuba? During the 1970’s, right in the heart of the cold war, my right-wing religious conservative friend at work said his family in South Dakota had bought a new Russian tractor for their farm – it goes to show a good price trumps ideology every time.

- Have a good day –

John Larva

Inspired. Certifiably bizarre. Very funny.

And on the Third Day, the iFaithful rose again and went forth from the Emu pen. And, Lo! They did go out amongst the Intellites proclaiming the Word. Thanks be unto Jobs.

Mike Short

I don't generally respond to "Mac people are freakish" musings, but I must admit that I'm plain curious as to what you imagine you're talking about.

"Hairless"? "Manicured"? That's just odd. "Self loathing"? That's just silly.

See, for this kind of thing to work, you have to have a point. Peculiar name calling isn't a point, and comes off as sorta creepy, like maybe Moby hit you with a powerbook when you where little and you never got over it.

Hairless and manicured mac people aren't coming to hurt you. It's really OK. You're safe now.

Chris Miller

As you all know, Chris actually responds to every "Mac people are freakish" musing he can find.

Count me in! I don't own any Apple products, but I want to learn how the camp operates. I think it could be applied to zealots of other camps as well....

Brian Smith

Settle down Otto and go and read some of the other gosip and thoughts of your peers. You might find that some of your speculation is a little over zealous? Apple is also renouned for blatently ignoring its customer base and doing what it feels like. This could be good in the long run, but maybe it might make them fold. Who knows yet.


Hello Otto:

Twisted, very twisted, but not without style. I'd probably add in a little plastic casting factory so the iLemmings can churn out delicate "crystal" furniture and dishware and be forced to use it until the shiny and clear plastic is all cracked and crazed and kind of greyish. Or how about just making them all take IQ tests and write down their college pedigrees, and then compare them to your average PC owner? Many an iLemming will be sorely surprised. And finally, how about forcing everyone to wear black turtlenecks and blue jeans, and then argue about how they're different?

But I shouldn't really talk, I have a Mini and would get a G5 if I could afford it. No, I wouldn't call myself an iLemming, although I enjoy my share of self inflicted punishment, but the true horror of Master Gates requires no amplification.

Scott Peterson

Thanks for the letter, Scott. It's good to know The Reg is popular in prison too.

Otto, you're controversial, and you're exceptionally funny. You are only controversial because people either having no brains or don't know how to turn them on. You would be funny even if people understood your writing. You're funnier because they don't.

Someone becoming skilled enough with words and able enough to obtain a permanent position with a popular news site while still holding simple, offensive, biased positions which he sprays at random is quite unlikely. The chance is greater that the person in question understands completely what the reaction to his thoughts will be before he writes them, playing off of people's perceptions.

The question is whether the thoughts are fabricated or pearls of humor formed around grains of sand deeply embedded in your psyche. Only you know the answer. Either way, I hope you will stay with the site for a very long time.


Well, no matter who it is that concocts these "opinion pieces", you made me laugh - a difficult task first thing on a Tuesday. Congratulations.


Dear Mr Stern,

You've said it all, really ...

"As I looked out the window of my compound"

So, you're locked up, then?

"Ever since I digested the last member of a once glorious Emu farm, my corral has sat empty"

So you're not so good at business, then?

As a member of a think tank (a depository for those who think they know how to do things but don't and can't) you already qualify to join the Brigade of Apple Doomsayers (BAD).

We've heard it all before ... "They're gonna die, they're gonna die."

Steve Jobs is the CEO of a large US company. He wants to make lots of money for himself and corporate shareholders. He sometimes has an almost religious fanatical following upon which he will capitalise.

You, sir, are no Steve Jobs who, I suspect, has more business acumen in his little finger than you have in your whole body. You write as though you are British – doom-laden and bad-mouthing success. It really matters not at all which make of processor sits inside an Apple computer. It's the Operating System which matters to the user and, as an Apple computer user I shall still enjoy a vastly superior interface and better build quality than the Dell-boys and Windows. Certainly, I shall miss the jousting of 'Intel Inside - Idiot Outside' type of stuff but there'll be something else to make fun of!

One thing you do share with Apple users ... you are in a minority.

May I suggest you return to counting non-existent emu lunches?

David Sherwell


If your article was meant to be a joke, it was not funny.

If your article is supposed to be serious, it never comes into focus and sounds dumb.

The fact that after reading it, it's not clear whether it's a joke or not -- already tells you something about the weakness of the piece.

Hopefully it was meant to be a joke and you are just not a good writer.

If it was meant to be serious, you have serious problems my friend.


Carlos Vargas


Related stories

'Think Again' camp opens for wounded Apple iLemmings
Vive la France! cry Reg readers
The French can spell 'Doom'
When will RIAA's Rosen respond to Otto's love note?
How Hilary Rosen learned to stop suing and hate Apple's iPod
Sniping bloggers can keep America safe from terrorists and cats!
Readers pour water on pro-smoke lobby

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like