Lots of Mac users overreact to hoax. Reveal their gullibility.

Apple encourages people to “think differently,” but perhaps they should encourage them to just think.

Back in January the folks over at Overclockers.com put up an article from someone calling themselves “Andy” who purportedly got a brand new Mac G5 for Christmas which he then gutted and turned into a PC saying, “Don’t get me wrong, Im sure G5 is a great computer, but I wanted a Dell for Christmas. I don’t have any programs for Apple and didn’t feel like waiting for them. I thought about selling it, but my parents would be upset with me. After all, this was a very expensive gift and it meant a lot to them to give to me.”

The article contains plenty of digital pics showing Andy’s progress as he hacked the hell out of the case and mounted a PC motherboard inside. At the end Andy says, “It’s a good thing my parents don’t know anything about computers, because I’m sure they would be really angry if they knew what I did. I have to say that I’m happy – I can keep on using XP.” and also comments “When I showed my friend, who happens to love Apple, he looked sick. He did not say anything to me. He just put his hands on his head and was in shock. I wish I had a picture of that.” Word of this article spread like wildfire and reaction from the Mac community was swift…

…they went totally ape-shit over it.

Wired News: Create a Hoax, Earn Damnation

As news of it spread around the world, it generated the best traffic ever for the long-running Overclockers site, which claimed more than 300,000 visitors a day.

Andy said his e-mail inbox quickly filled to capacity, with more than 1,300 messages, and an unknown number bounced. The mail he did receive was full of nice, kind thoughts like death threats, insults and all kinds of colorful invective.

“I hope your PC blows up and leaves your miserable face disfigured forever,” read one. “You will surely burn in hell for an eternity for this one.”

Another said Andy should be hung by his testicles and set on fire.

“Turning a perfectly good dual G5 into a crappy PC was the ticket that got you to hell,” wrote another, citing the common eternal damnation theme. “And if you were in front of me I’d pop a corn-born Teflon bullet from my Glock in your fucking face.”

It wasn’t just hate-filled e-mail. Haddock labeled Andy “possibly the most stupid person on the planet.”

“I posted it and the world turned upside down,” said Joe Citarella, who runs the Overclockers site. “It was absolutely incredible…. I’ve never seen a reaction as intense and emotional as this. The reaction has been nothing short of an avalanche.”

“Some people took it really, really hard,” he continued. “I guess it shows Mac users relate to their machines differently…. We’ve gutted Dells and we never got a ‘My God you desecrated a Dell!’ reaction.”

Naturally, Andy didn’t really gut a G5, though he did hack the hell out of an empty G5 case he got from a buddy. Though I’d imagine that’s probably just as sacrilegious to the Mac crowd.

Even if someone were stupid enough to gut a G5, the machines start at $1700 and go up quickly, it still wouldn’t warrant the reaction that Andy got over it.

“Mac users are nuttier than a fruitcake,” Andy said. “People have an unnatural emotional attachment to object(s) like computers. For some, their reaction was akin to me butchering their parents or a beloved pet.”

Andy said some of the mail commented on his troubled psyche and warned of future mental problems. But “the majority of people just cussed me and said I was insane.”

“I didn’t expect to get any responses,” he said, “but some of them were rather amusing so I laughed a lot and shared with friends. I had no idea that so many people in the world were so gullible.”

Feeling guilty, Andy wrote to the site explaining the whole thing was just a little joke.

But Citarella said some of the site’s readers don’t believe Andy’s explanation.

“His last message is kind of contrite, but a lot of people out there think he’s covering up his butchery,” Citarella said. “Some people think he’s making it up to protect himself.

“I’m a parent, and if my son did something like this (hoax) I’d kill him.”

Stuff like this just contributes to the popularly held belief that Mac users are just a bunch of snobs with more money than brains. Death threats? Torture? You’d think Andy was Osama with the reaction he got.

Most amazing of all are the people who continue to believe Andy really did gut a G5 even after Andy owned up to it being a hoax. This shows you just how irrational some people will become in order to keep from admitting they were duped. Relax people, it’s just a computer.

24 thoughts on “Lots of Mac users overreact to hoax. Reveal their gullibility.

  1. With reactions like that, am I going to have to give up my hope for world peace? People are fricken crazy.

  2. Oh my…  People need to get a life and not go crazy over a stupid joke.  I mean come on, sending death threats to a guy who supposedly butchered his, not theirs, his computer is utterly idiotic.  It’s people like that that need to learn from the sticker I have on the back window of my truck: “It’ called thinking, you should try it sometime.”

  3. Well, we all know why these Mac users were so pissed off.  They must not be able to aford the inflated price of a dual G5, having instead to opt for a cheaper, crappier model.  This leaves them all ticked, not getting as much for their money as they would if they bought a PC.

    When someone out there gets a shiny, new dual G5 from his parents (he didn’t even have to pay for it), and supposedly guts it to replace it with PC internals, it is bound to get them fired up.  It’s like Bill Gates burning thousand dollar bills, while lounging, watching defendents in bankruptcy court.


    I’ve got to remember never to troll the Mac users.  They don’t take it very well.

  4. I got attacked by the Mac Mafia too, albeit on a smaller scale. And all I did was accused Apple of overcharging, which they later admitted, yet I got nothing but flames about my maturity and my knowledge of economics.

  5. Being part of the Mac Mafia (calm down, I’m not rabid,) my reaction to the initial story was “this kid just shit away several thousand dollars of his parents’ money for no good reason” and “this kid’s parents are addled fools for shitting away several thousand dollars without considering whether they were getting him a present he would appreciate.”

    It just screamed stupid-wasteful-people, which pissed me off.  It’s like a kid getting a brand new RX-8, and promptly spray-painting it dayglo orange.

    I’m glad it’s a hoax, and I freely admit I was taken in.  But I’ll also note that I’ve seen rabid folks on all sides of the computer world.  And I oughtta know; I used to be an Amiga fanatic…

  6. Who cares?

    WHO CARES???

    A computer is a tool, not the goddam Shroud of Turin! If you like Snap-On tools, why do you care if someone else uses a Stanley? Why would you care if someone bought a Snap-On and wrote “Stanley” on it?

  7. Keith, I can understand your reaction to the article and that’s about as much of a reaction as I’d expect most folks to have. My thoughts were “that kid’s nuts if he actually ruined a G5” as I suspected it was probably a bad joke, but even if it wasn’t it was still his G5 to ruin.

    And I can totally relate to being an Amiga fanatic as, in the interest of being totally honest, I was once one myself. I still own my original Amiga 1000, my A3000 and my A1200. Got all the original software too. Just looking for a network card for one of them that won’t cost me my left testicle to purchase and I’ll hook one of ‘em up to the net.

  8. Mac user here. The people who sent death threats to this guy are not the Mac users I know (being in the editorial and advertising industry, I know a lot of Mac users). I would say that 90 percent of the people I know who use computers to get their work done, are on Macs. The people who sent that hate mail sound to me like the kinds of kids that are in desperate need of a community to belong to. If it wasn’t the Mac, then something else. It is true that my Macs means a little more to me than a Dell box might mean to the average PC user, but I’m not sure where that comes from. It surely doesn’t make me a fanatic and I think I’m part of a huge majority of Mac users. At least the many that I know.

  9. That was an interesting article Greg, but just for the record: I’m not in any way defending Microsoft.

    My problem was with the reaction this poor fellow got from the Mac community and while I believe (or at least hope) that the majority of the Mac community isn’t like the rabid bunch that attacked Andy over his prank, I’m still rather appalled at the level of reaction that did occur.

  10. Only goes to show that every community has its brainless idiots!
    But then,it’s only human-nature:People make a decision,convince themselves that it is the right(eous) one…then become rabid fanatics when doubts creep in.Nobody likes to be wrong!
    Saying that I’ve stopped admitting to strangers I meet face-to-face that I own a mac due to the intense hatred I’ve encountered! Seems like some microsoft users are convinced that all viri which befall their systems were put there by subversive mac-users, stating as proof that
    Steve Wozniac (not sure about the spelling) started as a phone-phreak 30 years ago!

    Why can’t we all just get along and use Linux?!

  11. An additional thought:  I think that Mac folks are generally more passionate about their machines because they need to seek them out, to actively choose them.  Most people think “a computer would be useful/fun/cool” and go to the store and buy one.  They end up with a PC by default.

    Apple folks are a bit different, in that they have to make an active decision rather than a passive one.  They think “I want a computer but I don’t want a PC.  The Macs look cooler.”  They can’t just run over to Circuit City and pick one out of the lineup.  They have to track down the locations that sell Macs.

    Net result: Apple users have a higher percentage of the devout.  Unfortunate side effect: Apple users have a higher percentage of the insanely devout.

    I love my iMac.  (And my iPod.)  But I’m also about to build myself a new PC.  To go with the iMac, the old PC, and the LINUX machine.

  12. hahaha i did the same thing to a G3 and G4. and mine isnt a hoax i realy did. i used the g3 in a super-over clock test and burned out the processor. and the g4 well is still in use. and PC are here to annoy people and make them got nuts when the blue screen jumps out.haha.(but that what i got) now with IBM’s good and their deal with sony, on making then new “cell” tech. uber-insane speed. reading Play-station site. they “say”  the PS3 when done will be the 45th fast computer in the world. that is what i waitting on. read up on it i am not going to tell you.

  13. Well, we should check the “reality” world of MacErs (me too, me too) …. How about if Keith took that RX 8 ( That’s the New Mazda; Kool     ) ,  jerked out the Wankel and dropped a Big Block Chevy into it …

    Would the Mazda ites ( sp? ) come unglued ? Maybe … {{or is it Mazdaonians, Mazdans, Mazda ers ??? }}

    Ol’ Rube Goldberg musta’ rolled over on this spoof !

    BTW, anybody willing to let go of their “Woziniac” hard drive ?  I’d like to AppleTalk my 128 to a hub then to my network.  Now that’s a “nuts” MacEr.

  14. Apple users have a higher percentage of the insanely devout.


    I’ve used Macs since the SE30. I’ve owned every top-of-the-line model they’ve made since then. I’ve got at least three in active use at any given time. And they are like beloved pets.

    When I first read through the hoax, I thought “if he WOULD actually do that, that kid isn’t smart enough to really gut any computer and get it back to a working state”.

  15. when every thing else comes default and stays that safe unconfigurable way forever

    My mother-in-law’s Mac may stay safe and “factory”, but to claim that is HAS to be that way shows you know little about the Mac.

    Tell me what it is *I* can’t do with my Mac.

  16. Brandi seems right. Hmm.. unconfigurable? Yeah that doesnt seem right considering the G5 board has agp8x, wifi, bluetooth, 8 ram slots, and pci-x. It doesnt have any extra drive bays but i have no problem buying portable external drives and hooking up though firewire. Sure the Dual G5 is “pretty”, but what many biased pc users dont see is how freakin powerful it is. Dont get me wrong window pcs are good for games, but the fact that windows is so less advanced than osx(graphics and stability wise) just makes me want to puke. Linux is cool. I use both, but i would definitly choose a “shiny” Dual G5 over a “fast” P4 3.2Ghz. And sure windows will copy the suave moves of mac os just like in the old days, but they never get it right.

  17. I was really tickled by this piece, so much so that I wanted to do something to annoy people as much, so I created a site called worthburning and posted a picture of a brand new skateboard being burnt.  I am now giving away an MP3/CD player to the best photo of wanton destruction (photoshopped or otherwise) that I get sent.  What I am really hoping for is a picture of a G5 on fire - any takers

  18. Mac users might get a kick out of this. Or I guess other users would, too, depending on how this pans out.

    I just mis-clicked and am activating 5000 fonts (actually 4432), all at once. And I can’t stop it. I’m just waiting for the impending choke-n-crash or I am going to find out my machine is far more powerful than I ever knew.

    Any bets?

  19. This was great, a hoax that fooled the toolboxes of the mac world. It’s just a freakin’ over priced computer you nut jobs… if some guy wants to spend a ton of money and essentially piss it away, let him… good grief, let it go, get outside, breath some fresh air, take a walk, read a book, do something better with your life than bitch about a mac built completely with fluff and over engineered designs. saddly enough, I use both as a graphic designer, and I would choose PC over Mac any day, based on cost AND performance.

  20. It’s always nice to occasionally wallow in the shallow end of the Mac gene pool

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