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Cult of Mac Hardcover – Nov 11 2004
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"If you want to know whats happening in the Apple underground, talk to Leander Kahney." -- Eric Hellweg, CNN Columnist
"Required reading for anyone who loves his or her Macintosh." -- Guy Kawasaki, Former Chief Evangelist, Apple
"This book is about what it is to be a Macintosh person." -- Steve Wozniak, Apple Cofounder
About the Author
Leander Kahney is an editor at Wired News, where his Cult of Mac blog is a reader favorite. Previously, Kahney covered Apple and the Mac community for Wired News. He treats his subjects with insight and humor and his experiences interacting with Mac fanatics and attending Mac events around the world are highly entertaining. Kahney's work introduces an element of warmth not usually associated with technology reporting.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There is a little something to love for almost any fringe Macintosh group or phenomenon. There is a section on tattoos, Apple wear, the iPod, the Newton. Another small section links the Mac to pot. And a very cool section shows prototype Macintoshs of the future designed by enthusiasts. Another interesting section analyses Macintoshes in movies and tv, where the good guy is always Mac and the bad guy always uses a PC.
This is not a serious history of the development of the Macintosh. Other books have covered that. The book rarely gets deep into issues. It's about a phenomenon. About defining the phenomenon and rallying behind it, as opposed to decomposing it. It's a fun, self-validating read for Mac lovers.
This would make a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite Mac enthusiast. And it may make a good read for any Windows lover who is puzzled by the cult-like Mac owners.
By Leander Kahney
Publisher: No Starch Press
Price: 39.95 US
I review quite a few computer books, most of which are technical how-tos and the like. I read a ton of other books, though, most of which are fiction or historical in nature. But the books reviewed here at MyMac.com are Mac focused books, most of which end up on a shelf before I donate them to the local library. So it was a pleasant surprise to find Leander Kahney's hard cover The Cult of Mac in my mailbox last week.
The Cult of Mac is a beautiful hard cover book with a slipcover. It has color pages throughout, and the text is clean, crisp, and easy to read. Not all books are presented in such loving detail as The Cult of Mac is. It really is a nice total package.
What is The Cult of Mac about? Writer Kahney explores many subjects that can fall into the "Mac Users Cult" umbrella, including subjects such as the Newton, people who collect old Macs, the Macworld Expos, and any other oddball Mac user story that Kahney found interesting.
The term "Cult" is not used in a derogatory manner here, even though the term does carry negative connotations. The term really comes from Kahney's Wired columns in which many of these stories originated. There were a few times while reading a particular story in this book that I remembered reading the same thing, albeit in an abbreviated form, on the Wired.com website.
Kahney hits upon many subjects, though usually the book is focused on the extreme examples or subjects. While each story presented here is true and honest, and Kahney makes no editorial judgments as to whether the behavior is out of the ordinary, he does seem to neglect some of the core Mac user experience and relationship to the platform.
Because this book was written over quite a few years, I found many instances of outdated information. For instance, in one story, Kahney writes about how Stan Flack is the publisher of MacCentral, even though he has not been for three years now. But later in the book, he writes about how MacCentral is owned by Macworld magazine. This suggests that older material was never rewritten or put into historical perspective to when the book was actually published. This is a little sloppy writing or editing in my opinion, but it works very well as a historical reference.
The dated material aside, this is a wonderful book to look at and read. Many of the stories are captivating, and made me want to look up more information online of the people he writes about in the book. Pictures abound in the book, including old Macs, the different paintings of Peter Cohen's head at Macworld Expos, and the fashions people wear at Macworld Tokyo. All good stuff!
This is one book I will set on my bookshelf and pull down from time to time to reread. This isn't a book you have to read in sequential order, as each chapter is an island unto itself. Written with detail in mind, The Cult of Mac is a large and ambitious project that was put together with loving care by the author.
MyMac.com rating: 5 out of 5
And what about the marketing study recently conducted by Chicago's DePaul University who researched the people who still use (and love) their Apple Newton's. (You can find Newton's on E-Bay for $150-200 if you want to join the group.)
This book is an unabashed love afair with the Mac. It's really a coffee table picture book about the Mac. From user group meetings to Jay Leno's Macquarium where the tube doesn't show pictures of fish but real ones, or paper models that you can use as Christmas tree ornaments; but why go on. By now you know the contents of this book. It's by MacPeople, about Mac's and for MacLovers.
It's a delight to see this book, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and has a lot of fun.
The parts on me aside, this book is a lot of fun. It's great to look at the sub-culture that we Mac users are a part of. I've never seen someone with a 'Windows' sticker on their car, that someone races to catch up with to show them theirs. (I have the benefit of being able to flash a Tattoo!) Think when Longhorn is released that people will have 'cowboy' parties? Well...maybe, but for a different reason.
Seeing this great collection of everything from memorabilia to madness in one place is a treat. You can get a new Mac user up to speed in about 20min, and sufficiently freak them out...
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