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The Rodney O. Lain Archive

Lies, Damned Lies, and Mac OS Rumors

Rodney O. Lain - 1999.11.29

This article was originally published on The iMac.com, a site which no longer exists. It is copyright 1999 by RAC Enterprises, which also seems to no longer exist. It is thus reprinted here without permission (which we would gladly obtain if possible). Links have been retained when possible, but many go to the Internet Wayback Machine.

Nothing is real.
 - John Lennon

The best way to disprove an untenable thesis is to take it to its logical conclusion.

Not that I'm going to do it here, but I want you, gentle reader, to try this at home yourself.

MacInTouch is reporting that Mac OS 9 has been pulled from CompUSA store shelves, according to a few of the store's employees.

This encourages the rumor that the absence of Mac OS 9 on store shelves is prima facie evidence that Apple is reacting to the lawsuit pending against the company for use of the name "OS 9" - or is reacting to some injunction.

In September, it was reported that Microware Systems Corp. had filed a suit in the Des Moines, Iowa, U. S. District Court claiming that Apple computer infringed upon its use of the name "OS 9." Mac OS 9 began shipping October 23; Microware says it has used the name "OS 9" for almost 20 years. Microware's OS 9 is a Unix-based operating system. Not much else has been reported on this case.

Over the weekend, Mac OS Rumors and MacInTouch began reporting the rumor that Microware may have gotten an injunction imposed against Apple, and that the vanishing Mac OS 9 may be Apple Computer's attempt to pre-empt such an injunction.

This is where I have a problem.

Yesterday (Saturday), I was at CompUSA most of the day and saw copies of Mac OS 9 on the shelves. So what's the problem? True, there were no copies on the shelves today (Sunday), but that doesn't mean much to me. It's not like Mac OS 9 is the only product Apple Computer has trouble keeping in stock nowadays.

For the moment, we should just chalk this up to Apple's consistent, but frustrating, inventory mismanagement.

I would also like to echo another Mac web site that opined some time back that Mac OS Rumors and similar web sites do not have the greatest credibility, nor do they have the highest ratio of number of predictions made to number predictions that have come true. Let you remind you of what has been wisely pointed out before: Mac OS Rumors has erroneously predicted everything from the announcement of an Apple ISP and the "WebMate" handheld to the announcement of new Apple branding and the "Kihei" iMac. Oh, they did get the iMac prediction right, didn't they? But, duh, so did everyone else who published the pictures.

The real deal is this: the rumor sites and MacInTouch (for shame!) are making half-assed guesses at something that they do not have a clue about. Mac OS Rumors keeps citing its "Apple inside sources" in every article that they publish. With this insider's track record, Apple Computer hasn't a thing to worry about vis-à-vis information leaks.

If there is anything-to-do about the disappearance of Mac OS 9, maybe they should try this wild-eyed, radical idea: go to Apple and get the real deal from the horse's mouth. Go to Microware and get the info. Or wait for an announcement from either of the two companies or from the U. S. District Court.

I think it's high time that we learned the inviolate maxim about Mac/Apple "insider" news: there are three things that we shouldn't pay much attention to in the Mac industry - lies, damned lies... and Mac OS Rumors.

At least not until their batting average gets better.

(Editor's Note: To further clarify this: There is no press release stating that Apple had to pull copies of OS 9. New Macs are arriving with OS 9 on them now. There is no news stating that any court has a pending judgment against Apple for Mac OS 9. Thanks for the article, Rodney.)

Editor's Special Announcement: Did you like this editorial? I always LOVE Rodney's view of our world, as I'm sure you do, too. Well, if you want a double dose of Rodney every week, then you must subscribe to The iMac.com Newsletter. There will be a bonus column from Rodney every week in the newsletter, so sign up now. Hope you join us - over 10,000 subscribers can't be wrong! [Editor's note: If you have these bonus columns, please email them to Dan Knight - thanks!]

Rodney O. Lain, a former university English and journalism instructor, works full-time as a software developer and works part-time at a local CompUSA Apple Store Within A Store. A card-carrying member of the local Macintosh User Group Mini'app'les, Rodney writes this column exclusively for theimac.com. His greatest desire is to become an African-American Guy Kawasaki. A self-professed "workaholic writer," he waxes prolifically about race, religion, and the "right OS" at "Free Your Mind & Your Behind Will Follow", his unabashedly pro-Mac website. When he's not cranking out his column, he collects John Byrne comic books, jogs, and attempts to complete his first novel. He lives in Eagan, Minnesota, a southern suburb of St. Paul.

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