Mac Scope

Komando Strikes Again

Stephen Van Esch - 2002.11.20

Since this article was published, Gannett has issued a retraction and apology to Kim Komando. A Gannett newspaper editor was responsible for the error, not Ms. Komando.

Seems poor, clueless Kim Komando is dispensing Macintosh advice again. The poor dear, now an expert on Macintosh computers since her attempt to compare Macs to PCs, has no doubt succeeded in confusing her few Macintosh readers yet again.

Her latest screed indicates that OS X users who want to find out how much RAM they have should "Öchoose the Memory control panel from the System Preferences application."

Thank you, Kim! Much appreciated.

If only it were true.

This is a small matter compared to her last case of foot in mouth. I think, though, that Kim should do the Mac community a favor and forget about writing about the Mac. While it's all very amusing for Mac users when she makes mistakes, she's probably causing more harm than good. A chuckle (and fodder for an opinion piece) is hardly a fair trade for incorrect information.

Of course, Kim could hire a fact checker or be more thorough when she writes her pieces, but I suspect, after reading her pro-PC articles, that the Mac is unlikely to get a fair treatment in her writing. Of course, I'm not in any way discouraging people from being critical of the Mac, and Komando is more than welcome to provide unbiased accurate information. Because neither appears to be forthcoming. It's probably best if she simply sticks with the PCs that she apparently knows quite well.

There are, of course, plenty of mistakes made by Mac writers all the time (more than enough in this very column, I'm sure). Many are likely honest mistakes. No doubt Kim's recent gaffe was also an honest mistake. The problem, I believe, is the ambivalence Ms. Komando has demonstrated in her short time on the Mac scene. She appears to neither know - nor care to know - about the Mac. It is not something she feels her readers require accurate, unbiased information about.

In the long run, this attitude helps no one. Mac users who turn to her for advice will be shortchanged. PC users looking for reliable Mac information will also wind up with less than useful guidance. Those with a prejudice against Macs will only have those prejudices reinforced with inaccurate information. No winners here, unless you count those getting a laugh out of her errors.

It would be much appreciated if Kim would stick with what she knows. Of course, if she gets up to speed on the Mac, she's more than welcome to jump back into the fray.

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Stephen Van Esch is the founder and president of the E-learning Foundry, an online training resource for Mac users. Steve loves the Mac and is doubly bilingual, since he's also fluent in Windows and French.

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