Of course you realize, this means war.

Fanboys exist for every favored computing platform. When you’ve been writing about computing for any number of years, such as I have, you are eventually going become the target of kooks – people who post completely random stuff on your blogs, send you crazy and inflamed emails, or write stuff on the internet saying how disturbed and wrong you are for subscribing to a particular ideology.

Fanboys exist for every favored computing platform. When you’ve been writing about computing for any number of years, such as I have, you are eventually going become the target of kooks – people who post completely random stuff on your blogs, send you crazy and inflamed emails, or write stuff on the internet saying how disturbed and wrong you are for subscribing to a particular ideology.

I tend to ignore such posts and communications, but when the anonymous kook in question is a fellow columnist on your own media network I have but no choice to respond. I have been forewarned by my senior comrades not to pursue such a strategy, but what can I say, I am a glutton for punishment.

Click on the "Read the rest of this entry" link below for more.

So let us respond to each of “Macalope’s” missives.

... I have to think that this whole idea of commercially produced Mac Clones has legs... (Perlow)

Ah, so Perlow's a leg man. Well, Jason, the Macalope's not sure what you're into but, just so you know, these particular legs are likely to be of the short, stumpy variety.

What, amputees aren’t entitled to have fun? You got a problem with veterans who had half their limbs blown off in the OS wars? Do you? Huh? Wanna start something here?

But despite all the lusting, is this relationship meant to be? Sure, cloners were able to legally have their way with Windows, but OS X ain't that kind of girl. She's gonna put up a fight.

Okay, now we are comparing the harmless efforts of homebrewers and tinkerers (of which Apple owes its entire existence to) and PC hobbyists to date rape. That’s very extreme. But I guess Macalope likes to get his point across using inflammatory and tasteless metaphors. We’re gonna find a few more examples of this, I’m afraid.

There are certainly going to be more attempts to create unlicensed Mac clones. The problem is, who wants to buy a computer running an unsupported operating system from a company that has the life expectancy of a fruit fly?

I believe the good Macalope is again confusing harmless PC hobbyists doing things in the privacy of their own homes with the activities of a struggling upstart computer manufacturer, whose business practices are under very close examination. Not once have I advocated people actually go out and buy systems from companies like Psystar. Yet.

I have always said that it made absolutely no sense that Apple backed off from the prospect of cloned systems. (Jason Perlow)

And the Macalope has always said that the water fountains at ZDNet must be served with lead pipes.

I contest that New York City tap water is just fine, and we don’t need your fancy packaged Infinite Loop Acqua Minerale in the shiny overpriced bottle, thankyouverymuch. But I have said, continuously, that Apple could significantly expand its market share by allowing Mac OS X to run legally on other hardware platforms, particularly to leverage and entice the efforts of the Open Source community working on Linux and similar systems.

This is also consistent with my belief that this narrow view by many Appleologists that it is best for Mac is to stay in its consumerist, prosumery shtetl rather than play in the larger world of enterprise computing is also a tremendous detriment to the platform. That Mac OS X has not been ported to Xen or a similar hypervisor architecture is a clear indicator that cloud computing and virtual infrastructure is not even on the Apple roadmap.

How easy is it? Well, along with legal copies of Mac OS X and a special EFI firmware emulator for PC BIOS-based equipment and instructions how to put it all together it doesn't really require any more effort than what it would have typically taken a PC homebrewer to assemble their own DOS or Windows-based white box 10 or 15 years ago. (Perlow)

Hmm. The Macalope likes your American ingenuity, Jason, but he's not hearing the words that brings this sleazy scenario to its tacky nadir: steampunk casemod. Think about it.

Steampunk casemod made me smile. I’d actually really like to have one of those, especially a Charles Babbage signature edition z10 with fully functional difference engine gears. And while we’re at it, a Univac III laptop, complete with winky-blinkies, with a ENIGMA design smartphone to go with it. Not everyone thinks the Apple industrial design ethos fits their ideal of cool or sexy, mister smart antlers. Personally, I could care less what the box looks like sitting under my desk or racked in a datacenter. I need it to do work, not hang it on my wall to be appreciated like a Picasso.

If you want a clone Mac or a "Hackintosh" that badly, you can have one, for just a small amount of effort and a very modest cash investment in a relatively generic PC motherboard, processor, RAM, video card and case with power supply assembled from an ever-growing list of compatible parts. (Perlow)

Rob Griffiths might disagree with the "small amount of effort" part.

It sounds like Rob actually likes his Hackintosh, despite his time investment. Achieving anything worthwhile is going to take some effort. Some of us enjoy the challenge and paving inroads for the greater good of the average user. Getting Linux to be palatable to even the Mac faithful took years of effort . I suspect that the art of hackintoshery will achieve a level of maturity with minimal barriers of entry for faithful mac addicts who wish to Think Wallet it within a year.

Oh, you'll need to be your own support person, and it will probably be more than a little bit messy, but if you are determined to "screw the man" so to speak, than a private citizen can effectively do whatever the heck they want without any interference at all from the Evil Fruit. (Perlow)

Who burned the Reichstag? Why, Steve Jobs burned the Reichstag, of course. Jason's just having a little fun, but when did the computer company with the 7% market share become the Great Satan?

Dude, I watch the History Channel and A&E to the point of extreme spousal infuriation, so you picked the wrong guy to tangle with on this one. Don’t you know anything about Godwin’s Law?

Since you seem determined to go down the path of tasteless and inappropriate metaphors, I will concede that Jobs didn’t burn the Reichstag. But like Albert Speer, he built his own version of the the Reichskanzlei with all the mythical iconography and propaganda to go along with it. And do you know what the free world did with that building and everything else that symbolized that era? They bulldozed it and crushed it into aggregate, leaving few traces of its existence.

Your turn, oh anointed one. Anyone else want to roast me today? Talk Back and let me know.