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Limbaugh could sell new Mac
The Hill ^ | 1/26/05 | David Hill

Posted on 01/26/2005 5:22:19 PM PST by Vermonter

Limbaugh could sell new Mac

This week, Apple Computer is launching a campaign to sell a new product, the $499 Mac Mini, that portends to transform the world in a way the original Mac didn’t. But Republicans will be needed for the campaign to succeed.

To put this in context, you need to read Revolution in the Valley, Andy Hertzfeld’s new book about the making of the original Mac in the 1980s. Hertzfeld points out that the initial target price for the first Mac was $500. But by the time it was launched in 1984, the price had ballooned to $2,495.

Many of the Mac’s creators felt betrayed. All initial design goals had centered on Everyman, but instead of a computer that changed the world, the Mac became a niche machine mainly for artisans and limousine liberals who could afford one. The rest of us bought commodity PCs. Fewer than one in 20 computers sold or used today to cruise the Internet is a Mac.

The Mac Mini could rectify this. But will it? Will a low price tag and terrific design alone entice a mass market to buy this new product? I’m not so sure. Apple’s image may still be an impediment to Mac sales.

To research this column, I read lots of discussion boards all across the Internet, and it’s evident that politics still play a role in computer purchases. Just as there are red states and blue states, there are also Mac Democrats and PC Republicans. These battles were especially nasty after Apple went public with its politics and added Al Gore to its board of directors.

Apple’s leader, Steve Jobs, seems to have sensed last year that his company was getting too “political.” He backed off some of his campaigning for John Kerry and cryptically signaled to The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg in an interview that he understands the problem.

“People have said that I shouldn’t get involved politically because probably half our customers are Republicans — maybe a little less ... [but] I do point out that there are more Democrats than Mac users so I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff because that was just a personal thing,” Jobs said.

There are, in fact, devoted Republican Macintosh users, but that is not the perception. So Apple desperately needs to introduce a replacement image to achieve the original Mac’s vision. There would be no better way to do this than to add a Republican or two to Apple’s board of directors. Mac users such as Karl Rove or Arnold Schwarzenegger adviser Mike Murphy would be possibilities, but Rush Limbaugh is the most obvious choice. Rush is an ardent Mac evangelist and knows a thing or two about marketing. Even if Limbaugh is not put on Apple’s board, the company should market through his daily radio program, paying Rush to tout his favorite computer the same way he builds mattress sales for Select Comfort.

Hertzfeld’s book says the team that created the original Mac had a spirit of “urgency, ambition, passion for excellence, artistic pride, and irreverent humor.” That sounds just like Rush Limbaugh to me. I know that if Rush had been a board member in 1984, he’d have had the guts to back the famous Big Brother Super Bowl ad that Apple’s then-timorous board abandoned.

Apple marketers also need to understand that restoration of their brand’s image in conservative and Republican circles can resonate with various factions of the party. I have already read favorable gun-owner comments about the Mac Mini on the discussion boards of Ted Nugent’s populist United Sportsmen of America website. James Dobson and his Focus on the Family might be intrigued by a computer that is affordable for young families and not subject to porno pop-up ads. And business Republicans will be impressed by the seamless integration of the Mac’s OS X operating system with corporate networks.

The Republican Party is a big tent. Apple should come on in.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: apple; limbaugh; mac
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Will Rush and Steve ever be best buds?

Tune in tomorrow

1 posted on 01/26/2005 5:22:19 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Swordmaker

ping


2 posted on 01/26/2005 5:22:43 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Vermonter

Amen! Our household includes 4 very conservative, registered Republicans AND 9 Macs (everything from a Mac Plus to a dual-processor G5!). Steve Jobs needs to learn that Macs & conservatives are not mutually exclusive:^)


3 posted on 01/26/2005 5:28:05 PM PST by Prairie Pubbie (Proud supporter of our awesome US military and their Commander in Chief!)
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To: Vermonter

I don't think that price ($499) includes a monitor.


4 posted on 01/26/2005 5:32:55 PM PST by Jackie
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To: Vermonter
Know nothing about Macs, but this is pretty cool

Mac mini

5 posted on 01/26/2005 5:33:16 PM PST by Bommer
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To: Jackie

Correct. The price doesn't include monitor, keyboard or mouse.

The assumption is that you have one laying around from the PC you are upgrading from


6 posted on 01/26/2005 5:34:05 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Vermonter

While the sub $500 Mac is a step in the right direction, it is still a Windows dominated world. It is ironic that my son's new Mac comes with the ubiquitous Microsoft Office. If Apple succeeds in better integrating the Microsoft software into its platform it may open new markets particularly at the lower price. However, many of us still have large software investments in our Windows machines and would be reluctant to make the trade if it meant starting over.


7 posted on 01/26/2005 5:35:18 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Prairie Pubbie

Same here, Prairie Pubbie, and our grown children are also conservative Mac users. Even the one who has to use a PC at the office will only use Macs at home.


8 posted on 01/26/2005 5:36:00 PM PST by jacquej
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To: Vermonter

Since when do PC peripherals work with Mac!


9 posted on 01/26/2005 5:36:32 PM PST by George from New England
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To: Jackie; Bommer
I don't think that price ($499) includes a monitor.

Nope, it doesn't. The idea is that most people already own a perfectly good monitor, because practically everybody has bought some kind of computer at some point in the recent past.

If you don't, you can always just pick up something cheap at Wal-Mart or your local bargain-basement computer parts store.

Know nothing about Macs, but this is pretty cool

It's even cooler when you realize that it's about the same size as a hardback book and almost perfectly silent. No more huge, whirring PC tower.

10 posted on 01/26/2005 5:36:35 PM PST by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: George from New England
Since when do PC peripherals work with Mac!

Since 1997. Any USB peripheral will work on a Mac.

11 posted on 01/26/2005 5:37:34 PM PST by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: Vermonter
Just as there are red states and blue states, there are also Mac Democrats and PC Republicans. These battles were especially nasty after Apple went public with its politics and added Al Gore to its board of directors.

Not sure what Rush is up to anymore. At least he's not running foreign freeware like Linux.

12 posted on 01/26/2005 5:38:27 PM PST by Golden Eagle
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To: The Great RJ

The Mac version of MS Office is reportedly better than the PC version. I can't verify this as I have never used it.

Macs come with most of the software the average user would want, but there are limitations in the area of games and specialized apps. There are workarounds, like Virtual PC, a program now owned by Microsoft.


13 posted on 01/26/2005 5:39:07 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Vermonter

Macs are very overpriced pieces of equipment with fancy cases and colors and sleek looks that are built with the same equipment that I payed for a $899.00 Dell. Probably a couple thousand less than you would pay for a Mac of similiar quality and speed.


14 posted on 01/26/2005 5:39:31 PM PST by rs79bm (Insert Democratic principles and ideals here: .............this space intentionally left blank.....)
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To: Vermonter
WOW, why didn't Commodore think of this...

Time to dust off the 'ol Amiga!


15 posted on 01/26/2005 5:40:13 PM PST by Stars N Stripes (That's about it. A Tourette's Syndrome adolescent who just discovered The Chomsky Reader. That's all)
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To: George from New England
Since when do PC peripherals work with Mac!

Just about any USB or Firewire peripheral will work on a Mac just by plugging it in.

16 posted on 01/26/2005 5:40:42 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: SedVictaCatoni

But how can we forgive them for putting up that huge picture of Jimmy Carter on their homepage last year?


17 posted on 01/26/2005 5:42:07 PM PST by RushingWater
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To: Vermonter
For anyone wanting to read the real history of the Apple and PC computer revolution, I would recommend reading "Hackers"

Link to Amazon: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy

I found it after my fifth year as a LAN administrator and it was wonderful.

Here's a review from Amazon:

Steven Levy's classic book explains why the misuse of the word "hackers" to describe computer criminals does a terrible disservice to many important shapers of the digital revolution. Levy follows members of an MIT model railroad club--a group of brilliant budding electrical engineers and computer innovators--from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. These eccentric characters used the term "hack" to describe a clever way of improving the electronic system that ran their massive railroad. And as they started designing clever ways to improve computer systems, "hack" moved over with them. These maverick characters were often fanatics who did not always restrict themselves to the letter of the law and who devoted themselves to what became known as "The Hacker Ethic." The book traces the history of hackers, from finagling access to clunky computer-card-punching machines to uncovering the inner secrets of what would become the Internet. This story of brilliant, eccentric, flawed, and often funny people devoted to their dream of a better world will appeal to a wide audience.--

18 posted on 01/26/2005 5:42:32 PM PST by benjaminjjones
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To: Vermonter
Limbaugh talked about this on his show a few months ago. A caller asked if he uses the products he endorses, asked why Apple hasn't called him, and asked if he gets products for free, like the SleepNumber bed. Limbaugh said that he uses the products, says that Apple won't let his sales people anywhere near their offices because Apple's so liberal, and said that he doesn't take freebies because he wants a straight business arrangement -- they don't give him free stuff and he doesn't deal on the sales rates. He said that he has to buy 11 SleepNumber beds for his home. Then he offered the caller a gift of a top-of-the-line SleepNumber bed, just to prove his point.

-PJ

19 posted on 01/26/2005 5:42:38 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: Vermonter

Rush has been almost single-handedly responsible for the success of the Select Comfort mattresses, Snapple beverages and the Hotwire travel site, not to mention being the savior of AM radio and the "voice" of conservativism. I'm getting ready to buy a Mac for two reasons: 1) I fooled around on a friend's recently and loved it, everything about it blows Windows away; and 2) I am so sick of all of the ongoing problems with Windows. I think if Rush gets behind the new Mac, it will become huge.


20 posted on 01/26/2005 5:44:10 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." --r President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: The Great RJ

Microsoft has been making and marketing software for the Mac since Microsoft began.

Microsoft Office for the Mac is not a port of the Windows version, as far as I know, even though the programs operate similarly and produce compatible documents.

I use both versions, and for my money, the Mac version- Office 2004 for the Mac- is better looking, and better functioning.

So your comment about Apple succeding better "integrating the Microsoft software into its platform" is uninformed and WAAAAAY off the mark.

Apple offers a machine with far superior software/hardware integration out of the box thatn you are likely to manage with an army of IT types.

Try your sons machine... I think you will find it a revelation. And just wait until he gets the new OSX 10.4 software loaded on it in a couple months....

You'll be drooling.


21 posted on 01/26/2005 5:44:24 PM PST by John Valentine
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To: wagglebee

Rush has been quietly promoting Macs for years. He mentions them because he uses them and likes them.


22 posted on 01/26/2005 5:45:59 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Political Junkie Too
I remember that call. A woman, right? And she was flabbergasted.

I agree that Steve Jobs and the Apple board are way too "Blue State" to ever acccept Limbaugh as a spokesman, no matter how much they'd gain from it. It would be a smart move, but being liberal is not a smart move to begin with.

23 posted on 01/26/2005 5:47:23 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: wagglebee
"Rush has been almost single-handedly responsible for the success of the Select Comfort mattresses, Snapple beverages and the Hotwire travel site, not to mention being the savior of AM radio and the "voice" of conservativism."

And I won't even begin to tell you how he's helped me with my "problem."

24 posted on 01/26/2005 5:48:26 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: rs79bm
$899.00 Dell. Probably a couple thousand less than you would pay for a Mac of similiar quality and speed.

Um, no. A G5 iMac is $1300, for example.

25 posted on 01/26/2005 5:49:42 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (These pretzels are making me thirsty)
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To: Vermonter
The assumption is that you have one laying around from the PC you are upgrading from

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAA!

26 posted on 01/26/2005 5:50:58 PM PST by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: Vermonter
We discussed the concept of Rush as an Apple spokesman recently. Rush already does what amounts to free advertising for the Mac, but if Apple hired him, they would have to include a liberal figure in the ad too. So I don't think that will happen. Instead, I'd rather see a business icon like Lou Gerstner added to the board of directors.

The best idea would be for Apple and Steve Jobs to avoid politics altogether. But for the record, Jobs does favor some conservative concepts, like school vouchers and home schooling.

27 posted on 01/26/2005 5:51:48 PM PST by HAL9000 (Spreading terrorist beheading propaganda videos is an Act of Treason!)
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To: Vermonter

Rush would have welcomed Apple ads for years but Steve would not buy Limbaugh's show. I always thought Steve was extremely short sighted and let his inane politics get in the way of business. God knows, Gore isn't selling any Macs. If truth be told, Gore does keep a low profile when it comes to Mac
evangelism. Wasn't it the Clintom Justice Department that went after MSFT?
I know Rush was not a supporter of that move either.


28 posted on 01/26/2005 5:52:26 PM PST by Orion27
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To: Vermonter
I was a big Mac booster and user, but to upgrade meant buying a completely new computer. Then there was the Mac clones, which I came close to buying, but Jobs bought them first.
29 posted on 01/26/2005 5:53:39 PM PST by razorback-bert (An ASC-American)
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To: Orion27

Is Algore still on Apple's board of directors?


30 posted on 01/26/2005 5:56:05 PM PST by John Thornton ("Appeasers always hope that the crocodile will eat them last." Winston Churchill)
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To: wagglebee

I am a firm believer in Select Comfort beds!

Well worth the cost.


31 posted on 01/26/2005 5:56:29 PM PST by ambrose (.)
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To: ThinkDifferent

"James Dobson and his Focus on the Family might be intrigued by a computer that is affordable for young families and not subject to porno pop-up ads."

I already have one and it's not a Mac. Just get a generic PC and add the Firefox browser.
http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/


32 posted on 01/26/2005 5:57:16 PM PST by Right Wing Assault (Wish me a Merry Christmas (for '05)! I won't report you to the ACLU.)
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To: Orion27

I'm sure Gore's placement on Apple's board was Jobs' way of making sure Gore didn't have to panhandle for lunch money


33 posted on 01/26/2005 5:57:33 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Stars N Stripes

Commodore 64 anybody? Too bad the apple 2c isnt still around


34 posted on 01/26/2005 5:58:23 PM PST by aft_lizard (This space waiting for a post election epiphany)
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To: Vermonter

It needs to grow it's percentage of the market and so ar only ipod had done that.

I think they are more or less doomed.


35 posted on 01/26/2005 5:58:31 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: ambrose

"I am a firm believer in Select Comfort beds!"

Pardon my asking, but is your bed populated by one or two people? The reason I ask is that I have heard some people complain that there is a rigid foam thing between the two occupants and it is not comfortable to roll over onto. Know anything about that? I don't need competition from any rigid things.


36 posted on 01/26/2005 6:00:02 PM PST by Right Wing Assault (Wish me a Merry Christmas (for '05)! I won't report you to the ACLU.)
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To: aft_lizard

Actually, I one of each somewhere in the garage... How pathetic is that :)


37 posted on 01/26/2005 6:02:37 PM PST by Stars N Stripes (That's about it. A Tourette's Syndrome adolescent who just discovered The Chomsky Reader. That's all)
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To: SedVictaCatoni
It's even cooler when you realize that it's about the same size as a hardback book and almost perfectly silent. No more huge, whirring PC tower.

Hey! Computers are supposed to hum and whir and have all sorts of wires and blinking lights... Even a faint smell of ozone...

;-)

Call me old-fashioned.

38 posted on 01/26/2005 6:03:22 PM PST by Chemist_Geek ("Drill, R&D, and conserve" should be our watchwords! Energy independence for America!)
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To: SedVictaCatoni

"Since 1997. Any USB peripheral will work on a Mac."

Yep, they give you two ports, one for the keyboard( they don't give you ), and one for the USB port expander you will need to attach anything other then the mouse ( that they don't give you )

... and just try to load the USB drivers from those mini-CD's via the slot drive ...

Want the DVD burner ? - add another $100

With the 1.4 Ghz and 80 Gig drive upgrade, you're up to about $700 ....


Whatever happened to that all-in-one that looked like a table lamp ?


39 posted on 01/26/2005 6:03:25 PM PST by RS (They'll get my warped sense of humor when they pry it out of my cold, dead neurons...)
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To: A CA Guy
I think they are more or less doomed.

That tunes been playing for about 15 years

40 posted on 01/26/2005 6:03:32 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Vermonter

The company has been saved by ipod so far, outside of that, it's doomed.


41 posted on 01/26/2005 6:04:43 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Vermonter
The new Mac Mini ends up costing more than $500. You would need ot add a keyboard and mouse ($58 at the Mac store) and a onitor. While a $150 17inch CRT Display would suffice, I would not sully a such a streamline system with anything short of a good (~$300) 15inch LCD.
Personally, I plan to buy a Mini with a KVM and share peripherals with my PC.
42 posted on 01/26/2005 6:05:02 PM PST by rmlew (Copperheads and Peaceniks beware! Sedition is a crime.)
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To: benjaminjjones

43 posted on 01/26/2005 6:05:39 PM PST by Kramster ("Quit pickin' your nose!--Do you know where that finger's been?")
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To: RS
Whatever happened to that all-in-one that looked like a table lamp ?


44 posted on 01/26/2005 6:07:37 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Right Wing Assault
I have heard some people complain that there is a rigid foam thing between the two occupants and it is not comfortable to roll over onto

This is true. So you have a choice between a single chamber bed or a dual chamber bad. With a dual chamber bed, each person can choose his/her own Select Comfort settings - but there's the annoying thing in the middle. With single chamber, there's only one setting, but no annoying divider in the middle. I actually exchanged my dual chamber mattress for a single chamber one because of this.

45 posted on 01/26/2005 6:07:46 PM PST by ambrose (.)
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To: Stars N Stripes

darnright pathetic, where is your amiga and the original compaq computer? lol :)


46 posted on 01/26/2005 6:09:18 PM PST by aft_lizard (This space waiting for a post election epiphany)
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To: Vermonter

It seems the advertising world has forgotten what Rush did for Snapple.


47 posted on 01/26/2005 6:10:16 PM PST by paulat
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To: ThinkDifferent

I have gone from supporting PCs to lots of little eMacs and five Mac servers. They are all tempermental. Hard to find the fixes for some issues that would never happen in a good PC. After you get the monitor, keyboard, etc for the mini Mac it seems to be expensive. Mac is still perceived as an anything but business machine and that makes it hard to see even the mini taking off. Dell can crush almost anyone.


48 posted on 01/26/2005 6:10:58 PM PST by kcinnh
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To: Vermonter

It's th arrogance of MAC people that offends me. The call me stupid because I have a better, faster machine for half the cost.


49 posted on 01/26/2005 6:12:02 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: Vermonter

Limbaugh could sell the new Mac to conservatives, no problem. The problem would be that liberals would then boycott Apple because Rush was promoting the brand.


50 posted on 01/26/2005 6:12:11 PM PST by Ticonderoga34
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