Why bother?

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 28th, 2003 • 5:53 pm

I occasionally follow links to UK Mac sites, because they can offer a different perspective, and because the UK version of MacWorld magazine that can be found on the newsstand here in Canada is often better than its US counterpart (but also much more expensive).

One site that I’ve been carefully staying away from, however, is the web site. I still remember that the last time I visited it (a few months ago), it simply locked up Internet Explorer. I didn’t even consider trying to visit it with Safari.

Then the other day I saw a link to a review of the newly released Uplink game on the web site. I figured I’d give it another chance.

First of all, the site is actually part of a bigger site,, which is obviously PC-centric. This means that the ads that are running on the side and at the top of the browser window are, in most cases, Windows-centric ads. On this Uplink review page, when I last visited it, there was an add for Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Mmm. Highly useful stuff for a Mac user.

Then is one of these sites that have JavaScript code that forces the browser to reload the page at regular intervals. I find this utterly annoying, especially because I am on a modem connection. In addition, there is nothing that prevents the reloading from taking place right when you’re in the middle of reading a paragraph on the page. The window goes blank, the browser reloads the page, and in all likelihood you’ll have to go back to where you were manually. It’s just a pain.

Then on the left-hand side of the page, there are a few Mac-centric links, including a list of the latest Mac news headlines at If the headlines that I saw the other day are any indication, the news at have a serious freshness problem. The top two items were (and still are) “Mac OS X 10.2.3 UPDATE released” and “Mac OS X 10.2.4 UPDATE released”. Not only are we at Mac OS X 10.2.6 today, but in addition this seems to indicate that there were absolutely no Mac news items between the release of 10.2.3 and 10.2.4. Mmm. Highly useful stuff for Mac users, again.

The review itself is OK. But has achieved the amazing feat of putting a review of a product online without a single link to the web site of the product or its maker on the page. The text of the review doesn’t even mention who makes the game. (It’s Ambrosia Software.)

One is left to wonder why MacUser even bothers to put this stuff online. No wonder there are no reader comments on the page. There probably aren’t many readers to begin with. I, for one, am very unlikely to return to this site except by accident.

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