Unsanity v. MacFixIt and the Little Guy in the Middle
MacFixIt’s article, Failure to boot after installing Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), has managed to gain a lot of negative press in the Mac web. Unsanity, the maker of APE, a program that MacFixIt consistently recommends against using, has decided to redirect a link (Before installing Leopard, remove APE modules via this uninstall process.*) coming from the MacFixIt article to an Unsanity support article concerning how to uninstall APE to an article on MacJournals that is critical of MacFixIt. Since I actually wanted to read the Unsanity support article I was pretty annoyed when I discovered the redirection and said so to Unsanity in the following email:
I was pretty annoyed when I clicked on a link to an Unsanity support article on MacFixIt today, http://unsanity.com/support.php?vf=43, and was redirected to a MacJournals article, rather than to the actual support article: how to uninstall APE from my system. I understand that someone at Unsanity was most likely concerned by the effect the MacFixIt-fear-voodoo might have on APE’s reputation and wanted to set the record straight, but rather than a wholesale redirection, Unsanity could have added a message to the support article stating, “APE has been tested and will work just fine under Leopard for almost all users, read here for related information.”
For me, the really annoying thing is I didn’t even want to uninstall APE because I was worried over installing Leopard and blindly following the advice of MacFixIt. I was just reading through the MacFixIt articles to see if any iBook G4 users were seeing any performance gains or losses after installing Leopard, saw the warning about APE and the link for uninstall directions, realized that I had meant to uninstall APE months ago because I no longer use Detour, the app from Rogue Amoeba I was using APE for in the first place and wanted to remove it until I had need to use it again. The fact that Unsanity was redirecting me away from this support article on their own site that I had a legitimate reason to read was, in my opinion, in addition to being very annoying, simply unprofessional.
In any case, I am glad now to see that the link on MacFixIt no longer redirects to the MacJournals article.
Unsanity’s Rosyna responded with:
Because there is absolutely no reason to uninstall it. Just make sure you have APE 2.0.3 or later. APE 2.0.3 was released March 14th, 2007.
To which I responded:
I’m sure you get a lot of email. As I noted in my last email, my wanting to uninstall APE had nothing to do with Leopard (I don’t even have it and I’m not planning on getting it any time soon), but was due to the fact that I just don’t use it anymore. I had, completely by chance, glanced at the MacFixIt article in question and was reminded that I had been meaning for a few months to uninstall APE because I don’t use it anymore. I just don’t like my system full of stuff I don’t use. In my opinion it was unprofessional of Unsanity to completely redirect a link to a support article on their site, and my last email and this email are just me letting my opinion be known to Unsanity. I like APE and am sure I will continue to use it in the future when I again find that I have a need for the functionality it provides.
To which Rosyna responded:
If you wish to uninstall APE, follow the directions at http://www.unsanity.com/support.php?vf=15
The FAQ MacFixIt linked to was invalid and the commands they pasted have *multiple* serious errors in them that can lead to data loss. You don’t put spaces in rm -rf commands running as root.
Which makes no sense at all. The FAQ MacFixIt linked to was http://unsanity.com/support.php?vf=43 which has since been changed to http://unsanity.com/support.php?vf=15, both of which are totally valid links on Unsanity’s own support site. In addition, the reference to the rm -rf commands in the MacFixIt article are completely irrelevant to the emails I sent to Unsanity, the subjects of which are not about uninstalling APE, but about redirecting links to support articles.
I’m giving Rosyna the benefit of the doubt and assuming that rather than them trying to spread FUD I either poorly communicated to her what I was getting at — Unsanity shouldn’t redirect (valid) links to their own support articles — or that she has been too busy with a spate of emails to take the time to carefully read through my emails with full comprehension.
Unfortunately, as of the moment, Unsanity has gone back to redirecting the MacFixIt article’s link to their support article to the MacJournals article.
I just can’t see how this benefits the little guy.
* Unsanity has configured this so that the link works fine except when clicked on at that MacFixIt article.Mac OS X, Technology