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Guy is the guy to cheer Mac faithful

Published Sep. 16, 2005

You're sitting in an airport lobby banging away on your laptop computer. A stranger interrupts. "Why do you have THAT computer?" he demands. "Did your boss make you get it?"

Some wandering crank, or a member of a strange new airport cult?

More likely, it's another Apple Computer Inc. zealot on a mission from Guy.

Guy is Guy Kawasaki, the "evangelist" employed by Apple Computer Inc. to help reverse its declining fortunes by serving as cheerleader to the Macintosh faithful. As part of his campaign, he is publishing an Internet missive called "A List of Simple Things You Can Do to Save Apple Computer."

Among the tips:

"When you see people using a PC, ask them if their company forced them to use it."

"If you hear a store clerk spreading ignorance and lies, wait until the clerk has left and go talk to the customer."

"Strike up a conversation with people using Macintosh. Reinforce that they did the right thing."

"When you stay at a hotel, go see if there are Macintoshes in the business center."

"Wear Macintosh garb to show the world we're not crawling into holes and dying."

"Ask clerks why there aren't more Macintosh models for sale."

Of course, these days, the clerks may answer the last question: "Because Apple itself has recalled them due to manufacturing glitches."

Kawasaki estimates more than 30,000 people have seen the Internet letter, judging from the size of his mailing list. He doesn't know of anyone who has actually followed his suggestions, and there have been no reports of airport altercations between Mac and Windows users.

But that's not to say he doesn't have clout. Once, discovering an online poll about Apple's prospects, he suggested to his readers that they take part _ resulting in a 96 percent vote of confidence. "No Internet poll is safe from us," he adds.

Kawasaki laughs away any suggestion that deploying Apple loyalists to badger non-Mac computer users might be a bit counterproductive.

"My goal is to foster enthusiasm, loyalty and zeal," he said. "I am trying to be a transition between Macintosh's good old days and its future good old days."