41 Questions with Dr. Macenstein – Because 20 just isn’t enough - Macenstein

41 Questions with Dr. Macenstein – Because 20 just isn’t enough

There’s probably no character in the Mac Blog-o-sphere as interesting and mysterious as the sarcastic and quick-witted Dr. Macenstein from Macenstein.com. For over three years “The Doc”, as his faithful readers know him, has edutained his audience with his unique take on random bits of Mac news and Mac-related humor, building his site into one of the more popular Mac-related blogs. Yet despite being such a brilliant, charismatic character in the Maciverse, to date, no one has had the guts (or, more likely, desire) to sit him down for an interview. Knowing his story MUST be told, however, The Doc was nice enough to open himself up to the one interviewer he felt capable of tackling such a talent – his loyal readers!

The following are answers to questions sent in by faithful Macenstein readers The questions were broken down into categories, as there was some overlapping. Topics covered are grouped into: Macenstein-related, Personal, Financial, Idiotic, Hostile, Mac Chick-related, and Apple-related. So pull up a chair, sit back, and prepare to learn absolutely nothing about the enigmatic Dr. Macenstein!


Carlitos: Trick question. How do you pronounce “Macenstein?”
The Doc: Actually, Carlos, that question is trickier than you might think. Macenstein is pronounced like “Frankenstein”, as in the monster, not like “Mac Einstein” like the smart guy with the bad hair. Our site began life under the idea it would be a disgusting, unholy monster of a site, stitching together its parts from the corpses of other Mac sites we dug up (much the same way Dr. Frankenstein built HIS monster). We wanted to focus on the more bizarre aspect of the Mac Universe, and for the most part, I would say we have stayed true to that original goal.

Mathew: “How did Macenstein.com come about? How did it get to where it is today? And where do you see it and yourself in the next ten years?”
The Doc: Well, Macenstein was started when some of my fellow Mac-addicted friends and I noticed we were spending a huge amount of time reading all the various Mac sites out there, and basically doing nothing with the information except holding off on ever buying any Apple gear because we were constantly reading about how cool the NEXT Mac was going to be. We decided to start our own site, fully believing we would grow tired of doing it after a day or two, and true to their word, my friends did. I, however, decided to stick it out, and three and a half years later, here I am. As far as “how did it get where it is today?”, well, where exactly do you think it IS today? I suppose any success we may have is likely attributed to my desire to keep Macenstein stupid. If Apple releases a new Mac Pro or iMac, as much as I might personally think it is a cool machine, simple press releases and speed bumps are not the kind of thing I write about in general. Unless I can think of a bizarre, funny, or interesting angle (to me, at least) I won’t write about a story, no matter how “big” it is in the Maciverse. I think my readers get that for the most part, and come here looking for the off-beat stuff that other, more mainstream sites might have missed.

As far as the “10 years from now thing”, well, I would like to hope that Macenstein will be sold to a giant Chinese blogging conglomerate for $3 million, and I will probably move to Pigeon Forge Tennessee to be closer to DollyWood.

Kutt-Out: What are your 3 main sources to find out the latest mac news?
The Doc: Well, when I first started Macenstein I pretty much lived and died by MacRumors, and I would always read their sister site MacBytes and see if any stories there looked interesting. Then I discovered Mac surfer, Digg and Reddit. But lately, I am proud to say, a good 50-60% of the stuff I write is usually news sent in by you guys, my faithful readers, who are nice enough to scour the sites for me. I kind of view you all as lovable, unpaid interns. Now go get my car washed.

Mac Chicks

Torrance: “Has Mrs. Macenstein (aka The Bride of Macenstein) ever been featured as a MCOTM?”
The Doc: No, but perhaps the NEXT Mrs. Macenstein has…

burritoattack: “Where do you get the Mac Chicks?”
The Doc: Well, you know how a guidance counselor will tell you the best way to figure out what career path you should take is to imagine you have 10 million dollars, and then think, “what would I do all day if I didn’t need money?” If your answer is “Play golf”, you should be a golfer or own a golf course. If it’s “Sail around the world” you should get into the human trafficking business, and so on. Well, if I had $10 million, I would probably spend all day stalking women on the internet, and that’s where I get my Mac Chicks. Without giving away all my secrets, I basically search the web for girls who appear to own Macs, and then ask them if they would be interested in being featured. The process is ridiculously time consuming- I would say I put in about 20 hours per Mac Chick – but now that the MCotM has gotten reasonably popular, occasionally I am approached by Mac Chicks who have heard about the feature from a friend and want to do it, with no stalking needed on my end. (By the way, we’re always looking, so if you know of any Mac Chicks, please point them our way!).

matty: “What do you want to do with your Mac Chicks…… Ahhhh scrap that, you won’t answer………”
The Doc: Sure, I will. Ideally I would like to create some sort of covert, all female secret agent type team, sort of like Charlie’s Angels, comprised exclusively of Mac Chicks. Their goal would be to use their feminine charms to sneak past Apple security and bring us back the latest dirt on what’s coming out of Cupertino. Most missions would for some reason or another involve one of them dressing up as a nurse.

Kutt-Out: Does the misses approve of your macensteiny actions?”
The Doc: My wife is very supportive of my desire to create an all-female secret agent team.

Kevin: “Which Mac Chick would you most like to be marooned on a tropical island with?”
The Doc: Hmmm…. Well, assuming none of them know how to cook coconuts or build a raft, I would go with Miss December 2008, Aerin. She seems like a truly nice person, very into the Mac, and she was one of the easiest Mac Chicks to work with. Plus she’s hot as hell.

The Financials

jonro: “Can you achieve financial security by running a Mac blog? I know you don’t do it for the Mac Chicks, since you’re happily married.”
The Doc: Riiiiiight…. Well, I noticed quite a few of you are interested in the financial health of Macenstein. I’m sure the answer to your question is “YES”, however, personally, the answer for me is “No”. I suppose it all depends on your current definition of “financial security”. I happen to have a day job, so I can only devote a certain amount of time each day to the site. I think right now our Alexa.com ranking is just under 50,000, and I think you probably need to be in the 20,000 or lower range to really make “life-changing” money off the site. To give you some sort of a frame of reference, Arn, the owner of Mac Rumors, was a kidney Dr., I believe, and decided he could make more money running Mac Rumors than being a doctor. MR has an Alexa ranking of 6,180, and I imagine there is a larger difference between 50,000 and 6,180 than it would appear. With over 1 billion sites now on the internet, being ranked 50,000 isn’t bad, but it doesn’t mean you’ve hit the lottery either. Plus, I have a wife, two kids, a mortgage, and I live just outside of NYC, one of the more expensive parts of the country. If I lived outside of DollyWood I probably could live off Macenstein, assuming my kids are OK with eating only what we kill.

Roger: “What do you plan on doing with the $70.49 of contributions to the Macenstein cause?”
The Doc: “Well, first of all, it’s $95.49 now, thank you very much. I noticed quite a few of you asked about that. Well, it started as a joke when I saw WikiPedia was trying to raise $6 million to keep itself going, and I said, hey, we get like 10,000 -15,000 people a day here, if each of them gave like $5, that would really help me out and justify all the time I put in here instead of raising the kids. Well, as you can see, the donations are a HUGE success. To be honest, right now I am leaving the donate banner up basically to help fill out the sidebar while I work on other content I can stick there. As far as what I will do with it, well, I think you all think Macenstein makes more money than it does. I am basically in this for the sheer geeky thrill of it. Most of what I make I put back into the site, or give away to you guys in contests.

dizzy: “If you aren’t yet making $25k a month in ad revenue… What do you do to pay the bills….a day job if you will? Does running this blog effect your day job performance?”
The Doc: By day, I am a graphic designer, by night, I fight crime. Somewhere in between I post some stupid Mac-related articles. This blog doesn’t really affect my day job so much as my day job affects this blog.

Mac related

Alonso: “Which Mac are you?”
The Doc: Well, I used to be a Mac Pro, but now that I have a MacBook Pro, my life has gotten soooo much better. I can now sit on the couch and eat Utz Cheeseballs and watch TV at night with the Bride of Macenstein at my side while I work on the site instead of being stuck down in the office alone.

Kutt-Out: “What is your entire computer set up?
The Doc: hmm… At home I have the following (spread out amongst my family): iPhone ist gen, iPhone 3G, two iPod touches, one regular iPod (5th gen) a 1st gen shuffle, a Mac Pro (4 Core) MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Apple TV, AirPort, two AirPort Expresses, and two PowerMac G4 towers which are collecting dust. Actually, everything in my house collects dust, even the stuff I use daily, as I live in a shit hole.

Adrian: “What are Ur favorite Apple products? What Apple products U have and how often R U using them?”
The Doc: Well, see above for the list. I would say I use the MacBook Pro and my iPhone daily, if not hourly. I pretty much use my iPhone for everything, from using the clock to time the chicken I cook for lunch, to checking Woot! to playing Fiedlrunners and geoDefense all day. The AppleTV is used every other day or so, mainly to play shows for the kids that I have recorded off our DVR to make room. The Mac mini is the kids’ computer, and also the computer we use to record TV using Elgato’s EyeTV software.

Derek: “Have you ever met Steve Jobs or seen him live like at a Macworld keynote? If so, what is he like?”
The Doc: I have actually only been to one Macworld, and it was the last NY-based one. I never met Jobs, but I have a feeling he is an ass, and odds are he’s a celebrity that is best worshiped from afar.

Hitek: “If you were in charge of apple what devices would you come up with that would change the world?”
The Doc: I think right now the thing Apple needs to be focusing on (and I hope to God they are focusing on SOMETHING else, because lord knows these latest hardware revisions were fairly lame) is a new Apple TV. It’s not an original thought, I know, but the Apple TV needs to be able to record TV, export to iPods, and play iPhone video games with Wii-like tilt controllers, if not iPhones and touches as controllers. That would be one device I would not mind Apple overcharging for. It can cost $700 and I think enough people would still buy it to make it viable. I’m not going to say it needs to play Blu-Ray discs, it just needs to support true HD downloads. Aside from that, if I were in charge of Apple I would look into a less labor-intensive way to bring RAM to the US. I assume right now Apple has trained dolphins which must for some reason swim across the Pacific with DIMMs of RAM in their mouths, delivering one DIMM at a time. There is no other reason their prices should be so high.

Skippy: “So, Mr. Macensteineee, Will Mr. Steve Jobs return in June cured of Windows Virus, Oh, What a would world without Steve – I remember being at MacWorld D.C. In the 1990’s – Gees, forgot that’s’ were I scored a Andy Hertzfeld autograph , no folklore!”
The Doc: Let’s try to keep this about me, OK Skippy? Well, like all things Apple pre-announces, Jobs’ return will be exactly 1 month late (I am guessing July 27th), but yes, he will return. As for a cure, I don’t expect him to look noticeably plumper or anything, but I would think his health would be more under control. I expect he will retire 2 years later.

Florian: “If you were to become invisible inside of an Apple Store and you have to spend the night there, what would be the item of your choice out of all items (pretending that you have access to everything) to stroke, gently, so you don’t wake it in its precious sleep.”
The Doc: Well Florian, I like Apple stuff, but I am not nearly as creepy as you apparently think I am. At Macenstein Labs we have a bunch of 30-inch cinema displays, Mac Pros, iMacs, etc. There’s really nothing that Apple makes that I need to caress. For me it would be the 3rd party stuff, like the Zeppelin Speaker that would be the most fun to play with, although I already reviewed that. I found it to be one of the coolest gadgets I have ever “caressed”, and I would like to check out other high-end 3rd party gear.

iShervin: “PC… Yes, I want to know how much you have used PCs and what OS and how much experience you have in that part of the world (software / hardware)?”
The Doc: I probably have about 12 years experience with PCs. My dad brought home an old IBM from the office when I was little, and that was my first introduction to computers. And Zork. Currently my graphics room is mostly Mac, although we have a BOXX workstation running XP that we ran Maya on until we switched the license over to a Mac Pro last year. Basically all I use a PC for these days is running Macromedia Adobe Director.


edoreld: “What are you a doctor of? -.-“
The Doc: “I earned my PhD in “Keeping it Real” from The Ross University in the Bahamas.

matty: If you could interview Steve Jobs, what 3 questions would you ask him?”
The Doc: Assuming he had to answer me truthfully, the questions would be
1) What do you really think of Woz in general, and his Dancing with the Stars antics in particular?
2) What is the killer Apple device you guys are working on that is 5-10 years away in R&D?
3) Why were the Pixar movies Cars and Ratatouille so long and boring?

Chicago: “Who is your daddy, and what does he do?”
The Doc: My dad is “Big Lee”, a 6 foot 9-inch giant of an insurance actuary. And I appreciate the Kindergarten Cop reference.

Mfs: “Do you walk to work, or take your lunch?”
The Doc: I drive to work, and bring my lunch. I walk 5 miles each morning though, when I wake up to burn off the giant barrel of Utz Cheeseballs I at the night before.

Skippy Thorson: “You honestly think you’re more sarcastic than me? I challenge you to a sarcasm off – or you can hire me!”
The Doc: Oooohhhh That’s a REAAAALLY good idea, Skippy. Let’s dooo that!

Marlon: Since when you are an Apple boy/men/dude… ???”
The Doc: I first used a Mac in our Jr. High computing lab, typing in “if/then” statements and crap, but I didn’t really start using them for anything serious until college. I went to RISD, and I first learned Photoshop, After Effects, and Avid editing on a Mac, and since then, I have been a Mac dude.

David E: “What is your real name?”
The Doc: It’s one of the following: John, Mark, Brian, Kevin, Michael, Jeremy, Chris or Jeff. Or maybe it’s not.

Steven: “Your wife… the one who lets you get pictures of beautiful women to post on your site, and puts up with the celebrity mac chicks — put up really without much of an excuse other than to show more pictures of beautiful women… does she have a sister?”
The Doc: No, she was more or less an orphan when I found her, sorry.


KDC: “Are you really just a big fat sloth, longing for the glitz and glamor of Steve Jobs and Apple which was something you were never a part of in jr. high school? Or are you just in it for the chicks?”
The Doc: Well, I’m not fat… although my mom says I do have very broad shoulders. As for the “longing for glitz”, glitz is probably the last thing I long for. I am a creature of the shadows – a pale, antisocial, borderline sociopath with little interest in fame. If I wanted that, I would not write under a pseudonym, I would where a big cowboy hat and go to all the Mac events.

Smorgasbord: “Science has proven hot air rises. So why are you still on the ground?”
The Doc: I’m not a big believer in science.

Bob: “Why do you suppose nobody has sat you down for an interview?
a. Your blog doesn’t actually report on anything useful for mac users, just mocks random other news articles
b. People just use your site for mac chicks
c. a and b”

The Doc: Ouch, Bob. Hmm.. multiple choice, eh? Well, you left out “D: People only use me for my contests”. But seriously, Bob, it looks like you don’t quite understand what Macenstein is designed to be. This site primarily focuses on things I find funny about the Mac-iverse, and you aren’t going to see a ton of “useful” information here, aside perhaps from some product reviews. I care far more about Woz being photographed at a urinal on a Segway than when a new MacBook might come out or publishing a tutorial on how to install RAM in an iMac. There are tons of sites out there for that already, sorry. That’s just the way I roll.


Chris: “There’s only one question I would want to ask… What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
The Doc: “Nice try, my friend, but as one of the few chosen to protect the Grail, I cannot divulge that. Although, out of curiosity, were you talking about an African or European swallow?

Carlo: “What kind of plant would you be if you were a dog?
The Doc: A very bad one, as I would be a mammal and unable to photosynthesize.

WFT: “What is the meaning of life (other than to buy Apple stuff) and do you actually have APPL stock????”
The Doc: The meaning of life? For me right now it’s to make sure my kids don’t grow up to be assholes. As for the stock, I don’t own Apple stock so much as Apple Stock owns me. AAPL is pretty much all I own in the world, as far as investments go, which is sad… May I call your attention to that donation bar in the right hand sidebar…? 🙂

Richard: “Where were you on the night of the 14th?”
The Doc: Well, if I had to guess, I would assume I was in the same pace I was on the 18th, 12th, 11th, 22nd, 1st, etc. – Sitting on my couch.

Jim: “What would you do for a Klondike bar?”
The Doc: I would pay for it like a responsible citizen. I’m not looking for a free ride here.

James: “What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
The Doc: I can’t believe TWO of you asked this. Well, actually I guess I can…

darrell: “the focus on jump starting our economy and pulling out of the deficit is said to be in new policies in energy efficiency. in what way will macenstein.com contribute to this change?”
The Doc: I already expend as little energy as possible in all areas of my life, so I am really not sure what else I can do.

widgetboy: “What is the maximum height one can achieve launching an ’86 Pontiac Fiero over train tracks traveling uphill on a 15degree grade at 45 mph with two 150lb passengers?”
The Doc: (FYI: widgetboy went to high school with me, and a little trivia for Macenstein buffs, The Doc’s first car was an extremely used 1986 Ponitac Fiero). However, I was 190 lbs in high school, as I am now, so I can’t say for sure. It felt like 7 feet though…, and I know for sure we bottomed out with much sparkage…

Jason: “What were you before you knew you were?”
The Doc: I don’t even know what that means. You could have done better.

Manny: “if you were traveling at the speed of light in a car and you turned on your headlights… would it do anything?”
The Doc: If I were driving in a car that could travel at the speed of light, in the DARK, I would totally crap my pants.

Aldo: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The Doc: This is about as old as I plan to get, so I guess this is it.

13 Responses to “41 Questions with Dr. Macenstein – Because 20 just isn’t enough”
  1. Me says:

    I suspect that in question 1, “How do you pronounce Macenstein?”, Carlitos was asking whether its pronunciation sounds more like *steen* or *styne*.

  2. Alonso says:

    Doc, Aerin is Miss December 2008 not January 2009 (i know because I’m using her wallpaper)… and i agree, she is the best MCOTM so far.

  3. @Me,
    Well, I guess then it would be “styne”

    Quite right, I got confused due to the extra January shoot she did. I shall fix that, thanks!
    – The Doc

  4. Jere says:

    This is funny, for many reasons.

  5. iShervin says:

    Thanks for all these Doc 😉
    Nice Post all in all…
    lol @ Zork (I’ve done a uni project on Zork)

  6. So that’s what you were doing last night! I learned so much Doc. Special thanks to Steven for realizing how truly awesome I am.

  7. darrell says:

    thanks for answering our questions doc. now that we know more about you, i’ve become less scared of the whispering voices when i sleep.

  8. Jon P says:

    Doc, I have so much more respect for you with your comments about Jobs “probably” being an ass. Knowing how much you love Macs, it’s nice to see you also have a grasp on reality as well. To be fair, I myself have never met the man. Great read, nonetheless.

  9. odin says:

    Best Answer:

    KDC: “Are you really just a big fat sloth, longing for the glitz and glamor of Steve Jobs and Apple which was something you were never a part of in jr. high school? Or are you just in it for the chicks?”
    The Doc: Well, I’m not fat… although my mom says I do have very broad shoulders. As for the “longing for glitz”, glitz is probably the last thing I long for. I am a creature of the shadows – a pale, antisocial, borderline sociopath with little interest in fame. If I wanted that, I would not write under a pseudonym, I would where a big cowboy hat and go to all the Mac events.

    You forgot the sideburns.

  10. bill says:


    “pronounced like ‘Frankenstein’, as in the monster, not like ‘Mac Einstein’”

    Frankenstein is not the monster, the doctor’s name who developed the monster is Frankenstein; the monster is just named the monster. A very large misconception among the general population.

  11. Marlon says:

    Hey nice answers Doc… Congrats for your PhD… I know how hard it gets to study a medicine related carreer…

    Thanks 4 answer my question… C ya!

  12. Maria says:

    I have to say, to follow on question 1, that i love the name of your website! It has everything that is important in a cool website name: Mac + something funny!

  13. I just found this on Google searching myself, because that’s what I do at 7:30 in the morning on a Wednesday.

    A) Who is the other person that thinks they can be called “Skippy”?

    B) I commend your sarcas-o-meter.

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