Understanding and Avoiding RDF

by Chris Howard Mar 07, 2007

Name the four greatest inventions in the history of history.

If you said the wheel, fire, roadside service, and the fire extinguisher, you probably really wanted to say Vista, Vista, Vista, and Vista, and have stumbled here by accident because I just used the word Vista four five times in one sentence, so this page has been bumped way up on Google hits for Vista. (Six!)

The four greatest inventions in history, of course, are the original Mac, the iPod, OS X, and now the iPhone. If you show any hesitation on disagreeing with any of those, then you’ve got an RDF infection. And this far out from a major Apple event, then I’d be a tad worried about it being permanent.

What is RDF?
RDF stands for Reality Distortion Field. It’s an invisible wave outside the hitherto known electromagnetic radiation and sound ranges; it’s where they meet*. It’s beyond infrared, microwave, and those super high-pitched sounds that make dogs chase parked cars. It echoes through victims’ bodies, disturbing and rewiring their neural pathways. On the plus side, it comes with some really nice icons.

RDF is everywhere. “They” inject our TV sets with it and it spews out all over us hour after hour, telling us that having hot-looking friends will make us enjoy certain colas more than others, or that beer tastes good (I don’t care who you are, beer is an acquired taste, and I’ve never met a person who went into raptures the first time they tried it), and RDF even makes some people think Windows Vista is better than OS X. So we’re obviously talking about something very serious here.

For the sufferer, it can be very detrimental to your chances for procreation, as the only thing worse than someone who talks about his or herself all the time is one who talks all the time about how great Apple is.

Furthermore, although RDF is not fatal, those who are fed up with your enthusiasm can be.

Steve Jobs, RDF Grand Master
RDF is not, contrary to popular myth, the domain solely of the CEO of Apple. However, he has a special talent for controlling it that is unmatched. He is, without doubt, the Grand Master of the Reality Distortion Field (all curtsy). Steve doesn’t need cubicles full of advertising and marketing gurus to convince the buying minions of the value of his product. Steve can do it just standing on a stage yakking on. And you don’t even have to be there. Through the magic of the internet, it seeps through the wires that entangle the world wide web, drawing in helpless victims.

Who hasn’t watched a SteveNote video stream and felt that dull sense of compliance and agreement creeping through one’s veins? It’s a little like the way a hangover creeps up on you. Whereas a hangover kicks reality into you (and quite uncomfortably so), a SteveNote kicks the reality out of you, helped, of course, by those acolytes with a permanent DEFCON 1 strength infection.

Avoiding infection
Can you avoid infection? Pfft! Why would you want to?

(Shakes head.) Oops! Sorry. (Rubs temples.) Don’t know what overcame me.

Here’s a few simple ways that might help you avoid RDF infection:

1) Leave planet Earth. Although not sure about the moon. Did anyone else notice that when you look at it a certain way it looks like the Apple logo? No? Must be that RDF again.

2) Get a PC. PCs users are so neutered already, even SJ’s RDF bounces off like a wet Nerf ball hitting a human size lump of tripe. Fear not though, you won’t miss out—you’ll get other infections.

3) Go visit the IT department where you work and ask if you can sit in their server room during SteveNotes. Those rooms seem to be impervious to anything Apple. But afterwards, steer clear of any Apple site or Apple themed blog for at least a month, and around any subsequent product releases.

4) Read Apple Matters because we’re totally objectional objective…

Dealing with the infected
RDF is a serious condition. If you encounter a sufferer, don’t let them see your iPod or they’ll fawn the white off of it; don’t mention the war (lest you get caught up in an unwinnable debate about how the OS war never really ended, and that it was just a clever ploy by Steve), and whatever you do, do not try to be funny with comments like “Luke, Bill is your father.”

In an RDF state, victims not only believe everything Steve tells them, but find some way to multiply that tenfold. So if SJ says Apple has created the best toaster in history, the infected will preach the message, saying because of the way the translucent plastic lets ambient light in, it cooks the toast in such a way that the toast is able to cure cancer as well as feed the starving exec running out the door with his tie caught in his briefcase.

I’ve been victim myself (of the RDF as well as the tie in the briefcase thing). From the early ‘90s I believed and preached two things (told to me by another victim): Macs didn’t crash, and Macs were so much better. Oh, okay, he had a point on the second, but on the first, when I switched I discovered folks saying how much better OS X was than System pick-a-number because it didn’t crash all the time like the old Mac OS.

So, you may laugh at my deadly serious article, but when you’ve laid down your hard-earned for an iPhone, only to find (once the RDF has worn off) it really is just a phone, and not a Star Trek communicator, then you’ll be sorry for your flippancy.

*Note: Please do not quote this satirical science on your next paper. Science and satire are a very dangerous combination that should only be handled by untrained amateurs wearing the right unprotective clothing and ignoring all sensible occupational health and safety guidelines. Apple Matters cannot be held responsible for any untoward results that may occur from the failure to correctly misuse the information provided in this article.


  • You talk like Balmer in more ways than one… Quit chanting. I wonder if you were sweating when typing Vista over and over again. (seven)

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 07, 2007 Posts: 172
  • LOL (the article, and the previous comment).  Developers, developers, developers, developers!

    Xapplimatic had this to say on Mar 07, 2007 Posts: 15
  • “Go visit the IT department where you work and ask if you can sit in their server room during SteveNotes.”

    Funny thing is, I watched/followed SteveNotes MacWorld 2007 from the server room this year… and of course, there was nothing to reward me. I don’t need a damn phone I want upgrades to COMPUTER HW and SW!

    unixguy had this to say on Mar 09, 2007 Posts: 1
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