When the news of the death of Steve Jobs crossed my twitter feed, I decided that this was an appropriate time to write about my eternal love affair with all things Apple.
I was six years old when I first encountered an Apple computer. I don’t remember which model it was, but I clearly recall sitting in an accelerated learning classroom with this strange box with a screen in front of me, talking to a person somewhere on the other side of the world. And twenty-two years later, I can still visualise the Apple logo at the bottom of that box.
Since then I’ve had five different Macintosh computers of my own, including one of the “rainbow” G3s, two Powerbook laptops, and my current Macbook. While I’ve also had a couple of Windows machines, I’ve always quickly returned to my beloved Macintosh. My first Windows desktop was abandoned due to a virus infection so intense that the only solution was to wipe the operating system and start over. By that point, the computer was already so dated, that the better solution was to return to my G3. I purchased my first Powerbook when I left for college, and the second a few years later when I found a deal too good to pass up. I bought the Macbook that I’m still using in 2006, using the money that the United States Navy owed to me. Not one of my Macs were ever retired because they stopped working. The Powerbook was only given up when I realised that I’d hit the limit of what I could upgrade. There was so much more available by then.
I’m also still the owner of two older-model iPods. A 30 GB fourth generation iPod and a 4 GB second generation iPod nano. And you know what? Both of them still work. Yes, the battery life is starting to go on the 30 GB iPod, but it’s almost seven years old. That’s a heck of a long life for a piece of technology that is typically replaced every eighteen months. Every so often I consider replacing my iPods, but they still work, so I figure why bother right now? When they go, I’ll buy the newest model that’s out there. But until then, I’m perfectly happy with what I have.
Of course I drool over whatever the newest Apple toy is, and I dream of the day that I have the money to buy myself an iPad and/or an iPhone. It’s the first thing on my list of “Things to Buy When I Get a Job that Pays Decently.” I spent a few years imaging the possibility of working for Apple someday, and still occasionally consider working for an Apple store. Talking about Apple products, even just with friends, gave me my first taste of what working in the computer industry could be like. And I loved it. It opened the door to becoming the go-to person for all sorts of computer questions and problems, for family, friends, even people I barely knew.
I have no intention of ever having children, so my computers have become like children to me. I talk to them, pet them, and buy them things to make them better. And although I’m fully aware that you aren’t supposed to love one child more than another, my Macs are my favoured children. The PC exists because I built and used it for my Network Administration degree. I have Macs because I want them.
I spent over a year selling PCs and PC accessories, and never felt comfortable. But now, when someone asks my advice on buying a new computer, I never hesitate to suggest Apple. Apple is my first love, the one I walked away from, came back to, and will never leave again.