Back in 1983 I was working as a process engineering technician in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and my cube mate, a brilliant engineer named Charlie Hong, brought in an Apple IIe. The thing was huge, with a monochrome monitor — green I think, maybe it was amber. I don’t recall exactly, after all,that was 28 years ago…
I do remember that it had a 1.02 MHz processor. That’s megahertz, not gigahertz, and had not one but two 5.25 inch floppy drives. I believe RAM was the standard for the time — 64K.
And I remember sitting there with Charlie thinking, “This is bad ass!” Then we fired up Zork, a text based adventure game, and I was enthralled.
A year or so later, first generation Macintosh’s were on almost everyone’s desks. After all I was working on the semiconductor line at Motorola that made the Macintosh microprocessors — very leading edge at the time, and we were proud of those chips. Running the plant with Mac’s made sense.
We even had a Mac Quadra at home for a few years. It was the kid’s first computer.
But Motorola phased out Macs and went to Intel boxes in the early 90’s, and shortly after the Thompson household switched over to PCs.
Until today. Many of my friends have been Apple fanboys for a long time, and I am regularly chided when I pull out my trusty PC laptop. Lord help me if/when I whine about lockups, outdated drivers, automatic Windows updates, whatever. All I’ve gotten for the past couple of years is an earful about how wonderful Macs are.
“Yeah, but are they worth 3x the cost?” was always my standard response.
“Yes. Try it, you’ll see. Once you go Mac you never go back!”
Problem is, I’m
However, my son has his own business buying and reselling just about anything under the sun, but his primary focus is on electronics, phones and computers. When he heard me whining about how long it was taking to boot up my laptop, he broke out some of his inventory of MacBooks and started the sales pitch.
And the kid is a heck of a salesman. Once I got a MacBook in my hand, I was hooked. The damn thing just felt good. And the screen was crystal clear. And it had this really cool backlit keyboard. And I had to have one.
So I gave the wife the puppy dog eyes, reminded her it was my birthday and got my son to give me a ridiculously great price (he can help you too land a MacBook. Let me know if you’re ever interested.)
Now we sit, composing this post on a shiny, almost new 13″ MacBook Pro.
My first impressions?
It looks good. It feels good. It’s a hell of a piece of engineering. And it runs *great*.
Oh yeah, the user interface will take some getting used to. The control key doesn’t work like it did on my laptop. To be honest, I don’t even know why it’s on the keyboard. There’s no right click. Things are in different places.
But it’s intuitive. It makes sense.
I plugged in my external monitor, expecting to have to configure this or that. To need to download drivers. To go through a big hassle.
You know what? I plugged in the monitor.
And it just worked.
No configuring. No drivers. None of the non-sense that comes with a PC.
It. Just. Worked.
This multi-touch trackpad?
Sadly, I’ll still be relegated to using Windows on occasion as there are some archaic real estate specific programs with no Mac options. (Yes, Parallels or Boot Camp is in the near future. Opinions on which is better?)
I am however, swiftly becoming a fan. Several times today I’d do something and sit there and think, “wow, that was cool.”
To paraphrase my friend Justin McHood, yes Mac’s cost more than PCs — just like BMWs cost more than Ford Fiestas. Sure the Fiesta will get you from Point A to Point B, but driving the BMW is a greater experience. You can shop at Nordstrom’s or Target. After all, you can buy a shirt in either store. Heck, you can even use Joe’s Generic Real Estate Brokerage, or Thompson’s Realty to help you buy or sell a home… (hey, I had to work real estate in here somewhere…).
Sometimes life is about the experience. Driving the well engineered and finely tuned high-performance car, shopping (or buying real estate) where you get outstanding customer service, using a Mac and saying, “wow, that was cool” — all just make life more enjoyable.
And there ain’t nothing wrong with that…
If any of you Apple fanboys (fanpeople?) have any suggestions for “must have Mac stuff”, feel free to pony up a comment.