Yeah, OK, so I’m an Apple geek. Never owned an Apple ][, used ’em, played games on ’em, ran Visicalc on one.
One West Coast Computer Faire, the last one with really interesting Z8xx(x(x)) and 65xx machines that you could buy in kit form, or, rather, the last one where those were in the main room. One side room had Charlie Chaplin and the IBM PC, and another room had this amazingly cool machine from Apple, called the Lisa, which geeks surrounded, grunted about, then someone from Apple would say “Um, it’ll be about $10,000”, and we’d look at our hobbiest standard atire: cruddy t-shirts and jeans, giggle about how they didn’t really get the fair, then we’d shuffle back into the big room to check out the quad-density 8″ dual floppy drives again. Then moving to the $2000 dot matrix printers, looking for the quality of the print density, and true lower-case descenders, so we could print our college papers on them and not have the instructor tell us to go back and use a typewriter. Never owned a Lisa.
1983 came, and the ads started. Wow, cool. What’s Apple got? 1984 came, and the Mac arrived. A buddy bought one. $2500. 128k, single 400k floppy. Another $500 if you wanted the matching printer. I saw it, I loved it, I started saving. 6 months later, I had my very own. Well, I had it, and about $2k in debt from Apple Credit, but I had it.
I spent countless hours with that machine. I learned to write really crappy games with really bad dot-matrix graphics on it. I learned Smalltalk on it. I did amazing things with Hypercard on it. I bought the expensive external 400Kb drive. I was there when Jean-Louis Gasse told the local Computer Club what they could do with this drive if they wanted to upgrade to the 800k double sided drive (he picked the drive up by the cable, and threw it in the trash, to the cat calls from the entire auditorium of rabid Mac fans). Yup, that was a machine to be obsessed with. I still have that machine on a shelf. It’d still power on, although I broke a resistor trying to install the board to add SCSI support to it, and never fixed it.
Then I owned a series of machines, a Mac II (it died eventually), a PowerBook 140 (with a 68030 processor, Woo Hoo, unlimited Power). Still have that machine too, and it still powers on too, although I really must donate it to someone who cares someday. Then an original Bondi Imac (it died, I gave it away), an iMacDV (still in use today), an iLamp iMac (also still in use, but I think about to die), a 12″ PowerBook G4 (used a lot), and a dual processor G5 tower (used constantly), as well as an iBook and newer G5 iMac for “the rest of the family”, and a 15″ laptop for work. OK, so that means I’ve got 7 Macs, in daily use in the house these days.
Yup, I’m an Apple geek.
Oh, and now, 4 iPods too (a still working except-for-the-battery 3rd generation, Nano, and then the girls have a 5G, and a Mini).
I don’t buy everything, liked the Mini, not enough bang for the buck, kinda thinking that about the new Mini, but it’s also kinda wimpy for the money. Don’t need the newest version of everything anymore, now that there are just to many newst version of too many things, so I wait a generation or 4 between iterations. The fact that nearly all of the Mac’s I’ve bought still function, and the fact that I’m a totall, unabashed packrat contribute to that.
So, whats the point? Well, none really. I’ve got a PC too, and I use it occasionally. I’m far more happy with the Mac, don’t have to make excuses anymore, given OS X, that it’s really better for most things for me. I play games on a PS2, usually, so don’t do any gaming with the Mac. There’s always enough software to do what I’ve wanted, although often it’s quite inferior to it’s PC brethens, although, also often, it’s of generally higher quality than the average stuff written for the PC (simple matter of averages and volume, not because the Mac somehow magically causes software to be better).
I’m glad Apple is able to keep up the hype, and that it’s been able to be happy satisfying a niche market, without having to be the biggest. I do think once Steve leaves, it’ll die. Not that Steve’s a diety or anything, in fact, know people who worked for him, so know he’s definately not a diety. But, he’s enough of a driving force, realizing that being top of a niche market is actually good enough to keep you going, if you can play it right. That he can keep the illusion that niche is good enough, keep enough interesting projects coming out, and has found ways to turn that into something profitable and good enough to keep people interested. Another leader will want more growth, or more market penetration, or something that would break the formula, and dissipate the reality distortion field.
Just sitting here, using my Mac, listening to my iPod, pondering Apples 30th anniversary a couple days ago, and thinking how much I stil enjoy using this Apple stuff after 22 years.