The picture to the right is what I anticipate I will look like in a couple of weeks (minus the hair, the braces, and the youth). I'm pretty sure I will shed similar tears of joy once a box like that arrives after 6 years of hemming and hawing. That's right, the Mac that I have talked about buying for years (but never quite got up the guts to pull the trigger on) is finally on order.
I will admit to being seduced by the siren call of my Macphile friends to join the ranks of people who love their computers rather than eternally battle them. Furthermore, I freely acknowledge the power that the Apple marketing machine has had at convincing me that I will be cooler, more hip, etc. etc. if I can smugly tell people, "My other computer is a Mac." Still, it took time, the right set of circumstances, and an acknowledgment that I no longer play video games quite as earnestly as I once did for me to come around to the idea that it was nigh time for me to act, rather than to continue simply uttering comments that began with, "One of these days..." To the credit of Apple's marketing, though, I think watching the umpteenth edition of "Mac vs. PC" ads and realizing that rather than wanting to be the nerdy PC guy (even if he is a resident expert at everything), I wanted to be the "stars in a movie with Bruce Willis" guy. :)
When I was young, Macs were seen as primarily the domain of educators, illustrators, and whimsical dreamers who liked to play with "toy" computers. Macs didn't seem as "real" or as macho as the ubiquitous 386, 486, and Pentium monstrosities that pervaded college dorm rooms, sprouted innumerable plugs to multiple peripherals, required disks and disks of software and hardware drivers, and demanded a fair bit of technical savvy to use well. Slowly, over time, Macs went from seeming uncool and way too niche to be respectable to now bestowing upon the purchaser a measure of chic due to the physical design and coolness owning to the "Arty the Smarty" self-confidence that it takes to buy one when most people don't.
So what changed? For one, I don't think that Mac suffered from the surging popularity and image of one of its much younger siblings, the iPod. I also think that as the value of a personal computer transitioned from "tool for playing games" to "tool used to write documents and balance checkbooks" to "tool used to browse the Internet" the distinctions and barriers to Mac ownership by the less-fanatic masses (like me), became fuzzier and disappeared. Of course, when OS X came out, the biggest barrier for me melted away - The Geek Factor. No more can a Mac be called a toy - not when it runs on a Unix operating system. My desire for something new to tinker around with and explore will be redirected from finding ways around the headaches of why my browser keeps crashing (and then asking me if I want to report the issue - as though it hadn't already happened 20 times) to learning all of the neat touches of using the Mac OS.
My MacBook Pro is still on order and it will likely arrive just in time for my vacation. A perfect opportunity, really, because I will have all sorts of time to poke around with it while I relax on the Outer Banks and revel in just doing nothing. Until then, I will have to be content with posting commentary on this exciting development and hoping that something more lively to discuss on this blog comes along in the meantime.
macintosh mac macbook
View all posts from Mike Frost on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.
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