Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Journey to Apple Products

This post was influenced by Aaron Silvers and his post Influence.

I didn't join the computer revolution until college. And even then I did not have my own. I had to wait in long lines at the school's computer lab just to "type up" my report from the handwritten rough draft. At the time I didn't think to much about the difference between a Mac or PC. But I DO remember that I preferred the Mac lab.

When I married my wife, I had just started working for Intel and so we decided to sell her Macintosh. Because, at the time, it seemed like it was going to become a Windows world. And since Intel was not yet making chips for the Mac we needed to support the new job. So the next few years of my life with computers involved the IBM thinkpad and endless hours of frustration with Windows. I was able to create some really great eLearning with Windows but it was NOT fun.

It wasn't until Apple made the switch to OSX in 2002 that I decided it was time for the family to return to the Macintosh. It was an eMac. I wanted to move in slowly and just see what all the fuss was about. The eMac was a base model Mac that was supposed to be just a web appliance...I think. However, even as a "low end" Mac, it was a DREAM to use. I was instantly in love with OSX and the Mac. I used the eMac to produce a complete video DVD for my wife's business at the time. I don't think it was meant for that, but I did it anyways. Creating and doing work became FUN!


I think it was 1993 when I left my career in broadcasting to pursue a Masters Degree in Ed Tech. I very distinctly remember my first graduate class being a design/production class. The Ph.D. that was teaching the course was clueless about technology. Actually, he was clueless about a lot more than just technology. He would purchase cassettes from conferences that he attended and just play them as the lecture portion of the class. He taught me nothing, but I learned a LOT that year.

We were given a choice of "paths" to follow. We could learn Hypercard or we could learn Toolbook. I had chosen the corporate track so I selected Toolbook. Since the professor did not know either, they recruited a couple of the students in the class that already knew the tools to instruct the rest of us. Again, a huge let down. But luckily the other student that knew toolbook knew it REALLY well and I learned a lot. As I went through the program I later learned Authorware and Director...but all on the PC.


It wasn't until after I left Intel in 2006 that I decided to never go back to a Windows world. Say what you will about Mac vs. PC, but I've NEVER met a person unhappy about switching to a Mac. I still have the old eMac. But now our home runs on Macs. We're wireless with the Airport Extreme. The AppleTV sits behind the bigscreen. I'm on a MacBook Pro, my wife and oldest daughter have MacBooks, and the iMac is the family computer. We have 3 iPhones, an iPad(gen1), and iPods of all shapes and sizes. Everything just works, and each device is beautiful and a joy to interact with. I can't say that about ANY other brand of product...well except for maybe my guitars. Wow, if only Apple made a guitar, I'd be in heaven.

As Steve Jobs leaves Apple as the CEO, I can't help but wonder how many INSANELY GREAT ideas and products have been created because of the beauty and brilliance of Macintosh. Thank you Steve Jobs! You have truly put a crack in the universe and made better the lives of millions.

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