So, I guess part of this was inspired by an article on Penny Arcade. Since the beginning of my computing life, I’ve been a Windows user. While I agreed that Macs (iMac and on) were pretty to look at, I just never saw myself being able to switch.
Then I started designing.
At first, not much. I didn’t really dig the whole Mac thing. Consider that I was learning Photoshop on beige boxes running Mac software, and using a stylus. It sucked, and it was tedious. I interned after that, on a blue PowerMac G3. It had the little round mouse. It didn’t suck as much, and it was pretty. Then I transferred to a new college for more design stuff. It had G4′s, and some had the flat Apple displays. Again, very pretty. Really pretty. Crappy mice, still, but at least they were optical. Sometime in this whole process, I started telling myself that I’d get a Ti Powerbook G4 when I had the funds. Not because it was a Mac, but because (you guessed it) it was pretty and slick – pretty slick. Then I interned again. For a couple weeks, I was on the newest G4. Not as pretty but very fast. Then, as the lowly intern, I was displaced back to what I believe to be the very same G3 when new people were hired. Neither fast, nor pretty anymore. Just old. By some miracle, I was given a (slightly newer) G4, which was a little prettier, and a little faster. Not perfect, but acceptable. Now, in the midst of all this, I talked to a lot of coworkers. Since it was a design department, you can bet that most of them were just flabbergasted that I was a PC owner. I felt a little out of place in that respect, since Apples are essentially the design standard. Then I was hired full-time. I continued to use my G4 in the back corner (space shortage) for a couple weeks.
Then in one magical day, I was handed both a real office and a G5. Yes, OS X. Pretty and fast and slick, one hundred times over. OS X. Amazing. The first day, there was quite a bit of me just staring at the screen, a little bit dazed. It was a big difference. Yesterday, I used a G4 running 9, and it was strange. I was a little dazed and I missed my big G5. Oh, somewhere in all of this, I started using a Logitech mouse, and that makes a huge difference. It is actually functional. And there’s all the other stuff, iTunes, iPods, Cinema Displays, high metal content, and so forth. And so I’ve decided it’s time to make good on that promise I made and become a Mac user. I’m looking at the new Powerbook G4 15″. And for the first time ever, I’m ready for one.
I like Apple’s computers. That’s no secret. The G4 Powerbook was the first one I fell in love with. It seemed to depart from Apple’s colorful blob designs of the early Powermacs, iBooks, and iMacs. It was slick, businesslike, and minimalist. Only now, with the new G5, has Apple’s product line come full circle. Colors have been done away with and the focus is, again, minimalist. I like the heavy (pardon the pun) use of metals on their higher end stuff, and the simple white on their more accessible models. They’ve taken the essentials and stripped off the colored plastics and racy vents and everything mundane and useless. I suppose a perfect example of this counter-Apple thinking would be Alienware. Not the initial models, which were basically your standare big computers, but have you seen the newest ones, with the alien-head design? It’s interesting, but which is going to be weird in a couple of years (and is weird now?), and which is going to be a classic? Now, looks have always been Apple’s department. But only recently, as I said before, have I really begun to enjoy using them as much as looking at them. The OS X interface is absolutely superb. I had heard good things about it but you really have to use it to believe it. And I mean in an everyday environment. So lately I’ve really begun to long for that at home. The attention to detail is wonderful. The faint lines in the menu bars that tie it all together, the drop shadows and the way the background windows go opaque, and the custimization options for the dock. All of this makes for a very pleasant environment. Overall (I’ve found that if I run out of things to say, “overall” is a good place to start), Apple presents a very appealing package. I’d like to point to an article that really emphasizes the quality of their products, and the general Apple experience.