The humiliation from my Wintel loyalist friends was as painful as the financial and emotional setbacks. End of story? Do Apple and I part ways for good over my disappointment? Thankfully, no. I still kept a more watchful eye on Apple as rumors were circulating that new versions of OS X would dramatically increase performance and that thousands of new software titles would soon be ported or written for this wonderful new OS. Despite my disappointed with my first experience, deep down, I really wanted to believe. I wanted to be part of the "Think Different" culture. I wanted to own a beautiful yet functional computer. Then, Jobs and Co. did it to me again. I do have to this say of Steve Jobs. He is the perfect leader to the group of Apple disciples. I get energized and excited every time I hear him talking about Apples latest products. As I tried to rationalize my disappointment in my first switch, I came to realize that despite my love for the design of the Titanium PowerBook my brain couldn't get over a false sense of fragility in the laptop. It's width to thickness ration was weird for me to get over. The Titanium feel of the PowerBook made it feel very brittle to me. So from my dark depths of subconscious grey matter, the combination of wide, thin, and brittle, always made me feel like I had to baby the machine or be overly gentle with it. So I decided what I really wanted was something about the form factor of the iBook, but it had to have a G4 processor in it. Well, I think that you see where this is going, about a year after I sold my PowerBook, Jobs sprang the 12" PowerBook on me. G4 in an iBook form factor and beautiful aluminum to boot.
In addition to the new line up of laptops, Jobs spoke of the amazing new WIndows interoperability in the latest version of OS X. He demonstrated a much snappier OS X and introduced the evolving .Mac and iLife products. Once again, I start to get the twinkle in my eye. Slowly, I start to prepare my wife for the fact that we might try the Apple thing again. It was actually to warn her of my forthcoming obsession. She reminded me that this was quite fitting as our second child was due in just a couple weeks (my first Apple experience coinciding with my first child). I started to ease my friends into the whole Apple experience and explained to them why it would be great to own an Apple. I had to slowly sell them without them realizing what I was doing. I had to somehow disarm them of all of the arsenal of ammo I had provided them on my first switch. I told them how great it was that an Apple could integrate seemlesly into their beloved Windows networks and that Microsoft had even release a Windows Terminal Services client for Mac OS X. I impressed them with peripheral Apple technologies like the new Apple iPod (many fell in love with my original 5 Gigabyte iPod, a thing of wonder) and the Apple music store. I even got one friend excited enough that he popped down a work bonus check on the top of the line iPod. I felt I was ready to spring it on them. "I am going to get another Apple." Most suspected it from the way I had been talking. Others chuckled. Some plain out called me dumb to do it again.
I had my friends sold (or informed at least) and I had my wife sold too. There was just one person left, myself. I journeyed to my local Apple store and loitered around. I did not want any help from the employees. I did not want to chat with recent converts. I did not want to talk to die hard Apple soldiers. I just wanted some time alone with this new PowerBook to try to see if I was setting myself up for disappointment once again. I looked at it, it looked at me and I felt that feeling of excitement and wonder all wrapped up in the 12" wide by 1" thick metallic machine with its glowing apple emblem on the back. From the standpoint of art, innovation, and childhood wonder, I wanted to walk out of the store with it. In the end, the rational side of my brain waived a red flag, momentarily distracting me from the passionate side of my brain. While it had me distracted, it reminded me that I and my wallet had been down this road before. With my passionate side protesting, we walked away and drove home. I tortured myself and my wife with this trip a few more time over the next couple weeks.
Finally my passionate side and my practical side called a truce. We all decided to sit down and really think about this. We would decide to either purchase a new PowerBook or give up on the idea and stop torturing myself, my wife, and my friends. I am sure I was sounding like a broken record as I continued selling my friends and family in preparation of my impending purchase.
This is what my brain and I talked about. I knew I was infatuated with the Apple machines but I wanted to make sure I didn't own a $2,000.00 piece of art to sit on my desk. The first thing I decided was, I was not buying this machine to replace any of my current machines. Its purpose would strictly be another learning toy to introduce me to the world of Macs and OS X. Second, I absolutely love music. I have a collection of over 700 CDs. Using iTunes and the Apple music store, this would become my machine on which I would rip, organize, and maintain my music collection, as well as keep my iPod in sync with my mobile music life. I also consider myself a very amateur film maker with dreams of becoming a film director later in life. I would use this new machine to interface with my firewire digital Sony camcorder and fool around with iMovie and iDVD. Next, when my wife and I found out she was pregnant the first time, we made the decision to go 100% digital with all of our photographs, so we bought the Canon S110 (I highly recommend any Cannon digital camera). Our digital photo collection kicked off with over 300 pictures of our first son within his first week of birth. With our second child's arrival 20 months later the collection has grown very large an almost unmanageable. I decided I would use iPhoto to catalogue and manage all of our digital photos.
As an added bonus, I would be able to make bound books from my photos as well as publish slide shows of my photos and music to DVD. Finally, being a lover and adopter of cutting edge technology the PowerBook would offer me a conduit for tying together products I already owned. These include my Sony-Ericsson T68i cell phone and my Tungsten T palm pilot. What better way to keep these in sync but with iSync. How cool would it be the my laptop could act as a caller ID display when my cellular phone rings (connected via bluetooth) and provide me the option of answering the call or sending it to voice mail with a simple click of the mouse.