One last thing happened in my life that helped tip the scales in the purchase direction. My new project at work required me to do a lot of work formulating and maintaining shell and perl scripts. I figured it would be great to be able to drop to a Unix shell and code and trouble shoot my scripts on my local machine. Yes, these are all things that I could do with Windows or by loading FreeBSD or Linux on my computer. If you asked that question, you are missing the point of the article. I want to do it from a shiny new PowerBook. After all of this thought processing was completed, I had finally sold myself.
During my lunch break on a very stormy Friday, I drove to the Apple store in Clarendon, VA. I walked into the store and walked up to it. A pleasant sales person walked up to me and asked me if I needed any help. In a reserved, calm voice, I responded, "I would like to purchase a 12" PowerBook, 512M of RAM, Airport Extreme card, and a subscription to .Mac." Whew... I had done it. It was out in the open. The words had been spoken. An hour later I was back at work with my shiny new toy sitting lonely in the trunk of my car in the parking garage 11 floors below me. Two hours later, I called my wife to let her know the decision had been made. I started my hour and fifteen minute crawl home in traffic with my new purchase sitting in its box next to me. Even the packaging was sexy and made me anxious to get home.
My wife was nice enough to watch our two boys for a couple hours while I played with my new purchase. I played for an hour or so and then spent some time with my family. After the boys went to sleep, I picked my new PowerBook up again and began exploring. There were pleasant surprises around every corner. I set up my .Mac account and started exploring. I tweaked out the look and feel of OS X to reflect my personality and continued exploring. Everything was polished and beautiful. Life doesn't get any easier (and dangerous) than the Apple Music store's seamless integration with iTunes. The latest version of iTunes continues to impress me. It was one of my favorite applications during my time with my first PowerBook. It is elegant and innovative, yet it epitomizes simplicity. The Apple Mail application (used in conjunction with my .Mac account) was a pleasant surprise. Sherlock too was a welcome surprise, as I use it to track my eBay auctions and find local movie listings. While a little short on features, iMovie and iDVD are still fun to play with and author simple drag and drop projects.
In a snap, I was connected to a shared drive on my Windows 2000 server and importing all of my pictures into iPhoto. Normally, I am not one to get into bubbles and fluff (for example, I can't stand the bubbly look and feel of Windows XP), however I have really taken a liking to the cartoon like bubbles in iChat. Safari has grown on me and has become my favorite web browser. Again described by beauty, functionality, and sheer simplicity. I love the new brushed metal look and feel Apple is using in some of their applications and hope they continue in this direction. Finally, the icing on the cake. During this years Apple WWDC, I was no longer an Apple bystander or a wanna-be Apple owner sitting on the sidelines longing for one of those sexy machines. This time, I was a sexy machine owner, and when Steve Jobs announced that Safari 1.0 was being released today and would be available as a free download on the web in about an hour, I knew hew was talking to me.
One week later, I am still happy with my purchase. I confided in my wife that I was fearful that I would by my new Mac and be disappointed in myself for doing so. I have reassured her however that quite the opposite is true. One week later, and still excited about my purchase, I sit back and ponder, "What is different this time around?" I think I have a few answers. First, with my first switch, I had built the machine up so much in my mind that it was destined to fail no matter how it performed. I was lusting after it's beauty more than anything. Second, I had myself convinced that I would be able to replace every PC in my life with my new Apple computer. I convinced myself that if I could not do it natively, I would do it by sheer brute force and throw VirtualPC at it. This solution was destined for failure because I began to ask myself why I was abandoning a perfectly good and productive PC for a slower running machine that emulates my previous one. Finally, I think I had bought my first PowerBook for what the future of the OS and Apple held. In other words, the promise of the innovative roadmap they sold me rather than the current capabilities of the machine. By supressing my lust and passion the second go around, I have found myself pleasantly surprised.
As I sit typing this article on my PowerBook, I realize that this time around things are different. I find myself using it more each day for my daily computer tasks. Maybe it is a sign of me aging, but anymore, I just want things to work. I don't have the time I once had for the joys of trouble shooting and configuring. I am at a point where I want something to work as described. I want functional tools that help make my everyday life easier and more enjoyable. I think that Apple is leading the pack with this philosophy. Apple has definitely sold me on the concept of the digital hub, and my PowerBook reflects that. I don't think of my PowerBook as much as a computer as it is a tool that helps make my daily life integrated and simpler. I am looking forward to a long relationship with my new PowerBook and Apple. Lets hope there are no more children in my future anytime soon.
About the author
Stuart MacKenzie is a software engineer who enjoys Java, J2EE, and other related web technologies. He loves exploring new and bleeding edge technologies, and sometimes sits still long enough to hammer out a few articles.