Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Off and on but never given it up.

This post over at the Least I Could Do forums had me chuckling.

I've been an Apple partisan since 1994. I graduated from high school in '93, but my high-school was still using PETs and C64s. My first exposure to what I consider a modern PC was that fall when I started at the local community college and taking basic computer labs. These labs covered the ins and outs of Microsoft Windows 3.1 and Office.

I loved it. It made immediate sense to me. Then, a few weeks later, I was in the college library, and I found this tiny room in the back - almost a closet - that had four computers in it. Three of them were Macintoshes. Two IIfx's (yeah, really) and a Quadra 700. All running System 7. Something about those little machines seriously appealed to me. I found myself migrating back to that room all that semester. Eventually I met up with the other mac-users who told me that there were more macs on campus in the Art Department.

Next semester I took Art. I can't draw to save my life, but I took art. I also used a student discount to buy my own mac at the beginning of that semester: A blazing fast PowerMac 6100/60. I was cutting edge. Hard core. I played countless hours of Marathon on that machine (yes, I knew Bungie back when they only made games for Macintosh).

I ended up befriending the art teacher and also discovering the intricacies of the Macintosh operating system. The school had a few hundred PCs and about 30 macs (aside from the 3 in the library there were six in the art dept. and a couple dozen on the desks of the college staff). The PCs guys didn't want to deign to troubleshoot macs, so I ended up working part-time for the school doing mac support.

I was in heaven. Mac support is 1% hardware issues like foot-snagged, unplugged cables or third party drivers and 99% user support. Basically somebody would need help figuring out how to do something and my job was to figure it out and show them how.

This went on for a few years, and eventually I switched colleges and also bought my first laptop: A PowerBook 1400

Around 1998, though, I was starting to fall out of love with the Mac OS 9. I'd bought the BeOS betas and had toyed with some of the ever-maturing Linux distros for PowerPC. The only thing thing that the Mac had going for it was superior processors (PowerPC) and the professional software I was rapidly becoming reliant on (mostly Macromedia and Adobe titles).

Then Apple announced their acquisition of NeXT and I decided that NeXTSTEP looked worth waiting for.

I loved OS X from the start. I started running OS X full-time, on all my machines at version 10.0.2 and never looked back (by this time I had acquired a G4 Cube to add to the menagerie).

I had another dilemma a few years later, though, when I wanted to start gaming more. I'd been buying what mac-titles were available but it was impossible not to look with envy at the Windows world where games were released sometimes for years before they got ported to mac, if at all. But productivity, reliability and longevity were too important, and the release of EQ for mac sealed the deal. In it I had a never-ending game and it was on my OS of choice.

I have still caved from time to time to the itch to try something new and have put various Linux distros on my PowerBook G4 and the old Dell I have in the front room (it usually runs Win2000 so my boy can run his Star Trek Next Generation Interactive Technical Manual). But I always end up coming back to OS X because I like things to just work and I find OS X far, far more intuitive than any version of Windows I've encountered - and I've encountered them all.

Now, I'm on the edge of buying my first Intel Mac Pro and retiring my G5 workstation to it's new position as NAS for my house. At that point I'll actually buy a copy of Windows to install on boot camp in case I come across a game that I just have to play. Since I now mostly play Blizzard and iPhone games, though, that's probably going to be pretty rare, indeed.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Resistance is Futile

I had a little fun with my boy, today. I have a CoreDuo mac mini hooked to our HDTV so we can watch podcasts and iTunes movies. He was in the front room while my daughter was watching a movie so I decided to have a little fun.

He figured out it was me fairly quickly, but for a few moments there he thought the computer was talking to him.

(In case you're wondering what a doodle pad is. And, yes, I know it's supposed to be "you're". BASH doesn't like the apostrophe, though, so I had to use a homonym.)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Resistance

It’s interesting how things can change in a few short years. Back in May of 2000, I registered this domain (as well as and - ha ha ha) along with a whole slew of other domains, over time, that I thought would come in useful. At one point, I had more than a dozen domains registered for various projects I had planned. Now I’ve let them all go except this one.

It’s not like this one is entirely topical anymore, either. When I first conceptualized the site I was going to put here, it was still the dark days of a “beleaguered” Apple and I was wanting to evangelize my platform of choice. I saw external forces trying to erase my beloved mac from the tech scene, and I wanted to fight back to keep it alive.

Office EvolvedIt was a fantastic time, too, in the mac-user community, itself. OS X had been released, but not yet widely adopted, and there were still significant debate as to it’s potential for success. I, of course, loved it from day one. I actually had been considering jumping from Mac OS 9 to PowerPC Linux in the late 90s as Copland failed to materialize. I wanted power and speed and I didn’t want to move to x86 to get it (I was a PowerPC nerd). I tried BeOS, but there was no software for it. Honestly, PPC Linux wasn’t much better, but it did have a much larger and more active developer community. Apple bought NeXT, though, and started talking up OS X and made me fall in love with Apple all over again. They even brought a new personality (to me) onto the scene. Steve Jobs, who’d left Apple well before 1994 when I discovered the platform and bought my first mac.

The rest is PC industry history. Now Apple is thriving, OS X just keeps getting better, and the mac community just keeps growing and growing. Not much need for another mac-centric website. Nor did I really have the time to build much of one, anyway. I was busy working and making a family, and then, sadly, working to heal my family after tragedy struck in ‘02.

Now this domain just hosts my personal homepage and my blog. Nothing much about resisting, anymore, except in the memories of all the years I stuck with Apple despite the common wisdom. I’m going to keep it, though. It’s a reminder of those exciting days, and a validation of my convictions in the platform of my choice.

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