…and it is good.
Steve Jobs, with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, founded Apple Computers in Cupertino, California, on 1 April 1976. I first bit into the Apple in the early ’80s, when The Beloved acquired an Apple IIe and taught me how to do my college papers on it using Bank Street Writer. It was a satisfying marriage of hardware + software, the Apple’s blinking screen complementing the software’s powers to compose a written document and allow deletions and edits BEFORE IT WAS PRINTED. It had cut-and-paste! It showed upper- and -lowercase letters as they would appear on the page!
At the time it was the pinnacle of technology, but given Moore’s Law, Silicon Valley research-and-design innovation, and savvy techpreneurs, computing in general and Apple in particular went on to smaller, better, and faster.
Today Apple founder Steve Jobs is hailed as a visionary for his creative genius and insistence on melding style + substance to create highly functional consumer products that are also beautiful to look at.
I didn’t get to taste another Apple until the late ’80s, after I’d been sprung from college and was working as a sports feature writer for the now-defunct Manila Chronicle, where they installed Macs for writers and editors. It has since become the standard for the publishing and graphics industry.
When Apple first came out with laptops I wanted one badly but cost was a deterrent. You do get what you pay for, after all. Other Apple products were more easily acquired – the Shuffles, Nanos, iTouch, iPod. But having reaped a good harvest lately, I’ve finally brought home a couple of the juicy fruit.
This is now my writing workhorse and the pride of my computing stable – a 2011 Macbook Air, 11-inch aluminum unibody, 4GB RAM, 128GB flash storage, packing Lion OS, iWorks, and Office for Mac, the essential suite of programs for my needs. It’s light and impossibly thin, perfect for slipping into a Longchamp Le Pliage or some other tote.
Ik puts this one through its paces. It’s a 2009 Macbook Pro, 13-inch aluminum unibody, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard disk, crammed with a slew of programs – Lion OS, Office for Mac, Aperture, Photoshop, InDesign CS5, etc etc. This one’s for Alex, the photography major.
“Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back,” chimed Ik the other day, having read it somewhere. It’s true a PC can do the work, but without the same savoir faire or psychic gratification. Apple’s graphical user interface alone is worth the price of its laptops. Imagine being able to manipulate objects on the screen with gestures on their Multi-touch glass trackpad – the pinch to change sizes of photos and rotate them; the four-finger swipe to call up Launchpad; the two-finger scroll-down and -up – it’s all easy and intuitive. Using the trackpad in lieu of a mouse has also alleviated the focal dystonia in my right hand.
Do I sound like an enthusiastic disciple? The Cupertino Kool-Aid is sweet, and I drink it willingly. Bless Steve Jobs for planting the seeds for his technological orchard on that long-ago April Fool’s Day.