Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, iMac!

Today is the tenth birthday of the Apple iMac.

This year marks my twentieth year of using Macs. I bought my first Macintosh computer in 1988.
I was so proud of the capabilities of that all-in-one machine with its nine-inch black & white screen. I soon paid $1000 to upgrade to an 80 megabyte hard drive. I can now store 2000 megabytes on my thumb drive! I bought a back-up hard drive for $99 last week that will hold 500,000 megabytes!

I have owned at least a dozen Macs over the years. I am an unreconstructed Machead. I have used maddening PCs at work for the last eleven years. I have never understood why anyone would use PCs given the choice of a Mac. Many complain about the price, but given the powerful easy-to-use bundled software I can't believe one could do as well with a clunky, unintuitive, virus-ridden, inelegant machine, with a hodge-podge of software from different vendors, that still, after all these years, requires you to press "start" to stop the dang thing. Many fewer crashes with a Mac. Many fewer viruses --- and virtually none since the introduction of System 10. The "interactivity" (is that a word?) of the various bundled software programs with each other and with is another great advantage. And Apple has the most beautiful product designs anywhere.

My two 20 inch flat-panel iMacs are about three and four years old now, and they still elicit wows when I use them for presentations. (The pic above is a stock photo of a smaller 17" model. My first G5/20" is like this one except for size. The second -- a big splurge -- is the next generation that includes the built-in camera.) I use the first at home and park the second at work and carry thumb drives between them. This allows me to use the lousy PCs as little as possible. I often make presentations and slideshows to use in my classroom. The 20" monitor is large enough to use for that purpose. The iMac has a remote control which helps with that.

Steve Jobs, if you read this, please make the check payable to Terrell Shaw.

But Steve, don't read the following part:
Unfortunately, despite the greatest designs and most loyal (even evangelical?) customer base extant, the company itself is, IMHO, often extremely aggravating and as unfriendly as their products are friendly.

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