30 years of Mac and me

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N9JIG

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30 years of Mac and me.


It is the 30th anniversary of the first Macintosh computer, famously announced with a one-time Super Bowl ad. The ad was only officially run once for public consumption. If I saw the ad or even watched the Super Bowl that year I couldn't tell you. I did see a few of the numerous news reports about it but paid little attention since I couldn't afford the $3000 Mac (retroactively referred to as the Mac 128 these days). At the time I dabbled in Commodore and TRS-80 computers but never really did much with them.


A friend of mine however took the plunge and bought a Mac Plus, the 3rd version of the same footprint as the original Mac. This aded SCSI connectivity for a hard drive and other peripherals. He helped me with a database project I was wanted to do and we used the original version of FileMaker to compile what turned out to be a huge (for the time) compilation of radio data. My scanner guys will remember the original “PL List” as a creation of the late, great Brandt Neimuth on 3x5 cards and later typewritten sheets passed around the radio hobby folks in the mid 1980's. What I did was sit down and enter each of the listings, several thousand in all, into a database one by one. At the time I worked as a cop on the evening shift and my friend Bob, who had the computer, worked the overnight shift at a local store. I would sit at a desk in the back office of his store after my shift finished and enter records until I could stay awake no longer. This went on for about a month and, with Bob's help, all of Brandt's data was entered. We then added records from other lists and came up with a database of over 10,000 records, with a dozen fields, all entered individually by hand.


This project was hugely successful and appreciated by the radio club I belonged to. Even the guy whose info we “stole” (with his permission of course) saw the value in having this project done this way and continued to assist in updating the data. The project was so successful partly due to the ease of use of the Mac environment. I had no computer skills at the time, heck, I had no computer at the time. At work we had a terminal connected to the state but that was useful only for looking up license plates and entering stolen bicycles etc.


Bob sat me down and took about 5 minutes to show me how to work the Mac. I figured out the rest on my own by doing it. It was so simple and intuitive that I could have probably trained my dog to do it, if only I had a dog.


After spending the better part of a month cramped in the back room of a 7-11 I finally saved up enough cash to buy a second hand Mac 512K. This was quickly upgraded to a Mac Plus with a new board that required the use of the infamous Mac Case Cracker, special elongated Torx driver and an Exacto knife to make room for the SCSI connector. I then was able to get a hard drive, 5 MB of storage, which was extravagant for the time. Eventually this drive failed and by then a 20 MB drive was available at the local Warehouse club for only $400.


This little Mac was my primary daily use machine fore several years and was then sold to a friend and became his first real computer, eventually being used by several other friends as their intro to computers. Some of us stayed in the Mac world and others strayed over to the dark side of Windows but we all learned on that little old Mac.


Since then I have had dozens of Macs, including a PowerBook 170, a few of the Performa/Quadra line, several other PowerBooks, and eventually a Macintosh Pro. This was at the time the fastest home PC you could buy, with dual 3 GHz. processors, 3 GB of RAM and a whopper video card that could (and did) run 2 30 inch Cinema Displays.


Even the wife, who came along during my PowerBook 170 days, became a Mac person, she too ran the gauntlet of Macs, sometimes taking my old computer when I upgraded. Now she and I each have iMac's and MacBook Pro's.


We also bought into the whole Apple experience with iPhones, iPods, iPads and Apple TV's. Again, we have progressed thru several versions of each and have passed down older ones to friends and family. As true Apple geeks we have evangelized the Apple experience to anyone who would listen and have converted many of our peeps to various Apple products. While we both have had PC's (I still do for some specialized stuff and at work) we live our lives around Apple stuff. From our iPhones to keep connected everywhere to our iPads to make our lives easier on the road and at home to our desktop iMacs at home and our MacBook Pro's for traveling we keep connected to each other and the world. Our TV watching has changed to the point of “if it ain't on the AppleTV, it doesn't exist”. We probably spend way too much time online, but we appreciate the ease of use and the integration of the many Apple toys we have.


If we had kept all of our old Apple products we could have a well stocked museum but then all the other people in our lives would not have had the introduction to the world of Apple. The Second Coming of Steve Jobs made Apple into what it is today, let's hope that the current management can keep it going and going. I am looking forward to the next few generations of iStuff.
 

CapStar362

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while i am thoroughly certified in PC Hardware and Windows, im contemplating getting Mac and iOS certified. haven't fully committed to it yet, but am thinking about it.
 

Darth_vader

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30 years of overpriced doorstops and paperweights...

F.Y.I., $teve Job$ didn't do dick. He was just a mouth, and a rather big one at that. Woz was the true, albeit somewhat unappreciated "innovator" (if such a term can be applied to anything App£e-related without sounting a total prat) and deserves the most credit. If anything, Job$ devolved the company from one that made useful hardware (the Apple II series) into some kind of freaky, patent-trolling religious cult.

Macs and related products (including I/OS products) are overpriced and vastly overrated throwaway junk.
 

WB4CS

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30 years of overpriced doorstops and paperweights...

F.Y.I., $teve Job$ didn't do dick. He was just a mouth, and a rather big one at that. Woz was the true, albeit somewhat unappreciated "innovator" (if such a term can be applied to anything App£e-related without sounting a total prat) and deserves the most credit. If anything, Job$ devolved the company from one that made useful hardware (the Apple II series) into some kind of freaky, patent-trolling religious cult.

Macs and related products (including I/OS products) are overpriced and vastly overrated throwaway junk.
+10000000000 and quoted for truth!

I tried a Macbook Air once, just so that I could say I have used an Apple product. I was slowly adapting and starting to like the Mac until one little incident...

The Macbook Air doesn't have a CD-ROM. Okay, fair enough, they're not as important as they used to be. The Mac OS has a way to access the CD-Rom over the network from another computer so that you can load software and burn discs. It worked flawlessly except for one little thing... One night I decided to watch a DVD on my Macbook, so I popped the DVD in the desktop and started up the drive sharing program. I was welcomed with an IOS pop-up that said you couldn't watch DVD movies from the drive sharing program, and suggested that I purchase the USB CD-ROM for the Macbook Air. Screw that.

Apple products are great for people who are either 1) dumb and don't know how to use a computer, 2) like pretty shiny expensive things, or 3) do high end video, audio, and graphic production.

I seriously think if Apple released a turd with an Apple logo on it and called it the iPoop, there would be somebody that would pay $599 for it.
 

wtp

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the good old days

my cheatsheet for my county (bergen in nj) i typed into a wang.
oh yes 80's technology, top of the line. how could it get any better?!
 

poltergeisty

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N9JIG

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30 years of overpriced doorstops and paperweights...

F.Y.I., $teve Job$ didn't do dick. He was just a mouth, and a rather big one at that. Woz was the true, albeit somewhat unappreciated "innovator" (if such a term can be applied to anything App£e-related without sounting a total prat) and deserves the most credit. If anything, Job$ devolved the company from one that made useful hardware (the Apple II series) into some kind of freaky, patent-trolling religious cult.

Macs and related products (including I/OS products) are overpriced and vastly overrated throwaway junk.
Don't hold back man, say what you really mean!

While the recent movie showed exactly that sentiment (Woz was the brains, Jobs was the mouth), it can't be ignored that Mac's and later the i-series products are extremely popular and well received.

Woz has been gone from Apple for years, and while he indeed was pretty much the innovator it was Jobs that redefined Apple and pushed it in the directions that would make it the most profitable company around. It is now much larger than Microsoft or IBM, even has been the largest capitalized company on the planet a few quarters in recent years. I don't know if they can continue in that direction now that Jobs is gone but so far Cook and his team seem to be doing pretty well.

Macs and other Apple products have not always been the first product in their market but vastly improved over others. They take an emerging market, make a product that works and looks great and markets it in an insanely great manner. Is the Mac better than Windows or Unix? For me they are, for you and others, maybe not.

Their products aren't for everyone, apparently you are one of these. More power to ya, but for me I will continue to carry the flag. They work for me and mine so I will continue to use them.

That all said, Apple products are not perfect and there are still times I revert to Windows. I still use a couple Windows machines at home and our work network is all Windows or Unix based. I will say that Windows 7 was probably the best Windows product ever, dare I say it was very Mac-like? I don't really like the new interface of Windows 8, but I said the same thing when OS-X came out on the Mac and that grew on me.

While the penetration of the Mac itself is no where near as high as Windows (something like 8 to 1 these days...) look at Apple's other products that have some sort of parentage in the Mac: iPods and iTunes are by far the leader in digital music players and sales. iTunes has become the largest seller of music in the world. Look at the iPhone and it's incredible penetration of the SmartPhone business. These are markets that have been mostly defined by Apple and the competition has been trying to catch up.
 

Darth_vader

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About the only thing you actually got right is the bit about "leading in sales". PC-type hardware is built on openness and extensability. MACs and related hardware are built on marketing, market hype and increasing its vendor's bottom line. Posture all you want like any good, loyal fanboi would do; there's still no escaping the reality that MACs are overpriced, proprietary throwaway garbage and represent an exceptionally poor ROI in the long run.

"looks great"

I guess I didn't realise eye candy was a criterion of a functional, practical system. But, I guess in the mindset of the Cult of Cupertino, it is. Function follows form, after all.

"Their products aren't for everyone, apparently you are one of these."

Yes, I am. I avoid overpriced tech marred by planned obsolescence and a closed ecosystem. This means

- proprietary form factors
- limited upgradability options
- nondescript error messages (maybe not a big deal to Joe Blow but a nightmare if you're a programmer)
- overly restrictive licencing terms (as if anybody followed those anyways)
- vendor lock-in including limited choice of operating system
- hardware performance at least a good year behind the rest of the industry
- unwillingness (or outright refusal) to honour and follow industry standards
- a company that willingly engages in National Surveillance Authority domestic espionage programmes

You'd also better avoid dropping that $400 I-Phone on any kind of surface (hard or soft) or exposing your Mac Book keyboard to any source of moisture. If you don't understand why I say this, try it and see how their so-called "customer service" reacts. A $30 replacement job should not cost the customer hundreds of dollars to have the machine returned to them under the terms that it "can't be repaired" and be talked into spending thousands more on all-new hardware.

But hey, if that's what you're into, that's your issue. Their business practises aren't for everyone; apparently you are not one of these.

"iPods and iTunes [sic]"

Just because you're a cult follower doesn't mean you need to write like one. In all dialects of the English language, the FIRST letter of proper names is always capitalised; no exceptions. "I-Pods and I-Tunes". Use or omit the hyphen as you see fit (I only add it because it improves readability.)

*ignores the rest of JIG's hyperbolic, beaten-to-death App£e fanboi posturing*

"When it gave me a sad face one day I just tossed it in the trash and never went back to Mac again. I can diagnose and fix damn near every problem on a PC, but a Mac, forget about it."

I would have at least stripped it down for scrap. That's about all they're really worth, especially if its age exceeds three years. Of course, knowing them, it's probably some non-standard alloy that's used nowhere else in industry and would probably be rejected by most scrappers.
 

N9JIG

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Well, apparently you and I aren't gonna agree. I will answer a couple points. I like Macs (and it is Mac, not MAC). You don't. That's great, no biggie.

Some people prefer the prepackaged, no work involved deal that the Mac brings. When I replaced my iMac (no dash here, it is properly iMac, not I-Mac) I unplugged my external USB hard drive used for Time Machine backups and plugged it into the new one, clicked a couple items and an hour later all my applications, files etc. were ready to rock on the new computer. This included Windows (with Parallels). While the Windows Migration tool works well, his was easy for those who are not programmers or computer experts.

Sorry, but it is properly iPod, iTunes, iMac, etc. Apple chose the name, and it is their choice. While these names do not follow proper English rules, they are names, so they do not have to.

This all boils down to how one likes their technology. If you want kick-*** speed and massive computing power you roll your own, probably with some form of Linux. If you want inexpensive business computers buy Dell, HP or some other Wintel providor. If you want off-the-shelf usability and tight integration with consumer media devices buy a Mac.

Macs are designed for those who don't know or care to know how a computer works, they just want it to work. It has also been designed for graphics and other design types. If you want to spend the extra money on an Apple product go for it, if you don't, get something else.

I don't mean to ever say that Apple is the way to go for everyone. It was for me and mine. Same goes for cars, a used Yugo does the same thing as a Porsche, but with less style. I prefer to pay for style, you prefer to go for power. I get it. So be it. Enjoy the power and performance, I will enjoy the ease of use and style.

Have a great day!
 

slicerwizard

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"iPods and iTunes [sic]"

Just because you're a cult follower doesn't mean you need to write like one. In all dialects of the English language, the FIRST letter of proper names is always capitalised; no exceptions. "I-Pods and I-Tunes". Use or omit the hyphen as you see fit (I only add it because it improves readability.)
Ah, so my old iDEN gear is actually I-DEN junk? No, wait, you're just bonkers...
 
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