It seemed a natural progression. I’ve owned an iPod for years, and I bought an iPhone last fall, which has turned out to be one of my fave tech purchases in years. Well, okay, the business bought the iPhone – but isn’t that one of the joys of having one’s own business? Upgrading your technology in the name of increased business productivity (and hopefully increased revenues), while being able to take a write-of for the equipment purchased?
I’ve been using a Sony ultra-portable for the past couple of years. It’s tiny, weighs about 2.7 lbs and could probably fit into your back pocket if you were wearing some major baggies. But it’s also slow, the hard drive’s just about full, and it’s been loved so much you’d better know your qwerty – because most of the keys have been worn down to so much letter-less, shiny plastic. The letters Q and N are becoming very cavalier about working and the DVD portion of the CD/DVD combo gave up the ghost long ago.
So I bought a Mac. (And yes, the business paid for that too).
I had visions of being overcome by a creative blast of energy that would hit the moment I fired up the power switch and saw that cool apple logo on the back light up. My fingers would hit the keys at blinding speed and the words would begin flowing. Not just any old words, either. These would be awesome words. Unfathomably cool words – so edgy and relevant I’d be creating the literary equivalent to that oh-so-precious kid in too-cool-for-school guy in he commercials. No more would I be lumped in with the bespectacled, brown-suited PC guy, vainly defending his (semi)dependable, (semi)reliable operating – and absolutely familiar – system. Oh no … I’m now a part of the cool kids club. I’ve got a Mac and I’m in with the brave new world of hipster computing!
It seemed like karma. Our house hosts one, more or less retired graphic artist (he trades work for fishing trips), who has been playing with Macs since they were little Apples. That connection nets me current versions of Office and Adobe C/S. The multi-user licenses are more liberal than the stern, one-per-customer smackdown of the PC world, and within an hour or so, I was uploaded, updated, fates aligned, and ready to create magic.
I bought a Mac.
The first bump in my road to computing hipster heaven comes with Intuit, who don’t make QuickBooks Online for the Mac. “I’m sorry, but we don’t make that software for Mac.” What? I don’t understand. Don’t you watch the commercials? Mac talks to everybody, even Japanese girls pretending to be software! Aren’t you hip? This is 2008, right?
Wrong. But that’s okay. I’m prepared. My new Mac shipped with Parallels, which allows me to fire up a faux-Windows … err window, that creates a little holdover in my brave new world. “Well, we don’t guarantee that it will work, and we don’t support it. Your best bet would be to purchase the full QuickBooks Pro for Mac.” (Hah! My best bet would be to hire a local bookkeeper who would come and remove the 4 inches of accumulated bookkeeping records that are blocking my view of business nirvana, but that’s another story for another day).
And all those Windows-based games that won’t work in Parallels for one reason or another? Feh! Distractions, all of them. Besides, it’s not like there aren’t quick games for the Mac, right? … Right?
I bought a Mac.
And it’s got a learning curve that would make NASCAR proud. I’ve been using Word since … well, what’s black and white and DOS all over? During those early years (aka before the invention of the mouse) we had something called … Keyboard Shortcuts. Give me an ALT key and a couple of other letters and I can perform wonders!
Umm, where’s the ALT key? Okay – it’s called Command, and has a funny little Celtic knot. No problem, I can adjust. Let me just save this … ALT (whoops Command) File, Save As … hey, wait a sec – I don’t want to find anything – I want to do a Save As. What? There’s no keyboard shortcut for Save As? In whose universe was this thought to be a good idea? And how come the delete key deletes backwards, and not forwards?
But it’s cool – hipster cool, baby. I’ll just head over to the Internet and see if there’s anything on customizing keyboard shortcuts. Huh? What’s wrong with the touchpad, and why won’t it scroll the way my Sony does? Two fingers? Why do I need two fingers on the touchpad? More importantly, how does it know? And if there’s only one button, how do I right click?
I bought a Mac.
Try as I might, I keep darting furtive glances at my cast-off Sony, which sits atop the filing cabinet. It mocks me gently, bathing me with its soothing, softly-glowing green power button. “Come back,” it seemingly whispers to me, “there are no grudges in PC world. Do you want to play a game?”
I bought a Mac.
It’s shiny … okay, it’s actually a matte black that shows fingerprints as greasy little badges of honor. It’s way faster, has twice as much disk space, four times the memory and the CD/DVD drive is working just fine. It’s cool.
But last weekend, when I went away … I took my Sony.
(This post was written on a Mac. If it seems exceptional cool and praiseworthy and a step away from the ordinary … well it was written on a Mac. It just took a bit longer to write).