We used to be called ‘fanboys’ because we like Apple’s computers and hey, that’s fine. I’ve had various incarnations of Macs over the year, starting with the second hand Apple+ my Dad picked up somewhere in our little town.
Then I spent hundreds of hours on Mac Classics in the computer lab at Norlin Library on the University of Colorado, Boulder campus. I’m afraid I was smitten.
Of course, I spent several years labouring away on PCs at various jobs and, okay, they do work for some things. I got pretty good at Word Perfect and Lotus 1-2-3. (What’s that? Never heard of them? Well, they were much better than Microsoft Word and Excel at what they did, but the massive behemoth ran over them with a steam roller and that was that.)
When I got to London at the beginning of the ‘90s, I managed to reinvent myself as a graphic designer and what do they use? Macs, of course. I managed to get work to pay for the latest machines for the next decade, then carried on when I set up my own company.
Sometime in the last decade, though, things changed. Macs became cool. I know a lot of recent converts who’ve changed to Apple’s products because what you get for the money (graphics, sound, software) as standard in many cases still exceeds what you get on a PC.
Then iPhones and iPads hit the scene and Apple shot to the top of the world, recently holding the slot of most profitable company in the world for about 24 hours before Exxon announced their figures.
So, today of all days, a new Apple Store opened in the “largest urban shopping centre in Europe” just down the road from me. And who do you think was in the queue with me? Yes, there were a smattering of fanboys (and girls), but the rest were quite normal. Students, businessmen, mothers with push chairs and pretty normal people, all in all.
We were trying to work out how things have changed and all we can agree on is that what Apple’s done in the last decade has been to make desirable objects that work. I’ll be the first to admit they’re not perfect – I can probably list 50 things that drive me crazy about the way the Mac’s operating system works, but I still like it better than Windoze.
As an aside (and a dig), one of my good friends updated his mother’s laptop the other day with Windows 7 from Vista and it took – wait for it – 7 hours! At the end, his mum asked if he’d buy her an iPad!
Will the Mac Fanboys dissolve into humanity? Probably not. Will Macs last forever. I doubt it – something better should come along at some point. But in the meantime, I’ve got no plans to change my platform. Now where’s the buy button for that iPad?