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My iPology

Some light-hearted fare for a Friday…

Among friends, family and perhaps even readers of this site, I have achieved the reputation of being something of an Apple-hater; that is, a hater of all things Mac. MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Pro’s—I have often spoken out against all of them. They are overpriced, underpowered, toys for yuppies or for people with thick-rimmed glasses and soul patches—people who just take themselves far too seriously. They’re computers for followers, not leaders.

And then I bought one.

I bought one of those nifty new MacBooks I had been hearing so much about. One of those unibody ones, carved from a block of aluminum. It was love at first sight. With my old Acer laptop on the fritz, I had to find a replacement of some kind before my spring travel schedule began. And as I looked at the vast number of laptops available today, something drew me to the Mac. I guess it’s probably that I’ve recently taken a “quality over quantity” approach to life (and technology in particular) and realized that this was not just a nice-looking little machine, but a very high quality one. And so I walked out of Best Buy with it tucked under my arm.

I guess my downfall began with my first iPod, a little Nano that I bought a couple of years earlier. It was a nice little piece of hardware, though one that was mostly without frills. This was, quite literally, my first Apple experience. I couldn’t help but notice how much care Apple took even in the packaging. It showed me that Apple wants to give its customers more than a product; they want to give them an experience. And the experience begins with the unboxing of the hardware. There is something kind of dumb about this. Who wants to pay extra for packaging that will soon be thrown out? Yet there is also something appealing about it.

A few months ago Aileen somehow got her hands on a very cheap iPod Touch and gave it to me for our anniversary. It is a gorgeous little gadget that does a lot of things very well. It is simple, elegant and very effective at what it does. This iPod was the next stage in my downfall.

Well, once I got the laptop, I found that I was committed. My desktop computer, the one that I rely on to make my living at web design, was failing fast. Even worse, the installation of Windows Vista was getting slower and slower. And so I jumped in with both feet, so to speak, and bought an iMac. At this point I think there’s no turning back. At this point, I don’t think I’ll want to.

What I’ve come to realize is that I don’t dislike Apple computers. No, I just dislike the people who use them! I’ll grant that there are some exceptions, some people who are humble Mac users. But far too often I’ve come across these Mac apologists, the kind who feel the need to disparage all things Microsoft and to boast in their own superiority. They are the ones who make you feel like you’re missing out, like you’d be so much better and more popular if you’d just become part of the in-crowd. I’ve never wanted to be part of that crowd. All along I’ve allowed the people to influence my perception of the product. Shame on me.

So I offer this brief article as my ipology to all of those humbly orthodox Mac users whom I’ve ever mocked or belittled or persecuted because of their choice in computers (you know who you are!). I admit it now: Apple really does do things well. I guess you were right all along. I was wrong. And I ipologize.