Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Only A Product

All right, just calm down. Don't get excited.

This post is sort of addressed to all my friends who I told I would never switch over to Mac. I'm a PC guy, have been for decades. Not because I feel that it's a superior product. Not because I like giving money to Microsoft. It's just what I started with, what I had been exposed to more, and what I'm comfortable with.

And it's not like I've never used a Mac. Back in the late 80s, when I worked for The Low Down to Hull and Back News, in Wakefield, Québec, I wrote my stories on a Macintosh. It got the job done. To me, a computer is a tool: as long as it gets the job done, I'm happy. I don't want to have to figure anything out. I don't care about code. I don't care to configure.

Sometime, in the early 90s, my friends seemed to split into two camps: Mac lovers and PC users. There was a clear distinction: those who owned a Mac loved their Mac; they were hooked on the brand. They sang its praises. It wasn't a computer; it was the answer to all of their problems.

Give me a fucking break. It's just a machine.

Those who owned a PC were content with a PC. Sure, sometimes the software would screw up, but by and large it did its job. No one that I know ever got excited about their computer, were never hooked on a brand. I don't know anyone tattooing the Dell or HP logo on his or her arm.

Because I was more familiar with my PC apps, I stayed with a PC. At work, we use PCs. I'm in familiar territory. I have never fallen in love with my computers. Sure, I love the portability of my netbook. I love the big screen and the fingerprint recognition of my home laptop. One's a Dell; the other, an HP. I'm not tied to a brand.

Last year, for Father's Day, I received an iPod Touch. It has been very handy. It has some shortcomings—I can't slap in an SD card and share files with other devices; there's no Flash capabilities. But for what I wanted, it fit the bill. It's fine.

When I received the device, some of my Mac friends joked that I would be hooked and would want more Apple products. My iPod was a stepping stone to an iPad, perhaps even a Mac.

Get real, I would say. It's only a product. It's a glorified MP3 player. Sure, I can check e-mail and use Twitter. I can surf the Net, but I rarely do because the screen is just too small to make reading enjoyable, even if you zoom in on the text.

This weekend, exactly one year after I had my iPod, I lost my cell phone. I liked my phone: it would slide open and I had a full qwerty keyboard for texting. It wasn't a smart phone; though it had Internet access, I had no data plan and never checked my e-mail on it. For me, it was a phone with good texting capabilities and a camera. It was a good complement to my iPod—or should I say vice-versa. I had the phone first.

I was two months shy of completing my contract on my phone, so I was planning on upgrading my phone anyway. And for the past couple of months, I've been looking at smart phones. And, dare I say, I was leaning towards the iPhone.

Not because I'm an Apple convert. My iPod crashes more than my PC—so take that, all of you who have said that Apples are stable. They're not. No, I was considering an iPhone because my iPod was okay, and I was used to how it works. And also, I would be able to easily move my apps from one device to the other. As I said, I hate frigging around with technology, trying to figure it out. It's a tool, and I just want to use the bloody thing.

And so, yes, I bought an iPhone 4. It's fine. I know what to expect.

But, my Mac-loving friends, this is not a sign that I'm moving over to Apple. I will never own an iPad. I will never purchase a Mac. Because I still like my netbook. I'm content with my laptop.

A friend recently told me: Bill Gates only wants your money, but Steve Jobs wants your soul. Whatever. They're only businessmen, trying to sell their products.

And, after all, these are only products. Don't get so excited.


  1. Is there a tattoo in your future?

  2. Um... no. But thanks for asking.

  3. I almost bought an iPhone too. Came very close. I ended up getting an Android though, for various reasons- pseudo openness, more free apps, etc. After the initial shock of finding out that it doesn't talk to my PC, I got over it, and am comfortable connecting only to the cloud (it's a Google android). I think I made the right choice. But that iPhone tempted me.

  4. Keith: If I didn't have the iPod Touch, I might have gone with an Android. Maybe this is how Steve Jobs gets you... ;)