My experiences with Apple products

With the passing of Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, I thought I would take a time out from security and reminisce about my own experiences with Apple products over the years.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Jobs for some reason.  I am not sure why… I just am.

I haven’t had as many Apple products as I have PC’s, but I still have extensive experience with them.  When I was growing up in the 1980’s, we had an Apple IIC (pronounced Apple two-see).  This was a a computer that booted off of a floppy drive with a tiny screen whose colors were green and black.  We used to play games on there including Lode Runner, Sammy Lightfoot and Lemonade.

Even back then, Apple was making a name for itself about how user friendly it was.  There was this one training program or game where if you entered invalid input, the computer said “Sorry, you have not entered the right data.  Try this instead…” or something similar (I forget, exactly).  They then said “Here’s what happens on another system” and when you entered it, the response was "INVALID INPUT!” along with a loud beep.  The point was that Apple was easy to use with smart responses while the other system was not.  I figured it out later that Apple was referring to PC’s (this was in the days before Microsoft Windows).

Later on in high school, in grades 9 and 10, the computers we had were older Apple computers.  There were PCs around running Windows 3.0 or 3.1, but we had to use Apples.  I did a lot of coding on those Apple computers.  Even in elementary school, they had Apples and we used to play Transylvania and Carmen San Diego.  I remember my seventh grade teacher showing us a Mac and how to use a mouse.  “Duh?” I remember thinking.  Back then, the Mac was revolutionary (it still is).

In university during the late 1990’s, we were introduced to the 6800 board and later the 68000, which was the Mac computer’s first processor.  I don’t remember understanding it all (or much of it; one of my friends got it better than I did), but even back then we were using Mac products.

I recall in university that a couple of my friends had Mac computers.  At the time, owning a Mac was quirky, not mainstream, nor were they as sleek as they are now (Steve Jobs had not yet turned the company around).  However, one friend had a Mac laptop (that looked like a PC) and it could read floppy disks that had data written by a PC.  I thought that was cool.

In 1998, my summer job was doing tech support for Federal Express.  They had software called “Fedex Ship” that ran on people’s computers that they could use to print labels and ship goods.  When they had problems, they would call in and ask questions (at the time they also had Internet ship which I assume now is used exclusively by Fedex customers but at the time was only used by a handful).  I supported those products plus also the Mac version of the software.  I wasn’t very good with Macs and I recall thinking back then that they were more awkward to use than PCs.  Steve Jobs had only recently returned and the G3 computers were okay but Apple was still very weak back then; the company had not yet turned around.

During the 21st century, my first re-introduction to Apple was when I first started trading stocks.  I can’t remember what I thought about the iPod, but in 2004 I was at a seminar and I recall the instructor asking for people to call out random companies and he would analyze the stock.  I said “Apple!” and he brought it up.  He was like “Man, can anyone see believe massive tear Apple has been on?”  It had doubled or tripled since 2003.  I have made a lot of money playing Apple over the years, and lost money too (but only when I bet against it).  Betting against Apple has never worked well for me.  Even when Steve Jobs resigned and I bet the stock would go down, that backfired.

In 2006, I bought my friend’s old iBook (Mac laptop).  It was a cool little machine, and I loved it instantly.  The one thing I liked about it the most was the fact that you could do two finger scrolling on it (use two fingers to scroll up and down in a window).  Even today, in Windows, this capability is not natively built in.  I had to go and download a third party driver and it doesn’t work as well as the Mac does.  Unfortunately, my Mac started to cough and get sick in early 2010 – the wireless card broke and so whenever I boot it up, the Mac crashes after a minute or two.  I had to disable the wireless.

Not all Apple products are great, though.  In 2007, I bought an Airport Express – a Mac wireless router.  That product was a piece of garbage.  It was super slow and almost impossible to connect my devices too, especially my PC.  I stopped trying to use it a couple of days after I bought it.  Piece of junk.

Then, in 2010, I won an iPad.  When the iPad first came out, I wasn’t all that impressed by it.  I was like “Really?”  But after using it for a couple of days, I was hooked.  It was so simple to use.  And while I could never use an iPad to replace my laptop or my PC, it is still a great device that accomplishes 70-80% of what I need it for (not great for blogging, though; or multitasking).

Recently, I purchased a Macbook for the wife.  I plan to also use it to edit video (I purchases Final Cut Express which is really good) but also for its simplicity (and two finger scrolling, and three finger dragging).  I like Apple’s sleek design (they call it design but it is reallyaesthetics).  But now that Jobs is gone, I have to wonder if the Mac will still work?  I always assumed that Jobs breathed pixie dust into each product in order to make it work.

That’s my history with Apple.  They are (were?) a great company and I’ve enjoyed many of their products (I have enjoyed many of Microsoft’s products, too; I am not an Apple fanboy by any stretch).

An era has passed.  We shall see what happens next with the fruit company.

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