Friday, October 09, 2015

Confessions of an Unjustified Apple User

“Hello, my name is Stephen and I'm an . . .”

I have no wish to make a joke out of an opening sentence, which for many is a major step forward for addicts to alcohol: the point at which you admit your addiction.

I feel that I have reached this point of confession and I can admit that I have been, if only in my mind, to my own version of AA. Apple Anonymous.

In a strange way I am grateful to Apple because they have provided the impetus to break away from my dangerous addiction. Let us consider the facts.

The first computer that I owned was a Sinclair where the memory was 16k and each button was a command which showed on a LED screen. After wasting time on the only computer that my first school owned (the fabled BBC B) trying to become a programmer when I was and am a mere User.

There followed a series of computers and printers and, of course, trying to get to grips with early versions of Windows before it got a grip on you. I didn't have a Damescene moment, but my hatred fro Windows and the PC grew in inverse proportion to my growing infatuation to the whole glowing gadget thing that the computer represented.

And I switched to Mac. And it was as if I had been welcomed to a new friendly world of technology – an operating system that seemed to be on your side. As I still tell people, my example of the differences between the two systems was changing a file name. On one odd file I had misspelled a word and my efforts to change this irritating reminder of my fallibility resisted all my efforts in Windows 001 or whatever primitive version of a so-called operating system I was using to change it. So when I was presented with a similar spelling error in a file in my new Mac computer my heart sank. But I remembered that the Mac system was supposed to be on my side and so I thought logically and reasoned that to change a name I ought to be able to click on it and change it. And that is exactly what I did.

It was with considerable surprise that months later I saw a two page advert in a quality newspaper for Mac which comprised the full page of instructions for changing a file name in Windows and the simple click and change instructions on the other page – most of which, of course what white blank space. Clever. And a clear example of what I preferred Mac to Windows and the PC.

But Education did not. Schools lived and died by PC, and programs which were supposed to run on both PC and Mac but invariably did not, or did not run in the same way, or ran just enough to get your hopes up and then broke your heart as they failed to work yet again! But sheer perversity, membership of an oppressed minority and a deep feeling that Mac and Truth would win through in the end meant that I stuck with Mac through thick and thin. Even if I once went as far down the way of the apostate to buy one machine which had a PC and a Mac within the same case. In theory they were supposed to switchable with the push of a single key; in practice, it was never that simple. It never was.

But I stuck with Mac, until it was impossible to ignore the sheer amount of information that was being passed by because of Quixotic determination to stay with a system of computing that the mainstream world seemed to have consigned to oblivion.

So I switched to PCs, and hated them with all the old resentement- But Apple were able to draw me in. the iPod, the iPad, the iPhone, the AirMac and the Big Mac. I bought them all. And by the time I bought my AirMac (still the most elegant of really portable computers) I was hooked again. And, I told myself, it didn’t really matter so much any more. The operating system that Apple had stolen that I liked so much had been ripped off it is turn by the competitors, and the machines seemed to speak to each other with an ease that the early days never held.

The came iPhone 6. And my release from the shackles of Apple. The price of the phone, at least in Spain, showed contempt for the buying public. There was nowhere near enough innovation to justify the price, this was a clear and naked scream for cash from addicts. And, behold, I was free!

To an extent. I still have all my iDevices. And use them. But this computer I am using now is a Toshiba. With 2TB of memory and the ability to extend the memory with various ways of doing it. And a slot for an SD card. And so on. My iPhone has been replaced by a Yotaphone. My iPad still has a function and use. And who knows where my selection of iPods are now. And who cares.

So, my new/old/new life of Apple distancing begins.

And finding out just how difficult Apple makes the transfer of information from one type of machine to another is something which is providing hours of innocent fun at the moment. Though I am determined to have ALL of my music on all platforms on this single machine. That is something which is going to keep me occupied for the next few weeks. At least. And there is always some part of my music collection which lurks hidden behind some electrons somewhere in the various machines that contain it all!

And I must forget the renaissance and The Book and the Day. It is all converging! What fun.
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