What Happens Now?

Last night after I heard about the death of Steve Jobs, I was too saddened to write anything about it other than the short previous entry. Whether you’re a rock star at the age of 27 or 40, or a genius inventor at the age of 56, it’s too young. Steve Jobs was like a rock star in the guise of a nerd. Or maybe that’s the other way around?

For more than half my life my, I have touched a Steve Jobs invention nearly every single day. My life changed irreversibly because of Steve Jobs and the Apple Macintosh. Once I got a job at Kinko’s doing desktop publishing in 1985 using the Mac 512K or Mac Plus, then the SE, my life changed for the better. No more dreadful typewriters. When I finally got my own PowerMac 7200 ten years later, it opened up a whole new life.

I don’t know what I would have done had that Kinko’s Macintosh Typesetting job not been there. Speaking of timely events, I was the “99%” even back in the Reagan era, before many of the Occupy Wall Street people protesting were even born. That’s just how deep and far back trickle down goes. But that’s another story.

Yes, I’ve used other computers, but only at my places of employment. I learned an atomic-era stone-age keypunch machine while I was a university student working in a chemistry stockroom in the early 1980s. I had to use a Windoze box for one day as I transferred some files between Mac and PC back in 1995 at my then-job…one I’ll forever associate with wanting to slash my wrists because it was so awful (the task with the Windoze Box, not the job). I had to try to use another PC at some resource center while I was out of town in 1997 before I had a laptop…it was very difficult. There is something about PCs and the Windows OS that makes me want to slap them upside their monitors. Macs are cuddlier. When they break, you cry, but you never want to slap them.

I have owned three desktop Macs. My first one, that still worked great but was slow and outdated, I gave to recycling several years ago. It was like having a pet put to sleep. A Quicksilver tower (2001), my last one, had its motherboard die in its 8th year. I still have its hard drive, its heart, and it still ticks. The middle one, a beige Power Mac G3 from 1998 pre-candy-colored iMac, still exists and works, covered up on a table upstairs. I just can’t give it up yet.

I also own (present tense!) three laptops. The first one was a lovely Tangrine iBook in its rubbery plastic clamshell hardcandy case. I replaced it in 2005 because it was getting old and slow and outdated, but I’m sure it still works. It’s a work of art…I can’t get rid of it. I replaced it with a white iBook I use upstairs and took on vacation with me. But mostly I use my 3-year old MacBook Pro. For everything. But I have to have 2 working computers, in case something happens. I can’t be without my Macs.

And Stan has a 2008 MacBook and a 2005 iBook, same model as mine except with a DVD-RW drive. He takes that one to work and uses it on his break. He had a 2002 MacBook–his first laptop–die in 2008 and replaced it with a series of laptops that didn’t work from a rip-off second hand company. He now has two dependable laptops, just like me.

We don’t have anything else other than Macintoshes. No iPod/Pad/Phone, the latter being too expensive to have as far as monthly plan charges go, and, with failing vision, too small a screen; the former ones being a bit unnecessary and frivolous for our recessionary lifestyle. I do worry now that Steve Jobs is gone, will there be vision there to continue the desktop and laptop product lines? Because there is no way I could ever go over to the dark side. I’ve watched people use them, not my good friends who are all Mac users, but people less close. And I hate they way Windows looks. I hate the little plus and minus boxes to expand windows. It’s like a cheap imitation. Everything about it feels cheap and foreign to me. A whole new language that I will never understand.

Speaking of the dark side, I have one too, as do we all. And it’s not something I’m proud to admit, but I’m sure I am not the only one in this world thinking this: Why couldn’t it have been Gates instead of Jobs? Yes, I know, that is not right to think that, but I know I’m not the only one who does.

About Ann

Painter, jewelry-maker, graphic designer, dingbat font creator, imagineer, progressive, liberal, Wisconsinite by birth and later by choice, dog and cat mom, sushi-lover and foodie.

5 thoughts on “What Happens Now?

  1. Thank you for writing about our computer history. I love my laptops – all of them have been and are like technological pets. I look forward to using them every day and enjoy them greatly. It is impossible to imagine living without them.

    We will miss Steve Jobs and always be thankful for his work.

  2. “Why couldn’t it have been Gates instead of Jobs?”
    Or Zuckerberg. 👿

    You are the first person I knew that used one of those little Macs in the mid 80s. I remember one time we came to see you guys and you took us to Kinko’s after hours and showed us the art you were making on them, and we ended up playing some game with asteroids blowing up with Wagnerian background music. 😀 Good times.

    I thought they were awesome cool but weren’t they really expensive back then?

    Here’s my Apple tale: Shar had a lime green iMac she bought used around 2000 that I used more than she did. I loved that computer, except the mouse was really hard to use. Small and round, just goofy and awkward. She got a laptop (ibook or Macbook) later after that that she guarded with her life and never let me touch, so I sort of inherited the iMac, but by that time the OS was so outdated and slow and bogged down and out of storage capacity. So she got rid of it and that was so sad. You’re right, they become like a family member, or at least a piece of beloved furniture. Then, I didn’t have a computer. I didn’t really use it for anything except going online. And she didn’t let me use hers. She had stuff she didn’t want me to see. Then I got a used MacBook shortly before we broke up. It had a damaged casing, but it works fine, just cosmetic. That’s what I’m using now. I’m worried it won’t last forever, so I’m thinking about what to do in the future should that day come. Considering an iPad.

    I have an iPod. I know it’s ruining my hearing too. Oh well.

    No iPhone, like you the monthly plan is too much.

  3. Anyway…

    I would’ve LOVED to have a lime iMac. The thing is, iMacs were a bit limited for those of us who needed more power and a bigger monitor. But they sure were eyecandy. My mom had an original Bondi Blue iMac and then later got a Blueberry one (very conservative colorwise, of course). Stan’s aunt had a strawberry one. Very pretty. The laptops didn’t have as much color choice. When I got mine I had the choice between blue and tangerine, and I picked tangerine because orange is just so in your face gorgeous. I wish they’d make the casings for laptops and desktops colors like that again.

    An iPad sounds very cool, but a bit pointless. I’d stick with laptops if you want portability and are using it for anything other than just surfing the web.

    re: Zuckerberg…something about Facebook is very Windowsy. I can’t explain it…it’s an intuitive thing. He’s like the new Gates. I hear he’s an Aspie too, like Gates. Whereas Apple…very un-Aspie.

  4. And yes, to answer your question, the Macs were expensive back then in the 80s, proportionally speaking. That’s why it took me 10 years later to actually get one myself.

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