It's about two months since I got me an Apple MacBook thing, in black. Before I got it I had heard stories, urban myths I thought, about how folks can fall in love with their Apple computers, how they often feel as if they're emotionally attached to them and become irrational and often illogical.
Rubbish and piffle, I thought. A computer is a computer, nothing more and nothing less, a machine for doing work with. Like a clock or a video recorder.
And here I am. Playing on the iPod in the background is Neil Diamond's greatest hits. It's not relevant but I just wanted to set the scene for you. I'm lying in bed, enjoying a bit of "song sung blue" and feeling myself fall even more for this MacBook. Weird stuff.
I'm converted and I don't know how it happened or at what point my feelings took over my logic.. At work I've got a desktop PC. It's merely a machine. Several people at work have got PC laptops and they're portable machines, good at their jobs but just machines. I bought the MacBook because I needed a laptop and it was trendy. Sadly there wasn't a vast amount of research that went into my buying decision. I hung around my local Apple Store for a few Saturdays and asked some questions to the nice chaps there. Their helpfulness and good service were definitely big inflencers in my decision.
But it was purely a combination of looks and perception that made me buy it. I hadn't done all the geeky stuff, it was just that I got seduced by the people that love their own Macs. I was talking to some friends the other day. We discussed our Apples and there was a shared attitude. It was the belief that we didn't analyse our laptops throuhg objective measurements. We don't make lists of features and benefits and weigh one list up against the other. That's what PC users do, they look at things objectively and they make balanced decisions.
Pah! is all I've got to say to that. We've got our sexy MacBooks based on stuff that goes on in our heart, not our brain. So I got an extra litre of RAM or something put in, that was only because I had a hunch that it might be helpful, not because I had the faintest idea that it would help me process spreadsheets at 450 mph instead of the usual 425 mph that most people would have to make do with.
As the weeks have passed and I've messed around with it I just find it even more sexy and even more lovely. I catch myself staring at its form and cleaning the beauty every week with the special, vastly overpriced cloth and spray that I bought for it. I pull the mains lead out of its socket every now and again to stare with wonder at the simplistic genius of the magnetic design.
I marvel at its slimness and compactness, yet know that I could have bought a Sony Vaio (how the hell is that pronounced?) which would still have been smaller.
I looked at my brother's PC laptop the other day and thought it looked cumbersome and clumsy. There were lights and unnecessary buttons all over it. It's a huge big thing that probably functions very well, in the way a bus can still get a fellow from A to B, but I'd prefer to drive a Ferrari.
The Apple software is intuitive in a way that most windows stuff can only dream about but, as a fellow coming from years of windows useage, it's still easy to use. There are touches like the Dock, so simple and so obvious I'm flabbergasted no one has thought of them before. That's great design for you. I like good design. I don't know what it is, I'm not one of these people who can do it, but I know it when I come across it.
I've realised that, for me at least, great design hits me in the heart and touches my feelings. It makes me feel good without having to think about it. It also has to work, there's no point in a thing that looks good but is as useful as a one legged man at an arse kicking party.
Looks, functionality, great service and other people's feelings.
Easy and simple.
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