Monday, October 7, 2013

My First Apple

In 2004, my poor Gateway computer (remember those) was on its last leg so I decided that to be a real writer I would get a laptop. I could just picture myself sitting in cafes cranking out masterpiece after masterpiece, while sipping cups of green tea and black coffee. I could picture it vividly. I could even picture the computer, shiny and white with that pretty glowing apple on the back. Apple was pricey even back then, but I'd heard good things about its user friendliness. So Jeff and I went to the store and bought me an iBook G4. And I loved it.

My only previous experience with an Apple had been the Apple IIe that my parents still have down in the basement. For those old enough to remember, they had a big floppy discs that programs were loaded onto. I played Brickout on that machine for hours. But my iBook was miles away from that. It was portable and sleek (by those days standards). It had decent battery life and relatively fast computing power. I quickly found it to be indispensable.

I used that computer daily for about three years, 2007 or so when I started playing World of Warcraft regularly. The iBook didn't have a video card so playing got a little tricky. The game was slow and took forever to load screens. I would get impatient waiting. We had bought Jeff a Powerbook for him to game on so after a couple of weeks of listening to me complain, Jeff and I went out looking for a desktop. We didn't comparison shop at all. By this point we were a dedicated Apple household. We bought a lovely iMac. The screen was just a bit smaller than our TV (which tells you more about our TV than our computer). I gamed on it heavily for years, until I stopped playing. Then the iMac moved upstairs to make room on the kitchen table for things like eating, and living.

But I spend most of my time downstairs so I dug out my old iBook and plugged it in downstairs. It still worked even though it wasn't as fast as the iMac. It was clunky and heavy by today's standards but it still connected to the Internet, still wrote emails, and still allowed me to write from the comfort of the couch. And I've used that computer constantly up until this week. It's finally dying. The battery has been long gone and Apple no longer makes replacement batteries for it. The processor has reached the point that it's so slow that it's painful to work on. It's having problems opening simple things like Word and Excel. I'm sure it's not as protected as it should be. It's time for it to go.

It doesn't hurt that Jeff and I recently broke down and bought an iPad. I love the portability of the tablet and the quick speeds. I do most of my web surfing on it. I've even installed a Twitter app to see if I can figure out how (and why) to use it. But the iPad isn't perfect. I hate to write long emails on it. We don't have a keyboard for it, so I'm struggling to write blog posts on it. And I won't even think of creative writing on it. Most of my writing is done on the iMac upstairs. But when I'm downstairs I still look at the iBook longingly. I haven't brought myself to get rid of it yet. I've had that computer for nine years now. I've used it regularly for all that time.  That's nearly miraculous in today's technology world. I'm sad to see it go. But I know it's lived a long, long life. And it made an Apple convert out of me.

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