“The House that Apple Built” may be an exaggeration but we do have a heck of a lot of kit between us so why not, and with the sad news of former CEO Steve Jobs’ death today I thought I’d write about our family dalliance with Apple fandom. Yes, my husband is a Mac fanboy. For shame.
I got my first MacBook shortly after I was released from prison. I’d had an ancient Dell desktop running Windows XP (bleurgh) but it was running like a dog and when I asked my then newish boyfriend Adam to format it for me in the hope that he would fix it, it ground to a halt and would never switch on again. I could have done this perfectly well by myself, but, you know, it’s nice to make a man feel useful about the place, and as it turned out it worked out very well for me as guilt at breaking my wretched old Dell meant he offered to buy me a new computer. Sucker. I had managed to land myself a job as a writer and editor and as I would be travelling round a bit I decided it made far more sense to get a laptop than a desktop and Adam seemed really keen for me to have a MacBook. Who was I to argue? I had had a very small amount of experience of Macs before but long, long ago when they were really complicated, tricky to use and all the colours of the rainbow, more or less. We’d had one at the company I worked for doing internet support and I remember always dreading the calls from Mac users as they were SO different. And I remember an old school friend had one donkeys’ years ago that was like a small tower with a tiny screen at the top of it. My maths teacher at college had had one too. But Adam assured me things had changed and the user experience was infinitely better and he thought I would never want to use Windows again. And if I didn’t like it, then he would have it and get me something else.
Off we went to PC World to get one. At the time the options were black or white and I went for black in the vain hope that it would stay looking cleaner for longer. It probably would have if I wasn’t too lazy to give the screen a good clean every so often. I know it’s a bit sad to say so but I opened up the box and fell in love. It was beautifully packaged, no carpy bits of polystyrene or cardboard, everything fitted perfectly and looked lovely, there was real attention to detail and you really, truly don’t get that anywhere else. It was fantastic, so easy to use, the screen was lovely to look at and best of all it came with a programme called Comic Life…. You may be aware of a few of my creations with that. So Adam was out of luck, he’d have to buy his own. And buy his own he did, but of course his was better and faster and shinier but as he’s a massive nerd we’ll let him off.
Adam’s MacBook Pro was not his first Mac, not even his second and he still had an old Powerbook, a G4 desktop and a 1st generation iPod, a massive brick of a thing with a huge dial on the front. These things must have cost him the earth but as I say, he’s a REAL fanboy! Eventually my eldest son inherited the Powerbook and got his first taste of computer programming and we flogged the G4 on eBay (for peanuts as it was ancient). The iPod is still knocking about somewhere.
And then the iPhone was invented. And the iPod Touch. Someone that came to our wedding had an iTouch and I wanted one sooooooo badly. So as we’d been given quite a lot of money and didn’t need a washing machine or anything we decided to get an iTouch for me and an iPhone for Adam. Again the packaging was beautiful and again I fell in love. So sad. The iPhone was like no other phone I’d seen or used before, especially once the App Store began and the floodgates opened. Adam even became a developer and made a few silly games including Bathroom Racer and iPang… *PANG* By the time Poppy was 1 even she knew how to use it and Hattie is the same. Bit scary.
And over the last few years we’ve changed and upgraded what we have, my original MacBook had an unfortunate accident next to a glass blender that cracked when the liquid I put in it was too hot (oops). The insurance company sent me a white replacement which eventually died when Poppy knocked it off the sofa onto a fake marble hearth (oops). For a while I got to use Adam’s Air until he decided he really needed that for development and I ended up with a hand-me-down iMac instead. In fact, now I come to think of it no wonder I’ve never got any money for clothes because we spend all our bladdy money on computers. Even spoilt no. 1 son got a MacBook for his birthday (and Christmas) this year because it was what he really really really wanted. But just as a note to potential burglars we never ever EVER leave the house. Ever.
Anyhoo, I digress. We have a stupid amount of kit but can mostly justify it because Adam works for himself and needs it for his software development business. And I need it to test the software and….er….prat about on the internet. Oh, and write that book I’m supposed to be writing. And OF COURSE make mildly amusing comics for your delectation.
So to you Steve Jobs we raise a glass and say thank you. Without you changing Apple’s fortunes in a roundabout way there would be no silly comics and (maybe) no *PANG*. Although I would have loads more clothes.