Back in the Dark Ages of Microcomputing, before the IBM PC or the Apple Macintosh, I owned a couple of TRS-80 Color Computers with Microsoft Basic. They were clunky but quite fun to program throughout my junior high and high school years. When I was in my second year of college my friend Sam bought one of the first Macintosh computers, and it was indeed revolutionary. Its graphical interface and software were incredibly impressive, although hobbled by the hardware of the day.
But the higher cost of a Macintosh and the dominance of the Microsoft operating system made me a fellow traveller on the road to the Microsoft monoculture of today. For years Microsoft Windows PCs have been quite flexible, cheap, buggy, and difficult to operate with scads of available software. Whereas Apple Macintosh machines have been elegant, expensive, integrated, and easy to operate with much less available software.
I don’t regret my failure to follow the Macintosh road since Microsoft machines have dominated in my professional work. But the resurgence of Apple, with the tremendous success of the iPod and now the company’s use of more capable Intel microprocessors, leads me to wonder if I might splurge and buy myself a Mac one of these days. I have been mightily impressed by and invested heavily in the two iPods I have owned and Apple’s iTunes software.
The elegance of Apple’s products and marketing is nicely contrasted to Microsoft’s mind-numbing complexity in the following spoof, which was created by Microsoft employees.
So before I upgrade to a Microsoft Vista PC, with all of the attendant headaches that will entail, I think I just might take a bite out of an Apple.