My introduction to computers came in 1981 or so, when a forward-thinking second grade teacher plopped me down in front of an Apple II+ and taught me how to program it in BASIC. Over the next few years, I occasionally encountered a DOS computer, only to be befuddled and confused. It was clear to me even then, at ten or eleven years of age, that IBM/Microsoft computers were for tech-heads, and Apple computers were for the rest of us.
And despite claims to the contrary, I never found anything a DOS machine could do that an Apple couldn’t do.
I was ten or so when Sigourney Weaver threw that fateful sledgehammer during the third quarter of the 1984 Superbowl (in which the Los Angeles Raiders beat the Washington Redskins 38-9). Of course, being an Apple-head, I was immediately intrigued, but when I finally got to use one, for some reason the Mac did not blow me away. I think that’s because it made so much sense. It was just so easy, so intuitive, so sensible, that it didn’t seem like any huge innovation. At least, not to a ten-year-old. It just seemed like the natural progression of the relationship between people and computers.
In high school, I was on the Yearbook staff. Even though we didn’t use Quark or Pagemaker, we did use Macs. I remember watching all the kids in their typing class struggling with DOS directory structure and feeling a bit sorry for them.
I also remember well my first encounter with Windows. I was at a friend’s house and walked by his Zenith PC. I noticed icons on the screen. But it wasn’t a Mac. What was this strange thing? I wiggled the mouse a bit, clicked on a couple icons, and laughed out loud when the arrow turned into a watch. It looked so big and clunky compared to the little spinning watch of the MacOS. “What a cheap Mac knock-off,” I chukled to myself.
And then came Windows 95. By then I was in college. My favorite bumper sticker of that era? “WIN 95=MAC 84”
I spent five years after college fixing computers, mostly Macs, since I was usually the only person in a particular company who wasn’t afraid of them. Since I got into writing full-time, I’ve been on Macs and only Macs, since they’re still the computer of choice in the publishing and advertising indistries.
And I’ve still never found anything a Windows machine can do that a Mac can’t do. Better.
Tell us your stories … are you a born-and-bred Macster like me, or did you “make the switch?”