Warning: this will be a fairly geeky blog post. But hopefully it’ll be entertaining too 🙂
Yes, it’s true. I have joined the Dark Side. Or is it the Light Side? Several of you will laugh at the irony. Yes, I’ve built many PCs from piece parts over the years. Yes, I’m the guy that said that iPads are waste-of-money toys. Yes, I’m the one that said I would never get a Mac because they are too “user-friendly” and way overpriced. I even bought a PC Netbook on the day the iPad became available in stores. But lo and behold, strange things have happened since. First, I gave away my Netbook to my parents a couple months ago and bought an iPad to replace it. To top it off, today I received this brand new Macbook Pro as my official laptop for work – bye bye Thinkpad. No, Steve Jobs didn’t bribe me. I think I just may have officially become a Mac!!
This was my arsenal of compu-weapons before. Very black. Very PC. I got good mileage out of them. As a technologist working for a technology company, you kinda need some techie gear, you-know-what-I’m-saying? I have a desktop PC, which is my most powerful computer and contains all my data and runs major applications. For work, I had a Lenovo Thinkpad W500, a top-of-the-line laptop. The laptop is my IBM “office” (I don’t have a real office) – containing data and applications for work.
When you’re traveling for leisure, carrying a 5 lb laptop with a 15″ screen (with all your work data on it) is not very desirable. That’s why I bought this cute ASUS Netbook. It’s about the size of a hardcover book and only weighs 3 lbs. Works great for Internet surfing, e-mail, streaming video, etc. I took it to Turkey and wrote a few blog articles on-the-fly.
Over time, however, I realized that the Netbook was only useful to me when on the road. I do not travel all the time. I hardly ever used it at home, since the desktop or laptop was always available. I ended up giving the Netbook to my parents (who wanted a second laptop/netbook so they wouldn’t fight each other for dibs at playing online Sudoku, hahaha).
Since I no longer had an ultra-portable compu-device, I started paying attention to the iPad. It wasn’t serious for a while. Aside from email/internet, I thought, why else would I want an iPad? All the apps were just cute little games. No “real” use case for them. Nothing a desktop or laptop could not do. Didn’t justify the fancy $600-1000 price tag. But one day I stumbled this video of an iPad accordion application and was amazed. Then I realized that the iPad isn’t just a toy. You can actually do some really neat things on it, like playing/composing music! How cool! You can’t play a piano or accordion live on a desktop or laptop. That was something very unique to the large touch screen on the iPad. If people wrote more apps like this, the uses could be boundless! A couple days later, I walked for the first time to the Apple Store on Michigan Ave in Chicago and walked out with my very own iPad!
I admit, the iPad may not be worth the price tag for most people. You pay a bit for the newness factor, the sex appeal, the cute toy aspects. But hey – now I have my own iPad accordion video! 🙂
I’ve had some kind of IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad since 1996, when I was first hired into IBM. They have always been solid, reliable machines. I’ve taken them all over the world. Even my old cat enjoyed hanging out with the Thinkpad.
At work, we folks in sales have to show off our enterprise software to customers all the time. Having powerful, reliable machines for sexy demos is very important. There has been a push to try out Macbooks as our platform for doing this. That’s why I’m getting one.
Several people have asked “hey, don’t you work for IBM? Isn’t it an oxymoron for you to have a Mac?” You may be surprised by the answer: not at all. Yes, it’s true that IBM invented the PC. But what many people don’t know is that IBM doesn’t make PCs anymore. That’s sooooo 20th Century. In fact, no PCs, laptops, printers, or hard drives. We sold off those businesses years ago, because they didn’t make enough profit. The Thinkpad is now made by Lenovo, a Chinese company. What we sell is enterprise hardware and software – stuff that most normal people don’t see, like in the photo above. Apple is a consumer electronics and technology company. Unlike in the 80’s, we two companies don’t compete anymore. On the other hand, a real competitor these days is actually Microsoft, since they sell software to enterprises too. So using Mac OS may be better for us, since we wouldn’t be paying our competitor Microsoft for Windows and Office licenses…
Looks like 2010 marks my new journey with Apple technology. The iPad has been fun so far. Hopefully the Mac will be productive too. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not becoming a Mac bigot (and I wasn’t a PC bigot before). I still wouldn’t buy a Macbook with my own money, unless they got 50% cheaper. But hey, I will try it out for work since it’s free to me 🙂 Actually, this reminds me of the first computer I used – the Apple IIe in my 2nd grade classroom. Can you believe I learned to program on one of these things??