Monday, May 30, 2011

The Road to my First Apple Computer Purchase Was Delayed by the Purchase of my iPad

I am a PC guy. Let me explain. I work in the technology arena and have done so for more than 20 years. I have worked with many different software and hardware systems. I have worked for many years on Windows based computers. I have done so since the beginning of Microsoft’s entry into the space. It hasn’t been all Windows: I have worked on many versions of UNIX (Silicon Graphics, HP, IBM and others), various versions of Linux, but the majority of my servers and clients have been Windows machines. While Windows has been the bulk of what I have worked on, they were not my first.

The first computer that I ever worked on was the Commodore Pet. It was a cassette based system that interpreted the sound into data. I remember playing a horse racing game and a game that involved navigating a ship through a zigzagging cavern without hitting the walls. I used these through elementary and Middle school. Of course there were educational games that were designed to help reinforce my mathematic and reading altitudes, but to be honest I remember the games more than the lessons. The lessons were just a means to the end: the games.

The computer was not fancy by any stretch of the imagination: just a single unit or “all-in-One” device that combined the monitor, keyboard, media device and CPU. But what was incredible to me was that this machine could teach and entertain. I was hooked. In middle school, I volunteered in the computer lab so that I could get to learn more about these computers. Between 1977 and 1985, I would discover computers made by Commodore, Atari, Tandy and Apple at home and school. By the time I reached high school, Apple was the only computer being used by me. Within in the last three years of high school, I had worked on the following computers: Apple ll, Apple IIe, Apple IIc and the Macintosh.

The Apple computer had become the computer that I had the most experience with. When I entered college, I couldn’t find an Apple computer. When I entered the work force and went to work for a huge automotive supplier, they didn’t have Apple computers either. They had IBM computers and they were quickly replaced with Microsoft computers sporting MS-DOS. I lived the evolution of Microsoft and even had firsthand experience in the failed OS2 revolution by IBM to take down Microsoft and it Windows platform. The only thing I had heard about Apple was when they had sued Microsoft for stealing their graphical user interface (GUI) idea for their Windows platform. The first computer I ever bought was an IBM clone with an 8088 processor and floppy drives that cost me just under $3000.

For many years to come, I would dive head first into my work with all the platforms describe above. Apple would not even be on my radar. That is until the Newton was released. I drooled over this device, but the cost would keep me from buying one. I would only pay a little more attention to Apple when the iPod was released, but I had little interest in iPod because my choice for music format was the MP3 format. It was not until Apple released the Apple iPod Touch, did I take an interest Apple again. I bought the device because it could do many of the things that I had been looking to do with the Palm devices that I had used for years. There were some things that I didn’t like about the device, like no camera, no external speakers and the size of the screen, but it didn’t keep me from buying one.

When I bought the iPod Touch, I started to get very interested in developing for the iPhone OS. To do this I knew I had to get an Apple Mac computer. I set my eyes on the Apple Mac Mini. I began to visit the Apple store. I had begun to visit the Apple store more and more often and just poke around. I was originally going to get the Mac Mini, because I had plenty of mice, keyboard and monitors hanging around. Last year I was at the point where I was going to get the Mac Mini within days, and then Apple announced the iPad.

When the first generation iPad’s specifications were revealed, I had dislikes about it as well, but it was a smaller list than the list I had for the first generation iPod Touch. When people were describing the iPad as a big iPod Touch, I was like “Cool!” The main two complaints I had with the iPod Touch was that the screen was too small and it wasn’t connected to the web all the time. The iPad had debunked those complaints, but I didn’t want to get the first generation one iPad because I knew I would get screwed like I did when I bought the first generation iPod Touch. I knew Apple would release an updated iPad within a year, but I also knew I would be missing out on an incredible device if I waited for the iPad 2.

Of course, I couldn't resist the lure of the iPad. I purchased the iPad in early May of 2010. My decision to buy the iPad caused me to delay the purchase of an Apple Mac computer. I knew I would still have to get one, but the iPad would alter my decision on which model I would choose. Although I had planned to buy my first Mac computer before the iPad, there are other iPad owners who have planned to or have purchased their first Mac computer after having purchased their iPad. This is a trend that will no doubt continue to happen. Apple has won over new interest with the release and success of their iPad devices. Stay tuned to find out which Mac I finally did get.

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