There is a certain overpowering aspect of my addiction, which I guess is true with all addictions. There is a niggling thought in the back of my head at all times. “You need it. You need it now!” the thought whispers so seductively to the innermost reaches of my subconscious. I find myself spending more and more money on my addiction, and when that money dries up, I dream about what I would do if I had more money. My name is Greg, and I’m an Apple addict.
I’d come to this conclusion months ago, but only now can I truly express my attachment to all things Jobsian. I own a PowerMac G5 that I ordered the day they were announced. I own an older titanium Powerbook that I can’t bring myself to sell, despite the fact that it might fund further Apple product purchases. I’ve owned two iPods (a 5GB first gen. and my current 15GB 3G), am lusting after a new 40GB 4G, and have promoted the iPod to my friends since before it was “the coolest thing ever.” I encourage everyone I know to make their next computer purchase an Apple, with even a few staunch Windows-only people buying new Macs and lusting after more. I’m a member of the Apple Developer Connection. I use ever single Firewire port, and just ordered a card for extra Firewire 800 ports (if you don’t get this, you haven’t really approached my level of Apple addiction). I downloaded music from the iTunes Music Store the day it opened (28 April 2003) and have downloaded at least 400 songs in the year and a half since then (although I will say that I have cut down, and that the free track of the week is my saving grace). I get excited when bands I like show up on iTunes.
Where did it all start? For me, the seeds of addiction were planted early. I learned to use a computer as an elementary student in a computer lab full of Apple II’s. My family’s first real computer (aside from the old TI we had that plugged into the TV) was a Mac Classic (all 7.8MHz and 9 black and white inches of it). I learned to program BASIC on an Apple IIe in junior high. Then, something odd happened. I wanted a PC.
Now, bear with me, because explaining this is a chore. I don’t really even understand it that much myself. Yet, for some reason, when I entered high school, I desperately wanted a PC. Maybe it was the fact that our Mac was 7 years old, and turning in papers printed on a dot-matrix ImageWriter was kind of embarrassing. Perhaps it was this emerging thing called “The Internet” that I couldn’t access because my lil’ Classic didn’t have a modem. Maybe I liked the challenge a Windows-based system presented me. I’m not certain, but for one reason or another, my parents succumbed to my pressuring and bought a Toshiba Infinia, with a whopping 200MHz Pentium! I recently had the pleasure of tearing that computer to bits (it had graduated from home use after a few years and moved on to being a work PC at my father’s company) after it decided it didn’t want to recognize keyboards as an official input device. Why describe it as a pleasure? Well, I’m something of a technophile, and I enjoy seeing how things are put together. But mostly, the pleasure was derived from knowing how much pain and suffering and gnashing of teeth this computer had caused me. Picture the fax machine beat-down scene from Office Space.
I’m not your typical Mac user, though. I’ve built my own PCs, I was a Computer Science geek for a while (still am to a degree or so), and I still own a PC. But after a few years of PC-induced mental anguish, and in corroboration with my new job upon returning from Australia, I picked up my venerable Powerbook. I was soon ignoring the 1.8GHz PC I had built only months earlier to do all my computer-related tasks on the laptop. A maxed-out (for the time) 1.8GHz PC ignored in favor of a 667MHz laptop? Was I crazy? Well, in a matter of speaking… yes. But it got me to where I am today, and because of that, I have a fondness for the old thing.