Wednesday, September 22, 2010
An open letter to Mr. Apple
May I call you Steve? K, thanks.
I should start out by telling you, I could be your biggest fan. Not in that stalker-kind-of-way, rather, I am gob-smacked-by-your-brilliance.
You see, I discovered the Mac in high school and begged - harder than I've begged for anything - for a laptop. As a burgeoning writer, the sleek, yet colorful design of the Clamshell Mac seemed the only option. Your marketing department had done such a great job of promoting it for the publishing world - how could I ever write a novel without it?
I still remember how it glowed, even after I turned it off at night, that little Mac icon almost breathing while I slept. My first story was typed onto that computer and somewhere in my dungeon office, I still have the disks on which it's saved. Primitive technology now, huh?
Over the years, I've flitted between platforms. They kind of made us do that in Journalism classes. On the Mac, I discovered Quark X-Press and Photoshop. On the PC, I found viruses. On my little blue Clamshell, I wrote stories - great and wonderful stories! I used the PC for accounting. Spreadsheets. Corporate communication. Blech.
But over time, Steve, my Clamshell died, and for years I pledged my allegiance to Bill Gates. Please understand, I had no choice. Your prices were so...extreme. I mean, being a student and all.
Three years ago, I recognized my mistake. Clearly, Mac continued to own the publishing world - could my lack of Apple toys be the reason the road to publication seemed windy?
A dear friend bought me a Mac. An older laptop, slow, but reliable. The Tab key fell off after one year (so many of your products have that tell-tale click and I can't resist pounding on the keys), and the Internet connection became sketchy. I can't blame you, Steve. As my friend Ashley says, I'm quite hard on my laptops.
Quite suddenly, though, my refurbished Mac died. Failure to the motherboard, or something technical like that. I mourned. I cursed (not you, of course).
The devastation might have been less so had my iPhone not crapped out at the same time. Don't be alarmed - that too was not Apple's fault. I dropped it several times, cracking the screen like a rock-beaten windshield. It kept on ticking. I lost it on an airplane - and some wonderful soul returned it, albeit in slightly less than perfect form. And then husband, bless his heart, threw it in the wash. The cracked screen darkened, and texting became impossible. The ringer shut down. The wi-fi ceased to exist. And finally, my trusty 3G simply croaked.
I waited many weeks for the iPhone 4 - deflecting rumors of its imperfections, patiently (mostly) calling my service provider for shipment updates. This past weekend, I found one. A beautiful 32 gig iPhone 4.
My affection for this brilliant piece of technology - I can FaceTime chat with my friend Kyle in Boston for free! - was second only to my husband and stepdaughter. I thought it could never be replaced.
But I was wrong, Steve. So very wrong.
I remember the commercials for that cute little Airbook - the laptop that fits in a manilla envelope. How cool! My writerly friends had them. Just looking at it made me salivate.
The price of them, however, made my mouth go dry.
And then this past week - a miracle of Apple corporation proportions. My husband, who sits firmly at the top of my adoration ladder, found me a (well) used Airbook. There are dents and scratches, a sign of a computer well loved. But it's mine. My very own Mac.
I could not be happier. (Well, I suppose I wouldn't mind one of those iPad things, and I wouldn't turn away the MacBook Pro if you dropped one by my house...)
You see, for the past month or so, I've borrowed my amazing critique partner's PC laptop. It's quite cute, and even clicks the way I like. But it isn't an Apple, no matter how much I squeeze my eyes shut - and it isn't mine.
Jagger (named in honor of one of my fiercest characters) IS mine. The sound of her click lulls my handsome husband to sleep. And while she does not glow like my old Clamshell, she has breathed life into my creativity once again.
Well done, Steve. Well done.
A loyal Mac lover. Always.
The Book In My Bag Today: Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris