Sunday, October 10, 2010

All Your Base Are Belong to Mac: When Twenty Years Together Loses Its Romance

I find myself tapping the keys these days on the ol' macbook Core Duo 1.1 c. 2006, thinking on what to write next.  And then I remembered one friend pointing out my sensitivity towards infringing on any apple copyright.  So, that's when I realized I had to be as direct and infrige-y as possible, without actually infringing, as I...know.  This here macbook of mine has been through lots of things with me:  college, London, Chicago, a fellowship in sound design, and several theatrical productions (all requiring a different set of needs).  And I've worked with Macs consistently since I was a kid, as in way back when Apple called its computers Macintoshes and not just isomethings, and the first home computer looked like this and no, that's not a first generation ipod, that's a whole computer.

Stop laughing.  I played Oregon Trail on that.

Dammit, Mary

I also miss Myst.  Even though that was an Older Sister Game, so my enjoyment of it was more or less peripheral views of the screen as she played.

Anyway, looking back and looking at the present, I am questioning whether or not the mass-corporate We Have Sexier Sleek Silver Cases To Our Products Than You Do company is the Mac my family fell in love with twenty years ago.  When I think of Mac back then I get a fuzzy-feeling of funky computer programs and oddly quirky icons that were more approachable and oh-so-90s.  But, when I think of the Mac today, it's a totally different, totally distant, hyper-moderne, experience:

Wherefore Art Thou iBigBrother?

There are currently six computer product series...esesss... (yea, you try and pluralize the word "series" without googling it) that Mac is putting out currently:  the imac, the macbook, the macbook pro, the macbook air, the mac pro, the mac mini, and the mac minime.  I just made that last one up.  There are also, of course, the computer hybrids, the iphone, the ipod, the ipod nano and the itampon--which also, just as their computer counterparts, change at a rapid rate (within three years of origin there are over five generations of each product, not to mention software updates).

Not that these aren't beautifully crafted computers--in the very literal sense that they are beautiful--but.  But.  BUT.  I've noticed a trend with Mac:  put out one or two products every year or so that then rapidly change every month, if not every other week.  It's a bit...well, anti-green, really.  For all their sleekness and their revolutionary smallness, their touch-screen-makes-me-move-my-fingers-that-I-wasn't-exercising-before-in-Yoga-so-this-is-practically-like-exercise-right?-actually-do-they-have-an-app-for-that?-I-hate-yoga-but-go-because-it's-also-trendy-ness, I wonder if they're really just turning into the IBM Big Brother that had to be hammered in the first place.  Consumers are now more interested in buying the next thing, as opposed to using--and expecting to get--machines that are meant to last, given all the fancy-schmancy applications they have in the first place.

R.I.P:  My adorable, dying Macbook

Dammit, Stacey

I got it in 2006 back when it first came out with that college-student deal (you buy the mac, you get a discount, you look cool for having the non-conformist white computer, and it will last your entire undergrad degree).  And it's dying.  It shouldn't be dying.  It's been four years.  But, to do any professional work in sound design, composition and documentation, I have to "get the update" and this computer will. not. survive another update.

So, I'm looking at putting it into the earth.  But, it won't stop there.  Given how Mac is racing through its technology, I'm looking at having to buy a replacement every five years or so, slowly adding to this mortuary of computers that were cool for a year or so but then became passé and then became defunct...é. 

Or idefunct.  Whichever you prefer, really.

I just want a computer that lasts--I want the Volvo of the computers to exist.  And I've come to realize that Mac is no longer that old-standard of stability anymore.  Or possibly, never was.  I was primarily playing kidpix when that first pie chart's data was being compiled, so really, I'll give Mac a little bit of the benefit of the doubt.


p.s.  This is just nit-picky now, but do you miss the rainbow apple?  I do.  I am tired of the silver-lined apple that seems to glint and glimmer from a non-existent coat of wax and studio lighting.  I am also frightened of 2010 Steve Jobs.


  1. Oh you and your PC Love. I'm beginning to think it's the way to go...except for the whole going into a design profession I'm pretty much sold on getting a rinky-dink PC of some sort.