I still remember the first time I fell for Apple. The true Apple beauty, in the shape of slinky iMacs and Powerbooks, hadn’t yet hit. At least, certainly not in Malta. Instead, circa early 90s, at my old office we had the old Macintosh Classic. Hardly a thing to inspire lust, at least not looks-wise. Especially given the shape of things to come. But at the time the iMac was still very much Futurama material… and so we made do.
While not high on the sexy quotient the old Macintosh already offered that something more from the old, boring PC. The apps were funner (no, it’s not a real word, so sue me), more user-friendly. Cooler, even. And – before chat programmes were widely popular – the Mackintosh came with this convenient “Broadcast” function that allowed me to share gossip in secret with my favourite colleagues. You know who you are, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Then came the oh-so-yummy iMac. Some people at the office were lucky enough to eventually get the Flavours version. In purple. Honestly, you don’t get much cooler than that.
Me, well I guess I wasn’t cool enough. I was suddenly relegated to the boring, old PC. I’m not kidding when I say that I had withdrawal symptoms for weeks. For a while I was starved of all things Mac. Apple hadn’t become the buzzword yet.
By the time the PowerMac hit, I was ready to donate a kidney in exchange for one of ’em models occupying a permanent spot in my home study. And if someone had offered to upgrade me to the eventual MacBook I’d probably have volunteered both kidneys on the spot and spent the rest of my (presumably short) time stroking the beautiful, shiny thing from the hospital room while the dialysis machine purred away. The MacBook is too cool to purr.
However, it was only with the iPod that Apple became THE brand to lust for. To think that the original prototype, which was launched onto an unappreciative market in 1993, was such a flop. Maybe it was because we weren’t yet ready for such a logical step in the way we listen to our music. Or maybe the chunky, vomit-green design just didn’t hit our G-spot. Whatever the reason, the end result was a spectacular fail.
Some years later the clunky Newton magically transformed itself into the iPod classic. Our collective G-spots spasmed en masse and eventually melted into one massive iTouch, the memorable climax (sorry) in the whole iPod series.
I loved the iPod classic from day one. But that love was nothing, compared to the torrid affair I have with my iTouch. The day I lost my very first iTouch, while travelling, was the day I re-discovered the real meaning of loss. I replaced it with a new one that same afternoon (ah woman, fickle she is) but proceeded to spend the rest of my stay in Spain, raining curses on whoever was now in possession of my 60 gigs of carefully collected music.
The iTouch gave me the previously unexperienced exhilaration of carrying all the music I love in my pocket. For someone like me – whose taste in music verges on the schizophrenic and whose collection includes anything from Mahler to Tom Waits to New Order – the joy of listening to what I want, when I want is not to be underestimated. Losing my collection – not all of which could be easily replaced with a click of the “sync all music” button, was a massive, massive blow. One Apple I refused to take a bite of was the iPhone. Someone like me, who uses her iPod for about ten hours a day – and whose smart phone is equally surgically attached – can’t afford to mix the two. My battery would be permanently drained in under a week.
The latest triumph in my Apple flirtation is the obvious one. Few people could resist the attractions of the iPad and I’m certainly not one of those few. From the first touch, the first look, the first slide of my fingers… ok I’ll cut it short. Suffice it to say that I only got my act together enough to start this blog thanks to my iPad. For all the above, of course, I have only one person to thank. Here’s hoping that Apple’s ability to “think different” doesn’t die with him.