Thursday, 6 October 2011

(No title)

I've always been willing to take advice.  Indeed, I ask for it.  When choosing a new appliance, it's very useful to go to someone who has done the research already, chosen a product and can recommend it - or not - and tell you why.  Several times, I've asked for advice on this blog, for my present dishwasher for example.  My vacuum cleaner, which I've had for well over 20 years, was chosen simply because my sister happened to mention that her daughter-in-law had one she was pleased with.  I asked, it had some features I particularly wanted, so I went into Bonds (now John Lewis) in Norwich and bought it.  Didn't look at another.

In about 1989 or 1990, I decided I needed a computer.  Not because I was interested in computers, just as a working tool.  I had no idea how to go about choosing one, and I asked my friend Alan, who was a busy man with his own business, was impatient, fun to be with and generous.  He said that he'd bought an Apple Mackintosh a few months previously.  He had, a year before, bought a PC, but he couldn't get to grips with it at all, so had cut his losses, started again, and never looked back.  It was, he said, easy for a busy person with no expertise or interest in computing to use.  It just worked.  I went to Jarrolds, and all I had to do was decide how much to spend.   I love not having too much choice when I haven't the experience to base my choice on.  I bought my first Mac and a printer (the one suggested by the assistant), brought them home, plugged them in and worked out, with remarkably little difficulty, how to get them going.

Now, we take for granted that a computer should be good-looking and easy to use.  It wasn't always the case.  Similarly, mobile phones were often full of gadgets one didn't need, whilst the ones one did use needed a manual to learn.  In fact, I still have trouble finding my way round the Sage's htc and really regret not having sprung the extra for an iPhone for him.  Even the techno-clueless Sage can use my iPhone effortlessly.   There's never the problem that I don't know how to do something, I can simply work it out.  There is, however, sometimes the sudden joy of discovering some new little trick, which is fun.

Simply, I don't care in the least if you have vowed never to buy into Apple, not even if it's "just because" and not for clear reasons.  I'm not going to say Macs are better than PCs, I daresay they aren't, although anyone who hasn't used both extensively doesn't really have the experience to say.  But the reason that all computers look attractive, are compact and are pretty intuitive to get to grips with is that Steve Jobs led and the rest had to follow suit.  Without him, they wouldn't have had an incentive.

20 comments:

Rog said...

Spot on Z.

I've still got the 185 page printed manual for the Amstrad Emailer which has on the first page - "You stand no chance of operating the Emailer without reading these instructions". (True!)

Jobs was a digital Brunel - his visions will be with us for a long time to come. Possibly not as long as the Clifton Suspension Bridge but it's a different World now.

Scarlet Blue said...

I don't recall my iPod having instructions and it's a doddle to use, but I also love my HTC!!
Sx

Z said...

He made it a different world. Remarkable isn't a big enough word for him.

I expect, if I hadn't had an iPhone first, I'd be impressed by the Sage's phone, Scarlet!

Roses said...

I love both of my iGadgets and wouldn't be without them now.

His work in Apple and Pixar, whatever one might think about him, he has had an enormous impact. I wonder if Apple with continue to be as sexy without him.

Roses said...

PS. I haven't been about for awhile. I love your new header.

I'd love a cup. Thanks.

allotmentqueen said...

Did you see Watchdog tonight? If not, better catch it on i-player.

Z said...

I had no idea, before I had an iPhone. I'd have to be at risk of debt before giving it up, honestly, I'd cut down on other things first.

No I didn't, AQ, I haven't turned the television on tonight. I'll turn off Spotify and have a Jimmy-look-see.

Z said...

The Sage has had it switch itself off or remain on airplane mode several times - simply, it's that the battery shifts. Take the back off, push the battery in place and bingo. However, it was made clear that if you had a problem you sent it in and there was no refund while you didn't have it. Whereas, an iPhone, you take it in to the store and if they can't put it right there and then, they give you a new one. I know it's true, I've seen it happen.

Tim said...

I am technologically a quivering semi-virgin. I shall have to go out and buy all this stuff just to find out what you're all on about. Gawd knows what I'll do with it then - stick it up in the attic, probably.

wendz said...

Brilliantly put Z. In a nutshell, and all that.

Before I met M I'd only used PC's and resisted Macs because of the whole Apple culture/superiority attitude thing but the thing is, since using a Mac I cannot bear to use a PC anymore- they seem cumbersome and long-winded and tiresome. As my comment is becoming. I shall go.

Z said...

A quivering semi-virgin. Okay. Tim, I'm backing away. I mean you no harm.

It was good that I bought my first Mac before that even started - in fact, I was quite concerned for a long time that Apple would fold altogether and I'd lose all my files - it was the days before I had internet and it was all in ClarisWorks, then AppleWorks, I didn't start using horrible Word until I got email and had to. So, since I've been through the period where it was perverse to stick with the Mac, I've been able to ignore the 'superiority' thing too.

Blue Witch said...

Steve Jobs was a Buddhist.

He never gave a philanthropic penny to anyone (unlike Bill Gates who apparently is the most generous benefactor in the world), and his company abuses its third world production workers (disgustingly).

I do not have any respect for someone like that.

Interestingly, if our governmint were to research him a bit, they'd find that he was adopted, by a very ordinary family - proof that you don't need special treatment just becuase you come from a disadvantaged background.

Z said...

Don't think I raised any of those points, BW, and I don't think you've argued against any of the ones I did.

Blue Witch said...

Aesthetics, rather than technology dear heart ;)

There have been many excellent TV programmes on recently showing just how lucky Apple have been, and how they have thrived because other companies (with technologically better products, at one time) haven't made good business decisions. It's only comparatively recently that Apple have become the shiny must-have toy for the teenagers, gays, and over-monied markets. Originally they were boring beige boxes, and there were many PCs that were prettier and sleeker and easier to use and had more functionality.

And we won't talk about Apple's environmental record, or poor CSR either.

But, if you want me to be picky, you said, "Similarly, mobile phones were often full of gadgets one didn't need..." Early mobile phones did one thing, and one thing only: phone. Then SMS was added. It was years before they became too full of gadgets for almost everyone.

Happy now? ;)

Tim said...

Purely technologically, Z.

Z said...

It's impossible to know what Mr Jobs would have done with his life and his money if he had not been desperately ill for so many years. Mr Gates, once he'd made his billions, started wonderful charitable projects and I have every respect for that and for him. Steve Jobs channelled all his energy into a focus on his work and he still managed to be more innovative, more single-minded and more clear-sighted than all the rest, even though terminally ill. Being nice too wasn't really a luxury he had time for, though he did manage to be inspirational.

I didn't mean back in the early days of mobiles, I meant before iPhones. Regarding your comment on the last post when you said your friends in IT choose PCs - well, that's rather my point. Easy for a busy person with no expertise or interest in computing to use. And I'm not going to say Macs are better than PCs, I daresay they aren't.

Of all the software on my computer, all I have difficulty with is Microsoft Office. Everything Apple-designed is fine, easy to pick up and use. In my experience. You have no experience of Macs, your geek friends understand and enjoy Microsoft products, as well they might, and good for them.

I recommend an iPad, Tim. It's lovely and smooth and very strokable.

Blue Witch said...

I left a long comment a while ago and it's disappeared. Oh well.

CBAT rethink/repost all of it, but one of my points was that I do have experience of Macs: both early (1990) ones and more recent. In order to criticise, one has to know one's enemy ;)

Plus, if I were terminally ill and filthy rich, I'd spend time setting up foundations etc to be a legacy to me.

No, sorry, no-one will ever convince me that Steve Jobs deserves the outpouring he's had.

allotmentqueen said...

In my (meagre) experience the only people who use Macs wholesale are the graphics guys - and they ALL do. We frequently have issues getting files sent over that we can use on PC. There must be something about Macs that make them so much better for graphics professionals, as they all use them.

I don't think that what you do with your money has anything to do with the insight, inspiration, whatever that created the money in the first place. I don't entirely trust Bill Gates' foundations, etc. I'd like to think they were all wholly charitable, but something niggles.

Z said...

I still don't care if you ever buy a Mac or not, BW, it's nothing to do with me. I wrote from a specific and personal angle. And it was his money. I don't tell anyone what to do with their money, it's none of my damn business. Whether they've got a few thousand or a great many billions, it's still not my business, least of all to take a moral stand over.

Actually, the notion of creating something as a legacy to myself slightly revolts me. Rather egocentric, to say the least.

This comment thread got way away from the specific point of the post, AQ, thanks for coming back towards it.

Z said...

Could we leave the final words to Bill Gates, perhaps? -

“Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” Gates said. “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”