In the morning, I’ll be seeing and responding to the MacWorld keynote.
The first computers I ever used were Apples – Apple II, IIc, IIg, and IIgs in my school’s computer lab. The first computer I used at home was a Mac SE/30 with a 4 MB(!) hard drive, and later, an 8 MB external hard drive which was larger than a Mac Mini. I think we were on Mac OS6 around that time, and amusingly enough, my biggest beef with the OS at that time was that it was very hard to program (Hypercard anyone?) , and it was nearly impossible to resolve ANY error (what did random positive and negative integers accompanied by a bomb icon mean?).
That said, I have been cynical of Apple products ever since. After OS 6/7 (and maybe 8/9 for that matter), DOS and Windows provided the amazing ability to delve into the guts of the OS and tweak the setting as needed (though getting rid of himem and emm386 couldn’t come soon enough).
Since then, Apple has made great headway in charging premium prices relative to comparably featured hardware. Many people credit a superior interface and design for making this worth their while. I’m not picky about either, provided the hardware at least works.
I currently own NO Apple products. I use a Treo smart phone running Windows Mobile. My MP3 player is an RCA Lyra – the main storage is an SD card that I can upgrade as technology advances, vs. a fixed capacity iPod nano or whatever.
I would take an iPhone, iPod, or MacBook if someone else were paying for it, but I’m likely to buy cheaper alternatives with my own money. Apparently the skeptical nature of many developers I know falls apart when Steve Jobs is involved.
With all of this in mind, I’ll be blogging a response to the MacWorld keynote. I’m open to liking whatever they announce, but even more inclined to give a skeptical counterpoint to all of the geeks who suspend their rationality when they hear the voice of Steve Jobs. I expect them to push mostly incremental advances, market them as “revolutionary”, and get a ton of buzz (for instance – if they pump out a scrawny, disc-drive-free, laptop, why is this genius rather than stupidity – DVD drives are useful and cheap).