Jun 272007

iPhone lands on Friday. Hardware is $499 or $599, depending on memory, and 2-year contracts feature monthly pricing of $59.99, $79.99, or $99.99, depending on voice minutes.

No doubt it’s cool. Anyone who says it isn’t is attempting some fake nothing-impresses-me routine.

That said, as much of a gadget hound as I am, I’ve never really warmed to the idea of having a phone and a PDA in one device. I like being able to take a device that is just a phone with me sometimes. Do you really want to worry about babysitting an iPhone at an all-day outdoor music festival, for example? You’ve got $600 in the damned thing.

It wasn’t even iPhone news that really caught my eye in this story: it was Macintosh market share. As of May 2007, Apple has 7.6% of the home computer market. “Big deal,” you say? Actually yes, it is. In May 2004—just three years ago—it was 3.2%. That is smokin’, folks.

I started with Apple hardware, well before the Mac appeared. Thanks to my conscientious dad, we had a ][+ and a /// around the house. I spent some time playing games, of course, but I also spent a lot of time with PFS database software, VisiCalc spreadsheet software, and Apple Business BASIC. There was always something new to learn. There was magic on those 5.25″ floppies.

I actually used that /// all the way through college, from my first five-paragraph essay for Ms. Chasteen in English 101 in 1988 to my senior thesis for Dr. Fillippeli in advanced comm theory in 1992. It had quirks—the massive external 5 MB hard drive, the size of two stacked shirt boxes, took about ten minutes to initialize, and would intermittently send my heart into my throat with a weird “BAD INTERPRETER” message—but it never once let me down. Good thing, too—as late in the game as 1992, I don’t know who the hell could have fixed it.

I must have blown 100 cartons of cigarette smoke into the green glow of that monitor. And to this day, I may be the preeminent worldwide authority on WordJuggler 2.6, the word processor I used. That will stand out on a resumé.

I dislike a rabid Mac bigot as much as the next guy, but still, it’s heartwarming for me to see Apple survive, and even thrive, in 2007. It’s an old childhood pal.

Thanks to apple.com for the iPhone image. Thanks to computermuseum.org.uk for the Apple /// image.

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  3 Responses to “Apple, then and now”

  1. I’m with you on the pda/phone/? combo. I don’t want one. I want my phone, pda, and music ipod to be separate entities. That way if one goes bad, I don’t have to replace all aspects of my electronic lifeline! At least until we can get them embedded in our brain. I’m all for that.

  2. I’m already addicted to email – beacuse I sit in front of the computer (and yes it is an apple- G5 at work adn G4 at home) all day and when I get board I hop on my yahoo account. I don’t want to have a phone that I CAN check email on. I love apple and think the iPhone is SO cool!!! But I jsut can’t do it… and I like all my addresses on paper. I had a PDA two years ago and it ate all my addresses one day – including the ones I had ON my computer and I had to start from scratch. I’d rather have the addresses than ones and zeros….

  3. […] office was a heavy Apple /// zone—something I’ve indirectly mentioned before.  One Thursday night, he came home abuzz about Lisa.  Lisa wasn’t a who, but a what—the […]

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