Mac or PC?

By js, 25 January, 2009, No Comment
image from AppleInsider 1/24/09

image from AppleInsider 1/24/09

I remember this type of computer was the first computer I ever purchased.

I learned how to type on a typewriter that I had to push a lever to return. My dad bought me my first typewriter when I was in high school, an electric one. I used computers in a high school class in which we learned about PASCAL.

When I got to college and first used the Mac, I remember I was fascinated by the simplicity of use. The hardest part about using the Mac was walking 5 minutes to get to the nearest lab and hoping that all the computers were not taken. (I still have some of those old floppy disks that I used to save some of my college essays.)

For me, the sign of a wealthy freshman was one who came to school with a brand spanking new computer. I don’t think many of us knew exactly how important they were going to be for getting our papers done, so many who could afford them didn’t purchase them until well into the first semester.

When I became a sophomore, I used one of the college programs which helped students purchase computers on a payment plan and used my work-study money to pay it off. It took me about a year. I’m not sure how much I spent on it, but I remember loving the fact that I had the computer sitting on my desk. It didn’t help me get my papers done any earlier, but I only had to go to the lab to print a paper. After a few trips to find a printer, I splurged on a printer too.

After a year with the desktop, I realized that the lack of mobility was one of the setbacks. Of course, I was also seduced by the images of the college student doing homework sitting under the shade of a tree on cross-campus. That was when I bought my first notebook computer. It was a used and looked something like this. It was the first time I paid cash for a computer (I didn’t pay cash again until I bought my kids computers in 2008) and it was the first and only time that I trusted someone enough to take their word that the computer would work. The computer worked fine for the rest of my undergrad years and the perk was that I could hook it up and use any printer on-campus.

When I moved back to Texas and began teaching I did not find a Mac anywhere. All the computers on campus were Windows-based. Still I was used to my Mac so I splurged again and bought myself a computer I couldn’t afford.  Not long after I had finished parying for it, the connection between the screen and the keyboard on the Mac laptop split. The only tech in town wanted to charge me what I thought was an unreasonable amount. Since I didn’t use the computer very much, I chose not to fix it. Ultimately I came to use Windows exclusively.

As I’ve become more and more involved with designing web sites and as the iPhone beckons me, I wonder if I’m on the road to becoming a Mac user once again.


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