THE alarm on my iPhone trilled loudly to wake me up. I stumbled out of the bedroom and wandered into the living room, opening the patio doors to let out the dog. While he sniffed the exciting “brand new day” smells outside, I woke up my iPad with a nifty little swipe to see what was happening in the world.
Immediately I was swamped by push messages from the news media I read on my iPad and the social media tools I enjoy on my iphone, all relating the sad news that Steve Jobs had lost his battle against cancer.
As a Facebook friend of mine pondered, “How many people heard the news of this great man’s passing on a gadget/device that he created?”
My love affair with Apple started in 1998 when I worked for the International Diabetes Federation in Brussels as part of my degree course. There I was introduced to the delights of desktop publishing on a large bulbous machine which seemed to have been designed with magazine creation in mind. Its oversized screen accommodated all the tools I needed to see; the intuitive mouse glided effortlessly around the table top, and a discreet beep warned me that I was doing it all wrong without necessarily alerting everyone to the fact that I was learning on the job (or making it up as I went along).
A year later, on my first day of a placement on the Travel Desk of The Independent on Sunday, I was thrilled to visit the layout team and found myself quite green with envy as I admired the bank of large screen, sleek Apple Macs to which they devoted their days. And, of course, I was completely devastated to be introduced to the PC I would be using during my time there!
My first graduate job was in a publishing house and finally I had the excuse I needed to invest in an Apple Mac computer. At that time, they were all about fruit. The new love of my life, a Blueberry iMac sat proudly on my desk, next to my partner’s dull and corporate looking PC. Not only did it take up less space, but it also added a splash of colour to our boring, magnolia study and, as it was the first piece of Apple equipment either of us had ever owned, a certain amount of perplexity, confusion and excitement to our computing experiences. We spent days marvelling at the fact that all the workings were incorporated into what basically looked like a small portable (and somewhat oddly coloured) television screen and boy, did we bore our friends to death with guided tours to the blueberry in the corner that neither of us could really master.
However, the blueberry imac experience was shortlived in our household. Although it only just survived various threats by my partner to throw it down the stairs, it had a happy ending and was sold to an Apple enthusiast who lived nearby and paid me only a fraction under the price as new.
So why the quick blueberry turnover? I needed the cash… for my first iBook. Fruits were out and the sleek looking white Apple laptops had arrived. They suited my job perfectly and I was so smitten (and very poor for a while; job in publishing + desire for latest Apple gadget in 2001 did not a happy bank manager make).
Unfortunately the bank manager got his own way and my lovely publishing job had to be upgraded to a grown up marketing position within a large insurance company. The ibook was never used to its full potential (to be honest I wasn’t sure how) and it sadly spent much of its life filed away in a drawer.
After years floundering in the depths of PC desktops and laptops, my reintroduction to Apple Macs was completely accidental. By this time, my beloved had himself fallen under the Apple spell and bought an iBook to use when DJing. Despite at least three house moves (one of which from UK to Spain), my original iBook was still sitting in a drawer, over the hill and not really working anymore – probably because of all the settings I messed up on it when attempting to figure it out in the beginning! My beloved decided to treat me to a new PC laptop for my birthday and while shopping, was seduced by an iBook that he thought would be the perfect accompaniment to his new job in radio production. He arrived home grinning like the Cheshire Cat having found a bargain PC laptop for me and a shiny white iBook for him.
I admit to being a bit jealous although I bit my tongue. A few snide remarks may have fluttered around my brain but I managed to hold them in. I couldn’t really complain when he’d bought me such a generous present, could I? Even if it was my birthday and his present to himself was far more generous? Two and a half times more generous, to be precise.
Karma prevailed when he discovered the next morning that his radio production computer programs were not Apple compatible. “Oh no, what a shame. Perhaps we should swap – I can manage with the Apple.” What a selfless, understanding and kindhearted soul I am to give up my new PC laptop and make do with a gorgeous, shiny white iBook.
That was only a year ago. Since then I have Appled myself up to the eyeballs with an iPhone and iPad. And although I don’t really have the high powered job that requires such copious amounts of gadgetry, I love them – each and every one. And I make a good attempt at looking the part when I’m out and about.
Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying that he wanted to “put a ding in the universe”. He certainly did, and as it has been reported that he left at least four years worth of Apple product innovations in the pipeline, he, and his innovations, will continue to ding for a longtime into the future.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address