Monday, October 20, 2003

This is not the trend I'm looking for

I just can't. I've thought about it. I've considered it. I've read opinions about it. But I can't.

I can't get into iTunes.

I've had a "hands off" relationship with all Apple Computers since the very beginning. I started with a Commodore 64, way back in the day. Before that, I remember having geekbrain friends who were among the priviledged in our brand new, no one ever heard of it before, high school computer lab. They'd let me play the text adventures with the little ASCII character graphics. Whoo hoo.

Go North.

There were no Apples in those days. Everyone was making their own computers or computerized typewriters (Remember Wang? Remember the Xerox Memory Writer?). I was working as a temp, and I used whatever computer the company I was temping at had.

They never had Apples.

It was many many years before I actually SAW a real, live Apple computer, when I worked at UCF. There were, I think, three of them in the computer lab for students in the particular grad school building where I worked. I once had to move some files from one of them onto a disk. Seemed easy enough. I'd been able to make the transition from DOS to WINDOWS without too much screaming, how hard could THIS be? Everyone said Apples and Macs were so darn easy, so intuitive, so cool. Sure, why not? Should be a snap! "I'll be back in a minute".

Famous last words, those. It took me 30 minutes. And I never did get the files moved. You see, there was this trash can. Every time I tried to open the drive I wanted, the computer insisted I close the other drive. In order to close it, I had to drag it into the trash can.

Do you sense where this is going?

Every operating system I'd ever used -- EVERY SINGLE ONE (and there were a lot in the pre-windows days, starting with GEOS) -- used a garbage can as a way to delete files. Delete. As in Gone, goodby, adios, miss ya, safe trip. For 30 long minutes I tried NOT to put anything in that trash can, because I didn't want to DELETE the drive, or the files I wanted, or the disk I was trying to move the files to. No no no, get the trash can out of the way. Stop it!

I crept back to my desk, defeated, humiliated, my self esteem in shreds. Later, a friend of mine took me by the hand and showed me that the trash can WAS the way to close the drive. I expressed my disbelief, and he, amazingly enough, agreed with a shrug and said "Well, you learn to deal with it."

The trauma has scarred me permanently. I won't go near Macs. I won't go near anything named with a lowercase 'i' before a capitalized noun. There's no point in torturing myself like that.

I have friends who are staunch Mac users, who complain and cry and denounce Windows machines and recoil in horror at non-Apple PCs. I have no problems with them, really, even the ones who prostletyze about the Mac as if seeking to save my Microsoft infected soul. I've sat in relative silence while my Mac-lover friends have trashed PCs in general, Microsoft windows in particular, and then went on to exclaim in exultant tones of all the wonders they could produce on their Mac and how I, the unwashed, ignorant PC user, could convert if only I would see the light. I've come to believe that one does not actually own and use a Macintosh. Rather, one is indoctrinated into a cult of Mac-ness. One becomes a Macinite. There might be special underwear and dietary laws involved.

I don't really mind. Let them believe what they want to believe. There are many paths to enlightenment, and the Mac is the way for some. For me, I've invested my money in the Windows world, and, hey, it gets what I need done. I don't spend nights lying awake tormented because Windows prevents me from reaching some golden computer goal. In fact, my operating system rarely even crosses my mind. I do pretty much what I want on my PC and work around problems without much agony. Like my Mac attuned friend said so long ago "Well, you just learn to deal with it."

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