This has nothing to do with knitting, spinning or anything else directly relevant to this blog, but it has everything to do with what is relevant to my life. I don’t think it is exaggerating to say that my life – like many other people’s – has been transformed by Steve Jobs and Apple.
In 1997, I was turned from the dark side of computing. I had been told that there was another world out there, but I sneered at it. I had liked MS-DOS (I know, I know.) I believed – without any basis whatsoever – that Apple Macs were fluffy bunny, hippy dippy computers. I’d not been anywhere near one, apart from occasional trips into the design department, but I knew, right?
But then I began freelancing, and got an in-house job with a publisher. And – shock, horror – there wasn’t a PC in the place. I was briefly tempted to run screaming for refuge, but I needed the money.
And within two days I was utterly, totally, completely converted and gave my clunky old PC away (I’ve always been one for extreme gestures, I guess). I was now using an operating system that gave me a staggeringly small gap between what I wanted to achieve and what I could achieve, one that almost made my Mac an extension of my thought – and that was OS 8, yet, which probably says more about my life under Microsoft than anything else.
When things went wrong – and they did go wrong, remember SCSI chains, anyone? – we could fix it. I kept an unfolded paperclip to hand for ejecting recalcitrant drives and floppies, I spent time crawling around the floor fixing cables, but the point was that I could do it. It was fine. And this gave me the confidence to break out, to leave the womb of working in London and live where I wanted to live and do what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it. As he said in a lecture relatively recently (and I’m paraphrasing here), you have to keep looking for what you want; keep searching, keep doing what you do, and you will find it.
Times have changed, and I’m no longer a member of a relatively small band of devotees. There are many, many more of us. And I’m sure many Mac heads feel exactly like I do this morning. Steve Jobs revolutionised computing in many ways, and I am very very grateful.
This, by the way, is being written on one of my three macs, the youngest, my MacBook. I also have a Wallstreet Powerbook, which was still functioning well at the age of 12, and a G4 tower, some 10 years old, still working as a server. Good engineering, too, by and large.
Normal woolly service will be resumed as soon as possible!