I have to admit that I’m an Apple fanboy. I’m not one of the switcher fanboys, but one of the longhaul fanboys. My first exposure to a computer (well, after the teletype my father brought home) was our family’s Apple IIe and my first programming was done in Apple basic. I had an Apple sticker on my bedroom door when I was 10.
When I first saw a Macintosh, I was blown away. I knew right there and then, the WIMP (window, icon, menu, pointing) interface was the future. I got my hands on one in the computer lab and was infected.
I’ve never owned a Windows box. My brother got one when I was in high school and this is what I used to check out the Internet while Netscape was still in beta. I hated it.
I went off to college and gained quite a bit of experience with Unix (and VMS). Indiana University is one of the top most progressive schools with technology so often times we were forced to turn in our homework via ftp on Unix. I was intrigued. I guess it was the days of Adventure and Zork and Apple Basic that made the command line something comfortable, not frightening. So I became as profficient as possible with the command line, but not gaining root hampered me a bit.
When I got seriously into computing, I bought a PowerBook 5300ce, one of Apple’s most infamous products. I suffered through all its problems, but it worked well enough for me to learn. And that is what I did. During this time, I wasn’t really a fanboy though, I didn’t know who Michael Spindler was or who Gil Amelio was and I didn’t really care. OS 7.5 and all its elegance was what mattered.
Skip ahead a few years, and I’m riding high on OS 8/8.6. I started following Apple religiously – their stock price, the hardware, the software updates, third party support, etc. I was very happy to see them buy Next rather than Be and kind of laughed when I heard that Steve would be a special advisor to Gil. I knew this arrangement wouldn’t last very long and it didn’t.
I’m not going to recount the story of Apple’s re-emergence from beleagured computer manufacturer to dominant media company, everyone knows that story. It’s the stuff of legend.
I’m happy I was able to see Steve Jobs speak twice, but kind of bummed I never got to meet him. I haven’t met Gates either, but met Ballmer and that was no fun.
While Steve enjoyed the limelight and kept the inner workings of Apple top secret, he is not an idiot. He brought in the highest caliber people possible and instilled in them the Apple spirit and these are the people that run the day to day of Apple. With Steve out of the picture, I’m sure the pipeline is not going to dry up – just read the story of Jony Ive coming up with the 2nd gen iMac. And Jony Ive is a pre-Jobs fixture at Apple. (I got to see him in the first Apple store in Tokyo).
For a while Steve was CEO of both Apple and Pixar, how could they BOTH do so well. Surely it wasn’t Steve micromanaging 24/7, it was his brilliant ideas like putting the Pixar bathrooms in the middle of the building so everyone crossed paths eventually.
I’m not worried about a post-Jobs Apple and will remain dedicated to the best OS and software ever produced (hardware is a different story). So when I start going Apple Fanboy in my posts, I’ll point people back here for reference. I’ll try to keep my Apple slant out of my writing though.