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I have been writing about Apple in some form or another for the past two years. Starting as an app blog for non-traditional students, to moving my work over to The Apple Fancast 1, then back to my blog.
I’ve had this thing running just a fraction of the time of other indie blogs and that’s because I didn’t get my first Apple device until October of 2013.
I was a writer, a creative, and thus, the allure of Apple devices hit me pretty early in my computing life.
I remember back in my first stint at college, we had a Mac lab 2. I hadn’t heard a lot about Macs at that point. I had spent most of my high school years in a boarding school so I didn’t really have access to the things everyone else saw, up until about 1997.
By 2000 I was enamored with the web and computers. My first experience with a modern computer 3 was a Windows box. At that time, I knew I wanted to work with them, though my college journey would take many turns, ending right back to where I started in 2002, working and building software.
I went into the Mac lab and sat down at this beautiful Bondi Blue iMac.
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It had no icons on the desktop and a hidden dock. It was inscrutable to me - I didn’t know how to navigate it without a desktop full of icons.
I got up and decided Macs weren’t for me.
As school and the years went on, I saw a lot of software I was using wasn’t available for the Mac platform. I scoffed and thought, those poor saps. Can’t even use good software.
Then 2008 came and I was in the full creative person swing.
A writer who I admired wrote all her pieces on a Mac. She told me it was for creatives.
For a year I had been bombarded by the I’m a Mac campaign. It rubbed me the wrong way. Truly the wrong way. I began to have a simmering disgust for Apple and its overpriced hardware.
Around this time, the iPhone was making waves. For Christmas 2009, I bought myself an iPod Touch with the money I got for the holiday. T-Mobile, my cell carrier, didn’t have the iPhone - neither did Verizon or any other carrier that wasn’t AT&T. Everyone and their mother on writer blogs were talking about geolocation apps, productivity apps on the iPhone, and as someone who is into all of those things, I decided to get the iPod.
I was in love with that iPod. I still had my flip phone. That was until my cousin told me, after I insisted that Android copied Apple, to give Android a try. My cousin was a Flash developer and so he already had a disdain for Apple for trying to drive the stake into Flash’s heart. I went to T-Mobile and decided to try a Windows Mobile phone 4 as I had experience with the platform. The salesman told me there were no apps on that platform. He encouraged me to buy the Samsung Galaxy S.
The OLED screen was gorgeous. The app ecosystem rich. I put down the money then for the phone.
My friend Rick bought an iPhone and the MacBook Air when it first came out. We would go out and we’d have our computers - my huge, power-hungry Toshiba computer that I had just bought and his MacBook Air. I felt an air of superiority. His tiny little MacBook Air! Not a serious machine.
He let me get on and it was fast. Really fast and much faster than my Toshiba that took at least two minutes to load after booting up.
He took me to the Apple Store in Central PA, about an hour from where we lived. I saw the 2011 iMac and I felt immediate envy. I knew I needed a MacBook Pro, iMac, something. I just couldn’t afford it.
iPad: The Gateway Drug
I have a lot of Apple devices and other gear now. I am not wealthy by any means - most of the stuff I bought I bought for working reasons, as a student and independent blogger 5. I used the left over funds from loans to get the gear I have 6 and I am grateful for the stuff I was able to buy.
I bought the iPad to read textbooks. I bought the iPad 4 knowing full well the iPad Air was about to come out. However soon that would be, I couldn’t wait.
Coming from Android phones and tablets, and being frustrated with them, I decided that I would join the in-crowd and buy an iPad. I had the money. I moved out of Central PA to Pittsburgh to finish my education at Pitt.
I went to the Shadyside Apple Store. It was magical.
I had long maintained that I would keep my Samsung Note II - I had spent so much time hating Apple that I was only going to give them a little of my money. I also needed a new computer - my Toshiba bit the dust after two years of owning it. I’ll buy the iPad and a MacBook Pro. No iPhone.
I bought the iPad. The Genius helped me set it up, or at least tried - I was already pretty tech savvy. In preparation, I bought over $300 worth of apps to fill my iPad with, over several months.
The apps were all pulled down from iCloud rather seamlessly. It felt like heaven. My Android devices lagged, ran out of RAM quite frequently, crashed, etc. This was a whole other world to me.
I brought it home and found the apps on it to look and respond better.
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It was then that I decided I needed an iPhone.
One of the selling points of the iPhone was its superior camera.
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I fancied myself a photographer and the camera was basically what drove me over, as well as the quality apps.
I downloaded a ton of camera apps and joined iPhoneography forums, and went out taking lots of amateurish photos with some gems thrown in.
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I spent the better part of a year just playing around with my iPhone 5s, then 6.
MacBook Pro: It Really Did Change My Life
Up until I got my MacBook Pro, I considered myself a writer. This was for many reasons: melancholy, tragedy, love. I could work my way through it by writing. I am very good at it - I have pieces of short fiction published a few places, and places like The Mid-American Review 7 liked my work do much they told me to resubmit, even though they were rejecting me. I was on my way to perhaps good things as a writer, but it wasn’t challenging enough. I know my writer friends would smack me, but it wasn’t. I kept getting bored with the topics I was writing about, and I wasn’t good at sci-fi world building to switch genres.
I also no longer needed a literary outlet to me struggles as those struggles alleviated themselves for the most part.
I bought some coding courses on Udemy for $30 from StackSocial. I also got a text editor with that in anticipation for my Mac. Still in school, my friend Joe Wade who was also a writer, was thinking of getting another degree in something else.
I had been a proponent of fixing computers and software UX problems, often doing it for residents and family. One of my neighbors told me to stop writing and take up computers. I knew it was a sensible move but so much of who I was tied up in writing.
Listening to Joe tell me about his plan, I decided to get a degree in English and computer science. I started looking for online tutorials to learn how until I got into Pitt. It was wonderful.
How does the MacBook Pro fit into this? It was such a pleasure to use. I couldn’t stop working on it. The UI, the ease of bash, the apps 8. I became borderline obsessed with the computer - my productivity skyrocketed.
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It set me on a path to actually make a healthy living as a developer 9 instead of a barista at Starbucks and it made me enjoy computing instead of tolerating it.
Now I’ve added an iMac to the mix. I bought an Apple TV back in 2013 as well which I’ll need to upgrade. I have an iPhone 6s I am upgrading, and iPad Pro 12.9”, and perhaps if funds are right, an Apple Watch.
I am fully locked in. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m definitely an Apple Fangirl.
Jon Norman is a great guy but the way he pumped out content, with the little sponsorship he got, the blog and its sister content was not sustainable. ↩
Before state budget cuts - 2002 was a great year at that school. ↩
First was as a kid with a hand me down Commodore 128, which I promptly programmed in BASIC and hated it. Making graphics was really fun and so were the games and joystick, however I had a Nintendo. Didn’t quite compare. ↩
And at the time, writer. ↩
I watched my best friend spend up a storm not realizing these funds run out. We partied a lot. And because of that, I took up getting my own loans, and running out. Naivety and not having much will do that to you. ↩
2003 me wouldn’t believe the apps available for this platform. ↩
Almost there! ↩