Freshly Squeezed OpEd: Wait A Tick! I'm My Father's Mac!

Aug 12, 2014 | OpEd | 0 comments

When I first started using computers, it was a lot like my early forays into dating. I was always in the dark and there was a lot of fumbling about. But then I was introduced to the Mac.
The computer for the rest of us. Or, put another way, not your father’s computer (read: IBM).
Since that time, a lot of water has passed underneath the bridge. And a little rust has appeared, simultaneously.
Over the past year and a half I’ve had to deal with some misfortune regarding my health, as I believe I have mentioned. As a result, I wasn’t able to immerse myself as deeply in daily Mac news as I was accustomed to. Or, for that matter, use my Mac for hours on end.
As I had to change my focus from computer issues to health issues at that time, my head was out of the game. And I’m one of those people with nanosecond memory. If I don’t keep doing something constantly, I’ll forget everything about it almost instantaneously.
Back in the 90’s, the beauty of using a Mac is that you didn’t have to fiddle under the hood very much, if at all. If you wanted to do some advanced tweeking, you had access to the tools. But you could coast along quite nicely with the factory settings that were already in place when you took your toy directly out of the box.
Add to that that there were no mobile devices, back then, that needed to be synced up with your computer.
Fast forward twenty years. You now have iPhones, iPods, iPod Touches and iPads. Plus external drives, Wi-Fi, cloud syncing, et al.
I now find myself in an unusual position. Where as I used to receive a piece of software or hardware to review and the learning curves were fairly similar, now the thing that differentiates all of these products from one another is their various abilities for customization. That means that I can no longer skate on through. I really have to get under the hood of products. Lots more detail to be investigated.
Roll into that the fact that there is a new Mac generation who relish customization. Tons of options and users are still hungry for more.
So now, when I start reviewing a new piece of kit, I feel like I need to call up my daughter (who, by the way, works for a major CGI house). Gawd, but it makes me feel old!
I remember the days of being the young guy teaching the elders how to work around their fears of using their computers. Repeatedly instructing people on how to compose and send email. (Don’t even think of attachments!)
Now, I feel myself becoming the elder. I can still make my way around new kit, but I find that I have to spend a bit more time and effort unraveling the multitude of facets of any given piece of software or hardware.
‘Really!?! I can do that?‘ Echoing the sentiment of Steve Jobs, I didn’t even know that I wanted to do that!
So, now composing a review has become a bit harder. Happily, it still feels like Christmas everytime that I get to unwrap a new toy.
I hope that I’m still imparting information of use to you, the readers. If not, let me know. As this blog is free for you, it doesn’t mean I’ll stop. But let me know all the same.
©2014 Frank Petrie


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