I love laptop computers. Because I love my lap. But that’s really a whole other dysfunction.
Speaking of dysfunctions, in Feb. 2007 I bought a Dell laptop, the Inspiron We Hate You. Its operating system is Vista Home Basic.
If you’ve ever used Vista Home Basic, you’re not reading this. Because you’re dead. Because you killed yourself. After I used Vista Home Basic, I wanted help killing myself. So I Googled “escape Vista!”. The moment I had finished typing the word “Vista,” Internet Explorer hijacked me to www.BillGates.com, whereupon my screen froze like the Tin Woodsman exiting a Norwegian steam bath.
Then a window popped up in the middle of my screen. It was a video of Bill Gates, whose visage flickered and skipped just a bit.
“Vista user John Shore,” intoned the visage of Bill Gates. “Why are you searching the word ‘Vista’? You do not speak Spanish. Our records show that you took Spanish 101 in the year of 1970, John Shore. You attended that class at Collins Junior High School, in Cupertino, California. Cupertino, California. Cupertino, California.” Bill’s image froze, and then shook as if rattled. The image stabilized. Bill resumed his message.
“Do you think there is something wrong with your Microsoft operating system, John Shore? Because there isn’t. But as a precaution against future imaginary system malfunctions, you will now need to downloaded MS SmokingPatch #4563455594842484666,666. Several moments ago, we attempted to automatically download this fix onto your computer, but were unable to complete this task because at that time you, Mr. Shore, were interfering with the proper functioning of your computer by attempting to use it. That is in strict violation of our No Use user-end policy. We can no longer assist you. For assistance, please call Dell Computers, at 1-800-GOODLUK, where, after forty-five minutes spent playing our game of Choose and Lose, a Seconal-dazed Micro Tek dropout will mumble unintelligibly at you for twenty minutes before suddenly disconnecting you. Thank you, and remember: Microsoft doesn’t mean small and limp. It doesn’t! It doesn’t! It never did!”
Anyway, I’m very pleased to report that I am now writing to you on my brand new MacBook, which my wife surprised me with last night. I’m so excited about my new computer that I may never sleep again. The MacBook seems to actually work. More radically, it seems predicated upon the idea that I might be perfectly capable of knowing my own needs. Unlike the platform of the PC (Proactively Controlling? Peevishly Claustrophobic? Profoundly Clunky? Potentially Catastrophic? Phenomenally Calloused? Passionately Conniving? Positively Creepy? Purposefully Confounding? Purposefully Confusing? Purposefully Complicated? Probably Contaminated? Somebody stop me?), Apple’s operating system doesn’t try to protect me, guide me, help me, inspire me, direct me, correct me, or question my choice of breakfast cereals. It pretty much lets me be.
I am now a Happy Creator. And, like the One who created us all, I am saddened by the way Adam responded to the apple given to him by his life-mate. But I’m loving the way I’m responding to the one given to me by mine.
(P.S. The reason I put the “I’m Back to Mac” part in this post’s title is because one of my first real computers was a Mac SE. And when I worked in magazines, I worked on all kinds of Macs. So in that way this is a bit of a homecoming for me.)
Another Apple-y thing I wrote awhile back: Why I Don’t Want an iPhone. Wait. Why I Do.