#NEDJ Week 1 Tuesday: Show and Tell
Housekeeping note: I have not forgotten that I was supposed to be doing this every day! But I sort of got distracted by building an entirely new house for all the pretty new blogs that I will be fathering and that threw my schedule somewhat. Normal service will be resumed momentarily!
“Show us at least three (but as many more as you would like) of your favourite instances of your chosen subject”
Instance the first: The original iMac
Photo courtesy of Flickr user donnerstilzchen
The first iMac, that bondi-blue beauty that remains to this day one of the most iconic computers ever made, spawned a grim tide of transparent coloured plastic across every consumer device you could care to name. Its release also coincided with my starting at university; in fact the delivery of my iMac happened in my first semester, just before I was due to leave to make the hour or so journey to have a thirty-minute interview with a lecturer to then have the hour or so journey back. That mac was the first one I actually fell totally in love with, not only because it was so amazingly different but because it introduced me to the internet. That little mac for the first time connected me with the rest of the world and I made some of my strongest and most enduring friendships through it. It was my TARDIS, my quaint little thing that transported me to anywhere I wanted to go and let me do things I had hitherto never thought of. I loved my iMac like I have loved few other objects since and I hope to one day own one again.
Instance the second: The original iPod
Image is my own
My last year at university, the only year I spent living away from home, is when the first iPod was released. I got mine at Christmas 2002, it cost £350(!) and it again changed my world, as well as arguably changing the world. From then to now I have never been without a device in my pocket that could hold all my music and podcasts and play them whenever I wanted. I still have that little iPod, although the battery can’t hold a charge any more and in any case nothing I own can charge it through its obsolete FireWire port. It still sits on my shelf, a reminder of good times past.
Instance the third: The Performa 6200
Image courtesy of Flickr user damianward
The first mac I ever owned was a rather anaemic Performa 475, low on power and with no CD drive but with the classic “pizza-box” enclosure, it was still much-loved. This big bastard was the second mac I ever owned, more powerful, with more storage and had a CD DRIVE BUILT IN OMG! It was on this mac that I was introduced to computer gaming as opposed to console gaming which I had been doing for ages. From simple games like Maelstrom to big beefy ones like Marathon. Marathon was made by Bungie. Originally a desktop software company, they were going to release Halo for the mac until Microsoft got wind and snapped them up so they could ship Halo as the first-party amazeballs game for the then-under-development Xbox. Bungie even demoed Halo for the first time at an Apple MacWorld conference! (Not that I’m bitter or anything.)
Instance the fourth: The Mk1 iPhone
Image courtesy of Flickr user mac_users_guide
This was a truly amazing piece of kit. Not because of what it did to the phone industry but simply because of how it felt and behaved in the hand. Sleek and monolithic yet solid and rounded, reassuring yet exciting and new, I still remember going to get mine. It was November 9th 2007, two days before my 28th birthday, and an excruciating ten months to the day since it had first been announced. I had escaped from work as quickly as humanly possible and hied me to the Apple Store at Meadowhall as quickly as I was able. It was going on sale at exactly 6:02pm (it was being sold exclusively on O2, do you see what they did there?) I got there exceptionally shortly after, queued up, and my receipt was timed at 6:13pm. The 40-minute tram ride home was agonising, but not as much as the several-hour wait to get the damned thing activated by the O2 servers which were basically melting under the load. I’ve had every model of iPhone since, upgrading every single year. I took a new phone number when I got my first iPhone and kept it all the way up until last October when I jumped to EE, after O2 screwed a loyal customer who had been with them since the beginning by not giving a revenue-neutral mid-contract upgrade path like they had in years past. Fuckers.
Instance the fifth: iPad mini
Image is my own
I’ve had every model of iPad going. My first one actually arrived the day before they first went on sale, about 15 minutes before I was due to step out of the house and go to work, annoyingly. It was amazing, as was the iPad 2 which added some much-needed horsepower and the iPad 3 with its astonishing Retina display. However, I never really took any of them to my bosom like I did my other devices. I used them and enjoyed them, but they never wormed their way into my heart. That is, until the iPad mini. The mini showed me exactly why I never loved the others as much as I thought I would do: they were just too damn big and heavy. The mini is what the iPad should have been all along, and its certainly the iPad I realised I’ve always wanted. If I’m at home, it is rarely out of my hands. It’s the last device I touch at night, and the first one I touch in the morning. I’m even considering not upgrading my iPhone 5 this year in favour of making sure I’m able to afford the new mini as soon as its available. Although its lack of a Retina display was dismaying to some, by no means was it a deal-breaker for me. And when it does become Retina, thanks to the way Apple has designed the iPads it will actually use the same kind of panel that sits in the iPhones of today, just cut to a much bigger size. And when that day comes I shall be there, telling Apple to just shut up and take my money…